Leander Britt, born in Medina, New York, in 1828, was the son of Oren Britt, who was identified with the building of the Erie canal, and the son Leander after reaching manhood was engaged in his father's warehouse and grocery until the railroad through Medina was built. The pioneer work which was thus commenced at his old home bad much to do in prompting his removal to new pioneer work in Illinois.
He came to what is now Paxton, first in 1855, at which time in connection with R. R. Murdoch, the two selected and contracted for the land on the east side of the Illinois Central Railroad, and in 1856 the partnership of Pells, Britt & Murdoch was formed, the land purchased and the town site laid out.
In the early fall of 1856, Mr. Britt built the second house in the present town of Paxton, excepting three then located on what was the old Ottawa road at the lower railroad crossing; being a bachelor this was built with the intention of giving a home to a widowed sister, Mrs. Jane B. Taft, her two children and himself, to which they came in December, 1856.
The next four years were probably the most important in the history of the town, as it was during this time that it became a post office, a railroad station and a county seat of the then new county of Ford, set off from part of old Vermilion county. Perhaps the most important service Mr. Britt rendered was accomplished by him at Springfield, during the legislature of 1859, which authorized against strong opposition the new county.
He was not a man of strong constitution, nor at this time of good health; he was a man whose good judgment brought to him the high regard of his associates and one whose temperament made many warm and steadfast friends; his loss was at the time felt to be a serious one to the young community for his death occurred June 25, 1860. He was buried in the family lot at Medina, New York.

Extracted 17 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 871-872.

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