Benjamin F. Maddox
1844 ~ 1924
Benjamin F. Maddox was born in Bracken Co., KY, and was named after his uncle Benjamin. He was in the census of 1850, age 6, living with his family there in Bracken on a farm just outside of Foster's Landing on the Ohio River. His mother died when he was only eight years old. How sad for him. His father, William, remarried, but in 1860 he was age 16, living with his father who was now widowed a second time.
On December 10, 1861, he enlisted in Co. E, 57th Illinois Infantry, listing his home as Tuscola. He was mustered in on Dec. 26. His cousin Benjamin F. Maddox, son of his uncle Benjamin Maddox, enlisted in Co. I, 58th Illinois Inf, listing his home as Comargo. In 1863, he re-enlisted as a Veteran Volunteer on December 27. He was assigned to the 58th Illinois Infantry where cousin Ben Maddox had served. He was discharged at Louisville, KY, July 7, 1865. Though a normal enlistment period was six months, Ben served four years. [Thanks to descendant Helen Schoenman for obtaining the information about the two Benjamin F. Maddoxes at the national archives in Washington D.C. in 2003.]
On September 7, 1866, Ben quit claimed to William Maddox, a lot in Tuscola, Douglas Co., IL. Was this his father or brother William? Evidence leans toward it being his father. [Source: Douglas co., IL, Deed Bk. 11, Pg. 99]
In 1866 Ben moved to Sumner Co., KS, where his older brother, William, moved to about the same time. But he then moved back to Illinois. In the 1870 census, he was living with William Beverly next door to his sister, Sophrona Humble, and was 24 years old.
Then in 1872, he went back to Sumner Co., KS, and married Jane Reid Whaley in Oxford; she had been born in Canada. William Whaley, named after his father, was born in 1873, but he died the following year. Sherman Folks was born in 1874, but he died before he was a year old.. (Ben's brother Sanford had a son named Sherman also.) Then he moved his family to Nebraska. There Lella Eugenia was born in 1877.
Next stop? California. There in Ventura County Harry Embra was born in 1878. Ben was in the 1880 census of San Buenaventura Twp, Ventura Co. His occupation was Bee Keeper as were several of his neighbors. His uncle Benjamin was a fairly wealthy bee keeper among other things back in Illinois. Only two children were at home at this time ~ Lillian 4, and Harry 2. I wonder where William, Sherman and Lella were, only being 7, 6, and 3. Foster (Forest?) Frances (named after two of his brothers) and Maude May were born in 1882 and 1884.
In 1889 Ben Maddox applied for and obtained a veteran's pension in California. [Source: Appl. #733397, Cert. 567332]. On December 20, Ben obtained two tracts of land of unknown size from the Bureau of Land Management in San Bernadino, Twp. 50N, Range 220W, Sections 28 and 33. [Source: Doc. 4816, Ventura Co, CA, Index to Federal Land Records] This was homestead land.
By 1900 Ben was apparently separated. In his household now were B. F., a farmer, Foster F, Harry E, Lila E. and Maud M. The dates of birth were slightly different here than what he gave the Veterans Administration earlier, including Maud M. and Foster F. now being twins. Shortly thereafter, Foster died.
In 1907, his wife died in Ventura. In 1915, he reported to the Veteran's Administration that he was now living at 1735 Hope St., Yucaipa, San Bernardino Co., CA, 25 miles east of Anaheim and on the edge of the desert.
In 1918, brother Sanford Maddox died back in Illinois. In his obituary it listed an un-named brother living in California. This was the only hint that we had and for a long time did not know which brother it was. Due to the efforts of Helen Schoenman in Washington, D.C., we figured out who he was.
In 1920 Benjamin was living as a boarder in the home of Ella J. Shafer at 315 West Ave., Los Angeles, CA. He was age 76. Also in that census in Los Angeles was his unmarried daughter Lelia E. Maddox, 42, living at 6370 Orange, living alone but with no occupation.
Also living in Los Angeles Co., but in S. Pasadena on 811 Park Ave was his unmarried daughter Maud M. Maddox, 36. She too was living alone but with no occupation.
Living in Placer Co. in northern California was son Harry I. Maddox, 45. His occupation was fruit farmer and he was living alone.
Benjamin Maddox died Sept. 29, 1924. He was apparently living with daughter Maude M. Maddox at the time, listed as living at 811 Park Ave., South Pasadena, CA. He died far away from that "old Kentucky home" where he'd been born.
His only son to reach adulthood was Harry Embra Maddox who died in Merced Co., CA, between November 1928 and June 1931. I do not know if he ever married.