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Joseph F. O'Connell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Joseph F. O'Connell
Joseph F. O'Connell Massachusetts Congressman circa 1908.png
Joseph F. O'Connell circa 1908[1]
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 10th district
In office
March 4, 1907 – March 3, 1911
Preceded byWilliam S. McNary
Succeeded byJames Michael Curley
Delegate to the 1917 Massachusetts Constitutional Convention[3]
In office
June 6, 1917[2] – August 13, 1919[4]
Personal details
Born(1872-12-07)December 7, 1872
Dorchester, Massachusetts
DiedDecember 10, 1942(1942-12-10) (aged 70)
Boston, Massachusetts
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Marietta Lenahan
ChildrenJoseph F. O'Connell, Jr., Lenahan O'Connell, Frederick P. O'Connell
Alma materBoston College
Harvard Law School
WebsiteO'Connell & O'Connell

Joseph Francis O'Connell (December 7, 1872 – December 10, 1942) was a Massachusetts lawyer, law professor, politician and U.S. Representative.

Early life

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, O'Connell attended the Mather School of Boston and prepared for college at St. Mary's Parochial School. O'Connell was graduated from Boston College in 1893 and from Harvard University Law School in 1896.

Foundation of Boston College's football team

While at Boston College, O'Connell and Joseph Drum helped create the first Boston College football team. [1]

Boston College football team, 1893
Boston College football team, 1893

Admission to the bar

O'Connell was admitted to the Suffolk bar in 1897 and commenced the practice of law in Boston.

Marriage and family

On November 23, 1910, O'Connell married Marasita Lenahan, daughter of former US Representative from Pennsylvania, John T. Lenahan, at St. Mary's Church in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.[5] The couple had 11 children.[2].

Elections to Congress

O'Connell was elected as a Democrat to the Sixtieth and Sixty-first Congresses (March 4, 1907 - March 3, 1911). However in 1908 he was only reelected by 4 votes[6] over former Boston City Clerk J. Mitchel Galvin.[7]

He was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1910.[8] In a three-way primary with former Representative William S. McNary and Boston City Councilor James Michael Curley, O'Connell came in second behind Curley.[9] After his defeat O'Connell resumed the practice of law in Boston, Massachusetts.

1917 Massachusetts Constitutional Convention

In 1916 the Massachusetts legislature and electorate approved a calling of a Constitutional Convention.[10] In May 1917 O'Connell was elected to serve as a member of the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention of 1917, representing Massachusetts' 12th Congressional District.

Democratic National Conventions

O'Connell served as delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1912 and 1920.

Later public service and political activity

O'Connell was appointed member of the National Conference on Uniform State Laws by Gov. David I. Walsh on September 2, 1914 and was reappointed by every following Massachusetts governor until his death. O'Connell served as member of the State commission to revise the charter of the city of Boston in 1923.

O'Connell was an unsuccessful candidate as nominee to the United States Senate in 1930 and as a candidate for Boston's mayor three years later.

Career in academia

He was Professor of law and vice president of the board of trustees of Suffolk Law School in Boston.


O'Connell died in Boston on December 10, 1942, three days after his 70th birthday and was interred at St. Joseph's Cemetery, West Roxbury, Massachusetts.



  • Beatty. Jack .: The Rascal King: The Life and Times of James Michael Curley (1874–1958) Da Capo Press, (2000) pp. 114–116. ISBN 0-306-81002-6
  • Journal of the Constitutional Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1919) pp. 7–8, 865, 971.
  • Who's who in State Politics, 1908 Practical Politics (1908) p. 18.

External links


  1. ^ Who's who in State Politics, 1908, Boston, MA: Practical Politics, 1908, p. 18.
  2. ^ Journal of the Constitutional Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, MA: Wright & Potter printing co., state printers, 1919, p. 8.
  3. ^ Journal of the Constitutional Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, MA: Wright & Potter printing co., state printers, 1919, p. 8.
  4. ^ Journal of the Constitutional Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, MA: Wright & Potter printing co., state printers, 1919, pp. 865, 971.
  5. ^ JOSEPH P. O'CONNELL WEDS. Representative's Bride Is Miss Marietta Lenahan, of Wilkes-Barre., Washington, D.C.: The Washington Post, November 24, 1910, p. 11.
  6. ^ "Special to The New York Times.", Foss Wins By 22,000 In Massachusetts; But the Rest of the Democratic State Ticket Has Probably Been Defeated., New York, NY: The New York Times, November 9, 1910, p. 2.
  7. ^ Galvin May Contest It; Recount Shows O'Connell Elected by Four Votes. Appeal to Congress Suggested By Republican's Lieutenants. McGonagle Displaces Pettiti as Representative in Ward 6. ORIGINAL RECPOUT Contest May Go to Congress. Tie Feared Till the Last. Down to Last Precinct, Boston, MA: The Boston Globe, November 11, 1908, p. 11.
  8. ^ Both Lose Renomination: Keliher and O'Connell Defeated in Massachusetts Primaries. Majority of the Delegates to Democratic State Convention Will Go Uninstructed., Washington, DC: The Washington Post, September 28, 1910, p. 3.
  9. ^ Beatty, Jack (2000), The Rascal King: The Life and Times of James Michael Curley (1874-1958), Cambridge, MA; New York, NY: Da Capo Press, pp. 114–117., ISBN 0-306-81002-6
  10. ^ Journal of the Constitutional Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, MA: Wright & Potter printing co., State printers, 1919, pp. 7–8.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
William S. McNary
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 10th congressional district

March 4, 1907 – March 3, 1911
Succeeded by
James Michael Curley
This page was last edited on 13 March 2020, at 19:03
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