Joseph Kennedy Papers, 1879-1936
Primary Creator: Kennedy, Joseph (1858-1937)
Extent: 1.75 Linear Feet
Subjects: University of North Dakota - Faculty
The Joseph Kennedy Papers, 1879-1936, consist primarily of Kennedy’s academic writings. Included are several book-length manuscripts, “Points of View in Education and Life,” “Introductory Ethics,” “Modern Logic,” and “Principles and Problems of Education.” Numerous manuscripts for journal articles, as well as the text for speeches are also included.
The collection also includes biographical material, correspondence, materials related to both the University of North Dakota and the North Dakota Education Association, and miscellaneous certificates and diplomas.
Joseph Kennedy was born July 14, 1858, in Oshawa, Nicollet County, Minnesota, to Patrick and Elizabeth (Meaney) Kennedy. Patrick Kennedy had emigrated from Waterford in County Kilkenny, Ireland in 1849 and made his home in an agricultural region twenty miles north of Baltimore, Maryland, laboring as a farmer for eight years. It was in that part of the country that he married his wife, Elizabeth, also from Kilkenny County, and in 1857 the two went to Nicollet County, Minnesota, to claim 80 acres of government land.
The couple’s move to a rural community did not prevent their young son, Joseph, from developing intellectually. He attended rural schools and eventually found himself in a position as one of its teachers, beginning as early as 1876, preceding his enrollment to the University of Minnesota in the spring of 1878. He did not graduate from the University until 1886 with a Bachelor of Arts degree as he took absences during his matriculation to teach several terms in these rural schools. In 1901, he received a Master of Arts degree.
In September 1886, Kennedy came to North Dakota and became a principal of two city schools in Hillsboro, North Dakota, and remained in this position for two years. In the winter of 1886 he visited the campus of the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks and met with four pioneer educators, serving as the institution’s faculty, who so impressed Kennedy that he dubbed them “the four horsemen of the university apocalypse.” These four horsemen with saddle and lance were Dr. Henry Montgomery, Dr. Webster Merrifield, Dr. John Macnie, and Dr. H.B. Woodworth. After this visit, he returned to Hillsboro. A year later, Kennedy was elected the superintendent of schools in Traill County, North Dakota.
Serving four years in the capacity as superintendent, it was not until October 1, 1892 that his profession changed direction when he came to the young University of North Dakota to serve as Assistant Professor of Pedagogy and Principal of the Normal Department. But in this post he did not stay long, for only one year after his appointment, he became Head of the Department of Education. Following the retirement of Dr. Woodworth, he became a professor of philosophy and education. In 1901, he was made Dean of the Normal College, which later became the School of Education. He served as Dean until 1928 when he retired and became dean emeritus, the first in the university’s history.
Throughout his stay in North Dakota, Kennedy spent his summers either lecturing on education or conducting teachers’ institutes. His contribution to the educational system of North Dakota is illustrative in the appointments and committees he sat on. He was president of the North Dakota Education Association in 1895 and was a lifelong member. He was appointed by North Dakota Governor John Burke to both the State Law Codification Commission from 1909 to 1911, and the State Board of Examiners for the Certification of Teachers. In 1918, Dean Kennedy received an honorary degree of LL.D from the University of North Dakota. Inasmuch as Kennedy was committed to education in North Dakota, he devoted time to local affairs as a member of the Board of Park Commissioners in Grand Forks from 1907, when it was first organized, until 1928.
Kennedy authored the books Rural Life and the Rural School (1915) and Fundamentals in Methods in Elementary School (1915). Apart from his role as a writer, he was also the editor of the School of Education Record from 1915 to 1928.
He was married to Elizabeth Davis of Hillsboro on June 20, 1889, in Grand Forks. The couple had two sons, James and Laurence. Dr. Joseph Kennedy died April 1, 1937, in Grand Forks, and is buried in Calvary Cemetery.
Access Restrictions: Open for inspection under the rules and regulations of the Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections.
Acquisition Method: Donation; the original acquisition records are unavailable
Preferred Citation: (Description of Item). Joseph Kennedy Papers. OGLMC 28, Box #, Folder #. Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections, Chester Fritz Library, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.
Finding Aid Revision History: Finding aid migrated to Archon in November 2014.
Browse by Box:
- Box 2
- Folder 1: Manuscripts and Publications:
- Item 1: “The Nature of Democracy,” Quarterly Journal of the University of North Dakota: October 1920
- Item 2: “The Power of Suggestion,” undated
- Item 3: “Good and Evil; Right and Wrong,” Quarterly Journal of the University of North Dakota, July 1911
- Item 4: “The Open Mind,” 1916
- Item 5: “Toleration,” undated
- Item 6: “Evolution,” undated
- Item 7: “Philosophy and Democracy,” undated
- Item 8: “Teachers and Standards,” Quarterly Journal of the University of North Dakota, undated
- Item 9: “An Epoch Maker: William James,” Western Journal of Education, October 1911
- Folder 2: Speeches:
- Item 1: “What of Philosophy?”, UND Philosophy Club, May 1933
- Item 2: “The Fundamental Conflict,” UND Philosophy Club, October 1919
- Item 3: “Whither Bound?”, Fortnightly Club of Grand Forks, October 1931
- Item 4: “Good Citizenship,” North Dakota Education Association, October 1929 “Human Ups and Downs,” Men’s Club of Gethsemane Cathedral, Fargo, February 1927
- Folder 3: North Dakota Education Association--Miscellaneous
- Folder 4: University of North Dakota—Miscellaneous
- Folder 5: Miscellaneous Certificates and Diplomas
- Folder 6: Photographs 1-10
28-1: Joseph Kennedy's mother, undated
28-2: Mrs. Kennedy with sons James and Laurence on porch of house, 1895
28-3: Judge Grannis(?), undated
28-4: Mrs. Joseph Kennedy (Elizabeth), undated
28-5: Jacob Summers standing in oat field at site of the Bean School near Nicollet, MN, 12 July 1928
28-6: George A. MacFarland, 1929
28-7: Laurence Kennedy in cap and gown with unidentified man, undated
28-8: Unidentified woman with fish on shore of lake, undated
28-9: View of St. Peter, MN, from the west, 12 July 1928
28-10: Shoreline of Diamond Point, Bemidji, undated
- Folder 7: Photographs 11-20
28-11: Logging camp, undated
28-12: Cattle in western North Dakota, undated
28-13 & 28-14: Site in field of former log cabin where Joseph Kennedy was born in 1858, 12 July 1928
28-15: Teams of horses plowing a field, undated
28-16: Indian camp near Grand Forks, September 1897 (one smaller, faded print along with a larger, black/white copy)
28-17: Postcard of old North Dakota capitol building in Bismarck, undated
28-18: Old capitol building in Bismarck, undated
28-19: House of Joseph Kennedy, May 1921
28-20: House of Joseph Kennedy, July 1920
- Folder 8: Photographs 21-30
28-21: District 23 schoolhouse in Nicollet County, MN, with Mrs. Kennedy and Kate Gamble, 12 July 1928
28-22: Wright's house - University Avenue (possibly Christopher Wright, 1023 or 1025 University Ave.), ca. 1900
28-23 & 28-24: House at 1100 Broadway (later 1100 or 1102 University Avenue); first house Joseph Kennedy bought in Grand Forks, 1895
28-25: Porch of house at 1102 University Avenue (owned later by William McKinsey), ca. 1900
28-26: Living room of Kennedy house at 1112 University Avenue (the family moved here in the early 1900s), ca. 1905
28-27: Former schoolhouse at Oshawa, MN (District 23) where Kennedy attended as a child and later taught, undated
28-28: House in Hillsboro, North Dakota where James P. Kennedy was born, ca. 1890
28-29: House in Nicollet, MN, that once was the Bean schoolhouse where Kennedy first taught in 1876, probably July 1928
28-30: Hebron schoolhouse (now a barn) where Kennedy taught 1882-1883, 12 July 1928
- Folder 9: Photographs 31-40
28-31: Panorama of UND campus, ca. 1900 (from left: Budge Hall, Old Main, Davis Hall with Chandler Hall in back, Macnie Hall)
28-32: Old Main with Davis Hall to the left, early 1900s
28-33: Panoramic postcard of UND campus, 1905
28-34: Kennedy cottage at Bemidji, 1911
28-35: Kennedy cottage at Bemidji with family members seated on steps, undated
28-36: Joseph Kennedy with dog on steps of Bemidji cottage, undated
28-37: Horse "Nellie" harnessed to carriage, 23 April 1898
28-38: Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Kennedy with unidentified woman holding a rabbit and seated on running board of car, undated
28-39 & 28-40: Mr. & Mrs. Kennedy (25th wedding anniversary), June 1914
- Folder 10: Photographs 41-54
28-41: Overn (Alfred V.; Professor of Education) and Joseph Kennedy, 1931
28-42: House at 1208 University Avenue (birthplace of Laurence), photographed by Laurence, April 1916
28-43: Joseph Kennedy posing with a fish he caught, undated
28-44: Joseph Kennedy with dog Jack, undated
28-45: Joseph Kennedy as a boy, undated
28-46: Joseph Kennedy as a teenager, ca. 1870
28-47: Joseph Kennedy as a student at the University of Minnesota, ca. 1879
28-48: Portrait of Joseph Kennedy, undated
28-49: Joseph Kennedy - University of North Dakota, undated
28-50: Joseph Kennedy as an older man, undated
28-51: Joseph Kennedy with bicycle and red Buick automobile, 1922
28-52 & 28-53: Portrait of Kennedy, undated
28-54: James Kennedy as a young man, undated
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