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Benjamin R. Hampton

HAMPTON, Benjamin R. (deceased), former journalist and State Senator, Macomb, Ill., was born in Warren County, Ohio, April 12, 1821, the son of Van C. and Elizabeth (Randolph) Hampton, the former a native of New Jersey and the latter of Ohio. The elder Hampton, who had been engaged in the woolen manufacturing business in Ohio, came to Macomb, Ill., in 1840, and there established the first woolen factory in that immediate vicinity, which he conducted for a number of years. During his youth, the son, Benjamin R., received his primary education in the public schools of Miami County, in his native State, meanwhile assisting his father in the manufacturing business in which he was there engaged, but soon after coming to Macomb, entered the office of Cyrus Walker, then a leading attorney of Western Illinois, where he pursued the study of law for two years, at the end of that period being admitted to the bar. In the fall of 1855 he purchased an interest in the "Macomb Enterprise," which had been established a few months earlier, of which he assumed the editorship, and for some years was one of the leading journalists in that section of the State. Originally a Whig, he promptly espoused the cause of the Republican party, and was one of the most zealous champions of the principles represented by Fremont and Lincoln during the campaigns of 1856 and 1860. Retiring from the '"Macomb Enterprise" about 1861, he served for at least a part of the time during the Civil war as a member of the Board of Supervisors of McDonough County, but in the fall of 1865, resumed his connection with the paper which previously had taken the name of the "Macomb Journal," and which it still retains. In June, 1870, Mr. William H. Hainline became part proprietor of the paper, this relationship continuing until January, 1881, when Mr. Hampton retired, and a few months later established the "Illinois Bystander," of which he continued to be editor and principal proprietor until his death on March 27, 1886.

In 1870 Mr. Hampton was elected State Senator from the McDonough District, serving in the Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth General Assemblies. Other offices held by him included those of Trustee of the town of Macomb and Justice of the Peace — the most important being that of Supervisor during the war period. He was also a member and President of the first Public Library Board organized in Macomb in 1881.

Mr. Hamilton was united in marriage April 2, 1845, with Miss Angeline E. Hail, a daughter of D. Hail, Esq., of Franklin, Ky., and of the children born to them, David H. Hampton, of Macomb, at different times connected with the "Macomb Bystander," the "Galesburg Daily Mail" and the "Macomb Sentinel," is the only one now surviving.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, page 893, extracted 04 Jan 2019 by Norma Hass.

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