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W. Benton Lawyer

LAWYER, W. Benton — Among the most substantial and popular of the retired farmers of Tennessee Township, McDonough County, Ill., is the subject of this sketch, who is a resident of the town of Tennessee, that county. Mr. Lawyer was born in McDonough County, June 5, 1852, a son of John and Rebecca J. (Jackson) Lawyer, natives, respectively, of Ohio and Indiana. Michael Lawyer was the paternal grandfather and the maternal grandfather was William Jackson. John Lawyer came to McDonough County with his parents and settled on a farm in Tennessee Township, where he purchased a farm on which he lived until 1897. Then he relinquished active labor and moved to the town of Tennessee, where he and his wife now reside.

W. Benton Lawyer remained at home until he reached the age of twenty years, assisting his father in the farm work, and going to school during the winter. At that period he rented a farm of forty acres in Lamoine Township, which he cultivated for five years and then purchased. He had previously bought fifty acres adjoining it, all in the northwest quarter of Section 3, on the north line of the township. He also bought eighty acres adjoining this on the south, and on this farm he lived until 1898. In that year he moved to Tennessee town, and purchased a half-interest in a hardware store. Five years afterward he sold this and withdrew from active efforts, devoting himself to the supervision of his property in the town and his farms. On March 27, 1851, Mr. Lawyer was married to Mary E. Lowderman, who was born in Indianapolis, Ind., and schooled in Scott County, Iii. Mrs. Lawyer's parents were John and Sarah (Dunnick) Lowderman, both natives of Ohio, the father of Cincinnati. The mother was of a family of two children, her brother, G. F. Dunnick, being a farmer of Pike County, Ill. The parents came to Schuyler County, Ill., in 1852, and remained there until their daughter Sarah was nine years old, when they removed to Meredosia, Ill., and thence to Scott County, where, as stated, she was educated. Mrs. Lawyer lost her father when she was only six years of age, but her mother is still living in Scott County. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. John Lawyer have been born five children: Charles B., Edna (Mrs. E. Q. H. Douglas), of Davenport, Wash.; Ethel (Mrs. Fred L. Kirby), of Mason City, Iowa; Rall, who lives with his parents, and one who died in infancy. Politically, Mr. Lawyer follows the fortunes of the Democratic party. For eleven years he served as Highway Commissioner of Lamoine Township. McDonough County. He held the office of Tax Collector there two years; that of School Treasurer five years; and of Assessor five years. He is now serving his fourth year as Supervisor of Tennessee Township. Fraternally, the subject of this sketch is connected with the M. W. A. and I. O. O. F.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, page 933, extracted 15 Jun 2019 by Norma Hass.

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