Transcript:Memorial and Biographical Record and Illustrated Compendium of Biography of Citizens of Columbia, Sauk and Adams Counties, Wi/William Beveridge Kendall


WILLIAM BEVERIDGE KENDALL. Pp. 405-407 in Memorial and Biographical Record and Illustrated Compendium of Biography Containing a Compendium of Local Biography Including Biographical Sketches of Hundreds of Prominent Old Settlers and Representative Citizens of Columbia, Sauk and Adams Counties, Wisconsin. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. 1901.

William Beveridge Kendall, one of the most influential conductors on the Madison division of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, residing at Baraboo, Wisconsin, was born in Hoosick Falls, New York, December 11, 1857, and is a son of Levi G. and Abbie (Barrell) Kendall. The father, now one of the oldest and most trusted employes [sic] of the same road, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, October 2, 1827, a son of Andrew L. and Ruth (Fishel [sic]) Kendall. The Kendalls are of English descent, and the family was founded in Massachusetts about 1700. Our subject’s grandfather was born in Royalston, Worcester county, that state, and for some years followed the carpenter’s trade in Boston, where he died at the age of thirty-five years. His wife was born in the same place, of Quaker lineage, and died in Simsbury, Massachusetts, at the age of eighty-three. The father of our subject was only six years old when his mother removed to Royalston with her five children, the others being Albert, who died Worcester, that state; Lucius, a justice of the peace of Sewall, Massachusetts; Louise, widow of Nathan N. Harlow, and a resident of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts; and Sophia, wife of George Newton, a contractor of Chicago.

Leaving home at the age of twenty-one years, Levi G. Kendall began work on the Vermont & Massachusetts Railroad as a section man; was promoted to foreman six months later; and at the end of the following six months was made baggagemaster between Brattleboro, Vermont, and Boston. Subsequently he served as freight conductor for some time and in 1858 came to Wisconsin and entered the employ of the Chicago & Northwesern [sic] Railroad, which then had but ninety miles of track. He was foreman of construction under contractors, building the road from Harvard to Rockford. In 1862 he enlisted as second corporal in Company H, Twenty-first Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, Army of the Cumberland, and participated in the battles of Champion Hills and Murfreesboro, but after serving one year he was wounded in the right hand and discharged. He was roadmaster on the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad from 1863 to 1870, and in the latter year hired one hundred men in Chicago, and began the construction of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad from Madison toward Baraboo, as assistant superintendent of construction under contractors Cox & Howard and others, continuing in that capacity until the road was completed past tunnel No 1. Near there he purchased one hundred acres of land and laid out a town which was named in his honor. In 1873 he was appointed roadmaster on the Madison division and laid the track between Elroy and Sparta, and afterward relaid it with steel rails. Since 1889 he has been foreman of the Baraboo railroad yards. Between the Kinzie street bridge, Chicago, and Evanston, Illinois, he laid the first steel rails on the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, in 1870, these rails costing one hundred dollars per ton. In 1851 he married Abbie Barrell, a native of Ashby, Massachusetts, who died in Vincennes, Indiana, in 1865, aged thirty-eight years. They had two sons, William B., our subject, and Newton, who died in infancy. The father was again married, in 1867, his second union being with Louise M. Barrell, a sister of his former wife and a daughter of Nelson and Mehitable Barrell. By this marriage there is one daughter, Abbie, wife of John Layden, of Baraboo. Mrs. Kendall was the first worthy matron of Baraboo Chapter, O. E. S., and for ten years or more has been its representative to the grand chapter of Wisconsin.

The subject of this sketch was only a small boy when brought by his parents to Baraboo, Wisconsin, where he attended the high school for a time. In 1873 he became a brakeman on the Madison division of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad; later was a baggage man between Elroy and Winona for two years; and on the 2nd of September, 1883, was promoted to conductor, in which capacity he has since served, running between Baraboo and Winona at the present time. He has a pleasant home on Fifth avenue, Baraboo, erected by him in 1886.

On the 25th of December, 1882, Mr. Kendall was united in marriage with Miss Josephine McGary, a daughter of Selime [sic] and Alvira (Fox) McGary, of Norwalk, Wisconsin. The father was born in Vermont of Scotch-Irish ancestry, and the mother is a native of Ohio. About 1848 they came to this state and located on a farm near Norwalk. Our subject and his wife have three children living, Raymond Levi, Walter Selime [sic] and Abbie May, while two died in infancy. The family attend the Methodist church, of which Mrs. Kendall is a member.

Mr. Kendall is a member of the Baraboo Division, No. 68, O. R. C., of which he was secretary eight or nine years, chief conductor one year and a member of the grievance committee ten years, being chairman of the same eight years. He also belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America, and Baraboo Lodge, No.34, F. & A. M., and both he and his wife are members of the Baraboo Chapter, No. 21, O. E. S. Since casting his first presidential vote for R. B. Hayes, in 1876, he has been a supporter of the Republican party and its principles.

Transcription notes

Transcribed by Bruce Kendall

The account is unreliable in some aspects:

  • William's grandfather was Stephen Jennings Kendall, not Andrew; Andrew Kendall was Stephen's father
  • Army records show that Levi Kendall deserted in the battle of Perryville, the first action faced by his regiment, and there is no record of him rejoining his regiment (or any other unit). Thus his service in the battles listed seems unlikely.