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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



BENJAMIN BEDELL, living on section 1, Old Town Township, and a gentleman who has followed agricultural pursuits thus far in life, is a son of William and Hannah (Bradbury) Bedell. The father was born on Long Island, and the mother in England. They were married in this country, and settled in Greene County, N. Y., where the father followed the vocation of a farmer, and where both heads of the family continued to reside until their death. Seven children were born of this union, named William, Hannah, Phebe, Abram, Benjamin, Ellen and Elizabeth.

Benjamin Bedell was born in Greene County, N. Y., April 12, 1820. He was reared to farm labor on his father's farm, and when twelve years of age his parents removed to Athens, on the Hudson, and there our subject continued to reside until 1848. He then settled on a farm in the neighborhood of Athens, and for nine years was employed in its cultivation and improvement, when he sold it and moved to Oneida County, N. Y. There he purchased another farm, and continued his labors until the fall of 1866.

Disposing of this place with the hope of bettering his financial condition in a country farther west, he came to this county, locating in Old Town Township, where he remained for one year. He then purchased a farm in Blue Mound Township, where he lived and industriously labored until 1871.

During that year he bought a place in Old Town Township, moving upon it in the spring of that year, and has made it his home until the present time. His farm consists of seventy-one and a half acres, is well stocked, and has good buildings upon it.

The marriage of our subject with Miss Mary A. Cook was solemnized in Albany County, N. Y., Dec. 14, 1848. She is the daughter of Charles H. and Sarah (Armstrong) Cook, natives of New York. Her parents settled in Albany County after their union, and there the father engaged in farming and wagon-making, carrying on quite an extensive business in both branches of his occupation. He died in the city of Albany, N. Y., and she in the same county.

The issue of their union was four children Ransom, John W., Alexander and Mary A. Mary A., the youngest of the family, was born in Albany County, N. Y., Jan. 26, 1826. She lived at home until her marriage with our subject, and by that union nine children have been born, the record of whom is as follows: Elizabeth is the wife of Justine Pierson, and they are living at Bennet, Neb.; Charles H. died when seven years old; William departed this life when two years of age, and Edward died in infancy; Alice is the wife of Samuel Cole and they are living in Old Town Township; Adelaide died in the latter-named township in 1883, when twenty-three years old; Clara is the wife of William N. Cole, a farmer of Old Town Township; Hannah and Sarah both died in infancy.

Mr. B. has held some of the minor offices of his township. He and his wife belong to the sect known as Friends [ed., The Religious Society of Friends], and in politics our subject is an earnest and faithful supporter of the principles of the Prohibition party, but prior to its birth was a stanch Republican.

[SOURCE: Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887). Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.]


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