Albert Glenn Kendall

Albert Glenn Kendall was born on April 2, 1849 in Janesville, Rock County Wisconsin, the son of William Kendall, who was born in 1811, and Matilda Bickford Kendall, born in 1818, both of whom were natives of Newfane, Windham County, Vermont. William Kendall moved to Wisconsin and was a farmer.
William Kendall died in 1853, leaving Albert Glenn fatherless at the age of four. His mother was not able to handle all eight of their children alone and so they were sent to live in the care of friends and relatives on the East Coast. When Albert was fourteen, he ran away from his foster home.
Life was very difficult for Albert without relatives or friends to aid him. He worked on farms during the spring and summer and attended school in the winter. At age 14 he left Vermont, promising his future wife, Frances “Fannie” Rosina Morse, that he would come back and marry her, which he did, fourteen years later.
Kendall moved to Omaha, Nebraska when he was 18 and worked in a dry goods store. The owner sold out his entire stock in the store, trading it for cattle which he put on the range. Kendall joined the owner in cattle ranching, herding cattle and assisting in the butchering of the animals. Kendall then went to work as a train boy on the railroad. In 1871, he went with his brother to the Loup River, where he homesteaded 1,000 acres.
In 1873, he was elected county clerk of Howard County, holding that office until 1880. In 1875 he was voted a member to the state’s constitutional convention, representing both Howard and Merrick counties.
In 1877 he returned briefly to Vermont to marry Frances R. Morse, the daughter of Samuel Morse of South Nefane, Vermont. They had three daughters: Beulah, who became the wife of S. G. Reed of Nehalem Oregon; Marian E., later the wife of George D. Brackett, of Marysville in Northern California; and Georgiana V., the wife of Clinton E. Miller of Los Angeles.
In 1880, he was elected the commissioner of public lands and buildings for the state of Nebraska, a position he left in 1885 to become the cashier of the St. Paul National Bank. In the fall of 1887 he resigned that position and went to California, locating in Ontario.
Kendall’s achievements in Nebraska were followed by greater ones in California.
In Ontario, he purchased a ten-acre orange grove and, according to accounts, enjoyed life. In 1891, he was elected tax collector of the county, then reelected and was afterward county assessor for eight years.
Kendall helped organize the San Bernardino County Savings Bank in 1903 and was the cashier and active manager for several years.
While serving as county assessor, Kendall had relocated to the city of San Bernardino. As a city resident, he was not only a member of the board but president of the so-called “fifteen freeholders of the City of San Bernardino” elected at a special election held in San Bernardino on July 30, 1904, to prepare and propose a charter for the city, which had previously incorporated in 1869. Kendall was thus a primary framer of the system of governance in use in San Bernardino today.
Around the same time he was active in the writing of the San Bernardino municipal charter, what is referred to as the Great Tariff Fight began in Congress, and the newly formed California Citrus Protective League was formed to protect the interests of California growers. Kendall was elected as secretary/manager of the California Citrus Protective League and traveled to Washington D.C. to lobby for the tariff. Of his exceptional gifts and his work in the capacity of representing the citrus interests much was said and much was printed, all of a most commendatory and appreciative strain. His efforts served to benefit the California citrus industry for decades.
Kendall was subsequently elected president of the Farmer’s Exchange Bank and of the Savings Bank of San Bernardino and occupied these positions for eight years, at which point he resigned to become the chairman of the board of directors of the Farmers Exchange National Bank.
In 1918, Mark B. Shaw resigned less than halfway into his term as Fifth District Supervisor and Kendall was appointed to fill out the remainder of that unexpired term. Kendall was elected, without opposition, in the fall of 1920, and succeeded J.B. Glover as chairman of the board.
As chairman of the board of supervisors, Kendall used his business training to take on the responsibility of directing the operation of the country’s largest county. It is said that his “knowledge of the functions of all of the county’s departments amazed his associates” and “It would be difficult to name a more popular and prominent man in the county than Albert Glenn Kendall in all circles – official, political, professional, fraternal or social.”
The book “San Bernardino County Supervisors 1855-2006” says of Kendall “He was a real Californian, loving his city, county and state with quiet devotion but never overlooking an opportunity to further the interests of one and all.”
In 1919 Kendall built a quaint cabin in Fawnskin at 1161 Brookside Lane in the San Bernardino Mountains. He sought to promote the new town of Fawnskin even though he did not have much leisure time.
Kendall was a member of San Bernardino Lodge No. 248 A.F and A.M.; of Keystone Chapter No. 56, R.A.M.; of St. Bernard Commandery No. 23, of which he was eminent commander for two terms; and a member of Al Malaikah Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S. His other fraternal affiliation was as a member San Bernardino Lodge No. 836, B.P.O.E. He was a Republican. During World War I, which was referred to as the Great War at the time, he was very active, working unceasingly as chairman of the Liberty Loan Committee, which accomplished much during the war. He was a president of the National Orange Show.
In May 1926 he took ill. He died at the Loma Linda Hospital on June 1, 1926.

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