1912 History of Southern Illinois
Volume II

JAMES DONALY. [Page 1002]
Although now retired from business life, James Donaly has borne an important part in the development of the resources of Southern Illinois, and his name is well known in the mining world of this section. He spent nearly forty years as an operator and miner at Carterville, where he retired to private life in August, 1911. Mr. Donaly's childhood was spent in Carterville, he having been eight years of age when his father brought the family from Murphysboro to Carterville. He was born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, September 27, 1865, where his father was a miner, and four years later the latter came to Illinois and established himself temporarily at the county seat of Jackson county. He is of Scotch-Irish blood, his father being a native of Beath, Scotland, and his mother of county Roscommon, Ireland.

William Donaly, the father of James of this review, was born January 3, 1839, and gave his whole active life to the occupation of a miner. He is now living a retired life, having witnessed an advance in the business of coal mining, the history of which, were it written, would furnish an interesting chapter among the great industries of the country. Mr. Donaly married Mary Ganley, who was born March 17, 1836, and they have had the following children: Ellen, the wife of Henry Phillips, of Carterville; Mary, the wife of Fred H. Koennecke, of this city; Kate, now Mrs. George Phillips, of Carterville; Mrs. Edward Myers, wife of a well-known merchant, of St. Louis; and James.

Beginning work as a child of seven years, James Donaly could not have profited much as a pupil in school. He got merely the rudiments of a few common branches and acquired the remainder of his education from actual experience. He began as a” trapper,’’ in the Bryden mine, the first one opened at Carterville. After nearly ten years of application to his vocation, and having acquired complete knowledge of it, he relaxed his efforts and spent several -months touring the West and South, working in mines at Trinidad, Colorado; Cothridge, New Mexico; Gordon, Texas; and Atoka, Oklahoma. He went on a prospecting tour of New Mexico for the Santa Fe Coal Company, extending his trip to points in California and returning home after an absence of nearly two years. Soon after resuming work in the coal field Mr. Donaly entered the service of Sam. T. Brush to do some development work, completed that and was made a mine manager by Mr. Brush. He became superintendent of the Brush property later on and in 1898 he began the coal business independently. He joined Mr. Fred H. Koennecke under the firm name of the Donaly -Koennecke Company, opened a property near the Brush mine and subsequently sold it. He then transferred his interests in mining to a lease some two and one-half miles north of Carterville, where the Donaly Koennecke Company opened another mine, and after nine years with it Mr. Donaly sold out to Mr. Koennecke and withdrew from the field. He has farming and financial interests, owning a number of business houses in Carterville and being a stockholder in the Carterville State and Savings Bank. His modern home on Main street was erected by Mr. Donaly and there he and his family maintain their residence.

On October 1, 1896, Mr. Donaly was married to Miss Dell Kirk, who died in 1900, leaving one daughter, Ruby. Mr. Donaly’s second marriage was to Miss Margaret Jeffrey, a daughter of Peter Jeffrey, a coal man of Murphysboro and a native of Ayrshire, Scotland. Mrs. Donaly was born in 1871, in Murphysboro, and grew up there. In 1908 Mr. Donaly and the members of his family took a trip to the old Jeffrey home in Scotland, and there the death of his mother-in-law occurred. Mr. Donaly has studied Free Masonry deeply, and has taken the thirty-second degree along the Scottish route. He is a member of Oriental Consistory and of Medina Temple. His political inclinations lead him to support the principles of the Democratic party.
JAMES A. WHITE. [Page 1008]
A continuous service of virtually fifteen years in the office of postmaster of Murphysboro, Jackson county, offers effective voucher for the executive ability and personal popularity of James Augustus White. He is known as one of the broad-minded and progressive citizens of Murphysboro, the thriving and attractive metropolis and judicial center of Jackson county, and he has long been a potent factor in connection with political activities in this section of the state, where his circle of friends is limited only by that of his acquaintances.

James Augustus White was born at Fairfield, Jefferson county, Iowa, on the 25th of September, 1868, and is a son of James and Anna (Parkinson) White, both of whom are now deceased, the father having devoted the greater part of his active career to agricultural pursuits. He to whom this sketch is delivered was a child at the time of the family removal from Iowa to Southern Illinois, and he is indebted to the public schools of East St. Louis, this state, for his early educational discipline. As a youth he served an apprenticeship to the trade of machinist, in which he became a skilled workman and to which he devoted his attention from 1885 to 1897. He established his residence in Murphysboro in the year 1888, and here he continued to be actively identified with industrial enterprises in the line of his trade until 1897, when he was appointed to the office of postmaster, of which he has since continued the efficient and popular incumbent. His administration has been one of most progressive and circumspect order and he has done much to develop and systematize the work of the local postal service, in connection with which a corps of twelve assistants is retained, in addition to those connected with the seven rural free-delivery routes. Mr. White was indefatigable in his efforts to secure the appropriation of eighty-five thousand dollars for the new post office building in Murphysboro, and none exerted more influence in this connection except the congressman from this district. Mr. White also served one term 1894-6 as representative of the Third ward in the city board of aldermen.

In politics Mr. White has ever accorded unfaltering allegiance to the Republican party and he has been a zealous and effective worker in behalf of its cause. He was a member of the Republican state central committee of Illinois in 1910 and has served continuously since 1903 as chairman of the Republican central committee of Jackson county. He is affiliated with the local lodge and chapter of the Masonic fraternity and is past master of the former, besides which he holds membership in the Knights of Pythias, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and the Modern Woodmen of America. Both he and his wife are members of the Presbyterian church. Murphysboro’s postmaster shows a most loyal interest in all that touches the welfare and progress of his home city and his aid and influence as given to those measures and enterprises which tend to advance civic and material progress and prosperity.
JOHN W. VICK, M. D. [Page 1015]
The medical profession is one of the learned callings that requires of a man unswerving devotion, conscientious performance of duty and untiring pursuit of further knowledge. Dr. John W. Vick is a physician whose record is marked not only by skilled experiences, but by faithfulness to ambition, for although a score of years intervened between the beginning of his medical studies and the fruition of his efforts, he did not allow himself to be discouraged, but persevered, and for nearly twenty-eight years has been engaged in active practice. He has lived in Williamson county since 1852, in which year his father, the venerable Samuel S. Vick, of Marion, came hither from Logan county, Kentucky, where he had married Martha J. Newton, February 6, 1848.

Samuel S. Vick was born in Davidson county, Tennessee, June 23, 1827. His father was Josiah Vick, who followed his son to Illinois and died in Williamson county about 1868. He was born in one of the . Carolinas, of Scotch and Irish lineage, was a planter, and was descended from Colonial stock. Branches of the family scattered throughout the South, and historic Vicksburg, Mississippi, is named in honor of one of them. Josiah Vick married a Miss Fuqua, into which family Governor Beckham of Kentucky married, and this family is also one of the old and aristocratic French families of the South. Both Josiah and his wife passed away about the same date, and their children were Samuel S.; Robert, who died in Kentucky, leaving a family; Josiah, who moved to Texas and reared a family before his death; Mrs. Lydia Grayson, who died in Williamson county; Wesley, who also passed away here, never having married; George, who still resides in this county; Monroe, who died at Anna, Illinois; Nathaniel, who lives in Massac county; and Susan, who died at DuQuoin, Illinois, the wife of Frank Roy.

Samuel S. Vick married Martha J. Newton, daughter of John Newton, her people being farmers of the Corncracker state. Their children were as follows: Dr. John W., born March 6, 1849, the day following the inauguration of President Zachary Taylor; Rebecca, who married William Edwards, of Marion, Illinois; Joe, a druggist of Herrin, who married a Miss Eubanks; Paralee, the wife of Willis J. Aikman, vice president of the Marion State and Savings Bank and one of the foremost men of the pioneer families of the county; Alice, who married John M. Cline, leading drug merchant of Marion, and also a member of one of Williamson county's pioneer families; and Dora, who married Dr. Evans and resides in Marion.

John W. Vick obtained his literary education in the schools of Marion and began the study of medicine while serving as a drug clerk in that city. He served an apprenticeship there with Dr. A. N. Lodge and when ready for college entered the Missouri Medical College, now a part of the Washington University, of St. Louis. After a time he decided to engage in practice, secured a license from the proper board in Illinois, and located in Marion, then in Carterville, and did not return to complete a medical course in school for nearly twenty years. He then attended Vanderbilt University at Nashville and graduated there in 1894. He came to Carterville in 1882, in time to plant the first shade trees set out on the townsite, and to take an interest in all that pertained to the making of a new substantial town. He was president of the school board for twenty years, of the board of health for a like period and is one of the early members of the Williamson County Medical Society and its president for several years. He is a member of the Illinois State and Southern Illinois Medical Associations, and has served as president of the Carterville Building and Loan Association since its organization. Dr. Vick is a Democrat in politics, but he has never entered the public field, although his father has been prominently known in positions of honor and trust. Samuel S. Vick was active in Williamson county’s political field during the years precedent and subsequent to the Civil war. He was an overseer of slaves in Kentucky, as were several of his brothers, and he is said to have left the South because "a negro was considered of more value or consequence than a white man." He was brought up a Democrat and remained with that party in the face of its embarrassments of the period of the war. He was first chosen constable of his precinct of Williamson county and was subsequently appointed deputy sheriff and then city police judge of Marion. In 1868 he was appointed master in chancery and was next elected justice of the peace. In 1865 he took the third census of the county.

Dr. John W. Vick was married in Jackson county, Illinois, May 8, 1872, to Miss Mary A. Snider, daughter of the successful farmer and stockman, Ephraim Snider, who was a Southern man. Mr. Snider married a daughter of David Herrin, of Herrin's Prairie, which family is mentioned on another page of this volume. Dr. and Mrs. Vick have had the following children: Callie L., the wife of Monroe Colp, of Carterville, Illinois; Samuel Snider, who is engaged in the drug business in Carterville, married Grace Davis and has a daughter, Mary Elizabeth; Miss Kate H., a teacher in the Carterville schools; and John W., now a student in pharmacy in the Northwestern University, Chicago.
IRA T. ROBERTS, M. D. [Page 1017]
The modern physician is much better equipped when he starts into practice than members of the medical profession of a half-century ago were after years of experience. No longer does the aspirant for a degree begin and carry on a practice before he has mastered more than the rudiments of his profession, as was so often the custom in years gone by. Careful preparation in medical college, followed by hospital work, are now rightly required of every regular physician and never before has public health been so admirably conserved. One of the physicians of Williamson county whose training has been long and careful and who is imbued with the most modern ideas is Doctor Ira T. Roberts, of Johnston City, a native born son of this county. His birth occurred on his father's farm near Makanda, June 3, 1879, a son of John T. Roberts, who is still a farmer and resides near Creal Springs.

In the community of Lick Creek the family was founded by John T. Roberts, Sr., the grandfather of Dr. Roberts, who came from the state of Tennessee many years before the Civil war and spent his life in farming, his death occurring in 1862. By his first wife he had two sons, J. B. and William, who are both deceased, and a daughter, Sarah, who never married. He was married a second time and by that union had these children: John T., father of Dr. Roberts; Marshall C., a farmer of Williamson county; Andrew J., a merchant of Lick Creek; one daughter who married and died in young womanhood; Mrs. William Fox; and Mrs. Delvina Tedford, living near Carbondale.

John T. Roberts, Jr., was brought up under rather primitive conditions, and began life as a farmer with but little knowledge of books. He married Cinderella A. Whitacre, daughter of Hiram N. Whitacre, of Jackson county, Illinois, and she passed away March 27, 1910, the mother of Dr. Roberts of this review and Iva M., the wife of Otie Reese, a teacher and farmer of Lick Creek.

Dr. Roberts fared much better than his forefathers for an education. He finished the high school course in Creal Springs, entered the Northern Indiana Normal University at Valparaiso, and graduated with the degree of B. S. in 1898, two years after his high school graduation. Choosing medicine as his life work, he entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons in St. Louis, and completed his work and graduated in April, 1902, and in June following established himself in Johnston City and has been a fixture of the place since. He is a member of the County Medical Society, of the Southern Medical Association and of the Illinois State Association; and is local surgeon for the Illinois Central Railway here and a member of the Joint Association of Surgeons of the Illinois Central, Yazoo and Mississippi Valley and the Indianapolis Southern Railroad Companies. Mr. Roberts served three years as a member of the board of health of Johnston City.

On December 24, 1902, Dr. Roberts was married at Creal Springs, Illinois, to Miss Daisy Sutherland, daughter of W. P. Sutherland. Mrs. Roberts is one of nine children and was born in Williamson county. One son. T. Jean, was born to Dr. and Mrs. Roberts in 1904. Dr. Roberts comes of a family of Democrats, but has no part in practical politics. He is a Mason, and is one of the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal church at Johnston City.
JOSEPH T. EVANS. [Page 1028]
The men who have given of their energy, skill, ambitious vigor and enthusiasm to build up a community are the benefactors of humanity, and their names cannot be held in too high esteem. In every undertaking there must be a logical beginning, and the man who lays the foundations of what afterwards may become a large and flourishing city must have the courage of his convictions and unlimited faith in the future of the location he selects as his scene of endeavor. The late Marshall A. Evans was a man whose keen mind and boundless enthusiasm looked far beyond the narrow horizon of today, and easily read the signs of a dawning tomorrow. To him belong the honor of founding Grand Tower, which for years was known as Evans Landing. His work is accomplished, his day is ended, and all that is mortal of him lies at rest, but the results of his planning, his sacrifice and development live today, and will as long as civilization lasts, for he built upon the solid foundation of merit, honesty and faith in humanity. His son, Joseph T. Evans, today one of the leading merchants here, holds his father in highest veneration, and he is not alone in this, for all who understand what the place owes Mr. Evans join his descendants in honoring his memory.

Marshall A. Evans was a young man when he settled at Evans Landthe early agriculturists here, as well as attending to the needs of the boatmen, and he also engaged in shipping corn and acting as agent for the Grand Tower Mining and Transportation Company, seeking in every way to advance the community which he had founded, and becoming the owner of considerable land here. A stanch Democrat in his political views, he was elected to positions of honor and trust by his fellow townsmen, who recognized and appreciated the honesty and ability of this pioneer and made him city clerk, city attorney and assessor. In his death, which occurred in 1901, the city and county lost one of its ablest business men, and one whose entire career was marked by the strictest honor and business integrity. Mr. Evans was married to Miss Rebecca Snider, an estimable lady of Jackson county, Illinois, and they had a family of seven children, of whom Joseph T. was the fifth in order of birth. Mrs. Evans, a lady of refinement and Christian character, survived her husband only two years.

Joseph T. Evans was born at Evans Landing, November 20, 1866, and his education was secured in the public schools here. He early in life became familiar with the merchandise business, thus gaining experience that has since proven of great value to him, and he later went on the road as a traveling salesman. After spending two years as postmaster of Carbondale Mr. Evans, in 1896, returned to Grand Tower and established himself in the mercantile business, in which he has since continued. .He has inherited many of his father's business abilities, which have assisted him in building up a large trade here, and like his father he has given his allegiance to the Democratic party, although he has never sought nor cared for public office. He has always taken a great interest in anything that pertained to the welfare of this city, and has seen the little settlement that his father founded grow into one of the thriving commercial centers of Jackson county. For a number of years he has been connected with the Masons, and he has many warm friends in the lodge and throughout the city.

In 1895 Mr. Evans was married to Miss Lucy A. Spring, of Cobden, Illinois. They have had no children.
FRANK H. POST. [Page 1031]
One of the leading families of Jackson county, Illinois, is that of Post, members of which have been prominent in business circles and in the professions for a number of years. A worthy representative of this family is Prank H. Post, who has shown more than ordinary business qualifications, and is now the owner of three drug stores, his present field of labor being the city of Murphysboro, where he is known as an excellent business man and public-spirited citizen. Mr. Post was born December 8, 1868, at Carbondale, Illinois, and is a son of Peter Mackey and Sarah (Haughawout) Post.

Peter Mackey Post was born at Southampton, Long Island, in 1842, and there resided until he was nineteen years of age, when he left home on a whaling voyage, a trip that consumed three years. He then returned to his home, where he remained for one year, and then spent two years on the Delaware and Hudson Canal, coming to Murphysboro in 1865, where, in the capacity of civil engineer, he assisted in surveying the land for the Grand Tower and Carbondale Railroad. He ran the first train on that road, and for years was a conductor on that line, in the meantime making his home in Carbondale, and eventually became a silent partner in a general store, but later withdrew and entered the drug business, with which he was connected at the time of his death, October 30, 1908. For a number of years he was vice-president of the City National Bank and was interested in other enterprises of a business nature, while he was fraternally prominent as a Mason and a charter member of the local lodge of Elks. Mr. Post was married to Miss Sarah Haughawout, of Sunbury, Pennsylvania, and their two children are living: Prank H. and Dr. Charles A. H.

Charles Augustus Harwood Post was born at Carbondale, Illinois, March 12, 1874, and after attending the public and high schools of Carbondale entered Union Academy, at Anna, Illinois, and on completing his course in that institution became a student in Northwestern University, at Evanston, Illinois. , He took his medical course in the Jefferson Medical College, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from which he was graduated with the class in 1899, and in May of that year began practice at Murphysboro. He has a large practice, which he follows along general lines, although he specializes more or less in surgery, and a number of successful operations have won for him the confidence of the people of his community. He is a member of the Board of Health, of which he was for some time president, and has a wide reputation in his profession. He was married February 23, 1906, to Miss Louise Stecher, of Murphysboro, daughter of Rudolph Stecker, a well known brewer of this city, and two children have been born to them: Sallie Louise and Marjorie Nevina.

Frank H. Post attended the public and high schools of Carbondale, and then entered the University of Indiana, from which he was graduated in 1890, and four years later was graduated from the pharmaceutical department of Northwestern University. He then came to Murphysboro, and was associated with his father in the drug business until 1897, in which year he went to Chicago, where for some time he was engaged in the manufacture of proprietary medicines, but in 1908 returned to Murphysboro and succeeded his father as proprietor of the drug business. He is possessed of much business ability, and with his progressive ideas and his years of experience has built up a large and lucrative trade. He now conducts three stores, in which he keeps a full line of drugs, medicines, stationery, toilet articles, and other goods usually found in a first class pharmacy, and his honorable methods of dealing have given him a high standing among Murphysboro’s business men.

On October 16, 1899, Mr. Post was married to Mrs. Elizabeth Kingsbury Anderson, of Chicago, daughter of Captain E. W. Kingsbury, who as captain of Company I, Second Illinois Regiment, served during the Civil war. Fraternally Mr. Post is connected with the Masons, the Knights of Pythias and the Elks, and is very popular in all. The- family is connected with the Presbyterian church.
This leading lawyer, influential citizen and prominent financier and industrial promoter, whose whole life to this time (1911), excepting while he was in school and college, has been passed at Carbondale, seems to have the touch of Midas without the sordidness of that unhappy monarch. Everything he puts his hand to in a professional or business way thrives and brings in good returns, but the results are used for the benefit of others in manifestations of enterprise and public spirit which show that he is deeply interested in the welfare of his city and county and the comfort and progress of their people in every worthy and proper way.

Mr. Schwartz was born on a farm in Elk township, Jackson county, Illinois, on February 28, 1853, and is a son of William and Sarah (Kimmel) Schwartz. His father was one of the prosperous and prominent farmers and stock breeders of Jackson county, and took a considerable interest in public affairs. He was a member of the state legislature in 1870-71, and died during his term of office, in the height of his usefulness and in the prime of life.

His son, William Augustus Schwartz, began his academic education in the public schools, continued it in Carthage College, and completed it at the Southern Illinois Normal University. After leaving the last named institution he attended Union Law College in Chicago, and was admitted to the bar in 1879. Following his admission to the bar he located in Carbondale, and ever since has been actively engaged in the practice of his profession in the county of his birth, and adjoining counties, and for many years also in the higher courts of the state and in United States Court. He has served one term as state's attorney in this county, and as school trustee for some years, although his ambition has never been in the line of public office, but rather in the domain of financial operations and in the development of large industrial enterprises. In 1892 he helped to organize the First National Bank of Carbondale, with a capital stock of fifty thousand dollars and the late F. A. Prickett as president. Mr. Prickett died August 31, 1903, and directly after that event Mr. Schwartz, whose influence and service in promoting the interests of the bank as a director from the start had been very greatly and highly appreciated, was chosen president to succeed Mr. Prickett. He has held that office and directed the policy and course of the institution ever since, and it has grown and prospered under his wise and progressive management. In 1911 the bank had accumulated an undivided surplus amounting to fifteen thousand dollars, with a much increased and rapidly expanding volume of business, and a steadily strengthening hold upon the confidence and high regard of the business world around it. But the exacting claims of the bank on his time and attention, and those of his large legal practice, were insufficient to absorb all his energies or completely employ the faculties of his active and comprehensive mind. In 1897 he found an additional field for their exercise in helping to organize the Carbondale Trust and Savings Bank, of which he was made president at the time, and has been ever since. This institution has also flourished and thriven through his energy and skill as a financier and his foresight and enterprise as a controlling force, which have been freely applied to it.

His business capacity and tireless diligence in the use of it have found still other fruitful channels of expression through the Carbondale Mill and Elevator Company, the Carbondale and Marion Telephone Company, the Ohio-Mississippi Valley Telephone Company, and the Missouri State Life Insurance Company of St. Louis, all of which he helped to organize, and each of which he has served zealously for years as a member of its directorate. These institutions have all been of considerable advantage to him personally and of great benefit to the public in many ways by means of their ever widening currents of business and their productive activities.

In his profession Mr. Schwartz stands deservedly high because of his ability and acumen as a lawyer, his extensive legal knowledge and his industrious devotion to his professional duties, notwithstanding the other exhaustive domains of business which lay him under such heavy tribute by their requirements, all of which he meets with ease and promptness and in the most successful manner, by reason of the resourcefulness of his versatile and comprehensive mind and his commanding genius for close and unremitting application to whatever he has in hand.

In his political faith and allegiance Mr. Schwartz is allied with the Democratic party, and while he has never been desirous of political honors or emoluments of office for himself, he has been a faithful worker for the success of the party because of his strong conviction of the correctness of its principles. In the early eighties he served as chairman of its county central committee, and proved himself a valiant and resourceful leader in its campaign. His religious connection is with the Christian church, and he is an elder in its organization and government. For the past seventeen years he has been an officer and an active worker in the Jackson County Sunday-School Association. Fraternally Mr. Schwartz belongs to the Masonic order and to its adjunct, the Order of the Eastern Star, in both of which he is earnest in his interest and energetic and practical in the service he renders. Mr. Schwartz has never married. He has shared his mother's home all his life, and his dearest ambition has been to make that home a comfortable and happy abiding place for her declining years, an ambition which it is safe to say he has fully realized. He has one brother living, George Schwartz, and one sister, Mrs. Ellen Hays. Two brothers, Henry and Daniel, and three sisters, Isabel, Laura and Lucy, died before they reached their legal majority.
Many years of active connection with the contracting interests of Jackson county have made the name of George Kennedy widely known in this field of endeavor, and some of the largest and most important engineering movements carried on in this section in his time were brought to a successful conclusion by him. Mr. Kennedy was a product of Murphysboro, born in that city on March 30, 1859, and was a son of George and Ellen C. (Ross) Kennedy.

George Kennedy, the father of George Kennedy of Murphysboro, was born in Ireland, February 24, 1822, and came to the United States in 1851, locating in Murphysboro in May of that year. He had received a good education in his native land, and there had learned the weaver's trade, which he followed for a short time with his uncle in New York, and also in the city of Boston, later entering a cabinet maker's shop, where he became skilled in that trade. One of the first enterprises with which Mr. Kennedy was connected was the erection of Dr. John Logan's home in Murphysboro, and in this city he opened a furniture store and cabinet shop, where for years he was engaged in the manufacture of furniture and coffins. He and his brother put in the counters and shelves in the first of Carbondale’s business establishments, when that, town was struggling for existence in 1853, and eventually Mr. Kennedy opened a hardware store, where he dealt extensively in stoves and agricultural implements, later selling this property to his son. He was married in 1854 to Ellen C. Ross, a native of Vermont, who died in 1885. Prom 1856 to 1893 Mr. Kennedy served as Justice of the Peace, and made an admirable public official. He brought the first carload of wagons to Jackson county, as well as some of the first buggies and farming machinery, erected one of the good brick business blocks in this city, laid out Kennedy's addition to Murphysboro, was a director in the First National Bank, and was one of the organizers and for years a director of the Southern Illinois Milling Company. A charter member of the I. 0. 0. P. lodge, No. 132, he represented it several times in the Grand Lodge of the state, and was widely known and very popular in fraternal circles. He was equally well known in religious circles, organizing the Lutheran church here, of which he served as trustee for a number of years.

George Kennedy, Jr., received a good education, attending the public schools and the Southern Illinois Normal University, from which he was graduated in 1878. He early began to show evidence of good business and mechanical qualifications, and at the age of nine years put a tin roof on a home in Murphysboro, which is still in a good state of repair. He clerked in his father's shop for some time and assisted in the work incidental to such an establishment, but at the age of nineteen years, in 1878, he began teaching at the old Ozburn school as second assistant, after which he taught for some time in a summer school. Subsequently he returned to his father's store and succeeded to the ownership thereof, but in 1891 he sold his interest in this business, as his contracting interests were then demanding all his time and attention. In connection with his store business he had carried on farming, contracting and brick manufacturing, and after leaving the business he laid the foundation for the M. & O. Railway shops. He was superintendent of the first construction of the water works and electric light plant, of which company he was one of the organizers and for years a director; he built the washing plant of the Brush Coal Mining Company at Dewmaine, the coke ovens at Sparta, and Dean's mills at Ava, and then engineered the construction of the first sanitary sewerage system in Carbondale. He built the West Side sewer system in Murphysboro, made plans and superintended the paving of Murphysboro’s streets for eight miles, and was City Engineer of Murphysboro, a position which he held for ten years, and he engineered and superintended the paving of all the streets in Pinckneyville. He staked out and began the construction of the Murphysboro Paving Brick Company's plant and constructed an additional five miles of dredge ditch at Oakwood farm, where he had previously put in five miles.

On April 19, 1881, Mr. Kennedy was married to Miss Kate Harwood, and six children were born of their union. They are: Myrta, who became the wife of W. P. Hunt, of Cairo, who died on December 13, 1905, leaving one son, George Lynwood Hunt, now with his mother; Marietta, the wife of C. M. Clayton, a fruit grower and civil engineer of Loma, Colorado, and they have one child, Mary Dee; Eula, a teacher in the public schools of Murphysboro; Doris Leora, Lucy and William George, being in the family home as yet. Mr. Kennedy was a Republican in his political beliefs, and was always active in the ranks of his party while living. He was associated with the Illinois Water Supply Association and the Illinois Society of Engineers and Surveyors. No one in Southern Illinois was better known in his line of work, and both in his business and outside of it he possessed a large number of warm, personal friends. Mr. Kennedy passed away on October 28, 1911 and is deeply mourned in the lives of all who were privileged to know him.

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