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One of the well known citizens of Nowata County is Benjamin Franklin DeVan, farmer and County commissioner, residing three miles northeast of Delaware. A native of Indiana, he was born in the central part of the state on the 10th of April, 1863. His father, John W., was a native of Kentucky and died when Benjamin Franklin was four years old. His mother, Nancy A. Childs, was born in Indiana, and is now living with a son, Sydney Little. He is a half brother of Mr. DeVan and is residing three and one-half miles southeast of him on the Verdigris River. He has two other half brothers who reside in this state: Horace G., who is farming six miles southeast of him on the Verdigris River, and William G., farming in Mayes County, six miles east of Adair.
In the acquirement of an education Benjamin Franklin DeVan attended the schools of his native state and later enrolled in the Central Normal School, from which institution he was graduate after completing the required course. At the age of twenty years he took up teaching in Indian Territory, where he had removed in 1882, but after three months in that profession he resigned his position and went to Mayes County, where he engaged in stock raising. In 1894 he moved to within two miles east of his present home, which is three miles northeast of Delaware. In addition to the home place of one hundred and forty acres he owns one hundred and sixty acres on the Verdigris River, three miles east of the original farm. He has put two hundred and fifty acres under cultivation, raising corn, wheat, oats and alfalfa and he has the finest crops in the community. He is likewise interested in raising registered shorthorn cattle for breeding purposes and registered Duroc hogs for both breeding and market purposes. Mr. DeVan’s land is also rich in oil and he is now receiving royalties from twenty producing wells on his estate. On a prominent hill overlooking the Verdigris River stands his home, a large roomy old house, containing many modern improvements. Good barns and outbuildings have been erected some distance from the house and his orchard bears most satisfactory fruit.
In 1891 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. DeVan to Miss Mahala Palone, a daughter of Adam and Mary (Parris) Palone. Her parents were pioneer settlers in Indian Territory. The father is deceased. His widow is living at the age of seventy-eight years. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. DeVan three children have been born: The eldest daughter, Addie, is the wife of W. R. Nation and they have three children: William, Robert and John; the second child, Carrie, is now Mrs. Guy Wilson, and the mother of three children, Irma, Irine and Benjamin; the youngest daughter, Eva, is the wife of Guy Holland and they have one child, Junetta.
Mr. DeVan has held the office of County commissioner since statehood, save for the years 1910 and 1911, and in that capacity, as in every other, he has won the confidence and respect of his fellowmen. Fraternally he is a Mason, having attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite, and he is likewise affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.