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Theodore L. Conklin and Frederica Marie (Keller) ConklinWorld War I Jersey County Soldier
Theodore Lurton CONKLIN, son of Amos and Sarah Vincent (VINSON) CONKLIN 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. 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 died on 3 August 1973 in Jerseyville.
Frederica Marie (KELLER) CONKLIN, was the daughter of Cosmos and Mary Jane (KNAPP) KELLER. She was born on 24 October 1888 in Elsah (Jersey County), Illinois. She was named after her grandmother, Frederica Dorathea (BEHRENS) KELLER. She grew up in Jerseyville. She graduated from Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois. She then taught in Jersey County until she was married. At one time, she taught in a one room school where one of her students was Nellie MASSEY who later became the mother of Frederica’s son-in-law William TRACY of Jerseyville. After she was married, Frederica stopped teaching as was the custom at that time. However, when her younger daughter was four, Frederica received a phone call from the school asking her to temporarily help out and take the place of an ill teacher. Frederica continued teaching for about twenty-five more years. During her teaching career, she taught second grade and junior high school English, and was also principal of the grade school for awhile. It was very unusual for a married woman to work, especially as a teacher at that time and there was some criticism among the community especially during the depression that she was “taking the job away from a man.” Frederica’s greatest love was teaching and the English language–both literature and grammar. During the1950’s she was on the library board in Jerseyville. She was a very loved teacher in Jerseyville and when her granddaughter would come to visit, people would often tell her how much they valued having her as a teacher.
Frederica married Theodore Lurton Conklin of Jerseyville on 23 April 1921 in St, Louis, Missouri. They lived at 410 S. Lafayette St. in Jerseyville. Frederica was a member of Holy Ghost Church. They were the parents of Mary Winifred Conklin (SCHERTZ) and Marjorie Conklin (TRACY). Frederica died on 1 December 1963. Both Theodore and Frederica are buried in the Conklin family plot at Oak Grove Cemetery in Jerseyville.
Contributed by Sheri Iamele, Worthington, Ohio, [email protected]