Kit Carson County, Colorado
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Kit Carson County Pioneers:

Aaron D. Conger, 6 South 44 West

In 1860 Keokuk County, Iowa, William Conger is 25, Mahala E . 29, with John 19, Sarah E.7, Aaron 5, and William 2.
Aaron is in another household in 1870, age 14, and his mother Mahala with Thomas and Thomas is with Thomas Bowers 42 .
His mother Mahala, born 1829, died in 1907, buried in Kirk, Colorado, # 67354360
"Mahala Bowers Conger moved to Yuma Co ca 1900. She may have been living with sisters Delilah LAWRENCE, Sarah DOOLITTLE, and Eliza WHEELER"

William was badly wounded at the Battle of Shiloh. He wrote home about this battle saying afterwards a man could hardly walk without stepping on the dead; the Tennessee River was running red with spilled blood.
William was discharged after that but re-enlisted in the Army and was wounded again, resulting in a withered arm. He never returned home. It is believed that he did not want to be a burden to his family, so he disappeared from his home and friends. About eight years after his death the family learned he had died of cancer of the stomach, somewhere in Michigan ."

Aaron proved up two quarters in section 6, 6S 44W in 1920.
Aaron Conger, son of Wm. Conger, Sr. and M. Bowers, married Nettie Miller in Ottumwa, Iowa June 6, 1893.
In 1900 Keokuk County, Aaron born Dec 1857 in Iowa, married 7 years to Nettie April 1870 California, have Vernon July 1890, Lester April 1894, Bessie Oct 1895, Opal Oand Ola both born Oct 1899. His aunt Eliza Oct 1833 Ohio is with them.
In 1910 Aaron D. Conger is a carpenter in Powesheik County, Iowa, 54, with Nettia 40 California, married 16 years, with Bessie 14, Ola B. 10, Leslie P. 6, and Ellsworth E. 4, all four born in Iowa. Vernon E. Miller, stepson, 18 born in Iowa is with them.
In 1920 Aaron is farming in Kit Carson County, 64, living alone.
Nettie is back in Poweshiek County in 1920, 47, with Leslie 16 and Bessie Holden 23. Joseph McGrew, a roomer, 31, born in Kentucky.

In 1930 Poweshiek County, Aaron is 74, Nettie 58, with Bessie F. McGrew 33 a glove fitter, and Leslie P. Mcgrew 25 a railroad watchman.

Aaron Denman Conger 1855-1935 is buried in Poweshiek County, # 94965526, with Aneta Mae (Miller) Conger 1870-1941.

Aaron Denman Conger, 78 years old, passed away Tuesday, October 22, [1935] at 5:50 a.m., at his home at 317 Main street.
Mr. Conger had been a resident of Grinnell for the past 23 years.
He was born near Knoxville, Iowa, Dec. 10, 1856, the son of William and Mahala Bowers Conger, and followed the trade of a carpenter.
He was married June 4, 1893, to Nettie M. Miller, daughter of Enoch and Eliza Miller. They lived near Hedrick, Iowa, until 1912 when they moved to Grinnell.
About a year ago he was injured in a fall and had been an invalid since.
He is survived by his wife and three children, Bessie McGrew, Mrs. Ola Grovenburg, and Leslie Conger, all of Grinnell. Four children died in infancy.
Nettie is widowed in 1940 Poweshiek County, with Leslie Conger 33 and Bessie McGar 43, married but no spouse.

OLA

Mrs. Ola B. Grovenburg, 70, of 201 Main St., Grinnell, [IA] died Saturday evening [29 Nov 1969] at her home. She had been in poor health the past few years and recently had been confined to her home.
The daughter of Aaron and Nettie Miller Conger, she was born Oct. 30, 1899, at Hedrick, Iowa. When 13 years old, her family moved to Grinnell, [IA] where she resided ever since.
On Aug. 2, 1919, she was married to Dennis W. Grovenburg at Montezuma. The couple had eight children, six of whom survive.
Mrs. Grovenburg was employed at the Grinnell Shoe Co. for a number of years. She also worked at the DeKalb Seed Corn Co. and the Danish Maid Bakery prior to her retirement five years ago.
She is survived by her children, Mrs. Maurice (Mildred) Kester of Grinnell, Mrs. Ralph (Helen) Strand of Kellogg, Dennis W. Grovenburg of Grinnell, Mrs. Thelma Fisher of Newton, Lloyd Keith Grovenburg of Grinnell, and Mrs. Manly (Shirley) Lillie of Grinnell; 17 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and her brother, Leslie Conger of Grinnell.
Mrs. Grovenburg was preceded in death by her husband in 1948; two children, Ernest and Kenneth Grovenburg; three grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and six brothers and sisters, Lester, Ollie, Opal and Ellworth Conger, Mrs. Bessie McGrew and Vernon Miller.
Funeral services for Mrs. Grovenburg will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday [2 Dec 1969] at the Smith Funeral Home, with the Rev. Ralph Beebe of the Mayflower Home officiating. Organist will be Mrs. Willard Heffner. Pallbearers will include Floyd Beason, Donovan Evans, William J. Haines, Clair Strand, William Stevenson and Asa Talbott. Burial will be in Hazelwood Cemetery.

Horace G. Doolittle, son of S. M. Doolittle and Sarah J. Bowers, married Rosa A. Conger, daughter of W.P Conger, Feb 11, 1885 in Marshall COunty, IOwa.

Harley Conger, son of John Thomas Conger, recalls the following incidents, submitted by his son, Milton Bailey (Pete) Conger.
"When Alfred, Horace, John, Harley and Roy [Conger] were small boys the adventurous men who scouted in the West were the heroes of the day and were revered by these boys. One of these retired scouts was grandfather, John Burtlow, who was the father of [Laura] Viola (Burtlow) [Conger.] He had scouted for the army out of Fort Wallace, Kansas and Fort Laramie, Wyoming and up through Yellowstone Park and in the Dakotas. Grandfather Burtlow would sit with the boys in the afternoon shade and tell wonderful stories of the west and fighting Indians, of swimming dangerous rivers, etc. He could shoot out a squirrel's eye, saying the squirrel was not fit to eat if shot otherwise. He was a deadly shot. Grandfather scouted with Buffalo Bill Cody and also knew Wild Bill Hicock.
"When John T. [Conger] was sparking Viola, before they were married, he was coming home through heavy woods one night. Uncle Owen Bowers waited behind a long to scare John T., as reports had come in of a big cat in the neighborhood. He waited for John T. to come close; then Owen raised up from behind the log and made a terrifying sound like a cat. What Owen didn't know -- but was soon to find out -- was that John T. carried two nice big rocks in his hands! Immediately he threw at that terrible cat (he thought) and hit it directly in the forehead. From the whooping and hollering then ensuing from behind the log he knew that Uncle Owen had tried to play another trick on him. This one back-fired.
"John T. acquired a 160 acre timbered farm 6 miles south of Ottumwa, Iowa. He cut barrel hoops and delivered them to Ottumwa Packing House for $9.00 per thousand. All the family worked at the barrell hoops and they did this work in the kitchen of the house in the winter time on a shaving horse.
"Tom (John T.) and Harley went to Fremon to do some trading; Tom had a good horse except he was a "stump sucker." They met a friend that had a heavier mare and the friend talked Tom into an even trade. Seemed like a fine horse for the first few miles; then it became evident that the mare had 'heaves.' When they reached home Viola said, 'Tom, what happened to your horse?' Upon confessing the trade to her, Viola said, 'Dog-gone it, Tom, you know you can't trade horses without getting took every time. You are too honest to come out ahead of a horse-trader.'
"Times were tough and it seemed the people of substance looked down on tenant farmers (Tom and his boys farmed and did building at the same time). It seemed that they could not get ahead, so Tom began to think about moving west. In 1906, he took a Homestead at Landsman, Colorado (near Burlington) on the South Fork of the Republican River. After the covered wagon trip in 1907 Viola was very homesick and returned to Iowa to visit her people. While in Iowa she became ill with smallposs and was under quarantine.
"Tom wrote: 'Well, Viola, I would like to hear from you, we are well. Write and tell me when you are going to get to go to Delta and make arrangements to come home.
"'Monday and Tuesday we are going to plant a big corn patch, about 20 acres and get us a mill to make molasses. Well, Viola, I attended a meeting today with the beet factory men and signed a $100.00 note for a railroad and factory and agreed to raise 20 acres of beets. You know what a railroad means to us; it means that our land is worth $50.00 per acre today. We will build a good stone house and get a good grow. Won't we enjoy life?
"'Now Uncle Porter (Burtlow), we are building that stone house for Mace. We have the first story built. Porter, everybody is going wild over the railroad. You ought to be here as soon as you can and get in on the ground floor. When they locate the towns there will be a boom. There will be about five towns from St. Francis. All will have to be build. It will take 1,000 hands for the beets. I like this country better every day I stay here.
"'Viola, when you get home let us spend the rest of our days together and be happy. We have had a long and stormy life so let us build and enjoy our remaining days as best we can. I hope when these lines come to hand it will find you all well.' (From Tom to Viola)
"Tom later returned to Iowa for his family, livestock and belongings. The family making the trip consisted of Tom and wife, Viola, children: Alfred, Horace, John, Roy, Harley and Merle. Also, Grandmother, Mahala [E. (Bowers) Conger], and her other son, Aaron Conger. The trip was made in a covered wagon, also one riding horse. The family carried a tent which was pitched at night to sleep in. In Nebraska Grandmother became sick so they pitched camp and nursed her back to health. During this time Tom got a job on construction at some small town. Two weeks later they were able to travel. Without further incident they arrived at the Colorado homestead on October 25, 1907.
"The railroad was never finished. ... no beets were raised until 1956 -- twenty-five years after Tom [Conger's] death." (Source: The Conger Family of America, Vol. I, p. 323-325 - Maxine Crowell Leonard)
Alfred A. Conger proved up 310 acres in section 1, 7S 45W in 1917.

Horace G. Conger proved up 320 acres in sections 2, 11, and 12, 6S 45W in 1917.

John T. Conger cash-claimed 154 acres in section 33, 5 1/2 South 45 W in 1910, and proved up two quarters in section 25, 6S 45W in 1917.

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