Ketcham S. Conklin, lumber dealer, Pekin, was born in Greenport, Long Island, the son of Alkana and Charity (Snedigen) Conklin. He was educated in the public schools of Brooklyn. N. Y., and at the age of thirteen secured employment as a clerk. Soon afterward he obtained work on a Vermont farm. In 1855 he removed to Illinois, and in the fall of that year settled in Pekin, where he learned the trade of a carpenter. On April 19, 1861, he enlisted with Company H. Eighth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, for the three months’ service: was discharged at Cairo, on May 25, 186l, and re-enlisted on the same day for a term of three years. He joined his old regiment, although he was later assigned to the Third Brigade of Logan’s Division. 17th Corps, Army of the Tennessee. On April 14, 1863, he was commissioned Second Lieutenant and was mustered in as such, on July 1. He was Captain of Company C, Illinois State Militia, for three years, holding that command with Company G, of the same regiment. Later he was promoted to the rank of Major, serving in this capacity for some time. He was discharged at Vicksburg, Mississippi, July 28, 1864, his term of service having expired.
          Upon his return to Pekin at the close of the war, Mr. Conklin opened a sash-and-door and planing mill, but a serious fire terminated this venture. A year later he became a partner in the firm of Wise & Co., proprietors of a planing mill, in which connection he continued for three years. In 1887, they opened a lumber yard. In 1895, Conklin, Hippin, Rueling & Co. formed a corporation, with a paidup capital stock of $150,000, and Mr. Conklin has been president of the company since its incorporation.
          On April 14, 1864, our subject was married to Martha, daughter of Rawley S. and Martha (Stilt) Doolittle, of Peoria, Illinois, and of this union six children were born, five of whom are living: Henry Roscoe, lumber dealer in Chicago; Charles Irwin, a resident of New York City; Eugene Lester, Secretary of Conklin Rueling Lumber Co, Pekin; Edgar Stanley, with the New York Insurance Exchange; Mary Elmira, living at home. Samuel Alvin is deceased.
In his political views, Mr. Conklin is a Republican. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity, 32d degree, and a Shriner. He is also a member of the G. A. R., Joe Hanna Post, No. 117; Pekin.
Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Tazewell County - page 987
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