|McConkey was a member of the Farmer GAR|
Once there were three brothers McConkey from Farmer Township who answered the call of the Union in 1861. Andrew, Alexander, and Charles McConkey enlisted in August/ September 1861, all into the same company and regiment - Company E, 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry - for a three year term. All of them would serve until 1865.
Andrew was the oldest McConkey brother, born in 1838 in Harrison County, Ohio. Just before the war, in 1860, he lived with the Eleazer and Hannah Sisco family, where he worked as a farm laborer. On August 27, 1861, at the age of 22, he enlisted as a private and would go on to serve until May 3, 1865, a total of 1 year, 5 months, and 6 days, as he reported on the 1890 Veterans Census. The 21st Ohio was actively involved in battles, Nashville, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, to name just a few, and the unit lost many men.
His obituary noted that Andrew (and his brother, Alexander), were both captured at Chickamauga and spent time in Andersonville Prison until the close of the war. Their names could not be found online on the prisoner lists of the Confederate prison, but their pension papers are available at the Bowling Green State University Archives, and copies could easily be obtained for more details.
(Contact information: Center for Archival Collections, BGSU
Information to give to the librarians:
Repository Catalog Number: MMS1173
Description: McConkey/Anderson Pension Files
Pension files of Alexander, Charles and Andrew McConkey and of Alexander and Thomas Anderson.)
Not long after he returned home, Andrew married Mary E. Brown on September 17, 1865, and they settled in Milford Township. By 1870, they had children, Orley A., 2, and Jennie, 4 months. Andrew was a farm laborer and he had land worth $800. An agricultural census in 1880 reported that he had 40 acres - 30 tilled and 10 in pasture in Farmer Township. He was a typical small farmer of the day with a few milk cows, some sheep and swine and fifty poultry. Indian corn was his major crop with a little wheat and oats, probably for feed. The family had a small, one acre orchard with six trees.
By 1900, Andrew, 61, and Mary, 52, were alone at home in Farmer Township. Mary had had four children, but only two survived. Andrew was a landlord, meaning he may have had a son or renter who did his farming. Andrew McConkey died on September 7, 1906.
His obituary appeared in the Bryan Press on September 13, 1906:
"DEATH OF ANDREW MCCONKEY.
Andrew P. McConkey was born in Harrison county, Ohio, on the 23rd day of October, A.D., 1838, died on the 7th day of September A.D., 1906, aged 67 years, 10 months, and 14 days.
At about 9 years of age, he came with his parents to Williams county, Ohio. In the year 1858, he came to Defiance county where he spent the greater part of his life.
About the first day of August, 1861, he enlisted in Co. E of the 21st regiment Ohio Volunteers and on the 3rd day of May, 1865, he was honorably discharged at Columbus, Ohio. He was taken a prisoner of the battle of Chickamauga and for one year, five months and six days, he was held a prisoner at Andersonville until the close of the war.
On the 17th day of September 1865, he was married to Mary E. Brown. To this union four children were born. One died in infancy, Jennie died in 1889, aged 19 years, 9 months and 19 days. The widow and two sons, Orley A., of Edgerton, Ohio and Emery L., of Farmer, Ohio, survive."
Mary McConkey lived on until 1921. After her husband's death, she had difficulty collecting her pension, so she contacted her Congressman, who helped her. This article appeared in the Hicksville Tribune on April 30, 1908:
"Mrs. Mary McConkey, widow of Andrew McConkey, who died about two years ago, is experiencing an evidence of the kindness and careful attention of our present congressman, T. T. Ansberry. She made an application for a widows pension, but could not get her claim attended to. She was advised to solicit the attention of Mr. Ansberry. He responded in more than mere words.
Her claim is now acted upon and she has the pleasing notice that she has been allowed $8 per month form October 21, 1907 to April 19, 1908, and $12 since that time. The twelve dollar law went into effect April 19, and her claim for $12 was allowed that very day. It was the first or among the very first allowed. This shows how close Mr. Ansberry was watching the matter."
As to Andrew's brothers...
Alexander B. McConkey was buried in Six Corners Cemetery. He died at the age of 83 after serving not only in Company E, 21st Regiment O.V.I, but also in Co. F and Co. D, 8th Ohio Cavalry and Co. F, 44th Ohio Infantry where he was promoted to Sgt. He also was a prisoner in Andersonville for 18 months, one source noted. He married first Phebe Waltz in 1866 in Nebraska and second, Alwilda Bowman in 1875 in Nebraska. He died, however, in Hicksville.
The brothers lost touch for awhile. The Hicksville Tribune reported on August 19, 1920:
"Alex McConkey had not heard from his brother, C. C. McConkey for about four years and with the friends has been much concerned about the matter. He is now in receipt of a letter dated Aug. 12, and written from Alberton, Montana, from the brother. He is well and getting along fine and says he is seeing some great sights."
Charles C. McConkey spent most of his life after the war in Nebraska, where he died in January, 1928, living until 85. The youngest brother, born in 1843, he married Minerva Jennie Daniels in 1875. He mustered out as a Corporal in 1865, and it might be that he spent his latter days in the Sailors and Soldiers Home in Grand Island, Nebraska. He is buried in Red Cloud, Webster, Nebraska.