JOHN BROADBENT, a well-known farmer of Rogers Township, residing on section 32, is of English birth. He was born November 15, 1817, and is one of a family of seven children, whose parents, Joseph and Ann (Siddol) Broadbent, were both natives of England. John is the second in the family; Sarah, the eldest, is now deceased; Daniel is living in England; Robert has also departed this life; Sarah Ann is the wife of John Matthews, a resident farmer of Kendall County, Ill.; William is a farmer residing in Kendall County; and Mary is the wife of John Finley, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits in Kendall County.

The subject of this sketch had very limited opportunities in his youth, and is a self-educated and self-made man. He remained with his parents until twenty-two years of age and worked in the cotton factories of his native land until he came to America. The year 1848 witnessed his emigration to the New World. The voyage consumed seven weeks and four days and he spent his thirty-first birthday on the water. At length, he landed safely at New Orleans, whence he went up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers to Cincinnati. He worked in the cotton factories of that city until June, 1850, and then came to Illinois.

Mr. Broadbent was married, on Christmas Day, of 1839, to Miss Mary Ann Dawson, daughter of John and Charity Dawson. They became the parents of nine children as follows: Edward, who died in infancy; Esther, wife of Robert Hall; Sarah, wife of Charles Coop; William; Joseph, who died in infancy; James, also deceased; Robert; and Elizabeth, wife of August Schultz.

On coming to Illinois, Mr. Broadbent first located in Kendall County, residing near Lisbon. For thirteen months he worked as a farm hand, and then began farming for himself in that locality. He continued to reside in Kendall County for eighteen years, coming to Ford County in 1868. Since that time he has resided upon the farm which is still his home. He purchased one hundred and sixty acres on section 32, and has developed it into a rich and fertile tract which yields to him a good income in return for his care and cultivation. He is recognized as one of the leading citizens of the community and has been honored with the office of Road Commissioner for twelve years, a fact which indicates his faithful and efficient performance of duty. In politics, he is a supporter of the Democratic party. His property represents his own hard labors for he came to this country empty-handed, and through his industry and enterprise has acquired all he now possesses. For his success in life he certainly deserves much credit.

Extracted 14 Dec 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Record of Ford County, Illinois, page 197.

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