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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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THOMAS ANTHONY CONRAD is numbered among the best farmers and citizens of Johnson County. His well improved and thrifty homestead is situated on section 23, township 45, range 29, and here he has a place of one hundred and twenty acres, on which he has erected good buildings, and neat hedges divide the fields into convenient size. He is a good Republican, and cast his first Presidential ballot in 1864 for Abraham Lincoln, while in the army. In 1875 he was elected Justice of the Peace, and held the office acceptably for six years. In 1886 he was a candidate for the office of Presiding Judge of the County Court, but, as the Democrats were in the majority, he was defeated, although he lacked only thirty-four votes. Contrary to his will, his friends again insisted on his running for the Probate Judgeship in 1890, with the result which he had anticipated — defeat. Nevertheless, he is personally very popular, and has many strong friends among those of his own political faith.

Our subject was born in Cambria County, Pa., February 19, 1840, being a son of James and Susan (Coons) Conrad, both of German descent, and probably natives of the Keystone State. James Conrad was a miller by trade, and also carried on a good farm, on which he had fine water power, a saw and grist mill. His entire life was passed in Cambria County, and, though he commenced his business career with but twenty-five cents, he became quite well-to-do, and at the time of his death, in 1879, his estate was valued at about $20,000. At first an old-line Whig, he later became a stanch Republican and voted for Fremont. A strong friend of the Union, he furnished two sons for the service, Thomas A. and his elder brother, Francis Jerome, the latter of whom was in the army about three years, and is now a resident of Jewell County, Kan. The family comprised eleven children, three of whom died in childhood and two others after reaching mature years. The father, who was a man of much prominence, in 1865 was nominated for County Commissioner, and at one time was a candidate for the State Legislature, though he was defeated, as his party was in the minority. Religiously he was an adherent of the Catholic Church, as is also the subject of this sketch.

When he was quite young, Thomas A. Conrad began working in his father’s mill, and before he was twenty-one he had charge of the grinding. He received an ordinary education, and a few months after attaining his majority determined to go to the aid of the Old Flag. July 4, 1861, he enlisted in Company F, Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Regiment, and was assigned to the Army of the Potomac. He took part in a number of important battles, among which were Cedar Mountain and Antietam, and was in many minor skirmishes. For three or four months he was very sick, being confined in the hospital with chronic disease, contracted by exposure and privation, and in February, 1863, was discharged on this account. He returned home, and after regaining a fair measure of health again entered the fray, in June, 1863, as a private in the Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Emergency Regiment, which went out for three months, just before the battle of Gettysburg. At the end of six weeks he was again obliged to be discharged, but once more, in February, 1864, he re-enlisted, and served from that time until November 11, 1865, in Company E, Third Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, stationed at Fortress Monroe.

September 10, 1867, Mr. Conrad married Caroline Tiley, a native of England, who came to the United States with her parents, William and Mary Tiley, when she was quite small, and grew to womanhood in Cambria County. By her marriage she became the mother of nine children. Agnes Frances, whose birth occurred April 25, 1868, died August 14, 1871; Adeline Maria, born December 9, 1869, died August 30, 1871; William James, born November 26, 1871, died August 6, 1878; Dessa, born September 15, 1873, was confirmed at the age of fifteen years; Thomas Edward, born October 17, 1875, is attending the normal school at Ft. Scott, Kan.; Luvena Agnes, born April 29, 1877, was confirmed when she was thirteen years old; George Francis was born July 24, 1879; Loretta Christina was born April 29, 1881; and Caroline Elizabeth, born May 25, 1883, died August 8, 1884.

In 1869 Thomas A. Conrad and two of his brothers came to this section and bought eighty acres of land. Later our subject purchased his brothers’ interest, and has since given his attention to the improvement of the place on which he yet resides, which now includes one hundred and twenty acres. Though his permanent disabilities would justly entitle him to a pension, he has never applied for one, as he is very independent, preferring to be self-reliant as long as possible. Though his own educational advantages were rather limited, he is determined to give his children a better chance than fell to his lot, and keeps in touch with all measures for advancement. His many friends respect him for his honorable ways and for his uprightness of character, and he is well and favorably known in this community.

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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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