Benjamin and Elizabeth McConnel, 1869

early pioneers

Benjamin C. McConnel (an Ohio native who grew up in south central Iowa) with his wife Elizabeth Hall McConnel (an Iowa native), their six-months old son William, and his brother John came to Idaho in 1869. They traveled by rail from Iowa to Green River, Wyoming, then by stage to Boise City, Idaho, where they met their brother, David K., who had migrated to Idaho some seven years earlier in 1862.

They located on about 160 acres of raw land in what is now Canyon County, where he raised cattle and cut wild hay. . . This land was on the south bank of the Boise River, about six miles west of the present city of Caldwell, Idaho, which did not exist at that time.

Benjamin C. and wife sold their above land in 1882. Soon after this sale they moved close to the mouth of the Boise River, south of Old Fort Boise.

They later lived in High Valley (Valley County) and on the Boise Bench (Ada County). They spent their senior years in Twin Falls.

Their grandson Harry McConnel told the following: My grandmother told me that during Indian scares or reported Indian troubles in the vicinity, all the men would be assembled for possible combat. This would leave the women and children alone and, therefore, they would be in danger and unprotected. During such times she would take the children, some blankets, and cold roast beef, which she tried to keep on hand, down into the brush along the river. There they would stay until the men returned.

My favorite story about Elizabeth is indicated by 1870 agricultural census: the household produced 2500 pounds of butter, which was undoubtedly made by Elizabeth. Boise City, roughly twenty miles up-stream, probably was the closest and most likely market. Or . . .

See "McConnel Homesteads" family history website for in-depth history.

--- Sharon A. McConnel, great-granddaughter

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