NORTHWESTERN IOWA ITS HISTORY AND TRADITION VOLUMEIII 1804-1926
Few men of Ida county, Iowa, were as widely and favorably known as thelate Seymour Conger, of Ida Grove, whose death occurred there August 26, 1924.He was one of the strong and influential citizens whose lives were a partof the history of this section of the state and his name was synonymous for all that constituted honorable and upright manhood.Tireless energy, keen perception and honesty of purpose, combined with everyday common sense, were among his chief characteristics, and while advancing individual success he also contributed to the moral and material welfare of the community.
Mr. Conger was born in Lawrence county, New York, on the 22d ofOctober, 1846, and was therefore in the seventy-eighth year of his age at thetime of his death.He was a son of Ezra and Sarah (Cady) Conger, both ofwhom were natives of New York state.In 1862 they brought their family toWisconsin, locating on a farm, and there the mother died five years afterward.Later the father came to Iowa and made his home with his son, the subjectof this memoir, until his death, which occurred in 1882.Of the eight children in the family, but one is now living.
Seymour Conger was reared on the home farm and secured his education inthe public schools of his native state.He accompanied his parents ontheir removal to Wisconsin, remaining with them until about the time he attainedhis majority, when he was married.He then engaged in farming on his ownaccount there until 1876, when he came to Iowa.In the following year helocated in Ida county, where he bought and operated a small dairy farm, becominga successful stock and dairy farmer.He continued to live there until1892, when, having accumulated a competency, he retired and moved into IdaGrove, where he spent his remaining years.He was a man of energetic methods and progressive ideas.
In 1867, in Wisconsin, Mr. Conger was united in marriage to Miss Laura Kella, who is a native of Wisconsin and a daughter of James E. and Catherine (Miniken) Kella, the former of whom was a native of Canada and the latter of England.They were married in Syracuse, New York, and in 1849 moved to Dodge county, Wisconsin, where the father engaged in farming.Of their seven children, Mrs. Conger is now the only one living.No children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Conger, but out of the kindness of their hearts they reared and educated six children, one of whom is now state secretary and supervisor of sixteen counties in northwestern Iowa for the Bankers Life Insurance Company of Des Moines, Iowa.
Mr. Conger was a veteran of the Civil war, having enlisted in the First Regiment, Vermont Volunteer Cavalry, with which he rendered faithful service for three years.He took part in a number of the most important engagements of that great struggle and was wounded in the battle of Gettysburg.He was a member of the Friends church and took a deep interest in everything pertaining to the society's welfare.Mrs. Conger is a member of the MethodistEpiscopal church and takes an active part in church work.She lives in acomfortable, attractive home in Ida Grove and is also the owner of sixty acresof fine timber land in Washington.She is a lady of gracious qualities andhas a large circle of warm and devoted friends.Mr. Conger was a man of sterling character and upright life, whose career earned for him the unbounded confidence and esteem of his fellowmen, and his death was deeply regretted throughout the community of which he had been an honored resident.