Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. II, p. 961
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
William Kirkendall, deceased, was a well known citizen of Center township, Rice county, who located in this locality March 11, 1878, and followed farming until his death, which occurred March 2, 1882. He was then forty-six years of age, for he first opened his eyes on the 4th of April, 1835, his birthplace being in Wayne county, Ohio. His father, Wilson Kirkendall, was a native of Pennsylvania and was of German descent. Removing to the west, he located in Wayne county, Ohio, where he followed agricultural pursuits for some time. The subject of this review was reared on the old family homestead, and at the usual age entered the public schools, where he pursued his studies through the winter season, while in the summer months he bore his share in the work of the fields. On the 8th of February, 1859, he was married, in Henry county, Illinois, being then a young man of twenty-three years, to Miss Martha Carson, an estimable lady, who was a devoted wife and helpmate to him throughout the remainder of his lifeís journey. She was born in Allen county, Ohio, May 25, 1837, and is a daughter of Robert Carson, whose birth occurred while his parents were crossing the Atlantic from the north of Ireland. They were of Scotch-Irish lineage and were Presbyterians in religious faith. When he had reached manhood Robert Carson wedded Margaret Stanley, a native of Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, but both are now deceased, the father having died in Henry county, Illinois, at the age of sixty, while the motherís death occurred in Rice county, Kansas, at the age of seventy-four years. They, too, were worthy Christian people, identified with the Presbyterian denomination, and in that faith they reared their children, nine in number, namely: James, Samuel, Alec and Harvey, all of whom are now deceased; William, who is living in Sac, Dallas county, Iowa; Eli, who was a member of an Illinois regiment during the Civil war and was killed at the battle of Bull Run; Mrs Kirkendall; and Mrs Esther Hood, of Des Moines, Iowa.
The marriage of our subject and his wife was blessed with ten children, of whom eight are yet living, namely: Albert W, Mrs Maggie Stine, Mrs Ida Weaver, Harvey and Hiram, twins, at home, and Etta, John and Robert, who are still with their mother. Those who have passed away are Warren, who is the second in order of birth and died at the age of twenty-nine, leaving a widow and one child, and Ella, who died at the age of twenty years.
From early boyhood until his demise Mr Kirkendall followed farming and became the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of land, constituting one of the best farms in Center township, Rice county, Kansas. He located here on the 11th of March, 1878, and with characteristic energy began the development of his fields and the improvement of his property, continuing this work as an agriculturist until his demise. The Democratic party received his political allegiance and the Methodist Episcopal church his hearty co-operation, for through many years he held membership in the latter, and his Christianity formed the basis of his upright character. His death was the occasion of deep regret, not only to his family, but to many friends throughout the community, and to his wife and children he left not only a comfortable competence, but also a good name, which the psalmist has said is rather to be chosen than great riches.
Mrs Kirkendall and her younger children still reside on the old homestead and the family is one of prominence in the community. She has three hundred and twenty acres of rich land and the farm is a desirable property. The home, the barns and the outbuildings are all kept in good repair and the sons carry on the work of cultivating the fields and raising stock. The name of Kirkendall commands respect throughout this portion of Rice county and the members of the household occupy an enviable position in social circles in which they move.