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Conkright, Isaac S.
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Conkright, Isaac S.
Contributed by Barbara
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Source: Past and Present of Pike County, Page 292-293


Isaac S. Conkright, proprietor of a grocery and confectionery store in Salem, also closely connected with agricultural interests in various departments and well known as a breeder of thoroughbred horses, was born September 28, 1838, on what is known as the Conkright place about a mile from his present home. His father, Isaac Conkright, Sr., was a native of Kentucky, and came to Illinois at an early day, settling upon the farm upon which the birth of our subject occurred. The paternal grandfather also bore the name of Isaac Conkright, and on coming to Pike county with his son Isaac, took up land from the government, which has since been in possession of the family. He was a factor in the pioneer development of this part of the state and aided in laying broad and deep the foundation for the present prosperity and progress of the county. Isaac Conkright, father of our subject, continued a resident of Pike county from the time of his arrival here in pioneer days until his demise, and was regarded as one of the leading agriculturists and corn-raisers in this part of the state. He also owned some land in Kansas, and he found that through the utilization of his business opportunities he could secure a competence. Gradually he worked his way upward, becoming one of the substantial residents of this part of the state. In his family were six children, of whom three are now living: Isaac S., of this review; Mrs. Sarah Preble, who resides in New Salem; and Mrs. Elizabeth Doane, who is living in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Isaac S. Conkright was educated in the common schools of Pike county, and was reared to farm labor, early becoming familiar with the various duties that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. For forty-five years he engaged in threshing. In 1866 he purchased his present home and has occupied it continuously since. He owns two hundred and seventy-one acres of fine land under a high state of cultivation, the place being well improved with all modern equipments and accessories. He erected the residence and other buildings upon the place and has kept his farm in a splendid condition, embodying all the rules of the progressive agriculturist. He was extensively engaged in wheat-raising at an earlier day, but afterward turned his attention to the raising of stock, more particularly cattle and hogs. He operated a thresher, clover huller and feed mill and in this way added to his income as the years passed by. He is likewise well known as a breeder of horses and now owns two fine thoroughbred stallions, one Blackhawk and one Belgian. He is well known as a horse breeder, and in this branch of his business, as well as in other lines, has met with success. He also owns a grocery and confectionery store and ice cream parlor in New Salem, and is owner of the town hall there.

Mr. Conkright was united in marriage to Miss Harriet Bean, who was born upon the farm where she now resides. She is a daughter of John Bean, who came to Pike county with his father, and entered land from the government in pioneer times, this being the farm upon which Mr. and Mrs. Conkright now reside. They have two sons: John, who married Hannah Chaney and lives near his father; and Bert, who resides upon the homestead farm. He married Miss Nettie Slaughter, who died leaving four children, and he afterward wedded Lula Harris. John Conkright has a family of six children.

In his political views Mr. Conkright is an earnest and stalwart republican, but has never sought or desired office, preferring to concentrate his energies upon his business affairs. He and his wife are members of the Universalist church, of New Salem; and in the community where they reside they enjoy the confidence and good will of all with whom they have been associated through social or business relations. Mr. Conkright has never used tobacco in any form, and deserves much credit for what he has achieved. Realizing the truth of the old Greek adage, "Earn thy reward: the gods give naught to sloth," he has labored persistently and energetically as the years have gone by, doing much hard work and thus gaining the success which always comes as the direct result of earnest purpose and energetic effort. He is widely known in the community and his many friends admire him for what he has accomplished as well as for his commendable personal characteristics.

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Submitted: 04/17/09

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