REV. WILLIAM J. MCCONKEY, D. D., who is the pastor of the Grove City Presbyterian church, is a native of Ohio, having been born in Cambridge, Guernsey county, that state, June 28, 1837. He is the son of Samuel and Mary (McBride) McConkey. The father was born in county Antrim, Ireland, and came to the United States when a young man. He married and settled down on a farm in Guernsey county, Ohio, where he spent a long and highly useful life as a progressive agriculturist, dying when eighty-four years of age. The mother of Rev. W. J. McConkey was a native of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, and her parents came from the North of Ireland. To Samuel and Mary (McBride) McConkey were born six children, of whom Rev. William J. was the second born.
Doctor McConkey was born and reared on a farm and his early education, though quite limited, was obtained at the common schools, after which for two years he attended the Miller Academy of Washington, Ohio, finishing his collegiate course at Jefferson College, Cannonsville, Pennsylvania, which institution is now known as Washington and Jefferson College of Washington, Pennsylvania. He was graduated there in 1864, having conferred upon him the degree of A. B. That autumn he entered the Western Theological Seminary at Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, graduating in the spring of 1867. He was ordained to the ministry in the Presbyterian church December 5, 1867, and began his pastoral work at Mt. Zion church, of the Zanesville (Ohio) Presbytery, where he served eight years and then, in 1875, came to the church at Grove City, at which place he has been ever since. In 1888 he received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from the Grove City College.
In early life the doctor taught in the public schools. Since then his life has been devoted to the church and the ministry. When he came to Grove City it was a mere hamlet and the church was only a preaching station, but now the church has grown to have eight hundred members.
Rev. W. J. McConkey was married June 23, 1870, to Miss Nettie H. Pringle, of New Concord, Ohio. Their children are: Charles E., Mary L., William DeWitt (deceased), Rev. Walter P., and Frederick Paul.
Twentieth Century History of Mercer County, 1909, pages 488-489