Benjamin Franklin Geer
Biography

From: “Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois Illustrated 1908, edited by Newton Bateman, LL. D. and Paul Selby, A. M., Volume II, Schuyler County”, edited by Howard F. Dyson, pages 829-830, a Reprinted by Stevens Publishing Company, Astoria, Illinois 61501, 1970, is sold by the Schulyer County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  Geer, Benjamin F. - Through the course of a life covering a span of more than one-half century, Mr. Geer has made his home in Schuyler County, and has risen to the rank of one of the most prosperous and progressive farmers of Browning Township, where he was born in November of 1852, and where the responsibilities of patriotic citizenship have been efficiently discharged.  In the course of his life it has been his privilege to witness many changes in his locality.  When he was a boy he attended school, first in the Sackville district, and later in the Hawkeye district, in Browning Township.  The schools of those days were far inferior to those of present time.  Text-books were few, methods of instruction were crude, teachers were often illy prepared for their duties, and the equipment of the school was meagre {meager}.   Along other than educational lines he also has witnessed remarkable changes.  Methods of agriculture have been revolutionized since his boyhood.  Hand labor has been largely superseded by machinery, and now a farmer has need of a fair knowledge of mechanics in order to conduct his work without exasperating delays.  The telephone and the rural free delivery have brought the world to the farmer’s door.  All of these improvements he has seen, besides many others scarcely less important.
  On the farm on Section 28, Browning Township, where he now resides, Benjamin F. Geer was born, a son of Dyer A. and Anna Eliza (Arnold) Geer, natives of Hamilton County, Ohio.  The father was born in 1811 and, at the age of twenty-one, came to Illinois, settling in Schuyler County in 1832 while the country was yet a wilderness of heavy timber from which the Indians had but recently disappeared.  After a time he was joined by his brothers, Sidney and Orvis Geer, and he took up 200 acres of congress land on Section 28, Browning Township.  On his claim he put up a cabin and hither brought his bride, who had been orphaned in childhood and had accompanied an older brother and sister from Ohio to Illinois.  She was spared to a good old age, passing away October 6, 1901, sustained to the last by the firm Christian faith which had been the anchor of her earlier years.  The father died in February of 1875.  He, too, has been a sincere believer in the doctrines of Christianity and had endeavored in his life to exemplify the teachings of the Savior.  During young manhood he had been converted in the Methodist Episcopal Church, but later he identified himself with the Christian Church, in which for years he officiated as Sunday School Superintendent, and to whose missionary enterprises he was a generous contributor.  During the existence of the Whig party he supported its tenets.  On the organization of the Republican party he endorsed its principles and ever afterward supported its men and measures.
  In the family of Dyer A. Geer there were none children, two of whom died in infancy.  Those who attained mature years were as follows: James, who is engaged in farm posits in Fulton County, Ill.; Sidney A., who settled at Atlanta, Phelps County, Neb.; and died there about 1901; Melinda, wife of F. M. Skiles, a farmer in Browning Township; Milton, who enlisted in the One Hundred and Nineteenth Infantry during the Civil War and died in the service at Memphis, Tenn.; Hiram, who died on the old homestead in 1882; Benjamin F., of Browning Township; and Louisa, who married James Brines and resides at Ukiah, Cal.  After completing the studies of the district schools Benjamin F. Geer attended college at Abingdon, Ill.; and on his return home taught two terms of school in Union district.  With his brother he bought the interest of the other heirs in the old homestead and shortly afterward established domestic ties, being united in marriage, September 20, 1875, with Miss Delilah A. Rebman, who was born March 30, 1857, a daughter of John Rebman.  (See sketch of Adam Rebman for the family record).
  The family of Mr. and Mrs. Geer comprises the following children: Alena, who was born September 18, 1876, and married Ray Walton, a farmer of Browning Township, by whom she has one child, Dail; Frederick, who was born January 7, 1879, who married Jessie Spillers, and has four children, Burton, Bernice, Clifford and Floyd, their home being on a farm in Browning Township; Homer S., who was born January 13, 1881, and married Lusetta Walton, by whom he has two children, Pearl and Ansel; Hiram, who was born August 11, 1883, and married Ada Kloker, by whom he has two children, Dorothy and Neil; Leroy, who was born November 10, 1885, and married Mabel Haffner; Milton, who was born April 20, 1887; Harland, born December 15, 1890; Annie F., born January 3, 1895; and Eugene, born October 15, 1898.  During 1883 the family erected a large residence on their farm, and thither they removed from the old cabin home that had been the scenes of many happy gatherings and much quiet enjoyment.  The farm originally comprised 157 1-3 acres, but a part of this Mr. Geer has sold to his children, and now owns eighty-six acres, on which he has ornamental and shade trees, also an orchard of one hundred peach and three hundred apple trees.  In former years he was a Republican, but now gives his influence to the Prohibition party.  With his wife he holds membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in the up-building of which he has been actively interested.  His conversion took place many years ago when he embraced the United Brethren faith, but he soon united with the denomination to which he now belongs.  In the twilight of his busy life, sustained by the recollection of an honorable career, cheered by the hope which religion gives, and esteemd {esteemed} by the people in whose midst he has always lived, he is enjoying the fruits of the busy years of the past and is reaping the reward of a well-spent life.

  Death Certificate



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