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William Cecil McConnell Biography


This biography appears on pages 44-45 in "History of Dakota Territory" by George W. Kingsbury, Vol. IV (1915) 

Probably no man has done more to promote the advancement of poultry-raising interests in South Dakota shall William Cecil McConnell, who since 1908 has been secretary of the South Dakota branch of the American Poultry Association. He has made a close and scientific study of the work in which he is most interested and the value of this study is evident to the most casual visitor to the Sioux Valley Poultry Farm in Sioux Falls, of which he is the proprietor and active manager. 

Mr. McConnell was born in Walkerton, Ontario, Canada, May 31, 1879, and is a son of Oliver and a grandson of William McConnell, the latter a native of Scotland, who went to Canada as a young man, locating in Ontario. He there married and afterward engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death. The paternal great-grandfather of our subject was a soldier under the Duke of Wellington in the Napoleonic war and fought at Waterloo. 

William C. McConnell attended school in Walkerton, Ontario, and after laying aside his books in 1895, went to Manitoba, where he took charge of a farm belonging to a man who went to Alaska during the rush of gold seekers to the Yukon territory. Mr. McConnell managed that property until 1899 and then returned to Ontario, where he farmed for one year. In 1900 he came to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and entered the service of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railroad Company, upon whose lines his uncle had been a conductor for many years. Mr. McConnell gained rapid advancement in this field, rising from the position of brakeman to yard master at Sioux Falls and extra conductor. On the 28th of September, 1907, he lost his right leg in an accident in the railroad yards at Sioux Falls and after his recovery was obliged to turn his attention to other pursuits. He proved up a homestead claim of one hundred and sixty acres in Pennington county, west of the river, and there engaged in farming until the spring of 1908, when he returned to Sioux Falls to run for the office of clerk of courts. He was elected and served three terms, or six years. Upon the completion of his third term as clerk of the courts, he embarked in the automobile garage business on Main avenue, Sioux Falls, and still continues in that enterprise. 

Mr. McConnell has served as secretary of the South Dakota branch of the American Poultry Association, being twice reelected, and he is still serving, his valuable work marking a distinct advance in methods of scientific poultry raising. He is the owner of the Sioux Valley Poultry Farm at Sioux Falls and has been very successful in the management of this property, whereon he has over two thousand white and buff Orpington chickens and a large number of White Indian Runner ducks. He is considered an authority upon everything relating, to the care and breeding of poultry and his wide experience in this field is one of the salient elements in his present success. His enterprise is carefully managed in every particular and his farm is one of the most attractive and modern in this locality. 

Mr. McConnell was united in marriage to Miss Edna Blanche Miller, a daughter of Beecher Miller, a native of Canada, and they have two children: Oliver, who was born October 16, 1907; and Eleanor Isabelle, born November 16, 1910. 

Mr. McConnell is a member of the Episcopal church and gives his political allegiance to the republican party. He is a thirty-second degree Mason and connected also with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias. He is a man of energy, resource and capacity, and through his own well directed and earnest efforts has won a success which places him among the substantial and representative citizens of Sioux Falls.