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Below is a family biography included in The History of McLean County, Illinois published by Wm. LeBaron, Jr. Co. in 1879.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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FRANKLIN HENDERSON, farmer and grain-dealer; P. O. Towanda; one of the old settlers of McLean Co.; born in Greene Co., Ill., Sept. 15, 1828; in the spring of 1857, he came to McLean Co., and located at Towanda, where he has since been largely engaged in farming and buying and shipping stock to Chicago and Eastern markets, and buying and shipping grain to Chicago; he held the office of School Treasurer for ten years; has been Supervisor of his township for ten years, nine years in succession, and for four years was Chairman of the Board. Upon entering upon the duties of Supervisor, he was appointed Chairman of the Committee on Railroad Assessments, and, being convinced from large observations that they were not paying tax upon their property at the rate individuals were, he at once commenced to raise their assessments from their schedules; to this the railroads took exceptions, and commenced litigation, which passed through all the courts, widening and deepening as it went, until nearly all the railroads in the State became involved in it, ending in a complete victory for the people, and against all railroad companies and corporations, and establishing by legislation and the courts the principles of equal taxation to all. While this was progressing in court, he was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to visit and confer with the State Board of Equalization, looking after the interest of the county, whose assessments had been raised by the State Board of Equalization upward of 32 per cent upon all real and personal property; he succeeded in showing the State Board the injustice of such assessments, and succeeding in obtaining a reduction of upward of 15 per cent on the next year’s assessments, instead of the 32 per cent, addition; at the same time, he detected a clerical error the Clerk of the State Board had made the year before of $5,000 against the county. The State Board took the ground in this matter that they had no power to relieve the county only by recommending to the Legislature to refund the amount by legislative enactment, and proposed to do this, but, from some cause, failed to do so; but the error was so plain that our Senator, John Cusey, and Representatives John Cassedy, Dr. Rogers and Dr. E. A. Stuart, drew up the bill, and succeeded in battling it through, and recovered back $4,850 of the amount. Mr. Henderson now owns 240 acres of land, 160 of which is in this township. His marriage with Sarah A. Metcalf was celebrated Aug. 10, 1851; she was born in Morgan Co., Ill., Dec. 25, 1829; they have five children now living, having lost two by death; the living are — George, Frank, Effie, Edwin, Harry; the deceased died in childhood.

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This family biography is one of 1257 biographies included in The History of McLean County, Illinois published by Wm. LeBaron, Jr. Co. in 1879.  View the complete description here: The History of McLean County, Illinois

View additional McLean County, Illinois family biographies here: McLean County, Illinois Biographies

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