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Benjamin Decker1

Male
b. 29 January 1815, d. 20 March 1875


Father Moses Decker b. circa 11 June 1788, d. 4 August 1860
Mother Mary Elisabeth Sheplor b. 5 February 1794, d. 3 January 1859
Pop-up Pedigree

Family Francis (Fannie) McPherren b. 9 April 1817, d. 14 May 1888
Marriage* 16 May 1836 or 15 June 1837  Ohio Grove Twp., Mercer Co., IL, Groom: Decker, Benjamin
Bride: McFerren, Frances
Date: 05/16/1836
Vol: 00A
Lic# 00000003
County: Mercer

The History of Mercer county gives the date of this first wedding in Ohio Grove township as being June 15, 1837. The earlier date may be when the license was issued., Principal=Francis (Fannie) McPherren3 
Children  1. James Henry Decker b. c 1838, d. 15 Aug 1869
  2. Mary Elizabeth Decker b. 10 Sep 1840
  3. Hester A. Decker b. c 1844
  4. Lucinda J. Decker b. Apr 1848, d. 1937
  5. George Decker b. a 1850, d. 25 Aug 1856
  6. Silas Bert Decker b. 14 Feb 1851, d. 13 Nov 1910
  7. Sarah Elvira Decker b. c 1852
  8. Eva May Decker b. c 1856
  9. William L. Decker b. c 1858
  10. Francis "Fannie" M. Decker b. c 1860

Note*   (Ed: These notes provided by Dale Decker. See Source Listing for contact information)

McPherren family history says he and Fannie met in Muskingum County Ohio and he came unmarried with them (Fannie and her Family) on September 21, 1835 to Mercer County, Ill.

Their wedding was the first in Ohio Grove--See history of Mercer County, p 440 for description of the wedding. Conducted at the residence of the brides parents.

In the 1850 census, Esther Walls was kiving in Benjamin's household. She was a sister to George McPherren Sr and was born around 1775 in Ireland. She came with her husband John Wall and children (names unknown) from Banbridge Co. Down, Ireland in 1811. She and her husband are said to be buried in Ohio Grove. Her husband John Wall died after 1840 but before 1850. She was in the 1880 Census of Mercer Cnty., Ill, 88 years of age. (info. in Benj. file under Geo. McPherren family history.)

On the 9th day of June, 1856, Benjamin and Westfall Decker were witnesses for their sister Eveline Walter as administratix to Silas B. Walter's estate.

On the 14th of February, 1860 Benjamin Decker signed with Henry Hoagland as guardians to the 3 minor heirs of Silas B. Walter.

History of Mercer County page 441 shows they had 10 children, James lived until manhood, then died. It also shows George as dead.

Living in Benjamin's household in the 1860 census, Henry Decker may have been the son of Joseph Decker of Muskingum County, Ohio.--Joseph was an older brother of Benjamin.)

His property locations were NW quarter Section13, Township 13 N, Range 3W, 4th P.M., 160 acres; NE Section 14, Township 13 N, Range 3W, 4th P.M., 40 acres; NE quarter Section 4, Township 13 N, Range 3W, 4th P.M., 69 acres. Ohio Grove Township.

From the Navrestads:(Vernon County Censor - March 28, 1875) Benjamin Decker, brother of L.R. Decker of Viroqua died at his residence in Mercer County, Illinois, about two weeks ago. He was past 60 years of age - March 14, 1875

See will #1181, Aledo Court house, Mercer County Ill. ( etc. in file folder under Benjamin.)

Censor -- April 28, 1875 Obituary -- Masonic Order -- Look up in Aledo.1 
Biography*   (page 428-431)

September 21, 1835, there started from Muskingum county, Ohio, George McPherren, who had buried his wife in Ohio. In his family were: Mary, James, Susanna, Easter, Daniel, Nancy, Fannie, Sarah and George; Benjamin Decker, the prospective husband of Miss Fannie McPherren; John Walker, husband of Easter McPherren. Some of the family taking sick, a short stay was made at Washington, Illinois. George McPherren, Sr., accompanied by George Long and Mathew Finley pushed on to find a satisfactory location. Mr. Long afterward located in Knox county, and finley in Henderson. The family made another stay at Little York, where just previous Hughy Martin had been killed by the Indians. Leaving some of the party at the fort, Mr. McPherren, John Walker, Benkamin Decker, and Daniel McPherren came to Mercer county and built a log house on the northeast quarter of section 4, in what is now Ohio Grove township. This "lone mansion" of the county was about 16x16, one story, one room. Some rough boards were hauled from Ebeneezer Criswell's saw mill, on Eliza creek, at least fifteen miles distant. This was used for floor. The roof was clapboards, the windows of greased paper. Nails had been brought with them but were used as sparsley as possible. When ready for "dobbing" the weather was so cold that the water had to be boiled for mixing the "mud." The following summer the mortar peeled off on account of its having frozen when put on. The new log "castle" was occupied by the family of eight on Christmas day, 1835. This house was furnished with the old "continental bedstead" of two poles, one leg and two sides of the house and clapboards, etc. Stools served as chairs for a number of years. The other furniture, if it existed, was fashioned to correspond. The house stood close to the section line, one fourth of a mile frm the township line. The small log cabin before mentioned, about a mile to the east, was occupied by part of the family in order to hold the claim to the quarter on which it stood. Thus were the first permanent settlers located after a journey of six weeks overland, with all the obstacles and hindrances incident to the times, and their waitings at different places ere a home was found. Where are the McPherrens now? The father sleeps beneath the sod where all must lie. Benjamin Decker is dead, but his wife, Fannie, owns a farm in Ohio Grove. James is near Reynolds, Sarah is in Iowa, Susanna died in Iowa, John Walker is dead, and his wife is Mrs. Boyer, near Viola. George, son of George, owns over 400 acres of land in Ohio Grove.

(page 440-441)

Benjamin Decker was born in Muskingum county, Ohio. There he was raised to the toil of a farm and scenes rustic as himself. Fannie McPherren also grew to blooming and blushing womanhood under similar circumstances. That Sprite, ever casting glances from one to another, sought to do his wiley work as usual. When the removal was talked of, the maid wondered how it would be with Benjamin. Benjamin decided to accompany, instead of follow, his betrothed; hence we find him assisting in building the first permanent house in Ohio Grove. He made his home with the McPherrens. Spring of 1837 came, with it's verdure and flowers and music from a thousand throats. As cooed the doves, so wooed Benjamin and Fannie. No nuptial knot had yet been tied in in Ohio Grove. Such was actually to take place June 15, 1837, about 11 a.m., at the residence of the bride's father, George McPherren. Invitations were extended and answered by Ashford Hardy and wife, James Moorehead and wife Matilda, James McBride and wife Polly, Richard Rice and wife Jane, Eliza Moorehead, afterward wife of William Dilley, Joihn H. McBride and his sister Almeda (John isn't married yet), Thomas B. Cabeen, George and Sarah McPherren, and perhaps a few others. Rev. John Porter, of the United Presbyterian church, was present. The bride dressed in white. No orange blossoms decked her hair; she needed none. The groom was clad in brown. Rev. Porter pronounced the service that made these two hearts beat in unison, and the chords of whose lives vibrated harmony for so many years. The service over, some of the guests retired to their homes, while others remained to partake of the wedding dinner prepared by the bride's own labor. The patron had prepared a long, narrow table made of slabs. The table was spread with the best the country would afford. White bread and butter, pork, pickles from New York, furnished by a neighbor, fish caught in Pope creek, dried apples and peaches brought from Ohio, dried apple pie and dried peach pie, home-made maple syrup and coffee; no cakes and custards were indulged in. The style was simple, the couple were happy, and the guests retired to their homes to reflect and talk of the wedding, the "match" and the prospects. The paternal roof gave shelter till the following fall, when housekeeping was begun at Bridger's corner. The log cabin stood in the brush, was very small, meagerly furnished with home-made furniture. The nearest neighbors were Indians, who numbered from three to five hundred. For two years this brave couple lived in such wilderness, when they erected a log cabin of their own. In four years more they removed to their parent's home to keep house for him. Mr. Decker became an independent farmer. Death ended his career March 20, 1875. His faithful bride and wife survives him. She is the mother of ten children. James lived to manhood, then died; Mary, Ester, Lucinda, Silas, Sarah A., Eva M., William L., George (dead).2 
Birth* 29 January 1815  Norwich, Muskingum Co., OH 
Marriage* 16 May 1836 or 15 June 1837  Ohio Grove Twp., Mercer Co., IL, Groom: Decker, Benjamin
Bride: McFerren, Frances
Date: 05/16/1836
Vol: 00A
Lic# 00000003
County: Mercer

The History of Mercer county gives the date of this first wedding in Ohio Grove township as being June 15, 1837. The earlier date may be when the license was issued., Principal=Francis (Fannie) McPherren3 
Census 1840  1840 Federal Census, Illinois, Mercer County, Township 13 - Range 2W, Series: M704, Roll: 66, Page: 321
Decker, Benjamin (line 25: 1000100000000-0001000000000-000000-000000-000000-000000-3-0001000-_-0-000000-0000-000000
1 male under 5
1 male 20 - 30
1 female 20 - 30
4 
Census 1850  1850 Federal Census, Illinois, Mercer County, Township 13 - Range 3W, Series: M432, Roll: 120, Page: 355A
155, 155, Decker, Benjamin, 34, M, , Farmer, 800, Ohio, , , ,
155, 155, Decker, Francis, 32, F, , , Ohio, , , ,
155, 155, Decker, James H, 12, M, , , Indiana, , 1, ,
155, 155, Decker, Henry, 9, M, , , Indiana, , 1, ,
155, 155, Decker, Hester, 7, F, , , Indiana, , 1, ,
155, 155, Decker, Lucinda, 2, F, , , Indiana, , , ,
155, 155, Caster, Nells, 75, F, , , Ireland, , , ,5 
Census 1860  1860 Federal Census, Illinois, Mercer County, Sunbeam P.O., Series: M653, Roll: 211, Page: 696, June 9
492, 492, Decker, Benjamin, 48, M, W, Farmer, 5000, 1500, Ohio, , , ,
492, 492, Decker, Francis, 51, F, W, Keeping House, , , Ohio, , , ,
492, 492, Decker, Mary E, 20, F, W, , , , Ill, , , ,
492, 492, Decker, Esther A, 16, F, W, , , , Ill, , , ,
492, 492, Decker, Lucinda J, 12, F, W, , , , Ill, , 1, ,
492, 492, Decker, Silas B, 10, M, W, , , , Ill, , 1, ,
492, 492, Decker, Sarah E, 7, F, W, , , , Ill, , 1, ,
492, 492, Decker, Effie M, 4, F, W, , , , Ill, , , ,
492, 492, Decker, William L, 2, M, W, , , , Ill, , , ,
492, 492, Decker, Henry, 24, M, W, Laborer, , , Ill, , , ,6 
Census* 1870  1870 Federal Census, Illinois, Mercer County, Ohio Grove Township, Series: M593, Roll: 260, Page: 315A, June 10
172, 170, Decker, Benjamin, 55, M, W, Farmer, 8000, 2000, Ohio, , , , , , , , , 1,
172, 170, Decker, Francis, 51, F, W, Keeping House, , , Ohio, , , , , , , , , ,
172, 170, Decker, Silas B, 19, M, W, , , , Ill, , , , , , , , , ,
172, 170, Decker, Eva M, 15, F, W, , , , Ill, , , , , 1, , , , ,
172, 170, Decker, William, 11, M, W, , , , Ill, , , , , 1, , , , ,
172, 170, Decker, Francis, 10, F, W, , , , Ill, , , , , 1, , , , ,7 
Death* 20 March 1875  Ohio Grove, Sunbeam, Mercer Co., IL 
Burial* 21 March 1875  Ohio Grove Cemetary. (McPherren Cemetary), Ohio Grove Twp., Mercer Co., IL, Inscription: Benjamin Decker Died 3/20/1875 Age 60 yrs. 3 mos. and 9 days.

This humble tribute I have payed
To one of thus cheered my heart
But cold in death he now is laid
But may he meet and ne'r be called to part.

Wife Fannies information on side of his marker.
The tombstone is about 10 feet tall and has a Masonic emblem on it.
1 
News/Obit* 24 March 1875  Obituary,
Death of an Old Citizen.


    We regret to learn of the death on Saturday morning last, of Mr Benjamin Decker, of Ohio Grove, of which township he has long been a resident -- Honored and esteemed by all who knew him. Mr D. was in Aledo 2 weeks ago last Saturday and while here complained of feeling unwell. By the time he reached his home he was so sick he didn't realize where he was and we are told that during his entire illness he thought he was away from home. His desease was pneumonia or winter fever.



    The deceased was past sixty years of age. His strict integrity and sterling worth endeared him to hosts of friends, who, in common with his bereaved family, mourn his loss.



    His funeral occurred on Sunday at the M. E. Church, Sunbeam, Reverend Matheny preaching the sermon, after which the ceremonies were conducted by the Masonic Lodge of this place -- of which the deceased was a member and he was buried with the honors of the order, in McClures (ed. note-McPherren cemetary) graveyard near Kimels Mill. The attendance was very large, a friend who was present said to us: "It was the largest turnout I ever saw at a funeral; the procession was over 3/4 of a mile in Length"




Appeared in the Aledo Record, Wednesday, March 24, 1875

1 


Citations
  1. [S42] Dale Decker Personal Research, Dale Decker.
  2. [S288] History of Mercer and Henderson Counties, Anonymous.
  3. [S292] Illinois Marriage Index, 1763–1900, online http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/archives/marriage.html.
  4. [S3] 1840 U.S. Federal Census , 1840 U.S. Federal Census.
  5. [S4] 1850 U.S. Federal Census , 1850 U.S. Federal Census.
  6. [S46] 1860 U.S. Federal Census , 1860 U.S. Federal Census.
  7. [S71] 1870 U.S. Federal Census , 1870 U.S. Federal Census.


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