Maybelle Kennedy

Maybelle Kennedy

When you think of the pioneer woman, you probably think of the talented and popular cook. However, long before the time of television and fast communication, a hardworking woman named Mabelle Kennedy would soon become known as the pioneer woman of her time. In 1891, long before Oklahoma became a state, Mabelle and her family traveled in covered wagons from their home in Missouri to this unknown land hoping to make it their new home. Although Mabelle’s grandmother warned her of the dangers that could transpire on this trip, all Mabelle remembered was one long adventurous picnic.

After settling in Ralston, Mabelle eventually returned to Missouri where she attended Oakland College. It was on one of her many trips returning home where she met Edmund Kennedy, her future husband. They were soon married in 1908 and moved to Pawhuska in 1909 where Edmund bought the National Bank of Commerce. It was here where Mabelle and Edmund would raise their 5 children, Anna, Marjorie, Julia, Patricia, and Edmund Jr.
After the tragedy of her husband’s death in 1936, Mabelle was determined to continue what her husband had started, and decided to take classes in banking and ranch management. She soon became involved in politics, and even served as the mayor of Pawhuska. However, this was only the beginning of Mabelle’s career. Along with many other prestigious positions, Mabelle was appointed the Assistant Treasurer of the United States by president Harry S. Truman in 1951. Mabelle was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1965.

Mabelle Kennedy motivated and encouraged many people of her time and was a true example that hard work pays off. Senator John Dahl praised Mabelle by saying “She’s a gracious lady of Osage County and my inspiration.” Mabelle has continued to receive much praise and recognition over the years. In 1975, a part of the U.S. highway 60 was named after her, between Pawhuska and Ponca City. Even more so, Mabelle received the Pioneer Woman Award in 1980 before her passing in 1981. Today you can visit the home of Edmund and Mabelle Kennedy by booking a stay at the Mabelle Bed and Breakfast where the history is still being preserved and Mabelle Kennedy is still being honored.

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