W. E. CONNER, vice president of the Iowa Paint Manufacturing Company of Fort Dodge, has been a leading citizen of Vinton for many years, the business originating in Vinton, where it was established through the efforts of Mr. Conner, A. C. Boggs and Robert Patterson, the former being president and the later secretary and manager of the concern. It was founded in 1895, mainly through the activity and influence of these gentlemen; was conducted for three years at Vinton. and, upon its incorporation, the plant was moved to Fort Dodge. This was in 1896, when an organization was effected under the present officers with a capital of forty thousand dollars. The industry is confined to dry paints, and the concern is also interested in a factory at Kansas City, Missouri. Mr. Conner's special field of activities is Iowa, for which he is general salesman, with headquarters in Vinton, his dealings being with jobbers rather than the retail trade.
Mr. Conner was born in Whiteside county, Illinois, but came to Benton county as an infant in the early sixties. He is a son of H. S. and Esther A. (Gardner) Conner. His father was a pioneer real estate man of Vinton, and was in active business until 1885, having been for years a member of the firm of Conner & Knox. He died at Amboy, Illinois, where he had been living several years in retirement, on February 15, 1910, aged eighty years. His mother is living with two brothers and two sisters: W. S. Conner, a portrait painter, and Harry, representing the Iowa Paint Manufacturing Company, both of Amboy; while the sisters reside at Watertown, Wisconsin, and Franklin Grove, Illinois.
Reared and educated at Vinton, Mr. Conner commenced his business career as a grocery clerk with Mr. Boggs, and was thus associated for many years. He married Miss Anna M. Runyon, daughter of Hon. Alexander Runyon. Mr. Runyon died on August 2, 1903. Ethel, one of the daughters, formerly a teacher at Des Moines College, married B. P. Larson, of Fort Dodge, Iowa, and Lucile, the second, is attending Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois, both being young ladies of culture and social popularity. The family are identified with the activities and faith of the Baptist church, and Mr. Conner's fraternal connections are with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Both he and his family are influential factors in the highest progress of the community.