George Conover
Biography

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 367-368, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  George Conover, of the firm of Petefish, Skiles & Co., bankers, Virginia, Illinois, was born in Princeton precinct, Cass County, this State, September 11, 1846. Of his life and ancestry we present the following facts:
  Dominicus Conover, great-grandfather of George Conover, was born in Holland and came to America in Colonial times, settling in New Jersey, where his son, Levi, was born. The latter served in a cavalry regiment for five years during the Revolutionary war. In 1790 he moved to Kentucky and settled near Lexington. Five years later he moved to Adair county, where he spent the residue of his life. The maiden name of his second wife, grandmother of our subject, was Jane Galbraith Turnbow. Their son, Levi Conover, Jr., was born in Adair county, Kentucky, and was there reared to manhood. At the age of twenty-two years he came to Cass county, Illinois, arriving here without any means other than the horse he had ridden. He found employment of various kinds, earning his first money by splitting rails at fifty cents per hundred. In 1834 he went to Galena and worked in the mines of that vicinity till fall. He then returned and went to the territory of Iowa, where he took a squatter's claim to Government land. He came back to Illinois and spent the winter, and in the spring returned to Iowa, in company with a friend, making the journey with oxen and wagon. He at once began the work of improving his claim, and soon had his log cabin built. In 1836 he returned to Illinois, married Elizabeth Petefish, and took his bride to their frontier home. In 1837, while they were on a visit to Cass county, this State, Mrs. Conover died, and soon after her death Mr. Conover sold his Iowa claim and settled in Cass county. In 1841 he moved on the Peter Conover homestead, on which he was engaged in farming for some years. From there he moved to the town of Virginia, where he spent the last years of his life. The maiden name of his second wife, mother of George, was Phoebe A. Rosenberger. Her father, John Rosenberger, was born of German parents.
  George Conover was reared on his father's farm, attending the district schools a portion of each year. He advanced his education by one term at Beardstown high school and one term at Wesleyan University at Bloomington, after which he entered Bryant and Stratten's Business College at Chicago. After his marriage he located on a farm, owned by his father, two miles and a half southeast of Virginia, which farm his father deeded to him soon afterward. He continued to reside there till 1876, when he came to Virginia to accept the position of bookkeeper in the bank of Petefish, Skiles & Co. The same year he became a partner, and so remains, and since 1884 has been cashier. He still owns his farm.
  In February, 1870, he married Virginia Lee Bone, a native of Rock Creek, Sangamon county, Illinois, daughter of William and Farinda (Osborn) Bone. To them have been born four children: William B., Ernest B., George B., and Virginia Louise.
  Politically Mr. Conover affiliates with the Democratic party. He has served two terms as Mayor and six years as a member of the Board of Education. Though not a third party man, he is a prohibitionist in principle. He was elected Mayor on the temperance issue, and it was during his first term that the saloons were closed in Virginia. They have since remained closed. He is a director in the Virginia Building and Loan Association.



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