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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of Benjamin F. Merry

SOURCE: "History of Champaign County, Illinois with Illustrations," 1878


BENJAMIN F. MERRY. As an example of successful thrift, and to show what industry, combined with good management, steady perseverance, and unswerving integrity will accomplish, we present to our readers a brief history of the life of Benjamin Franklin MERRY, one of the foremost farmers of Pesotum township. He was born on the 14th day of April, 1831, in the county of Montgomery, New York. His father was a farmer, and Frank, as he was usually called, remained with his father on the farm until after his marriage, which event took place on the 3d day of October, 1849, to Miss Catharine NORTON, daughter of Harvey and Sallie M. NORTON, of Courtland county, New York. The children are three, and in the following order: Serena E., S. Matilda, and Charles D. The eldest, now Mrs. BROWN, resides in Pesotum township. Matilda and Charles are yet unmarried, and live at home.

In 1854, Mr. Merry, with his family, emigrated to Geauga county, in the State of Ohio, where he remained long enough to raise and dispose of two crops, when he again turned his face westward, and set out for Illinois, arriving in Champaign county in 1856. He now purchased 102 acres of unbroken prairie, which he improved and lived upon ten years. He now sold this, and purchased 160 acres in Pesotum township, section 12, where he remained until his death, which occurred on the 3d day of December, 1870. Since that time the business of the farm has been successfully conducted by Mrs. Merry.

Since, the business of the farm has wholly devolved upon her, Mrs. Merry has not only enhanced the value of the home farm by improvements, but has purchased an additional eighty acres, and that, too, in the short space of seven years, which tells more for her ability as a financier than modesty will permit her to allow me to say.

At the time of Mr. Merry's death, he was a member, in good standing, of the fraternity of Free Masons, and was laid to his peaceful rest with Masonic honors. He was respected for many of the noble qualities of head and heart which characterize true manhood. A view of the old homestead appears on another page of this work.

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