The farm which Benjamin Frank Iler now owns and operates has been in his possession since 1882. He is furthermore well known as the only living charter member of Meadow Mound Grange and through a long period has been closely associated with the agricultural development of his community. He resides on section 10, Lyman township.
His birth occurred in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, July 24, 1848, his parents being Salem and Elizabeth (Snelling) Iler. The Ilers are of German descent and the Snellings of English lineage, the maternal grandfather of our subject having come from England to the new world. Salem Iler was born in Ohio, September 15, 1805, and having arrived at years of maturity, he wedded Elizabeth Snelling, who was born in Culpeper county, Virginia, August 22, 1808, and accompanied her parents to Ohio. There she was married June 29, 1836, and Mr. Iler at once began farming, which he followed as a life work. About 1860 he arrived in Illinois and lived for a time in La Salle county but spent his last days in Wall township at the home of his son, Benjamin, passing away on the 30th of June, 1872. His wife survived him and died at the home of her son Benjamin at the age of eighty-four years, three months and twelve days. Their family numbered six children: Marv Elizabeth, now the widow of Sanford Boone, of Gilman; Hiram, who died near Mason City, Iowa; Hannah Ann, the widow of William Gillet, of Clear Lake, Iowa; and James E. and John M., both of whom died in infancy.
The youngest member of the family is Benjamin Frank Iler, who was only about seven years of age when his parents removed to Delaware county, Ohio, where they lived for five years, and in 1860 started across the country to La Salle county, Illinois, with three horses, known as a spike team, hitched to the wagon. They came to Ford county in 1872 and after living in Wall township for three years Mr. Iler of this review rented a farm two miles south of Roberts where he made his home for seven years. About 1882 he purchased his present farm, which is the only property he ever owned. He has here eighty acres constituting the west half of the southeast quarter of section 10, Lyman township, and most of the modern improvements upon the place have been made by Mr. Iler. He has been engaged in grain and stock farming and during the past year has made dairying a special feature of his place, shipping cream to the creamery in Manteno. For the past two years he has owned a black full blooded, though American bred, Norman stallion, Thomas, No. 5027. He has also engaged quite extensively in raising Poland China hogs and he now has upon his place about fifteen head of horses and milks thirteen cows. He owns a thoroughbred red polled Durham bull, Royal Polled Duke, No. 255646. In addition to cultivating his own farm of eighty acres Mr. Iler has for the past twenty-two years rented eighty acres near his home place and therefore operates a farm of one hundred and sixty acres. He has also operated a threshing machine for twenty-seven years, operating a horse power machine for seventeen years, after which he purchased a steam thresher. He also operated a corn sheller and shredder for a number of years and also engaged in moving buildings. His varied interests have shown his enterprising spirit and he has lived a most strenuous life, connected with many lines of business.
On the 29th of November, 1867, Mr. Iler was married to Miss Susanna Brown, of Montreal, Canada, born November 10, 1845. When she was seven years of age her parents removed to St. Anne, live miles east of Montreal, and when twenty-two years of age she went to La Salle county, Illinois, with the family for whom she was working. Her parents were John and Susanna (Lewis) Brown, natives of Ireland, in which country they were married February 6, 1836. They afterward went to Canada with two children and five others were added to their family in the Dominion. The father was frozen to death while working on the railroad section when Mrs. Iler was but ten years of age. The mother died at Pembroke, Ontario, March 15, 1890, at the age of seventy-five years. Owing to the death of her father Mrs. Iler had to go to work and was employed by the others up to the time of her marriage. She was one of seven children, namely: Mary Jane, the wife of Louis La Belle, of Ontario; John, who died in infancy; Robert, deceased; Mrs. Iler; John and Samuel, both deceased; and Stephen. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Iher have been born eight children: Almeda, the wife of Ed Dixon, of Wall township; Wilson, who married Anna Huston and is living in Onarga; Sarena, the wife of A. D. Smith, of Mountain Lake, Minnesota; Anna Elizabeth, the wife of Leonard Mott, of Mason City, lowa; Nancy Katharine, the wife of Henry Woodard of Lyman township; Ida May, the wife of Clarence Wilson, of Brenton township; John L., at home; and Alice Elmira, the wife of Charles L. Woods, of Effingham, Illinois.
Mr. Iler and his family are all members of the Methodist Episcopal church, a fact which indicates well spent lives, guided by honorable principles. In politics he is a republican and for seven years has served as a school director. He belongs to the Court of Honor and is a charter member of Meadow Mound Grange of Lyman township, which was organized about 1873, shortly after his arrival in the county. At the time of his marriage Mr. Iler was not worth a dollar and all that he now possesses has been acquired through his own labors. He carries on a more extensive business than any man in Ford county residing on eighty acres, having extended his efforts into various departments of activity and carefully conducting each, with the result that success has attended him in his various undertakings.

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 753-755.

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