Stephen Conklin Sr. was born on or about Sept. 2, 1721 in Easthampton, Long Island, NY, the son of William and Ruth (Hedges) Conkling Sr. He was baptized on Sept. 3, 1721.
Deborah Dimon, his wife, was born in about 1724, was the daughter of John and Elizabeth (Davis) Dimon. She was baptized on Feb. 23, 1724.
The couple was wed on Sept. 3, 1747, when he was age 25 and she 23.
Their nine known children were Climena Ayrs, William Conkling, Stephen Conkling Jr., Ruth Whitaker, Mary Runyon, Capt. John J. Conklin, Isaac Conkling, Abraham "Abram" Conkling and Deborah Seward.
The newlyweds' first home was in Easthampton. About five or six years into the marriage, in 1752 or 1753, the couple took their young children in tow and moved to New Jersey. They settled in Morris County, NJ, where Stephen was considered a "freeholder" -- someone who held title to real property. There, in 1755, he joined the First Presbyterian Church of Morristown, where he was elected as a trustee.
During the American Revolutionary War, Stephen served in a state militia. More about this military activity will be added here once learned.
Deborah was the first to die, on Aug. 23, 1774, at the age of 49.
Stephen survived for another 17 years. He lived to see the announcement of the Declaration of Independence and the colonists' victory over English forces during the American Revolution.
At the age of 70 years and six days, he surrendered to death at home on Sept. 8, 1791.
The ashes of both rest for eternity in the cemetery of First Presbyterian Church of Morristown, NJ.
In 1913, Stephen posthumously was featured in the book The Conklings in America (Chas. H. Potter & Co., Inc., Washington, DC). The profile said that his grave marker consisted of a "headstone or memorial tablet [which] is of a reddish brown color, and is in a good state of cultivation, is about thirty-three inches in height, twenty-four inches in width, and about one and one-half inches in thickness." The inscription on his marker read as follows:
~ Daughter Climena (Conkling) Ayrs ~
Daughter Climena Conkling was born on June 30, 1748 in Easthampton, Long Island, NY. When she was a young girl, she moved with his parents to Morris County, NJ.
When she was age 25, on Nov. 22, 1773, she was united in matrimony with Josiah Ayrs ( ? - ? ), a native of Basking Ridge, Somerset County, NJ.
Two children born to this mae were Stephen Ayrs and Deborah Ayrs.
~ Son William Conkling ~
Son William Conkling (1749-1803) was born on Oct. 22, 1749 in Easthampton, Long Island, NY. In young boyhood he moved with his parents to Morris County, NJ.
He was joined in wedlock with Rebecca Whitaker ( ? - ? ), daughter of Jonathan Whitaker of Minebrook, Morris County, NJ.
The Conklings settled in Basking Ridge, Somerset County, NJ.
They became the parents of Phoebe Conkling, Stephen Conkling, Jonathan Conkling, Mary Littell, William Conkling, Joseph Conkling, Isaac Conkling and Nathaniel Conkling.
William reputedly died on Valentine's Day 1803, as recorded in the 1913 book The Conklings in America.
Daughter Phoebe Conkling (1779- ? ) was born on Sept. 29, 1779.
Son Stephen Conkling (1782- ? ) was born on Feb. 3, 1782. He was twice-wed. His first bride was Sally Coriell ( ? - ? ). His second spouse was Catherine Taylor ( ? - ? ).
Son Jonathan Conkling (1783- ? ) was born on Oct. 28, 1783. He entered into marriage with Apha Colie ( ? - ? ).
Daughter Mary Conkling (1785- ? ) was born on Oct. 7, 1785. On May 6, 1809, she wedded John Littell (Nov. 28, 1779- ? ), son of Nathan Littell of New Providence. Ten children were born to the couple. John authored the book First Settlers of Passaic Valley, 1852. He "served his country in a number of official positions and was a man of honor and more than ordinary ability," said the book The Conklings in America.
Son William Conkling (1787- ? ) was born in 1787. He married but did not reproduce.
Son Joseph Conkling (1789- ? ) was born on Nov. 28, 1789. He was united in matrimony with Sarah Hall ( ? - ? ), daughter of Richard Hall. If the couple bore children together, the names are not known.
Son Isaac Conkling (1792- ? ) was born on Jan. 24, 1792. He married Emily Halsey Fitch ( ? - ? ), daughter of Col. Grant Fitch of Newton, Sussex County, NJ. The couple is not believed to have reproduced.
Son Nathaniel Conkling (1794- ? ) was born on March 5, 1794. He was joined in the bonds of wedlock with Janos S. Rose ( ? - ? ). Their three known offspring were James Augustus Conkling, Mary Margaret Conkling and Anna Eliza Conkling.
~ Son Stephen Conkling Jr. ~
Son Stephen Conkling Jr. (1751-1788) was born on May 10, 1751 in Easthampton, Long Island, NY.
He was twice-married. On May 2, 1776, he wedded his first wife, Abigail Mitchel ( ? -1777). Sadly, she died in less than a year, on April 20, 1777. The cause of her untimely passing seems to be lost to history.
Stephen grieved for a little more than two years before marrying a second time to widow Rachel (Lindley) McCarty (June 1, 1758-1798), daughter of Benjamin and Sarah Lindley.
Together, the couple produced a family of children -- Sarah Condit, Elizabeth Conkling, Rachel Conkling and Stephen Conkling III. The family grieved at the death of daughter Rachel on June 4, 1790 at age five.
Sadness cascaded over the family once again when, at age 37, Stephen died on Aug. 31, 1788.
Daughter Sarah Conkling (1779-1854) was born on Sept. 14, 1779. She entered into marital union with Rev. Aaron Condit (Aug. 6, 1765-1852). He was a clergyman of the Presbyterian Church of Hanover. The couple did not reproduce. Aaron died at the age of 86 on April 10, 1852. Sarah outlived her spouse by two years. Death carried her away into eternity on Aug. 15, 1854.
Daughter Elizabeth Conkling (1782-1866) was born on Sept. 15, 1782. She never married. Elizabeth was a talented seamstress known for women's hatware, known at the time as "millinery." She "educated several children of her brothers Stephen and Benjamin," said the book The Conklings in America. She succumbed to the angel of death on March 14, 1866, following the close of the Civil War.
Son Stephen Conkling III (1786-1863) was born on Oct. 22, 1786. On Oct. 29, 1809, he was joined in holy matrimony with Abigail Cook (Aug. 23, 1789-1817), daughter of Col. James Cook of Morristown, NJ. Their four children were Elizabeth Shaw Gildersleve, Edgar Conkling, Henry Conkling and James Cook Conkling. Their son James was born in New York City in October 1816. Sadly, Abigail died just six months after childbirth on April 29, 1817 at the age of 37. The widowed Stephen spent a year in mourning and then on Sept. 1, 1818 married a second time to Margaret Belknap (May 16 1791-1867), daughter of Abel Belknap of Norwalk, CT. Eight more children were borne into the second union -- Sarah Conkling, Charles Conkling, Stephen Conkling IV, William Johnson Conkling, Francis Conkling, Mary Belknap Conkling, Aaron Conkling and Julia Ann Conkling. Three of the second set of children died young -- Sarah, Francis (Sept. 8, 1829) and Mary (March 7, 1849). Sons Charles, Stephen IV and William from the second family are known to have been born in New York City in the 1820s. The second marriage endured for 45 years until cleaved apart by death. Evidence hints that the Conklings relocated to Mt. Vernon, Knox County, OH by the early 1830s. Stephen died first, on July 8, 1863. Margaret followed him to the grave four years later, on Sept. 11, 1867.
In the spring of 1838, he came to Le Roy, in this county, making the journey in eighteen days, on horseback; his brother Edgar Conkling, was living there and had laid off two additions to the town; he returned to Ohio in a few weeks, and moved back to Le Roy the next fall, with his family; they came in a covered wagon, camping out on the way by the roadside; while living in Le Roy, he taught school and studied medicine with Dr. David Edwards: in the year 1843, he commenced the practice of medicine near Mount Hope, in the year 1844, he moved to Washington, Tazewell Co., this State; his health failing, he returned to Ohio in 1845, and practiced medicine five years, during which time he graduated and received his diploma from the Starling Medical College of Columbus, Ohio.
Further grief descended upon the family when Eliza, at age 31, passed away in Blooming Grove on April 1, 1850. After several months of mourning and arranging his affairs, he returned in June 1850 to McLean County, and established a home in the town of Hudson, where his sister and brother-in-law, Elizabeth and James T. Gildersleeve, were residing at the time. Henry practiced medicine in Hudson for 14 years, building what the History of McLean said became an "extensive practice." On New Year's Day 1851, he wedded again to Eliza S. (Oliver) Sampson (Sept. 9, 1827-1863), widow of Lucian A. Sampson, who had died of cholera in 1849 in Bloomington, McLean County. She brought a daughter of her own into the marriage, Belle Sampson. Henry and Eliza went on to produce a half-dozen children, among them Henry Oliver Conkling, Edgar Graham Conkling, Francis Wing Conkling, James G. Conkling and twins William J. Conkling and Caroline Belinda Conkling. Sadly, Eliza died in the fall of 1863. The widowed Henry moved into the city of Bloomington in 1864, during the midst of the Civil War. The book The Conklings in America said that during the war, Henry "was sent to the South in 1864 by Governor Yates, of Illinois, as an additional surgeon to look after the sanitary condition of the soldiers. He was assigned to the 7th Illinois Cavalry in pursuit of this aim. Said the History of McLean:
...when Corinth was evacuated by Gen. Beauregard, the Doctor, with some of the Union army, pressed hard after them; many of the Union soldiers were wounded in a skirmish; these the Doctor took charge of, placing them in a cabin having one room, the best that could be done for them at that time; as soon as they were able to be moved, the Doctor sent them the general hospital.
Henry used his observations in the field to author an influential pamphlet, entitled An Inside View of the Rebellion, and the American Citizens' Text-Book. Thousands of copies were distributed, including 10,000 in Illinois, where it was republished in the Chicago Tribune. The pamphlet was reprinted in Cincinnati, with thousands more copies sent into Ohio, Indiana and other states. Said The Conklings book, "It was a remarkably effective campaign document, and greatly helped to roll up the large majority which was given to re-elect Abraham Lincoln." After the war closed, he re-established a home in Bloomington. He was appointed one of the Examining Pension Surgeons for disabled and wounded soldiers, which position he held about three years. Henry married a third time in May 1866 to Matilda (Withers) Dodge (June 13, 1825-1906), daughter of Kentucky native Peter Withers and widow of Rev. C.E. Dodge, a Baptist pastor. No children resulted from the third marriage. Henry continued on with a heavy workload of community activism. Continued the History of McLean:
In June, 1866, the first meeting was held in Urbana, Ill., for the purpose of devising ways and means for the construction of a railroad from Danville, Ill., through Bloomington, to the Illinois River; he was the only delegate from Bloomington to the meeting; the meeting adjourned to meet in Le Roy in August, at which time an organization was effected, and the Doctor was appointed Secretary and one of the Directors of the road) known then as the Danville, Urbana, Bloomington & Pekin Railroad; he took a very active part in this enterprise, devoting all his time to its accomplishment; May 1, 1870, the road was finished, the Doctor putting in the last bolt that tied the road between Indianapolis and Pekin; as an appreciation of his efforts and success, the citizens of Bloomington presented to him, by the hands of Gen. I. Bloomfield, in Schroeder's Opera House, a valuable gold watch, engraved thereon a locomotive with the initials I. B. & W.R.R. The Doctor is the proprietor of the Turkish and Electro-Thermal Institute, located in Bloomington, Ill., for the treatment of disease, which is largely patronized, not only by invalids but those who take the baths as a luxury.
Henry died in Bloomington on Jan. 28, 1888. Matilda lived until death on April 30, 1906. More about this family may be found on pages 30-33 of the book The Conklings in America.
~ Daughter Ruth (Conkling) Whitaker ~
Daughter Ruth (Conkling) Whitaker ( ? - ? ) was baptized on Jan. 27, 1854 by Rev. Timothy Johnes in Morris County, NJ.
On Jan. 27, 1779, when she was about 25 years of age, she wedded widower Stephen Whitaker ( ? - ? ). He was a resident of Minebrook, NJ and had been married previously to Susan White ( ? - ? ). Stephen thus brought a stepdaughter to the second marriage, Susan Finley.
Ruth and Stephen together bore seven offspring -- Jonathan Whitaker, Mary Hall, Debora Ray, Stephen Whitaker, Henry Axtel Whitaker, William Henry Whitaker and Helen Elizabeth Whitaker. Grief blanketed the family at the early deaths of son Henry (age 5) and Helen (11 months).
Stepdaughter Susan Whitaker ( ? - ? ) married Alexander Finley ( ? - ? ).
Son Jonathan Whitaker ( ? - ? ) married Mary Bailey ( ? - ? ) and put down roots in New York.
Daughter Mary Whitaker ( ? - ? ) wedded Moses Hall ( ? - ? ).
Daughter Debora Whitaker ( ? - ? ) was joined in wedlock with William Ray ( ? - ? ). The couple dwelled in New York.
Son Stephen Whitaker ( ? -1851) died in 1851.
Son William Henry Whitaker ( ? - ? ).
~ Daughter Mary (Conkling) Runyon ~
Daughter Mary (Conkling) Runyon (1758-1848) was born in 1758 in Morris County, NJ. She received the rite of Christian baptism on Sept. 17, 1758.
At the age of about 20, on Feb. 18, 1778, she entered into marriage with John Runyon ( ? -1836), son of Richard Runyon of Long Hill. Their marriage endured for an extraordinary 58 years until separated by death.
The Runyons migrated to Ohio, settling near the head of the Little Miami River.
Eleven children born into this family included Stephen Runyon, Richard Runyon, John Runyon, Elias Runyon, Betsy McClain, Debby McClain, Polly Vance, Anne Runyon and three other daughters.
Son Stephen Runyon ( ? - 1813) was born in (?). He never married. He died in 1813.
Son Richard Runyon ( ? - ? )
Son John Runyon ( ? - ? )
Son Elias Runyon ( ? - ? )
Daughter Betsy Runyon ( ? - ? ) married Joseph McClain ( ? - ? ). He and James were brothers.
Daughter Debby Runyon ( ? - ? ) wedded James McClain ( ? - ? ). He and Joseph were brothers.
Daughter Polly Runyon ( ? - ? ) was joined in marriage with (?) Vance ( ? - ? ).
Daughter Anne Runyon ( ? - ? )
~ Son Isaac Conkling ~
Son Isaac Conkling (1761- ? ) was born in 1761 in Morris County, NJ. He was baptized on Aug. 30, 1761.
On Aug. 24, 1784, he was joined in holy wedlock with Comfort Pitney ( ? - ? ).
The couple's two children were Sarah Conkling and Jonathan Dimon Conkling.
Isaac is believed to have died on Sept. 12, 1791.
Comfort's fate is not known.
Daughter Sarah Conkling (1784- ? ) was born on Nov. 25, 1784.
Son Jonathan Dimon Conkling (1787- ? ) was born on July 7, 1787.
~ Son Abraham "Abram" Conkling ~
Son Abraham "Abram" Conkling (1765-1817) was born on Sept. 29, 1765 in Morris County, NJ.
On Feb. 11, 1789, at the age of 23, he was united in matrimonial bonds with Jemima Lindley (Nov. 15, 1769-1822), daughter of Major Joseph and Anna Lindsley/Lindley. Their wedding was held in Morristown, NJ by the hand of Rev. Timothy Johnes.
The couple is profiled extensively in the book The Conklings in America.
Ten children whom they produced together were Anna Conkling, Mariah Perry Jenkins, Deboral Broadwell, Richard Conkling, Eliza Tingley, Judge Zela Conkling, Joseph Lindley, Conkling, William Conkling, Willamina Morton and John Runyan Conkling. Grief blanked the young family when their eldest daughter Anna died at the age of six.
The Conklings first made a home in Morris County, NJ, where one son is known to have been born in 1801. Then in about 1804 or 1805 they relocated to Ohio. In time they settled in the western part of the state, in Indian Hill, Columbia Township, Hamilton County, OH.
The fates of Abraham and Jemima will be added here once discovered.
Daughter Mariah Conkling was twice-wed. Her first husband was John Perry. Later, she tied the knot with Noble Jenkins. She relocated to Indiana and was the mother of eight.
Daughter Deboral Conkling was joined in matrimony with Ira Broadwell. They put down roots in Indian Hill, OH and produced nine children.
Son Richard Conkling was married thrice. In all he fathered nine children. He too settled on Indian Hill, OH and was a manufacturer of white lead.
Daughter Eliza Conkling was united in wedlock with William Tingley. The Tingleys made a home in Indian Hill, OH. Their seven offspring were Elizabeth Tingley, John Beers Tingley, Jonathan Tingley, Samuel Tingley, Jemima Tingley, William Benton Tingley and Albert Tingley.
Son Judge Zela Conkling (1891-1869) was born on Dec. 11, 1801 in Morris County, NJ. In young boyhood he moved with his parents to Ohio and eventually settled in Indian Hill, Hamilton County, OH. With a strong desire to advance his life, he went to Cincinnati to learn the trade of coopering (barrel-making). Said the 1893 book The Conklings in America, "He attended night school and became a fair English scholar. He was especially well informed on ancient and modern history. While learning his trade in Cincinnati he had access to the Public Library and was a constant patron of it, and thus he became a student and ultimately a scholar of no mean attainments." When the opportunity arose, he joined a local militia regiment and was promoted to the rank of major, a title which he retained for the rest of his long years. On May 22, 1823, he entered into marriage with Sarah Chapman (Aug. 3, 1804- ? ), a native of Baltimore, MD but at the time a resident of Hamilton County. Zela, Sarah and their brood were profiled in The Conklings book. Their entry read, in part, that Zela:
... worked at his trade for some years in Cincinnati and acquired some means and purchased a home in the town of Millford, Ohio, but on account of defective title he lost the property. He then returned to Cincinnati and applied himself to his trade, and by economy soon had sufficient funds to enter 160 acres of land in the Miami River bottom. The land was heavily timbered and somewhat swampy, but after a year or two he succeeded in "clearing off" forty acres suitable for cultivation. But his wife's health failing, he sold the "farm," and in the year 183S, in the early spring, he embarked on a steamboat for the "Grand River Country" in northern Missouri. He landed at the town of DeWitt, in Carroll County. Loading his household effects into a heavy wagon drawn by two yoke of oxen, he "trekked" the almost pathless prairie to what is now the extreme southwest corner of Grundy County, but which was then Livingston County, this county extending at that time -- 1838 -- to the Iowa line.
Accompanying Zela Conkling on this "move" from Cincinnati, Ohio, was George Truot [Trout?], with his family. No two pioneers, better qualified to endure hardships, ever entered the Western wilderness. They were both mechanics. They were both in the prime of life. They were experienced woodsmen. They were experts with the rifle, but did not depend upon it for a livelihood. They were social and domestic in their habits. They knew what the comforts of civilized life were. And so their thoughts and endeavors turned towards the attainment of the enjoyments and excellencies of life. "Cabins" were soon erected; other buildings soon followed. The second year a school was started in a cabin, and in a few years a school house was built, which was one of the first built in Grundy County. It attracted settlers. It also attracted preachers. The "circuit rider" came quickly. Then the "Baptist" was heard "preaching in the wilderness." Soon more than a dozen families located in reach of this "school house," and it became a center of influence. It became a regular preaching place for Methodist and Baptist and became known as "Gee's Creek Meeting House." The first "teachers" employed to teach in this school house were James Estes, Joshua Bond, and George H. Newton, a "Yankee..."
After seven years of hardship, toil, and suffering, though not unmixed with some joy and triumph, Zela Conkling endured a painful bereavement. As is said of Ezekiel, "his wife died." Sarah Chapman Conkling died September 3, 1845. She lived a Christian and died in peace. Her tomb is in the cemetery of Mount Pleasant church yard, Gee's Creek, Grundy County, Mo. Sarah Chapman Conkling was a strong character -- strong in her devotion to her ideals of life. The firmness of her religious convictions was phenomenal. Duty, as she understood it, was the aim and end of life. Kind, affectionate, devoted, yet firm in all relations; she was respectful, dignified, courteous and friendly. She was companionable and a social favorite. There was a magnetism in her presence that charmed and attracted, and all that knew her were her friends. It was common for friends to say that Sarah Conkling was just naturally good. Doubtless she was a favorite of Dame Nature, which is a good asset. But she was intensely religious, and none knew this better than her family. And it was this that made her a devoted wife and an affectionate mother. Her admirers said she was amiable. It was religion reflected in her life. One of her children said that mother could sing "Away over in the Promised Land" sweeter than anybody else. This may have been tinged with filial affection, but Sarah Conkling's religious life was real -- and her memory is dearly sweet.
Zela and Sarah together bore these nine known children -- William Conkling, John Lindley Conkling, Abram Conkling, Margaret Jemima Newton, Joseph Conkling, Thomas Jefferson Conkling, Richard Conkling, Willamena Price, Ira Broadwell Conkling and James Finley Conkling. Sadly, sons Abram and James (1844?) died in infancy. After his first wife's death, Zela married a second time to widow Jane (Smith) Wilson (Feb. 19, 1813-1866). A native of Pocahontas County, VA, she brought three of her children into the union with Zela -- Mohn Smith, Cyrus Smith and Martha Anderson. Together, Zela and Jane produced another five offspring -- Harvey Wilson Conkling, twins Mariah Elizabeth Grimes and James Franklin Conkling, LaFayette Conkling and Francis Marion Conkling. Grief continued to make its presence felt at the death of son LaFayette at the age of only two months on April 22, 1853. Peacefully, Zela slipped away into death on April 7, 1869. Interment of the remains was in the sacred soil of Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Grundy County. In closing out Zela's life story, the Conklings book said that he:
...was a man of pronounced personality. He was independent in thought, original, versatile, firm, yet complaisant. While charitable he was acquisitive, and by industry and economy he acquired extensive land interests, and was prominently identified with public enterprises of his day. In life he was exemplary; as a judge of the court in his county he was just. He was a Methodist and constantly an official of the church. Politically, Thomas Jefferson was his model statesman.
Great-grandson Walter Price married Highland ( ? - ? ), with the wedding taking place in Missouri. They did not reproduce. Sadly, Highland died in California.
Great-granddaughter Willie [Willamena?] wedded William Ewing and bore four children.
Great-granddaughter Anna Price was not married circa 1893.
Great-granddaughter Dora Price was joined in marriage with Robert L. Anderson ( ? - ? ), son of John B. and Martha (Wilson) Anderson. They established their residence in Sacramento and produced two sons, Robert Anderson and James Anderson.
Great-grandson Samuel Martin Price lived circa 1893 in Bates County, MO. He was married at the time and had two children.
Son Joseph Lindley Conkling ventured into the union of matrimony with four different wives. He fathered one child by his second wife and two by his third.
Son William Conkling was married and lived in Cincinnati.
Daughter Willamina Conkling wedded William Morton. They were the parents of Jemima Morton, Susannah Morton, Sarah Morton, Emily Morton and Isaac Morton. The family dwelled in Cincinnati.
Son John Runyan/Runyo Conkling (1814- ? ) was born on Nov. 6, 1814. On Feb. 28, 1834, at the age of 19, he was united in the holy bonds of wedlock with Amanda Connet (July 29, 1815- ? ). The nuptials were conducted in Ohio. Together, they produced an extraordinary headcount of 14 children -- Albert L. Conkling, Ira B. Conkling, Charity A. Goben, Ellen J. Stowe, Katherine E. Porter, Mary W. Stowe, William H. Conkling, John R. Conkling, , Charles A. Conkling, Deborah J. Yeowel, Sarah M. Sinclair, Margaret L. Knight, Joseph L. Conkling and Richard A. Conkling. The Conklings book states that "In 1850 John Runyan Conkling emigrated from Ohio to Missouri and settled on a farm in Livingston County. He was a coopoer and a fine workman, an active Mason, and an exemplary man in every respect. In 1857 he moved to Texas and died in Denton County." Most of the Conkling children wedded Texans.
~ Daughter Deborah (Conkling) Seward ~
Daughter Deborah (Conkling) Seward (1769- ? ) was born on April 17, 1769 in Morris County, NY.
On March 18, 1790, when she was age 20, she wedded John Seward ( ? - ? ).
The Sewards relocated to Goshen, NY.