Kay (and related) Biographies from "Album of Genealogy & Biography, Cook County, IL", 1897
John Kay. (Page 628)
John Kay was born April 14, 1842, in Yorkshire, England, at Borrow Bridge. He is a son of Abel Archdale and Elizabeth (Marshall) Kay, both of whom were born in the same locality, which was the home of their families. Abel A. Kay was a poor man, and his wife was the daughter of a wealthy landowner. They came to America with their eight children in 1843, and went direct to the hotel of Charles McDonald, on the corner of Market and Randolph Streets, Chicago, which was the rallying place for all English emigrants who came to Cook County. Mr. Kay bought over one hundred acres of land, on which Captain Johnson had filed a claim and built a very comfortable house, and in this Mr. Kay lived until his death. He died in 1848, and for several years his wife conducted the farm, and then rented it until her son John was old enough to cultivate it. Mr. and Mrs. Kay had the following children: Ann, who married Mr. McClanathan and is now dead; Abel, who died in 1891; Elizabeth (Mrs. Thomas Burkill, of Jefferson Township), now deceased; Frances, Mrs. McClanathan; Jane, who married Edward Gray, and is deceased; Emma, Mrs. William Myers, who lived on the old homestead, and is now deceased; Marshall, who died at the age of Seventeen; John, the subject of this sketch; and Joseph Archdale, who was born in Jefferson Township, and still lives on part of the old farm.
John Kay enjoyed a very limited opportunity for an education. His father and a neighbor built a log schoolhouse, and his father's house was usually the home of the teacher. When he was sixteen years of age, he began the care of the farm, and he was engaged at this until 1869, when it was divided. Mrs. Kay died in December, 1889, aged eighty-four years, and thus ended the life of one who had been of good influence in the community, and who had lived a long and useful life. She was reared in the Church of England and joined the Congregational Church in later life, and her children were reared in the Baptist faith.
John Kay is a member of the Sons of Saint George. In politics he thinks for himself, and does not follow the dictates of any party, but supports the man he regards as most fitted for office. He is a good, reliable citizen and enjoys universal respect.
Submitted by Mike Murphy