Biography of John B. Connor
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

JOHN BYRON CONNOR, whose death occurred February 21, 1923, was then living retired after a long business career. He had been a wholesale grain merchant, and was also a landscape gardener by profession, and in later years his professional experience enabled him to render important service to the city in connection with the public parks.

Mr. Connor was born on a farm on the Ridge Road in Brooklyn Township, Cuyahoga County, January 27, 1853. His parents, James and Margaret (Haynes) Connor, were born in the same town in Ireland, his mother being the daughter of an English army officer. James Connor came to the United States before his marriage, Margaret Haynes following him. They were married in Brooklyn, Cleveland. James Connor, a stone cutter by trade, soon after locating at Brooklyn opened the James Quarries. For many years he engaged in a successful business as a stone contractor. He and his wife had two daughters and one son. The daughter Mary died at the age of twenty five, and Elizabeth is the wife of Rev. Mr. Ash and lives at Los Angeles, California.

John B. Connor had a public school education, and he became self supporting at an early age. When he was fifteen he left the farm in Brooklyn Township and went to work for a grain broker named Converse on Prospect Street in Cleveland. The money he earned while with Mr. Converse for a year enabled him to take a course in bookkeeping and a six months' course in penmanship at the Spencerian Business College. After this commercial training he was a clerk for one year with the Standard Oil Company.

Mr. Connor's experience as a landscape gardener began in 1874 with James M. Hoyt. He spent two years working for Mr. Hoyt, then a year for Morris B. Clark of the Union Elevator Company, and three years for Samuel Williamson, president of the Society for Savings.

When he married, in 1879, Mr. Connor took up farming on the York Road in Brooklyn Township, and the interests of his farm demanded his time and energy until 1891. In that year he entered the wholesale grain business, and was one of the active men in that line at Cleveland for twenty years.

Mr. Connor in 1910 entered the service of the City Park Department as foreman of Brookside Park. Two years later he met with an accident while on duty, and was practically retired until 1917. He was then again appointed foreman of Brookside Park, and only resigned that office and retired altogether from business affairs on January 1, 1922.

Mr. Connor was one of the early members of the Chamber of Industries, and was identified with the general program of that organization through subsequent years. Forty seven years ago he became a member of Glenn Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and filled all the chairs.

In 1879, on January 23, he married Miss Sarah A. Humphries. Mrs. Connor was born on a farm on York Road in Brooklyn Township, daughter of Henry and Caroline (Day) Humphries. Her parents were natives of England and for many years were well known and honored residents of Cuyahoga County. The five children born to Mr. and Mrs. Connor were named, Anna, Mabel, James, Arthur and Raymond. Anna is the wife of Arthur E. Fisher. Mr. Fisher served as secretary to Mark A. Hanna of Cleveland, and later as assistant secretary to Mr. Hanna when United States senator at Washington. He is now secretary to George B. Cortelyou, a distinguished American, who served as private secretary both to President Cleveland and President Roosevelt. later was secretary of the treasury, and is now president of the Consolidated Gas Company of New York. Mr. and Mrs. Fisher live at East Orange. New Tersev. The daughter Mabel, who died in August, 1910, was the wife of Carl Werner. James enlisted at the time of the World war, was in France and with the Army of Occupation, and continued in service for a year after his return from Europe. The son Arthur is sales manager for the White Sewing Machine Company of Guelph, Canada.

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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