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swells the entire capitalization to .?995,054 or ?5T,-
317 per mile.

a road ,50.4 miles in length running from Belle-
ville to Du(|U()in, III. It was chartered Feb. 22,
1861, and completed Oct. 31, 1871. On July 1,



1880, it was leased to the St Louis, Alton &
Terre Haute Railroad Company for 486 years, and
has since been operated by tliat corporation in
connection with its Belleville branch, from East
St. Louis to Belleville. At Eldorado the road
intersects the Cairo & Vincennes Railroad and
the Shawneetown branch of the St. Louis &
Southeastern Railroad, operated by the Louisville
& Npshville Railroad Company. Its capital
stock (1895) is §1,000,000 and its bonded debt
§.5.50,000. Tlie corporate office is at Belleville.

(See St. Louis. Alton & Tcrre Haute Railroacl)

RAILROAD, a road (laid with steel rails) run-
ning from Belleville to Duquoin, 111., 56.4 miles
in length. It was chartered Feb. 15, 1857, and
completed Dec. 15, 1873. At Duquoin it connects
with the Illinois Central and forms a short line
between St. Louis and Cairo. Oct. 1, 1866, it was
leased to the St. Louis, Alton & Terre Haute
Railroad Company for 999 years. The capital
stock is 81,693,000 and the bonded debt §1,000,-
000. The corporate office is at Belleville.

BELLMONT, a village of Wabash County, on
the Louisville, Evansville & St. Louis Railway, 9
miles west of Movmt Carmel. Population (1880),
350; (1890), 487.

THE, a corporation chartered, Nov. 33, 1882, and
the lessee of the Belt Division of the Chicago &
Western Indiana Railroad (which see). Its total
trackage (all of standard gauge and laid with 66-
pound steel rails) is 93.36 miles, distributed as fol-
lows: Auburn Junction to Cliicago, Milwaukee &
St. PaulJunction, 15.9 miles; branches from Pull-
man Junction to Irondale, 111., etc., 5.41 miles;
second track, 14.1 miles; sidings, 57.85 miles.
The cost of constructioij has been §534,549; capi-
tal stock, §1,300,000. It has no funded debt.
The earnings for the year ending June 30, 1895,
were §556,847, the operating expenses §378,013,
and the taxes §51.009.

BELVIDERE, an incorporated city, the county-
seat of Boone County, situated on the Kishwau-
kee River, and on the Chicago & Northwestern
Railroad, 78 miles west-northwest of Chicago
and 43 miles east of Freeport. The city has
eleven churches, graded schools and three banks
(two National). Three newspapers are published
liere. Belvidere also has very considerable
manufacturing interests, including two flouring
mills, a plow factory, a reaper works, and manu-
factories of sewing machines, bed springs and
boots and shoes, besides large cheese and pickle

factories. Population (1880), 2,951; (1890), 3,867;
(1898) estimated, 5.500.

BEMENT, a town in Piatt County, at the inter-
section of the main line of the Wabash Railroad
with its Chicago Division, 20 miles east by nortli
from Decatur, and 166 miles south-southwest
from Chicago. It has four churches, a graded
school, a bank, a weekly newspaper and a flouring
mill. Population (1880), 963; (1890), 1,129; popu-
lation of the township (1890), 2,487.

BENJAMIN, Reuben Moore, lawyer, born at
Chatham Centre, Columbia County, N. Y., June
39, 1833; was educated at Hopkins Academy,
Hadley, Mass. ; spent one year in the law depart-
ment of Harvard, another as tutor at Amherst
and, in 1856, came to Bloomington, 111., where, on
an examination certificate furnished by Abraham
Lincoln, he was licensed to practice. The first
public office held by Mr. Benjamin was that of
Delegate to the State Constitutional Convention
of 1869-70, in which he took a prominent part in
shaping the provisions of the new Constitution
relating to corporations. In 1873 he was chosen
County Judge of McLean County, by •Yepeated
re-elections holding the position until 1886, when
he resumed private practice. For more than
twenty years he has been connected with the law
department of Wesleyan University at Blooming-
ton, a part of the time being Dean of the Faculty ;
is also the author of several volumes of legal

Medical School of Chicago, incorporated by
special charter and opened in the autumn of
1868. Its first sessions were held in two large
rooms; its faculty consisted of seven professors,
and there were thirty matriculates. More com-
modious quarters were secured the following
year, and a still better home after the fire of 1871,
in which all the college property was destroyed.
Another change of location was made in 1874.
In 1890 the property then owned was sold and a
new college building, in connection with a hos-
pital, erected in a more quiet quarter of the city.
A free dispensary is conducted by the college.
The teaching faculty (1896) consists of nineteen
professors, with four assistants and demonstra-
tors. Women are admitted as pupils on equal
terms with men.

BENT, Charles, journalist, was born in Chi-
cago, Dec. 8, 1844, but removed with his family,
in 1856, to Morrison, Whiteside County, where,
two years later, he became an apprentice to the
printing business in the office of "The Whiteside
Sentinel." In June, 1864, he enlisted as a soldier



in the One Hundred and Fortieth lUinois (100-
days' regiment) and, on the expiration of liis term
of service, re-enUsted in the One Hundred ami
Forty -seventh Ilhnois, being mustered out at
Savannah, Ga., in January, 1866, with the rank
of Second Lieutenant. Then resmning his vocn-
tion as a printer, in July, 1867, he purchased the
office of ''The Whiteside Sentinel," in wliich he
learned his trade, and has since been the editor of
that paper, except during 1877-79 while engaged
in writing a "History of Whiteside County."
He is a charter member of the local Grand Army
Post and served on the staff of the Department
Commander ; was Assistant Assessor of Internal
Revenue during 1870-73. and, in 1878, was elected
as a Republican to the State Senate for White-
side and Carroll Counties, serving four years.
Other positions held by him include the office of
City Alderman, member of the State Board of
Canal Commissioners (1883-85) and Commissioner
of the Joliet Penitentiary (1889-93). He has also
been a member of tlie Republican State Central
Committee and served as its Chairman 1886-88.

BE>'TON, tlie county-seat of Franklin County,
situated about 90 miles southeast of St. Louis,
and about 18 miles east of Duquoin. The town
stands on a rich, fertile prairie. It has a bank,
three churches, two flouring mills and two weeklj'
newspapers. Population (1880), 984; (1890), 939.

BERDAN, James, lawyer and County Judge,
was born in New York City, July 4, 1805, and
educated at Columbia and Yale Colleges, gradu-
ating from the latter in the class of 1824. His
father, James Berdan, Sr , came west in the fall
of 1819 as one of the agents of a New York
Emigration Society, and, in January, 1820, visited
the vicinity of the present site of Jacksonville,
111., but died soon after his return, in part from
exposure incurred during his long and arduous
winter journey. Thirteen years later (1832) Ids
son, the subject of this sketch, came to the same
region, and Jack.sonville became his home for the
remainder of his life. Mr. Berdan was a well
read lawyer, as well as a man of high principle
and sound culture, with pure literary and social
tastes. Although possessing xmusual capabilities,
his refinement of character and dislike of osten-
tation made him seek rather the association and
esteem of friends than public office. In 1849 he
was elected County Judge of Morgan County,
serving by a second election until 1857. Later
he was Secretary for several years of the Tonica
& Petersburg Railroad (at that time in course of
construction), serving until it was merged into
the St. Louis, Jacksonville & Chicago Railroad,

now constituting a part of the Jacksonville di-
vision of the Chicago & Alton Railroail ; also
served for many years as a Trustee of Illinois
College. In the latter years of Itis life he was, for
a considerable period, tlie law partner of ex-Gov-
ernor and ex-Senator Richard Yates. Judge
Berdan was the ardent political friend and
admirer of Abraham Lincoln, as well as an inti-
mate friend and frequent correspondent of the
poet Longfellow, besides being the correspondent,
during a long period of his life, of a number of
other prominent literary men. Pierre Irving,
the nephew and biographer of Washington Irving,
was his brother-in-law through the marriage of a
favorite sister. Judge Berdan died at Jackson-
ville, August 34, 1884.

BER(JEN, (Rev.) John (}., pioneer clergyman,
was born at Hightstown, N. J., Nov. 37, 1790;
studied theology, and, after two years" service as
tutor at Princeton and sixteen years as pastor of
a Presbyterian church at JIadison, N. J. , in 1838
came to Springfield, 111., and assisted in the
erection of the first Protestant church in the
central part of the State, of which he remained
pastor until 1848. Died, at Springfield, Jan.

BERGGREN, Augriistus W., legislator, born in
Sweden, August 17, 1840; came to the United
States at 16 years of age and located at Oneida,
Knox County, 111. , afterwards removing to Gales-
burg; held various offices, including that of
Sheriff of Knox County (1873-81), St?ite Senator
(1881-89) — serving as President pro tern, of the
Senate 1887-89, and was Warden of the State
penitentiary at Joliet, 1888-91. He was for many
years the very able and efficient President of the
Covenant Mutual Life As.sociation of Illinois, and
is now its Treasurer.

BERGIER, (Rev.) J, a secular priest, born in
France, and an early missionary in Illinois. He
labored among the Tamaroas, bei ng in charge of the
mission at Cahokia from 1700 to his death in 1710.

BERRY, Orville F., lawyer and legislator, was
born in McDonough County, III, Feb. 16, 1852;
early left an orphan and, after working for some
time on a farm, removed to Carthage, Hancock
County, where he read law and was admitted to
tlie bar in 1877 ; in 1883 was elected Mayor of
Carthage and twice re-elected ; was elected to the
State Senate in 1888 and "92, and, in 1891, took a
prominent part in securing the enactment of the
compulsory education clause in the common
school law. Mr. Berry presided over the Repub-
lican State Convention of 1896, the same year was
a candidate for re-election to the State Senate,


but the certificate was awarded to his Democratic
competitor, who was declared elected by 164
plurality. On a contest before the Senate at the
first session of the Fortieth General Assembly,
the seat was awarded to Mr. Berry on the ground
of illegality in the rulings of the Secretary of
State affecting the vote of his opponent.

BERRY, (Col.) William W., lawyer and sol-
dier, was born in Kentucky, Feb. 32, 1834, and
educated at Oxford, Ohio. His home being then
in Covington, he studied law in Cincinnati, and,
at the age of 33, began practice at Louisville, Ky.,
being married two years later to Miss Georgie
Hewitt of Frankfort. Early in 1861 he entered
the Civil War on the Union side as Major of the
Louisville Legion, and subsequently served in
the Army of the Cumberland, marching to the
sea with Sherman and, during the period of his
service, receiving four wounds. After the close
of the war he was offered the position oi Gov-
ernor of one of the Territories, but, determining
not to go further west than Illinois, declined.
For three years he was located and in practice at
Winchester, 111. , but removed to Quincy in 1874,
where lie afterwards resided. He always took a
warm interest in politics and, in local affairs,
was a leader of his party. He was an organizer of
the G. A. R. Post at Quincy and its first Com-
mander, and, in lK(S4-85, served as Commander of
tlie State Department of the G. A. R. He organ-
ized a Young Men's Republican Club, as he
believed that the young minds should take an
active part in politics. He was one of the com-
mittee of seven appointed by the Governor to
locate the Soldiers' and Sailors' Home for Illinois,
and, after spending six months inspecting vari-
ous sites offered, the institution was finally
located at Quincy ; was also Trustee of Knox
College, at Galesburg, for several years. He v.'as
frequently urged by liis party friends to run for
public office, but it was so much against his
nature to ask for even one vote, that he would
not consent. He died at his home in Quincy,
much regretted. May 6. 1895.

BESTOR, (ieorge C, legislator, born in Wash-
ington City, April 11, 1811; was ' assistant docu-
ment clerk in the House of Representatives eight
years; came to Illinois in 1835 and engaged in
real-estate business at Peoria; was twice ap-
pointed Postmaster of that city (1843 and 1861)
and three times elected Mayor ; served as finan-
cial agent of the Peoria & Oquawka (now Chicago,
Bui-lington & Quincy Railroad), and a Director of
the Toledo, Peoria & Warsaw ; a delegate to the
Whig National Convention of 1853; a State

Senator (1858-62), and an ardent friend of Abra-
ham Lincoln. Died, in Washington, May 14,
1873, while prosecuting a claim against the
Government for the construction of gunboats
during the war.

BETHALTO, a village of Madison County, on
the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis
Railway, 25 miles north of St. Louis. Popula-
tion (1880), 638; (1890), 879.

BETHANY, a village in Moultrie County, on
the Peoria, Decatur & Evansville Railroad, 30
miles southeast of Decatur ; is in a farming dis-
trict; has a local newspaper. Population (1880),
369; (1890), 688.

tion for young ladies at Springfield, III, foimded
in 1868 by Mrs. Mary McKee Homes, who con-
ducted it for some twenty years, until her death.
Its report for 1898 shows a faculty of ten instruct-
ors and 135 pupils. Its property is valued at
$33,500. Its course of instruction embraces the
preparatory and classical branches, together with
music, oratory and fine arts.

BEVERIDGE, James H., State Treasurer,
was born in Washington County, N. Y., in 1828;
served as State Treasurer, 1805-67, later acted as
Secretary of the Commission which built the
State Capitol. His later years were spent in
superintending a large dairy farm near Sandwich,
De Kalb County, where he died in January, 1896.

BEVERIDtiE, John L., ex-Governor, was born
in Greenwich. N. Y., July 6, 1834; came to Illi-
nois, 1843, and, after spending some two years in
Granville Academy and Rock River Seminary,
went to Tennessee, where he engaged in teaching
while studying law. Having been admitted to
the bar, he retm-ned to Illinois in 1851, first locat-
ing at Sycamore, but three years later established
himself in Chicago. During the first year of the
war he assisted to raise the Eighth Regiment Illi-
nois Cavalry, and was commissioned first as Cap-
tain and still later Major; two years later
became Colonel of the Seventeenth Cavalry,
which he commanded to the close of the war,
being mustered out, February, 1866, with the
rank of brevet Brigadier- General. After the war
lie held the office of Sheriff of Cook County four
years; in 1870 was elected to the State Senate,
and, in the following year, Congressman-at-large
to succeed General Logan, elected to the United
States Senate; resigned tliis office in January,
1873, having been elected Lieutenant-Governor,
and a few weeks later succeeded to the govern-
orship by the election of Governor Oglesby to the
United States Senate. In 1881 he was appointed,



by President Arthur, Assistant United States
Treasurer for Chicago, serving until after Cleve-
land's first election. His present home (1898), is
near Los Angeles. Cal.

BIENVILLE, Jean Baptiste le Moyne, Sieur
de, was born at Montreal, Canada, Feb. 23, 1080,
and was the French Governor of Louisiana at the
time the Illinois couutrj' was included in that
province. He had several brothers, a number of
whom played important parts in the early history
of the province. Bienville first visited Louisi-
ana, in company with his brother Iberville, in
1698, their object being to establish a French
colony near the mouth of the Mississippi. The
first settlement was made at Biloxi, Dec. 6, 1699,
and SanvoUe, another brother, was placed in
charge. The latter was afterward made Governor
of Louisiana, and. at his death (1701), he was
succeeded by Bienville, who transferred the seat
of government to Mobile. In 1704 he was joined
by his brother Cliateaugay, who brought seven-
teen settlers from Canada. Soon afterwards
Iberville died, and Bienville was recalled to
France in 1707, but was reinstated the following
year. Finding the Indians worthless as tillers of
the soil, he seriously suggested to the home gov-
ernment the expediency of trading off the copper-
colored aborigines for negroes from the West
Indies, three Indians to be reckoned as equiva-
lent to two blacks. In 1713 Cadillac was sent out
as Governor, Bienville being made Lieutenant-
Governor. The two quarreled. Cadillac was
superseded by Epinay in 1717, and, in 1718, Law's
first expedition arrived (see Company of the
West), and brought a Governor's commission for
Bienville. The latter soon after founded New
Orleans, which became the seat of government
for the province (which then included Illinois), in
1723. In January, 1724, he was again summoned
to France to answer charges: was removed in
disgrace in 1726, but reinstated in 1733 and given
the rank of Lieutenant-Geueral. Failing in vari-
ous expeditions against the Chickasaw Indians,
he was again superseded in 1743, retirrning to
France, where he died in 1768.

BIGGS, William, pioneer, Judge and legislator,
was born in Maryland in 1753, enlisted in the
Revolutionary army, and served as an officer
under Colonel George Rogers Clark in the expe-
dition for the capture of Illinois from the British
in 1778. He settled in Bellefontaine (now Monroe
County) soon after the close of the war. He was
Sheriff of St. Clair County for many years, and
later Justice of the Peace and Judge of the Court
of Common Pleas. He also represented his

county in the Territorial Legislatures of In-
diana and Illinois. Died, in St. Clair County,
in 1827.

BIGGSVILLE. a village of Henderson County,
on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad,
1.5 miles northeast of Burlington; has a bank and
two newspapers; considerable grain and live-
stock are shipped here. Population (1880), 358;
(1890), 487.

BIG MUDDY RIVER, a stream formed by the
union of two branches which rise in Jefferson
County. It runs south and soutliwest through
Franklin and Jackson Counties, and enters the
Mississippi about five miles below Grand Tower.
Its length is estimated at 140 miles.

BILLINGS, Albert Merritt, capitalist, was
born in New Hampshire, April 19, 1814, educated
in the common schools of his native State and
Vermont, and. at the age of 22, became Sheriff of
Windsor County, 'V^t., Later he was proprietor
for a time of the mail stage-coach line between
Concord, N. H. , and Boston, but, having sold out,
invested his means in the securities of the Chi-
cago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway and became
identified with the business interests of Chicago.
In the 'oO's he became associated with Cornelius
K. Garrison in the People's Gas Company of Chi-
cago, of which he served as President from 1859
to 1888. In 1890 Mr. Billings became extensively
interested in the street railway of Mr.
C. B. Holmes, resulting in his becoming the pro-
prietor of the street railway system at Memphis,
Tenn., valued, in 1897, at §3,000.000. In early
life he had been associated with Commodore
Vanderbilt in the operation of the Hudson River
steamboat lines of the latter. In addition to his
other business enterprises, he was principal
owner and, during the last twenty-five j'ears of
his life. President of tlie Home National and
Home Savings Banks of Cliicago. Died, Feb. 7,
1897, leaving an estate valued at several millions
of dollars.

BILLINGS, Henry W., was born at Conway,
Mass., July 11, 1814, graduated at Amherst Col-
lege at twenty years of age, and began the study
of law with Judge Foote, of Cleveland, Ohio, was
admitted to the bar two years later and practiced
there some two years longer. He then removed
to St. Louis, Mo., later resided for a time at
Waterloo and Cairo, 111., but, in 1845, settled at
Alton; was elected Mayor of that city in 1851,
and the first Judge of the newly organized City
Court, in 1859, serving in this position six years.
In 1869 he was elected a Delegate from Madison
County to the State Constitutional Convention of



1869-70, but died before the expiration of the ses-
sion, on April 19, 1870.

BIRKBECK, Morris, early colonist, was born
in England about 1762 or 1763, emigrated to
America in 1817, and settled in Edwards County,
111. He purchased a large tract of land and in-
duced a large colony of English artisans, laborers
and farmers to settle upon the same, founding
the town of New Albion. He was an active, un-
compromising opponent of slavery, and was an
important factor in defeating the scheme to make
Illinois a slave State. He was appointed Secre-
tary of State by Governor Coles in October, 1824,
but resigned at the end of three months, a hostile
Legislature having refused to confirm him. A
strong writer and a frequent contributor to the
press, his letters and published works attracted
attention both in this country and in Europe.
Principal among the latter were: "Notes on a
Journey Through France" (181.5); "Notes on a
Journey Through America" (1818), and "Letters
from Illinois" (1818). Died from drowning in
1825, aged about 63 years. (See Slavery and
Slave Laws.)

BISSELL, William H., first Eepublican Gov-
ernor of Illinois, was bom near Cooperstown,
N. Y., on April 25, 1811, graduated in medicine at
Philadelphia in 1835, and, after practicing a short
time in Steuben County, N. Y., removed to Mon-
roe Coimty, 111. In 1840 he was elected a Repre-
sentative in the General Assembly, where he soon
attained high rank as a debater. He studied law
and practiced in Belleville, St. Clair County, be-
coming Prosecuting Attorney for that county in
1844. He served as Colonel of the Second IlUnois
Volunteers during the Mexican War, and achieved
distinction at Buena Vista. He represented Illi-
nois in Congress from 1849 to 1855, being first
elected as an Independent Democrat. On the pas-
sage of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, he left the Demo-
cratic party and, in 1856, was elected Governor on
the Republican ticket. While in Congress he was
challenged by Jefferson Davis after an inter-
change of heated words respecting the relative
courage of Northern and Southern soldiers,
spoken in debate. Bissell accepted the challenge,
naming muskets at thirty paces. Mr. Davis's
friends objected, and the duel never occurred.
Died in office, at Springfield, 111., March 18, 1860.

BLACK, John C, lawyer and soldier, was born
at Lexington, Miss., Jan. 29, 1839, and re-
moved with his parents to Illinois, in 1847. He
graduated from Wabash College, Ind., and, in
1867, was admitted to the bar, beginning practice
at DanviUe. He enlisted in the Union army at

the outbreak of the Rebellion, serving with gal-
lantry and distinction from April 15, 1861, to
August 15, 1865, retiring with the rank of Briga-
dier-General by brevet. He was an unsuccessful
candidate on the Democratic ticket for Lieuten-
ant-Governor in 1872, and Delegate-at-large to the
Democratic National Convention of 1864. Dur-
ing President Cleveland's first term he became
Commissioner of Pensions, filling that ofliice from
March 17, 1885, to March 27, 1889. On retiring
from that office he removed to Chicago and, in
1892, was elected Congressman-at-large, on the
Democratic ticket. In 1895 he was appointed by
President Cleveland United States District
Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois,
serving until the close of the year 1898.

linville, Macoupin County. It owes its origin to
the efforts of Dr. Gideon Blackburn, who, having
induced friends in the East to unite with him in
the purchase of Illinois lands at Government
price, in 1837 conveyed 16,656 acres of these
lands, situated in ten different counties, in trust

Online LibraryNewton BatemanHistorical encyclopedia of Illinois → online text (page 9 of 207)