From A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. I, p. 1307
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902

Benjamin F. Chisholm

Benjamin F Chisholm, who is connected with agricultural interests in Rice county, was born in Washington, Mason county, Kentucky, on the 7th of November, 1845, and represents one of the old families of Virginia.  His paternal grandfather, Thomas Chisholm, was a native of the Old Dominion and was of Scotch descent.  His father served under General Washington in the struggle for American independence.  Thomas Chisholm, the grandfather, was a prominent farm and slave owner of Clark county, Kentucky, through many years, and by his upright life commanded uniform confidence and regard.  His wife, a consistent Christian woman, held membership in the Primitive Baptist church.  Their children were Larkin; Greenville; Thomas; Nancy, the wife of T Jones; Sarah, who married D Jones; America, who wedded H Jones; Sidney, the wife of N Reed; Malinda, who became Mrs. Warren; Lavisa, wife of J Rogers; and Mrs. Lucy E Guinn.

Thomas Chisholm, Jr, the father of our subject, was born in Kentucky March 4, 1813, and remained under the parental roof until in his teens, when he was apprenticed to learn the blacksmith’s trade.  Later he learned wagon-making and worked at both pursuits.  Being a natural mechanic, he also acquired a knowledge of carpentering and devoted his time to the three mechanical lines of industry, being thus engaged throughout his active business career.  During the Rebellion he was neutral, taking no part with either the Union of Confederate sides.  He resided at several places in Kentucky and in 1887 he and his wife joined their son Benjamin in Kansas, finding here a good home and kindly care and attention.  The father has reached the venerable age of eighty-eight years.  Politically he is a Democrat, but has never aspired to public office.  He married Miss Margaret C Lilliston, who was born in Mason county, Kentucky, a daughter of William and Eliza (Reese) Lilliston, the former a native of Princess Anne county, Virginia, while the latter was born on the eastern shore of Maryland.

William Lilliston, Sr, the grandfather of Mrs. Chisholm, was one of Virginia’s most valiant and honored soldiers during the Revolutionary war and bore all the hardships as well as braved the danger of war in order to secure the independence of the colonies.  His entire life was passed in the Old Dominion.  He had nine children:  John, Robert, Albert, Asa, William, Selma, Nancy, Leah and Mahala.  Of this family William Lilliston, Jr, the father of Mrs. Chisholm, was born and reared in Virginia, but in early manhood went to Kentucky, where he was married.  He possessed superior mechanical genius and skill and erected many fine mansions for the Kentucky aristocracy, being identified with building interests throughout his entire life.  In his political preferences he was a Democrat.  He died in 1835, and his widow afterward married again.  She was a daughter of Stephen and Eleanor (Mitchell) Reese, natives of Wales, who located first on the eastern shore of Maryland and later removed to Kentucky.  Their children were John; Mrs. Nancy Beechum; Mrs. Eleanor Gaswellin; Isaac; Mrs. L Jessie Murphy, who became the wife of S Buck after the death of her first husband; Sarah, the wife of J Hiatt; Mrs. Susan Mitchell; Mrs. Eliza Chisholm; Milcah, with wife of A Tole; Rosa, who married R Bradford; Mrs. Harriet Cooper; Stephen and William.  The parents were consistent and worthy members of the Methodist church and the father took a very active part in the church work.  He lived to the ripe old age of one hundred and four years.  The children born to Thomas and Catherine Chisholm numbered thirteen: Mathew C, born September 19, 1840; William T, born March 10, 1842; America F, who was born August 19, 1843, and is wife of J Sweet; Benjamin F; Selby L, born October 1, 1847; Eliza C, who was born December 25, 1857, and married William Gay; Frances H, born May 25, 1852; Lucy E, who died when four year old; Mary S, born May 5, 1857, and now the wife of S Wilson; Greenville H, born September 6, 1859; John J, born February 2, 1862; Nancy J, who was born August 20, 1864 and married M A Wright; and Courtney, born November 3, 1866.  The parents were earnest people whose lives were in harmony with their faith.  The father belonged to the Christian church and for sixty-one years the mother was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

During the Civil war the family was somewhat divided as to their attitudes in relation to the government.  The father and our subject remained on neutral ground; Mathew joined the Union army as a member of the Sixteenth Kentucky Infantry and having veteranized he served for five years; William T allied his interests with the southern army, joined John Morgan’s brigade and participated in the famous raid through Indiana and Ohio; and Selby served in the Federal army with Colonel Medcalf of the Kentucky Cavalry.

Mr. Chisholm, whose name begins this record, was born and reared in Kentucky and acquired his education in the public schools.  After putting aside his text books he was employed at various kinds of labor.  He was for a time in a rope factory and later he secured work in a nursery, where he remained for a number of years.  After spending some time as a farm hand he began farming on his own account in Kentucky, and after his marriage he located there, owning some property which he cared for until 1880, when he came to Kansas, locating first in Raymond township, Rice county.  After a year he purchased a squatter’s claim in Pioneer township, filed homestead papers and has since resided upon that place, which in the interim has undergone some marvelous changes.  When he came into possession there was a sod house and a few other improvements of a poor character.  Ample opportunity for labor lay before him and in due course of time he transformed the wild land into richly cultivated fields which yield a golden tribute to the owner.  There is also good pasture land and he raises stock of high grades.  He has a commodious residence and substantial outbuildings for the shelter of grain and stock and the place is supplied with all modern improvements and accessories which go to make up a model farm of the twentieth century.

On the 29th of June, 1868, in Kentucky, Mr. Chisholm was united in marriage to Miss Sarah E Kenton, a descendant of the famous old Indian scout and pioneer, Simon Kenton.  She was born in Bracken county, Kentucky, October 10, 1853, a daughter of George W and Almira (Burden) Kenton, both of whom were natives of Kentucky, the former a grand-nephew of Simon Kenton, whose explorations won him national fame.  George W Kenton was reared upon a Kentucky farm and resided there during the period of the Civil war, but he took no part in the struggle.  In 1879 he came to Kansas, settling in Raymond township, Rice county, where he is still living.  He bought a squatter’s claim and improved a good farm, upon which he is now living a quiet life, surrounded by comforts which the years of his former toil made possible.  He represents the type of hospitable, kindly pioneers, and his latch-string always hangs out, a cordial welcome being extended to all visitors.  The Kentons were originally from Erin’s Green Isle, people of strong constitutions and warm hearts.  In his political views George Kenton is a Democrat but has never aspired to office.  His children were:  William M, a farmer; Sarah E, the wife of our subject; Thomas, a harness maker of Little River; Estella, who married William Nolan; E M, who married Florence Thomas, by whom he has four children, and the family reside at Stafford county, Kansas; Martha M, the wife of William Moody, of Washington; Joseph, who was accidentally killed by a horse when fourteen years of age; Blanch, now the wife of O Cook; Beatrice, wife of William Hathaway; and Mrs. Almira F Munson.  Mr. Kenton is a member of the Baptist church and his wife belongs to the Christian church.

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Chisholm has been blessed with one son: Claud, who was born August 24, 1869, and is now engaged in farming.  He married Miss Anna Humphrey, and they have two children.  In his social relations Mr. Chisholm of this review is a Mason, belonging to the lodge in Chase.  He is also a member of the Methodist church and his wife belongs to the Christian church.  In politics he is a Democrat and takes an active and commendable interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of his community.  He has filled some local offices, including those of township trustee and assessor, has been four times justice of the peace, and has also filled the position of school treasurer, discharging every duty with promptness and fidelity.  He is a broad-minded, intelligent citizen, a conservative, reliable business man, and in all life’s relations commands the confidence and regard of all with whom he has been associated.