PORTRAIT & BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM OF MORGAN AND SCOTT COUNTIES, ILLINOIS
Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers

1889


BENJAMIN DYE has been a resident of Morgan County nearly thirty years, and during that time has been prosperously pursuing agriculture and is one of the prominent farmers of township 15, range 10. Here he has a beautiful home, replete with all the modern conveniences and comforts, of a pleasing style of architecture and constructed of brick. His farm comprises a quarter of section 12, and it is considered one of the best managed and most desirable in this part of the county.

The subject of this biography was born April 30, 1828, in Miami Co., Ohio, within five miles of the town of Troy. His father, Vincent Dye, was a native of the same county, born in the early days of its settlement, and after attaining to manhood he undertook the pioneer task of constructing a farm from the primeval forest in that wild, sparsely settled part of the county. He took unto him a wife, Rebecca Swills, and seven children blessed their union, three of whom are living: our subject; Maria, now Mrs. Harris, of Indiana; Fanny, (Mrs. Ellidge) of Missouri. In 1832, he moved with his family to Tippecanoe Co., Ind., and became a pioneer there. In 1859, he made another move and became a pioneer of still another State, this time settling in Bates County, Missouri. He was not allowed to remain in undisturbed possession of his new home very long, but on account of his strong union and anti-slavery sentiments, which he was too noble to disguise even for peace and safety, he was driven out of that county, and returning to Indiana in 1861, he died there in the month of August, aged sixty-five years, and now lies quietly sleeping his last sleep near Dayton, Ind. He was a good and true man, whose honorable, manly course through life merited the highest respect. His wife stayed in Missouri after his departure to look after their property, and after the close of the war came to Illinois and made her home with our subject till she closed her eyes in death at the age of sixty-five years.

Our subject inherited from his worthy parents many sterling traits of character that have made him a strong, manly man, true to those high principles that they inculcated by percept and example. He was a child of four years when he was taken from the beautiful scenes of his early home to Indiana, and there, near Dayton, seven miles from LaFayette, where his father took up new land, he grew to manhood, obtaining a good, practical education in the common schools. After his school days were over he engaged with his father in farming till he attained his majority, when he worked on a farm for some one else at first, and after a little had a farm of his own. He began with eighty acres of timber land, which he improved into a fine farm before he left it, and erected a good frame house and other buildings. When he first started out in life, desiring a companion and helpmate, Mr. Dye asked Miss Sarah Bugher to share his fate and fortunes with him, and they were united in marriage in June, 1850. Mrs. Dye is an Indianian by birth, born about six miles south of Delphi, the county seat of Carroll County, in 1829, and she lived under the parental roof till her marriage. Her father, Samuel Bugher, was a native of Miami County, Ohio, and was there married to Miss Nancy Schaeffer, who was born near Troy, that State. They moved to Indiana at the same time that the parents of our subject did, and lived there till after the marriage of their daughter and our subject, when they went to Wisconsin. Mr. Schaeffer died there, and his wife also, her death preceding his. He was always a farmer and also owned and managed a mill.

To Mr. and Mrs. Dye were born twelve children, ten of whom are living, four of them born in Indiana, and all have received good school advantages and are well-bred. Ollie Ann, is now Mrs. Ezra Brown, of Cowley County, Kansas; Eugene, who lives at home, married Margaret Miller, and they have two daughters; Belle and Rebecca are at home, the latter a teacher; Sampson is in Cowley County, Kan.; Nancy and Rhoda are at home; Lewis is farming with his father; Benjamin, Jr., and John are at home.

Mr. Dye became a man of prominence in his Indiana home, although he avoided politics, and he served in all the School and various District offices. On the organization of the Republican party he bravely took sides with it and advocated its principles, although he knew that in doing so in that part of the country where he was then residing his very life was in danger, the pro-slavery element predominating and the Southern sentiment very strong. He incurred the hatred and animosity of his neighbors, who called him a "black abolitionist," and pitched on to him and he barely escaped having serious trouble. He was a member of the militia or home guards, Company B, 10th Ind. And accompanied his regiment to Virginia at the time of the call for "100 day" volunteers. Prior to going on this expedition Mr. Dye deemed it expedient to sell his property in Indiana, and did so in the spring of 1861. But he did not come to Morgan County, this State, till the fall of 1861, when he bought his present farm, the land of which was improved to some extent, and he has ever since been a valued resident of this township. His removal to this place was made with teams and it took ten days to accomplish the journey.

In the twenty-eight years that have elapsed since our subject came her to dwell among the kindly, hospitable people of this township, he has shown himself an open-hearted, generous, public-spirited citizen, one who is ever on the side of the right, ready to succor the needy and unfortunate, and who has at heart the good of the community. He and his wife are highly esteemed in social circles, and for a time he was a member of the I. O. O. F.


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