The Topeka Daily Capital, Pg. 1 & 12, Friday, Aug. 11, 1916

Died:  Aug. 10, 1916





Paola Man First Attorney General

Of Kansas.


Career as Soldier, Statesman and Attorney

Made Him Prominent

Figure---Speaker of House.


Special to The Capital.

  Paola, Kan., Aug. 10---Benjamin Franklin Simpson, Kansas pioneer, statesman, soldier, and the first attorney general of Kansas, died here at 6 o’clock this evening.  Death followed an illness of less than one week.

  Mr. Simpson was 81 years old and had spent most of his life in Kansas coming here in 1855.  He had taken an active part in the political life of the state since it was admitted to the union.  Much of his leisure time in late years was spent in writing articles which were invaluable contributions to the history and literature of Kansas.

  Mr. Simpson was born in Belmont county, Ohio, in 1836.  After receiving an academic education he began the study of law and was admitted to the bar in 1857.  He came west the same year and opened an office at Paola.  The next year he was u county attorney of Miami county.  From that time on his time was given largely to the service of the public.

  Few men have been more intimately connected with the history of Kansas than Mr. Simpson.  He was chairman of one of the most important committees at the famous constitutional convention at the famous constitutional convention at Wyandotte in 1859.  He was the first attorney general of the state, having been elected when the state was admitted to the union in 1861.  He resigned this office the following July to enlist in the Union army.  His military career covered four years and three months, during which time he served with distinction as captain and major of the Fifteenth Kansas cavalry.

Served in Both Houses.

  When the war was over he was elected to the state senate.  In 1870 he was elected to the house of representatives from Miami county and was speaker of the house during the session of 1871.

  Twice he was sent to the national convention of the Republican party and held various committee memberships.  He was again elected to the state senate in 1876 and served as chairman of the judiciary committee.  He was a member of the committee appointed by the supreme court of Kansas to revise the statutes of the state in 1877.

  President Hayes appointed him United States marshal in 1878, an office he held for eight years.  Because of his ability as a jurist, Gov. John A. Martin appointed him on of the supreme court commissioners authorized by the legislature of 1887.  Since the dissolution of the commission, Mr. Simpson had been engaged in the practice of his profession at Paola.

Two Daughters in Topeka

  The surviving members of the family are Mrs. Simpson, two daughters and five sons all of whom were present when death came.  They are Mrs. W. E. Breisford and Miss Carrie Simpson of Topeka; Frank, and Benjamin Jr. of San Francisco; James of Butte, Mont.; Don, of Winnepeg, Canada; Richard of Los Angeles, Cal.

  The funeral will be held Saturday morning from the Methodist church at Paola.