Jerome W. Kendrick (1844 – )

”JEROME W. KENDRICK, an early pioneer of Sumner County, pre-empted in 1876, the northwest quarter of section 22, in what is now Jackson Township, and taking up his abode thereon, has continued to live there. He settled upon a tract of wild prairie at a time when the country around him presented a desolate appearance, inhabited principally by wild animals. There was not a railroad station nearer than Wichita, and the present flourishmg city of Wellington was a hanilel containing only a few hundred people. The transformation which has taken place during the intervening years has been watched by Mr. Kendrick with the warmest interest, while he has contributed by his own labors to bring about the great change which, within a period of twenty, five years has passed over the face of the Sunflower State.

A native of Butler Grove Township. Montgomery County, Ill., the subject of this notice was born February 1 1, 1844, and is the son of the Rev. John C. and Rebecca (Ware) Kendrick, both natives of New Hampshire. The parents were reared and married in the old Granite State, and about 1830 emigrated to Illinois, locating in the wilds of Montgomery County. The removal was made overland with teams before the days of stages or hotels, and the travelers carried with them their beds and provisions, camping and cooking, and sleeping by the wayside. The Kendrick family first settled in what is now Butler Township, but only remained there a short time, the father later entering a tract of Government land in what is now Fillmore Township. This land was all prairie, and no railroad was built through that region for many years thereafter. The nearest market was at St. Louis, sixtyfive miles distant, and from three to five days were employed in making the round trip.

The elder Kendrick improved forty acres of land upon which he lived a number of years, then selling out, returned to Butler Grove Township, and purchased one hundred and twenty acres where he made his home until his death, which occurred about 1868. His wife, Rebecca, was the daughter of Benjamin Ware, who spent his last years in New Hampshire; she passed away in 1856, twelve years prior to the decease of her husband. Their family consisted of nine children. John C. Kendrick united with the Methodist Episcopal Church in his youth, and began preaching, becoming a member of the Conference. After his removal to Illinois he traveled the circuit as a local preacher, receiving little or no remuneration for his services.

The subject of this sketch attended the pioneer schools of Montgomery County, Ill., which were mostly conducted during the winter season, and as soon as old enough he was required to make himself useful about the farm. On account of the ill health of his father, he at the age of fifteen, assumed many of the cares and responsibilities of the head of the household. He remained with his parents until his marriage, and then purchasing a farm adjoining, lived there until 1876. Then selling out he started for the farther West, driving overland with a team to Booneville, Mo., and at that point chartered a car which conveyed him and his goods to Osage Mission, whence he came with a team to this county. The story of his later toils and struggles, is the common one of those who settled upon the frontier, and his prosperity has only been achieved by the most unflagging industry, and the exercise of a close economy. He was successful as a tiller of the soil, and in addition to the cultivation of his land, has erected a good set of frame buildings, and gathered around himself and his family the conveniences and comforts of modern life.

Miss Rebecca Livengood, a native of Hancock County, Ohio, became the wife of Mr. Kendrick on the 28th of November, 1866, the wedding taking place at Hillsboro, Ill. The household now numbers nine children, viz: Carrie C. J., George A., Ida May, Nellie G., Ella R., John J., Jennie F., Minnie E., and Pearl Ethel.

… Mr. Kendrick is a Democrat.”

Source:  Portrait and Biographical Album of Sumner County, Kansas, by Chapman Brothers, Chicago, 1890, pages 303-4


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