SOURCE: History of Texas, Together with a Biographical History of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson Counties. (Chicago, IL: Lewis, 1893), p. 646.
DR. WILLIAM R. KENNARD - for twenty-two years a practicing physician of Milam county, was born in Sumter county, Alabama, September 29, 1834. His, parents were James P. and Minerva Kennard, natives of Tennessee, who moved to Alabama about 1832, settling in Sumter county, where they subsequently lived and died, the mother dying in 1843, at the age of thirty, and the father in 1873 at the age of seventy. The father spent most of his life engaged in agricultural pursuits and merchandising, being also for sixteen years Clerk of the District Court of Sumter county.
William R. Kennard was reared in his native county in the select schools in which he received his early mental training. He graduated in medicine from the University of Pennsylvania in 1860, and located for the practice of his profession in Miller county, Missouri. On August 7, 1861, he married Miss Josephine L. Dixon of that county. At the opening of the late was he entered the Confederate army enlisting in a Missouri regiment which became part of Price's army with which he served in the capacity of field and hospital surgeon until the close of hostilities.
After the war he resided for six years partly in Missouri and partly in Alabama, engaged in the practice of his profession. In the fall of 1871 he came to Texas, and located in Milam county, west of the town of Cameron where he resided until 1878, at which time he took up his residence in Rockdale which has since been his home. He has been chiefly interested in the practice of his profession and incidentally in the drug business. He has met with reasonably good success in both. He has served as Mayor of Rockdale, has been a member of the School Board, assisted in organizing the Milam County Medical Society of which he was the first president, has been medical examiner of Rockdale Lodge, Knights of Honor, since 1878, and was for several years a member of the Board of Medical Examiners of Milam county, when the law creating that board first went into operation. He belongs to the Odd-Fellows, and for thirty years has been a member of the Masonic fraternity.
Dr. Kennard's wife was born in Miller county Missouri, in 1840, and was there reared, receiving her education in the schools of that county, and at Palmyra and Columbia, that State, graduating from the Christian College of the latter place. She taught one of the first public schools of Milam county. Her parents were William P. and Minerva Dixon who were born, the father in North Carolina in 1812, and the mother in Tennessee in 1824. The mother died in 1868 at the home of her brother, L. B. Wilkers, at Lexington, Kentucky, whither she had gone for medical treatment, and the father in 1893, at the residence of his daughter. Mrs. Kennard, with whom he had made his home for number of years. Mrs. Kennard has two brothers Thomas E. Dixon living in Vernon county, Missouri, and William Price Dixon, of Kansas City, Missouri, and two sister, Mary Luella Dixon Golden, the wife of George Golden, residing in San Antonia, Texas, and Nannie Dixon Spake, the wife of A. Spake, of Johnson county, Missouri. Dr. Kennard has two half-brothers living; John Kennard and Nat Kennard of Sumter county, Alabama; and one sister Sarah Kennard Kennard, the widow of M. C. Kennard, now making her home with her son, Prof. A. W. Kennard, at Longview, Texas.
The doctor and his wife are both members of the Christian Church to which they have belonged for thirty years. They have had no children, but have brought up several nieces and nephews, two of whom, James P. Kennard, a nephew of the Doctor, and Miss Minnie J. Barnett, a niece of Mrs. Kennard, were taken in infancy. The former is now a successful teacher of Milam county and the latter a recent graduate of the Rockdale high school.
We must say a special thank you to Sylvia Thomas of Georgetown, Texas, for typing the above biographical sketch for use on the Milam County TXGenWeb site.
Created on 23 May 2004 and last revised on ____________