Biography of Capt. Benjamin F. Bodenhamer
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CAPT. BENJAMIN F. BODENHAMER. It has been clearly demonstrated time and time again that “honesty is the best policy,” and while a man may not gain wealth so rapidly, yet he can look his fellowman in the face without fear of reproach, and know that he has wronged no one, and therefore can thoroughly enjoy what he has. Such a man is Capt. B. F. Bodenhamer, who was born in Greene County, Missouri, in 1843, the son of Chapman W., who was a native of Giles County, Tennessee, and grandson of Jacob Bodenhamer, who was one of the very earliest settlers of Greene County, Missouri, his farm being situated on the prairie about six miles east of Springfield. Chapman W. Bodenhamer came to Baxter County, Arkansas, from Webster County, Missouri, in 1880, and here is still living at the age of seventy years. His attention has been given to farming all his life, and he was for some time judge of the County Court of Webster County. During the war he was a member of the Missouri State Militia. His wife, who was Lucy W. Burford, was born in Tennessee.
In Webster County Benjamin F. Bodenhamer attended the common schools for some time, then entered Wyman University of St. Louis, which he attended until the spring of 1862. In July of that year he dropped his books and entered the Federal service, becoming a member of Company E Eighth Missouri Infantry, as a private, from which he was promoted to a captaincy. He was with the Eighth Missouri throughout the entire war, and served in Missouri, Arkansas and Tennessee, taking part in the battles of Prairie Grove, Forsyth, Bloomfield, Missouri, Devall’s Bluff, Little Rock, besides other engagements of less note and numerous skirmishes. He was never severely wounded. and August 5, 1865, was honorably discharged at St. Louis, after which he returned home. He then attended school for one year and then turned his attention to merchandising in Webster County, Missouri In 1871 he came to what is now Baxter County, at Mountain Home, in partnership with G. Potter, but at the end of seven years became associated with J. H. Case in his stead, and this connection lasted two years. Following this he was associated with James Littlefield eight years, and since then has been in business alone. During all this time he has also given much attention to farming and handling stock, and has met with fair success. He and James Littlefield are the joint owners of five farms, and he owns three farms of his own in various portions of the county, his own land amounting to 450 acres and that which he owns with Mr. Littlefield 880 acres. His time is fully occupied and he may be termed one of the “hustlers” of Baxter County, for his property has been acquired through his own good management and foresight. Although he is active in politics and a stanch Republican, he is not an official aspirant, for he has no time for that work, his entire attention being required in the management of his business interests. He is a member of the I.O.O. F., in which he has attained to the encampment, and he has represented his lodge in the Grand Lodge of the State. In 1875 he was married to Lily B. Howard, of this county, but a native of Wisconsin, and by her has six sons and one daughter. Mrs. Bodenhamer is a member of the Christian Church and is an amiable and worthy lady.