Connell is a city in Franklin County, Washington, United States. The population was 4,209 at the 2010 census. Take a look below for 20 interesting and fascinating facts about Connell, Washington, United States.
1. The Washington State Office of Financial Management’s 2018 estimate placed the population at 5,566.
2. The community was established in 1883 as a junction between the Northern Pacific Railroad and the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company.
3. The new town was called Palouse Junction by Jacob Cornelius Connell, a railroad official and resident. Palouse Junction was unique on the Ainsworth to Spokane run, in that it was not on a river.
4. It was also the gateway to the Palouse via the OR&N’s line to Washtucna.
5. Water for trains and for the town was from public wells dug by the railroad. At some time between 1886 and 1900, the town was renamed to Connell.
6. The Northern Pacific Railroad ceased service to the station in 1890, but the Union Pacific Railroad took over the station in 1901, and the town began to grow again. A school district was formed sometime between 1900 and 1904.
7. In 1902 the Franklin County Bank was Incorporated in Connell, and the Connell Land and Improvement Company was established. Also in that year, the county allowed a franchisee to begin piping in water for the town (Although this was never very successful, and the following year a good well hit water at 268 feet).
8. In 1903, lots on the west side of the tracks were sold, and a new commercial district began to grow, and a number of existing buildings were even moved to these new lots.
9. By this time the town rivaled Pasco in importance in Franklin County. Unfortunately, much of the business district was destroyed by fire in July, 1905. The destroyed sections were quickly rebuilt using brick.
10. Connell was officially incorporated on November 28, 1910.
11. Dryland wheat farming was the lifeblood of Connell through most of the twentieth century.
12. The primary industrial base is food processing, agricultural chemicals and a minimum and medium-security correctional facility that is capable of holding 2600 offenders. The community is also home to the North Franklin School District where there is a high school, junior high, grade school and administration offices.
13. Both the state and county have transportation facilities in the community. The community has many well maintained parks. The city also has a pool which was recently remodeled. City athletic fields range from general purpose open space, to soccer and baseball fields. The city has purchased additional water rights and has water for future growth in residential, commercial and industrial activities.
14. A new wastewater treatment facility was completed. New waterlines were installed to replace aging pipes.
15. During the last ten years, the city has rebuilt Columbia Avenue, the main thoroughfare, and reconstructed its industrial streets, and received a grant award to reconstruct a portion of Clark Street. This roadway connects the downtown to Highway 260 on the west side of town, and serves the junior and senior high schools and administration buildings for the school district. The medium-security facility Coyote Ridge Corrections Center, was built near the city.
16. Connell continues to struggle to find its “niche”. Local businesses struggle to compete against the major business of the Tri-Cities and Othello. Several businesses have left (Akins Food, B&H clothing, Tru-Value Hardware and Les Schwab Tire) and very few new businesses have been established.
17. In 2009, former Spokane Valley, Washington City Councilman Steve Taylor was selected as Connell’s new city Administrator. Connell has a strong-mayor form of city government with the Administrator reporting to the mayor. As of April 2016 the City Administrator was Jed Crowther.
18. Coyote Ridge Corrections Facility is actively hiring hundreds of employees, Oasis Custom Homes purchased land across from the High School and is building many new homes in a master-planned community called the Oasis Village Connell, and the school district has constructed a new elementary school on Clark Street, next to the Oasis Village. Even commercial lots near Hwy 395 are being purchased and developed. A Subway franchise opened in Connell in June 2012.
19. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Connell has a semi-arid climate, abbreviated “BSk” on climate maps.
20. It is the least snowy city in Eastern Washington, on average.