Dan, generally referred to as “Uncle Dan”, was the more forward of the brothers O’Connell. For years he was the Albany County Democratic Leader.
Allegedly, when someone asked Uncle Dan why the city workers weren’t pad a higher wage, he responded, “Why pay someone a high wage, when you can hire 3 or 4 men for the same money?
John J O'Connell, Jr.
“Butch” O’Connell Jr.
John was the nephew of Edward J O’Connell and Daniel P O’Connell. He was kidnapped by a group of mobsters in 1933. The kidnappers demanded $250,000 for his return but were eventually convinced to take only $40,000 in ransom. O’Connell was returned unharmed. Eight of the mobsters were convicted in the crime.
John J O'Connell, Sr.
“Solly” O’Connell, Sr.
Solly O’Connell was John O’Connell’s father. It was revealed later that Solly was originally marked to be the kidnapping victim. The truth as to why his son John was eventually taken in his stead are still a mystery.
Daniel O'Connell & The Democratic Party
Daniel Patrick “Dan” O’Connell (November 13, 1885 – February 28, 1977) was the leader of the Democratic Party political machine in Albany County, New York, from about 1919 until his death.
Daniel P O’Connell
O’Connell was born in Albany, New York, and dropped out of school in the fifth grade, finding work as a bricklayer. In 1919, he was elected County Assessor, and a few years later quit to become the chairman of the County Democratic Committee. In 1921, O’Connell was instrumental in the Democratic victory over the Republican political machine which had been in power in Albany for over 20 years, highlighted by the mayoral victory of William Stormont Hackett.
During the 56 years to come, O’Connell would remain behind the scenes, yet had undeniable power in the political life of Albany, determining patronage and essentially ruling the city during the administrations of mayors William Hackett, John Boyd Thacher II and most notably Erastus Corning 2nd.
O’Connell’s three brothers Edward J, Patrick and John J Sr. were also involved in local politics. The latter mentioned “Solly” also took over the family’s substantial interest in a local brewery. Rumor has it that if you didn’t sell Hedricks Beer in your Albany County establishment, you didn’t get a county liquor license.