Among the prominent, popular and influential citizens of Pickaway County selected for representation in this work, we take pleasure in presenting to our readers the biography and portrait of the subject of this sketch, who is a well-known resident of Madison Township, making his home upon section 23. He is a native of Fairfield County, Ohio, where he was born, January 15, 1817, and is a son of Joseph and Annie (Caton) Conklin, both of whom were natives of Washington County, Pa. His paternal ancestors are said lo have been from Wales, and his maternal ancestors are supposed to have come from Ireland.


Joseph Conklin, the father of our subject, emigrated from Pennsylvania with his family early in the present century and settled in the new country in Fairfield County, Ohio, there taking up pioneer life. He drove all the way a team of five horses and his wife journeyed on horseback, carrying a small child in her arms all through that long journey. He died in 1822 and his widow afterward married James Lambert. In 1825, William T. Conklin, with his mother, his stepfather and the children of the family, came to Pickaway County, Ohio, where he settled on section 14, Madison Township and grew to man's estate amid scenes of pioneer life. He has seen the deer and wild turkeys around his home in great numbers, and has experienced the hardships of pioneer life. Only two of the children of his parents now survive, his only sister living being Priscilla, wife of Thomas Black.


With the exception of two years spent in the mercantile business at Ashville, Ohio, our subject has throughout life engaged in agricultural pursuits and stock-raising. His education was received in the early schools of Madison Township, and for a short time he studied in Central College, Franklin County. During five winters he devoted himself to teaching, in which he was very successful, and he has throughout life maintained a course of reading which has had a broadening and educative tendency.


Mr. Conklin was married in June, 1859, to Elizabeth Baum, who was born in Madison Townsliip, Pickaway County, March 9, 1825. Her parents. Christian and Sarah (Shook) Baum, were natives of Pennsylvania, and were early settlers in this county, making their home in the forest among the earliest pioneers. Six of their seven children are still living, namely: Joseph, George, Lewis, Mrs. Conklin, John, and Mary (the wife of Samuel Posey).


To Mr. and Mrs, Conklin were born three children, two of whom still survive, namely: Sarah A., wife of Dr. Charles R. Pontius, who is a practicing physician at Fremont, Ohio, and Martha S., the wife of T. W. Baum, of Madison Township, this county. For many years Mr. Conklin served as Justice of the Peace, for sixteen years as Township Treasurer, and for one year as Township Trustee.


The broader political career of the Hon. Mr. Conklin began with his election to the State Legislature, where he served as a member from Pickaway County to the Fifty-ninth and Sixty-first General Assembly, being a member of the House of Representatives. He was an earnest and successful advocate of the measure to secure an additional judge in his district. Daring his first term he served on the Committee on Military Affairs, also the Committee on Fees and Salaries, and was a most useful member of the House, serving his county with credit to himself and his constituents.


A great affliction has fallen upon Mr. and Mrs. Conklin in the loss of sight experienced by that lovely and intelligent lady, so that she who was for so many years Mr. Conklin 's most earnest and active helpmate, is now to a considerable extent set aside from the activities of life. She is a member of the Lutheran Church and one whose character and life are warmly admired by all who know her. Mr. Conklin has over five hundred acres of land, which he has gained by his own efforts. He is identified with Lithopolis Lodge No. 169, F. & A. M., and has served as both Junior and Senior Warden of that body. He is a Democrat in his views and takes a keen interest in political movements.

 

From PORTRAIT & BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF FAYETTE, PICKAWAY AND MADISON COUNTIES, OHIO - Chapman Bros. [Chicago, 1892]