Benjamin M. Custer, of Homer, where he lives retired, is now serving as township supervisor. His main business in life has been farming, and he still owns a fine place in Champaign County, where the family were among the pioneer settlers. Mr. Custer is one of the many men in Champaign County who have won financial independence through the avenue of agriculture.
He was born in Vermilion County, Illinois, January 23, 1852, a son of Jacob M. and Elizabeth O. (Ochiltree) Custer. His parents were both natives of Virginia, and they came to Illinois in 1848, locating in Vermilion County. In 1856, soon after the village of Homer was started on the newly completed Wabash railroad, the family moved to that town and Jacob Custer erected the first hotel in Homer. After managing it for three and a half years he turned to farming and in that occupation spent his life until his death on September 13, 1865. His widow survived him until November 1, 1899. They were the parents of nine children, the record of each being briefly stated as follows: Margaret, born October 6, 1834, died November 5, 1843; Martha E., born September 4, 1836, died April 14, 1907; Mary E., born October 10, 1838, is the widow of James Hays, of Chicago; William C., born January 8, 1841, died April 8, 1899; John M., born April 26, 1843, died August 12, 1913; James F., born May 27, 1845, died May 18, 1862; George W., born September 5, 1847, died September 6, 1848; Jacob A., born February 24, 1850, is still living at Homer; and the youngest is Benjamin M.
Benjamin M. Custer spent his early life in and around Homer, secured his education in the public schools and was on the home farm as a factor in its work and management until 1877. In that year he rented ninety acres of the home place, and after his mother’s death he bought the entire farm. After forty years of continuous work as an agriculturist Mr. Custer retired and in 1912 bought his comfortable modern home on South Main Street at Homer, where he now spends his time.
Mr. Custer is a Republican in politics and on that ticket was elected to his office as supervisor. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and the Knights of Pythias and the Methodist Episcopal Church. He married Miss Carrie Radebaugh, a native of Pennsylvania. Two children were born to their marriage, Harry, the older, dying in infancy. Oral B., the only daughter, is the wife of W. F. Barton, a Champaign County fanner.