OUR CONKLIN FAMILY HISTORY
compiled by Staci Anderson, January, 2004
William was a native of Delaware, according to "History of Union County, Ohio". He was married to Rebecca Coleman (from Maryland). However, early census records show the presence of the Conklins and the Coleman's in New York (mostly Orange County).( It will take a bit of research to straighten out all the Williams!) William emigrated at an early age to Ohio and resided for a while in Greene County. In spring of 1816 he moved to Union County, Ohio and was the 2nd settler of Mill Creek Township. William Conklin and his family must have been deeply religious. In 1818 the 1st church meeting was held at the Conklin home. They held meetings there for about 16 years until the town could erect a church.
1820 Census - Union County, Ohio, Mill Creek Township. William Conklin listed with 3 young males under 10, one age 10-16, one age 16-18, two age 16-26, one age 26-45 and also one female under 10 years, one age 10 - 16, one age16-26, and one age 26-45. Just under him is a Joseph Conklin, with a male age 16-26, and himself, over 45 years. This is very likely Williams father....
1830 Census - Union County, Ohio, Mill Creek Township. William Conklin, John N. Joel E?., and William (Jr.)listed as heads of household. Joel Coleman is present as well, father of Rebecca.
1840 Census - Union County, Ohio, Mill Creek Township. William Conklin, Joel and David Conklin still living in Union County. (John N. Conklin is absent...)
William lived in Union County, Ohio until right before the Civil War (1861). Then he moved Westward and died in Indiana (perhaps in Kosciusko County?). He was the father of the following children: John N.,William, David, Elizabeth, Jemima, Joel, Hannah, Joseph, Martha, Malachi (died in the civil war), and Anna. His son, John N is our ancestor.
JOHN N CONKLIN
John N. Conklin was born approximately 1800 in Ohio. (Probably Greene County,) He was a farmer and married a woman named Emily (Amelia) Funk (from Pennsylvania or Ohio?). John and Emily had a few children in Ohio, and then moved to Kosciusko County, Indiana sometime between 1842 and 1844. Their children were: Isabella, Hannah, Cyrus E.(was in the civil war), Francis M. (Our ancestor- was in the Civil War), and Margaret. John N was still living in 1870 (according to the census); however, Emily was not included on the census and presumed to have died sometime between the 1860 census and the 1870 census in her 60s.
FRANCIS MARION CONKLIN (Sergeant Francis Conklin during Civil War)
3 June 1841 born in Urbana, Champaign County, Ohio. By 1844 he was living in Kosciusko County, Indiana
22 April 1861 meeting of Kosciusko County citizens about the civil war. Francis M Conklin was in attendance and volunteered to serve.
Civil War Service:
April 1861- enlisted in Civil War, as a private with the 12th Indiana Infantry Regiment, Company E. (See the "Journal of the Kosciusko Guards" by William S Hemphill for a daily account of his 1st year of service in the civil war, written by a comrade.) At time of enlistment Conklin was described as 5 feet 8 inches, blue eyes and light hair
Oct 1861- while on a march to Hagerstown, Maryland by the Potomac River he lost most of his hearing in his right ear, due to cold from exposure. This seems to have gotten even worse over the years.
May 1862- Washington DC - President Lincoln himself addressed the 12th & 16th Indiana Regiments.
19/28 May 1862- honorably discharged in Washington DC 1 year later- mustered out a private.
25 July 1862- Reenlisted with 12th Regiment Indiana Infantry, this time with Company F, for a total of 3 years.
30 Aug 1862- Battle of Richmond, Kentucky. Regiment was mostly captured, and then paroled on the same day. They were then sent to Indianapolis, Indiana for reorganization. So Conklin was a prisoner of war for about one day.
31 Oct 1862- He became a Sergeant
Feb 1863- Suffered from Typhoid fever and was hospitalized in Grand Junction, Tennessee. He was ill for about 3 months and it took the lives of many soldiers. This disease was the cause of many health problems (mostly of his digestive organs)for the rest of his life. There are many affidavits in his war pension file that state that he could only do " half the labor as an able-bodied man" and could not perform "hard labor" after the war. He also suffered from headaches. Before the war he was a perfectly healthy man, but the Civil War cost him his health for the rest of his life. One person said that a he would often have to sit down and rest while working in the fields. Unfortunately, during the last years of his life, he was totally dependent on his wife Maria to take care of him.
15 Nov - Dec 10 1864- On Sherman's march to the Sea
8 June 1865- Honorably discharged in Washington DC
1867- moved from Indiana to Missouri.
27 Dec 1868 married Maria Dome in Utica, Livingston County, Missouri. 1880 - listed on Census as still living in Utica.
10 May 1882 - arrived Dakota Territory in late spring in a covered wagon. They had a team of horses, a cow, 2 hens and a rooster which they brought with them from Missouri They lived on a homestead near Conde, in Spink County and farmed on the prairie. It took them 7 weeks to make the trip by covered wagon with their 5 children: Charles, Harry, Frances, Eva and Laura. (Frances is our ancestor.) According to the homestead file, the Conklins built a frame house 14x16 on the NE corner of the homestead and a sod barn of 22x70 with a hay roof. They had about 135 acres worth about $1000 at that time. The home had a shingle roof, was 1 story, 3 rooms, 4 windows and 3 doors. There was also a cellar. Francis dug a 28 foot deep well. The house cost about $100.00, the stable was $75 and a well cost $75.00. Maria hung the milk and butter in the well to keep it cool in the summer. Francis and his boys farmed the land (mostly wheat but some oats, corn, potatoes & barley) and rented extra land. Soon they had 3 horses, 5 oxen, 3 cows, 3 yearling cattle, 7 hogs and 35 chickens. Their home was furnished with 3 beds with bedding, a table, a cupboard, 1 sewing machine, 2 stoves, 1 safe, 7 chairs, a kitchen and "table wares" according to the Homestead file. They had 3 more children (Stella, Florence and Bessie). (Some of this info is obtained from "Spink County in the Making" by Dana D. Harlow)
Dec 15th 1892- newspaper clipping in Kosciusko County, Indiana reads "Francis M Conkling, who left this county 24 years ago for Missouri, but who for the past 10 years has been a resident of Redfield, Spink County SD, returned to the scenes of his boyhood days this morning. During the war, he was a member of Comp F of the writer's (Reub William's) regiment- the 12th Indiana Infantry- and was a brave a gallant soldier. 24 years have made a great many changes in this vicinity, and Mr. Conkling thinks Center Lake a great deal smaller than when he last saw it. He met his old captain, Samuel Boughter, on the train and has succeeded fairly well in wheat farming in the Northwest."
2 June 1900- filed for Civil War pension benefits. From all the paperwork it appears that at some point, he had to fight the government a bit to receive a pension, and had to prove with many affidavits from doctors and friends how service during the Civil War caused the decline in his health. On top of his other health problems, he began to have heart problems and arthritis as well
1904 - sold home and returned to Utica, Livingston County, Missouri. In 1917 after their children were all married, they again sold their home and moved to Pomona California, where several of their children lived.
10 Feb 1926 died in Pomona, California- death cert. states he died from "enlarged prostate, general debility and myocarditis." 27 Sep 1928 Maria Dome Conkin was struck and killed by an automobile in Pomona Both Francis and Maria are buried at the Pomona Cemetery.
FRANCES MARIA CONKLIN (Taken in Salem, Oregon)
Frances Maria Conklin was the daughter of Francis Marion and Maria Dome. Obviously she takes the name of both of her parents. She was born on 27 January, 1874 in Utica, Livingston County, Missouri. She went with her parents by covered wagon to Dakota Territory and arrived there in Spring of 1882. When Frances was 15 years old she met her husband, Wilmot Kester and they were married in Conde on November 28th, 1889. After a brief time they traveled by train to Tacoma, Washington. Their 1st child, our ancestor, Catherine Maria Kester, was born on February 2nd, 1891. Because work was hard to get, they moved to Oregon, just north of Salem. They had 5 more children. After 1904 the family moved south into Polk County, near Buena Vista. They rented a farm on Soap Creek. Another child was born here. The next fall they bought a farm west of Suver. She was a lifelong member of "Neighbors in Woodcraft" and was active in the Thimble Club. She loved to garden, sew and cook. Her "sugar cookies" were well known and won many ribbons at the county fair for her sewing. At age 90 she had cataract surgery and it became difficult to see well enough to sew the fine stitches she was accustomed to making. Frances Maria Conklin died peacefully on July 13th 1968 in a Corvallis nursing home. - some information furnished by Opal Kester, 1986.
Francis Marion Conklin and wife Maria Dome Conklin seated with children standing at family reunion, presumably in Pomona,CA. Frances Maria and her husband Wilmot Kester are the 3rd couple from the right. If you can identify the other family members in this photograph, please contact me.
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