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Below is a family biography included in the book, Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published by Chapman Publishing Company in 1895.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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HENRY C. CONNER is the proprietor of the Star Mills and Elevator of Holden, Johnson County. The plant is a very fine one, and is equipped with modern appliances and machinery. The elevator handles two hundred thousand bushels of wheat, one hundred and fifty thousand bushels of corn, and fifty thousand bushels of oats annually, while the mill has a capacity of one hundred barrels of flour per day. He recently added to the mill a full roller cornmeal process, by which one hundred barrels of meal are ground each day.

The parents of our subject, Charles and Mary (Groves) Conner, were early settlers of Hardin County, Ohio, locating there about 1835. Grandfather Conner was of German-Irish lineage. H. C. is the eldest of four children, and as his father died when he was but eight years of age, the burden of the family support fell on his shoulders at an early day. The mother managed to keep her children together, and was greatly assisted by our subject. Notwithstanding the fact that he had to work at such a tender age, he obtained a fair education, for he was an apt pupil.

In 1862 he enlisted in Company B, Forty-fifth Ohio Infantry, with Captain Ammerman and Colonel Runkle, and for about a year was in the mounted infantry service on scouting duty in Kentucky and Tennessee, fighting with the cavalry. Later he went from Resaca to Atlanta, under Sherman’s command, returning with Thomas to Nashville. He took part in many engagements and pursued Morgan through Ohio. The only wound he received was at Cheshire, Ohio, and from the effects of this he was laid up in the hospital in Cincinnati and was later transferred to Camp Dennison. It was impossible for him to rejoin his regiment until January following, and when at Bull’s Gap he learned of the surrender of Lee. At Columbus, Ohio, he was mustered out, in June, 1865.

Going back to the old farm, he resumed its management, and attended school four months. By hard study he progressed rapidly and on taking an examination obtained a certificate to teach. This calling he followed during the winter of 1867 and 1868. In the fall of the latter year he started West, leaving the farm in charge of his brother, and, settling in Holden, entered into partnership with J. G. Cope, buying and selling grain. He saved about $400, which served as capital stock for his new enterprise. At the end of three years his partner retired from the firm and he conducted the business alone until 1876, then becoming associated with J. H. Smith. They put up a mill and used the old-style stone burrs. In 1885 Mr. Smith withdrew and Mr. Conner reconstructed the mill, placing therein a complete roller process. In 1891 he built an elevator across the railroad tracks, with a capacity of seventy-five thousand bushels, and in 1894 he added another story to the mill and made additional improvements.

Mr. Conner is a Republican, and cast his first vote for President Lincoln when in the army in 1864. After serving for two years in the Thirty-fourth General Assembly he received the nomination for re-election and ran ahead of his ticket, though he was beaten, as the opposite party had over three hundred majority in his district. He is a charter member of Holden Lodge No. 262, A. F. & A. M., and has been High Priest of the chapter. The Grand Army Post at Holden claims him as one of its members, and he has served on the staff of the State Commander one year.

December 30, 1875, Mr. Conner married Miss Emma Cheney, who was born in Illinois, and came to this state in girlhood. Three children have blessed the union of our subject and wife. Nettie E. graduated in the Class of ‘94 from both the scientific and musical departments of the seminary at Liberty, Mo.; Fred, a lad of ten years, is in the public school; and Fannie is the youngest. The parents are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and are highly esteemed by all who have the pleasure of their acquaintance.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Johnson County, Missouri portion of the book,  Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published in 1895 by Chapman Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Johnson County, Missouri family biographies here: Johnson County, Missouri Biographies

View a map of 1904 Johnson County, Missouri here: Johnson County, Missouri Map

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