Lighting Ancestral Lamps

Page 91


William Benton
A Man with a Purpose

would have thrown himself into the many movements and have pushed with all his might for the advancement of progress. Even so he lived a life with a purpose, both during the pioneer and the long transitory period that followed to the early beginning of the modern period ushered in at the turn of the current century. He belonged to the last generation of pioneers in Illinois.

When death came at the age of seventy-three, he was greatly missed by his family, relatives, and a large circle of friends extending over many miles- This fact is cited in a letter of sympathy written by his Congressman Martin D. Foster, to the writer's mother upon learning of the death. The original letter is currently in the valued old family letter file belonging to William Benton Bunn, Jr.
It reads as follows:

House of Representatives
April 1st, l9l2

Mrs. Benton Bunn
Olney, Illinois

Dear Mrs. Bunn:

I have learned through the papers of the death of Mr. Bunn. I am sincerely sorry to heat of his passing away and offer you my sympathy in your trouble. I have known Mr. Bunn for many years and he was always one of my good friends. It was always a great pleasure for me to be with him. We cannot afford to lose such good men. With regards I remain,

Your Friends,
M. D. Foster

As I draw to a close this meager chapter relating to my dear father, Ido so in the spirit expressed through the beautiful' verse uttered by poet Samuel T. Coleridge as he said:

"How well he fell asleep
Like some proud river, widening toward the sea;
Calmly and grandly, silently and deep,
Life joined eternity. "
He truly was a man, who lived a life with a purpose

1/ Donald Crocker, pastor of the First Methodist Church, Champaign Illinois, 1954.
2/ Quotation of Dr. Endicott Peabody, Headmaster of the Groton School.
3/ Historical & History, --Counties Cumberland, Jasper and Richland, Illinois, 1884, .........Chicago. F.A. Battey & Co. Portrait and Biographical Record, Effingham, Jasper and Richland .........Counties, Illinois, 1893, Lake City Publishing Co.

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