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Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers


WILLIAM BEGNEL. One of the best regulated farms of Woodson Precinct belongs to the subject of this notice, who was born in County Louth, Ireland, about the year 1830. He received a common school education in his native county, of which he remained a resident until a man of twenty-eight years, employed at different occupations. At the expiration of this time, seeing little prospect of attaining to what he wished, socially and financially, he resolved to seek his fortunes on the other side of the Atlantic. He landed after a safe voyage in the city of New York the latter part of July, 1858.

Not long afterward we find our subject in Greene County, the southern part of this State, where he was for some three or four years employed as a farm laborer. He then commenced operating on rented land in that vicinity, where he resided two years, and spent a year thereafter in Macoupin County. In 1866 he came to this county with a snug little sum of money, which he invested in the land comprising his present homestead, then ninety-three acres in extent. He at once set himself to the task of improving his property, and was prospered in his labors. He invested his surplus capital in additional land, and is now the owner of 378 broad acres, which he has brought to a good state of cultivation, and which yields him handsome returns.

The Begnel family occupies a substantial brick residence, and the farm is supplied with all the other buildings necessary for the successful prosecution of agriculture. Mr. Begnel makes a specialty of stock-raising, in which he has been very successful. The farm is pleasantly located on section 24, and in all its appointments indicates the thrift and enterprise of its proprietor.

On the 5th of October, 1863, our subject took unto himself a wife and helpmate, Miss Margaret Dunn, who was born in County Queens, Ireland, about 1831. Her parents, Timothy and Mary (Doyle) Dunn, were also natives of County Queens, where they spent their entire lives. Mrs. Begnel was the eldest of their four children who lived to mature years. Of her union with our subject there have been born five children, viz: Mary E., who died in infancy; James H., Maggie R., Sarah E., and William F., who died at the age of six years.

Mr. Begnel, politically, is a stanch supporter of Democratic principles, and with his wife and family belongs to the Catholic Church. He has served as a School Director in his district, and is a man popular among his neighbors, and hospitable to all who come within his doors. His father, James Begnel, was born and spent his entire life in County Louth. The mother, Mrs. Margaret (Hoy) Begnel, was born and reared not far from the early home of her husband, and after his death came to America, and died at the home of her son, our subject, Sept. 16, 1872. The parental family included five children, all of whom lived to mature years, and of whom William was the third in order of birth. His brothers and sisters are located mostly in Illinois.

1889 Index
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