Kennedale is on State Highway 496 ten miles southeast of Fort Worth in southeastern Tarrant County. The area was settled during the 1860s or 1870s at the site of a mineral-water well. A post office opened in 1884. The townsite was surveyed in 1886 and named for Oliver S. Kennedy, who platted it and, in an effort to induce rail construction through the community, donated every other lot to the Southern Pacific Railroad. The rail line eventually built a station and section house in Kennedale. The local school enrolled 108 students and employed one teacher in the 1896–97 term. By 1904 Kennedale had a population of 216 and a two-teacher school, which registered ninety-one students. In 1926 the community had a population of 312 and ten businesses. The development of the defense industry in Fort Worth beginning in the 1940s provided new jobs for area residents and encouraged growth in the county. In the late 1940s Kennedale had a population of 325 and eight businesses; by 1955 it had 1,046 residents and twenty businesses. In 1965 it had a population of 1,800, in 1975 it had 2,900 residents and seventy businesses, and in 1990 the population was 4,096. In 1991 Kennedale had eighty-three businesses. The population was listed as 5,850 in 2000.