Transcribed by Teresa Kesterke from: Biographical Review of Des Moines County, Iowa: Containing Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of Many of the Prominent Citizens of To-day and Also of the Past, Hobart Publishing Company, Chicago, 1905.


The name which appears above is a familiar one in Burlington in business circles, as he has been connected with the railroad life of the town for over thirty years, during which time he has accomplished much for the interests of the road, and at the same time has become one of the best citizens of the city. W. A. Kendall is a son of Albert and Sarah Cornelia (Higley) Kendall, and was born in Marion, Iowa, April 4, 1847. His father was born in West Granby, Conn., and was a wagonmaker by trade. His mother was the second child of Abiel and Prudence (Crane) Higley, and was born at West Granby, Conn., May 21, 1822.

The parents of our subject were married Nov. 9, 1840, in Granby, and in the following spring they removed to Bloomington, Ill., going westward with Mr. Higley's family. After residing several years in Bloomington, they located in Marion, Iowa. Mr. Kendall did a profitable business at his trade in both Bloomington and Marion, making sales throughout the State in its early history. He was afterward engaged in the hardware business. Mr. Kendall died Jan. 19, 1877, and Mrs. Kendall survived him about eleven years, her death occurring Dec. 8, 1888. Their home was an ideal one in the truest meaning of the term, and on many occasions was the center of large family gatherings. The domestic life of Mr. and Mrs. Kendall was brightened by three children: Flora, who is dead; W. A., of this review; and Wellington Jerome, who married Miss Emma E. Brancht at Findlay, Ohio, and died at Marion, Iowa, leaving three children, Carl, Alberta, and Ralph. Mr. and Mrs. Kendall are buried at Marion, Iowa.

W. A. Kendall received his education in the common schools at Marion, and at the age of seventeen or eighteen years he worked for the express company at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for two years, which fairly initiated him in business. After running as express messenger between Farley and Cedar Rapids for awhile, he went to La Porte, and worked for a year for the Cedar Rapids & Northern Railroad. The next two years he was employed in Waterloo by the same road. He also worked for the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Minnesota Railroad for several years while living in Waterloo.

Mr. Kendall displayed much ability as a railroad man and in the early '7o’s he was promoted to be agent, holding also the ticket and freight agency of the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern, with headquarters in Burlington, Iowa, where he has since resided. Several years ago this road was bought by the Rock Island, when Mr. Kendall became the commercial agent of the same, and also of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, having his office on Jefferson Street.

Nov. 18, 1875, Mr. Kendall wedded Miss Jane Elizabeth Frantz, who was born in Annville, Pa., Nov. 3, 1848. Mrs. Kendall is the oldest daughter of John and Lucy Ann (Frelingheusen) Frantz, whose interesting sketch may be found in this book. Mrs. Kendall received her education in the public schools of Burlington, Iowa, and later was a valued teacher in the same schools for a short time. This union has been blessed by two children, both of whom were born in Burlington: Leslie, a graduate of the high school; and Reginald W., born Sept. 3, 1884. The latter was a student at St. Albans, Knoxville, Ill., and also took a course in St. John's military academy at Delafield, Wis. Rex, as he is familiarly called, is now a student in the scientific department at Ames. He and his sister Leslie are both devoted members of the Episcopal church.

Mr. Kendall is a leading Democrat, but can not be induced to hold office, preferring to assist his chosen party in the capacity of a private citizen. He is a great reader on all subjects, and his beautiful home at 803 North Eighth Street is well stored with books of all kinds. They also have in their possession a copy of Dr. Martin Luther's Bible in German, which is prized very highly by them.

During all the long years that Mr. Kendall has been in the employ of the railroad, he has ever discharged his many duties in a faithful and honorable manner. He is pleasant and jovial, and always courteous and accommodating. He and his faithful wife have aided many in times of distress, and their friends are numbered all through the State.

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