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Louis Herbert Conger


Submitted by Lisa Hoffius and Bill Moore


Manager, Muskegon Dock & Fuel Company

Foot of Fourth Street, Muskegon, Michigan


Louis Herbert CONGER*, son of Clinton Barker and Cornelia Elvira (SMITH) CONGER; was born in Port Huron, Michigan, August 2, 1882.


Clinton Barker CONGER, father of Louis Herbert, and son of Seymour Beach and Mary Abigail (BARKER) CONGER, was born in Mansfield, Ohio.  He enlisted in Ohio for service in the Civil War.  After the war, when a young man, he moved to Port Huron, Michigan, where he was employed as a surveyor by his uncle, who built the Peninsular Railroad (now known as the Grand Trunk Railroad) from Port Huron to Battle Creek, Michigan.  He subsequently became a railroad engineer, and later was a nationally known expert and authority on air brakes.  He served as president of the Traveling Engineers Association, 7 years.  He died in 1910, and is buried in Port Huron.  His wife, Cornelia Elvira (SMITH) CONGER, daughter of William Whiting and Elvira (PAYNE) SMITH, was born in Hinsdale, Massachusetts.  She died May 2, 1941.  Clinton Barker and Cornelia Elvira (SMITH) CONGER were the parents of 5 children, Louis Herbert being fourth in order of birth.


William Whiting SMITH, father of Cornelia Elvira (SIMTH) CONGER, served as a bugler in the Mexican War, and was cited for bravery.  After the war he engaged in agricultural pursuits.  His wife, Elvira (PAYNE) SMITH, was born in Hinsdale, Massachusetts.  Her father, Ebenezer Leech PAYNE, son of Stephen (III) and Rebecca (BUSHNELL) PAYNE, was born at Andover, Connecticut, September 21, 1762.  He enlisted in Connecticut for service in the Revolutionary War.  His wife, Keziah (KINNEY) PAYNE, whom he married in 1789, was born June 18, 1766.


Stephen PAYNE (III), father of Ebenezer, and son of Stephen (II), was drafted for service in the Revolutionary War, but his son, Ebenezer, served as his substitute. On September 23, 1756, Stephen PAYNE (III) married Rebecca BUSHNELL.


Stephen PAYNE (II), father of Stephen (III), was born in Salem, Massachusetts.  In 1680 he moved to Connecticut and settled in New London.  His father was Stephen PAYNE (I).  Seymour Beach CONGER, father of Clifton Barker, and son of Enoch and Esther (WEST) CONGER, was born in Mansfield, Ohio.  He served as a Major in the 1st West Virginia Calvary, in the Civil War, and was brevetted a Lieutenant Colonel.  He was killed in action at Moorefield, West Virginia, August 7, 1864.  His wife, Mary Abigail (BARKER) CONGER, was born in Skaneateles, New York.


Enoch CONGER, father of Seymour Beach, and son of Uzziah and Mary (HUNGERFORD) CONGER, served as a Corporal in the War of 1812.  After the war he moved to Ohio, and was a circuit rider and preacher.  He married Esther WEST.


Uzziah CONGER, father of Enoch, and son of Job and Mary (CARRINGTON) CONGER, served as a Corporal in the Revolutionary War.  He was given a grant of land at Cato, New York, where he died June 21, 1841.  He married Mary HUNGERFORD.


Job CONGER, father of Uzziah, and son of Job CONGER, Sr., was born in 1728.  He moved to the Hudson River Valley, in New York.  His death occurred January 14, 1758, at Woodbridge, New Jersey.  He and his wife, Mary (CARRINGTON) CONGER, had 3 sons who served in the Revolutionary War.


Job CONGER, Sr., father of Job, was born at Woodbridge, New Jersey, June 9, 1694.  Prior to his death, which occurred in Woodbridge, he lived in Rahway, New Jersey.  His parents were John and Mary (KELLY) CONGER.  John CONGER, who was born in England, came to the Untied States in 1648, and settled in old Newbury, Massachusetts.  In 1667 he moved to Woodbridge, New Jersey, and in that year was given a grant of land 1 mile wide and 10 miles in length.  This land extended down the Rahway River to Rapidan, Virginia.  John CONGER died September 4, 1712.


Louis H. CONGER, the subject of this sketch, was graduated from the University of Michigan, A.B. in 1905.  He then was employed in a railroad shop at Oswego, New York, and later was granted an engineering degree, which he did not accept.  In 1907 he was associated with the “Grand Rapids Press,” and in 1908 became editor of the “Holland (Michigan) Daily Sentinel.”  In 1910 Mr. CONGER was made editor of the “Kalamazoo (Michigan) Daily Telegraph.,” and on January 1, 1911, became secretary of the Kalamazoo Commercial Club.  In 1913 he moved to Muskegon, Michigan where he served two and a half years as secretary of the Chamber of Commerce.  In May 1915, Mr. CONGER, with other associates, organized the MAGOON, CONGER & SWANSON Coal Company, of which he served as president until 1931, at which time the company was liquidated.  Since 1931, Mr. CONGER has served as manager of the Muskegon Dock & Fuel Company.  He is president of the White Lake Dock & Fuel Company, and vice-president of the West Michigan Dock & Market Corporation.  He served for 9 years on the Board of Education (1930 through 1938), and was chairman of the Library Board during that same period.  Mr. CONGER, who formerly was a member and president of the Rotary Club, is a member of the Muskegon Chapter of the Citizens Historical Association, and Episcopal Church.  His favorite recreations are fishing, tennis, and all athletic sports.


On July 19, 1910, Louis H. CONGER married Hazel Lomison SNYDER, who was born at Three Rivers, Michigan, daughter of Ashbel Wilson and Elizabeth (LOMISON) SNYDER.  Mr. and Mrs. CONGER are the parents of 2 children:

(1)    Louis Herbert, Jr., born March 22, 1915.  He was graduated from Harvard University, A.B. in 1937, and M.A. in 1939, and is a teacher of mathematics at Junior College, in Muskegon.  He is not married.

(2)    Alan Douglas, who was born March 23, 1917.  He was graduated from Harvard University, A.B. in 1940 and is an instructor at the University of Hawaii.  He is not married.


Ashbel Wilson SNYDER, father of Hazel Lomison (SNYDER) CONGER, served as a 1st Lieutenant in the 3rd Regiment of Michigan Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War.  He was a druggist, and died when 96 years of age.  His wife, Elizabeth (LOMISON) SNYDER, also is deceased.


*For complete genealogy of the CONGER family, see Compendium of American Genealogy, Vol. 4.


Source: Citizens Historical Association, Indianapolis  Number: 2 D20 61 F133  – LCD/IFF  September 6, 1941


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