Benjamin H. Milliken, senior member of the firm of Milliken & Jaques, proprietors of the Riverside Paint Store, one of the leading business houses in the city. The subject of this sketch was born in McCracken County, Kentucky, in 1847. His father, Judge John Milliken, was a native of North Carolina, who came to Kentucky in his youth, and was reared in that State. He there married Miss Harriet L. Hord. He was a lawyer by profession, and prominent in political and judicial circles. He lost his life in the cause of the South, meeting his death in 1861, while serving as a quartermaster in the Confederate Army.
Mr. Milliken was reared and schooled in his native place, and, like his father, was loyal to the sunny South and her cause. At the commence meat of the war his youth prompted his enlisting in her armies, but it did not deter him from devoting himself to the service of the Confederacy as a volunteer aid and scout. Upon one of his visits to Paducah he was captured by the Federal troops, tried as a spy and condemned to be shot. The defective evidence upon which he was condemned and his youth enlisted the justice and sympathy of General Halleck, and he set aside the sentence and ordered his release from confinement. Mr. Milliken then rejoined the Confederate army and participated in the battle of Shiloh and other engagements, being employed in the army operations on the Mississippi and Tennessee rivers.
At the close of the war he accepted the position and returned to Paducah, and there entered into mercantile pursuits, and later into manufacturing enterprises, establishing flour-mills, etc. He was successful in his undertaking and was actively engaged in business in that place for some twenty years. In 1886 he decided to seek a home on the Pacific Coast, and in June of that year located in Riverside, first entering into horticultural pursuits upon a twenty-acre tract west of the city, planting budded orange trees and lemons. He also invested in residence and business property in the city. In January 1887, in connection with George H. Jaques, he established himself in mercantile life, and opened the Riverside Paint Store on Eighth Street, near the corner of Orange Street, and has since con-ducted the enterprise. Mr. Milliken is a thorough businessman, prompt and straight in his dealings, and has secured a liberal patronage from the community. Politically he is a Democrat, and a strong supporter of his party. He is a member of the executive committee of the Democratic county central committee, and has taken a leading part in the conventions and councils of the party.
In 1870 Mr. Milliken married Miss Mary B. Wells, a native of Kentucky. She is the daughter of William and Mary (Porter) Wells. From this marriage there are five children living, viz.: Louis R., Mary L., Carrie G., William Horace and Lillian Hord.