Hackney, Benjamin

Born: 1805-XX-XX New York

Died: 1871-06-06 Aurora, Illinois

Flourished: Aurora, Illinois

Benjamin Hackney was a farmer, city government official, state legislator, real estate agent, and prominent citizen of Aurora, Illinois. A native of Fort Plain, New York, Hackney married Helen Bradley before moving west. Hackney and his family arrived in Kane County, Illinois in the 1840s, settling in Aurora. In 1845, Hackney purchased eighty acres of public land west of Elgin in what would become Plato Township, and in 1846, he acquired 160 acres of land west of Aurora in what would become Big Rock Township. Hackney also purchased public land in DeKalb, Kendall, and Will counties. In 1848, he was among the organizers of Sons of Temperance in Aurora. From 1849 to 1851, Hackney served on the board of trustees for the town of Aurora, and from 1854 to 1855, he was president of the board. In 1849, he was an original incorporator of the Aurora Branch Railroad and later became a director and the railroad's principal stockholder. In 1850, Hackney listed his occupation as gentleman and owned real property valued at $10,000. In 1854, he won election, as a Republican, to the Illinois House of Representatives, serving in that body from January to February 1855. A member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Hackney was president of the first board of trustees for Clark (Jennings) Seminary. In 1860, Hackney was employed as a real estate agent.

R. Waite Joslyn and Frank W. Joslyn, History of Kane County, Ill. (Chicago: Pioneer, 1908), 1:154, 447-48, 545, 546, 548, 573, 577, 601; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 220; The Past and Present of Kane County, Illinois (Chicago: Wm. Le Baron, Jr., 1878), 280; Encyclopedia of Biography of Illinois(Chicago: Century, 1902), 3:160-61; Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales, Kane County, 684:63, 64, 214; DeKalb, 683:185; Kendall, 684:174; Will, 685:181, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Aurora, Kane County, IL, 197; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Aurora, Kane County, IL, 94; Gravestone, Spring Lake Cemetery, Aurora, IL.