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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



JOHN R. BENJAMIN a prominent and influential farmer of Padua Township, occupies a fine homestead on section 7, comprising 230 acres of finely cultivated land, upon which is erected a handsome modern dwelling and all the other, buildings required by the progressive agriculturist. Mr. Benjamin took possession of this farm in 1854, where he has since lived, and has firmly established himself in the confidence and esteem of his community. He is a gentleman of fine abilities, an extensive reader, and one who takes an active interest in current events whether they concern his county, or the State and Nation at large.

He is a native of New York, born in Columbia County, Oct. 17, 1824, and is the son of Darius Benjamin, a native of the same county and State, where he followed agricultural pursuits successfully and spent his entire life.

He was married in early manhood to Miss Martha Rogers, also a native of Columbia County, N. Y., who survived her husband several years, and finally removing to the West, died at the home of her son in Old Town Township, this county, in 1884, after arriving at the advanced age of ninety years.

John R. Benjamin was the fourth of six sons born to his parents, and remained under the home roof until twenty-one years of age. He then journeyed into Chester County, Pa., where he located, and three years later was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Beaver, who was born and reared in that county. Her parents, who were of Pennsylvania birth and German descent, after marriage passed their lives in Chester County, and there their remains are buried.

Of the union of our subject and wife there were born six children, two of whom died in infancy. Deborah became the wife of T. J. Moore, a farmer of Padua Township; Timothy married Miss Agnes McBarns, and is carrying on farming in Old Town Township; by his former marriage he was united to Miss Anna Coole, by whom he had one son, Arthur; Martha, Mrs. Willis B. Mills, resides with her husband in Putnam County, this State, the latter being a tile manufacturer; George D. operates with his father on the homestead.

Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin are active members of the Society of Friends, with which they have been connected for thirty-seven years, being charter members of the first organization in Padua Township, in 1861. Of this church our subject is one of the pillars, and has been an Elder for many years. He is Republican in politics, and has occupied the offices of Road Commissioner and Overseer of the Poor.

[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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