Sangamon County ILGenWeb © 2000
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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

BENJAMIN F. WORKMAN. - Among the most energetic and progressive men of Auburn is Benjamin F. Workman, who at one time was actively identified with farming interests, but has retired from that life and is now connected with financial interests in Auburn as the vice-president of the Auburn State Bank. He is also supreme treasurer of the Court of Honor and is accounted one of the valued citizens of the town because of the active co-operation which he gives to measures and movements which have for their basic element the welfare and progress of the community. His residence in Sangamon county dates from 1868, and he is one of the native sons of Illinois, his birth having occurred in Adams county on the 8th of May, 1841. He is a son of Henry L. and Nancy (Brown) Workman, the former a native of North Carolina and the latter of Bellevue, Illinois. When eighteen years of age the father emigrated westward, taking up his abode in Adams county, Illinois, where he followed farming throughout his remaining days, his death there occurring in 1845, when the subject of this review was bur four years old. The mother long survived, passing away in 1895. She was three times married, her second husband being John Irwin, of Jersey County, Illinois. After his death she became the wife of Harrison Barnette, who is also now deceased. There were four children born unto Mr. and Mrs. Workman: Benjamin F.; Sarah Elizabeth, who became te wife of Oscar Belt and since his death has married Charles Wooley, a retired farmer of Girard, Illinois; Francis Marion, deceased; and one that died unnamed in infancy.

Owing to his father's early death and the limited financial circumstances in which the family was left, Benjamin F. Workman had very little opportunity of acquiring an education, for his aid was needed in providing for the family support. At a very early age he began to work as a farm hand and thus aided in the support of his mother and the other members of the family until he was eighteen years of age. He then began farming for himself, and, going to Jersey county, Illinois, he rented a small tract of land, whereon he lived for twelve years. During that time he was married on the 20th of November, 1862, the lady of his choice being Miss Alice Landom, a native of Jersey county and a daughter of W. D. Landom, who was a farmer there and died in that county in 1871. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Workman have been born six children: Evelyn, the wife of E. A. Bigler, a farmer now residing in Auburn township, Sangamon county; Minnie A., the wife of C. W. Bigler, also a resident farmer of Auburn township; Mary Myrtle, the wife of P. O. Wells, who is cashier of the People's Bank of Girard, Illinois; William H., who married Laura Van Dore, who resides upon her father's farm southwest of Auburn; and Cora A. and Ella B., both of whom died at about one year of age.

Mr. Workman continued to make his home in Jersey County and purchased a farm on section 1, Talkington township, near Auburn. He began the further development of his land and continued the work of cultivation and improvement there until 1893, when he removed to the village of Auburn, putting aside agricultural pursuits. He was then made the vice-president of the Auburn State Bank and has since held that position. He spends his morning hours in the bank and afternoons at his home, where he has a nice office fitted up and therein attends to the duties of his position as treasurer of the Court of Honor. He owns one of the finest residences in Auburn and is also the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of valuable farming land near the town.

Mr. Workman's study of the political issues and questions of the day has led him to the belief that the Democratic party contains the best elements of good government, and he accordingly gives to it his support. Socially he is connected with the Court of Honor, which was organized in 1895, and since that time he has held the office of supreme treasurer. He belongs to the Odd Fellows' Lodge at Auburn and is also connected with the Rebekah degree of the organization. Both he and his wife are members of the Advent Christian church, in which he is now serving as an elder. Mr. Workman certainly deserves great credit for what he has accomplished in life. He started out with nothing, and in fact was but a boy when he faced the world in an effort to gain a living. He has worked earnestly, persistently and honestly, and as the years have passed success, which ultimately crowns such labor, has come to him, and he is regarded not only as one of the prominent and energetic citizens of Auburn, but also as one of the most prosperous men and the most envious can not grudge him his success, so worthily has it been won and so honorably used.

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