P. H. Connolly, who has the second longest record of continuous service of all the city engineers of Wisconsin, came to his present office in 1899 and has remained the incumbent through the intervening period, now covering seventeen years. He was born in Rochester, New York. April 24, 1863, and is a son of Patrick and Eliza (Beaumont) Connolly. The father is a native of County Westmeath, Ireland, while the mother’s birth occurred in Centerville, Michigan. The father was a wagon maker by trade and came to Racine in 1863. In 1861 he moved his family to Racine. He has now passed the eighty-third-milestone on life’s journey, his birth having occurred in 1833, but the mother died in November, 1878.
Reared in this city, P. H. Connolly entered the public schools at the usual are and promotion from grade to grade brought him at length to the high school. After completing his studies there he entered the University of Wisconsin and was graduated in 1885 with the degree of Bachelor of Civil Engineering, subsequently he was employed by the St. Paul Railroad Company, engineering construction work and afterward spent two years in the service of the Chicago City Railway Company. In 1889 he returned to Racine, where he accepted the position of assistant city engineer, occupying that position until 1892. He next went to Riverside, Illinois, where he remained as village engineer until May, 1899, and then accepted his present position as city engineer of Racine. There is but one man in the state who has served as city engineer for a longer period, and the length of his service indicates how prompt, faithful and reliable he has been in discharging his official duties.
On the 28th of May, 1891, Mr. Connolly was united in marriage to Miss Catherine A. Hass, of Racine, a daughter of George A. and Sarah A. (Houpt) Hass. There was born to Mr. and Mrs. Connolly four sons: George H., born August 5, 1892; Francis E., born November 13, 1893; Henry, born on the 20th of March, 1896; and Robert, April 21, 1899. Mr. Connolly suffered a sad bereavement by the death of his beloved wife on June 9, 1910. The family home is at. No. 1310 Wisconsin Street.
Mr. Connolly is identified with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and the Fraternal Order of Eagles. In politics he maintains an independent course, voting according to the dictates of his judgment without regard to party ties. He is well qualified in that line of activity which he has chosen as his life work, thoroughly understanding the scientific principles which constitute the basis of endeavor in this field, while his practical experience has been most broad. He is continually adding to his professional knowledge as a member of the Western Society of Engineers, the Engineering Society of Wisconsin and the American Society of Municipal Improvements.