Dr. John Bryan Kennedy was born in 1845, the eldest of eleven children. He was tutored at home by his mother and eventually enrolled in the first class of the all male Wayne Institute and Normal College in Goldsboro. At the age of seventeen, his education was interrupted by the Civil War and he joined the Confederate Army. After the war, Dr. Kennedy renewed his educational pursuits and after attending several schools, graduated in 1870 with high honors from the University of Nashville in Tennessee, later to become Vanderbilt Medical School.
Dr. Kennedy’s office was built in the 1905-1910 timeframe in the Grantham community in southwestern Wayne County and was relocated to Old Waynesborough in 1990. It is a replica of his first office that was constructed adjacent to his home sometime between 1870 and 1885. The office is comprised of three rooms, the first of which is a waiting room. This space currently contains a display table with four attached swing-out stools.
The second room was used to conduct examinations. Presently housed in this area are two old wheelchairs, an examination table and a display case containing early medical instruments and medical books. The final room was used to care for patients overnight since hospitals were at a minimum. This third room contains a back door which permitted the removal of a deceased individual without having to transport the body through the entire office. Dr. Kennedy died on September 27, 1915.