WILLIAM A. CONKLIN. The gentleman whose name heads this sketch is the efficient county clerk of Ozark County, Missouri, and his career thus far in life presents an example of industry, perseverance and good management, rewarded by substantial results well worthy the imitation of all who start out in life as he did, with no capital except a good constitution and a liberal supply of pluck and energy. In addition to discharging the duties of his official position with marked ability, he is also the proprietor and editor of the Ozark County News, a newsy and instructive weekly, published in the interests of the county and of the Republican party, of which Mr. Conklin.has always been a member. He was born at Shepherdsville, Kentucky, September 29, 1855.
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The son of William and Mary J. (Neldon) Conklin, the former of whom was of German extraction and a native of the State of New York. At an early day he removed to Kentucky, was married there and in 1856 took up his residence in Pulaski County, Missouri, where he made a good home for himself and family and resided until his death in 1867. He was a son of William Conklin.
In the public schools of Pulaski County, Missouri, William A. Conklin laid the foundation of a good, practical education, and in 1872 he entered the high school at Richland. In 1876 he started out to do business for himself and established a paper at Gainesville, Missouri, known as the Gainesville Gazette, of which he was manager one year. At the end of that time the Gazette and the Triblune consolidated and became known as the Gazette-Tribune, after which Mr. Conklin had control of the same for one year more, when he sold out to F. M. Kellett and a Mr. Harlin, and they changed the name of the paper to the Ozark County News. In 1883 Mr. Conklin re-purchased the paper and has been sole proprietor of the same since that time. He has met with success in his business enterprises, and under his management the Osark County News is a pronounced success, and is justly recognized as one of the best and most reliable county papers published in the State. Mr. Conklin has ever been public spirited, has held the office of school commissioner one term and in 1890 was elected to the office of county clerk and has received the almost unanimous nomination of his party for the same position in 1894. He has also held the office of justice of the peace, and in 1890 was appointed to the position of United States census enumerator of his district. Socially he is a member of Robert Burns Lodge No. 496, of the A. F. & A. M., Gainesville, Missouri, is a member of Isabel Lodge of the I. O. O. F., both of which fraternities have honored him with the highest offices in their respective lodges, and he and his wife are members of the Christian Church. The maiden name of the latter was Sarah E. McClendon, a daughter of J. B. McClendon, but in February, 1891, Mr. Conklin was called upon to mourn the death of his wife, who left him with a family of six children: William B., Lenore, Roscoe, Posey, Lucy and Mary A.