BENJAMIN DOUGHTY, who, after the labors of a long and busy life, is spend­ing his later years in ease and retirement in the village of Byron, has made his home in Ogle county since January 16, 1858, and bore an active part in its early development and upbuilding. A native of England, he was born in Yorkshire, April 12, 1830, and is a son of Thomas and Mary Doughty, who spent their entire lives there. The father engaged in farming or worked at anything which he could find to do, and died at the advanced age of eighty-nine years. Benjamin was the oldest of his five sons, all of whom reached manhood, but two are now deceased, while the other two, William and Thomas, still reside in England.


Benjamin Doughty was reared on the farm and during his youth received a very limited education, but by reading and ob­servation in subsequent years he has become a well-informed man. He was married in Yorkshire, November 23, 1857, the lady of his choice being Miss Elizabeth Wright, a native of that county, who was reared in the same village as her husband. A few days after their marriage they started for the new world, taking passage at Liverpool, November 28, on a sailing vessel, which finally reached New York, January 8, 1858, after a long and tedious voyage of six weeks,during which they experienced much rough weather and several severe storms, which carried away some of the sails. On landing they came at once to Illinois, and after stopping a short time in Franklin Grove came to Byron, where they joined Mr. Doughty's uncle, John Doughty, who had located here about 1842 or 1843.


Our subject went to work on a farm in Winnebago county for Alfred Bridgeland, also a native of England, and remained with him about seven months. Returning to Ogle county in 1859, ne secured a position with Mr. Spalding, with whom he and his wife lived for one year. In 1859 he made his first purchase of forty acres of land, which he began to improve in 1861, at the same time operated rented land. He fenced his place, erected thereon good and sub­stantial buildings, and continued the work of development and cultivation for many years. As time advanced and he prospered in his undertakings he added more land to the original purchase, first forty acres and then twenty acres, making in all a fine and valuable farm of one hundred acres, pleasantly located three miles and a half from Byron. He successfully carried on farming here until 1890, when he sold out and purchased property in Byron, where he has since lived retired from active labor, in the enjoyment of the fruits of his former toil. The success that he has achieved in life is due entirely to his own unaided efforts, as he was in rather limited circumstances on coming to America, but by hard work, close application and guided by a sound judgment he has made for himself a comfortable home and competence.


Mr. Doughty has been called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who passed away October 20, 1889, and was laid to rest inMiddle Creek cemetery, Winnebago coun­ty. In 1890 he was joined by his cousin, Miss Emily Doughty, who has since been his housekeeper. This estimable lady is also a native of Yorkshire, England, and a daughter of Charles Doughty. She came alone to America, and in 1892 returned to Yorkshire on a visit to family and friends. During the five weeks she remained in the old world she visited the cities of York and Leeds, and also the beautiful seaport town and pleasure resort of Scarborough. She has heard Spurgeon preach, has been in London, and has also seen Buckingham palace and Windsor castle.


On becoming an American citizen, Mr. Doughty cast his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1864, and has since supported the Republican party. He has efficiently served as a member of the vil­lage board of Byron, and his duties, both public and private, have always been most faithfully and conscientiously discharged. Both he and his cousin were reared in the Episcopal faith, and are held in high respect by all who know them.

 

Biographical Record of Ogle County

 

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