Texas Talks with Dr. Caroline Castillo Crimm: Petra Vela Vidal Kennedy and Mifflin Kenedy

Dr. Crimm discusses Petra and Mifflin Kenedy. Petra came to Brownsville as an unmarried woman with several children. In Brownsville, she met a Pennsylvania Quaker who made a fortune from steam boating but was interested in ranching, Mifflin Kennedy. He became one of the richest ranchers behind Richard King in Texas. Two years after the birth of their first son together, Petra and Mifflin married in 1854. They eventually had more children together. During the Civil War, Kenedy made a lot of money from the sale of cotton. Sadly, their children died and eventually the Kenedy line died out. Mifflin moved to Corpus Christi and in 1885 Petra died there. Kenedy created a trust and foundation and gave much to the Catholic Church, as Petra had wished for. Petra left a legacy as a grand dame, and as an aid to the poor.
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Texas State Historical Association

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