Q. Who was W.A. McConnell?

A. William A. McConnell, a carpenter, was Richmond, Illinois', first settler. Arriving from Pennsylvania in 1837, McConnell settled in Richmond, near the Nippersink Creek, where he built a small log cabin. He married Elizabeth, and they had three sons. Through the years, he held positions of postmaster, Justice of the Peace, McHenry County Commissioner, founder of the Richmond Bank, as well as other notable positions. Richmond’s first school was built on their farm. The McConnell family, along with the Covells, Stones, and Cotting families were integral to building the Richmond we know today.

Q. What is historic preservation?

A. The National Park Service defines historic preservation as “. . . a conversation with our past about our future.” Historic preservation involves identifying, preserving, protecting, and celebrating historically and culturally significant structures and sites for future generations.

Q. Why is preservation of Richmond, Illinois’ unique history and heritage important?

A. Richmond, Illinois is a town built on hard work, determination, and civic pride. Relics of these important values still surround us in the form of commercial buildings, residences, bridges, and cemetaries, complete with a bonafide historic Main Street. These valuable resources are unique and non-renewable, and tell stories about who we are and how we came to be. At its most basic level, honoring and celebrating our local history and heritage promotes tourism, increases home values, benefits small businesses, increases civic pride, and educates us all.

Q. How can I support the W.A. McConnell Foundation mission?

A. There are MANY ways to show your support!

  • Volunteer

  • Purchase a membership for yourself, for your family, or as a gift. Just click here.

  • Donate (time, services, money, artifacts, etc.)

  • Like, Follow, and Share us on Facebook and Instagram.

Q. How can I get more information about historical plaquing?

A. Information on historical plaquing can be found here under the Resources tab.

Q. Is the W.A. McConnell Foundation a 501c3? Is my donation tax deductable?


Q. When do you meet?

A. We hold meetings monthly.

Q. I’d like to learn about resources available to me as a homeowner in a historic district. Where should I look?

A. Please click here to check out the information under the Resources tab.

Q. I’m interested in genealogical research connected to Richmond, Illinois. Where can I begin?

A. Try https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/McConnell-4385. And let us know what you learn!

Q. Where can I read more about Richmond, Illinois' history?

A. Try History of McHenry County, Illinois and Montelona Farm.