Murray McConnel’s life changing journey

When Thomas Beard and Murray McConnel set off from Edwardsville for the Illinois River country in 1819, neither man could have imagined how that journey would change the course of their lives.

Beard, of course, remained here to establish a trading post and eventually a village that would become Beardstown. As for McConnel, he returned to his farm in Missouri.

McConnel, who was born on Sept. 5, 1798, in Horseheads, N.Y., headed West when he was just 12. According to George his son, McConnel first went to Pennsylvania and then Ohio, Kentucky, Louisiana, Texas and finally Missouri, where he married Mary Mapes and started a family. &nbsp;&nbsp;<ahref=""><spanstyl... 13px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">To view more, please log in or subscribe to the digital edition.</span></a></p>