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  • Name Benjamin PETERSON 
    Born 1 May 1836  Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    • From “The Past and Present of Vermilion County Illinois”, 1903:

      “Benjamin Peterson, who is engaged in general farming on section 7, Butler township, near the village of Potomac, has to-day valuable and extensive landed possessions, his home farm aggregating four hundred acres. During the sixty years he has llived in the state of Illinois wonderful indeed have been the changes that have occurred and the progress that has been made, for through these six decades this great commonwealth has emerged to take its place as the leader in many industrial and commercial lines in the nation.

      Mr. Peterson is a native of Ohio, his birth having occurred in Vinton county, on the 1st of May, 1836. His father, Cornelius Peterson, was born in Maine, where his people located at a very early day and there he was reared. When a young man, hhe went westward, locating first in Ohio, his home being in Vinton county. There he was married to Selinda Lane, whose birth occurred in that county. There Mr. Peterson cleared and developed a tract of land, opening up a good farm, but in 1840 hhe sought a home in Illinois, settling in Vermilion county, near Higginsville. Here he again broke a tract of land, building upon it a good house and barn and developing his farm until it was a rich and productive tract. Subsequently, however, he sold that land and purchased a farm in Butler township. In 1859 again he turned the first furrows in his fields, carrying on the work of improvement and cultivation until his land was made to yield golden harvests for the labor he bestowed upon it. It was upon his farm that he spent his last days. In his family were three sons and seven daughters, all of whom reached mature years, but only three of the number, our subject and two sisters, are not living.

      Benjamin Peterson, whose name introduces this review, was reared to manhood upon the old family homestead in Vermilion county. His school privileges were limited because, owing to the unsettled condition of this portion of the state, a public school system had not been established. He remained with his father throughout the period of his manhood and after arriving at years of maturity he carried on the home farm. In 1869 he purchased forty acres of land where he now resides. This was raw and unimproved but the breaking plow had soon turned the surface and in course of time the land was placed under a high state of cultivation. Subsequently he purchased eighty acres additional, upon which his buildings are now located. This was also destitute of improvements when it came into his possession, being still in its primitive condition. He has erected a good residence, built substantial barns and other necessary outbuildings for the shelter of grain and stock and has plantted an orchard and shade trees. He has tiled and fenced his land and all modern equipments are found on this valuable farm. To his property he has added again and again until now he has four hundred and nine acres in one body. It is very valuable and each year a splendid harvest adds materially to the capital which he has already acquired.

      In Blount township, Vermilion county, Mr. Peterson was united marriage, on the 29th of October, 1860, to Lydia Pilkington, who was born in Indiana, but was reared in this county. She died in May, 1886, leaving six children: Clara, now the wife oe of W. J. Buchanan of Butler township; William E., who is a farmer of North Dakota; Flora, the wife of Morton P. Ferr, of Hoopseton; John F., a resident of Kankakee; Myrtle, the wife of John McGinness of Iowa; Lillie, the wife of Oscar Anderson, a farmer of Butler township. On the 1st of August, 1889, Mr. Peterson was united in marriage to Mrs. Margaret Henderson, a widow, who, by her former marriage, had three sons and three daughters.

      Politically Mr. Peterson is a stanch Republican and his first vote was cast for Abraham Lincoln in 1860. He has never wavered in his allegiance to the party since that time, but has never desired office as the reward for his party fealty, content to do his duty as a private citizen. While serving as a member of the school board he has done effective service in behalf of education. He has also filled the position of overseer of highways. Both he and his wife are earnest and zealous members of the United Brethren church, in which he has long held offices, being one of the trustees at the present time. A self-made man, his life record speaks clearly of industry, perseverance, economy and honesty. He started out in the business wworld with no capital yet he has steadily worked his way upward and is to-day the owner of a very valuable farm in the county of his adoption. Throughout almost his entire life Mr. Peterson has resided in this portion of the state. The people of the twentieth century can scarcely realize what privations and hardships were endured by the early settlers. It was not uncommon to see a herd of deer making their way over the prairies and wolves were frequently shot and many kinds of wild game were here in great numbers, but all have disappeared before the approach of the white men, who have claimed the land for the purpose of cultivation and have made the district to bloom and blossom as the rose. Mr. Peterson has turned many acreres of sod and has seen the farmer improve his lands while the townsman has built up enterprises and industries in village and city until Vermilion county has become a rich agricultural and commercial center. He himself worked upon three farms in order to make them cultivable and for his life of industry and enterprise he deserves credit. His mind is stored with many interesting reminiscences of pioneer times, when the homes of the settlers were widely scattered but when hospitality reigned supreme and many pleasures were enjoyed that are not known at this present day. He can tell the tale of Danville’s development and he rejoices in what has been accomplished in that town and city. He has ever borne his part in the work of progress and as an honored pioneer he deserves prominent mention in this volume.”
    Person ID I7565  Lowell&Block
    Last Modified 27 Sep 2021 

    Father Cornelius Andrew PETERSON,   b. 5 Nov 1804, Maine, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Aug 1877, Butler Twp., Vermilion, Illinois, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years) 
    Mother Cilinda LANE,   b. 16 Apr 1810, Tioga Co., Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Feb 1849, Vermilion Co., Illinois, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 38 years) 
    Married 30 Nov 1826  Athens Co., Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F2269  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

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