|Birth: ||Jul. 23, 1924|
|Death: ||Aug. 20, 1993|
Researched by Dr. Jim Moshinskie
Licensed Funeral Director
[Great, great grandson of James Monroe Sims, founder of nearby Simsboro, Louisiana]
Posted 2006; updated July 18, 2011
This site honors the life of Sidney L. Conger who faithfully served hundreds of Arcadia families as a dedicated funeral director. I am looking for information on Sidney Conger. Please contact the researcher if you can help. Send to: James_Moshinskie@baylor.edu
Four generations of Congers proudly served the people of Beinville Parish, Louisiana, in the funeral business: The founder was S.A. Conger, followed by his son, William Edmond (Mr. Ed Conger), followed by his son, Sidney Conger, who was followed by his daughter, Carey Conger-Prinaris.
Sidney Algernon Conger (S.A. Conger) was born July 14, 1856 and died January 14, 1937. He married Julia Elizabeth Beeson Conger (Jan 30, 1860 – Mar 22, 1940). He opened a large mercantile store in Arcadia, Louisiana in the late 1890s, and as the custom of that time, sold coffins and offered undertaking services.
William Edmond Conger (Better known as Mr. Ed) was born Oct 7, 1893 and died June 22, 1959. In 1922, he joined his father's business in Arcadia after graduating from college, and the firm became known as the S.A. Conger & Son Furniture Store and Undertaking Company.
In 1934, an advertisement in the town newspaper stated that the funeral home also had ambulance service. The combination funeral home and furniture store was located in downtown Arcadia in a handsome row of brick buildings. The furniture store was on the lower right side, and the funeral chapel was on the lower left side. It included a large chapel. The embalming room was located in the rear of the furniture store. In 1934, the Congers received the bullet-torn bodies of gangsters Bonnie and Clyde who were gunned down near Gibsland. Their embalmer was Boots Bailey who embalmed the bodies in the firm's back room embalming room while thousands of people mobbed the undertaking company doing $1,000 in damage.
Sidney Algernon Conger died January 14, 1937, and was buried in Arcadia Cemetery.
In 1958, W.E. Conger, S.A. Conger's son, completed a new funeral home at a cost of $125,000. He separated the furniture and funeral business, moving the funeral home to a handsome new building on Highway 80 near downtown which included a nice chapel, two visitation rooms, and large casket showroom.
William Edmond Conger, 65, owner of Conger Funeral Home and Furniture Store, died in Shreveport June 23, 1959, following a brief illness. After graduation from college, he had joined his father's firm in 1922. He is survived by his wife, Inez Parker Conger (July 26, 1897 – Aug 21, 1986); two sons; a sister, and four grandchildren. He was buried in the Conger family plot in the Arcadia Cemetery. Inez Conger is buried there also.
One of his sons, Sidney Lamar Conger, Sr., took over the funeral home and operated the firm many years thereafter. He was a well known, respected Arcadia citizen.
'Acadian' - Sidney Conger, a mortician, introduced a number of Louisianas irises during the 1950's and 1960's. His most widely grown today is named 'Marie Caillet', a purple bitone registered in 1967, named when she selected it from seedlings. Marie has five named with some variation of her name, a mark of affection for her. Mr. Conger also registered one in 1957 named 'Segregation'. His son, Lee Conger, of Los Angeles, also gardens native flowers including one bed dedicated to his father's Louisiana irises.
Sidney Conger was well liked in Arcadia, and operated the funeral home with pride and great personal service.
In 1984, on the 50th anniversary of the shooting of Bonnie & Clyde, the Shreveport Journal talked with Sidney Conger, long-time operator of the Arcadia funeral home, but a fourth-grader in 1934. He described a motorcade of about 150 cars following behind the truck towing the bullet-riddled car with the bodies still inside. The motorcade was held up for about five minutes at the Gibsland School so the school children could get a look at the bodies. News photographs from the time show the streets of Arcadia jammed with sightseers in front of the undertaking parlor seeking a glimpse of the criminal's bodies.
The Conger Funeral Home was sold to Rose-Neath Funeral Homes, based out of Shreveport, LA., and Sidney Conger retired.
Sidney Conger died August 20, 1993 of a heart attack. He was buried in the historic Greenwood Cemetery in Ruston, Louisiana.
The roof of the old downtown Conger building collapsed in 1998. It had been badly damaged by a tornado earlier.
The area where the Conger business was located has been converted into a handsome park with a water fountain, covered stages, and paved walks.
Created by: Jim (Dr. Mo) Moshinskie,...
Record added: Nov 22, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 16747851