La Salle County IL Biographies
| Delmont M. Kennedy
- As a representative of the post pioneer period of Chanute's commercial history the name of D. M. Kennedy may be mentioned in this connection. For the past twenty years his relation to the business interests of the city has been that of a banker and loan broker, and it is in this important channel of domestic commerce that he has justified the wisdom of the public confidence reposed in him.
Mr. Kennedy was born in LaSalle county, Illinois, June 1, 1862. His father, Lafayette Kennedy, was a middle states man, born in Watertown, New York, and a son of John Kennedy who died there in 1878 at the age of seventy-eight years. Lafayette Kennedy was born in 1832 and died at Winfield, Kansas, in 1871. He made settlement in Cowley county, Kansas, from Illinois, in 1869, and passed away on a farm in early life. He married Ellen F. Havenhill in the state of Illinois. She was a daughter of Marshall Havenhill, a Kentucky gentleman, and to her and her husband were born two children, viz., Edith, wife of Dr. T. R. Edwards, of Cleburne, Texas, and Delmont M., of this review. Lafayette Kennedy passed his life in the main as a carpenter and when his death occurred his wife cared for her children and managed successfully all their domestic affairs. She trained her children to moral, upright and useful lives and saw them reach manhood and womanhood's estate educated, cultured and refined. In the home of her son she also abides and her declining years are cheered and comforted by the assurance of an ever welcome and loving home.
The subject of this notice had a somewhat varied career in boyhood and youth. He passed a few years of his life on an Illinois farm, drove a delivery wagon for a Winfield, Kansas, grocer, and also clerked for a clothing firm in that city. He acquired his education chiefly in Fowler Institute in the state of Illinois and the Winfield high school, and really began the business of life as a delivery boy at ten dollars a month. When he came to Chanute in 1880 he secured a position with the Chanute Milling company where he acted as flour salesman and all round handy man. From this position he went into the Chanute bank, now defunct, as book-keeper and man of all work. From 1882 to 1886 he remained with this concern and in the fall of the latter year was elected clerk of the district court of Neosho county. He was reelected in the fall of 1888 and conducted the affairs of the office personally till September, 1890, when he was elected cashier of the First National bank of Chanute and, in January following, entered regularly upon his duties as such. This position he filled eleven years, retiring in May, 1901, when he was elected president of the Bank of Commerce of Chanute, but remaining the active manager of the First National till September of that year, when he and A. N. Allen parted with the controlling interest in the bank. In the reorganization and readjustment of its officers, Mr.
Kennedy was chosen vice president of the bank and on the first of October, 1901 engaged in the brokerage and loan business with office in the bank building. He has some other interests affecting the welfare of Chanute, chief of which is the gas and oil development of her territory now going on with such substantial and promising results.
October 1, 1883, Mr. Kennedy was married in Chanute to Miss Ella Lyen, a daughter of the late pioneer J. T. Lyen, notice of whom appears elsewhere in this volume. The living issue of this union are Cecil C.; Rubie P., and Opal C. Those deceased are Ralph L. and Hazel.
In politics Mr. Kennedy is a firm believer in the efficiency of Republicanism as practiced by the lamented McKinley and as continued by his successor. He is established in the faith of the Christian religion and is one of the useful members of the Methodist congregation. As a citizen he has ever been alive to the best interests of the community where he lives. No honorable and worthy enterprise but that receives his encouragement and no deserving charity but that is aided by his substantial contribution. Life's labors with him have been satisfactorily rewarded and at its meridian he is in the enjoyment of financial independence. [Source: History of Neosho and Wilson Counties, Kansas, Pub. by L. Wallace Duncan, Fort Scott, Kansas, Monitor Printing Co., 1902; tr. by VB]