Tiffin, Ohio — The Seneca County Museum is to host a special presentation next week, as a professor from Missouri tells the story of an Irish Catholic immigrant who spent some of his life in Tiffin in the mid-1800s before leaving his “hometown” to seek his fortune.
The man never forgot our community, and his contributions are still touching the lives of people in Tiffin today.
At 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 17th, Dr. Chad D. Stebbins, will tell the Thomas Connor story.
Stebbins, a communications professor at Missouri Southern State University, will deliver a presentation including information from his books, The Connor Hotel and Tom Connor.
The public is encouraged to attend and hear the presentation at the Seneca County Museum, 28 Clay St. Books are to be sold at the museum.
The program is free, but there will be a donation box.
Connor died in 1907, but his financial contributions and rags-to-riches story continues to positively impact many, including people in Seneca County.
Seneca County Museum Director Theresa Sullivan said that Connor was a very charitable man. He donated $20,000 to help build St. Mary’s Catholic in Tiffin. Sullivan said there is a plaque in the vestibule the church bearing his name.
Connor also donated about $100,000 in funding to the city of Tiffin.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, $100,000 in 1902 is equivalent in purchasing power to more than $3.1 million today.
In Tiffin, there is still a Memorial Commission in Connor’s name that works to help the less fortunate.
Sullivan said she is excited for Stebbins’ presentation.
“Connor is someone that Tiffin has mostly forgotten, but he needs to be remembered because he never forgot his hometown of Tiffin or St. Mary’s Catholic Church, his former parish,” she said. “I think people will enjoy learning more from Dr. Stebbins’ program.”
Stebbins is the director of the Institute of International Studies at MSSU and is a history buff. He also has a connection to the area, as he has a Ph.D. in mass communication from Bowling Green State University.
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