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Sydney C. Kennedy

SYDNEY C. KENNEDY, whose intense and well directed activity has made him today one of the leading representatives of insurance in his section of Texas and who in the municipal life of Denison has figured prominently and honorably, was born in Warren County, Missouri, in 1866, his parents being William T. and Mary (McGinnis) Kennedy. The father is still living in Texas, but the mother passed away in 1889 at the age of fifty-nine years. Mr. Kennedy was a merchant in early life and during the period of the Civil War followed farming near Wright City, Missouri. He also was a contractor and followed that business in several counties in Missouri.

In 1887 he came to Denison, where for some years he was engaged in contracting and building. In his family were nine children. W. Lee, now living in Kansas City, Missouri; Elizabeth Lee, the wife of Charles J. Miller, of California, Missouri; Marvin F., deceased, who married Joe Payton, of Wellsville, Missouri; Robert E., who is living in Dallas, Texas; Sydney C., of this review; Celsus P., a resident of Alexander, Louisiana; Emma, the wife of J. P. Austin, of Shawnee, Oklahoma; Lucie B.; and Effie L., the wife of H. W. Bramble, of Durant, Indian Territory.

Sydney C. Kennedy spent his boyhood days under the parental roof, acquired his education in the public schools of Missouri, and in that state learned the carpenter's trade, completing his apprenticeship when a youth of eighteen. He was twenty years of age when in 1887 he came to Denison, and for a brief period he was connected with building operations here, but in 1889 turned his attention to the insurance business as the agent for life and accident insurance. He was the representative of the Travelers' Insurance Company until 1894, after which he was connected with the Fidelity Casualty Company until 1903. He then became agent for Travelers' Insurance Company of Hartford, Connecticut, which is his present business connection, his headquarters being in Denison. He has thoroughly informed himself concerning insurance, its possibilities, and its benefits, and he annually writes many policies representing a large investment. Indeed, he is one of the leading insurance men of western Texas, and his business has long since reached profitable proportions.

In July 1894, Mr. Kennedy was married to Miss Addie M. Francis, who was born in Somerset, Kentucky. They have three children: Robert Carr, Fred Arthur and Mary Francis, all born in Denison. Mr. Kennedy is a member of the Woodmen of the World, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Masonic fraternity; and in the last named he has taken the degrees of the commandery and of the shrine. He has filled various offices in the subordinate lodge in Denison and is a worthy exemplar of the craft.

In politics he is an earnest Democrat, and in 1901 was elected councilman at large for two years but resigned before the expiration of his term; and in 1902 was elected mayor, serving until April 1904. He gave to the city a public-spirited and progressive administration that won him high encomiums from his fellow townsmen. Deserving mention among the prominent citizens of Denison, he is enrolled among those men of business and enterprise in the great Southwest whose force of character, sterling integrity and control of circumstances have contributed in such an eminent degree to the solidity and progress of this entire section of the country. His life has been manly, his actions sincere, his manner unaffected, and his example is well worthy of emulation.

[Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas, (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. I, pp. 613-614.]

 



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