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Chicago: O.L. Baskin & Co., Historical Publishers
186 Dearborn Street

Page 692

W.S. CONANT, furniture dealer, Petersburg; born in Suitsburg, Mass., Feb. 27, 1825; son of Sullivan and Lydia Hemingway Conant, the Hemingway family being one of the most prominent families in that portion of the State; he came to this State in the winter of 1831, his father, who was a cabinet-maker, locating in Springfield, and in this branch of manufacture that son was trained; in the spring of 1849, he came to this town and set up business, at which he was continued to this date. Was married in Springfield, in May, 1847, to Mary E. Sikes, born in Massachusetts; she died Feb. 14, 1864, leaving two children - - James and Kittie; since married E. A. Kincaid; had two children, both deceased. Mr. Conant is the proprietor and owner of the noted Rose Hill Cemetery, one of the most beautiful burial places in Central Illinois, which he has spent a deal of money and time in the arrangement and decoration of, and has made it the pride and glory of his life; the cemetery is situated on the east side of the classic Sangamon, one mile from the pubic square, directly opposite the city of Petersburg. Its location is such as to render it impossible ever to be encroached upon by the growth of the town; situated as it is, on a commanding eminence, the grounds gently undulating, and from its retired yet accessible location, possesses that rural retirement where, covered with green sward, shaded with evergreens and groves of beautiful trees, checkered with avenues, aisles and walks, all showing signs of untiring and marked attention, where the flowers bloom and the wild birds sing, mingling their sweet melody with the music of the fountain, while, scattered throughout the entire grounds are slabs and shafts monumental, beneath which rest the forms that have made so many homes desolate by their sudden departure to this silent city; the ground originally contained but ten acres, and was incorporated June 20, 1858; the first interment was a child of Mr. Eubanks; the grounds now contain thirty-two and one-half acres, and Mr. Contant expects soon to enlarge it to contain fifty acres; the fountain recently erected in the middle of the cemetery, has in connection with it 2,500 feet of gas pipe to convey water to all parts of the grounds, and, notwithstanding the present beauty of the grounds, and the amount of money expended on the same, he has not yet brought it to the point of excellence and beauty that he intends; in short, Rose Hill Cemetery is something of which the people of Petersburg are proud, and that reflects great credit upon Mr. Conant for the zeal and enterprise he has manifested in the care and improvement of the same.

1879 Index

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