The only representative of his family in America, this respected citizen of LaSalle was born in Ireland fifty-eight years ago. His parents, John and Ellen (Moynahan) Hetherington, passed their entire lives in the Emerald Isle, dying when our subject was young.
Being an ambitious youth, Benjamin M. Hetherington decided to come to America, where he was confident that he would find better advantages, and in 1854 landed in Savannah, Georgia. He then spent about four years in visiting different parts of this country, and thus is a competent judge of the merits of the various localities. In 1858 he was married, in Jackson county, Wisconsin, to Mary, daughter of Michael and Kate (McDonald) Lawlor. They were natives of Ireland, who first settled in New Jersey upon their arrival in the United States, and subsequently removed to Galena, Illinois, where Mrs. Hetherington was born.
The year after his marriage Mr. Hetherington and wife became residents of LaSalle, and thus for two-score years they have been identified with the welfare of this place. During this long period our subject has been connected with the coal-mining industry, and for many years has held the responsible position of mine manager of the Union coal shaft in LaSalle. To his ingenuity and constructive ability may be ascribed the two bridges built across the Illinois river at LaSalle and Utica. Recognized as a hard worker and a thoroughly competent man in his line, he commands the respect of all who are associated with him in any manner.
For eighteen years Mr. Hetherington has been a member of the LaSalle board of aldermen, and in this office has done much effectual work toward the upbuilding and improvement of the place. In his early manhood he cast in his lot with the Democratic party, but, being one who reads, studies and thinks for himself and has the courage of his convictions, he took issue with his late political comrades in the last presidential campaign, fearlessly declaring himself for sound money. He went to the state convention in Chicago as a delegate to the Democratic convention that nominated the Hon. John M. Palmer for the office of chief executive. Mr. Hetherington acted in the capacity of township supervisor for five years, and in other local offices has proved his genuine regard for the public advancement.
The marriage of our subject and wife was blessed with twelve children, eight of whom are living. In the order of their birth they are named as follows: Margaret, John, Thomas, Mary, Kittie, Nora, Benjamin W. and Lawlor. The family belong to the Catholic church, and are actively connected with its work and benevolences.
Extracted 26 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 2, pages 403-404.