My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The History of McLean County, Illinois published by Wm. LeBaron, Jr. Co. in 1879.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

REUBEN M. BENJAMIN, County Judge; Bloomington; is a native of Columbia Co., N. Y.; was born June 29, 1833, and is of English extraction; he was brought up on a farm, attending the district school in the winters, until he was about 14 years old; he prepared for college at Kinderhook Academy, and graduated at Amherst College, Mass., in 1853; for the ensuing year he was Principal of Hopkins Academy, of Hadley, Mass.; he next attended the lectures of Parker, Parsons & Washburn, at the Law Institute in Harvard University, two terms, and then, in 1855-56, was tutor in Amherst College. He came to Bloomington in the spring of 1856, and was admitted to the practice of law, upon the examination and certificate of Abraham Lincoln, Sept. 5, 1856, and, later in the fall, he entered into partnership with Messrs. Gridley & Wickizer, remaining with them until the former retired from practice, and the latter entered the army; in the spring of 1863, he formed a partnership with Hon. Thomas F. Tipton. In November, 1869, Mr. Benjamin was elected a Delegate to the Constitutional Convention of this State, and was appointed a member of the Committee on the Bill of Rights, Municipal Corporations, State Institutions and Public Buildings; he took an active part in the preparation and discussion of some of the most important articles of the Constitution of 1870; he was of counsel for the people in the now historical cases, of the Chicago & Alton Railroad Company vs. The People ex. rel. Gustatus Koerner etal., Commissioners (67 Ill. 12), and Munn et al. vs. The People of the State of Illinois (69 Ill., 80), in which the power of the State to control railroad and warehouses was finally established; he was elected County Judge of McLean County in 1873, and re-elected in 1877; during his career as Judge of the County Court, he has won the admiration of the bar and of the people, by the promptness and accuracy with which he dispatches business. It is a satisfaction to the people that they have an able jurist at the head of this tribunal, and one who is thoroughly competent to administer its affairs with honor to himself and the county. Mr. Benjamin was instrumental in establishing the Bloomington Law School (which is elsewhere spoken of in this work), in April, 1874, and was honored with the Deanship, in which capacity he still officiates. He was married to Miss Laura E., daughter of David G. Woodin, Esq., of Columbia Co., N. Y., Sept. 15, 1856.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 1257 biographies included in The History of McLean County, Illinois published by Wm. LeBaron, Jr. Co. in 1879.  View the complete description here: The History of McLean County, Illinois

View additional McLean County, Illinois family biographies here: McLean County, Illinois Biographies

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.