Rib Lake Herald unless otherwise noted. By: R. P. Rusch and Cindy A. Sommer Updated to: May 4, 2009 Explanatory note



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/20/1903: His home on the shores of Rib Lake burns to the ground; the house is reconstructed in the same year but he deeds the property to his daughter.

  • 3/13/1903: He sells his stock in the Rib Lake Lumber Company and travels to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to check out new lumbering prospects.

  • 7/10/1903: "J.J. Kennedy of Rib Lake spent Friday in our village calling on old friends. He was just returning from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, where he has invested in real estate."

  • 7/17/1903: "J.J. Kennedy is improving the house formerly occupied by Attorney Pringle. When the improvements are completed, it will be one of the best buildings on Main Street."

  • 9/4/1903: “J.J. Kennedy has returned from his western trip. He was at Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and informs us that work on his new sawmill is fairly underway. Rib Lake people are glad to hear it and wish him much success.” (emphasis added)

  • 10/23/1903, J.J. Kennedy is quoted in the Milwaukee Sentinel as saying “Don’t believe it for a moment” when asked if it was true that J.J. intended to leave Wisconsin.

  • 12/4/1903: “J.J. Kennedy returned from Idaho last Saturday morning, hail and hearty. He reports that all the former Rib Lakers are quite well, that the new mill will soon be completed and that the place is growing.”

  • 1/27/1904: By Quit Claim Deed recorded January 27, 1904, J.J. Kennedy and his spouse, Flora M. Kennedy, conveyed to their daughter, Jeanette Kennedy, Lot B of J.J. Kennedy’s original plat of the Village of Rib Lake [this was the residence of J.J. and Flora.]

  • 9/16/1904: Board of Directors of RLLC appoints J.J. Kennedy as “Walking Boss” – superintendent of all RLLC camps.

  • In 1904-1905, J.J. Kennedy is actively involved in Rib Lake activities, including Republican politics and helping to run the Rib Lake Lumber Company.

  • 6/8/1906: J.J. Kennedy is still living in Village of Rib Lake on 6/15/1906. Rib Lake High School faculty entertained school seniors on J.J. Kennedy’s lawn.

  • 6/29/1906: J.J. “has gone to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on an extended visit.”

  • 9/7/1906: “J.J. Kennedy, who has been in the west for several weeks, returned home [Rib Lake] on Monday.”

  • With no public explanation and with no public farewell, J.J. and his wife, Flora M. Kennedy, leave Rib Lake on an unknown date.

  • 11/15/1906: John J. Kennedy and spouse, Flora M. Kennedy, re-conveyed to their daughter, “Jeanette Kennedy of Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee” their home/residential parcel in the Village of Rib Lake now correctly described as Block B of the original plat; the original deed was recorded January 27, 1904 and contained a mistake in the legal description.

  • 1/25/1907: “We [at the Rib Lake Herald] are informed that Mr. and Mrs. J.J. Kennedy have decided to make Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, their home. This will elicit regrets from their large number of friends in all parts of this section.” [THIS TERSE COMMENT IS ALL THAT THE ANNALS OF THE RIB LAKE HERALD PROVIDE IN ANNOUNCING THAT THE FOUNDER OF RIB LAKE WILL PERMANENTLY LEAVE – RPR.]

  • 4/12/1907: “It is reported that Mr. and Mrs. J.J. Kennedy are coming to pack their household goods to ship them to Coeur D’Alene, Idaho.”

  • 5/17/1907: “Mrs. J.J. Kennedy and her daughter, Jeanette, who is a teacher in Memphis, Tennessee, are expected to arrive soon and pack up their household goods preparatory to shipping them to Coeur D’Alene, Idaho where the Kennedys intend to live in the near future.”

  • 8/9/1907: "Art Talbot has returned from Salmo, British Columbia, where he went about a month ago. He did not like it there as well as in Rib Lake. He reports having seen John J., Angus, Burt and William Kennedy and says they are doing well."

  • 11/1/1907: “J.J. Kennedy of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, is here on a short visit at home of Postmaster and Mrs. D. McLennan.”

  • Flora M. Kennedy died January 31, 1909, and was buried out of her home in Spokane, Washington.

  • 5/13/1910: “Miss Jeanette Kennedy, who is well known here as the daughter of J.J. Kennedy, the founder of Rib Lake, arrived here last Friday and is a guest at the home of her uncle, Postmaster McLennan. Her present home is at Spokane, Washington, where she lives with her father."

  • 9/22/1911: “J.J. Kennedy and his boys are now somewhere in British Columbia.

  • 1920: Census says J.J. lives/rents in Portland, Oregon – no spouse – with children Donald A., age 42; Janette, age 40; William C., age 37 and Elbert C., age 35 – see #11748 & #11751.

  • 8/20/1920: Spokane Chronicle quotes J.J. as saying: “Moving pictures of accidents and hazards have a more lasting effect upon workmen than lectures.” J.J. was a speaker for the Spokane Medical and Safety Board. See #11750.

  • 4/26/1928: Article in Taylor County Star-News reports: “J.J. Kennedy died April 12, 1925, at his home at Portland, Oregon.”

    CHILDREN OF JOHN J. AND FLORA M. KENNEDY:




    A. Donald Angus, born Oct. 30, 1876, in Spencer, Wisconsin.


    • 6/1/1961: "Word has been received here of the death in Portland, Oregon, on May 17, of Donald Angus Kennedy, 84, member of one of the earliest Rib Lake families. ¶ Funeral services were held in the chapel at Riverview Cemetery, where he was buried. ¶ He was born in Spencer on Oct. 30, 1876, the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. J.J. Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy founded the first sawmill here in 1881. The son had been associated with his father in various lumbering activities prior to moving to Oregon in 1910. ¶ Surviving are the widow, Winifred, a brother, Burt Kennedy, and two sisters, Mrs. Nat McDougall, and Mrs. David Moffet Myers, all of Portland. Miss Anna Mae Kennedy of Rib Lake, and her brother, Harold, now in Canada, are cousins."

    B. Tena, a/k/a Christina – Mrs. Natt McDougall.




    C. Jeanette, born October 1874, in New York – Mrs. Daniel Moffet, born c. 1876.
    D. William G., studies law, born c. 1884.


    • 11/24/1955: WILLIAM KENNEDY DIES "Word of the death at Portland, Oregon, of William, 75, son of J.J. Kennedy, founder of the RLLC, has been received here by his cousins, Miss Anna May and Harold Kennedy. A bachelor, Mr. Kennedy is survived by two sisters, Mrs. MacDougal (Tina), and Mrs. Muffet Meyer (Jeanette), and two brothers, Donald and Burt, all of Portland. ¶ The J.J. Kennedy family moved from Rib Lake to Portland some 50 years ago, and have lived there since. William was engaged in the railroad business until his retirement. Mrs. Meyer lived for some time in the east, but returned to Portland upon the death of her husband, within the past year. ¶ Burt Kennedy, also a bachelor, visited in this village two years ago."

    E. Elbert C., born 1/5/1884, in Rib Lake. “Bert”




    • 5/14/1953: “Bert Kennedy, Portland, Oregon, cousin of Anna Mae Kennedy, visited friends and relatives here last week, staying at the Central Hotel. He drove to Willow Lake for a visit with the Charles Talbots. Enroute here he visited the Bob McLennan family, Oak Park, Illinois, his sister in New York and Mrs. Cella Begley Holmes, Wisconsin Rapids. The Holmes drove Mr. Kennedy to Rib Lake. This was his first visit back here since he left 47 years ago [1906].”

    • KENNEDY DIES IN OREGON "Elbert C. Kennedy passed away Feb. 18, 1973, at the Benedictine Nursing Center, Mount Angel, Oregon, where he had made his home for the past 8-/12 years. ¶ Rib Lake was founded by his father, John J. Kennedy, who started a mill in the town. Elbert C. Kennedy was the first child born in Rib Lake, Jan. 5, 1884. He is the last of his generation. ¶ Mr. Kennedy is survived by a nephew and a niece, Mr. Jack McDougall, Los Altos, California; and Mrs. Joseph Herron, from Portland, Oregon. ¶ Funeral services were Feb. 22, 1973, in Portland, Oregon. Vault interment will be in Riverview Cemetery, Portland, Oregon."

    II. ANGUS [B.?] KENNEDY




    • Brother of J.J.

    • Intimately involved in running the Kennedy lumber operations at Rib Lake.

    • Born May, 1851, in Canada.

    • Wife is Sarah, born January 1858.

    • Immigrated to U.S. in 1868.

    • 8/9/1882: “Mr. Angus Kennedy came to Rib Lake on the 9th of August, 1882, with his brother J.J. Kennedy and several men. That year was known for its wet fall and work on the log boarding house, log barn and subsequently the sawmill, progressed very slowly.” Rib Lake Herald, May 15, 1903.

    • In 1885, Angus Kennedy, identifying himself as “A.B. Kennedy” serves as enumerator for the town census and town clerk.

    • Following info from Rib Lake Herald: 5/15/1903: Angus and son, John E. Kennedy, and families will within 2 days depart Rib Lake and move to Coeur D’Alene, Idaho.

    • 3/18/1904: Angus Kennedy and son have their tie saw plant up and running at Coeur D’Alene, Idaho.

    • 9/27/1907: Rib Lake pioneer families hold a reunion in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Angus Kennedy, who are visiting.

    • 9/28/1907: Mr. and Mrs. Angus Kennedy visit Rib Lake and everyone at Rib Lake is very glad to see them here.

    • According to correspondence of Mrs. Willard Kennedy, a/k/a Susan Lacy, #10992, in 1906 or 1907, Mr. and Mrs. Angus Kennedy moved from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to a Montana ranch.

    • 7/30/1907: A Coeur d’Alene newspaper shows an ad by Angus Kennedy & Son [John E. Kennedy] for Railroad Ties, Cedar Poles, Telephone Poles and Telegraph Poles. It lists their location as 105 Second Street, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

    • 6/24/1910 "Mr. and Mrs. Angus Kennedy, formerly of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, are now living on a homestead at Chester, Montana. They enjoy it very much."

    • 9/22/1911: “Angus Kennedy and his family are on a homestead in Montana.”

    • 12/8/1911: “Mr. and Mrs. Angus Kennedy, who have been on a ranch in Montana all summer, have gone to Spokane [Washington State] for the winter. Mrs. Kennedy writes the Herald that Spokane is fine.”

    • 12/10/1915: Angus Kennedy and family have moved to Port Hill, Idaho.

    • 10/28/1921: “Mr. and Mrs. Angus Kennedy are coming to Rib Lake from Keller, Washington, on a visit in the very near future.”

    • 11/18/1921: “Mr. and Mrs. Angus Kennedy are visiting at River Falls [Wisconsin] at the home of her brother, John Allard.”

    • 11/25/1921: “Mr. and Mrs. Angus Kennedy arrived in Rib Lake Tuesday afternoon to visit relatives and old time friends. They are staying at the home of Mrs. Kennedy’s brother, A.J. Allard.”

    • c. 1930, dies and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Spokane, WA, #10992.

    CHILDREN OF ANGUS AND SARAH KENNEDY:


    A. John E. Kennedy. Born July 1878 in New York. Married Myra J. ___; daughter Janet Elizabeth.

    B. Lillie Mae, born March 1891, a/k/a Lalah.


    C. Willard, a/k/a Bill, born May 25, 1894, marries Susan Lacy, see letter #10992.


    • According to Tony Bamonte, Willard died in 1977 and was buried in the Fairmont Cemetery of Spokane, Washington.

    III. HUGH J. KENNEDY




    • Brother of J.J.

    • Born May 1849 in Canada.

    • Immigrated to U.S. in 1864.

    • Hugh does not appear in the 1885 census of Rib Lake.

    • Appears in 1895 census of Rib Lake.

    • 1900 federal census describes occupation as farmer.

    • 8/21/1903: “Street Commissioner Kennedy has made good improvements on McComb Ave. this week. He also repaired several sidewalks.”

    • 1905 state census describes occupation as laborer.

    • Wife is identified as Kate in 1900 census; she is identified as Caroline in the 1905 census; occupation listed as “housework”.

    • 3/22/1906 edition of the Rib Lake Herald says that Hugh is logging at Rib Lake.

    • Rib Lake Herald makes the additional comments regarding Hugh J. Kennedy and family: 6/22/1906: H.J. Kennedy appointed street commissioner by the Rib Lake Village Board.

    • 2/12/1909: Harold, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh J. Kennedy, broke his leg while playing at the Rib Lake mill yard.

    • 4/15/1910: "H.J. Kennedy and his son, Stuart, bid farewell to family and friends and departed for Moose Jaw, Canada, where Kennedy will take up a homestead. They took two teams [of horses], bedding and provisions to supply them for a while. Earl Kennedy [son of William] of Abbotsford has bought land in that section and induced his uncle to try it there. Rib Lake people which them good luck."

    • 4/22/1910: "The family of H.J. Kennedy received word from him that he is snowbound in North Dakota."

    • 12/2/1910: "H.J. Kennedy, who with his son went to Canada last spring to take up a homestead, came home Monday to stay until next March, when he will return to his homestead. He and his son took up 620 acres 14 miles north of the Montana state line. Soft coal is used for fuel and can be dug in the banks of the river and delivered for $1.50 a load. Mr. Kennedy and his son are now citizens of Canada, as they had to take the oath of citizenship before they could file on the land."

    • 3/10/1911: “H.J. Kennedy and son started for Gull Lake, Canada to live on his homestead which he took up last summer.”

    • 5/26/1911: “Mrs. H.J. Kennedy departed for Gull Lake, Canada to join her husband and sons on the homestead.”

    • 11/12/1915: HUGH J. KENNEDY - DIED IN CANADA. "The family of Hugh J. Kennedy received a message from East End, Sasketchewan, stating that he is ill and that Mrs. Kennedy should come at once. Mrs. Kennedy left for Canada the next day and arrived there Saturday. Monday Harold Kennedy received a message stating that his father died Saturday. ¶ Mr. Kennedy and his oldest son Stuart have been living on a homestead in Sasketchewan. They were home last winter and went there again in the spring. Mr. Kennedy's health was poor the last two years and his intention was to get his property in shape before another winter so he could dispose of it. Mrs. Kennedy and their youngest son, Harold, are living here and their daughter Anna is attending Marquette College in Milwaukee. ¶ Mr. Kennedy was one of the pioneers of Rib Lake and his sudden death came as a shock to all. The Herald will give a detailed account when Mrs. Kennedy returns from Canada."

    • Burial note. Hugh’s spouse, Caroline2, is buried at the Rib Lake Lakeview Cemetery; Caroline lived from 1865-1937.

    CHILDREN OF HUGH J. AND CAROLINE KENNEDY:


    A. Anna Mae, 9/30/1888 – 6/18/1962. Buried in Rib Lake Lakeview Cemetery.


    • Anna Mae Kennedy graduated from Marquette University with a degree in pharmacy; she was a co-owner of the Upjohn-Kennedy Drug Store on McComb Avenue for many years; never married; dies in Rib Lake.

    • 6/21/1962: MISS KENNEDY, EARLY RESIDENT, FOUND DEAD "Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Monday in the Methodist Church for Miss Anna Mae Kennedy, 75, member of an early Rib Lake family, and niece of its founder, who was found dead in her home on Church Street last Monday. ¶ She was on a couch and had died during the night from natural causes. ¶ Miss Kennedy had been in failing health, although she had continued her work as a registered pharmacist at the Upjohn Drug Store, having worked on Sunday, the day before her death. She was one of the first women in the state to follow that profession, having been graduated at Marquette University in Milwaukee. ¶ She was the daughter of the late Hugh and Catherine Ferguson Kennedy, who came to Rib Lake shortly after his brother, John J. Kennedy, came here to establish the lumber mill in the early 1880's. ¶ After completing her pharmacy course, she returned here, and became a partner of the late James Upjohn in the Kennedy-Upjohn Store. Mr. Upjohn's son, Richard, bought out her shares of the business a short time later to his father's death in 1946, and she continued to work for him since that time. ¶ Her high school graduating class was one of the early ones here, and included Herbert Curran, and Mrs. Dio Walty, still living here, and the late Mrs. Fred Niggemann. ¶ She was a member of the Methodist Church, she lived with her mother until her death in 1937, and then lived alone. She had a deep interest in the history of the community, of which she was considered an authority, and had collected a large assortment of photographs of early Rib Lake. ¶ A brother, Stuart, died in 1917, and another brother, Harold, who for many years operated a wheat ranch near Frontier, Saskatchewan, Canada, which his father had homesteaded, died last October. ¶ Thus, the only survivor is Mrs. Bessie Kennedy, her sister-in-law, who is in route from Frontier to attend the funeral, and a cousin, Bert Kennedy, Portland, Oregon, son of J.J. Kennedy, who will be unable to attend because of advanced age and ill health. ¶ Burial will be in the family plot at Lakeview Cemetery."