GILEY RICHARD M
Actively identified with a profession which has ever been regarded as having marked bearing upon the progress and stable prosperity of any community, Giley Richard McConnell is now numbered among the capable attorneys at law of Laramie, where he is accorded a large and distinctively representative clientage, to the interests of which he is most loyal.
He was born in Goodman, Kansas, January 29, 1889, a son of the late Allen McConnell, a native of Ireland, who in young manhood came to America when twenty years of age. This was about 1873. He settled in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he resided until the latter part of the '80s and then removed to Kansas. In the early '90s he became a resident of Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he engaged in the plastering business, there residing until his death, which occurred in 1910, when he was fifty-five years of age. He wedded Mary Green, a native of Kansas and a representative of one of the pioneer families of that state. She is now living in Houston, Texas, and she, too, is of Irish lineage.
G. R. McConnell of this review was the eldest in a family of three children. His sister, May McConnell, died in June, 1915, and the other sister, Abbie, is the wife of Earl White, a resident of Laramie. Mr. McConnell obtained his education in the public schools of Fort Lupton, Colorado. He was twelve years of age when he was placed in the home of Van B. Kelsey, a Colorado pioneer of 1858, who was a highly honored and respected citizen and an influential factor in civic and political affairs of the state. Mr. McConnell remained as a ward of Mr. Kelsey until he reached the age of twenty years and during that period pursued his education in the schools of Fort Lupton. He then started out to provide for his own support and to further his education. With a cash capital of but eighty-five dollars he entered the University of Colorado at Boulder and immediately deposited seventy-five dollars of that amount toward his tuition. He scorned no honest work that would add to his income, earning the balance of his money needed for his tuition and other expenses by working as a bell boy, in a pantatorium*, also by washing dishes and doing other such tasks as came to hand. He never faltered in his purpose to prepare for a professional career, and in 1914 was graduated with the LL. B. degree. Of such stuff are made our most successful men and prominent lawyers. It is a well known fact that under the pressure of adversity and the stimulus of opposition the best and strongest in man is brought out and developed, and Mr. McConnell proved the strength of his character in the manner in which he provided for his education. Immediately after his graduation he removed to Laramie, where he arrived on the 23d of June, 1914. He at once entered upon active practice and on the 15th of April, 1915, received a state certificate allowing him to practice in all the courts. He has since continued a very active and progressive member of the Wyoming bar, giving his attention to the general practice of law, while his ability has brought him into close connection with much important litigation tried in the courts of the southern part of the state. He belongs to the Albany County Bar Association, of which he has served as secretary and treasurer, and also to the State Bar Association of Wyoming. Aside from his profession he has business interests as secretary of the Hutton Lake Oil & Gas Company.
On the 20th of September, 1914, Mr. McConnell was married by the Rev. S. A. Houston, of Cheyenne, Wyoming, in St. Mark's Episcopal church, to Miss Hazel O. Pritchard, a native of Colorado and a daughter of the late John and Elizabeth (Gale) Pritchard. Her father was one of the pioneer farmers of Colorado and died in 1912, but her mother is still living and now makes her home in Gilchrist, Colorado. She was born in England, of which country the father was also a native. From her mother Mrs. McConnell has received a rare collection of gifts which have been presented to her by a brother who served Queen Victoria as chief electrician at Windsor Castle and who had received these gifts from the Queen. The collection is one which Mrs. McConnell naturally values very highly. By her marriage she has become the mother of a daughter, Maxine Elizabeth, who was born in Laramie, March 4, 1917.
In his political views Mr. McConnell is a democrat and has been quite active in local and state politics. In November, 1916, he was elected to the office of county prosecuting attorney of Albany county and is occupying that position at the present time. Fraternally he is identified with the Woodmen of the World and he has membership with the Rangers and the Alpha Sigma Phi. His religious faith is indicated through his membership in St. Matthew's cathedral of which he is now serving for the second term as one of the vestrymen. His chief diversion comes through hunting and fishing. He is a trained athlete and played on two Rocky Mountain football teams while in college and has established quite a reputation in the field of sports in the west. He is also known as a scientific boxer and has taken part in many noted bouts with those who are skilled in the use of the padded glove. In 1914 he served as assistant coach in the University of Wyoming and in 1915 as coach for the Laramie high school football team and was instrumental in placing the team in the first rank in the state. He recognizes the fact that to play well is next in importance to working well, yet he allows nothing to interfere with the faithful performance of his professional duties and his devotion to his clients' interests has become proverbial. He is today one of the able lawyers of Laramie, with wide and comprehensive knowledge of the principles of jurisprudence.