My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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William S. Kendall, merchant at Mount Vernon, Mo., is one of the representative business men of that city. He is popular and enterprising, and ranks among the first. He is of an old American family of English descent. His grandfather, Samuel T. Kendall, was born in Madison County, Ill., and was one of a family of five brothers. He lived in Alton, Ill., and was a member of the State Legislature. The Kendall family is now a prominent one in Alton. Mr. Kendall married Miss May Robinson, of Illinois, and of English descent. They were the parents of six children: Edwin, Nelson, William, James, Mary and Kate. Mr. Kendall died in Jerseyville, Ill. His son, George W. Kendall, and the father of William S., was born in Edwardsville, Ill., May 15, 1830. When a lad of ten years of age he came to Lawrence County, Mo. (1841), with Zadock Newman, who was the first nurseryman is Southwest Missouri, and whose wife was the aunt of young Kendall. He had few opportunities for acquiring a learning, but secured the rudiments of an education by the light of a brush fire. He began for himself as a clerk for McCanse & Haley, and about three years previous to the war he went into partnership with William McCanse in the mercantile business. During the war he was a clerk in the quartermaster department at Springfield, Mo., being exempt from active military duties on account of his health. He was also two years in a wholesale house at Sedalia, Mo., where he received a salary of $2,000 per year, being considered a very expert business man. October 19, 1860, he married Miss Mary A. Owsley, at Napa City, Cal. She was born in Johnson County, Mo., November 6, 1842, and was the daughter of Moses B. and Mahala (Goodwin) Owsley. To Mr. and Mrs. Kendall were born five children: Olive B., William S., George W., Ulysses S., and Claudius L. The Owsleys were a Kentucky family, and the grandfather of Mrs. Kendall was at one time governor of that State. Her father moved to Missouri and settled in Johnson County, near Warrensburg. He went to California in 1849. After the war Mr. Kendall engaged in the nursery business at Mount Vernon, and was elected county treasurer, and filled that office for four years. He also served as county clerk for the same length of time. In 1876 he went to Oregon for his health, and died there after an illness of a few days. His death occurred at Amity, Yamhill Co., Ore., January 14, 1876, after a residence there of four months. In his political faith he was a Republican, and in his religious denomination a Universalist. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity, and was one of the best known men in Lawrence County. He was well known for his liberality and kindness of heart, and will long be remembered by many persons whom he has assisted when in trouble. His son, William S., was born June 13, 1864, in Mount Vernon. He received a fair education at the hands of his sister, Olive B. Kendall, who was liberally educated at Jacksonville, Ill., and at Drury College, Springfield, Mo. Mr. Kendall learned the nursery business at an early age, and followed this, together with clerking for J. A. Tennis, Mr. Lebow and others. This he followed until 1886, when he established a grocery business in partnership with W. E. Hickman. This firm continued about one year, when Mr. Kendall engaged in the grocery business in company with G. R. Betz in 1888, under the firm title of Kendall & Co. They carry a complete stock of staple and fancy groceries, provisions and family supplies, including a fine stock of choice candies. They do the largest grocery business in Mount Vernon, and are well patronized. Mr. Kendall is a young man of excellent business ability, standing high in the mercantile world as an upright and honorable young business man.

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This family biography is one of 272 biographies included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Lawrence County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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