Marshall County


M. M. BOON, residing on section 22, Richland township, is a type of that class of men born to a life of toil, and whatever their surroundings, have a fixed determination to make the best of them. He is a native of Sullivan county, Indiana, born December 16, 1819. His father, George BOON, was a native of Kentucky, born in 1783. He married Elizabeth McCAMMON, also a native of Kentucky, born in 1790. Their wedding was celebrated in their native state, and shortly afterward, in 1815, they located in Sullivan county, Indiana, where the remainder of their lives were spent and where they reared a family of eleven children, only two of whom are now living – our subject and Mrs. Martha CLARK. George BOON figured largely in politics in his native state. He was a stanch democrat, and served as a representative and senator thirteen years.

Mr. BOON, of this review, grew to manhood on his father’s farm in Sullivan county, Indiana, and was reared to the life of a farmer, which occupation he has always followed. In that early day the free school system had not been established, and as the country was new and thinly settled with a class of people with very limited means, the only recourse for an education was in the subscription schools, taught by some wandering pedagogue, who knew but little of books and less of human nature. In such schools, in the old-fashioned log school house, with its puncheon floor and slab seats, the rudiments of an education were received by our subject. What little opportunity he had he improved as best he could, early showing an earnest purpose. But it was work, hard work, that developed in him the man.

Until reaching maturity, Mr. BOON remained with his parents, assisting in the work of the farm. He then started in life for himself, going out from home empty-handed, but with a brave heart and an earnest desire to succeed in life, making for himself a home somehow and somewhere, which he might invite another to enjoy with him. The time soon came when he determined to share his lot with another, and so, on the 22d of October, 1846, he married Miss Elizabeth CARITHERS, whose birth occurred in Sullivan county, Indiana, April 25, 1825. By this union five children were born, all sons, of whom three are now living: Alexander, who resides in Nebraska; William P., living in Eureka Illinois, and Benjamin F., of Woodford county, this state.

After his marriage, Mr. BOON rented a farm in his native county, which he operated one season, and then came by wagon to Marshall county, which has since been his home. For thirteen years he rented land and had no permanent home. In the fall of 1860, however, he purchased his present farm, which at that time was all covered with a heavy growth of timber. Commencing at once its improvement, he has cleared more than half of the land, and has one of the most productive farms in this section.

After a happy married life of sixteen years, Mrs. BOON was called to her long home, dying in 1862. Mr. BOON again married, taking as a wife Mrs. Sarah E. BECKWITH, nee BURGESS, a native of Massachusetts, and daughter of Cornelius and Dorothy (LORD) BURGESS, both of whom were also natives of Massachusetts. Her parents moved to Marshall county in 1859, locating in Evans township, where they both died. In their family were eight children, of whom four are now living: Mrs. BOON, Otis, Nancy PACKENHAM and Louisa BURBEY. Mrs. BOON was born February 22, 1835. She first married John W. BECKWITH, and moved to Marshall county, Illinois, in 1858. When the war for the Union broke out he enlisted and died in the service in 1862.

The marriage of Mr. BOON and Mrs. BECKWITH was celebrated February 25, 1864, and to them four children have been born: Abby C., now Mrs. ADAMS, of Peoria, Illinois; Darling B., who married Addie WHITTLE and resides in Belle Plain township; Myra A., now Mrs. GERHART, of Grossdale, Illinois, and Telva, at home.

To each of his children Mr. BOON has given a good education, as he has often felt the need of such in his own life. In politics he is classed as a democrat, but is not a partisan. He cares nothing for official position but has served his township as road commissioner and school director in a satisfactory manner. He built the Harper bridge across Crow creek, but his life has been mainly devoted to agricultural pursuits. Mrs. BOON is a member of the Christian church at Washburn, and is a woman worthy to be the wife of the genial, generous and manly man – M. M. BOON.

Extracted March 2011 by Norma Hass from The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois , 1896.

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