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Thomas Kennedy
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Birth: Jul. 22, 1865
Ontario, Canada
Death: Aug. 10, 1918
Jasper County
Missouri, USA

The article below gives Thomas Kennedy's birth as July 22, 1865. His Missouri Death Certificate gave his birth date as July 21, 1876. Many times information provided by friends or relatives on death certificates is incorrect other than the date of death and location of the death.
Census 1900 provides his year of birth as 1865, which agrees with the article below.

Thomas and Nellie Coldwell were married in 1891 in Ontario, Canada
He immigrated in 1886 and the census reported he married his wife Nellie in 1891.
His residence in 1900 was in Empire City, Cherokee county, Kansas. This is located just north of Galena, Cherokee county, KS.
Both his parents were from Ireland.

Architectural footnote:
The mausoleum pictured at right is Kennedy's tomb and includes an arched doorway frequently found in the Romanesque style.

THOMAS KENNEDY. The door of opportunity is everywhere opened to the man of enterprise. The most characteristic industry in the State of Kansas was built up by a young machinist who came to Galena nearly thirty years ago and somewhat later established a factory for the manufacture of perforated metals. The Thomas Kennedy Company of Galena is the only concern of its kind west of the Mississippi River as far as the Pacific Coast.

Mr. Kennedy created in his own mind the idea for the machines that are now at work in his plant. He realized the need of perforated metal in various industries, and set his mind to working out the details of a piece of machinery which would accomplish the work economically and efficiently.

In 1892 he set his first factory in operation. His plant now contains a battery of four perforating machines, each weighing twenty-five tons. One of these machines is capable of taking a sheet of metal four feet wide and ten feet long and when it comes from the machinery it is perforated with 3/8-inch holes. It is possible to secure all sizes of perforation and the industry supplies a demand for such commodities all over the United States. The main source of the business is in supplying perforated metal sheets for screens used in the mines. The plant, which is located at 103 North Main Street, between the Frisco, and the Missouri, Kansas & Texas tracks, has floor space of 175x250 feet. About fifteen men are employed in the plant and several of Mr. Kennedy's children are also active helpers in the office and business.

Thomas Kennedy was born in Ontario, Canada, July 22, 1865. Up to the time he was twenty-one years of age he had the advantages of the public schools of Ontario. On leaving school he learned the trade of machinist, and it was experience and observation that finally opened the way for his enterprise and the building up of a successful industry in Kansas. He followed his trade in Ontario, afterwards in Detroit, Michigan, and St. Louis, Missouri, and arrived in Galena in 1887.

Mr. Kennedy is a stockholder in the Galena National Bank and is owner of 1,100 acres of mineral lands in Cherokee County. His home is on Windsor Heights. He has at the same time not neglected those duties which come to the public spirited citizen. He has been a member of the city council, is an active republican, and is affiliated with Lodge No. 677 Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Woodmen of the World, the Sons and Daughters of Justice, the Knights of Pythias, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, being a member of these various organizations at Galena.

In 1892, the same year that he started his factory at Galena, Mr. Kennedy married Miss Nellie Coldwell. Six children constitute the household of Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy. Claude is a graduate of the Galena High School and is a young machinist in the Thomas Kennedy Company. Nellie is also a graduate of the high school and assists in the office of her father. Richard has completed his high school course and is also employed in the business. Catherine is a graduate of the high school, Thomas is still in high school and Mildred, the youngest, is in the grammar school.

*Transcribed from volume 4, page 1900 of A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans,

Kennedy's untimely demise came when he was run over by his own car at his home on August 10, 1918, He sustained a crushed pelvis and lacerations of the bladder.
He was taken to St. Johns Hospital for treatment, but never fully recovered from the injuries he received from the unfortunate accident.

He and his wife Nellie had six children

Fri, Aug 16, 1918, Page 1


Thomas Kennedy passed away at the St. John hospital in Joplin Saturday night, after undergoing an operation Saturday morning.

Mr. Kennedy's death came suddenly and as a great shock to his many friends. Thursday evening Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy were returning to their home in Galena Heights. Mr. Kennedy got out of the car to open the garage doors. The brakes failed to hold and the car started to back. Mr. Kennedy jumped on the running board of the car to stop it. He slipped and fell striking his head a severe blow and falling under the car so that the heavy front wheels passed over his body inflicting internal injuries. He was taken to the hospital Friday afternoon where he passed away Saturday night.

Mr. Kennedy has been a resident of Galena thirty years, coming here as a boiler maker and for many years has worked in and out of Galena, at one time he was employed at the Galena Foundry. After a while a partnership was formed between Mr. Kennedy and J. B. Rauch and finally Mr. Kennedy commenced business independent, organizing and starting the Galena Perforating Company which now has a world reputation and ships not only to all parts of the United States but to many foreign countries. This is the only perforating plant west of Chicago. In the business world Mr. Kennedy has made a place for himself that cannot be filled. In his business dealings he has always been a man of honesty and dependability.

Mr. Kennedy is what is known as a home man, in his life his family has always come first. In his times of worry and trial as in the time of his latter prosperity Mr. Kennedy has always been first a husband and father and after that a business man.

In the affairs of the city Mr. Kennedy has always taken an active part. At the time of his death he was a member of the water commission that will have charge of the installing of the deep wells that means so much to Galena. In this matter it is felt that Mr. Kennedy's place cannot be filled by another as it is a work which only he was able to carry out to the highest success.

Mr. Kennedy has always been prominent in the lodge circles of the city. He was a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Sons and Daughters of Justice, the Woodmen of the World, the Empire Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias.

Since the outbreak of the war there has been no more active citizen than Mr. Kennedy in all work for the carrying on of the war. The Galena Red Cross will especially miss the support which he has always given it.

He is survived by a wife, three daughters, Misses Nellie, Kathleen and Mildred Kennedy, and three sons, Claude, Richard and Thomas.

Funeral services were held from the home at 2:30 o'clock Tuesday afternoon. Rev. G. R. Lawellin of the Methodist Episcopal church officiated.

Burial was in the Mt. Hope cemetery.

The services at the cemetery were in charge of the Elks. Mrs. Bessie Schellack was in charge of the music. The following acted as pallbearers: J. H. Boice, J. M. Bobkins, J. F. Donovan, M. E. Capp, Ira C. Perkins, and J. F. Lanier.

Funeral services for Thomas Kennedy were held from the residence in Galena Heights Tuesday afternoon. Rev. G. R. Lawellin of the Methodist church officiated.

Services at the Mount Hope cemetery were in charge of the Elks Lodge. Many beautiful floral offerings testified to the high esteem and respect with which Mr. Kennedy was regarded by everyone.


September 6, 1918
Galena Weekly Republican from Galena, Kansas Page 3

(First published in Galena Weekly Republican Aug 23, 1918.) NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT State of Kansas, County of Cherokee, ss. In the matter of the estate of Thomas Kennedy, late of Cherokee County, Kansas. Notice is hereby given that on the 22nd day of August, A. D., 1918, the undersigned was, by the Probate Court of Cherokee county, Kansas, duly appointed and qualified as Administratrix of the estate of Thomas Kennedy, late of Cherokee County, deceased. All parties interested in said estate will take notice and govern themselves accordingly. MRS. NELLIE KENNEDY. Administratrix.

The following obituary was provided by contributor Orlena
Family links: 
  Nellie Coldwell Kennedy (1872 - 1961)*
  Nell Kennedy (1894 - 1935)*
  Richard Kennedy (1897 - 1979)*
  Kathleen Kennedy Phillips (1899 - 1983)*
*Calculated relationship
Mount Hope Cemetery
Webb City
Jasper County
Missouri, USA
Plot: Kennedy Private Mausoleum
Maintained by: NJBrewer
Originally Created by: Tammi
Record added: Jun 18, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 53841285
Thomas Kennedy
Added by: NJBrewer
Thomas Kennedy
Added by: NJBrewer
Thomas Kennedy
Added by: Tammi
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Rebecca Cumins
 Added: Sep. 18, 2011
"A feeling of sadness and longing that is not akin to pain, and resembles sorrow only as the mist resembles the rain." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- NJBrewer
 Added: Aug. 14, 2010

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