Pen Pictures page 525


PROF. E. B. CONKLIN is the present State Senator, representing the Thirty-Second District. He is the owner of a beautiful orchard, of about ten acres, on the San Jose and Los Gatos road, in the Cambrian district.

Mr. Conklin was born November 2, 1803, in Washington County, New York, almost  under the shadow of the Green Mountains. His father, Abraham Conklin, and his mother, nee Hulda Carmichel, were of old New York families. His boyhood was spent on a farm, but his educational advantages were superior to those generally received by the youth of a farming community. After graduating at the Union village academy in his native county, he at once commenced his career as a teacher, a profession to which he has devoted his whole life, up to a comparatively recent date. He taught for a few years in the district and village schools of Washington and Rensselaer Counties, and during the time he married, in March, 1849, Miss Anna E. Moss. In the autumn of that year Mr. and Mrs. Conklin engaged as teachers in Belvidere, Illinois, the Professor having charge of a corps of six or seven teachers, in the large Union school building. After spending several years in that work, he founded the Marengo Academy, at Marengo, Illinois, which was incorporated under the laws of that State in 1852. That school was successfully conducted until 1860. Occasionally the professor is warmly greeted by former pupils of his, now among the best of California men and women.

In 1861 Mr. and Mrs. Conklin came to California, and, in Placerville, resumed teaching. There Professor Conklin built up gradually a large and flourishing  academy, expending $25,000 in the building and furnishing, and made his wife Preceptress of the institution. His assistant teachers, of whom there were six or seven, were from the best seminaries and colleges of the East. A full academic course of studies was pursued by from 100 to 140 students, among whom could be found representatives of nearly every State and Territory on the Pacific Coast. The school was opened in 1861, and was under the charge of Professor Conklin until about 1882, when he sold the property to Rev. Mr. Tyndall, of Michigan, who now conducts it. Mr. and Mrs. Conklin soon after came to Santa Clara Valley.

Mrs. Conklin, as her husband's ablest assistant, has been associated with him in all his professional life. She was born and reared in Washington County, New York, and, like her husband, devoted to the cause of education. Loving children, she loved to care for them. She had no children of her own, but, with the assistance of her husband (to whom the work was also a pleasure), she reared and educated several boys and girls. Professor Conklin served one term as Superintendent of the schools of El Dorado County, and did much to add to their efficiency. It testifies strongly to his character and ability that, after a short residence in this county, he was elected to represent his district in the State Senate, in 1886. In politics he is fully identified with the Republican party. He is a strong temperance man, inculcating temperance principles, by precept and practice.

Mr. and Mrs. Conklin united with the Presbyterian Church, at Belvidere, Illinois. For many years Mr. Conklin was an official in the organization, and has attended five or more General Assemblies.

SOURCE:  Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H.S. Foote.- Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.  Page 525- Transcribed by Roena Wilson