Willis Talbott McConnell


Born: 13 Sep 1866 in Geneseo, Henry County, Illinois, USA

Died: ? in (unknown)

Father: Joseph A. McConnell (1824 – 1899)

Mother: Sarah Fouts (? – ?)

Family #1

Spouse/Partner: Alice M. Dillenbeck (? – 1899)

Married: 25 Sep 1890 in ?

Child: Willis Talbot McConnell Jr. ( – )

Family #2

Spouse/Partner: Anna Laura Miller (? – ?)

Married: 14 Feb 1901 in ?

Child: Nellie Lucille McConnell (1903 – )

Child: Paul Fouts McConnell (1906 – )

Child: Florence Laura McConnell (1908 – )


Willis and Nellie were twins. [History of Dakota Territory]

Prior to college, Willis worked as a farmer, presumably on his father's farm in Iowa. [1885 IASC]

Willis was a successful businessman. Educated at Simpson College in Indianola, Waren County, Iowa, he first worked in the grain business, operating grain elevators for three years. Eventually moving to Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, he became president of the American Lubricator Company. [History of Dakota Territory]

In 1898 American Lubricator Company's headquarters were moved to Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa, where it absorbed a couple of other companies, and finally merged into American Can Company in 1901. In that year, Willis moved to Wessington Springs, Jeruald County, South Dakota, and organized the First National Bank and became its president, holding that position through at least 1915. From 1909 to 1912 he was also cashier of the Western National Bank of Mitchell. As of 1915, he was also a director of the Woonsocket State Bank, president of the Bank of Alpena, the Virgil State Bank, the Draper State Bank, and the First State Bank of Murdo, all in South Dakota. [History of Dakota Territory]

Change Date

This data was last changed on 5 Apr 2009, and is stored in datafile B.

Primary and Secondary Sources

(see About Sources)

1885 Iowa State Census
[applies to name, birth, notes]
History of Dakota Territory (Volume 5)
by George W. Kingsbury; Chicago: The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1915. [applies to name, birth, marriage, notes]
Private (Spear Birth and Death Dates Notebook)
Handwritten pages, many hands, many inks. Fragile binding and paper, but with numerous names and dates of birth or death. [applies to name, birth]

Research Notes (source comments, unreliable information)

The 1885 IA State census seems to give Willis' middle initial as P.