Eli B. Belknap, Berlin, was born in Niagara County, N. Y., April 18, 1819. His parents, Elisha and Lucy (Finch) Belknap were both natives of New York, and in 1830 moved to Licking County, Ohio, where the father died in 1839, at the age of fifty-two years. Eli B. Belknap spent his early life on the farm in New York and Ohio, till 1839, when he came to Bureau County. In 1840 he brought his widowed mother here, where she died in 1845, at the age of sixty-three years.
July 3, 1844, he was married, in Licking County, Ohio, to Miss Mary Whitehead, who was born in that county July 3, 1826. She is the daughter of E. F. and Margaret (Doremus) Whitehead, both of whom were natives of New Jersey, removed to New York when small, and after marriage to Ohio. He was born November 1796, and died in Ohio at the age of seventy-one years. His wife was born July 31, 1799; died August 13, 1880.
After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Belknap came to Bureau County, but after a residence here of two years, they returned to Ohio; remained there four years, and then again came to this county, settling in 1852 on their present farm of 160 acres, in Section 3, Berlin Township. They are the parents of six children living, viz.: Augustus H., born February 20,1848, married Lydia S. Palmer, and resides in Pocahontas County, Iowa; Edwin F., born April 26, 1850, married Esther Hall, and lives in Mitchell County, Kansas: Jerome B., born August 2, 1852, lives in Wright County, Iowa, married Flora L Taylor; Harry W., born June 15, 1855, resides on the old homestead, married Mary M. Cater; Mary L., born June 3, 1860, the wife of Edward H. Cater, of Pottawatomie County, Iowa; Emma S. born May 3, 1862, wife of Elias Bower, of Adair County, Iowa. The eldest child, Sarah, born September 9, 1845, died October 5, 1845.
Mr. Belknap and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Arlington. In politics, he has been a Republican since the party was organized, and previous to that was an abolitionist.
Source: History of Bureau County, Illinois, H. C. Bradsby, Editor. World Publishing Company Chicago 1885