Judge James B. Kennedy (1863 – 1950)

Hon. James B. Kennedy was no relation to Congressman James Kennedy. He was born in Youngstown on November 20, 1863. James was only six when he suffered the loss of both his father and mother. He attended school at Poland and for one year at the Univ. of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He took a commercial course at Duffs Business College in Pittsburgh, but his inclination led him in the direction of the law. In March 1885 he was admitted to the bar at Columbus, Ohio. James B. Kennedy became identified with the Republican Party and on this ticket he was elected prosecuting attorney of Mahoning County in November 1890, serving six years. In 1896 he was elected Judge of the Court of Common Pleas but in 1899 he resigned from the bench and resumed practice with C. D Hine of Poland, Ohio.
Judge Kennedy was active in community affairs. He was an early member of the Youngstown Country Club, which was organized in 1898. He was general counsel of the Brier Hill Steel Co. which was started in 1912 and vice president of the Commercial National Bank. On March 4, 1884 he married Roxanne Rice of Poland, Ohio and they had three children. Roxanne died in 1895 and Judge Kennedy was married a second time to Mary Swift Young of Baltimore, Maryland in 1897.
In 1923 Judge Kennedy purchased Lot 11 in the Village of Poland, which is now known as the Poland Village Hall. He immediately started looking for a gardener to take care of his Main St. property. His search ended with the hiring of John T. McDonald. The next we know is that in March 1934 the Kennedys sold 5.53 acres of Lot 11 to the Poland Board of Education for the construction of the Baird Mitchell Football Stadium and 1.12 acres to Post 145 of the American Legion for their headquarters. These two transactions were notarized in Volusia, County, Florida (Daytona Beach) while the Kennedys were on vacation. The Kennedys are all buried in Lot 121 located next to the McNab Mausoleum in the Old Section of the Riverside Cemetery.