Monday, January 23, 2017
George Henry Connell 1865 - 1902 (part 2 of 2)
Going back to 1915 to follow up on the other kids ...
George and Mary married in about 1914. Their first child, John, lived only two weeks. Little George arrived in 1916, Helen in 1918 and Anna in 1920. George had also been working at Wells Fargo, but by 1920 he had found a new job as a foreman in a steel mill. (Read the Chicago Historical Society's excellent article about the history of steel mills in Chicago.) Something didn't work out between George and Mary, ending in divorce. In 1927 George remarried Melba Larsen, stenographer daughter of Norwegian immigrants. In 1930, George was doing clerical work for a machine factory, and by 1940 he and Melba were running a business, a "working man's supply store". George and Melba had no children of their own. He died in 1963; she in 1980. They are buried, and I presume were living, in the Wisconsin Dells area, a popular outdoor vacation spot (fishing, camping, boating, etc., and in recent years water parks). Meanwhile, Mary Sedlak Connell raised (or based on their presence in the census at least had primary custody of) the kids. In 1930, the kids aged 9 to 13 and in school, Mary was not working, so I wonder how she supported the family. She did have a boarder, and perhaps some help from ex-husband George or her own family. By 1940, Anna was no longer there. I was not able to find her again. Mary and Helen worked packing candy, Mary part time and Helen full, though even Helen had only worked forty weeks in the past year. George had completed high school and was working nearly full time as an accountant in a life insurance office. They also still had a boarder. That's the last I know about their lives. Mary was a factory worker at the time of her death in 1957, at the age of 63. I could not find Helen again. I think I found son George buried in Brooks, Wisconsin, just a mile and a half from where his father was buried. Social Security records show a last known address in Chicago, so I have some uncertainty. Assuming for now that our George is buring in Brooks, he was married to Joanne who died in 2002 and is buried there with him.
That brings me to the John, the third of George and Ellen McCabe Connell's children. In part 1 I mentionned that John married Josephine Huntscha, daughter of German immigrants Emanuel and Agnes Huntscha, in 1917 and was living in an increasingly crowded house with Mom and sister Theresa's family. At that time he was working for the US Army in a Chicago supply depot. By 1920, John and Josephine had found an apartment of their own, John was selling electrical supplies and their daughter, Ruth was a year old. Jack, jr. was born in 1921, Marian in 1921, Chuck in 1924, and Nell in 1931. I couldn't find the family in 1930, but by 1940 John and Josephine had started a "lunch room" restaurant. Josephine and the kids (once they were in high school) waited tables there. Sometime in the late '40s, John and Josephine acquired (don't know whether they purchased or built it) the Parker Lake Resort in Oxford, Wisconsin, in the Wisconsin Dells. I imagine these were rental cabins or a motel on the lake with a swimming area. They had been operating the Resort for about 25 years when John passed away there in 1972. He appears to be buried by himself near Oxford, so I imagine that Josephine sold the Resort and moved away. (On the other hand, free online burial records are far from complete, so she be buried nearby, too.) Having little information, I can't tell the the order of events in the kids lives. And I don't want to mention the grandchildren as many of them are probably still living. Ruth and Chuck operated a couple of restaurants: Connell's in Chicago and Murphy's Romeo Cafe in Romeoville. I can't tell when and for how long they operated the restaurants. Ruth married John Regan. She died in California in 2003. Chuck was living in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, having completed college, when he married in the early '50s. He passed away in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2000. I believe Jack, jr. was living in Chicago in the early '70s, but have no information on marriage or family. I know only that Marian was married with the last name of Healy when she passed away in the Chicago area in 1967. Nell married in the early '60s, also after completing college. I believe they raised their family in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. The youngest of John and Josephine's children, she was the last to pass away, in 2015.