Biography of Judge Joseph A. McConnell
Jefferson County, NY Biographies





Judge Joseph Alexander McConnell. - A native of Watertown, a lifelong resident, and one whose exemplary citizenship is of permanent record both in public office and everyday affairs, Judge Joseph Alexander McConnell has the highest regard of the community he has faithfully served, and the respect and good will of people in every calling. With the broad view of life and the well balanced mental equipment of the veteran justice, he discharges the duties of responsible office with sterling efficiency and ability.

Judge McConnell is a son of James J. McConnell, a tailor, who was born on the Island of Malta, and of Jane (Thompson) McConnell, a native of County Armagh, Ireland. The family came to the United States in 1842. Mr. McConnell died in 1857, and his wife died in 1889.

Joseph Alexander McConnell was born in Watertown, Jan. 14, 1856. He attended the public schools and was graduated from Hamilton College in 1878 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He studied law in the office of C. A. Sherman, and was admitted to the bar in 1880, and commenced the practice of law the same year in association first, with E. P. Wynn, and later with Hannibal Smith, and then with Frank H. Peck, as Peck & McConnell. Previous to his association with Mr. Peck he was Recorder of the city of Watertown, and served two terms in that office (1885-1893 inclusive), and from 1893 to 1897 was connected with the firm of Peck & McConnell.

In 1897 Judge McConnell was elected City Judge, and with the exception of six years he has served continuously in that office. At the last election he received the nomination from all parties, Republican, Democrat, Socialist, and Prohibitionist, a wonderful tribute to his ability, his reputation and his popularity, while in his personal political views, he is of the Democratic party. He has served on the Board of Education twice.

Judge McConnell served eleven years with Company C, 35th Regiment, New York National Guard. Fraternally he is affiliated with Watertown Lodge, No. 49, F. and A. M.; Watertown Chapter, No. 59, R. A. M.; Watertown Commandery, K. T. No. 11; and Media Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of which he is Past Potentate. He is also a member of Lodge No. 496, B. P. O. Elks, of which he is Past Exalted Ruler. He is a communicant of the Protestant Episcopal Church.

Judge McConnell married June 25, 1891, Sarah Annette Davis, the daughter of Norman and Prudence (Dyer) Davis, residents of Evans Falls. Their children are: 1. Florence L., a graduate nurse. 2. Josephine A., a graduate nurse, married Donald G. Wait, and they have three children: Donald J., Barbara, and Mary Jean. 3. James A., a civil engineer, served on the Mexican Border, and with the Marines during the World War. He married Edna Fant, and they have three children: James, Sarah, and Joseph.

From:

The North Country
A History, Embracing
Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Oswego, Lewis
and Franklin Counties, New York.
By: Harry F. Landon
Historical Publishing Company
Indianopolis, Indiana 1932


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