PARENTS: Elias Darby Conger, Sr. and Mary Gregory
RELATIONSHIP: Ethel Atkinson stated: John B. Conger was half-brother of Rhoda Conger, who married Elizabeth Atkinson's brother, James Atkinson. John B. Conger was also cousin of Elias Conger.
REFERENCE: John and Elizabeth Conger lived in Adams Twp, Monroe Co., OH on what was known, as of 1882, as the Pfalzgraf farm. [The Congers,] after selling this farm [in 1849] moved to Iowa where they were living in 1882. (Source: Hardesty - Historical Hand Atlas)
LAND: John Conger and Elizabeth his wife of Monroe Co., OH sold land to John and Alexander Sinclair. Attested to: 29 Dec 1837 (Source: Burned Deed Records C & E in "Gateway to the West," page 219 - furnished by Joyce Posey)
EMIGRATION: Conger families came west to Iowa over time. Enos and Jane Strayer Conger came first, in 1845 (brother and wife) and homesteaded on the Charlton River. Then came Elias and John in 1849 (brothers) and they homesteaded claims in Caldwell township. They were followed in the early 50's by Benoni, James, Morris, Moses, Max, Mark and Stephen (brothers and nephews), with cousins Charles, Elias and William. (Source: The Conger Family of America - Maxine Crowell Leonard)
EMIGRATION: The John B. Conger family left Monroe Co., OH in 1849 for Appanoose Co., IA where they are listed in the 1860 census. (Source: The Conger Family of America, Vol. I, p. 299 - Maxine Crowell Leonard)
EMIGRATION: Joyce Posey reports that they later settled at Seymour, Wayne Co., Iowa.
LAND: First purchasers of land prior to 1856: Township 68, Range 17, District of Chariton. (Source: Appanoose Co., Iowa Book #1 of Land Patents - furnished by Joyce Posey)
Census: 1850, in Appanoose Co., IA, Caldwell Twp. 37/37, 23 Nov 1850
John Conger, 41, farmer, $1600 R/E, PA; Elizabeth, 40, OH
Mary, 18, OH; Elizabeth, 16, OH; Charles A. 14, OH; Nancy Jane, 12, OH;
William, 9, OH; Lydia A., 5, OH
(1850 Census furnished by Joyce Posey and Robert Guilinger)
COMMENT: At the time of the 1850 census of Caldwell Twp., Appanoose Co., Iowa there were three Conger and one Powell families living close together.
Enos and Jane (Strayer) Conger were Family #34
Elias Gregory and Rebecca (Patterson) Conger were Family #35
James B. and Hannah Powell were Family #36 with George Conger, 21, b. OH
John B. and Elizabeth (Atkinson) Conger were Family #37
Note: Enos, Elias Gregory, John B. Conger and Rebecca (Conger) Powell were siblings. George Washington Conger was the 1st cousin, 1 generation removed of these Conger siblings. As of January 1996 it is not known whether James B. and Hannah Powell were related to their three Conger neighbors or to Charles and Rebecca (Conger) Powell who were Family #15 in Center Twp., Appanoose Co., IA.
CHURCH_AFFILIATION: A Christian church was organized in 1855 in the area of where Exline, IA is now located. Among the members were John Conger and wife. About 1864 a church was erected. (Source: History of Appanoose Co., IA, 1878 - furnished by Joyce Posey)
Census: 1856, in Appanoose Co., IA, Caldwell Twp., family 99/99
John B. Conger, 47, PA, farmer, in state 7 years; Elizabeth, 48, OH
Charles, 21, OH; Nancy J., 18, OH; William, 16, OH; Lyda A., 10, OH
[Note: Everyone in Iowa 7 years.]
(Furnished by Robert Guilinger)
CENSUS: 1860, Appanoose Co., IA
Census: 1870, in Wayne Co., IA, Genoa, #3
Newton C. Michael, 27, clerk in store, IN; Lydia, 23, keeping house, OH
Elizabeth, f. 11/12, IA born in March
John Conger, 62, merchant, PA; Elizabeth Conger, 63, keeping house, OH
(Furnished by Joyce Posey)
BIOGRAPHY: Carried Gold In False Bottom of Their Tool Chest
Among the early settlers of Caldwell township, [Appanoose Co., IA], was John Conger, born in Green county, Pennsylvania in 1808. His wife, Elizabeth Atkinson Conger, was born in Ohio. She was the daughter and granddaughter of Revolutionary war soldiers and a half-sister of General Atkinson, prominent in the Black Hawk war.
Mr. and Mrs. Conger and their six children came from Ohio by flat-boat down the Ohio river to St. Louis where they transferred their belongings to a Mississippi river boat bound for Keokuk. They landed in Keokuk in the spring of 1849. The family remained in Lee county, while Mr. Conger looked for a location. In the fall of 1849 they came by covered wagons to Appanoose county, [IA], and paid $500 dollars in gold for an improved claim five miles south of Centerville. The gold was carried from Ohio in a double bottom tool chest. Many beautiful pieces of furniture, china and quilts were brought to the new home in the west. Soon after their arrival the house and contents were destroyed by fire. The family lived in the "claim house" a log house containing one room and a loft, until the new log house was built, a part of which is now standing. The improvements on the claim were some rail fences, small barn or shed, made of logs and a splendid deep well of water. A little girl who came to play with the Conger children told them her, "Granny Van Dike said the Mormons dug the well." When asked if her Granny was a Mormon, she replied, "Oh, no, she is just Granny."
Mr. and Mrs. Conger were charter members of the Christian church of Exline, [IA], which was organized in 1855. The Conger family moved to Centerville in 1864 and to Wayne county in 1869.
When the call came for volunteers in the Civil War, William Conger enlisted in Co., I, 36th Iowa, under Captain J.B. Gedney. He died at Benton Barracks in Dec. 1862. Charles Conger enlisted in Co. B, 6th Kansas Cavalry under Captain E.E. Harvey.
Nancy J. Conger married Wallace M. Harvey in Feb. 1861. In August of the same year he enlisted in Capt. Edwards state militia, traveling through Missouri to St. Joe, Mo., where they disbanded. In 1862 he enlisted in Co. I, 36th Iowa under Capt. J.B. Gedney and served until 1865 when he was mustered out of the service.
Lydia A. Conger married Newton C. Michael, Civil War soldier serving in the 17th Ia. under Capt. J.F. Walden.
[Note: The statement that Elizabeth Atkinson was a half-sister of General Atkinson, prominent in the Black Hawk War is incorrect, according to researchers working on the Atkinson family in 1996. There were two Atkinsons with the same name and no one has ever offered proof that there is any connection between General Atkinson and the Atkinsons of Monroe Co., Ohio. REH]
(Source: Early Pioneer Stories, p. 37, published by Appanoose County, Iowa Genealogical Society - furnished by Joyce Posey)
John Conger (John B. 1808) was progressive in the early day movements. At one time he lived in Centerville and built one of the first brick residences in the town. He helped to organize the first bank in Appanoose county, and later was among the founders of Seymour, Iowa. In the early days he owned and operated one of the first tread-powered threshing machines ever run in this section of the state, This was an advancement over the old chaff-piler and flailing system. (Source: The Conger Family of America - Maxine Crowell Leonard)
ERROR: Ulysses Grant Ross reported that John Conger died about 1878/1879. According to Robert Guilinger, the date of death is 8 Aug 1883 and he believes Mr. Ross was in error. Joyce Posey also lists the date of death as, 1883.
CEMETERY: South Lawn Cemetery; Seymour, Wayne Co., IA;
John Conger, Died Aug. 8, 1883, Age 75 yr., 2 m; Elizabeth A., Apr. 16, 1807 -
Dec. 1, 1895
[Note: John Conger calculated birth date, 8 Jun 1808. REH]
(Source: Wayne Co., Iowa Cemeteries Book 1846-1978 - furnished by Joyce Posey)