John Stewart Kennedy

Niagra Painting

Niagara Falls From American Side

“There is a painting that hangs in the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh called ‘Niagara Falls, From The American Side’ by artist Frederic Edwin Church”, I was recently told by Robert Stewart. “Another thing that caught my attention when I first saw it a few years ago, is that it was bought in 1887 by a John Stewart Kennedy, an American citizen, and presented it to his native Scotland. JSK was born in Blantyre on the 4th January 1830.  I think that JSK has slipped through the net as far as Blantyre history goes, I can find no mention of him anywhere in books or websites on Blantyre. I stand to be corrected on this point.”

John Stewart Kennedy (January 4, 1830 – October 30, 1909) was an American capitalist and philanthropist. He received a scant education in school, studied in his spare moments as a clerk, and at 20 was sent to America by a London iron firm, in whose branch house in Glasgow he worked for four years. He was a manufacturers representative for tubing used in locomotives. Then he came again to New York and entered business with Morris K. Jesup. From this partnership he retired in 1867 and from active business in 1883, although he was still called upon after that date to aid in the reorganization of various financial concerns, notably in 1888, when he acted with J. S. Harris as receiver of the New Jersey Central Railroad. He died of whooping cough in 1909.

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