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.
            Mr. Kennedy 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. Blootman.
            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 territory.
            Mr. Kennedy 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 schools.
            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.
            Politically, Mr. 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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