Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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WHEELER, J.H. Vol. II. Pp. 626-29. Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago. 1910


Noteworthy among the well known and much respected citizens of Mason City is Thomas Conner, who is now serving ably and satisfactorily as chief of the Mason City Fire Department. A son of Timothy and Delia (O'Connel) Conner, he was born May 11, 1862, in Trumbull county, Ohio, coming from Irish ancestry. Timothy Conner was born, reared and married in Ireland, from there coming with his wife to the United States in 1848. Locating in Trumbull county, Ohio, he was there engaged in tilling the soil until 1865, when he came to Iowa. Settling in Fayette county, he bought land and there continued as a general farmer during the remainder of his active career. He spent the declining years of his long and useful life in Oelwein, Iowa, passing away in 1908, aged ninety-one years. His wife preceded him to the better world, dying in March, 1892, aged fifty-six years. They reared eight children, of whom seven are living, as follows: Michael, of Rock Island, Illinois; Mary, wife of John Kennedy, of Boone, Iowa; Mrs. Catherine Sandford, of Oelwein; Thomas, of whom we write; Ellen, Sister Pacoma. of the Sisters of Charity in Chicago; Marie, wife of William Fettkether, of Oelwein; and Mrs. Delia Daly, of Oelwein. Timothy Conner was living in Trumbull county. Ohio, when the Civil war broke out. True to the interests of his adopted country he bravely offered his services in her defense, enlisting in 1862 in the Fourteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and serving in McKinley's company until the close of the conflict.

But three years old when his parents located in Fayette county, Thomas Conner acquired a substantial common school education, and was well drilled in the various branches of agriculture while young. Leaving home in 1881 he came direct to Mason City in search of employment. He subsequently taught school in Houston county, Minnesota, two years, after which he drove [a] stage two and one half years between Waverly, Iowa, and West Union, Iowa. Returning then to Mason City, Mr. Conner was for a time engaged in the well drilling and wind mill business. In 1897 he became connected with the city fire department as a paid driver, and had the care of the horses and machinery until 1909, when he accepted his present position as chief of the department.

Mr. Conner married, September 19, 1886, Orissa M. Waite, who was born in Floyd county, Iowa, October 15, 1869, and they have one child, Kathryn. Mr. Conner is a Democrat in politics and a member of the Masonic order.

NOTE: Thomas Conner died in 1929. Orrissa M. (Waite) Conner was born in 1868, according to her gravestone, and died in 1950. They were interred at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City IA.

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, January of 2014



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