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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography - Matthew W. Busey

SOURCE: "Early History and Pioneers of Champaign County, Illinois," by Milton W. Mathews and Lewis A. McLean, editors of the Champaign County Herald, published by the Champaign County Herald, 1886


Col. MATTHEW W. BUSEY - was born in Shelby county, Kentucky, May 15, 1798. He was the son of Samuel and Catherine (SEIGLER) BUSEY. At an early date the family moved to Washington county, Indiana. In the latter county young Busey learned the trade of brick mason, and followed the trade, working as a "jour." and subsequently as a contractor and builder from 1823 to 1847. In 1832 he was induced to visit this part of Illinois from hearing reports of the fertility and productiveness of the soil. His visit and subsequent investigations confirmed the reports and before returning he purchased land. He returned to Indiana and remained there until the spring, April 1836, when he brought his family here and erected a small frame house, which was in later years enlarged. Soon after his arrival here, he became prominent and influential in local affairs. He was commissioned as Colonel in the Indiana state militia, while a resident of that state, and in a few years after his arrival here was appointed to a similar position in the state militia of Illinois. In 1840 he was elected to represent the district in the state legislature, and in 1842, was his own successor. During the excitement attending the location of the county seat, Col. Busey was active and mainly instrumental in securing it for Urbana. He was for many years assessor for the county and township. He died in 1852, esteemed and respected by a large circle of friends and acquaintances. While yet a resident of Washington county, Indiana he was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth BUSH, who survived him twenty-eight years, and died in 1880, at the home of her son, Col. S. T. BUSEY. By that union there were eight children: Simeon H., John S., Mary C., wife of John C. KIRKPATRICK, Louisa J., widow of W. H. ROMINE, Col. Samuel T., Sarah, wife of Judge J. W. SIM, Elizabeth, wife of Allen MCLAIN, and Matthew D.

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