Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

Harry S. Kennedy

HARRY S. KENNEDY has been a resident of Decatur County over thirty years and has played a varied and influential part as a farmer, postmaster, business man, banker and editor, and every one of his undertakings has served to promote the welfare of his community.

Mr. Kennedy, whose home is at Cedar Bluff, was born at Cincinnati, Ohio, March 7, 1865. He is of Scotch-Irish ancestry, his grandfather having come from Great Britain to Pennsylvania. William Kennedy, his father, was born at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1837. He grew up there and early embarked upon a life of adventure and more than routine experience. He served four years in the United States Navy on the ship Minnesota. His longest voyage was from Norfolk to China. Leaving the sea he went to Cincinnati and for many years was employed by the Methodist Book Publishing House of that city. In 1885 he came out to Kansas and established a pioneer home in Cedar Bluffs, homesteading 160 acres and also taking a quarter section timber claim, proving up both of them. His widow still owns the old homestead. He died at Cedar Bluffs in 1914. He was an old-school republican in politics and one of the very loyal members and prominent workers in the Methodist Episcopal Church, holding all the offices of the church and being one of the members who did most to keep up the society in Cedar Bluffs. He was suddenly stricken with apoplexy one Sunday while getting ready for church. His last words were "I have fought a good fight, I have kept the faith." William Kennedy married Jane Maxson. She was born in New York State in 1836 and is still living at Cedar Bluffs. Edward, the oldest of their children, was a printer and later a farmer, and died at Cedar Bluffs, Kansas, at the age of fifty-two. Hugh was a contractor and builder and died at Cincinnati, aged fifty-three. The next in age is Harry S. Amy married Charles Bosworth, proprietor of the National Hotel at McCook, Nebraska. Albert was formerly one of the well known professional ball players and team managers, known all over the United States as "Snapper Kennedy" but is now settled down in a quiet routine as a coal dealer and automobile garage proprietor at Cedar Rapids, Iowa. T. J. Kennedy is a merchant at Cedar Bluffs, Kansas, Jennie, his twin sister, is the wife of Lee Nidigh, a farmer at Myrtle Point, Oregon. Robert is still on the home farm in Decatur County. Fannie married Henry Richardson, a hardware merchant at Cedar Bluffs, and she is the postmaster of the town.

Harry S. Kennedy attained his early education in the public schools of Cincinnati and was twenty years of age when he accompanied his parents to Kansas. The next five years he worked at home and contributed his labors toward improving the homestead. After that he continued farming on his own account until 1897, in which year he was appointed postmaster of Cedar Bluffs under the McKinley administration. He filled that office for eight years. In 1908 he was elected county commissioner of Decatur County and filled that office four years. In the meantime he was engaged in the general merchandise business, also as proprietor of a hotel and livery at Cedar Bluffs. In 1905 Mr. Kennedy helped organize the First State Bank of Cedar Bluffs, and was its president until 1916, since which year he has assumed the post of cashier and active executive. The president of the bank is E. S. Kirkland of Orleans, Nebraska. The vice president is H. C. Smith, also of Orleans. The bank has a capital of $10,000, surplus and profits of $7,000.

Mr. Kennedy owns 520 acres of good farm lands in Decatur County, and has what is regarded as the best modern residence in Cedar Bluffs, erected in 1905. He also owns a store building on Main Street and all of his interests for thirty years or more have been closely identified with this thriving little Kansas community. In 1910 for the good of the town he established the Beaver Valley Booster. He carried on and edited this publication until 1918, when on account of war prices and war conditions he discontinued the publication. Mr. Kennedy is a republican, is affiliated with Mountain Slope Lodge No. 186, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Oberlin, Cedar Bluffs Camp No. 6919, Modern Woodmen of America, Cedar Bluffs Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Royal Neighbors of America, and is a former member of the Knights of Pythias.

In 1890, at Cedar Bluffs, he married Miss Fannie Richardson, daughter of James and Lucy (Crager) Richardson, her mother still living at Cedar Bluffs at the venerable age of ninety-two. Her father was a carpenter, and served through the Civil war in the Union army and his wounds as a soldier did much to shorten his life. She was one of the pioneer homesteaders around Cedar Bluffs, locating there in 1884. Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy have two daughters. Lucy, born September 9, 1893, graduated from the Decatur County High School at Oberlin and is the wife of Shelby Witham, a farmer at Cedar Bluffs. The second daughter, Gail Kansas, born August 31, 1900, is a graduate of the Decatur County High School and is now a teacher in the primary grades of the public schools at Cedar Bluffs.