P. J. Concannon

P. J. CONCANNON. A well known business man of Emporia, Mr. Concannon has done much in recent years to keep that city up to date in the matter of theatrical and entertainment enterprises, but in earlier years he was variously identified with lumber manufacture, farming and has been a resident of the state almost continuously since early boyhood.

He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, May 7, 1863, a son of Martin and Anna (Walsh) Concannon. Both his parents were natives of County Mayo, Ireland, where the paternal grandfather spent his life. Anna Walsh's mother, Julia Walsh, came to America and died in Leavenworth County, Kansas. Martin Concannon was born in 1836, came to America in 1862, after his marriage, and settled in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1866 he moved to Leavenworth County, Kansas, where he followed farming and stock raising until his death. He died December 25, 1915, while on a visit in Kansas City, Kansas. He was a democrat, a member of the Catholic Church and of the Catholic Mutual Benefit Association. His wife, Anna Walsh, was born in Ireland in 1847 and died in Leavenworth County, Kansas, in 1900. Of their children P. J. Concannon is the oldest; Michael lives on the home farm in Leavenworth County; Julian is the wife of Lester Rhodea, a locomotive engineer living at Kansas City, Kansas; Mary, who died in Leavenworth County at the age of eighteen; William, who is a locomotive engineer at Kansas City. Besides these three other children died in infancy.

Taken to Leavenworth County when he was three years of age, P. J. Concannon grew up on the home farm there, gained his education in the public schools and spent most of his early life on his father's farm until his marriage. His marriage occurred in 1890 and he then bought a farm and was an active and progressive agriculturist in Leavenworth County until 1897. From that year until 1909 he operated a sawmill in Missouri, though retaining his home at Leavenworth, and for several years continuing the ownership of his farm in that county. With increasing success in his business affairs in 1909 Mr. Concannon began buying on a somewhat exensive scale real estate in Sumner and Kingman counties, and since 1910 has had his home in Emporia. His chief business at Emporia has been the operation of moving picture theaters. At one time he owned three moving picture houses, but one was burned and the other he sold. He now devotes his time to the management of the Electric Theater at 612 Commercial Street. This is one of the best patronized houses in the city and has a seating capacity of 400. Mr. Concannon is state secretary of the Exhibitors League, an association of moving picture theater owners and operators.

Fraternally he is affiliated with Emporia Lodge No. 633 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, with Camp No. 615 Modern Woodmen of America, and was formerly a member of the Improved Order of Red Men. Politically he is an Independent democrat.

In 1890 Mr. Concannon married Miss Mattie M. Lamb, a daughter of John and Mattie Lamb. Her father is a retired farmer and the family reside at Leavenworth, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Concannon have three children: Anna is the wife of Frank Williams, now superintendent of schools at Higgins, Texas; Thomas is a senior and Mabel is a junior in the Emporia High School.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918, transcribed by students from Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, March 8, 2000.

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