A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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Notes for William KENNEDY


William Kennedy was born 1801 in Ireland and died 20 Jul 1854 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. He married Elizabeth. She was born 1804 in Ireland, and died 14 Jul 1854 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.

From History of Chicago by A.T. Andreas, New York: Amo Press, 1975:
Page 185: Creation of the City. 1853 - William Kennedy is listed as an Alderman of the fourth ward. The Mayor is is Charles M. Gray, elected March 14. 1854 - The Mayor is Ira I. Milliken. William Kennedy was alderman for part of the year. Robert H. Foss elected to fill vacancy caused by the death of Mr. Kennedy.
Page 313: Protestant Denominations. - Dr. Patterson then continued in the pastorate until the latter part of December, 1866, when with a large majority of his congregation, he left the Reformed Church, and early in January, 1867, united with the Old-School Presbyterian denomination. The secession left the reformed Church comparatively weak in numbers and money, but free from debt. For some months afterward the Chruch enjoyed the ministerial services of Dr. Van Doren, and while erecting their new church at the corner of May and Fulton streets extended a call to the Rev. G.M. Ramsey, who accepted the call January 27, 1869, and remained until 1873, when he resigned. No subsequent attempt was made to fill the pulpit, and the congregation gradually distributed themselves among other churches, until at length the Reformed Presbyterian Church ceased to exist. The first elders were Solomon McKichen and Robert Miller. On August 14, 1847, William Kennedy, who had arrived from Alabama, was installed in that office.

From a letter received from Alice Weigand, dated November 15, 1986: "I haven't been able to learn anything about the years they were in Alabama except in an obituary on William Wallace, the family had a country store at the crossroads by the Tombigbee River in Greene County, Alabama. All of the children were born in Alabama except Caroline [sic], the youngest, who was born in Indiana probably on their way to Chicago. So I don't know if William was married in Alabama or in Ireland before going to Alabama. He was of Scottish ancestry and the family lived in Ireland about two generations."

From the Illinois Saint Andrew Society web site: Entry from Alice Weigand 1985: William Kennedy was in the hardware business at 193 Lake under the name of William Kennedy & Sons. Alderman from Ward 7 [sic] for the term 1853-1854, but died of cholera before his term expired, probably in the spring or summer of 1854. His wife and the wife of son, Alexander also died of Cholera.

(Most of the information provided by Alice Weigand has been confirmed or was directionally correct. In addition, William's son James became alderman for the same ward for the 1857-58 term.)

From Chicago City Directories held at the Newberry Library in Chicago (microfilm):
1853-1854:
Kennedy, William (W.K. &Sons) h 217 Adams
Kennedy W. & Sons, hardware 193 Lake
Listed as alderman of the 4th ward

From the Daily Democratic Press, Saturday July 15, 1854: Death of Alderman Kennedy - It becomes our painful duty to record the death of Alderman William Kennedy yesterday morning at a quarter past two o'clock. He died of cholera aged about fifty-three years. It will be remembered that his excellent lady died Friday last of the same disease.
Alderman Kennedy had been a resident of this city for nine years [sic]. Quiet and unobtrusive, yet firm and energetic in all his business transactions and his social intercourse, he possessed the entire confidence and the cordial respect of all who knew him. He had at heart the best interests of the city and of his fellow men, and could be relied upon in every emergency where the public good was at stake. His loss in the city councils and in a large circle of friends and especially in the church of which he was an elder and a most active and worthy supporter will be severely felt. The loss of such a man is at all times deeply to be deplored.
(The Daily Democratic Press was published in Chicago. It can be found on microfilm at the Harold Washington Public Library in Chicago.)

William's 1850 census record, in Chicago, states his year of birth as 1810; a transposition error has likely been made.
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