Ben Plaster biography

BEN PLASTER is one of the well known representatives of stock-raising interests in western Texas, owning a fine ranch not far from Colorado. He is also a representative of one of the earliest families of the Lone Star state. His paternal grandfather, Thomas Plaster, came to Texas in 1830 from Tennessee and then, returning to the latter state, removed his family to Texas in 1835, at which time this country was under Mexican rule. He was a native of Virginia and at the time of the Texas war he served as quartermaster and aided in achieving independence for the republic. He afterward made his home in what was then Montgomery county, but is now Grimes county, and his last days were spent in Austin. His family numbered seven children: Tony; John, Ben; William; Joe and Mrs. Margaret Harrison, twins; and Fran. Of this family William is now living in Mexico and Mrs. Harrison, now a widow, resides in Grimes county, while Joe Plaster is a resident of Bell county.

William Plaster, the father of our subject, was born in Tennessee on the 8th of January, 1830, and was brought to Texas by his parents in 1835. His youth was passed in Grimes county and about 1857 he was married in what was then Montgomery county to Miss Nannie Simms, who was reared in that locality. Two of their children are yet living; Dollie, the wife of Will Casper, a resident of Taylor county, Texas; and Ben, of this review. The father has been engaged in dealing in cattle throughout the great part of his life and is now connected with that industry in Mexico. He removed from Grimes to Bell county, Texas, and in 1869 went to Taylor county, this state, whence he removed to Mexico in 1886. He now makes his home in the state of Sonora.

Ben Plaster was born in Grimes county, Texas, December 18, 1861. He had but limited educational opportunities in youth, but experience and observation have greatly broadened his knowledge, and he is now a man of good practical business education. From the age of fifteen years he has been dependent upon his own resources and whatever success he has achieved is due entirely to his earnest labor. He arrived in Taylor county in 1879, when the family removed to that locality, and there engaged in raising cattle on the shares for his father. Continuing there until 1885, he and his father then sold their cattle, but afterward bought other cattle and took them to Presidio county, but that winter they lost over half their stock. In the following spring they rounded up the herd and took them to old Mexico, the father remaining there until 1895. Ben Plaster, however, did not go to Mexico with the cattle, but made his way across the borderin 1889, having employed a man to herd the cattle there. In 1895, however, be began to dispose of his herd, shipping many to other points, and in 1896 he left Mexico and came to Colorado, Texas, where he has since been living. His place is situated about eight miles down the Colorado river and his ranch comprises six and a half sections of land. He has one of the best bunches of high-grade Herefords in the state.

On the 22d of December, 1885, Mr. Plaster was united in marriage to Miss Ida Worley, of Taylor county. They have a fine home, which was erected at a cost of about four thousand dollars, and its hospitality is one of its attractive features. Mr. Plaster is a member of Colorado lodge, No. 280, I. O. O. F. He devotes the greater part of his time to stock farming and has made a reasonable success in life. He has always lived upon the frontier and his early education was gained largely from nature, of which he has been an earnest student. He was practically reared in the saddle, for as soon as able to ride he tended cattle on the range, and his has been the typical life of the cowboy, but all through these experiences of the trail, the cowboy camp and the roundup he has devoted such time as opportunity afforded to the acquirement of knowledge upon all general subjects, and is to-day a well informed man. His life has always been characterized by good judgment in practical affairs and he is to-day rated as one of the substantial cattle men of his county.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 638-639.