BENJAMIN F. NICKERSON is engaged in the livery business and as a breeder of fine horses. He owns at present
the celebrated Almont King, a roadster stallion, destined to be the finest specimen of his kind in this locality.
He was sired by the well-known Mammoint, dam by Powers Denmark, and was foaled June 9, 1881. This animal weighs
about 1,150 pounds, is a bright, rich bay in color and a model of beauty and symmetry. The record of his half-brother,
Louis R., is 2:23 1/2. Mr. N. also has in his possession the beautiful horse, Paul Bego, the 2d. This is a dark
bay, sixteen and one-half hands high, eight years of age, and weighs 1,400 pounds, with the kindest disposition
of the breed of which he is a member. The other animals in the stable of Mr. Nickerson are of the best and most
popular breeds, and their proprietor fully understands their care and requirements. He has a genuine love for his
business, and is fast making for himself an enviable reputation as a breeder and a judge of fine horses.
Mr. Nickerson has been a resident of Heyworth since the fall of 1881, when he established his business. He had previously been engaged in farming in Funk's Grove Township, on section 31, where he located in March, 1875, upon a tract of land of eighty-three acres which he had purchased and which was well improved. He yet retains his farm property, and has other real estate in the village of Heyworth.
Mr. Nickerson was born in Randolph Township, Sept. 8, 1851. His father, Albert N., was one of the early pioneers of McLean County, coming here nearly half a century ago, and establishing himself in Randolph Township. He had previously with his family spent a few months in Missouri, which was then an unbroken wilderness through which Indians and other wild game roamed in plenty. The family lived in a covered wagon, intending at first to locate there, but the outlook was too discouraging and they recrossed the river to this county. There were then only a few settlers in this locality, but the father of our subject believed that it would develop into something great in the future, and with the sturdy resolution common to the pioneers of that day resolved to make his location here. He cultivated and improved his tract of land in Randolph Township and established a comfortable home for his family, remaining there until 1871, when he removed to Heyworth and lived retired from active labor until his death, which occurred in November, 1886, when he was seventy-seven years old.
The father of our subject was one of the most highly respected and substantial citizens of Randolph Township, an Elder in the Christian Church, and Democratic in politics. His wife, formerly Miss Ellen Cook, was his faithful and devoted companion and is still living, making her home with her children in Heyworth. She was the sympathizer of her husband in all his undertakings, and with him united with the Christian Church, being noted for her womanly sympathies and kind deeds.
The subject of this history was the seventh child and youngest son of a family of ten, seven sons and three daughters. Of these there are yet six sons living, but the daughters are all deceased. Mr. N. was reared in the manner common to most farmers' boys, and received only three months' schooling annually, until he was eighteen years old. He was reared to habits of industry, and at an early age commenced to work upon the farm, remaining under the parental roof until his marriage, which occurred Feb. 11, 1875, the maiden of his choice being Miss Fidelia A. Washburn, who was a native of Heyworth and born Aug. 7, 1853. Mrs. N. received her education in her native village, became a teacher of music before her marriage, and has since occasionally applied herself to this profession. She possesses much talent in this direction, being a skillful performer on the piano. Mr. and Mrs. N. have become the parents of six children, four now deceased—Maude, Claude, Homer and an infant unnamed. Those surviving are Lena M. and John A. Mrs. Nickerson is a member in good standing of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. N. is an energetic and straightforward business man; politically he is a reliable Democrat.
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), 532. Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards