Strong, George P.

Born: 1814-12-17 Danbury, Connecticut

Died: 1890-10-26 Saint Louis, Missouri

George P. Strong was a teacher, attorney, Presbyterian church official, public servant, and military officer. He grew up primarily in Vienna, New York, where his father was a Presbyterian minister. In 1831, he enrolled at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, but did not graduate. He entered Yale College during the fall of 1833, but ill health prevented him from joining the senior class and he never completed his college education. In 1835, he migrated to the South, and taught in Kentucky for over a year. In 1836, he moved to Clinton, Mississippi, where he became active in the local Presbyterian church's leadership. The next year, he married Melinda P. Fales. The couple eventually had five children together, although one died in infancy. While living in Mississippi, he studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1840, and relocated to Port Gibson, Mississippi. He practiced law in the state for twelve years. In 1852, Strong moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he formed a law partnership with his cousin, Newton D. Strong in 1853. By 1854, the Strongs kept an office at 118 North Main Street in St. Louis. By 1860, George Strong owned $12,500 in real and personal property. During the Civil War, he supported the Union and served at the rank of major under General Albert G. Edwards. He was also a member of the 1865 Constitutional Convention for the state of Missouri, chaired its Committee on Emancipation, and personally put forth the ordinance on emancipation that, once adopted in January 1865, made Missouri a free state.

The Bench and Bar of St. Louis, Kansas City, Jefferson City and Other Missouri Cities (St. Louis: American Biographical, 1884), 246; W. V. N. Bay, Reminiscences of the Bench and Bar of Missouri (St. Louis: F. H. Thomas, 1878), 560; Benjamin W. Dwight, The History of the Descendants of Elder John Strong, of Northampton, Mass. (Albany, NY: Joel Munsell, 1871), 2:1051-52; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Ward 5, St. Louis, St. Louis County, MO, 152; Yale University Obituary Record of Graduates Deceased During the Year Ending July 1, 1926 (New Haven, CT: Yale University, 1926), 53; Presbyterian Reunion: A Memorial Volume, 1837-1871 (New York: De-Witt C. Lent, 1870), 523-24; Gravestone, Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, MO.