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Benjamin and Margaret McKeown Pyatt

Benjamin Pyatt was born 1784 (or c1782) in Washington County, Pennsylvania, to Benjamin and Mary Phillips Pyatt and died March 17, 1866. He was married to Margaret McKeown (d/o John McKeown of Irish extraction) who died August 5, 1871, at the age of eighty-two.

Benjamin is found in the City Directory for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, of 1815 living in 'Carpenter's Alley' between Virgin Alley and 6th Street. His occupation is listed as a carpenter. He also appears on the 1810, 1820 and 1830 census of Pittsburgh, Alleghany County, Pennsylvania. Benjamin moved his family to Missouri in 1836 according to the Jacksonville Daily Journal of February 5, 1885, which published the obituary of his son, Benjamin. He received a land patent in 1838 in Marion County, Missouri, and remained there until 1848. Benjamin Sr was a carpenter and moved to Palmyra, Marion County, Missouri, to help build Monroe City which the Mississippi River destroyed. He first appears on the 1840 census of Marion County, Missouri, with a wife, three boys and three girls. He remained until 1848 and then moved to Jacksonville, Morgan County, Illinois, where he spent the balance of his life.

The known/speculated children of Benjamin and Margaret are as follows:

I do not find marriage records in Morgan County, Illinois for James, Joseph, Mary, Sarah or Thomas. Nor do I find them on census entries near Benjamin and Margaret. Where did they live?

The best history of Benjamin Pyatt (Jr and Sr) is in the "Plat Book of Morgan County, Illinois 1894" as follows:
BENJAMIN PYATT, ESQ., sheriff of Morgan county, is a native of Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, and was born in the city of Pittsburg, May 20, 1820. He is the fifth child of Benjamin and Margaret Pyatt. Benjamin followed the occupation of carpenter and builder. The ancestors of Mr. Pyatt were French; his wife was of Irish extraction. In 1836 he emigrated from Pittsburg to Missouri, locating in Marion county, where he resided till 1848. He then moved to Jacksonville, Illinois, where he spent the residue of his life. His death occurred March 17, 1866, at the advanced age of eighty-four years. Mrs. Pyatt survived his death till August 5, 1871, dying at the age of eighty-two years. Benjamin Pyatt, Jr., received his early education in the schools of Pittsburg, attaining a solid education for those times. When about the age of eighteen, he became an apprentice to the cigar and tobacco business. He moved to Missouri with his parents, at the above-stated time, and from 1841 till the spring of 1843, he carried on cigar making, at Palmyra, Missouri, and there became acquainted with Miss Mary A. Leer, to whom he was married March 28, 1842. She is the daughter of John and Catharine Leer, formerly of Paris, Kentucky. Mr. Pyatt and wife had a family of eight children, five of whom are still living; one son and one daughter are married. Mr. Pyatt has given his children the advantages of a good business education. In February, 1843, he removed with his family to Jacksonville, where he has since carried on the tobacco business quite largely, and has been successful in making it a lucrative enterprise. The firm is now known as B. Pyatt & Son. It is said to be the largest tobacco house in this portion of the state, and now, after a period of about thirty years, it is in its most flourishing condition. At one time, this firm employed twenty-two hands in the manufacturing department. Mr. Pyatt made his start in life with ninety-five cents in money, and an abundance of energy, coming, as he did, to Missouri when it was almost in its primitive state; and of course, he had many hardships to endure. In November, 1870, Mr. Pyatt was elected sheriff of Morgan county, by a large majority, and is the present incumbent. In early life, Mr. Pyatt became a member of the democratic party and has always advocated its principles. His first vote was given in the interests of that party, though he now expects to take a new departure for Horace Greeley; and on the expiration of his official term he intends to resume his former business. As a politician, he has always been active and efficient. Mr. Pyatt and family are members of the Christian church. He is a prominent and influential member of the order of the "mystic tie". His life has been one of earnest, hard work.

I find Ben and Margaret on the 1850 census of Morgan County, Illinois, as follows:

They were enumerated #57/58 pg 174B. Also on pg 174 at #56/57 was their son John with his wife Caroline. On pg 176D at #95/94 was their son Ben with his family. Their son, Oliver Pyatt, lived with the Peter Cassell family on pg 170C.

On the 1860 census, in the city of Jacksonville, Morgon County, Illinois, we find:

This family enumeratation was taken at #623/604 13th June 1860 pg 412 (ancestry image 90/563). Also in Jacksonville at #304 was their son, John Pyatt, and family living near their daughter, Elizabeth Pyatt Johnson, and her husband, William G Johnson. In Indian Creek at #1115 was their daughter, Emily Pyatt Cassell, with her husband, Peter. Their son, Benjamin, had moved to Sangamon County, Illinois. In Philadelphi I find their deaf son, Joseph O Pyatt, with his deaf wife, Martha, and their daughter Mary age 14. Joseph was a teacher of the Deaf.

By the 1870 census, Benjamin had died and Margaret appeared with their son, Oliver, in Jacksonville Ward 3, Morgan County, Illinois, as follows:

This family was enumerated #137/140 3 Jun 1870 pg 516 (#13 left top corner)(ancestry image 216/330). O J Pyatt was Asst Marshall who did the enumeration - so, we can at least assume that this family was correctly enumerated. Also in Morgan County was Margaret's son, Benjamin, and family living at #18/18 on pg 480; Margaret's son, John, with his wife Caroline and family living with the Arbogast and Taylor families at #20/21 on pg 482.

Leslie J Pyatt visited the East Jacksonville Cemetery, in Jacksonville, Sangamon (s/b Morgan?) County, Illinois, in April of 1992 and found the graves of Benjamin Pyatt Sr (b: 1784), Benjamin Pyatt Jr (b: 1820), Mary Ann Pyatt, and her son, Charles R Lewis.


Last updated Jul 2004

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