Biography of Eli W. Cannell
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

ELI W. CANNELL is one of the well known native sons of Cuyahoga County, and is an honored representative of a sterling pioneer family that was here founded when this section of the Buckeye State was little more than a forest wilderness. Mr. Cannel, who is president of the Provident Building & Loan Association, 8425 Broadway, in the City of Cleveland, was born in the family homestead in Newburg, now a part of Cleveland. February 5, 1844, the place of his birth having been on what is now Union Avenue, near One Hundred and Sixteenth Street. The paternal lineage of Mr. Cannel! is of the old Manx order, and his father, John N. Cannell, was born near Kirk Michael, Isle of Man, July 7, 1800, a son of Patrick Cannell, who was born and reared in the same locality, the family having been established on the Isle of Man from a time when "the memory of man runneth not to the contrary." Patrick Cannell married Jane Quayle, and she passed her entire life on the Isle of Man, her husband having long survived her, as will appear in connection with later statements. It is interesting to note that Patrick Cannell was converted under the ministrations of John and Charles Wesley, and that he became a preacher in the Wesleyan Methodist Church.

In the year 1827 Patrick Cannel, accompanied by his sons and daughters, set sail for the United States, they having embarked early in May and having arrived in the port of New York City on the Fourth of July. Thence they proceeded by boat up the Hudson River and through the Erie Canal, and at Black Rock Point they transferred to the vessel that transported them over Lake Erie to Cleveland, the future Ohio metropolis having been at that time a mere village, and its chief importance being its status as a port of entry on Lake Erie, about six miles from Newburg. The family home was established about two miles distant from the Village of Newburg, Patrick Cannell having purchased in that district a tract of 100 acres of land, this transaction having been made through the medium of a man named Ellsworth, a local agent for the Connecticut Land Company. This land is now bounded on one side by Union Street and on the other side by One Hundred and Sixteenth Street. With the development of the passing years this property constantly increased in value, and the old homestead was eventually inherited by Eli W. Cannell, of this review, who there maintained his residence until 1884, when he moved to his present home. He sold the tract in 1913 to the City of Cleveland, in connection with the platting and upbuilding of the Model City allotment. On his heavily timbered land Patrick Cannel erected the log house which became the first home of the family in the land of their adoption, and that frontier conditions were still in evidence at the time is indicated by the early date of the family arrival in Cuyahoga County. All deeds at that period were recorded at Warren, to which place the early settlers of Cuyahoga County usually made their way on horseback, oxen having been used principally in the cultivation of the pioneer farms. In 1839 Patrick Cannell erected a frame house, the sills for the building having been hewed from oak timbers and the plates, of cucumber wood, having been thirty two feet in length Patrick Cannell did not live to see the completion of this house, as he died in that year (1839), at the venerable age of eighty four years. He reared five children, namely: John N., Thomas, Ellen, Jane and another daughter.

John N. Cannell was reared and educated in his native place, there his marriage occurred, and his young wife accompanied him on the immigration to the United States. He was associated with his father and brother in the purchase of the land previously mentioned, and he lived to witness the development of this section of the state and to see Cleveland grow from a mere hamlet to a city of more than 50,000 population, his death having occurred in 1869. His wife, whose maiden name was Jane Quiggin, was born near Ballaugh, Isle of Man, on the 1st of May, 1800, a daughter of William Quiggin, who there passed his entire life. Mrs. Cannell survived her husband by many years, and was in her ninety eighth year at the time of her death, January 12, 1898, as one of the venerable and revered pioneer women of Cuyahoga County. Of the eleven children nine were reared to maturity: John, Thomas, Jane, Elizabeth, Emily, Charles, Louisa, Henry and Eli W.

He to whom this review is dedicated is now one of the few remaining native sons who have seen Cleveland grow from a place of a few thousand population to a metropolis of nearly 1,000,000 inhabitants. He can recall the time when much of the land now included in the corporate borders of the city was stills represented by virgin forest, and he remembers also the construction of the first railroads in this section of Ohio. In the pioneer home in which he was reared his mother in earlier days did all of the family cooking through the medium of the open fireplace, and he recalls also the major importance of the event of introducing into the home its first cook stove. He attended the old White Schoolhouse, and the following reference to the same is worthy of reproduction in this connection:

"Yon weather-beaten old stone step,
Alone remains to-day,
A sturdy relic of the past, That still defies decay.

"This stone is the only relic of our old school, and now serves as a monument to mark for later generations the spot where it stood, and bears this inscription: The Old White Schoolhouse. The stone upon which this tablet is placed was the door step of the Old Manx Street Schoolhouse, which was built on this site in 1842. This building was replaced by a more modern school building in 1871. The teachers and the pupils of the old Manx Street School have marked this historic site, August 25, 1915."

It may consistently be noted at this juncture that Mr. Connell and his wife take abiding interest in all that touches the annals of the early days, and that they are active members of the Cuyahoga County Early Settlers' Association. The old schoolhouse mentioned in the foregoing paragraph stood at the corner of what is now Union Avenue and One Hundred and Sixteenth Street, Cleveland, and the site is now occupied by the Mount Pleasant Public School.

Eli W. Cannell early began to assist in the work of the old home farm, and he there continued his active alliance with farm industry until 1881, from which year until 1909 he was engaged in the flour and feed business on Broadway, near 8425. In the meanwhile he became prominently identified with the organization and incorporation of the Provident Building & Loan Association, which was established in 1893. He became a director at the time of incorporation, and later was elected president of this important and well ordered corporation, an office of which he has since continued the incumbent, the offices of the association being at 8425 Broadway. Mr. Cannell organized and became president of the Meade Lumber Company, which established its yards on Broadway, near Sixty first Street, and in 1901 he was elected president of the South Cleveland Banking Company. He resigned this latter office in 1906, and he in that year also sold his interest in the Miles Avenue Lumber Company, of which he was the organizer and president. He is an ex-president of the South End Chamber of Enterprise of the South End. He has played a large part in the development and upbuilding of that section of Cleveland in which he was born and reared, and is an honored representative of one of the sterling pioneer families of this metropolitan district of Ohio.

In November, 1871, Mr. Connell wedded Miss Margaret E. Corlett, who was born and reared in Cleveland, a daughter of Daniel and Isabella (Mollen) Corlett, the former of whom was born on the Isle of Man and the latter in the north of Ireland, of Scotch ancestry. Mr. and Mrs. Cannell celebrated in 1921 their golden wedding anniversary, and a splendid assembly of friends came to the home to do honor to the occasion. Mr. and Mrs. Connell reared three children, Charles E., E. Scott and Eva Jane. By a prior marriage Mr. Charles E. Cannell has one daughter, Zella, who is the wife of Thomas M. McHugh. E. Scott Cannel married Mamie Shimmin, and they have three children, Ruth, Loftus and Margaret E. Eva Jane is the widow of Frank Davis, and has one son, Paul C., who is (1924) a student in Leland Stanford University in California. Mr. and Mrs. Cannell are members of Miles Park Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Cannel joined the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in 1872, and his affiliations are with Cataract Lodge No. 295, and Harmony Encampment No. 157. The family home is at 4129 East Ninety third Street.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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