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.
submitted by Laverne Ingram Piatt
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