Ellen Hogan Kennedy was born in Freshford, Ireland, in 1945. Her parents died when she was 19 years old. Ellen immigrated to America to join her brother, James Hogan, who had settled in Westport, Dane County, Wisconsin. She married Martin Kennedy in 1870. In 1889, her husband died, leaving her to raise their nine children alone. Undaunted, she bought the 280-acre Duffy farm near St. Mary of the Lake Church, and with the help of her youngsters, they ran it, paid for it in full - all while working against great odds. Ellen had a great force of character and often spoke of her childhood in Ireland. One memory was of rolling marsh peat into balls and stacking them to dry for use in winter fires. Mrs. Ellen Hogan Kennedy lived to be 96. She died in 1941.
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