Solano County

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With the passing in the fall of 1923 of William Bernard Connelly the city of Suisun and this section of California generally lost a citizen whose worth had for years in various directions been amply proved and who had done much for the development of the community in which his useful life had been spent. For many years Mr. Connelly served as superintendent of roads in and for his home district and in that capacity rendered a service in behalf of the good roads movement in this section of the state that never can be estimated too highly, for he was one of the early advocates of better highways who brought to this advocacy a measure of intelligent direction that helped to start highway construction here on new and permanent lines. As a member of the board of trustees of the town of Suisun he also rendered an intelligent and efficient service in behalf of the municipality and his name ever will be preserved on the records of that flourishing little city. For years Mr. Connelly also was active in the building trades, a building contractor whose operations helped much in the substantial upbuilding of his home town. He also was for many years engaged in the undertaking business in Suisun and in the intimate relation of funeral director rendered a sympathetic community service that never will be forgotten by those families thus efficiently served in times of personal grief and trial. Among his other operations he also carried on business as proprietor of a livery stable in the days before the automobile had relegated the horse to the background and it is doubtful if there was any one here who had a wider and a better acquaintance than he. As a member of the Native Sons of "the Golden West Mr. Connelly did much to promote the interests of that interesting and helpful compatriotic organization and he also was an active member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, affiliated with the lodge of that order at Vallejo.

William B. Connelly was born at San Francisco, on August 13, 1862, and was a son of Edward and Mary Connelly, both natives of Ireland. Edward Connelly was a miller by vocation and for some time after his location in California back in the '50s was engaged in milling. Upon abandoning the mill he bought a ranch in the Suisun valley, established his home there and on that place he and his wife spent the remainder of their lives. It was thus that William B. Connelly was reared on a ranch, growing up with the advantage of the practical knowledge there acquired. He had his schooling in the Crystal school at Suisun, the school which his children later attended, and in the days of his young manhood was associated with his father in the operations of the latter's well kept ranch. It was while thus ranching that he rendered the service as road superintendent in his home district above referred to. That was in the days when this was an elective office and by reason of his effective service in behalf of the highways of that district he was reelected time and again, being kept in the service until his removal to town, which took him out of the district. During the time of his operations as a building contractor at Suisun he erected many of the most substantial of the business houses and dwellings there. For twenty-seven years he also was engaged in the undertaking business at Suisun. Public-spirited and enterprising, Mr. Connelly never neglected an opportunity to promote the interests of his home town and in his service as a member of the board of town trustees did much for general municipal affairs. He was successful in his business and accumulated a tidy bit of property in the way of realty and other holdings, a very proper reward for the service he had long rendered the community. Mr. Connelly died on September 7, 1923, and at his passing left a good memory.

On July 24, 1894, in San Francisco, William B. Connelly was united in marriage to Miss Rose Blaney, who was born in that city, daughter of John Henry Blaney, and who since the death of her husband has continued to make her home at Suisun, residing at the west end of California street, where she is very pleasantly situated. Mrs. Connelly has seven children, five daughters, Mrs. C. R. Smith of Fairfield, Mrs. Howard Peterson, who resides east of Suisun, and the Misses Alice, Margaret and Harriet Connelly; and two sons, William Raymond Connelly, who is now associated with the operations of the Stewart Fruit Company at Walnut Grove, and John Connelly, at home.

History of Solano County, California By Marguerite Hunt and Napa County, California By Harry Lawrence Gunn. From Their Earliest Settlement To The Present Time. Chicago. S.J. Clarke Pub. Co. 1926. 883 pages.

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This page was last updated 21 Oct 2007

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