ITS HISTORY AND TRADITION
Few men of Ida county, Iowa, were as widely and favorably known as the late
Seymour Conger, of Ida Grove, whose death occurred there August 26, 1924. He
was one of the strong and influential citizens whose lives were a part of the
history of this section of the state and his name was synonymous for all
that constituted honorable and upright manhood. Tireless energy, keen
perception and honesty of purpose, combined with everyday common sense, were among his chief characteristics, and while advancing individual success he also contributed to the moral and material welfare of the community.
Mr. Conger was born in Lawrence county, New York, on the 22d of October,
1846, and was therefore in the seventy-eighth year of his age at the time of his
death. He was a son of Ezra and Sarah (Cady) Conger, both of whom were
natives of New York state. In 1862 they brought their family to Wisconsin,
locating on a farm, and there the mother died five years afterward. Later the
father came to Iowa and made his home with his son, the subject of this memoir,
until his death, which occurred in 1882. Of the eight children in the family, but one is now living.
Seymour Conger was reared on the home farm and secured his education in the
public schools of his native state. He accompanied his parents on their
removal to Wisconsin, remaining with them until about the time he attained his
majority, when he was married. He then engaged in farming on his own account
there until 1876, when he came to Iowa. In the following year he located in
Ida county, where he bought and operated a small dairy farm, becoming a
successful stock and dairy farmer. He continued to live there until 1892, when,
having accumulated a competency, he retired and moved into Ida Grove, where he spent his remaining years. He was a man of energetic methods and progressive ideas.
In 1867, in Wisconsin, Mr. Conger was united in marriage to Miss Laura
Kella, who is a native of Wisconsin and a daughter of James E. and Catherine
(Miniken) Kella, the former of whom was a native of Canada and the latter of
England. They were married in Syracuse, New York, and in 1849 moved to Dodge county, Wisconsin, where the father engaged in farming. Of their seven children, Mrs. Conger is now the only one living. No children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Conger, but out of the kindness of their hearts they reared and educated six children, one of whom is now state secretary and supervisor of sixteen counties in northwestern Iowa for the Bankers Life Insurance Company of Des Moines, Iowa.
Mr. Conger was a veteran of the Civil war, having enlisted in the First
Regiment, Vermont Volunteer Cavalry, with which he rendered faithful service for
three years. He took part in a number of the most important engagements of
that great struggle and was wounded in the battle of Gettysburg. He was a
member of the Friends church and took a deep interest in everything pertaining
to the society's welfare. Mrs. Conger is a member of the Methodist Episcopal
church and takes an active part in church work. She lives in a comfortable,
attractive home in Ida Grove and is also the owner of sixty acres of fine
timber land in Washington. She is a lady of gracious qualities and has a large
circle of warm and devoted friends. Mr. Conger was a man of sterling character and upright life, whose career earned for him the unbounded confidence and esteem of his fellowmen, and his death was deeply regretted throughout the
community of which he had been an honored resident.
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