Biography of O'Connell Brothers
Franklin County, NY Biographies





Maurice D. O'Connell, born in Constable April 23, 1839, was a student at Franklin Academy with William D. Brennan, Edward H. Hobbs, Birney B. Keeler, Eugene Wilbur, Patrick G. Puffy and other well known men of that generation, and then taught school in Clinton, Franklin and St. Lawrence counties. During the civil war he was a chief of division in the office of the comptroller of the currency at Washington, D. C., where he studied law, and was admitted as an attorney in 1866. In 1869 he located at Fort Dodge, Iowa, and practiced law there until 1897. From 1872 to 1879 he was district attorney for a district which embraced eight counties; was appointed by President Arthur United States attorney for the northern district of Iowa, but resigned for political reasons when President Cleveland was elected; again held the office under President Harrison; and in 1897 was appointed by President McKinley to be solicitor of the treasury, and so continued until 1910, when he resigned to take a trip around the world, visiting the Hawaiian Islands, the Philippines, China and Japan. Mr. O'Connell then lived for two years at San Diego, Calif., and now makes Washington his home. He is rated a very able lawyer, and evidently has prospered.

Edmund O'Connell, a brother of Maurice, was born in Constable November 20, 1848; was graduated from Franklin Academy in 1871; and a couple of years afterward removed to Bloomington, Ill., where he studied law, was admitted to the bar, and has since practiced the profession. It was at Bloomington that the Republican party in Illinois had its birth in 1856 at a meeting whiëh was addressed by Abraham Lincoln in his famous "Lost Speech" (lost because not reported), but which those who heard it remembered throughout their lives as a magnificent effort, and which, in appealing to his hearers to join the Republican standard, he closed with -

"Come as the winds come, when forests are rended;
Come as the waves come, when navies are stranded."

In such an environment, and with his associations strongly Republican it was altogether natural that Mr. O'Connell should become a Republican notwithstanding his antecedents were all Democratic. Mr. O'Connell was for four years an. alderman of Bloomington, eight years prosecuting attorney for his county, and for four years a member of the Legislature. At present he holds a quasi judicial position with the public utilities commission of Illinois, enjoys a large private practice, and stands high as a citizen.


John G. O'Connell, brother of Maurice and Edmund, has been a resident of Tecumseh, Neb., for more than forty years, and has served several terms as county judge, and also in both Houses of the Legislature.

Richard S., another brother, and also a graduate of Franklin Academy in 1871, located at Cato, Wis., and became a physician. He died in 1906.

George, the youngest brother, prospered in railroading in Wisconsin and then as a manufacturer of wood pulp. He lives now in Los Angeles, Calif.


From:
Historical Sketches of Franklin County
and its several towns.
By: Frederick J. Seaver Malone, New York.
J. B. Lyon Company, Printers Albany, NY 1918.


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