Randolph County, Indiana
George P. Kennedy
We should indeed
be proud of the fact that there is no limit in this country to which natural
ability, industry and honesty may not aspire. One born in the most unpromising
surroundings and reared in the most adverse environments may nevertheless break
from his fetters and rise to the highest station in the land, and the qualities
do not have to be of transcendent character to enable him to accomplish this
result. It is more the way he does it and his skill in grasping the
opportunities presented than to any remarkable qualities presented by him.
Accordingly it is found that very often in this country the chief executive of
the nation or state and other high public officials possess no greater ability
than thousands of others. They have simply taken better advantage of their
opportunities than their fellows. And this truth runs through every occupation.
The business man rises above his competitors merely by taking advantage of
conditions which others overlook or fail to grasp. One of the thrifty and
successful business men of Randolph county is George P. Kennedy,
well-known hardware dealer of Union City.
was born January 4, 1868, in the above named city and county and here he has
been content to spend his life. He is a son of Patrick G. and Catherine
(Wiese) Kennedy. The father was born in Ireland in 1838 and there grew to
manhood and was educated, remaining in the Emerald Isle until 1855, when he
emigrated to the United States. He located in Randolph county, Indiana and here
spent the rest of his life, successfully engaged in the grocery business in
Union City, where his death occurred in I875. His wife was born in Ohio in
1841, and her death occurred in 1877. She grew to womanhood in her native state
and received a good education and she came to Randolph county when young, where
she met and married Mr. Kennedy, who was at that time engaged as a
book-keeper, but later entered the mercantile field.
Four children were
born to Patrick G. Kennedy and wife, namely: Mrs. Mary M. Connelly,
Mrs. Gertrude R. Coulter, George P., and Mrs. Margaret M.
George P. Kennedy
received his education in the parochial schools of Union City, then learned
telegraphy, and when only sixteen years of age he commenced work as telegrapher
for the old "B" line, with which he remained twelve years, the last
seven of which were spent as train dispatcher on the same railroad. He gave the
company eminent satisfaction, being regarded as one of their most efficient and
trustworthy employees. The road is now known as the Big Four. Finally, tiring
of the exacting work of dispatcher, he left the service of the road and began
in the hardware business in Union City, in partnership with P. J. Wiese,
under the firm name of J. P. Wiese & Company, which partnership
continued satisfactorily until the death of Mr. Wiese, in 1901, after
which his widow, Mrs. Angie Wiese, continued the business until 1913,
when she sold out to Mr. Kennedy, but the firm is still known as the Wiese
Hardware Company. This is one of the largest and best known stores of its
kind in Randolph county, and a complete stock of general hardware, stoves,
paints, oils, pumps; in fact, everything used in a thriving farming community
like this. Mr. Kennedy has been very successful as a hardware man,
building up an extensive and ever-growing trade, which now extends over a vast
was married October 22, 1889, to Catherine Maloney, who
was born in Shelby county, Ohio, December 10, 1869. She is a daughter of John
and Margaret (Enright) Maloney, natives of Ireland, from which country they
emigrated to the United States when young and established their home in Shelby
county, Ohio. Mrs. Kennedy received a good education in the common
Four children have
been born to Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy, namely: Andrew Jerome, born
July 30, 1890, died May 5, 1894; Charles B., born July 31, 1895,
graduated from the Union City high school and is now attending St. Mary's
College at Dayton, Ohio; Marcella, born September 11, 1898, is attending
high school; Catherine, born January 12, 1901, is attending grade school.
Kennedy is a Democrat; fraternally, he belongs to the Knights of Columbus in
Union City, and to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks at Greenville. He
belongs to St. Mary's Catholic church in Union City. He is secretary of the
local school board and is a member of the library board. He is one of the influential
men of the town and has done much for the general good of the same.
Past and Present of Randolph County, Indiana, 1914.
Contributed by Gina Richardson
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