Charles B. Kennedy

Charles_B_Kennedy_1919_small.jpgCharles B. Kennedy was born in Moscow, Maine on March 28, 1850. He was the son of Bartholomew C. and Olivia (Smith) Kennedy who were farmers. Bartholomew and Olivia had five children.

Charles attended school in the common schools of Maine. He then went on to attend Maine Central Institute at Pittsfield and then Maine State College at Orono. He worked on farms during the summer months and taught country schools during the winter terms.

In 1864, Charles moved to a farm in Penobscot County, Maine near the city of Bangor. When he was twenty-one years of age he was elected superintendent of schools in Penobscot County.

Charles Kennedy was married to Miss Ella Williamson on the 21st of May in 1873. Miss Williamson was born in Maine and was the daughter of Honorable Henry Williamson of Starks, Maine.

In 1873, Kennedy moved to LeRoy, Minnesota where he taught school, was selected as the principal of the village schools and was appointed deputy superintendent of schools for the county.

In 1874, he became editor and publisher of the LeRoy Independent, the weekly newspaper of LeRoy, Minnesota . He sold the property and business after four years and started a real estate business.

Charles and Ella had three children C. LeRoy born on Jan. 10, 1878, (Earl H. 1881-1882) and Dean M. born on January 3, 1887.

In early March of 1878, Kennedy came to Dakota Territory, and made his way to Lake County. The Kennedy family were some of the early pioneers in Lake County and using only a compass to guide them found their way to Lake Madison after crossing miles of prairie. They came to the north side of the Lake and found a little skirt of timber surrounding the lake.

On the south shore of Lake Madison there were a few scattered houses and a hotel operated by Bill Lee. They were told there was one trail that was two miles south of Lake Madison and it led to Deadwood.

CharlesBKennedy__Family_cropped_small.jpgKennedy decided to homestead in Lake County and secured a timer claim of three hundred and twenty acres. On this land, he started a stock farm. Part of this land was later called Madison. His homestead was located as follows: on the western boundary was Egan Avenue, running south to a line between Seventh and Eight Streets and as far north as Fourteenth Street and as far East as Washington Avenue. The main street of Madison ran through the center of his original farm. Two years later the railroad came to Dakota Territory and cross through Kennedy’s land.

Kennedy was known as a leader in the ranks of the Republican Party. In November of 1880, he was elected a representative of Lake County in the territorial legislature and within the succeeding sessions introduced and secured the enactment of a bill locating the State Normal School in Madison.

His generosity and public spirit were further shown by his donating to the state the twenty acres of land upon which all the buildings of this institution are located.

From 1884 and for a number of years he was in the farm real-estate loan business and soon added insurance and banking to this business. In 1884, he was one of the promoters of the First National Bank in Lake County and its charter president. The following year Kennedy established the Kennedy Brothers Bank, which later merged into the Madison State Bank. Also in 1889, he organized the Northwestern Loan and Banking Company. He was also president of this company and into which he merger his real estate business, conducting a bank and dealt largely in real estate mortgages.

Kennedy retired from the Banking business in December of 1909 and started spending winters in Los Angeles, California. The last trip he made to Lake County was in October 1915.

Charles B. Kennedy passed away on August 18, 1917 in Los Angeles, California. He was survived by his wife and two sons LeRoy & Dean of Los Angeles and two brothers; C.E. Kennedy and William F. Kennedy.