Biography of Robert Kendall
Tulare County, CA Biographies





ROBERT KENDALL.
Reared to the hotel business and actively connected with that business since the days of his boyhood, there is perhaps no more experienced nor more widely known hotel man in California than Robert Kendall, the popular proprietor of the Pioneer Hotel in Porterville, more familiarly known among his friends and the traveling public at "Bob" Kendall, who has made of his hotel in Porterville a widely recognized headquarters for commercial travelers and the tourist population in this section of the state. Mr. Kendall's parents were among the pioneer hotel people of the coast country in the old days of the mining excitement and later engaged in the same line in San Francisco, "Bob" Kendall thus just naturally having grown up to the hotel business, familiar with all the details of that exacting line of public service in various places and under varying conditions, so that there is no problem in any phase of the business that is too intricate for his experienced judgment to solve. For more than ten years he has been engaged in the hotel business in Porterville and during that time has done wonders in the way of popularizing that city as a favorite stopping place for tourists and the general traveling public.

Robert Kendall is a native of the Wolverine state but has been a resident of the coast country since the days of his childhood. He was born in the town of Hancock, Houghton county, in the mining country of the peninsular section of Michigan, May 29, 1867, and is a son of Robert and Caroline (Williams) Kendall, natives of England, who had become residents of the copper country in the northwestern section of the peninsula in Michigan and were helpful in development work there. The senior Robert Kendall became connected with the operations of the great Calumet and Hecla copper mines and his wife carried on a boarding house in Calumet for the miners. At the height of the gold mining excitement in California they came to this state with their family and set up a hotel at Jenny Lind, a popular mining camp in Placer county. When the excitement was transferred over into Nevada they went to Virginia City, where Mr. Kendall took part in mining operations and Mrs. Kendall kept a boarding house for the miners. She gradually extended her hospitable operations in Nevada until at one time during the height of the mining operations there she was conducting as many as seven hotels and eating houses in that region. In 1893 the Kendalls returned to California and took over the operation of the Windsor Hotel at the corner of Fifth and Market streets in San Francisco, where they were carrying on in the hotel business at the time of the fire in 1906, a disaster that destroyed their property and put them out of business. This pioneer couple spent their last days in California.

The junior Robert Kendall was but a child when he came to California with his parents and he grew up here and in Nevada in the various hotels operated by his parents, and until the disaster of 1906 put them out of business he was ever actively associated with their operations. He also for twenty years was engaged in the livery business in San Francisco, as an adjunct to the hotel business, this stable at the corner of Golden Gate and Hyde streets being carried on under the firm name of Holland & Kendall. After the fire the business was resumed in new stables at the corner of Turk and Pierce streets. In 1916 Mr. Kendall closed out his affairs in San Francisco and moved to Porterville, where he took over the operation of the Porterville Hotel. Three years later he bought the Pioneer Hotel and has since been directing the destinies of that popular hostelry, carrying on his operations in accordance with the best standards of procedure in the modern hotel line. Mr. Kendall also was for some time the proprietor of the Kings Hotel in Hanford. He has other substantial interests in Porterville besides his hotel and is the owner of the Thomas business block on East Putnam street.

On May 5, 1900, in San Francisco, Robert Kendall was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Welch, who was born in Saratoga Springs, New York, and they have a daughter, Miss Caroline Robyn Kendall. Mr. Kendall is a Knights Templar Mason and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine, affiliated with Porterville Lodge No. 303, A. F. & A. M., and with Cornmandery No. 1, Knights Templar, and Islam Temple at San Francisco. He also is affiliated with a lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in San Francisco and is a member of Porterville Lodge No. 1342, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.

From:
History of Tulare County, California
By: Kathleen Edwards Small
and
Kings County, California
By: J. Larry Smith
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago 1926


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