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CAPT. BENJAMIN F. WESTLAKE


Was born in Newburg, Orange county, New York, on the 8th day of March, 1810. He emigrated to the state of Illinois, in 1837, and settled in Pike county when in its infancy, where he devoted himself to agriculture, and by industry and strict attention to business, he has acquired a handsome competence. Mr. Westlake was married on the 24th of March, 1842, to Charlott Godwin. He has represented his town for several years, in the Board of Supervisors, and has always been a leader in all public enterprises in his neighborhood, and the general thrift of his portion of the county is due, in a great measure to his perseverance and energy.

In 1860, Mr. Westlake received the nomination of his party in this district, for a seat in the legislature, but owing to the large majority of the opposition, he was defeated. In 1862, he was appointed by President Lincoln, provost marshal of the 9th district of Illinois, which position he held until the close of the war, the duties of which office he filled with honor to himself and credit to the country, and to the entire satisfaction of all political parties, obtaining for himself the enviable reputation of being one of the best officers in the state. In 1869, upon the organization of the Peninsula Loan and Trust Company (a banking institution), he was elected president of the association, which position he still holds. In 1870 he was nominated by the republican convention of the 9th congressional district, as their candidate for congress. The district being largely democratic, he was defeated by his opponent, Mr. McNeely, by a reduced majority. Notwithstanding the many honors which have been conferred upon him by the partiality of his fellow citizens, he has ever clung to his old homestead and occupation, always happiest when partaking of the fruits of his own industry, and surrounded by his family and neighbors.