Samuel W. Kennedy is classed with the pioneer settlers of Sacramento county and makes his home near Florin, where he has a ranch of twenty acres largely devoted to the raising of table grapes. He is a native of Jackson county, Iowa, born on the 8th of September, 1850, and is a son of William D. and Nancy Kennedy. His father was a native of New Brunswick and died on May 15, 1905. He lived in Iowa for a number of years and in 1855 came from that state to the Pacific coast with his family. It was a long and tedious trip across the plains, covering six months, the journey being made with ox teams over roads difficult to travel. There were many hardships and trials incident to the journey but at length it was accomplished in safety and the family located in Sacramento, remaining in that city for a short time. Subsequently they took up their abode on a tract of land near Elk Grove and W. D. Kennedy remained in that locality till death.

Samuel W. Kennedy was reared to manhood in Sacramento county and was a student in the Jackson school, where he acquired a good practical education that fitted him for life's responsible duties. While not engaged with his text books he was trained to the work of the ranch, and he has since engaged in agricultural pursuits or kindred industries, having in more recent years devoted his attention to fruit-raising. He began the cultivation of grapes in 1885 and now has large vineyards of Tokay grapes. His methods are in keeping with ideas of modern progress, and the work of irrigation which he has done is largely promoting the productiveness of the vines. Whatever he undertakes he carries forward to successful completion, and thus as a vineyardist he has made an excellent name and gained desirable success.

On the 30th of October, 1876, Mr. Kennedy was married to Miss Mary M. Knauss, who was born in Iowa and is a daughter of Henry and Elizabeth (Cline) Knauss. In 1866, during her early girlhood, Mrs. Kennedy came to California from Iowa, crossing the plains with her parents. They traveled in a wagon drawn by oxen and in this primitive manner the entire journey was accomplished. They located for a short time in Stockton and subsequently resided in Nevada for a brief period, but later came to Sacramento county, where Mrs. Kennedy has since lived. Her parents are both deceased. Of the three children born of this union only two are living: Margaret E., the wife of A. H. Clark, who resides in Sacramento county; and A. Lenora, at home. They lost their second daughter, Annie M.

Mr. Kennedy has always been deeply interested in the cause of education, and served as a trustee of the Florin school district and during much of his connection was clerk of the board. He was for three years president of the Elk Grove Union high school, being a representative from the Florin district. In his political views he endorses the Republican principles and fraternally he is connected with the Odd Fellows lodge at Elk Grove, while he and his wife are members of the order of Rebekahs at Florin. His salient characteristics are such as constitute the basis of an honorable manhood and he is to-day known as one of the leading fruit-raisers and also representative citizens of Sacramento county.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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