McCONNEL, EDWARD , attorney and editorial writer, Jacksonville, Ill., was born in that city July 19, 1840, the son of Murray and Mary (Mapes) McConnel, natives of New York and New Jersey respectively. He received his primary mental training under private tuition, and subsequently became a pupil in the West District School of his native town, which, under the principalship of Dr. Newton Bateman, was probably the first effort made in the State toward the establishment of the graded-school system of instruction. After finishing his studies in this school, Mr. McConnel pursued a classical course of four years at Illinois College, graduating from that institution in June, 1859. On leaving college, he read law for a time, but relinquished his legal studies in 1861, and enlisted as a private in Company B, Tenth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, one of the three-months' regiments which served their terms of enlistment at Cairo, Ill. On August 31, 1861, Mr. McConnel was appointed First Lieutenant in the Sixteenth Regiment United States Infantry, which formed a part of the Fourteenth Army Corps. With this regiment he served until March, 1866, when he resigned, holding commissions as Captain and Brevet-Major. Returning to Jacksonville, he sometime afterward resumed the study of the law, and was admitted to the bar in 1879. Since then, besides his legal practice, he has done considerable newspaper work of an editorial character. On December 7, 1874, Mr. McConnel was united in marriage with Mrs. Julia Walton Garetson at St. Louis, Mo.
In politics, Mr. McConnel is an earnest and influential Democrat, In 1894 he was elected to the Lower House of the Illinois General Assembly. In 1896 he was promoted to the Senate, and in 1900, was returned to the House of Representatives. Since the expiration of his last term of legislative service, he has devoted his attention to the practice of his profession and to his newspaper duties in connection with the "Jacksonville Courier." He is recognized by all as possessing a high order of ability, and superior literary and legal attainments, and maintains an enviable social and civic standing in the community.