Letter: Kaneville pioneer family artifacts come home

By on August 19, 2010

In the spring of 1843, having just given birth to her eighth child, Jemima Seavey Benton, husband Gilbert, and children left New York to establish new lives in what would become known as Kaneville, Illinois.

They packed into their covered wagon only those items necessary for survival on this native prairie which, following the Blackhawk Indian Wars, had just been deemed safe for settlement.

Just this summer, thanks to the generous donation of several of Jemima and Gilbert’s more than 600 descendants, some of those cherished necessities have found their way back to the historic Benton family home, which has been restored by the Kaneville Historical Society.

These items, which include Jemima’s spinning wheel, rocking chair, Bible, and blanket, can be viewed during an open house to be held Sunday, Aug. 29, from noon to 2 p.m. as part of the Kaneville Fest activities. This house and the Minor home, both on Lovell Street, will be open to the public.

Everyone, especially Benton family descendants, are invited to come and share in the unfolding story of these pioneer settlers.

Jeanette Wampach