From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and
Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing
Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 289-290, a reprinted by Stevens
Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County
Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
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 Illinois
and settled in 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 resided 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 De Witt, 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 post office, 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.