BILYEU, PETER. - Springfield, as the Capital City, attracts many of the men who have ceased their active labors, for there they find many advantages not offered elsewhere. Not only is this true of those already residents of Sangamon County, but many come from other localities and, locating in the city, add to its prosperity and well being. Among the honored retired farmers of that city is Peter Bilyeu, who for many years was an important factor in the agricultural life of Christian County. He was born in Sangamon County, May 13, 1832, a son of John H. and Elizabeth (Workman) Bilyeu, both natives of Kentucky, he born November 10, 1803, and she in November, 1810. The father was a farmer and blacksmith, who settled in Loami Township, Sangamon County, early in its history, but when Peter Bilyeu was only a month old, in June 1832, he moved to Missouri. However, he came back to Illinois, in 1838, and, in 1841, to Sangamon County. This remained his home until May 15, 1867, when he went to Christian County. During one term, he served as County Commissioner.
Peter Bilyeu looks back on the days spent in the primitive log cabin school house in Christian County, as being among the happiest of his life. The furnishings were plain, there were puncheon floors, slab seats, and none of the books of today, but the pupils worked hard and learned much. His childhood was passed on his father's farm, and he grew to manhood there, eventually branching out for himself and securing a farm, which he developed. He still owns 400 acres of rich farming land in Christian County. On February 8, 1909, Mr. Bilyeu retired, coming to Springfield, which is now his home. While residing in Christian County he served as School Director, being elected on the Democratic ticket. His religious connections are with the Christian Church, which he joined in 1860.
On October 2, 1856, Mr. Bilyeu was married to Elisabeth Workman, whose parents had moved to Christian County in 1840 and made that county their home until their deaths in advanced years. Mrs. Bilyeu died, having had fourteen children, nine of whom are now deceased. During his long and useful life Mr. Bilyeu has made many warm personal friends. He has always endeavored to do what he believed his duty and is now enjoying the results of the exercise of his many virtues.