GROVE CONINGHAM, deceased, was a native of New York city, born December 27, 1816. His father, Grove Coningham, Senior, was born in Londonderry, Ireland, about 1766. He emigrated to New York city at an early age and married Betsy Baldwin, of Putnam county, New York. They had nine children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the eighth. The father died in December, 1831, in New York city. His wife survived him thirty-eight years.
Our subject received his education in New York and at the age of sixteen came to Schuyler county, Illinois. In 1843 he returned to his native city and lived there for three years, then returned to Schuyler county in 1851. He made a trip to California in 1851 and remained for two years employed in the custom house. This was his business and had been from his youth, as he had been associated with his father in the same for years. In 1853 he returned to his old home in Frederick and settled there. There he resides until his death in 1891, February 21. Mr. Coningham was a business man for many years as a member of the firm of Farwell & Company, which lasted from 1855 to 1870. He was a stanch Republican in politics and an ardent supporter of the war and a friend of the soldiers. For two years after the dissolution of the firm of Farwell & Company he served as steamboat agent, and subsequently as Tax Collector, and held other positions of trust and responsibility. In 1866 he was appointed Postmaster at Frederick, which position he held for over twenty years. Mr. Coningham was a man of sterling worth and integrity. He was of a jovial disposition that made him friends wherever he was. He was noted for his firm adherence to the right whatever the cost might be. He was a worthy communicant of the Episcopal Church.
He was married in Frederick, Illinois, to Sarah H. Beal, in 1856. She is the daughter of Jesse O. and Sarah (Vail) Beal, born in Coshocton county, Ohio, March 21, 1836. Her father came of German ancestry, and her mother traces her genealogy back to the Vails who came to Plymouth. Of a family of nine only three are now living. Her brother Foster was a soldier in the Mexican war and is buried on Mexican soil. Samuel now resides in Frederick, a farmer; Julia resides in DeWitt, Iowa, and Mrs. Coningham is the third living one of that once large family.
Mr. and Mrs. Coningham had seven children, namely: Charlie, married, and lives in St. Louis, a telegraph operator; Grove, unmarried, located at San Francisco, in the insurance business; Jesse is employed in the registry department of the St. Louis postoffice, a position he has held for eight years; Betsy, now Mrs. Moses, resides in Pueblo, Colorado; Grant, the youngest, named for the noted general, is married, employed in a saw mill and resides with his mother. Mrs. Coningham is a worthy member of the Christian Church, and has always been respected and liked by her large circle of friends.
Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois, Biographical Review Publishing Co., Chicago, 1892, pages 289-290.
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