Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

John Robert Connelly

HON. JOHN ROBERT CONNELLY has been given great distinction by the people of the Sixth Congressional District of Kansas. It is a distinction which he deeply appreciates, and which will mean more as the tremendous importance of the epoch in which he has served this district in Congress becomes more clearly defined in national and international history. Mr. Connelly was elected to his first term in Congress at the same time that Woodrow Wilson was first elected president. He has been continuously identified with the Wilson administration for three terms, and without entering specifically into the details of his record, it can be asserted unequivocally that he has been a judicious supporter of all the progressive legislation and the measures affecting this country in its international relations.

Congressman Connelly has been a resident of Kansas since he was eighteen years of age. He was born near Mount Sterling, Brown County, Illinois, February 27, 1870. This branch of the Connelly family came from northern Ireland and first settled in New York State. His grandfather Alexander Connelly was an Indiana farmer and died near Greencastle, Indiana. Arthur Connelly, father of the congressman was born in Putnam County, Indiana, in 1834. He grew up in that county and was a Kansas pioneer by virtue of his coming to this state or territory in 1860. He homesteaded in Linn County. After a year he went back east and in the fall of 1861 settled on a farm in Brown County, Illinois. From 1883 to 1887 he lived in Thayer County, Nebraska, and then returned to Kansas and homesteaded a quarter section of land in Thomas County. He died at Meriden, Kansas, in 1912. He was a democrat in political faith and a very active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was also affiliated with the Masonic and Odd Fellow fraternities. Near Mound City, Kansas, he married Sarah Jane Manar. She was born near Bowling Green, Kentucky, in 1844, and died in Thomas County, Kansas, in 1899. Their children were: W. E. Connelly, a veterinary surgeon living at Spokane, Washington; Dora, wife of T. J. Upchurch, a farmer at Meriden, Kansas; Laura, wife of John Carden, postmaster of Meriden; John Robert; and James A., a farmer at Gem, Kansas.

John Robert Connelly received his early education in the public schools of Illinois and Nebraska. He began teaching at nineteen, and at the age of twenty-four finished his course in the Salina Normal University. From 1895 to 1899 he was county superintendent of schools of Thomas County. In the meantime he has entered the newspaper field, purchasing the Colby Free Press December 1, 1897. He still owns that paper and continued to direct its editorial policy until 1918, when he leased the paper to other management.

Mr. Connelly has always been a sound democrat. He was first a candidate for Congress on the democratic ticket in 1908. He was elected to represent the Sixth District, and was re-elected in 1914 and 1916. Mr. Connelly is a member of the Christian Church, is affiliated with St. Thomas Lodge No. 306, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, which he served as secretary a number of years, and with Colby Lodge of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. Among ether interests he owns a farm near Colby.

Congressman Connelly is happily married and is proud of three young sons who are present or prospective soldiers. June 17, 1896, he married Miss Lillian Souder of Colby, daughter of Richard and Lizzie (Trotter) Souder, the latter new deceased. Her father is a retired farmer at Colby. Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Connelly: J. V. Connelly, born April 18, 1897, is now with the American Expeditionary Forces in France; Arthur born September 17, 1898, is a member of the famous U. S. Marines, and at this writing is stationed at Mare Island; James, born in 1900, is a member of the Student Army Training Corps at Hayes City, Kansas. Inez, born January 25, 1903, is a senior in the Thomas County High School. The two younger children are Dorothy, who died at the age of eight years, and Annie Laurie, born April 15, 1912.

Pages 2504-2505.