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Photographs - Collections - 0051-00100 - #00089

Title: Marion D. Connolly

Dates: 1880-1920

Collection Number: 00089

Quantity: 171 items

Abstract: Photographs of the Connolly family from the Hensler (ND) area.

Provenance: The State Historical Society of North Dakota acquired the collection from Marion D. Connolly on behalf of Josephine Connolly on November 16, 1977.

Property Rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to materials in this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs.  Researcher should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94‑553, Title 17 U.S. Code and an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection name, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.

C3504-C3510 were transferred to this collection.

Related Collections:
C3718 Mary Hensler Connolly portrait
20402 Louis Connolly, 1879-1883, Letters from Connolly to his wife, Mary Hensler Connolly, describing ranching activities and settlement of Dakota Territory. (14 items)
20712 M. J. Connolly, 1939, Radio script focusing on 50 years of North Dakota statehood entitled, “Historical Sketch of North Dakota.” (1 item)

Biographical Sketches

Daniel and Ann Connolly
Daniel Connolly was born in Dundee, New York in 1844. He came with his family to a farm near the town of Henderson, Minnesota. In 1863, he enlisted in Company E Hatch’s Battalion, and was discharged on May 1, 1866. For a time, he worked as a driver of supplies to Fort Gary.
Ann Corcoran was born in Pennsylvania, September 7, 1852, and came to Jesseland, Minnesota, with her parents at the age of 2.
Daniel Connolly and Ann Corcoran were married on January 10, 1874. They came to an eighty-acre farm near Hensler in 1882 or 1883.
Their children were: Mary, Anna D. Sabina, Josephine, Nellie, Genevieve, and Daniel, Jr.
Source: Oliver County, 1885-1985

Daniel Connolly, Jr.
Daniel Dien Donne Connolly born July 31, 1890 at Hensler, died September 27, 1947, at Bismarck. He was the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Connolly, Hensler. He attended school at Assumption Abbey at Richardton, Sacred Heart Academy in Fargo, and Dakota Business College in Fargo. He has been farming in the Hensler vicinity since 1917.
He leaves  six sisters: Mrs. J. M. Greenshields, Mrs. D. A. Smith, Mrs. A. S. Denison, Miss Nellie Connolly, Miss Genevieve Connolly, and one brother, Jose Connolly, all of Hensler. A brother Vincent passed away in childhood.
Source: Bismarck Tribune obituary

Louis Connolly
Louis Connolly was born in Dundee, New York in 1846. With his family, he moved first to Pennsylvania and finally to Henderson, Minnesota. In 1865, he came to North Dakota in the employ of Colonel Carnahan, Commander of the Third Illinois Cavalry. He hauled supplies from Fort Stevenson to Fort Totten which has just been located. From 1867 to 1879, he worked as a surveyor for the railroad. In 1879, he filed on a claim three and one-half miles from Bismarck on Apple Creek. In 1881, he sold this preemption claim for $10.00 an acre and moved to a location forty miles north of Mandan in Mercer County. In 1884, that area became Oliver County. He became one of the first county commissioners; established a mail route and located the first post office at Hensler. He named the town for his wife, Mary Hensler, whom he married in 1879. Their children were Louis, Jr., Cecelia and Florence. Cecelia, age 93, lives in Santa Monica, California. In 1900, Mr. Connolly sold his 1200 acres of land, his cattle and horses to B. D. Scofield of Fargo and George F. Scofield of St. Johns, Michigan. He moved to Mandan where he served for a term as mayor. He died in 1911 and Mrs. Connolly died in 1918.
Source: Oliver County, 1885-1985

Marion Delphine Connolly
Marion Connolly, 80, formerly Dunn Center area, died October 11, 1985 at MedCenter One in Bismarck. Her funeral was Tuesday in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Killdeer with Father Gerald Ruelle as celebrant. Burial was in the Oakdale Cemetery northwest of Killdeer.
Miss Connolly was born April 20, 1905 at Mandan to William and Catherine (O’Neil) Conolly. She grew up on the family ranch in Dunn County and attended school at Sacred Heart Academy in Fargo.

She attended college at the University of Minnesota, the University of Southern California and Columbia University in New York. After graduation, she worked in child placement in New York before returning to North Dakota to become a caseworker with the North Dakota Department of Welfare.

In 1946 she left her position as state director of the North Dakota Welfare Department to return to operate the family ranch at Dunn Center. In 1965 she returned to work as director of Human Service Centers in Dickinson and Bismarck. She retired in 1970 as state administrator of the federal grant program for Senior Citizen Centers.

She is survived by one brother, James L. Connolly, Dunn Center, two nephews and a niece. She was preceded in death by two brothers.
Source: Dunn County Herald, Wednesday October 16, 1985

William Connolly
William Connolly, 84, pioneer Killdeer rancher, died at his ranch home Saturday morning. The funeral was held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Killdeer.  He was buried in the Oakdale cemetery.
Connolly was born Oct. 17, 1861 at Henderson, Minn. and came to North Dakota in 1884. He helped to organize Dunn County and was the first county commissioner. At the time of his death he was vice-president of the Bank of Killdeer.
He leaves his widow; one daughter, Marion; and two sons, Frank and James.

There Were Ten Connolly Brothers Came West in ’76-77—Only Four Left
Dan, Louis, James, John, Mike and William Blazed Trail in Slope. Drove 400 Head of Cattle From Minn. Oliver, Mercer and Dunn Counties Became Their Range

Retracing the journey of the years with the early settlers is always a fascinating experience. There is a lure about the old days that enthralls the individual who has been made up with a bit of imagination and love of adventure.

Win V. Working, writing in the Belle Plain Herald, a weekly paper which has been published in Scott County, Minnesota for 50 years, tells an interesting story of the migration og the ten Connolly brothers to western North Dakota. One of these was Judge Louis Connolly, dead no for 20 years, the father of States Attorney L. H. Connolly of Morton County. Another is William Connolly, Dunn county rancher…but let Mr. Working tell his story:

The ten brothers were sons of Patrick Connolly, rugged pioneer, who opened a claim not far from the Jesseland Church and about 12 miles from Belle Plaine. This farm is now occupied by one of the sons, Dennis Connolly. Dennis is the only one of the 10 identified with the home locality and it may be said that here he also succeeded. Dan, Louis, James, John, Michael and William ventured into western North Dakota in the 70s and became interested in cattle ranching some years before Theodore Roosevelt went out in that section and gave it a glamour of romance. Since this story will deal chiefly with these six brothers, it may be best to deal more briefly with the others first. Patrick went up into western Canada and eventually to Alaska where he died. His enterprise was of a venturesome nature, associated with the worthy activities identified with the frontier development. Moses was a saloon keeper at Fort Arthur Canada for years and Frank was active in lake shipping at Superior. Let it be understood that these three were successful in their respective undertakings.

Now we come to the careers of the six who went to North Dakota. Philip Hensler, proprietor of the mortuary parlors of that name at Henderson, is a brother-in-law of Louis and he accompanied several of the brothers on a trip to western Dakota in 1877. (There is a townsite Hensler, N.D. named for him.) By the way, only Michael, William, James and Dennis are now living.

We will let Mr. Hensler tell his story of the beginnings of the careers of the six brothers as he remembers it.
Some of the boys went west in the spring of 1876 and took about 200 head of cattle, but I am not sure which ones went. The next year Louis and Mike and Jim were in the party, but William did not go until the next year and I think Dan and John went at the same time. They took about 200 head of cattle the first year and about the same number the next two years. I accompanied them as far as Marshall (Minn.) in 1878, but changed my mind about seeking adventure and came back. But I went all the way the next year and remained 11 years.

The boys immediately went into the ranching business and soon were located chiefly in the Killdeer mountain country. The country was pretty wild. Custer’s massacre had taken place over in the Little Bighorn country in Montana, not far away in 1876 and Indians were still numerous. In fact, Sitting Bull was still at large. But the boys did not trouble with the Indians and had no other difficulties except those to be expected in a new frontier country. Thousands of miles of grazing land was available for stock, and there had been no attempts at farming made at that time.
A detailed account of the activities of the brothers is not permissible here, of course. Mr. Hensler recalls that at the time there was still feverish interest in gold mining in the Black Hills, James, John, William and Michael drove a herd of cattle down there. They encountered unfavorable weather and grazing conditions and all the cattle were lost. The brothers separated and James and John were not heard from for several years, but eventually returned to western North Dakota where Michael and William resumed their ranching activities.

Conditions improved with the passing years. The railroads developed the country, the last buffalo disappeared, cities sprang up. By the way, Mr. Hensler saw a large herd of buffalo near Glendive, Mont., but few were found on the Dakota side in the late 70s. Buffalo hunters who supplied the meat for the crews of the Northern Pacific railroad, built through there at that time, and others attracted to the country in the wake of the railroad soon decimated the ranks of the “thundering herds”.

Well the brothers continued their ranching activities, bur William is the only one who remained in the original neighborhood—and he is still there and certain facts about his present status constitutes a story in themselves.

Seven miles from Dunn Center in the Killdeer mountain country, William has his home, and those who have seen it tell the writer that it is a veritable palace set out in a country that once was raw inhospitable prairie. It is three stories in height, contains some 15 or 20 rooms, including two kitchens, richly furnished and finished, oriental rugs being included in the floor coverings. An electric plant furnishes light, heat and power; there is modern plumbing, and the tout ensemble rivals some of the finer residences in the Twin Cities. William, who visited here last summer, married a Dakota girl, and has three children. Ownership of this “palace on the plain” thousands of broad acres and thousands of head of cattle is a far cry from the status of the poor Jesseland Irish lad, but it is a true story and one that serves to prove once more that truth is stranger than fiction. James makes his home with William. He was in the sheep business for some years before retiring.

Michael lives in California ‘on his money’ as the saying goes. Louis was a banker at Mandan, N.D. many years. That town was long the trade center and distribution point of the western Dakota ranching country. Daniel and John were prosperous veterans of the ranch country long before death overtook them.


00089-00001       Daniel Connolly, Jr.  ca. 1905                                                
00089-00002       William Connolly on a horse  ca. 1898                                         
00089-00003-1   Dan Connolly homestead  ca. 1880                                               
00089-00003-2   Dan Connolly's homestead  ca. 1880                                            
00089-00004-1   Daniel Connolly, Jr. and three boys at Richardton Abbey  ca. 1905             
00089-00004-2   Daniel Connolly, Jr. and two boys at Richardton Abbey  ca. 1905               
00089-00005       Daniel Connolly, Jr.  ca. 1905                                                
00089-00006       Daniel Connolly  ca. 1885                                                     
00089-00007       Daniel Connolly  ca. 1885                                                     
00089-00008       Daniel Connolly standing on the front steps of a house  ca. 1900              
00089-00009       Mary Hensler Connolly, Louis Connolly and their son Daniel  ca. 1887          
00089-00010       Louis Connolly farm near Hensler (N.D.)  XX/XXXX                              
00089-00011       Louis Connolly farm near Hensler (N.D.)  XX/XXXX                               
00089-00012       Anna Connolly and William W. Smith wedding portrait  01/1904                  
00089-00013       Anna D. Connolly  ca. 1897                                                    
00089-00014       Anna Corcoran Connolly  ca. 1905                                              
00089-00015       Women sitting on a badlands formation in the Kildeer Mountains (N.D.)  ca. 1895
00089-00016       Portrait of seven Connolly women  ca.1900                                     
00089-00017       Josephine Connolly  ca. 1900                                                   
00089-00018       Nellie Connolly  ca. 1945                                                     
00089-00019       Mike Connolly garage, Mandan (N.D)  ca. 1920                                  
00089-00020       Unknown portrait  1912                                                         
00089-00021       Seven Connolly women  1912                                                    
00089-00022       Threshing on Al Dennison farm, Hensler (N.D.)  ca. 1920                       
00089-00023       Threshing on Al Dennison farm, Hensler (N.D.)  ca. 1915                       
00089-00024       Henry and Ann Denison Kraft family, Enderlin (N.D.)  06/28/1912               
00089-00025       Mrs. Michael S. Cuskelly posed in a studio with a horse  ca. 1900              
00089-00026       Anna Greenshield and Katie Wagner  XX/XXXX                                    
00089-00027       Al and Sabina Denison's house, Hensler (N.D.)  XX/XXXX                        
00089-00028       Edward Heinemeyer, the oldest resident in Mercer County  XX/XXXX              
00089-00029       Anna Connolly Smith's sister-in-law  XX/XXXX                                  
00089-00030       House moving in the early days  XX/XXXX                                       
00089-00031       Log cabin with deer hanging from the roof  XX/XXXX                            
00089-00032       Men outside a log cabin  XX/XXXX                                              
00089-00033       Military parade, New Salem (N.D.)  1909                                       
00089-00034       Men driving a string of horses to the Livery and Feed Stable  XX/XXXX         
00089-00035       Cars and tractors in front of barn  ca. 1910                                  
00089-00036       View of prairie and hills  XX/XXXX                                             
00089-00037       Tracks crossing the ice covered river  XX/XXXX                                
00089-00038       Cattle grazing  XX/XXXX                                                       
00089-00039       Cattle at water hole  XX/XXXX                                                 
00089-00040       Portrait of a woman and man  XX/XXXX                                          
00089-00041       Portrait of a woman  XX/XXXX                                                  
00089-00042       Portrait of three boys  XX/XXXX                                               
00089-00043       Portrait of a man  XX/XXXX                                                    
00089-00044       Portrait of a woman and man  XX/XXXX                                           
00089-00045       Portrait of a woman and man  XX/XXXX                                          
00089-00046       Portrait of a woman and man  XX/XXXX                                          
00089-00047       Man holding a horse by the bridle  XX/XXXX                                    
00089-00048       Dan Connolly  ca. 1910                                                        
00089-00049       Sabina Connolly  XX/XXXX                                                      
00089-00050       Portrait of a man  XX/XXXX                                                    
00089-00051       Portrait of a woman  XX/XXXX                                                  
00089-00052       Portrait of two women  XX/XXXX                                                 
00089-00054       William and Mary Greenshield  XX/XXXX                                         
00089-00055       Portrait of a woman and man  XX/XXXX                                          
00089-00056       Baby portrait  ca. 1890                                                        
00089-00057       Portrait of two women  ca. 1890                                               
00089-00058       Portrait of a man  XX/XXXX                                                    
00089-00059       Portrait of a man, woman and boy  XX/XXXX                                     
00089-00060       Portrait of a man and woman  XX/XXXX                                          
00089-00061 - 00062   Ann Connolly Smith and William W. Smith, Bismarck (N.D.) 01/1904
00089-00063       Ann Connolly Smith  ca. 1925                                                  
00089-00064       Portrait of a woman  XX/XXXX                                                   
00089-00065       Portrait of a girl  XX/XXXX                                                   
00089-00066       Three children  XX/XXXX                                                       
00089-00067       Portrait of a young girl  XX/XXXX                                             
00089-00068       Portrait of a girl and boy  XX/XXXX                                           
00089-00069       Portrait of a young man  XX/XXXX                                              
00089-00070       Portrait of a man and woman  XX/XXXX                                          
00089-00091       00089-00091 Woman posing by car Connolly Collection                           
00089-00108       Mary Connolly and William Greenshield's wedding  1902                         
00089-00109       Connolly, Genevieve                                                             
00089-00110       Connolly, Mary                                                                
00089-00111       Connolly, Nellie                                                               
00089-00112       Connolly, Nellie                                                              
00089-00113       Connolly, Nellie                                                              
00089-00114       Connolly, Sabina & Josephine                                                  
00089-00115       Connolly, Mary & Genevieve                                                    
00089-00116       Connolly, Mary & Genevieve                                                    
00089-00117       Dan Connolly, Dan
00089-00118       Connolly sisters: Ann, Mary, Sabina, Josephine, Genevieve, Nellie  XX/XXXX    
00089-00119       Young girl with a guitar  XX/XXXX                                             
00089-00120       Four children in a horse drawn buggy  08/1914                                 
00089-00121       Ann Connolly funeral card  08/1914                                            
00089-00122       Katherine Folstrom Forse  ca. 1908                                            
00089-00123       Katherine Folstrom's claim shack interior  XX/XXXX                            
00089-00124       Katherine Folstrom's claim shack interior, Dunn County (N.D.)  XX/XXXX        
00089-00125       Bill Connelly log cabin, Dunn County (N.D.)  ca. 1890                          
00089-00126       Connelly Chevrolet, Mandan (N.D.)  09/1917                                   
00089-00127       Bill Connelly horse and cattle ranch near Dunn Center (N.D.) ca. 1890        
00089-0128 – 0171 Postcards

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