David H. McConnell

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David Hall McConnell
David H. McConnell
David H. McConnell, Sr., 1928
Born(1858-07-18)July 18, 1858
DiedJanuary 20, 1937(1937-01-20) (aged 78)
Alma materOswego State Normal School
Occupationsalesman, entrepreneur, businessman
Known forAvon Products

David Hall McConnell Sr (July 18, 1858 – January 20, 1937) was a successful businessman, entrepreneur, and cosmetic salesman who was the Founder and President of what became Avon Products.

Early life[edit]

David Hall McConnell was born in Oswego, New York, son of James and Isabel (Hall) McConnell, who came from County Cavan, Ireland, in 1845 and settled in Oswego, where James McConnell became a farmer and brick manufacturer.

Brought up on a farm, McConnell attended a district school and the Oswego State Normal School and was planning to become a mathematics teacher, but instead entered business life in 1879 as a salesman for a New York book selling agency. In 1880 he joined the Union Publishing Co. of Chicago and three years later was placed in charge of southern territory, making his home in Atlanta, GA. He started out selling books, with books he did not get enough income so he started to add free perfumes which he made himself. Soon he saw that ladies were quite interested in buying perfumes, even more than the books. He decided that, if books could be sold house-to-house, perfumes could also.

Avon Products[edit]

McConnell utilised this conception and grew his California Perfume Company. At first he manufactured his own perfumes at home and went during the day selling them along with books until the enterprise grew and he had to discontinue his book selling and establish a perfume laboratory in Suffern, NY. Other toiletries and cosmetics were soon added to his line of products which he sold under the CPC name. Later the company also began to manufacture flavoring extracts and other household articles sold under the brand name, Perfection.

From the onset, McConnell effected distribution of his products through housewives and other women who could devote only a portion of their time to the work. His first sales agent was Persis Foster Eames Albee. The years brought steadily increasing success and, at the time of his death, his sales force had grown to over 30,000 agents and the volume of sales was measured in the millions.

On June 16, 1909, McConnell and Alexander D. Henderson, signed an agreement of Corporation for the California Perfume Company in the state of New Jersey.[1] On January 28, 1916, the California Perfume Company was incorporated in the state of New York. McConnell, Henderson, and William Scheele were listed as company officials.[2] Through subsequent changes in name it became Allied Products, Inc., and incorporated in 1924, being an outgrowth of the California Perfume Company of Canada, Ltd., which was started in 1906; Hinze Ambrosia, Inc., and Technical Laboratories, Inc.

McConnell was president, chairman of the board and principal owner of Avon Allied Products, Inc., and its affiliated companies until his death. He was also treasurer of G.W. Camrick & Co., manufacturers of pharmaceutical supplies in Newark, NJ, and a director of the Holly Hill Fruit Products, Inc., a large orange grove and canning enterprise of Davenport, FL. He was one of the founders of the Suffern National Bank of which he became vice president in 1901, president in 1922 and chairman of the board in 1927. He was again elected chairman of the board and president in 1933 and continued in one or the other office until his death.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

For varying periods he was superintendent of schools in Suffern; president of the Suffern Board of Education, and treasurer of the Rockland County Republican committee. During the First World War he was chairman of the Rockland County selective service board. He was a Mason and a member of the Union League Club of New York City, the Ormond Beach Club of Florida, the Arcola, NY Country Club and Houvenkoph Country Club of Suffern, NY.

He was married in Chicago, March 31, 1885, to Lucy Emma Hayes, daughter of Ward Hays of Le Porte, Indiana and had three children: Edna Bertha, who married William Van Allen Clark; Doris Hall, who married Edward Hall Faile; and David Hall McConnell, Jr. He died in Suffern, New York on January 20, 1937.[3]


  1. ^ "Agreement of Incorporation for California Perfume Company". Hagley Museum and Library. Retrieved 2012-12-17.
  2. ^ Weekly Drug markets, New Incorporations, Volume 2, Page 26. Google eBooks. Retrieved 2012-12-17.
  3. ^ Long, Craig H. (2011). Suffern. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9780738573519.

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