Thaddeus C. McCannell was one of the pioneers to effect a permanent place in the history of Sacramento county, although his useful career was brought to an early close by death, and he was not permitted to fulfil the larger destiny that with more years would have been his lot. The name of McConnell is well known and highly honored in Sacramento county, and in the life history of Thomas McConnell, presented on other pages of this work, will be found many facts to indicate the importance of the family's work in the county. Mr. McConnell at his death left only the beginning of a prosperous estate, and it is to his widow, now so well known in the vicinity of Elk Grove, that credit must be given for the large and valuable ranch property which has been developed through her energy and shrewd business management. She is a woman of broad intelligence and great business management. she is a woman of broad intelligence and great ability in all the affairs of life, and as a manager of industrial affairs she is the peer of any man in Sacramento county.

Mr. McConnell was born in Rutland county, Vermont, in 1833, and died in Sacramento county, California, April 27, 1863, being only thirty years of age and in the flower and vigor of manhood. His parents were Thomas and Clarissa (Curtis) McConnell, and more extended mention of the family history will be found in the biography mentioned above. Thaddeus McConnell was about sixteen years old when he crossed the United States and Mexico to California among the forty-niners so famed in song and story. He mined for a year, and then started a garden enterprise near Garden Valley, where he and his brother made a good thing of selling vegetables, and gradually got into the mercantile business, which they carried on for several years. Thaddeus was also the partner with his brother Thomas in importing the high-grade Merino sheep from the east, and thus raising the standard of excellence for sheep-raising throughout this part of the state.

Mr. McConnell, on March 2, 1861, married Miss Ellen M. Flanagan, who was born in Clarendon, Vermont, April 7, 1837, being a daughter of Irish parents, James and Mary (Quillan) Flanagan, Mrs. McConnell having sailed from New York city and by way of the Isthmus of Panama reached San Francisco in November, 1860. But inless than two years Mrs. McConnell was left a widow, with one son, Thaddeus C., who is a prominent resident near Elk Grove, and he has a son also named Thaddeus C.

Mrs. McConnell was left with her young child and with three hundred and twenty acres of land, some sheep, but with no money, and this crisis brought out the indomitable energy and will that have characterized her life. She gave active oversight to the estate, even helped when necessary with the work outdoors, and by her courage and judicious control of affairs she prospered even more than her maile neighbors around her. In addition to retaining her ariginal ranch, she kept adding more land until she is now the possessor of seven thousand acres of some of the most fertile and productive land in the Sacramento valley. She is not a member of any church, but has contributed liberally to religious and other enterprises, and has gained an excellent reputation for public spirit and broad-minded activity.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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