William Edmond “Ed” Conger

William Edmond “Ed” Conger

Death 22 Jun 1959 (aged 65)
Burial Arcadia, Bienville Parish, Louisiana, USA
Plot Conger Family Plot
Memorial ID 16747512 · View Source
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Researched by Dr. Jim Moshinskie
Licensed Funeral Director
Posted 2006

Four generations of Congers served the people of Beinville Parish, Louisiana, in the funeral business: Founder was S.A. Conger, followed by his son, William Edward (Mr. Ed Conger), and followed by his son, Sidney L. Conger, Sr., followed by his daughter, Carey Conger-Prinaris.

Late 1890s
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, offered undertaking services.

William Edward 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 fro 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 right side, and the funeral chapel was on the left 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 undertaker / embalmer at that time was Charles Francis ("Boots") Bailey who embalmed the criminals' bodies in the firm's back room embalming area 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 1959, 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 which included a nice chapel and leaving the furniture store downtown in its original location.

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 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 Conger, took over the funeral home and operated the firm many years thereafter. He was a well known, respected Arcadia citizen.

Mortician Sidney Conger introduced a number of Louisianas orchids called 'Acadian' 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'.

Sidney L. 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 seeking a glimpse of the criminal's bodies.

Sidney L. Conger died of cancer, and he was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Ruston, Louisiana. The funeral home was sold to the Kilpatrick chain of funeral homes, and the name was changed to Kilpatrick's Rose-Neath Funeral Home.

The roof of the old downtown building collapsed in 1998. It had been badly damaged by a tornado earlier.

The former site of the Conger firm on Railroad Avenue is now a vacant lot that is used as a small city park complete with picnic tables and a playground.
If you have any additional information on the Conger family, please notify me at james_moshinskie@baylor.edu.
Thank you.

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  • Created by: Jim (Dr. Mo) Moshinskie, PhD, CPT,LFD-E
  • Added: 22 Nov 2006
  • Find a Grave Memorial 16747512
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Edmond “Ed” Conger (7 Oct 1893–22 Jun 1959), Find a Grave Memorial no. 16747512, citing Arcadia Cemetery, Arcadia, Bienville Parish, Louisiana, USA ; Maintained by Jim (Dr. Mo) Moshinskie, PhD, CPT,LFD-E (contributor 46874488) .