Benson Landrum biography

The gentleman named as the subject of this article is Bowie’s leading wholesale and retail feed and grain dealer and has been identified with the Lone Star state since 1868, when his father settled in Falls county, where the remaining years of his youth were passed. In the thirty years of active identity, chiefly with industrial affairs of Texas, his achievements have been such as to mark his career a successful one and today we find him taking a leading part in the domestic commerce of the metropolis of Montague county.

The family of which our subject is a worthy representative is an Alabama one, constructively, but actually form the Palmetto state of South Carolina. Its most remote ancestor accessible, George L. Landrum, grandfather of our subject, was not its American founder, but George L. Landrum was born in South Carolina in 1768, saw some service with the Continentals during the Revolution and fought the English again in the war of 1812. He married and reared a family of sons and daughters, as follows: Amelia, Samuel, who died in Falls county, Texas; George, who passed away in Kentucky; Frances, of Barber [Barbour] county, Alabama, married Quinny Wood; Rebecca, who became Mrs. William Dickson and died in Austin county, Texas; Richard died in Kentucky; Paulina married John Manley and died in Austin county, Texas, and Benjamin L., who died in Falls county, Texas. The parents of this family left the Palmetto state and became settlers of Barber [Barbour] county, Alabama, where the father plied his trade as a gunsmith and blacksmith and where he and his wife lie buried.

Benjamin L. Landrum, father of Benson of this notice, was born in Edgefield district, South Carolina, in 1818, and accompanied his parents as a child, in their removals to the westward, first into Georgia, and finally into Henry county, Alabama, where he reached maturity and acquired a fair education. He chose the medical profession and prepared himself for his duties in the Philadelphia Medical College, graduating in 1841. He came to Texas and engaged in practice in Montgomery county, where he married, but soon returned to Alabama and practiced in Montgomery county until 1866, when he went to Loundes [Lowndes] county, from which point, in 1868, he returned to Texas and identified himself with Falls county four years, then to Madison, then, in 1877, he located at New Ulms, in Austin county, where he remained nine years and then returned to Chilton, Texas, his former and last home.

During the rebellion Dr. Landrum was petitioned to remain with his profession as a citizen and this he was permitted to do, although having a desire to serve the state in the armies of the Confederate government. He was a man with positive opinions and maintained his position on questions at issue against all comers. He was a Democrat, but never sought or filled office. His first wife was Mrs. Lizzie Page, a daughter of Mr. Park, a farmer of Madison county, Alabama, in 1867, being the mother of: Nettie, deceased wife of Thomas Bentley, of Falls county, Texas; George, of Madison county, Texas; Elmo, of Falls county; Benson, our subject; Elizabeth, wife of Gus Tomlinson, of Falls county; Ella, wife of Jack Petitt, of Madison county, and Joseph, who died in LaSalle county, Texas.

In Austin county, Texas, Dr. Landrum married Miss Ferribe Lee, who survives him and resides in Falls county. The issue of this marriage is Louise, wife of J. J. Jones, and Benjamin, Jr., both of Falls county, Texas.

As Benson Landrum came to maturity he acquired a very good education and he discharged his obligation to his father by remaining a useful adjunct to the family home till he was twenty-two years of age. At the opening of his independent career he ran cattle for a Falls county stockman for four years, following which he borrowed $250 and equipped himself with a team and implements for farming. He rented his father’s place, kept bach, and cultivated it seven years. With the profits of this bachelor era he purchased a hundred acres, with which he busied himself for a few years, when he purchased the interests of the heirs in the old home and settled down to farming right. This gave him three hundred and twenty acres and, March 30, 1881, he took a wife to his possessions, where she was truly a “better half” until her death in 1889. In 1894 he sold all but fifty acres of his farm, came to Bowie, and, for nearly a year, was employed in the Waples-Painter lumber yard and in the confectionery business. In 1891 he purchased two hundred and in 1896 three hundred acres at Petrolia, in Clay county, which proved to be oil territory upon development later on. This he farmed out the grain and feed business and property of C. R. Morgan, where he is now conducting a successful business.

Mr. Landrum first married Miss Eugenia Smith, a daughter of Samuel Smith. At her death, February 12, 1889, she was the mother of Nettie E., wife of Herman O. Cunningham, of Petrolia, Texas; Harvey B. and Dora, of Bowie, and Eugene, of Falls county. In November, 1891, Mr. Landrum married Miss Anna Hankins, a daughter of F. G. Hankins, who came to Texas from Arkansas. Roy, Willie, Eva, Bernice and Lewis are the issue of this union.

Unlike his father, Mr. Landrum is a quiet citizen, with strictly business tendencies and with a flood of good-nature oozing from every pore. He is a Mason, Odd Fellow and a Woodman, and a member of the Missionary Baptist church. His political beliefs are those of the dominant party in his state, but he is without political ambition and the casting of his vote is his share in political frays.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 74-75.