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The subject of this sketch is a worthy example of the large class of well read, careful and honorable physicians who are dear to their fellow townsmen wherever their lot may be cast. They are near to the people in sickness and trouble and grow very near to them in all relations of life, and become, many of them, the most influential men in their communities. Doctor Jesse Lyman Conant, mayor and prominent physician and druggist of Genesee, Idaho, was born in Birmingham, Essex County, New York, May 31, 1831, and is descended from an old Norman family which went to the mother country with William the Conqueror. George Conant, who came early to New England and was the friend and rival of Miles Standish, was the progenitor of the family in America. Doctor Conant’s grandfather was born in Berkshire, Massachusetts, and his son, Clark Conant, who was Doctor Conant’s father, was a native of the same town.
Clark Conant married Samantha Grandy of Vermont, and moved to Jackson County, Michigan, at a comparatively early date. Thence they removed, in 1878, when somewhat advanced in life, to Los Angeles, California, where Mr. Conant died at the age of ninety-eight, and Mrs. Conant at the age of ninety-six. They were of the highest character and were almost lifelong members of the Baptist church. They had six children, of whom four are living. George Clark Conant died in defense of his country during the civil war.
Doctor Jesse Lyman Conant was educated in a general way in the public schools and professionally in Rush Medical College, where he stood third in a class of eighty. He entered upon the practice of his profession and pursued it successfully in Jackson county, Michigan, for a number of years. Then for eight years he ministered to the sick at Blair, Nebraska, where he became well known as an able and successful physician and surgeon. The succeeding eight years were passed, with similar results, at Buffalo Gap, South Dakota. From there he came to Genesee, where he and his son. Dr. J. L. Conant, Jr., erected a two-story and basement store building, twenty-five by eighty feet, which he so planned that he has one of the most attractive as well as one of the most convenient drug stores in northern Idaho. He carries a large stock of drugs, paints, oils, and stationery, and has an extensive and constantly growing trade. He has prospered in a professional way also, and has a large practice among the best citizens of Genesee and its surrounding country.
Dr. Conant was married, in 1854, to Miss Julia Rock, a native of Clinton County, New York. They have had three children, of whom two are living. Their daughter, Helen Elizabeth, is the wife of Frank Standish. Doctor Jesse L. Conant, Jr., their son, received a thorough medical education and became his father’s partner and gained an enviable professional reputation. At the beginning of the Spanish war he tendered his services to his country and was appointed surgeon of the First Idaho Regiment, and is now serving with it in the Philippine Islands.
Doctor Conant’s first vote was cast for Winfield Scott, Whig candidate for president, and when the Republican Party was formed he attached himself to it and has voted for every one of its nominees for the presidency, from Fremont to McKinley, and has been a warm supporter of its party at all periods of its history. He never was an office-seeker, and has often refused positions of responsibility which might have been his for the taking, but in 1899 he was prevailed upon to become the nominee of his party for the mayoralty of Genesee. His election followed, and the choice was so good a one that it was satisfactory to the citizens of all classes and parties. He was made Mason many years ago and is a past master of his lodge.