Biography - GRANT CONARD
Ottawa boasts of no more ambitious, enterprising young men than he of whom this sketch is penned. Admitted to the bar by the supreme court of Illinois, in 1895, he immediately embarked in the practice of law at Ottawa. He also became interested in the sale of real estate, particularly farm lands in Indiana, Missouri and Texas. To those various states, and to others in the great and prosperous west, he for several years conducted excursions of homeseekers, and was successful in locating a large number of families, happily and to their entire satisfaction. Recently, however, on account of his large and steadily increasing law practice, he has found it necessary to abandon his real-estate operations and devote his entire time to the interests of his clients. In view of the fact that he has been engaged in the practice of law but a few years, and when he started had his reputation to make, his success has been marked, and his future is full of promise.
The ancestors of Grant Conard were undoubtedly Germans, the correct name being "Conrad." But neither the date of their first settlement in America nor the manner in which the name became changed can be definitely ascertained. Certain it is, however, that for a number of generations prior to the Revolutionary war his ancestors resided in the colony of Virginia and were leading and respected people in that aristocratic old state. The great-grandfather of our subject, Anthony Conard, was a soldier of the Revolutionary war, and all of his descendants have been noted for patriotism and loyal citizenship. The father of Anthony Conard was John Conard, a native of Virginia. His children were Anthony, John, Jonathan, Nathan, Joseph and Susan. Anthony was born at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains, in Loudoun county, Virginia, in 1760, and was but a mere boy when he enlisted in the patriot army. After the war he resided in Virginia, near the plantation of General Washington, with whom he was personally acquainted, and upon at least one occasion General Washington was a visitor at the home of Anthony Conard.
In 1827 Anthony Conard emigrated to the state of Ohio. He lived one year in Belmont county and then located in Licking county, Ohio, near the village of Utica, where he died in 1843. He was buried on the farm of his brother Joseph, near Utica, Ohio.
Anthony Conard, Jr., grandfather of our subject, was born in Virginia, in October, 1799, and died in Crawford county, Illinois, December 26, 1851. In 1821 he married Nancy Gregg, a native of Virginia. She was born in 1801 and died in LaSalle county, Illinois, in 1847. The eldest son oi Anthony and Nancy Conard was David Wilson Conard, father of our subject. (The name "Wilson" was the family name of Nancy Gregg's mother.) David W. Conard was born in Loudoun county, Virginia, April 7, 1825, and died in LaSalle county, Illinois, April 24, 1899. He removed to Licking county, Ohio, with his parents in 1828, and came to LaSalle county, Illinois, on horseback from Licking county, Ohio, arriving here May 24, 1846. Soon after coming to this county he located on what is now section 30 of Miller township, and engaged in farming, in which business he was unusually successful, becoming one of the largest landowners in this county. His success is a striking example of what may be accomplished by a youth who has the energy and perseverance to seize upon opportunity, and to master it by diligence and perseverance.
David W. Conard was a man of sterling worth. Unassuming, unostentatious, he had no political ambitions, but was forced at various times to accept the honorary offices of his town. He practiced strict economy with himself, but was generous to others. He was a splendid example of the citizen farmer, informed upon the matters pertaining to his country's welfare, regarding these not simply from the standpoint of a partisan, but from the broader view of a patriot. It is with pleasure that we insert here a brief extract from the resolutions adopted by the board of directors of the First National Bank of Marseilles, Illinois, upon the death of this old settler.
"Resolved, That in the death of David W. Conard this board loses a member who for an unbroken period of twenty years had been a director of this association. His long period of service is thus coincident with much of the entire history of the bank; yet his business activities were so intense and extended that his work here was but a small part of that restless energy by which he attained success and became conspicuous in his chosen field of practical enterprise. David W. Conard was pre-eminently a self-made man, of that self-reliant American type which creates and wins success. He always took an active interest in public affairs, and held public positions of responsibility and trust, and yet such was the versatility of his mind that he found time for a wide range of reading, and in his literary attainments had written papers and poems on practical subjects of the day.
"Our departed friend lies in the sleep of death, and after reviewing the activities of his busy life it is hard to realize that he is still in death.
To rest forever, after earthly strife. In the calm light of everlasting life."
David W. Conard was married in LaSalle county, Illinois, March 17, 1853, to Elizabeth J. (Grove) Conard. Of the children born of this marriage but three are living, Wilson, born October 5, 1863, residing upon a farm in Rutland township in this county; Laura, born November 15, i860, now the wife of Samuel H. Montgomery, of Marseilles, Illinois; and our subject, Grant, born August 5, 1867. Elizabeth (Grove) Conard was born in Licking county, Ohio, January 17, 1828. She was a daughter of David and Anna (Howser) Grove. David Grove was born in Shenandoah county, Virginia, October 14, 1804, and died in this county February 18, 1880. Anna (Howser) Grove was born in Loudoun county, Virginia, December 2, 1805, and died in this county August 8, 1849. David and Anna (Howser) Grove were married in Licking county, Ohio, December 22, 1826, and came to LaSalle county, Illinois, in December, 1829, being among the very first settlers of this county. During the Indian troubles and the Black Hawk war David Grove and family lived in the old fort in Ottawa, to which place they had fled when warned by Shabbona of the approach of the murderous Black Hawk and his tribe. The mother of our subject is still living and has a vivid recollection of the stirring scenes of her childhood. She resides with her daughter, Laura, in Marseilles, Illinois. She is one of the few survivors of that rugged band of pioneers who prepared the way for the advanced civilization of to-day - who left the comforts and luxuries of their eastern homes, braved the dangers and privations of a new country and on the rough borders of civilization toiled and suffered and died that their children might inherit the promise.
David Grove was a son of John and Barbara (Lienbarger) Grove, natives of Germany, the correct name for Grove being "Graff." Barbara was born in 1773 and died in LaSalle county, Illinois, in June, 1853.
The birth of Grant Conard took place in Miller township, this county, and during his boyhood he attended the district school of the neighborhood at such times as he could be spared from the work of the farm. After attaining his majority he attended the Grand Prairie Seminary, Onarga, Illinois; Ottawa Business College; Columbia School of Oratory, Chicago; and the Kent College of Law, Chicago. He taught in the public schools of this county several years, and also taught in the Ottawa Business College. For three years that institution was under the management of Mr. Conard, this being prior to his entrance into the legal profession. He read law in the office of Lincoln & Stead, prominent attorneys of this place. Mr. Conard is a stanch Democrat and has taken considerable interest in local politics.
The year which witnessed Mr. Conard's entrance into the professional world was marked by an event of equal importance in his career, as on November 7th of that year Miss Mildred Shaver became his wife. Her parents, George D. and Fidelia (Munson) Shaver, were among the early settlers of LaSalle county, and here Mrs. Conard was born and reared. She was born February 5, 1870. Mr. and Mrs. Conard have two children, namely: Horace Milton, born August 6, 1896, and Fidelia Elizabeth, born April 17, 1898.
George D. Shaver was born in this county January 28, 1839. He was a son of Cyrus and Betsey (Hackett) Shaver. Cyrus Shaver was born in Licking county, Ohio, August 30, 1812, and died in this county February 21, 1883. Betsey (Hackett) Shaver was born in Wheeling, Virginia, November 4, 1815, and is now living in this county. The parents of Cyrus Shaver were David and Nancy (Grove) Shaver. David Shaver was born in Shenandoah county, Virginia, October 10, 1787, and died in this county January 2, 1848. Nancy (Grove) Shaver was born in Virginia, July 31, 1791. They were married August 8, 1811. The father of David Shaver was Nicholas Shaver, a native of Virginia. George D. and Fidelia (Munson) Shaver were married in this county December 20, 1860. George D. is a prominent farmer of LaSalle county, Illinois, and resides upon a farm in Rutland township. Fidelia (Munson) Shaver was born in this county November 18, 1840, and died in this county, February 28, 1891. She was a daughter of William and Rachel (Hall) Munson. William Munson was born in Onondaga county, New York, October 5, 1806, and died in this county February 16, 1879. He settled in LaSalle county, Illinois, in 1833. His father was Hiram Munson, a native of New York. Rachel (Hall) Munson was born in Kentucky, in 1817. She was a daughter of William and Mary J. R. (Wilburs) Hall, William Hall was born in Georgia, in 1787, and his wife Mary was born in Kentucky, the same year. William Hall and wife and their daughter Elizabeth were massacred by the Indians, at the Indian Creek massacre, in Freedom township, LaSalle county, Illinois, May 20, 1832, and their two daughters, Rachel and Sylvia, were taken captive by the Indians. Rachel died in LaSalle county, Illinois, May 20, 1870.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 174-178.