Biography - Benjamin F. Ozbun

BENJAMIN F. OZBUN was born in Sumner county, Tennessee, Nov. 11, 1810, and is the fourth of a family of seven children of Bartholomew and Elizabeth Ozbun. Bartholomew Ozbun was a native of Botetourt county, Va., and was born in the year 1777. His father, Benjamin Ozbun, had two sons who served in the army during the revolutionary war, and after peace was declared, Benj. Ozbun removed, with his family, to North Carolina, where he was engaged in farming a few years. He then settled, with his family in Bourbon county, Ky., lived there between six and eight years and then left the "dark and bloody ground" for the more genial climate of Sumner county, Tenn., where he soon became quite a large planter, growing, as the staple crops, cotton and corn. He continued to reside on his plantation until his death. Bartholomew Ozbun was married, in 1805, to Elizabeth Abbott, daughter of John and Margaret Abbott. Mr. Abbott was an old soldier in the struggle for American liberty. In the fall of 1816 Mr. Ozbun moved, with his young family, to the territory of Illinois, locating on a tract of land, and the following spring his wife and his youngest son were prostrated by the malarious disease infecting that neighborhood and, after a brief illness, died. Disheartened by the loss of his wife and child, whose deaths occurred in July, 1817, he soon after returned to the scenes of his boyhood in Sumner county, and there bought a portion of the farm which he had previously owned. Soon after, he married Elizabeth Bandy, by whom he had four sons and two daughters. About the year 1860 he came to Greene county, and soon after died.

Benjamin F. Ozbun came to the territory of Illinois with his parents in 1816, though most of his early boyhood was spent in clearing up his father's farm, and, like boys of that period, he early became inured to the toils of farm labor, and it is said that he has split more rails than the illustrious Lincoln himself, though he did not happen to become President. The old gentleman is an original genius, and a fair type of a Tennessean. In 1832 he left home and went to Greene county, Ind., where he stayed until the fall of 1834, when he located in Greene county, Ill., landing here with fifty cents in silver and a horse; and with that outfit he set out for himself. His first work was done for that veteran pioneer, Samuel Thomas, at twelve dollars per month. Not liking a bachelor's life, with the accustomed Tennessee gallantry he concluded, as he humorously expressed it, "to take a wife in out of the cold," in the person of Miss Nancy McCool. Their union took place on the 9th of July, 1837. She was born in Pope county, Ill., August 10, 1817, and was the daughter of Jesse McCool, who was formerly from Ireland. After his marriage, Mr. Ozbun moved on the farm which he previously purchased, situated in the northeast part of the county, near the Sulphur springs. In 1857 they moved on the farm where they now reside, about three and a half miles south of Carrollton. They have had ten children, four of whom are deceased. Their eldest daughter, Elizabeth J., is the wife of John Roberts, resident of this county. A sad bereavement to the family occurred in August, 1872, occasioned by the accidental death of their son, George W. Ozbun. Mr. Ozbun can be considered to have been successful. Besides raising a large family, he has surrounded himself with the comforts of home. Democratic principles seem to have been inborn in Mr. Ozbun. He says he remembers seeing the old "Hermitage" and its illustrious owner. He voted first for Andrew Jackson for President, and has made it a point to vote at each succeeding election. He is classed as among the old settlers of Greene county.

Extracted 07 Sep 2018 by Norma Hass from Atlas Map of Greene County Illinois, 1873, page 50.

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