|Birth: ||Jan. 14, 1808|
|Death: ||Jun. 26, 1880|
Biography, 1882 (edited):
Among the sturdy pioneers who converted the wild prairie into productive farms, and built up the little commonwealth of Cass County, was the lamented Levi Conover.
Levi was born Jan. 14, 1808; his brother, Peter, in the year 1825, came to Illinois, and entered the Gilmore farm, two miles south of Princeton, then in Sangamon, now in Morgan County. In 1827 he sold his first purchase, and entered 240 acres just east of the Jeff Crum farm, in this county, where he remained until 1860. He then moved to Macon County, this State, where he still lives, at the advanced age of seventy-eight years.
In the year 1832, the subject of this sketch, and his sister Matilda, with her husband, Asa B. Lane, came to Illinois. He was then twenty-two years of age. His outfit upon leaving Kentucky consisted of a good horse, a fine mare and colt, and a small amount of money. After having traveled three days, he awoke one morning to find that his mare and colt had been stolen, and a week was spent by the entire party in a fruitless search for the missing property.
On reaching Illinois with one horse, his money was all spent, and he was in debt to his brother Peter and Mr. Lane. Thus, one of Cass County's most successful pioneers commenced his career without means, except that most valuable capital, health, honesty, industry and economy. He purchased another horse of his brother Peter, for $35, paying for the same by splitting rails at fifty cents per hundred. After paying this debt he continued rail splitting until he had accumulated $105 in silver. This he loaned to a man who moved to Iowa, and he never collected a cent of the debt.
In the spring of 1834, he went to Galena and worked in the lead mines at Mineral Point, until fall, when he returned and emigrated to Iowa. There he bought a claim for $75, and divided it with a friend. They returned to Illinois, purchased oxen and wagons, and then returned to Iowa, and spent the next summer breaking in and improving their farms. During the spring of 1835, he, Mr. Conover, built for himself a substantial hewed log house, 16x18, a smoke-house, and a stable. Unable to obtain plank, a quilt was hung up at the opening left for a door, to keep the wolves out. Finally the door and floor were made of puncheon.
In November, 1836, he married Miss Elizabeth Petefish, of Cass County, sister of S.H. and Jacob Petefish, and they soon after proceeded to their Iowa home. They returned to Illinois in August, 1837, on a visit. Mr. Conover returned to Iowa after a two weeks stay, leaving his wife to complete her visit. She was soon taken sick and died the latter part of that same month. So imperfect were the mail facilities at that time, that he did not learn of her death until two weeks after her burial. This sore bereavement unsettled his plans, and he sold his claim of 560 acres for $3,000 in silver, with which he returned to Cass County, and loaned it to his friends, Jacob Epler, Capt. Charles Beggs, and J. Bradley Thompson.
In January, 1841, he purchased the old homestead of the family, from his cousin John, son of Peter Conover, which was settled in 1822. His experience on first settling in this country was not unlike that of many of the energetic and resolute class of men who were the pioneers of the West, and to whom the public are indebted for the orderly and intelligent character of the society we now enjoy.
His second marriage was to Miss Phebe A. Rosenberger, who with three children, George, Charles W., and Ellen, now survives him. Mrs. Conover's father, John Rosenberger, and her mother, were both of German parentage, and came to Illinois and settled at Princeton, in 1836. They raised a large family, of which Phebe A., was the oldest.
(History of Cass County, Illinois, ed. William Henry Perrin. O. L. Baskin & Co. Historical Publishers, Chicago, 1882, edited by the contributor for length and inaccuracies).
Levi Conover (1757 - 1837)
Phebe A. Rosenberger Conover (1809 - 1887)
Elizabeth Petefish Conover (1814 - 1837)*
Mary Jane Conover (1841 - 1860)*
Martha Ann Conover Skiles (1843 - 1877)*
George Conover (1846 - 1915)*
Charles Wesley Conover (1849 - 1934)*
Dominicus Conover (1786 - 1863)*
David Conover (1791 - 1865)*
Eliza Conover Selby (1798 - 1860)*
Peter Conover (1802 - 1885)*
James D. Conover (1804 - 1890)*
Matilda Conover Lane (1806 - 1863)*
Levi Conover (1808 - 1880)
Andrew Jackson Conover (1815 - 1895)*
Walnut Ridge Cemetery
Created by: BC
Record added: Feb 17, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 65773208
Added: Feb. 20, 2011