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John Kane Conmey
July 25, 1839–December 16, 1913
John Kane, son of James and Sarah Kane Conmey, was born in Lockport, New York, July 25, 1839. He removed with his parents, in early childhood, to Sullivan County, Pennsylvania, where his father opened up a farm in the virgin forest of that state. John early learned to wield the ax, and did his full share of the hard work incident to clearing the farm of the heavy timber and the roots and stones which covered the scanty soil. The typical log school house with puncheon seats, backless and deskless, housed the children of the pioneers for four winter months each year. John supplemented these early educational advantages with diligent study at home every spare moment. He arose at 4:00 o'clock each morning during the winter months and by the light of the fire on the hearth read and studied until chore time. He carried a book in his pocket while laboring in the field and kept his mind busy with problems while his hands guided the plow. Later he attended the teacher's institute, a normal school lasting six weeks each year, and taught school winters. In May 1863 he went to Iowa, accompanied by his sister Margaret, now Mrs. William Alspaugh, of Anamosa, Iowa. Mr. Conmey worked at farming summers and taught school winters, except two, which he spent in the lumber regions of northern Minnesota. In March 1868 he was married to Miss Ann Mary Kimball, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Abner Kimball, of Wyoming, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Conmey located on their farm in South Madison immediately following their marriage, where they lived uninterruptedly until their happy union was temporally broken by death.
Two sons were born to them: Fred W., late of South Dakota but now on the home farm, to which he came two years ago to relieve his father of its cares, and Dr. Roy M., of Sergeant Bluff, Iowa. Fred's faithful share of his father day and night for nearly five months, and Roy's immediate response to every summons show their appreciation of their father's toil and sacrifice for them.
Mr. Conmey in his life proved the truth of the proverb, "A man that hath friends must show himself friendly." The writer has yet to meet the man, woman or child who did not like John Conmey. Every acquaintance was a friend, every neighbor speaks his praise. He was honest and open as the day in business transactions. "Love thy neighbor as thyself!" was exemplified in his dealings with his fellowmen. He loved to discuss subjects with his friends and neighbors on science, politics, religion or any other theme that might be suggested of like import. He never lost interest in any vital matter. Even through his last illness he listened with eagerness to the reading of the daily papers and other publications and kept in touch to the last, with all the matters that are making history.
On August 1st, one day following his 74th birthday, he was stricken with paralysis; he recovered sufficiently to be around the house a little and enjoy the companionship of his family, but in the early days of December his health again began to decline and his earthly life came to a peaceful end on the 16th of the month. Mr. Conmey became interested, many years ago, in the philosophy of spirit return and after much study, investigation and research gained a knowledge of the truth as expressed in Modern Spiritualism.
The funeral service was conducted at the home on Thursday afternoon by Rev. J.F. Ireland, pastor of The First Spiritualist Church of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the body laid to rest in the Wyoming cemetery.

Submitted by: Laura Kendall
Source: Wyoming Journal, Wyoming, Iowa, December 1913


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