Search billions of records on

Munsell Publishing Company, Publishers, 1906.

CONOVER, (Major) PETER. One of the most conspicuous citizens of Morgan County at the time of its establishment, was Peter Conover. The date of his coming to the county cannot now be definitely ascertained, but he must have been here as early as 1823; for in February, 1823, the Legislature of Illinois passed an act authorizing the people to vote at the next election for and against calling a convention to adopt a new constitution, the object being to provide for the institution of slavery in Illinois. That action provoked intense excitement and agitation, resulting in the formation of the memorable "Morganian Society," the object of which was to defeat the establishment of slavery in the State. A list of 130 members of the society has been preserved, and Mr. Conover's name is the third in that illustrious galaxy or Morgan County pioneers. The election was held in August, 1824, and the infamous scheme failed.

At the ensuing election for county officers, Mr. Conover was chosen as one of the County Commissioners, with Daniel Lieb and Samuel Bristow as his colleagues. He was an active member of the Baptist Church, and his house in Jersey Prairie, was for a time the place of religious services.

He was a native of New Jersey, removed to the neighborhood of Lexington, Ky., and from there to Illinois. He was a man of more than ordinary intelligence, and was the first President of the Morgan County Bible Society. The influence of his life and work remains in the community where he lived.

1906 Index