CAPT. BENJAMIN H. PENN, a well-known resident of section 29, Shaw's Point Township, is a son of Joseph and Candace (Barton) Penn, both natives of North Carolina. In their early married life they made their home in Lebanon, St. Clair County, Ill., and in 1837 came to Macoupin County and settled in Shaw's Point Township, where Mr. Penn died in 1840. His bereaved widow survived him for seventeen years and at the time of her departure from this life was living in Montgomery County.
The subject of this biographical sketch is the youngest in a large family of nine children, and on February 5, 1838, he first saw the light in Shaw's Point Township. Here he received a good education in the district schools and was reared to manhood, learning upon his father's farm the practical arts of agriculture. The greater part of his life has been spent here with the exception of three years which he gave to his country and two and half years when he was in Kansas, and a year spent in Madison County. With the exception of this, he has been a resident of Macoupin County all his life. He learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed industriously for many years, and since 1880 he has been engaged exclusively in farming. Upon this fine and rich tract of seventy-seven and a half acres half acres he has raised fine crops and good stock.
We believe all the words of historians will never more than do justice to the brave boys who so cheerfully and bravely left their homes and went out without training and without military skill to fight the enemies of their country in its time of need. The hero's crown is theirs, and we love to speak of their endurance and courage and of the victories which they achieved. Illinois responded nobly to the repeated calls of the War President whom her sons loved and honored, and to whose help they freely sprang. Benjamin Pen enlisted in one of the first regiments and at the first call of Abraham Lincoln, being one of those who enlisted for three months, believing that this period of warfare would end the rebellion. He became a private in Company K, Seventh Illinois Regiment, joining that body April 22, 1861.
After his term of service expired this young man re-enlisted in Company C, Thirty-second Illinois Regiment, as a private, and served in that capacity until February 28, 1863, when he was commissioned Captain of Company B, of the same regiment. His term of service expired in the fall of 1864, and he was mustered out of service September 15. He took part inj the siege of Vicksburg and in the battle of Kenesaw Mountain. Before he was commissioned Captain, he se3rved as Wagon-master, first as Regimental, and later as Brigade Wagon-master.
When Capt. Pen was mustered out he returned to Shaw's Point Township and engaged at once in farming, but afterward removed to Virden and devoted himself to the business of carpentry until 1872, when he went to Butler County, Kan., where he farmed for two and a half years. He then came bac k to Carlinville and followed his trade until 1880, when he settled on the farm which is located on section 29, where has made excellent improvements.
It was during the days of the war that Capt. Penn took to himself a wife, being united in marriage April 22, 1863, with Miss Mary E. Prichard, at the residence of the bride's parents, Wilson and Polly (Plain) Prichard, both natives of Virginia and residents of Shaw's Point Township. they had come from the South some years before and the father died in 1862. The mother still survives at an advanced age and is at once the care and comfort of her children. Mr. and Mrs. Prichard had four children, of whom Mrs. Penn was the third, being born June 18, 1840, in Muhlenburg County, Ky.
Capt. and Mrs. Pen are the parents of five interesting children, namely: Mattie L., Mary C., Josephine E., Florence R. and Ethel G. The second daughter died in infancy. Capt. Penn was elected Justice of the Peace in the spring of 1888, and has held that office continuously from that date to this. He also occupied the same position while living in Kansas. Both he and his amiable and intelligent wife, are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He has taken a very active part in political affairs and always affiliates wit the party which placed Abraham Lincoln in the Presidential chair. His war record and experience give him a lively interest in the affairs of the Grand Army of the Republic, and he belongs to Dan Messick Post. No. 339, of Carlinville.