C.K. Conger Prominent When Tekamah Was Young Dies at 96
Casper K. Conger, who was an early pioneer in Tekamah, died at his home near Valentine, Nebraska, September 14, 1923, aged 96 years, 4 months and 5 days.
Mr. Conger's ancestors were among the Pilgrim fathers, a record of which he had in his family Bible dating back to 1700. He was of Scotch-English parents, born in Hannibal, Oswego County, New York, May 9, 1827.
In his school days he began to prepare himself for the ministry, but had to abandon his chosen profession owing to the death of his mother and engaged in farming. His uncle, Rev. Enoch Conger and brother, Rev. Delmar Conger, became prominent as Presbyterian ministers. The Conger family moved to Plymouth, Ohio, where on May 2, 1850 he was united in marriage to Marietta Conklin of English-Irish decent, as her forefathers came over on the Mayflower. Mr. Conger in the early fifties moved to Salem, Indiana and later to South Bend, Ind., where he engaged in business, also in farming.
Four daughters and two sons were born to Mr. and Mrs. Conger: Mrs. Mary Sutherland, Tekamah, Nebr.; Mrs. Carolyn Hawks, Chloride, Ariz.; Mrs. Evelyn Ludwick, and Mrs. Florence Caister in Los Angeles, Calif.; Chas. M. Conger, Cody, Wyo. and Chester W. Conger, Riverside, Calif., all of whom are left to mourn the passing of a loving and devoted father.
Mr. Conger came to Nebraska with his family from South Bend, Ind. locating in Tekamah, May 6, 1869, and engaged in the hotel business in the old blockhouse, where for a time it was the stage station on the Omaha - Sioux City route, and he was the express agent and postmaster. Later he sold the hotel and bought a farm northwest of Tekamah where Mrs. Conger passed away September 17, 1879, which caused Mr. Conger to sell his farm and return to Tekamah. In the spring of 1883 he was married to Miss Maria Norris of Flint, Michigan and later in that year he moved to a farm near Valentine, Nebraska. Two daughters were born to this second union, Mrs. Jane Weich and Mrs. Margaret McCormick, both whom survive their father and were with him during his last illness their mother having passed away November 9, 1913.
The burial of Mr. Conger was made at Valentine much to the disappointment of his many old time friends in Tekamah, where his activity and wholesome influence for the uplift of humanity left monuments to his memory. He was the founder of the Presbyterian church in this city in 1869 and contributed a good share of the funds to erect the first church building in Tekamah.
Mr. Conger was also an active factor in organizing the Masonic lodge in Tekamah in November 1869 and was its first worshipful master. He was a Knights Templar Mason before he left South Bend, Ind., and became a charter member in organizing Mount Calvary commandry in Omaha, the first in Nebraska.
Mr. Conger was the first chairman of the town board of trustees in its re-organization after the Civil War, which had caused the little hamlet to become almost de-populated and had let its municipal charter lapse which was granted in 1855 by the territorial legislature.
He was also an active factor in organizing Tekamah's Cemetery in 1874 which has since become such a beauty spot. He had frequently expressed his desire to be laid to rest there beside his two wives and many friends.
The Masonic lodge in Tekamah had expected to confer special honor at the burial of its first master, but since interment occurred in Valentine, Monday, floral offerings were sent to that city for the funeral as silent tributes of respects for the worthy old pioneer.
(Source: undated obituary clipping, p. 692, Conger Confab - furnished by Robert Guilinger)