1925 Biography - A Kuykendall

Hon. A. J. Kuykendall was a prominent man in the medieval days of Johnson County. He descended from a Holland family who came to North Carolina in Colonial times. Joseph, his father was a native of that state but moved to Kentucky with his brother's family in an early day. Joseph married Mary Taylor of Kentucky and resided there till 1815 when he set out with his family to the Territory of Illinois. It was while enroute to Johnson County that Andrew J. was born 1815 in what is now Hardin County. The father settled on a farm near the present site of Sanborn.
The white inhabitants were very few in Illinois at that time and most of them were in the southern part of the state. Deer, bear and other wild game were plentiful. The opportunities for an education were very meager and A. J. could claim only a course of three months schooling. He applied himself to study and began teaching small children. He continued his self education along the line of law and was admitted to the bar, when he began the practice of law in Vienna, about 1845. Early in his business career he took active interest in politics and served in the State Legislature in both House and Senate, several sessions, having been elected first in 1842. He had been a Democrat in politics supporting Douglas in 1860, but. when the Civil War broke out and Governor Yates called a special session of the Legislature, he declared himself in favor of the preservation of the Union, and voted for men and money to put down the rebellion. On his return home he assisted in raising a regiment, which became the famous 31st Illinois Volunteer Infantry, with John A. Logan as Colonel and A. J. Kuykendall as Major. He later resigned his commission and was elected to Congress from this district, which was then the thirteenth, 1864. Mr. Kuykendall was successful in his legal profession but was also fond of farming, and devoted much of his time to that business, and stock raising, in his later years. He served the county as prosecuting attorney and judge and was a helpful councilor in many movements for the progress of our county and owned interests in different businesses in the town. He owned and operated the Star Mill; built the large dwelling on the brow of the hill on West Main Street, known as the Blanchfill Place. He later built a handsome residence just south of town where he spent his declining years. He married Cynthia (see Simpson). Joseph Kuykendall, the pioneer had James (2), Andrew J. (2), and a daughter who married a Mr. Smith and removed from the county. Joseph married second a Miss Cooper and their children were Joseph (2), Mrs. James Peterson (2), Mrs. H. Taylor (2), Mrs. Hood (2), Fannie (2), who married Dean Harper and Mrs. Giles Taylor (2). (See Taylor).

Extracted 07 Feb 2017 by Norma Hass from 1925 A History of Johnson County, Illinois, by Mrs. P. T. Chapman, pages 399-400.

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