Benjamin C. Paine. Among the substantial citizens and large property owners of Champaign County, one who has contributed to his community’s welfare and prestige by his splendid citizenship no less than by the honorable success which he has gained in a material way, is Benjamin C. Paine. Belonging to a family that has been well known in the county for more than sixty years, Mr. Paine has maintained the high reputation borne by the family name and in offices of public trust and responsibility has vindicated the faith and confidence placed in his ability and integrity.
Mr. Paine was born near Sidney, Champaign County, Illinois, May 12, 1867, a son of Andrew J. and Elizabeth (Shackelford) Paine. His father, born August 19, 1832, in Worcester County, Massachusetts, was twenty-three years of age when he came to Champaign County, Illinois, settling in Philo Township, where he resided for two years. He next purchased eighty acres of land near Sidney, but in 1868 removed to Raymond Township, where he bought a like tract, and this he had increased to 180 acres by the time of his death, September 15, 1903. Mr. Paine was a Democrat in politics and one of the influential men of his community, serving as town clerk for fifteen years and as justice of the peace from 1872 until his death. He was a man of upright character, upon whose judgment his associates depended in matters of business and civic importance, and who took the initiative in movements for the general public welfare. With Mrs. Paine he attended the Christian Church. Mr. Paine was married April 26, 1861, to Elizabeth Shackelford, who was born in Kentucky, came in young womanhood to Illinois with her parents, and died June 2, 1898. They were the parents of three children: Sarah and Leanah J., who are deceased; and Benjamin C.
Benjamin C. Paine was given good educational advantages in his youth, first attending the district schools of Champaign County, later the high school at Sidney, and finally Eureka (Illinois) College, where he was a student for one year. He then returned to the home farm, where he assisted his father until his marriage, when he rented 160 acres of land and worked this for about fifteen years. Removing then to Fairland, he became cashier of the Farmers Bank, a position which he held for two years, and then returned to the farm, where he resumed his general farming and stock raising operations. He is now the owner of 400 acres of land, a part of this being in Douglas County, and he makes his home at Longview, from whence he superintends the work on his property. In business circles Mr. Paine has an excellent standing and his integrity in civic affairs has been no less pronounced. He has served as supervisor, “town clerk, assessor and collector, and in each position has unselfishly devoted himself to a conscientious discharge of his duties, applying his best energies in a proper administration of affairs for the benefit of his community. He is fraternally affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Fairland Camp No. 791; Longview Camp No. 2852, Modern Woodmen of America; and Fairland Lodge No. 327, Court of Honor. He supports the Christian Church in its various movements, and is a Republican in his political views. On October 17, 1889, Mr. Paine married Miss Emma M. Rees, born in Iroquois County, Illinois, daughter of Robert and Harriet (Gibson) Rees, natives of Indiana, who came to Broadlands, Illinois, in 1885. There Mr. Rees died March 9, 1914, and Mrs. Rees in March, 1908. Mr. and Mrs. Rees had twelve children, those living being: Louis of Broadlands; Thomas B.; Mary, the widow of Gilford Sims of Chicago; Julia, the wife of J. J. Douthitt of Broadlands; Emma M., now Mrs. Paine; Elizabeth, the wife of G. C. Vance of Longview; and Addie, the wife of Charles Levie of Iroquois County. Mr. and Mrs. Paine have three children: Ada Emma, born May 30, 1905; Eva Julia, born April 22, 1906; and Andrew J., born September 8, 1907.