“Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania”
Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893
Text taken from page 1246
Note: Sometimes it is spelled McConnel, and others times spelled McConnell.
ALEXANDER McCONNEL is one of the leading agriculturists and stockmen of Chartiers township.
His grandfather, ALEXANDER McCONNELL, was born July 10, 1755 in Charlotte county, Va., and in early manhood married ESTHER REED, who was born May 16, 1756. She died November 30, 1786, and on April 28, 1789, Mr. McCONNEL was united in marriage with ELIZABETH McCRORY, who was born February 26, 1767.
They settled near Carlisle, Pa., and a few years later came to Cecil township, this county, where he took a patent of land. He died many years ago, and his wife survived him several years.
To them were born the following children: ALEXANDER; DAVID (born 10/5/1791; died in Cecil Twp.); JEAN (born 10/11/1793); PRUDENCE (born 11/14/1795; wife of JAMES ORAM, of Cecil township, Washington Co., Pa., died at Washington, Iowa, in 1890); NANCY (born 9/26/1797); and MATTHEW( born 10/25/1799).
ALEXANDER McCONNEL, father of subject, was born February 2, 1790, on the home farm in Cecil Twp., where he grew to manhood, and was married to ANN BERRY, a native of this county. The young people first located in Allegheny Co., Pa., then moved to Cecil Twp., this county, and six years afterward settled on a farm in North Strabane Twp., carrying on a mill in connection with farm duties.
MR. and MRS. McCONNELL were the parents of the following children:
ALEXANDER, ELIZABETH, JANE, (first married to DANIEL BOYLES, and is now living in Washington, the widow of MR. COLLINS), MARY A. (living in North Strabane township, widow of RICHARD FIFE, his third wife), ISABELLE (deceased wife of DR. VAIL, of Rochelle, Ill.), JOHN (married, living in North Strabane township, on the old homestead). DAVID (who died about 1856), WILLIAM (a United Presbyterian minister, licensed in June, 1856, first called to the church at Hanover, Beaver Co., Penn., and in 1858 came to West Newton, Penn. He married MISS ANNA MCCLURKIN , of Pittsburgh, and died July 18, 1866, in Allegheny, Penn.), MATTHEW (deceased in 1886), JAMES (married, living in Houstonville, this county) and ANDERSON (deceased in 1884).
After the mother of these children died, MR. McCONNELL married a MISS TORRENCE, who survived him about one year. He was s soldier in the War of 1812, in politics was first a Whig, then a Republican, and a strong opponent of slavery. He assisted in the organization of the Society which is now the Greenside United Presbyterian Church, of which he was an elder from the first organization of the body, holding that position until his death. He resided in North Strabane Twp. for more than sixty years, then moved to Peters Twp., this county, where he died about two years afterward.
ALEXANDER McCONNELL, whose name opens this sketch, was born December 20, 1816, in Allegheny Co., Pa., being the eldest in his father's family. When but three years of age he came with them to Cecil Twp., this county, and when he was nine years of age, the parents settled on the home place in North Strabane Twp., where ALEXANDER completed his education in the subscription schools. He learned the trade of a millwright, and in 1847 came to Chartiers Twp., erecting a flouring-mill known as McCONNEL’S Mill, on Chartiers Creek, which business he followed fifteen years, also working at his trade. On December 8, 1853, he was united in marriage with ELIZA McKNIGHT, of Chartiers Twp., daughter of JOSEPH and SARAH (ANDERSON) MCKNIGHT, the father a native of Cecil Co., Md., and the mother a native of Ireland. After their marriage the young people settled on the farm in Chartiers Twp. which is their present home.
Four children have blessed this union:
ALEXANDER ANDERSON (born 4/81856; died 7/6/1862); J. M. (born 9/14/1858); JOHN O. ( born 8/24/1860); and one deceased in infancy.
Of these children, JOHN graduated in 1883 from Westminster College, read medicine one year, and was then educated for the ministry at Allegheny, PA., finishing at Xenia (Ohio) Seminary, and was licensed to preach. He was ordained in the Westmoreland Presbytery at Ligonier, Pa.
In 1889 he married MARY, daughter of REV. J. H. TIMMONS.
MR.McCONNEL owns a farm of 230 acres, and, since coming to Chartiers Twp., has divided his time to its improvement and management. He was formerly a Whig, but since the organization of the Republican party has voted the latter ticket, and has served four terms as township supervisor. He and his wife are earnest members of the United Presbyterian Church at Cross Roads, in which he has been a ruling elder for many years. In his youth Mr. McCONNEL joined the Spear Spring Church, now known as the Greenside Church.
At Dr. Martin's store in Canonsburg, the second attempt was made to build the Chartiers Railroad. Wesley Grier, David Houston and ALEXANDER McCONNEL were talking with others about the great benefit that the building of this road would be. The three at once subscribed $1,000 apiece, and got others at the store to subscribe smaller amounts. These three men also raised $8,000 within four miles of his home; the start thus made secured the road, and MR. McCONNELL took $1,800 worth of stock.
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