Among the honored residents of Yellow Springs was numbered William G. Confer, now deceased. He was born at Hagerstown, Washington county, Maryland, December 29, 1823, and was a representative of an excellent family, his parents being George and Elizabeth (Bowman) Confer, the former a native of France and the latter of Hagerstown. Maryland. George Confer emigrated to the United States with his father, wbo settled in Maryland, and in 1802 came to Greene county, Ohio, locating on the land which was for so many years the home of our subject. This farm of two hundred acres was secured from the government at one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre. The farm labors of the grandfather were at one time interrupted by his enlistment for service in the war of 1812, but with the exception of this period he followed agricultural pursuits throughout his life. The parents of our subject were married in Hagerstown, Maryland, and after residing in Ohio for a time they returned to the former state, which was their place of abode until 1834. In that year they again came to Ohio, where they spent their remaining days, the former dying in 1857, and the latter passing away in 1870. They were the parents of five children and were most highly respected people.
William G. Confer was a lad of fourteen years when he left his boyhood home in Maryland and accompanied his parents on their second removal to this state. Here he entered the public schools, pursuing his studies in a log school-house in which were a puncheon floor, slab seats and greased paper windows. He remained upon the home farm until the death of his father and until after his marriage. That important event in his life occurred on the 29th of December, 1857, the lady of his choice being Mary Jane, a daughter of Philip F. and Jane (Wolf) Cost. Mr. Confer built a log cabin which he and his family occupied until 1866, when he was enabled to erect a more modern residence. In 1876 he built a large barn at a cost of several thousand dollars and numerous other structures on the premises, indicating in a marked manner the enterprise and thrift of the owner. In addition to the improvement upon the place Mr. Confer carried on successfully the work of tilling the soil and raising crops. He also invested considerable capital in the village of Yellow Springs, erecting the postoffice building here and also a livery stable.
Unto our subject and his wife were born five children. George B., their first born, died in October, 1887, at the age of twenty-eight years. Elizabeth J. is the wife of Jacob S. Cosler, a resident of Miami township, and they have five children, Elsie J., Lewis W., Mary F., Russell H. and Georgiana. Mr. Cosier is a farmer and a very prominent man. John P. resides upon the old home place engaged in the raising of Jersey cattle and in conducting a dairy. He wedded Mary Jacobs, a daughter of A. Jacobs, of Miami township, and they have two adopted children, Gertrude Alexander and Harry Gross. Frank resides at Yellow Springs and is agent for the Springfield Laundry. He married Maude Bailey and they have one daughter, Ruth. The fifth member of the Confer family died in infancy.
In 1894 Mr. Confer left the farm and removed to Yellow Springs, where he lived a retired life until his death, June 11, 1902, He was a member in good standing of the Reformed Presbyterian church in which he served as elder and deacon for many years, and to which his wife also belongs. He became identified with the church when fourteen years of age and his life was ever in consistent harmony with its teachings and principles. In politics he was a Republican and for two years he was a member of the school board of his district, while for several terms he served as supervisor. He remembered many interesting incidents of the early times. From 1809 until 1812 his father hauled flour from Cincinnati, six barrels making a load, and it required six barrels to pay for a barrel of salt. He saw the first ferry-boat plying from New Orleans to Cincinnati, it taking seventy-five days to complete that journey. In early life Mr. Confer became familiar with the hardships and trials incident to the establishment of a home on the frontier and bore his part in the work of development and progress here. He took a deep interest in the welfare and upbuilding of the county and throughout the long vears of his residence here was ever known as a loyal and valued citizen.
From History of Greene County, Ohio, by George F. Robinson (S. J. Clarke Publishing Co, 1902)