Prettyman, Benjamin S.

Born: 1819-11-21 Smyrna, Delaware

Died: 1895-04-08 Pekin, Illinois

Benjamin S. Prettyman moved to Illinois at the age of twelve. He served as a deputy surveyor before beginning to study law under Judge Silas W. Robbins of Springfield, Illinois. Admitted to the bar in 1845, Prettyman moved to Pekin, Illinois, to practice law. In April 1845, he married Sarah A. Haines, with whom he had fourteen children. Prettyman was associated with Abraham Lincoln in a number of Tazewell County Circuit Court cases. Active in Democratic party politics, he served as chairman of the Tazewell County Democratic Committee for a number of years, and he was also a member of every Democratic National Convention from 1860 to 1892, except the convention of 1876. During the Civil War, he was elected mayor of Pekin, a position he held several times. Prettyman was also active as the director and vice-president of the Illinois River Railroad and as president of the Chicago, Pekin, and Southwestern Railroad.

John J. Duff, A. Lincoln: Prairie Lawyer (New York: Bramhall House, 1960), 195; Portrait and Biographical Record of Tazewell and Mason Counties, Illinois (Chicago: Biographical, 1894), 457-59; Gravestone, Lakeside Cemetery, Pekin, IL.