Our History


In the late 1870’s, Daniel O’Connell, an Irish immigrant, was fired by the Mayor from his public works job in the City of Holyoke. The reason? He refused to fire his crew to satisfy the whims of political patronage. With that small group of proven performers, he established our company and continued to serve as a heavy construction contractor throughout Western Massachusetts. Thus began Daniel O’Connell’s Sons; selective people with good work ethics who subscribe to our unwritten motto: “Fill your shovel or fill your coat.” The founder’s grandson, Daniel J. O’Connell, recognized the need to expand and diversify beyond the local market and into fields related to construction. Beginning in the 1970’s, he led our company into a number of other successful activities including real estate development and property management. His business philosophy and emphasis on fair dealing continues to guide us today.

The history of The O’Connell Companies is the story of hard-working people building a reputation of integrity and quality, and always following Daniel’s motto to “Strive for Excellence.” Daniel O’Connell’s Sons has grown since 1879 from a local general contractor building roads and bridges, to a regional construction company offering sophisticated construction management and general contracting services to both public and private clients.

Click here to view the O’Connell’s History Video