GEORGE W. CONN, a retired merchant and farmer of Florence, Penn., is descended from natives of the Emerald Isle. Thomas Conn, his grandfather, was born in Ireland and was a shoemaker by trade. About 1800 he and his family came to America, first locating in Hanover township, Washington Co., Penn., about two and a half miles east of Florence. He followed his trade and, as was then the custom of shoemakers, went from one house to another, and while there usually made enough shoes to last the whole family a season. They were the parents of the following children, some of whom were born in Ireland: Jane, Sarah, Maria, Rebecca, Elizabeth, William, Thomas, James, Isaac and Francis. The parents afterward located near Port Washington, on Buck Horn Waters, in Tuscarawas county, Ohio.
James Conn was born about 1799, and his literary advantages were limited to about thirty or forty days of schooling altogether. In later years he managed to acquire a good practical education, which, combined with good common sense, and the foundation for a successful life. He learned the mason's and bricklayer's trades, which he followed for many years. About 1830 he was married to Mrs. Eleanor (Brown) Miller (who was born in 1880), widow of Hugh Miller, and the daughter of Andrew Brown, a native of Scotland. At the time of her second marriage Mrs. Miller had one child, Elizabeth (now living in Beaver county Penn. ). To the union of James and Eleanor (Miller) Conn were born the following children: Nancy (widow of Joseph Anderson, living in Beaver county, Penn.), George W. (our subject), Sarah (deceased wife of Tallman Hooker, of Hancock county, W. Va.), James (a bricklayer, living in Kansas City), Ann (who was first married to William Finnegan, then to Isaac Evans; she died in Salineville, Ohio), Maria (Mrs. Phillips, of Allegheny county), Andrew B. (residing in Noblestown, Allegheny Co., Penn.), Ella (Mrs. John Woodrow, of McDonald, Penn.), Maggie (deceased wife of Daniel Greer), Pierce B. (deceased), Mary (married to Matthew Provines, now living in Grass Valley, Cal.) and Lorenzo D. (deceased). The parents were for some time residents of Beaver county, Penn., but passed the greater part of their lives in Hanover township, Washington county, where the father followed his trade. In politics he was a lifelong Democrat. He and his wife were both members of the M. E. Church. He died in 1878 in Beaver county, Penn., and on May 8, same year, his wife passed away.
George W. Conn was born September 14, 1823, in Beaver county, Penn. His early life was spent on the farm, and, being an apt scholar, he obtained a good education from the meager advantages then offered. He learned and followed the trades of mason and bricklayer for about fifteen years. On August 31, 1848, he was married to Mary Anderson, who was born in 1826, a daughter of John and Margaret (Kryder) Anderson. Mr. and Mrs. Conn have no children of their own, but have reared from infancy one who received parental care, Flora Anderson (deceased wife of Rev. A. F. Alexander). In 1861 Mr. Conn entered mercantile life in Florence, this county, and being an excellent judge of his class of goods did an extensive and profitable trade, which continued to increase until he owned the most extensive business of the kind in Florence. He made semi-annual trips to the East, there making his purchases and in 1875 disposed of his merchandise at a good profit. He then gave his attention to his farm, which was situated east of Florence, but continued to reside in town, having tenants on the farm. His health failing in 1880, he has since virtually led a retired life, although yet instructing in the management of the farm. In politics he is a Democrat. He has ever been active and energetic, and beginning life with no capital, has amassed a comfortable property, and is now a representative citizen of Florence.
Text taken from page 1350 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
Transcribed February 1997 by Neil and Marilyn Morton of Oswego, IL as part of the Beers Project.
Published February 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com/.
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