Benjamin F. Taggart

  The following is from an unknown published article:
  History relates that the Taggart Family came originally from the Ilse of Wight, an island in the English channel off the south coast of England, whence three brothers came to America and established their name in Massachussetts prior to the Revolutionary War.  The son of one of these brothers was John Taggart, the father of Benjamin F. Taggart who later moved to Pennsylvania where he married Effie Wolverton, daughter of Peter Wolverton, who came to America from Holland before, or during, the Revolution.
  After the birth of five of his children, in 1820 John Taggart, accompanied by his father-in-law, moved to Illinois settling in Schuyler County, and in many of their early experiences as pioneers, they were associated there.  In the Spring of 1828, they built a raft at Warren, Pennsylvania on the Allegheny River, which they loaded with shingles, household supplies, five horses, two cows and a dog.  At Cincinnati Ohio they sold part of their goods and with the proceeds bought a flat boat and proceeded down the Ohio River as far as Shawnestown, where they unloaded their cargo, and by wagons sarted for Rock Island, Illinois.
  When they reached Rushville, however, they were so pleased with it's thrifty appearance, they decided to remain and for two years they made their home in the location afterward occupied by the Halls, three miles north of Rushville.
  Selling out his holding in Rushville twp. in 1830, Mr. Taggart then came to Damden Township and on the farm he had purchased, he rounded out the remainder of his long, useful life.
  When he first located here, it wa necessary to drive to Quincy to have his grist ground, a hardship he soon overcame. As he was a miller, it was not long before he erected a mill in his vicinity.  This was known as the Taggart Mill, and he continued to operate it until 1844 when he sold it to Joseph Parrot, of Rushville.  (Several other mills besides his own were erected by Mr. Taggart, among them the first on Sugar Creek which he built fot William Mckee and one for Thomas Justus)
  The earliest recollections in the life of Benjamin Franklin Taggart takes him back in memory to the days he spent in the log schoolhouse of pioneer days, whose advantages and comforts were nothing as compared to modern day conveniences and advanced courses of studies. When he, was a 15 year old, his father died (December 12, 1849) and thereafter, his life trend was in more important lines.  In 1849, his mother purchased an 80 acre tract of land on Sec 3 Camden Twp., which was heavily timbered with white oak.  Here, Benjamin began his first independent work as a farmer, in time building a log cabin into which his mother and children moved. There the mother and children, Sarah and Ella made their home until her death.
  Sometimes after this, July 16, 1854, Mr. Taggart married Miss Rebecca M. Hill, who was born in Guernsey County, Ohio, the daughter of Wesley and Mary Ann (Buckmaster) Hill.  Mr. and Mrs. Hill were native, respectively of Delaware and Pennsylvania, but much of their married life had been spent in Ohio.  In 1952 they came to Illinois and settled in Fulton County.  Finally they located in Brooklyn Township where the death of the mother occured.  Mr. Hill, thereafter moved to McDonough County where he died in 1865.
  In the little log cabin which Mr. Taggart erected in 1849, he and his wife began housekeeping after their marriage.  Here their four oldest children were born.  The first shadow cast over their otherwise happy home was the death of their two oldest children, a son and a daughter. Their third child, Helena Ollie, was born December 1, 1857 and became the wife of Martin C (Colbow) Bleecker of Pueblo, Colorado.  Their two oldest sons, Warren F. Bleecker and and Fredrick Guy Bleecker were graduates of the Centinnial University of Colorado.  Their daughter became the wife of James D. Pickard, an employee of the Santa Fe Railroad and resident of Topeka, Kansas.  Harold Bleecker Taggart died at the age of five.  Edsell Taggart, the youngest son is still at home with his parents.  Frank Taggart, born March 18, 1860, married Elizabeth Wood.  They made their home in Holbrook, Nebraska.  They had five daughters, Nellie May, Jessie, Mary F., Annie and Gracie, the latter dying in infancy.
  Until 1869 the log structure into which Mr. Taggart moved after his marriage, remained the family home.  About that time, he erected a more modern residence in which they lived until it was destroyed by fire in 1893.  During the latter year he builr the residence now occupied by the family, a modern structure which indicates the progressive spirit of the owner.  For seventy five years he has watched the march of progress in Schuyler County and has borne his share of discomfort of pionerr life notwithstanding the clouds which shadowed his pathway, he is contented with the lot to which fate led him.  For over half a century he has had the love and companionship of the wife of his youth and together in the declining years they are enjoying the comforts which their early struggles mad possible.
  Mr. Taggart cast his first vote for President Buchannan.  Later, his sympathies were enlisted on the side of the republican Party and for sometimes he cast his ballot for the candidates of that party.  More recently, he has given the weight of his influence to the Prohibition Party.  For Many years he has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church which he assisted in maintaining, as he has every helpful measure, religious or secular.
  Personally, Mr. Taggart is a man of noble qualities whcih are nowhere better known and appreciated, one to whom it is a delight to listen.

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