JAMES FENNELL. - A man of pronounced ability, intelligence and judgment, James Fennell occupies a noteworthy position among the successful business men of Kansas City, Kansas, and as general superintendent of the Armour Packing Company is actively identified with one of the leading enterprises of Wyandotte county. A son of William and Mary Fennell, he was born January 22, 1865, in Chautauqua county, New York, being the fourth child in a family of seven children, of whom six are living.
William Fennell was born in Belfast, Ireland, in 1828, and as a young man immigrated to the United States, crossing the ocean in a sailing vessel. From New York City he drifted westward to Chautauqua county, where he subsequently lived until his death, in 1889, for many years being engaged in the boot and shoe business. He was a Democrat in politics, and was held in high esteem as a man and a citizen. His wife survived him, passing away in 1900.
James Fennell obtained a practical education in Forestville, New York, attending the public schools and the academy. He first became a wage earner when a boy by picking berries, and was afterward a clerk in a dry goods establishment in Forestville. Seized with wanderlust in 1880, he came westward to Kansas City, Missouri, where he at once secured a position in a general store, which was located in the first brick building erected on James street. In 1886 Mr. Fennell first became associated with the Armour Packing Company, with which he has since been connected. He began in the humble capacity of a cattle driver, was later made cattle weigher, and proved himself so capable and faithful in the position that he was promoted to the cashiership of the firm's retail market. Pleased with his services, the company from time to time placed him in positions of greater responsibility, and in 1904 Mr. Fennell was made general superintendent of the business of the firm, and has performed the duties thus devolving upon him with unquestioned ability and fidelity, and to the eminent satisfaction of his employers.
Mr. Fennell is also connected with other enterprises of importance, being vice-president of the People's National Bank and a director of the Kansas City, Kansas, Elevated Railroad Company. He is a Democrat in politics, and a member of the Royal Legion.
Mr. Fennell married, July 20, 1886, Anna M. James, who was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a daughter of David and Jennie James, natives, respectively, of Connecticut and Vermont. Her father, a prominent lawyer of Ann Arbor, was at one time regent of the University of Michigan. He subsequently came to Kansas City, Missouri, with his family, and established himself as a lawyer. Mr. and Mrs. Fennell have one child, Constance Fennell, a graduate of the Kansas City, Kansas, High School.
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