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Edward J. Kearney

Modified on 2015/11/17 19:10 by Joel Havens Categorized as Biographies
     Edward J. Kearney     

      Familiar with the complex problems of finance, his powers developed through long experience, his activities guided by laudable ambition and shaped by sound judgment, Edward James Kearney is now the president of the American Exchange Bank, of which he has been a director since its organization in 1893, while his election to the presidency occurred on the 1st of January, 1920. He was born at Little Cedar, Iowa, April 7, 1868, his parents being James H. and Emeline (Smith) Kearney, the former a native of New York, while the mother was born in Pennsylvania. The father followed the occupation of farming and was a veteran of the Civil war, serving as private in Company C, Ninety-Sixth Illinois Volunteers. Both he and his wife are deceased.

      Edward James Kearney attended the Iowa State College at Ames, Iowa, being there graduated with the class of 1893. In the same year he came to Milwaukee and for a time was employed in the locomotive shops of the Chicago Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, where he remained for six months. He next entered the service of the Kempsmith Machine Tool Company, now the Kempsmith Manufacturing Company, as a draftsman, and occupied that position for four years. In 1898 he organized the Kearney & Trecker Company , a partnership concern, which was incorporated in 1906, and the business is still being profitably conducted. They are manufacturers of milling machines and employ about six hundred people, the enterprise having been developed from a small concern to one of mammoth proportions, its trade now reaching to all parts of the civilized world. Mr. Kearney became one of the directors of the American Exchange Bank in 1913 and acted as chairman of the board of directors for the year 1919. On the 1st of January, 1920, he was elected to the presidency. He has been instrumental in making this bank one of the sound financial institutions of the state, being one of its patrons and depositors for more than two decades. He was the director for the Liberty Loan during the World war, for Wisconsin, in the Seventh Federal Reserve District, comprising forty-five of the seventy-one counties of the state, and during this time raised approximately five hundred million dollars. In addition to his connection with the American Exchange Bank he is the president of the Bay View Commercial & Savings Bank and secretary and treasurer of the Kearney & Trecker Company. His business interests are, therefore, of a most extensive and important character and he is recognized as one of the dynamic forces in the industrial and financial development of the city.

      On the 31st of December, 1895, Mr. Kearney was married to Miss Ella Morton, a daughter of P. S. and Mary E. (Robeson) Morton, of Clarion, Iowa. Her father was a captain of the One Hundredth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry during the Civil war. Mrs. Kearney was a classmate of her husband at college. They have become the parents of two daughters, Katharine M. and Alice M.

      Mr. Kearney has always been deeply interested in public affairs, giving his active aid and cooperation to all projects for the general good. He is a member of the state board of vocational education, which carries with it the trusteeship of the Stout Institute of Menomonie, Wisconsin. He is also a trustee of the Milwaukee-Downer College and has ever been a stalwart champion of the cause of education. He belongs to the Milwaukee Club and to the Athletic Club of the city and he and his wife are consistent members of the Congregational church of Wauwatosa, where they reside. There is much that is stimulating and instructive in the life history of Edward James Kearney, whose course has ever been characterized by his ready recognition and utilization of opportunities and who in following this course has reached a point of leadership in the business and financial circles of his adopted city.

Information Sources

  • History of Milwaukee, City and County, V2, 1922, pgs. 130-133

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