John Wilson McConnell is born

John Wilson McConnell was born in Muskoka, Ontario in 1877, the youngest of seven children. His parents had emigrated to Canada from Ireland in 1863, seeking to make a new life for their family.

The J.W. McConnell family

J.W. McConnell's family, prompted by the failure of their Muskoka farm, moved to Toronto. McConnell worked as a delivery boy, and later as a bookkeeper.

J.W. McConnell joins the Standard Chemical Company

J.W. McConnell joined the Standard Chemical Company, and a year later moved to Montreal to establish its office there. Within a year, he was selling the company's shares in Europe, which gave him a facility with brokering relationships that formed the basis for the financial success that characterized the rest of his life.