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 • Centerville
 • Appanoose County
 • Iowa
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Benjamin Franklin Silknitter
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Birth: Mar. 15, 1845
Putnam County
Indiana, USA
Death: Jul. 4, 1925
Appanoose County
Iowa, USA

Benjamin Franklin Silknitter has made a creditable record as an official and businessman. He is now engaged in handling livestock and is the owner of valuable farming property near Centerville. At different times he has put aside business cares to perform the duties of office and in other connections has proved faithful and loyal to the trust reposed in him. He was born in Indiana, March 15, 1845, and is a son of Solomon and Catherine (Carter) Silknitter, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Maryland. In the year 1850 Solomon Silknitter came to Appanoose County which was still a frontier district in which the work of development and improvement had scarcely been begun. Much of the land was still in possession of the government and he entered one hundred and sixty acres to which he afterward added from time to time until his holdings embraced six hundred acres. After obtaining his original claim he at once began to clear and cultivate it and devoted his remaining days to his agricultural pursuits. He died in March, 1865 while his wife passed away in 1897.
Benjamin Franklin Silknitter was a lad of but five years when brought by his parents to Iowa, and was reared upon the home farm in Appanoose County, while the public schools afforded him his educational opportunities. After his text-books were put aside he devoted his entire time to the farm until elected to the office of sheriff in 1876. He filled that position for three terms, his reelection being incontrovertible proof of the confidence reposed in his ability and faithfulness. On his retirement from office he turned his attention to the coal trade and operated a mine at Brazil and another at Mystic for a number of years, or until 1894 when he was again elected sheriff, serving for one term. He has since been engaged in the live-stock business, handling a large number of cattle each year. His property holdings embrace a farm of four hundred and ten acres west of the town on which his son now resides, while Mr. Silknitter makes his home in the city where he also owns considerable property. Whatever he has undertaken he has carried forward to successful completion, for his energy and industry enable him to overcome all difficulties and obstacles and gradually advance him to the goal of prosperity.
In September 1877 Mr. Silknitter was married to Miss Sallie Bell, a daughter of David and Nancy Bell. Her father was a carpenter by trade and followed that pursuit in Centerville for many years, and later retired, continuing however, to make his home in this city to the time of his death. Mr. and Mrs. Silknitter became the parents of five children; Jennie, the wife of H.S. Phillips, of Texas; George F., who is employed by the Union Meat Company at Portland, Oregon; Robert M., employed by Crane & Company, also of Portland, Oregon; Roscoe C., residing on his father's farm; and Richard, also making his home in Portland, Oregon. The wife and mother passed away in February 1909 after a short illness and her death was deeply regretted by many friends who entertained for her warm regard.
In the life record of Mr. Silknitter, is a creditable Military chapter. On the 5th day of May, 1864, when he was but 19 years of age, he offered his services to the country for one hundred days, enlisting as a member of Company B, Forty-seventh Iowa Infantry. His religious faith is that of the Presbyterian Church and he has ever been loyal to his professions.
He gives his political allegiance to the Democratic party and in addition to serving as sheriff he has been Chief of Police of Centerville and a member of the town council.
The Masonic Fraternity finds in him an exemplary member and a well-spent life has gained for him the warm regard of all with whom he has been associated. For more than six decades he has lived in this County and has been an interested witness of its growth and development. He has cooperated in many movements relating to the general welfare and his influence has ever been on the side of right, justice and progress.
(From the book; "Past and Present of Appanoose County, Iowa", a record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement. L. L. Taylor, Editor, the S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago - 1913 - page 335)
Ben owned a famous "Bashaw" horse, a mare named "Blue Maid" who was always in the top 2 of any class he showed her in. 
Family links: 
  Solomon Silknitter (1816 - 1865)
  Catherine Carter Silknitter (1818 - 1899)
  Sarah Elizabeth Bell Silknitter (1858 - 1908)*
  Richard O. Silknitter (1890 - 1962)*
  Henry Perry Silknitter (1841 - 1923)*
  Mary J. Silknitter Elgin (1842 - 1917)*
  Benjamin Franklin Silknitter (1845 - 1925)
  Rebecca Susannah Silknitter Thompson (1847 - 1929)*
  Hiram William Silknitter (1849 - 1938)*
  John P. Silknitter (1852 - 1939)*
  Jacob A. Silknitter (1857 - 1945)*
  Eli E. Silknitter (1862 - 1919)*
*Calculated relationship
Oakland Cemetery
Appanoose County
Iowa, USA
Created by: Doneva Shepard
Record added: Aug 08, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 56622119
Benjamin Franklin Silknitter
Added by: Doneva Shepard
Benjamin Franklin Silknitter
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Gary Craver
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Click on image for full size.

- Valarie
 Added: Aug. 26, 2010
Benjamin, for your three terms as Sheriff.
- Valarie
 Added: Aug. 8, 2010
I wish I had known you..
- Doneva Shepard
 Added: Aug. 8, 2010

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