The funeral of Mrs. Martha Allison Conto, proprietress of Martha’s Elbow, a tourist resort at Tweh Farm, Bushrod Island, will take place at St. Stephen Episcopal Church, 10th Street, Sinkor, Monrovia on Saturday, April 7, beginning at 10 o’clock a.m.
Mrs. Conto died on March 16, 2018, in Accra, Ghana, following a protracted illness. She was 57.
Martha, endowed with an entrepreneurial spirit, started her business, called Martha’s Elbow, in 1986, and immediately resigned from Hotel Africa, where she had worked for a number of years.
After running a nine-bedroom motel, Martha began construction of a large modern hotel with 45 bedrooms, situated on the bank of Stockton Creek, just beyond the St. Paul Bridge linking Monrovia with Virginia and Brewerville, Montserrado County.
The new hotel was about 90 percent completed. She was about to open it for business when she succumbed to cancer, which she had been battling for several years.
In addition to the new hotel, Martha, the dynamic and visionary businesswoman, was also building a party hall for weddings and other entertainment events on the Stockton Creek just near the hotel.
Martha Allison Conto, affectionately called “Martha Elbow,” was born at Hoffman Station, Harper, Maryland County on June 7, 1960 unto the union of Mr. Joseph Nyumah Allison and Mrs. Angeline Allison.
Martha started her education in Harper, and later traveled to Monrovia, where she attended Tubman High School. She received her high school diploma at Tubman High on December 15, 1983. She soon found employment with Hotel Africa, following which her entrepreneurial motivation led her to acquire land in Tweh Farm and start her small motel business, which she named “Martha’s Elbow.”
So successful was this initial business venture that she soon commenced construction of a two-story hotel right on the bank of Stockton Creek. Her plan was to put boats on the Creek to take passengers up and down the St. Paul and further up the Creek towards Gardnersville and beyond.
Martha has been a member of St. Stephen for many years and was part of the Episcopal Church Women (ECW).
A compassionate humanitarian, she helped many people out of their suffering and troubles in Liberia. She taught her elder son Jerome how to work hard, including cooking, and made him an independent, responsible man.
Thanks to all the help she gave others at home in Liberia, when Jerome arrived in the United States at 33 he met many people he did not know, who reached out and helped him in significant ways.
These included officials of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, INS, who helped him get his Green Card in no time and put him on track for citizenship. He soon married a young, beautiful lady from Grand Cape Mount County, and the marriage has been blessed with three handsome boys.
Martha leaves to mourn her loss her husband, Mr. Joe Conto, two sons, Jerome B. McDonald and Kenneth Diamond Kappia; three brothers, Roland, Gabriel and Edward Allison; five sisters, Deborah, Marie, Amelia, Esther and Marwhieh Allison; three grandchildren, Jerome Alvis, Radilo Baccus and Joel Kenneth McDonald; and many other relatives in Liberia, USA, Europe and elsewhere.
The body will be removed from the Samuel Stryker Funeral Home on Friday, April 6, at 5:30 p.m. and taken to St. Stephen Episcopal Church for wake keeping.
The requiem mass will take place at the same church the following morning, Saturday, April 7, beginning at 10 o’clock a.m., followed by interment at Kaiser Memorial Cemetery in Brewerville.