Bio: O’Connell, Thomas Francis (1914)
Surnames: O’Connell, Lewis, McNamara, Nilan, McManus
----Source: History of Eau Claire County, Wisconsin (1914) pages 810-811
Thomas Francis O'Connell, president and general manager of the T. V. O'Connell Tile Company, of Eau Claire, was born January 15, 1865, at Bell Creek, Goodhue county, Minn. His father, Patrick O'Connell, who was born at Galway, Ireland, in 1818, emigrated to America in 1836, landing in New York City. He went from there to Louisville, Ky., where he married Catherine Griffin. He was employed at railroad work and made Louisville his home until 1858, when he moved to Bell Creek, Minn., and there purchased 160 acres of land, and successfully followed general farming until his death in 1892, at the age of seventy-four years. He was a member of the Catholic church, and as a Democrat in political faith, he took an active interest in the affairs of Bell Creek. He was the father of nine children, of whom six are now (1914) living, viz: Mary, now Mrs. J. C. Lewis, resides at Michigan City, Minn.; Catherine married Edward McNamara; Thomas P., the subject of this sketch; Timothy resides at Grand Forks, N. Dak., where he is engaged in the meat business, and James, a salesman of Milwaukee. Those deceased are: John; Jane, deceased wife of M. J. Nilan, and Patrick. John O'Connell, grandfather of Thomas F., was born in Ireland, and lived all his life in and near Galway.
Thomas F. was reared on the farm and his boyhood days were spent much the same as the usual farmer-boy, attending the district schools and assisting with the farm work until lie was nineteen years of age. He then went to St. Paul and connected himself with J. F. Tosterin & Son, where he learned the trade of tile setter, serving an apprenticeship of two years. He then worked as a journeyman seven years for the same firm, after which he went to Chicago and there followed his trade for two years. At the end of that time he returned to St. Paul and to the employ of the old firm, remaining with them from 1894 to 1906, the last eight years of the time was foreman of their large force and did most of the estimating on contracts. In 1906 he came to Eau Claire and engaged in the tile business for himself, with his office at 428 North Barstow street. In 1913 he erected a dwelling and office building on Chippewa Road and Second Crossing, and moved his office there. He does contracting in all kinds of tile work, mantels, bath rooms, etc.
In 1901 he married Lucy McManus, daughter of John and Lottie McManus, of St. Paul. To this union two children have been born: Mary Fern and Arthur Dean, the latter deceased. Mr. O'Connell is one of the enterprising and public spirited men of Eau Claire and is always interested in the welfare of his city, he is a member of the Knights of Columbus and for twenty years he has been associated with the Modern Woodmen of America, and is a prominent member of the Catholic church.
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