Benjamin Pletz, the period of whose residence in Springfield covered forty-five years, during which time he was identified with building interests as a carpenter and contractor, was born in Dauphin county, Pennsylvania, on the 14th of September, 1822. His parents, John and Barbara (Bickel) Pletz, were also natives of Dauphin county, where they spent their entire lives. The father was a wagon maker and blacksmith, but during the greater part of his business career he engaged in farming and the raising of fruit for the market at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Both he and his wife died in the Keystone state. Four of their children came to Sangamon county, namely: William, who is now a retired carpenter and contractor, residing on Thirteenth Street in Springfield; Samuel, deceased, who was a shoemaker of Illiopolis; Benjamin; and E. W., who is a painter by trade and resides at No. 1717 East Capitol avenue, in Springfield.
Benjamin Pletz was educated in the common schools of his native county and subsequently learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed in Pennsylvania until March, 1856, when he came to Springfield and entered into partnership with his brother William. Here they began taking contracts, their first work being the remodeling of the store of the late David Spiers. Throughout his remaining days Mr. Pletz, of this review, was identified with building operations in Springfield, being largely engaged in the construction of dwellings here. For ten years prior to his demise, however, he suffered much from ill health. He met with a fair measure of success and all that he possessed was acquired through his own efforts. His life was characterized by industry and enterprise and he was known as an honorable business man.
Mr. Pletz was married in Dauphin county, Pennsylvania, to Miss Barbara Witz, who was born in York county, Pennsylvania, July 21, 1828, a daughter of Frederick and Ann Mary (Bupp) Witz, both of whom were natives of that state. The father, a tanner by trade, owned and conducted a tanyard in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, for two years and died there when Mrs. Pletz was but four and a half years old. His wife also passed away there. Twelve children were born unto Mr. and Mrs. Pletz: Andrew W., now residing in Springfield; George S., a farmer of Brown county, this state; Harvey F., who is engaged in the oil business as engineer in Jackson Park, of Chicago, and is married and has one son, Benjamin; Albert, who follows the trade of a painter in Illiopolis, Illinois, and is married and has two daughters and one son; Sarah C., the wife of George T. Watson, a carpenter of Springfield, by whom she has one child; Anna Laura, who is the wife of Charles Funk, employed in the lumber
business here, and with their one child, Anna Laura, born July 13, 1894, they reside at 1331 East Edwards street, in Springfield; Maggie, the wife of Henry Miller, of chicago; Louise Isabelle, the wife of R. L. Sims, a tailor at Illiopolis, this county; and Abram Augustus, Mary Elizabeth, Benjamin and Oscar, who have passed away. Mr. Pletz departed this life January 23, 1901, and his remains were interred in oak Ridge cemetery. He was a Republican in politics and was a consistent and faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal church, to which his widow now belongs. Recently Mrs. Pletz has sold her property and makes her home with her daughter, Mrs. Funk, at No. 1331 East Edwards street.
general's staff. He is likewise one of the charter members of Abraham Lincoln Regiment of the Union Veterans Union. In 1865 he was raised to the master's degree in Masonry, belonging to Ark and Anchor lodge, A.F. & A.M., and he is a member of Auburn Chapter, No. 92, R.A.M., and Elwood Commandery, K. T., of Springfield. He and his wife hold membership with the West Side Christian church and she is an honored member of the Eastern Star of Auburn and belongs to the Woman's Relief Corps. Mr. Easley retired from active work and in 1901 purchased his elegant home in Springfield, where he is now enjoying a well merited rest. He ans his wife have lived so as to command the esteem and confidence of all with whom they have been associated and he has long been an active man in advancing the interests of the county and its constant growth and improvement.