Portrait of William J. Kennedy

Date Created
circa 1920
Work Medium
20 in x 25 in
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Historical Context
William J. Kennedy was born in Hastings, MI, and traveled with his wagon and team of horses to Grand Rapids in 1884. He sold his horses and invested in a small mattress manufacturing business, which he later bought from his partners. In 1889 he founded the Hot Blast Feather Company.His business thrived and moved to larger facilities on Front St. NW. In 1903 the name was changed to Grand Rapids Bedding Company because of the variety of bedding products being manufactured. Continued growth and the need for larger factories resulted in two more moves. In 1919, W.J. Kennedy turned over the business to his son, Aubrey T. Kennedy, who retired in 1957. His son, Jack W. Kennedy, managed the business until he sold the operation in 1991. The company still operates under new management on Myrtle St. NW.The University Club rests on the site of W.J. Kennedy's original factory, bringing Mr. Kennedy back to the location where he worked for so many years.
Protrait of man in black suit with blue and yellow tie on green background.
Gift of Jack and Joy Kennedy

Painting Origin

Grand Rapids