Mr. Kennedy came to this county in 1848, one year after landing in the United States. He commenced life here as a farm laborer, being without other means or resources than his stout muscles and resolute will. In due time he began operating upon rented land, until having saved enough to purchase eighty acres in the southeast part of the county. This he sold later and moved to a move congenial neighborhood, and at the time of his death left his children sufficient to insure them against want.
Of pure Irish stock, our subject was the son of Thomas Kennedy, a farmer of County Wexford, and who spent his entire life upon his native soil, living to the age of about threescore years. He had been reared in the faith of the Catholic Church, in which he carefully trained his children, and to which his son Michael adhered until the time of his death. He was married in early manhood to Julia Dun, a native also of County Wexford, and who came of a very excellent family. She also was a life-long Catholic, and died in Ireland at the age of sixty-five years. To her and her husband there were born six children, all of whom lived to mature years and acquired a good education, especially Michael, who was ambitious to learn, and possessed more than ordinary intelligence. Michael Kennedy was the second son and child in a family of four sons and two daughters, the latter of whom remained in their own country. Bessie died soon after marriage; Maria, Mrs. Kingsley, was a resident of Clydesdale, Scotland, and died March 22, 1889; the youngest son, James, died in Ireland at the age of twenty years; Patrick died shortly after landing in the United States, in St. Louis, Mo., leaving a wife; Thomas is a single man, and residing near Iron Wood, Mich.
Our subject after completing his education learned the trade of a tanner, in his native country, but had not worked at this very long when he conceived the idea of emigrating to America. He started out on the 2d of April, 1848, crossed the Channel, and took passage at Liverpool on a sailing vessel, which, after a pleasant voyage of six weeks and four days, landed him safely in New Orleans. He lived there and in St. Louis and vicinity until the spring of 1849. He then made his way to this county, where, after a number of years, he was married, in 1856, to Miss Anna Rogers.
Mrs. Kennedy was born near Rosscommon, in County Rosscommon, Ireland, where she was reared to womanhood and given a good education. She came to the United States with some friends of her parents, and for a time sojourned in Boston, Mass. Later she came to this county, and not long afterward was married to Mr. Kennedy. She departed this life at the homestead, in 1873, at the early age of thirty-five years. Of her union with Mr. Kennedy there had been born six children, three of whom are deceased: Julia A., who died at the age of twelve years; Maria died in infancy; Patrick S., who died at the age of eight years; Thomas L., a farmer by occupation, is operating his own land, which he is rapidly bringing to a good state of cultivation, and effecting good improvements; Mary C., a very intelligent young woman, is keeping house for her brothers; James F. makes his home with his brothers and sisters. They have all been well educated, and the boys, politically, affiliate with the Democratic party. The family is well known throughout this part of the county, and is held in universal respect.