Biography of Joseph O. Kennedy
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Joseph O. Kennedy, vice president of the Racine Carriage Company, came to his present position after long connection and broad experience with the Sattley Company, carriage manufacturers, of this city. He is now concentrating his efforts upon the further development of the trade, reaching out along modern commercial lines for that success which is the direct outcome of close application, unfaltering diligence and unremitting energy. Mr. Kennedy was born in Franklin County, Missouri, June 24, 1877, a son of W. H. and Virginia Kennedy, who are still occupying the farm upon which they have lived for a half century, near St. Clair, Missouri.
Joseph O. Kennedy obtained a public school education and afterward pursued a normal course and in early manhood took up the profession of teaching, which he followed successfully for seven years, but in 1898 entered commercial circles at Moline, Illinois, where he accepted the position of shipping clerk with the Moline Plow Company. He had been reared to agricultural life and thus brought practical knowledge to the business so far as understanding of the practical value of the product, of the house was concerned. This led to his promotion to the position of field expert and subsequently he was sent to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as territorial manager for the district comprising southeastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois, remaining there from 1900 until 1903. He was next sent to Des Moines. Iowa, as territorial manager for the central part of that state and after a brief period there passed came to Racine in the fall of 1904 to enter upon the duties of traveling salesman with the Sattley Company, with which he continued until 1915, when the Racine Carriage Company was organized, taking over the business of the Sattley Company and the Richardson-Kennedy Company into the new field came men of long experience, thoroughly equipped for important work of this character. Mr. Kennedy was chosen vice president of the company and Mr. Richardson as president. Their united efforts are manifest in tangible results, for their business has gradually grown and developed and is today one of the large industrial enterprises of Racine. The work is splendidly systematized, so that maximum results are secured at a minimum expenditure of time, labor and material.
On the 30th of September, 1903, Mr. Kennedy was united in marriage to Miss Louise Armstrong Wilson, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a daughter of Joseph B. and Caroline Wilson. They now have four children, namely: Marion, Robert Franklin and Gordon. Fraternally Mr. Kennedy is identified with the Masons, belonging to Belle City Lodge, No. 92, A. F. & A. M.; Orient Chapter, No. 12, R. A. M.; Racine Commandery, K. T., and the Eastern Star. He also has membership with the Elks and the United Commercial Travelers, of which he is a past councilor. He gives his political allegiance to the Republican Party and he attends the First Methodist Episcopal church. He is greatly interested in the public schools and at the present time is president of the Parent-Teachers’ Association of the Stephen Bull School, where his children attend. His interests are broad and his activities have been so directed that he has not only promoted his individual interests but has contributed to public progress and improvement by throwing the weight of his influence to those causes which work for public benefit and to which he has also given earnest, active support.