John Thomas Lenahan O'Connell, the son of Joseph Francis O'Connell and Marietta (Lenahan) O'Connell, was born in Boston, Mass. on 6 June 1913. Known to family and friends as "Lenahan," he graduated from Boston College in 1934 and Boston University Law School in 1938, and was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar the same year. He was employed in his father's law firm in Boston, the Law Offices of Joseph F. O'Connell. In the meantime, he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a private in 1936 and graduated from the Massachusetts Military Academy the same year with a promotion to second lieutenant, retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 1965. Lenahan served during World War II in camps around the U.S. and in Dutch New Guinea (from July 1944), and in the National Guard and Reserves until his retirement. On 7 Sep. 1942, he married Priscilla Halloran, the daughter of Aloysius T. Halloran of Jamaica Plain, Mass.
The collection consists of correspondence, military papers, and a scrapbook of World War II soldier and Boston, Mass. lawyer John T. Lenahan O'Connell (known as "Lenahan"), 1936-2001. The correspondence includes personal letters between Lenahan and his wife Priscilla (Halloran) O'Connell, as well as his brothers Joseph F. O'Connell, Jr. and Finbarr O'Connell. Some of the letters to Priscilla were written while Lenahan was serving in New Guinea during World War II. The collection also contains business letters to his father Joseph F. O'Connell and office assistant Margaret M. Kelly while working in his father's legal firm. Military papers relate to O'Connell's active duty in the U.S. Army, including service during World War II in the 332nd Field Artillery and in the Judge Advocate General's Corps, and to his service in the National Guard and Reserves. Also included is an oversize scrapbook containing wartime newspaper clippings and ephemera.
The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) holds the following collections related to the John T. Lenahan O'Connell papers:
John T. Lenahan O'Connell photographs, 1932-1956. Photo. Coll. 500.57.
Gift of John T. Lenahan O'Connell in March 2005, with additions in December 2012.
The bulk of the John T. Lenahan O'Connell papers are stored offsite and must be requested at least one business day in advance. Contact the Library at firstname.lastname@example.org or (617) 536-1608 to request materials. Please discuss your request with the reading room staff before requesting cartons by barcode.
The Massachusetts Historical Society does not claim ownership to the literary rights (copyright) of letters and manuscripts written by individuals other than Lenahan O'Connell in this collection. The Massachusetts Historical Society cannot give permission to publish or quote from documents by individuals for whom it does not hold copyright. Use of these materials does not imply permission to publish. It is the sole responsibility of the researcher to obtain formal permission from the owners of the literary rights (copyright) to publish or quote from documents in this collection.
The collection is organized into the following series:
John T. Lenahan O'Connell papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.
Photographs have been removed from this collection to the John T. Lenahan O'Connell photographs, 1932-1956. Photo. Coll. 500.57.
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