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Captain Isaac Conroe – Biography
by Kristin F. Smith
From the Vertical Files of
Montgomery County Memorial Library

Isaac Conroe, eldest son of Levi and Ann Conrow (sic), was born in Long Branch, New Jersey in 1834. Levi, a farmer and "mechanick", moved the family to Chicago in the 1840s, and there Isaac grew up in a bustling household which included several brothers and sisters and his maternal grandparents. Other Conroe relatives lived nearby. Isaac became a carpenter. 

In August 1861, amide the turmoil of the Civil War, he joined the Union Army. A tall, blue-eyed, dark-haired man of twenty-seven, Isaac was also apparently a skilled horseman. When he enlisted as a private in McClellan's Dragoons, 12th Illinois Cavalry, he provided his own mount and accoutrements. He served throughout the war, rising to the rank of captain. [Click here for Isaac Conroe's Civil War Pension Card]

At Gettysburg, July 1, 1863, he suffered a gunshot wound to the face and neck, an injury so severe his commanding officer initially reported him as "killed in action." Lt. Conroe spent the next month in hospital, then rejoined his troop. Posted to Memphis, New Orleans and finally Texas, he mustered out as a captain at Galveston in May, 1866.


Isaac Conroe, farmer's son, one-time carpenter, came to love the Dine woods of East Texas, and after a quick trip to Washington, D.C. to marry his fiancée, Margaret K. Richardson, he settled here and built a sawmill. The mill was originally located at Halton, south of Conroe. In 1881, Isaac purchased land near the present city of Conroe and moved his operations to this place. A 2½ mile tram route connected the mill with the I&GN railroad. [See Isaac Conroe, Lumberman]

In these years, the Conroe family lived in Houston and Isaac commuted there by train, using his handkerchief to flag the engineer. On one of his trips he sat next to an official of the railroad, and convinced that gentleman to make the place a regular stop. The official suggested the name "Conroe's Switch," later shortened to "Conroe's." A thriving community grew up. The Conroe family built a home here, and Isaac became a respected leader in the town he had founded.

Isaac Conroe died August 2, 1897, suffering a heart attack while hard at work in his mill. He was 63. The local paper concluded a heartfelt and florid obituary with the simple words, "A good man has passed away."


For more information on Isaac Conroe, contact the Heritage Museum and order a copy of "Isaac Conroe, Founder of Conroe, Texas 1834-1897 and some of his Ancestors & Descendants," compiled by Vera Meek Wimberly.


| Home Top | Isaac Conroe's Obituary |
| Isaac Conroe: Lumberman Pioneered City |
| Margaret Richardson Conroe Obituary |
| Residence of Isaac Conroe |Town of Conroe |
| Heritage Museum |
Article on Isaac Conroe's House |
Enterprising Pioneer Who Put Our Town on the Map |
| Martha Conroe Smith |



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Page Modified: 18 October 2016