Benjamin Franklin Wilson ~ ~ ~1851-1937 Submitted by: Shirley Harlan
Uncle Ben Wilson Claimed by Death at Age 86 Years
Death claimed one of the most colorful figures of the early days in this sectiion of Oklahoma, in the passing Monday afternoon of Benjamin Franklin ("Uncle Ben") Wilson, 909 South third street.
"Uncle Ben", as he was affectionately known to hundreds of Ponca City residents and his more than 100 direct descendants who reside in and near Ponca City, succumbed shortly after 5 o'clock Monday afternoon at his home, from complications of advanced age. He was 86 years of age. He had been in poor health for the past eight months, but had been seriously ill for only a few days.
The life of "Uncle Ben" Wilson is closely associated with the history of early days in northern Oklahoma. He came to Indian Territory in 1891 and made his home on a farm 10 miles southwest of Fairfax for 23 years. In 1914 he went to Eureka, Mont. to spend three years, and returned to this section in 1917 where he has remained ever since, residing in Ponca City at the South Third street residence ever since he retired from his many years of farming in 1921. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church and the I.O.O.F. lodge before coming to Oklahoma, but had dropped both memberships.
It was "Uncle Ben's" desire in his lifetime to see his direct descendants number 100, and at the annual reunion of the Wilson family held here last October, his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren numbered 102, most of that group being present for the reunion.
Wilson was born October 10, 1851 in Raleigh, N.C., and came west to Missouri as a young man. It was in Missouri that he met and married Miss Rebecca Davis at Smithfield, February 21, 1875. His widow survives him as do ten of the 12 childen born to their union, two having died in infancy.
Five daughters, all of whom live in Ponca City, are: Mrs. A. J. Jerden; Mrs. Pearl Williams; Mrs. R. L. Hall; Mrs. Harvey Hall and Mrs. R. V. Farr. The five sons of the couple are George T., John F., W. C., Fitzhugh L. and Ben Wilson Jr., all of whom also live in Ponca City. He is survived in addition, by 47 grandchildren and 45 great grandchildren.
Uncle Ben's youngest greatgrandchild is Eldona Day, 11 week-old daughter of Eldon Day, Ponca City police sergeant and the late Mrs. Day, who was Wilson's granddaughter. The oldest great grandchild is Arlis Kizer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Kizer.
Six grandsons will serve as active pallbearers at funeral services to be held at 4 o'clock Wednesday afternoon from the First Baptist Church, under direction of the Miles Funeral Home. The are: Lewis, Elroy, Levi, George, Allen and Bennie Wilson. Other grandsons of Wilson will serve as honorary pallbearers.
The Rev. A. F. Crittendon of the First Baptist Church will officiate at the last rites, and burial will be in the I.O.O.F. cemetery.
© The Ponca City News
Tuesday, June 29, 1937
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