Benjamin F. Atherton, farmer, section 31, Shabbona Township, owning 180 acres of land (post office, Paw Paw, Lee County) is a son of Joseph and Phebe (Vosburg) Atherton. The former was born in Luzerne Co, Pa., Feb 17, 1800. The latter was born in New York about 1810. They both died in Pennsylvania, she in 1836, and he in 1845.
Mr. Atherton, the subject of this sketch, was born in Luzerne Co., Pa., Oct. 24, 1828, and was brought up on a farm, alternating his labors thereon by attendance at the common schools. He was married Oct.. 26, 1858, in Factoryville, Wyoming Co., Pa., to Miss Mira, daughter of Thomas J. and Susan (Capwell) Maynard. She was born in Factoryville, Wyoming Co., Pa. Her father was born in Marlboro, Mass., March 19, 1802, and moved to Factoryville, Pa. He was married July 16, 1829 to Susan Capwell. They had four sons, all of whom were Union soldiers in the late Civil War. Stephen H was in the 57th Pa. Vol. Inf. and was killed at Fair Oaks, Va., May 31, 1862. James G. was in Co. I., 3d Pa. Heavy Artillery, and was drowned July 7, 1864, in the James River, at Fort Powhattan, Va. Thomas was a member of the 57th Pa. Vol. Inf., and Garrick M. was assistant engineer on the steamer “Baltic”. The mother was born at Factoryville, March 12, 1804, and died in the same place Aug. 12, 1876; the father came to Illinois in 1880 and passed his remaining days with his daughter. He died May 21, 1884.
Mr. and Mrs. Atherton have had four children, as follows: Maude E., born March 26, 1860; Blanch, born Jan. 17, 1864, died Oct 5 of the same year. Thomas M., born July 22 1865, died Oct. 14, 1880; and Joseph E., Born Oct. 17, 1870.
Mr. Atherton came to this county in the spring and located with his brother Charles, on land on which he is at present residing. The brothers have been in partnership in the farm and the cultivation of it ever since coming to the county in 1855.
Politically, Mr. Atherton is identified with the issues and principles of the Republican party.
Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of DeKalb County Illinois; Chapman Brothers, 1885, Chicago, IL