KENNEDY, THOMAS. - Every kind of business has its representatives in Springfield, and that of shoeing horses is not neglected, for there are some excellent blacksmiths whose work is known all over Sangamon County because of its good quality. One of the men thus engaged is Thomas Kennedy, whose place of business is conveniently located on Eighth street, between Washington and Adams streets. He was born in Ottawa, Ill., February 25, 1853, a son of John and Ellen (Weech) Kennedy. The parents were natives of Ireland, who left their own land for the United States in 1849, brining with them their only child, a daughter. They were four weeks on the trip to New Orleans, and the ship was nearly lost in the terrible storms they encountered. After reaching New Orleans, they found yellow fever raging and lost their little daughter from it. As soon as possible, they left the pest-ridden city for Little Rock, Ark., where they lived for two years, then coming to Ottawa, Ill., where for forty years the father worked in a starch factory. During the Civil War he served as a private in Company I, Fifth-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry for three years. During this period he was wounded several times, and never was strong after his war experience. His death occurred in Ottawa, as did that of his wife. Four children were born to these parents: Dennis; John, who died in Springfield, having also been a blacksmith; Thomas; and the daughter who died of yellow fever in New Orleans.
Thomas Kennedy never received much schooling, although he did attend the public schools of Ottawa for a few years, and then began to work at the starch factory, continuing there for seven years. Coming to Springfield April 10, 1871, he worked for Uncle Jim Kennedy, a blacksmith, and after four years with him went into business for himself at No. 821 East Washington Street. After continuing at that number for four years, he removed to Seventh street, and in 1905 located on Eighth street.
The marriage of Mr. Kennedy took place in Springfield in 1877, to Kate Donohue of this city, daughter of Charles Donohue. Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy are the parents of children as follows: Ella, Mrs. Thomas Slick of Springfield; Edward; Thomas; Irene; Celia; Frank and John, twins. Mr. Kennedy owns his comfortable home at No. 1408 East Washington street. He is a Democrat in politics, but has not desired office. Fraternally he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, being interested in the work of his lodge. A good workman, a kind-hearted man, Mr. Kennedy established a fine business and made and retained friends throughout the county.