Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901

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Benjamin Franklin Dienst

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN DIENST, a prominent stock dealer of Parsons, Labette county, Kansas, has also followed auctioneering for a number of years, and is considered quite an expert in crying public sales. Mr. Dienst is a son of J. H. and Henrietta (Gatze) Dienst, who in former years were influential citizens of the Hoosier State. J. H. Dienst is deceased, but his widow is still living. They left Indiana and came west to Labette county, Kansas, where they located in April, 1868, and erected the second house built on the prairie. There were then only about half a dozen families in that section, and they were located along Big Hill Creek. The elder Dienst took up a claim in Osage township, - the southwest quarter of section 20, township 31, range 18. This land is still in the possession of the family, and still remains the home of the beloved mother. Fourteen children were born to this worthy couple. They were: J. L., formerly of Kansas, who died in 1872, leaving a widow and one child; Caroline (Paul), who died in 1878; Henry, who died before the family left Indiana; Benjamin Franklin, the subject of this biography; Theodore, a farmer near ldenbro, Kansas; three, who died in infancy; George E., who was an Evangelical minister in Japan for many years, but is now a physician of Chicago, making a specialty of eye, ear, nose and throat diseases; Dan W., of Coffeyville, Kansas; two, who were twins and died in infancy; Lola (Miller), who resides with her mother on the farm; and Monroe, who is shipping clerk for a tinplate factory at Atlanta, Indiana.

Benjamin F. Dienst was born January 9, 1851, in the state of Indiana. He went to school in his native state, and also in Labette county, after the family came west, and remained at home until the spring of 1872. He spent the following season as a cowboy on a range, and returned home in July, 1873. In company with Mr. Carson, he left home again and went north in search of the Benders, arriving, some time later, in the state of Wisconsin. While there he engaged in lumbering, rafting, etc., and while working in that capacity was enabled to explore different islands in the Mississippi river. After a fruitless search, he returned home in 1874, and soon afterward his marriage took place. He married Elida J. Monyhon, a daughter of David Monyhon. It is a strange coincidence that Mrs. Dienst is also one of a family of 14 children. She was born in Indiana in 1854. Three of her sisters are Mrs. D. M. Markley, of Parsons; Mrs. Koho, of Arkansas City; and Mrs. O. L. Coleman, of Beloit, Kansas. Their father, who was familiarly known as "Uncle" David Monyhon, left Southern Indiana and went west to Kansas in 1869. He located in Labette county near the Bender mound, and it was he who first discovered the mysterious disappearance of that family. In 1882 he removed from that location to Cherryvale, where his death took place in 1897, and where his widow and two of his sons still reside.

Seven children have blessed the home of Mr. and Mrs. Dienst, as follows: Hattie E.; Grace; Mattie; William H.; Theodore; David H.; and George E. Hattie E., or Mrs. Rich, resides in Labette county, and has one child, Kenneth. Grace was born in 1876. Mattie, or Mrs. Widup, was born in 1878, and resides on a farm in Liberty township. William H. was born in 1880, and is an employee of the American Express Company, at Parsons, Kansas. Theodore was born in 1882, and is now employed by a telephone company. David H. was born in 1884, and is a student, as is also the youngest son, who was born in 1886.

In the early "seventies" Mr. Dienst preempted the northwest quarter of section 20, township 31, range 18, in Osage township, Labette county, Kansas, which land was located directly north of his father's place. After farming for several years, he sold that tract and purchased another farm, where he continued agricultural pursuits until the fall of 1880. He then moved into Johnson county, Missouri, where he followed a like occupation for four years. In the fall of 1884 he returned to Kansas, and rented his mother's farm, which he conducted very successfully for the next three years. He then purchased another farm for himself, where he lived until 1893, and then sold out, and removed to Parsons. After living for about one year in the city, he returned to the country, and farmed for several additional years. He again located in Parsons, upon the completion of his present comfortable residence on the corner of Morgan avenue and Twenty-first street.

Mr. Dienst commenced auctioneering in 1884. He cried his first public sale in Osage township, for E. B. Eberhart. Since then he has followed that business extensively. He is quite an artist in his profession, and has cried sales in seven different townships. He also deals in stock, - buying and selling hogs and cattle. Mr. Dienst is a self made man in every sense of the word, and deserves great credit for his industry and his ability to make a success of everything he undertakes. He is a Republican, in politics, and has served as trustee of Osage township. He has also filled the position of city marshal of Parsons, having been appointed to fill a vacancy. In their religious views, the family favor the M. E. church.