Today's post was prompted by an email from a reader. I don't have a lot of information about the Kennedy family, but after reading this I plan to find out more. The reader would also like information about Franklin School if anyone knows stories about it or has photos.
The Caddo Herald
September 25, 1931
Aged Caddo Couple are Noted for Experiences
Living on nearly ten years borrowed time past the allotted three score and ten years, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. S. Kennedy are an interesting couple. They have been married almost sixty years. In that time they did their share of obeying the Biblical injunction to go forth and replenish the earth. One hundred and four children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren are descended from this Caddo couple. Twelve children were born to them. Four of these died in infancy.
Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy were born and raised in west Tennessee. He was 9 years old when the battle of Shiloh was fought within thirty miles of his home- and with his father visited that battlefield the day after. He tells of finding a relative dead, and another captured whom Gen. Grant personally paroled; of his short visit with the great general who afterward received the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee. He describes Grant as a kindly unassuming man who seemed to know his business but who was approachable and unspoiled.
It is worth a visit to their home to listen to their reminiscences. Not all knowledge is in books and memories of people such as these who are living well in the evening of life are quite vivid.
Mr. Kennedy has had quite a variety of experiences. He was not always as poor in this world’s goods as now, once having served as county judge in Tennessee. He has been a successful farmer in his time, was a Baptist preacher, and a speaker of note in days of the Grange and other farmers’ organizations.
One time for several years he espoused the cause of socialism, but of late years came back to the party of his young manhood and nativity. He was an ardent supporter of Bill Murray for governor last year and now wants to live long enough to see him elected president.
They live alone in Caddo, but a son and other relatives are nearby to give them aid as needed. Neighbors too from time to time visit at this home to which both are confined by infirmities of age. In the span of a long life together this couple have become used to each other. Always they are glad when friends make a call upon them. The toll of time and toil has not been so heavy upon this pair who have labored hard to bring into the world a large family and to contribute their mite to the well being of humanity.