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Conklin, Conkling Family

The Conklin or Conkling family of Jerseyville lived in Elizabeth and West Field, New Jersey in colonial Days. Between 1804 and 1810 three sons of Joseph and Mary (Cory) Conkling moved to Cincinnati Ohio. In 1863, a great-grandson, Joseph Marsh Conkling moved from a farm in Butler County, Ohio to Jerseyville. Joseph Marsh Conkling son of Pierson and Hannah (Marsh) Conkling was born on 16 February 1813 in Warren County, Pennsylvania. When he was a baby, his parents moved from Pennsylvania to Butler County, Ohio. Family oral history says that when he and his family were traveling to Ohio by flatboat, he fell into the river. One of the Indian guides who was traveling with the family dove into the river shouting, “No more Johnny cake! No more baby!” Joseph married Charlotte Maria Ross, daughter of Amos and Lydia (Williams) Ross on 17 February 1835 in Reily Township (Butler County), Ohio. An expense journal which Joseph kept from 1851-1865 shows that the family purchased many goods at the local stores. They were probably comfortably well off economically and produced few goods for their own consumption. The journal shows purchases of beef, pork, veal, eggs, butter, and fabrics, as well as shoes, hats and a vest for one of the children. They purchased a lot of molasses and sometimes purchased things in large quantities. Joseph was a farmer. In 1863 the family moved from Butler County to Jerseyville (Jersey County), Illinois. By the time Joseph and Charlotte moved to Jerseyville several of their neighbors from Butler County and Cincinnati had relocated to Jerseyville. Many of these are the same families that moved to Ohio from Elizabeth and West Field, New Jersey around 1800.

The Ross family bible says that Joseph’s wife, Charlotte Ross, was born in Americus, Ohio on 30 December 1816. She was the daughter of Amos and Lydia (Williams) Ross of New Jersey. Her tombstone gives her birth date as 31 January 1816. Charlotte died on 19 July 1896 and Joseph died on 18 October 1891. Both died in Jerseyville and are buried in the Conklin family plot at Oak Grove Cemetery in Jerseyville. At some point, this family changed the spelling of their name from Conkling to Conklin. Their children were David, John, Amos, Lydia, and Laura. Lydia married David Beatty of Jerseyville and that family moved to Knob Knoster, Missouri. The rest of the children remained in Jerseyville. The Conklin family were members of the Presbyterian Church in Jerseyville.

Amos Lurton Conklin, son of Joseph and Charlotte (Ross) Conklin was born on 27 October 1849 in Reily Township (Butler County), Ohio. In 1863, he moved to Jerseyville, Illinois with his parents. It was in Jerseyville on 27 October 1874 that he married Sarah Vincent, daughter of William and Ellen (Mark) Vincent. Sarah was born on 11 July 1855 in Hastings (Dakotah County), Minnesota. Her parents were married in Pennsylvania and may have lived in Ohio before coming to Illinois. Sarah and others alternately spelled her name as Vincent and Vinson. Sarah’s mother died when she was four and Sarah grew up in the home of Sanford Ross, a cousin of the Conklin family in Jerseyville. Her father had left the family earlier and moved west. Amos was a farmer. He is said to have liked horses, as did many men of his time and had several trotters. His son, Ted always spoke highly of him and held him in high regard. Amos died on 23 March 1921 in Jerseyville. Sarah died in St. Louis, Missouri at her daughters’ home on 19 April 1941. They are buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in Jerseyville.

Theodore Lurton Conklin, son of Amos and Sarah Vincent (Vinson) was born on 21 March 1888 in Jerseyville (Jersey County), Illinois. On 23 April 1921 he married Frederica Marie Keller, daughter of Cosmos and Mary Jane (Knapp) Keller in St. Louis, Missouri. When Ted was a teenager, his family sold their farm and moved into the town of Jerseyville. Ted graduated from Jersey County High School and attended a business college in St. Louis. He was in the Marines in World War I and fought at the 2nd Battle of the Marne and Belleau Woods. During the war, he was wounded and gassed with mustard gas. Before marrying, he spent some time in Oregon where he may have worked as a forester. He must have enjoyed this period of his life as he often told his granddaughter that he would have liked to have lived there. A train receipt shows that he spent $40.10 for a ticket to Klamath Falls, Oregon on March 15, 1914. He also worked for the Ford Motor Company in Detroit, Michigan. After returning to Jerseyville and marrying, Ted held various government jobs which included road construction work, state highway patrolman, manager of Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton, Illinois, and Jerseyville City Commissioner.

Theodore and Frederica had two daughters, Mary Winifred Conklin Schertz (1922-2000) and Marjorie Belle Conklin Tracy (1924-2004). Theodore died on 3 August 1973 in Jerseyville. Both Theodore and Frederica are buried in the Conklin family plot at Oak Grove Cemetery in Jerseyville. Marjorie Conklin Tracy (Mrs. William Tracy) was the last member of the Conklin family to live in Jerseyville. She moved from Jerseyville to Springfield shortly before her death

Information contributed by Sheri Iamele.

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