Harry McConnell, originally Henry Francis McConnell, was born on May 12, 1899, in Camden. He had an older brother, Dan McConnell, who was a well-known journalist in Camden, writing for the Camden Post-Telegram and the Camden Courier-Post. Harry was the youngest of four children born to Daniel D. McConnell and Teresa C. McConnell. Daniel worked a variety of jobs, including as a printer and a “bag cutter,” before opening a restaurant specializing in oysters on 125 Main Street in North Camden, where the family moved in 1901.
Daniel D. McConnell was also a top-rated South Jersey boxer who was managed and promoted by Oscar Adams Eastlack. Dan McConnell the boxer is known to have had at least 25 professional fights in Philadelphia, Camden, Baltimore, and elsewhere from 1896 to 1902. Daniel D. McConnell, Harry’s father, would have been in his mid to late 30s at that time.
After Daniel D. McConnell passed away in 1913, Harry’s brother Dan took over as the breadwinner for the family, which moved from 215 Grant Street to 428 Bailey Street in North Camden. Both Harry and Dan gave this address when they registered for the draft in June of 1917 and September of 1918, respectively. Harry was working as a projectionist at a movie theater on 203 Vine Street, while Dan was writing for the Camden Post-Telegram.
The January 1920 census shows Dan McConnell living in a rented house at 432 Penn Street in Camden, working as a reporter for a daily newspaper and a press agent for the Keith vaudeville circuit. The family included at the time his widowed mother Teresa, his sister Bertha, and Harry McConnell. Dan married Alice Irene Deegan of the Chelsea section of Atlantic City shortly thereafter, and they moved to Kenwood Avenue in Camden’s Parkside neighborhood.
By 1923, Harry had moved to 629 York Street and was working as a printer at the Victor Talking Machine Company. He continued to work in the printing department of the company through at least 1931, living with his mother at 229 Erie Street. They subsequently moved to Philadelphia, where Harry took a job at an office supply company.
Harry McConnell passed away on March 31, 1942, at the age of 42 and was buried at Calvary Cemetery in Delaware Township (present-day Cherry Hill), NJ. He was survived by his mother, brother, and two sisters. His mother, Teresa, passed away in December of 1950, and Dan McConnell passed away on September 6, 1956, at the age of 63, after a long struggle with cancer of the mouth. Both Teresa and Dan are buried at Calvary Cemetery.
Harry McConnell was a prominent figure in Camden, NJ. He served as a printer, bag cutter, and top-rated boxer. He also reported on the Keith vaudeville circuit.
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