Born: 1798-09-05 New York
Died: 1869-02-09 Jacksonville, Illinois
Alternate name: McConnell
In 1819, McConnel emigrated to Morgan County, Illinois, and he eventually settled in Jacksonville with his wife, Mary. He was one of the county's first lawyers and represented the county in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1832 to 1834. McConnel also served as a Commissioner on the Illinois Board of Public Works, in which capacity he was responsible for the construction of the Northern Cross Railroad. McConnel, a Democrat, debated Abraham Lincoln during the 1848 Presidential campaign, when Lincoln supported Zachary Taylor, the Whig candidate. In 1860, McConnel was a practicing attorney in Jacksonville, he owned nearly $100,000 worth of real and personal property, and his household included a law student and a servant..
Gravestone, Diamond Grove Cemetery, Jacksonville, IL; Newton Bateman and Paul Selby, eds., Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Morgan County, ed. by William F. Short (Chicago: Munsell, 1906), 2:646, 686, 728, 889; Summary of Debate at Jacksonville, Illinois; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Morgan County, IL, 59; Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 13 February 1869, 2:2, 3; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 203; Newton Bateman and Paul Selby, eds., Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Winnebago County, ed. by Charles A. Church (Chicago: Munsell, 1916), 1:360-61. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.