Fred W. Kennedy
Fred W. Kennedy is a Shelbyville man
whose early experience was in his father's flour mill. The mill handled a great
deal of grain and young Kennedy had a good deal to do with the shipment of grain
in carload lots. A box car was in any case a leaky container, and Mr. Kennedy,
like other grain men, was not only impressed by the need of some improvement
that would prevent leakage and other losses, but seriously worked the problem
over in his mind with a view to a practical solution.
The solution as he worked it out has been the basis of a big Shelbyville
industry, of which he is the president today, known as the Kennedy Car Liner
& Bag Company, Incorporated.
Mr. Kennedy was born at Shelbyville, September 5, 1870.
His father, George W. Kennedy, was a farmer, lumberman and flour miller.
Fred Kennedy after completing
the work of the grade and high schools at Shelbyville and getting a business
college course, went to work in his father's mill and was its manager until
1916. In his search for materials and schemes to line the interior of box cars
to prevent grain leakage he turned from lumber material to paper products and
eventually improvised a system of car lining that has become practically
standard and has enormously reduced the losses due to grain leakage while in
transit. To manufacture his car lining materials Mr. Kennedy in 1908 started a
small factory on Broadway, a building with 3000 square feet of floor space and
employing twelve people. Since the manufacture of car liners for grain cars was
a seasonal business, in order to keep his factory going throughout the year he
developed other lines of paper containers, and the company now manufactures a
wide and diversified list of bags and containers for shipping purposes. They
began making shipping bags for automobiles and automobile bodies in 1910, and in
1912, having secured ground on East Washington Street the company put up the
first unit of the present plant. In May, 1912, the Fred W. Kennedy Company was
changed to the new corporation known as the Kennedy Car Liner & Bag Company,
with Mr. Fred W. Kennedy president, Burton F. Swain, vice president and
treasurer, and P. G. Hunker, secretary. In recent years the company has added
new lines to satisfy an increasing commercial demand for containers of boxboard
or paper material. Today the company has a plant of 250,000 square feet of floor
space, employs 400 people and ships forty carloads of its product every month.
This material goes to all the states of the United States and a great deal of
Mr. Kennedy is a member of the National and State Manufacturers Association,
is a Rotarian, a Royal Arch, Council degree and Knight Templar Mason, also a
Scottish Rite Mason and member of Murat Temple of the Mystic Shrine at
Indianapolis. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias and Independent Order of
Odd Fellows and has served in the City Council of Shelbyville. During the war
his factory was indirectly engaged in operation for Government uses. During that
time he did work on committees in the sale if Liberty Bonds, in filling the
County War Chest and in behalf of the Red Cross.
INDIANA ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS OF AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT, Vol. 3,
By Charles Roll, A.M., The Lewis Publishing Company, 1931
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming