The site on which Kendleton now stands was originally a Mexican land grant to settler Elizabeth Powell, whose house was an early-day stage stop.
During the Texas Revolution, in 1836, Santa Anna's Mexican Army camped near here. Later the settlements of Oak Hill and Humbolt existed briefly.
Kendleton began during Civil War reconstruction when Wm. E. Kendall sold land, for as little as 50 cents an acre, to assist freed Negroes in starting their own farms. The rural village was named in his honor when the railroad came through, 1884.