In 1883, when established by the Northern Pacific Railway it was named Palouse Junction. In 1888, the name was changed to honor a former station agent J. H. Connell or W.C. Connell, an early settler. The place was once described as “…a waterless, sandy region, fir only for the abode of rattlesnakes and coyotes.” The first post office was opened in January, 1887 and was closed in 1891.
Today Connell is a farm community, its trade depending on the farmers in the vicinity. Handsome brick and masonry buildings line the streets of Connell’s compact downtown. The Connell Heritage Museum occupies an historic church building, located in the Old Town Park across the railroad tracks to the west of downtown.