Jefferson County Historical Society

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Benjamin F. England was born on the Plattin Creek, in March, 1843, on 
a farm on which his father settled on coming to Jefferson County, in
1835.  His ancestors, it is supposed, resided in North Carolina, and 
were connected with the celebrated Indian Chief "Ross," who lived in 
North Carolina prior to the removal of the Indian tribes west of the
Mississippi.  James R., the father of Benjamin F., was a native of
Tennessee, born in 1809, and when quite young came with his father to
Washington County, Mo., where he (James R.) served an apprenticeship 
at the tanner's trade.  In 1835 he came to Jefferson County, and opened 
a farm on the Plattin Creek.  He married Miss Margaret, daughter of
James M. McCormac, who was born in 1792, and who came with his father,
Peter P. McCormac, to Jefferson County, in 1800.  Mr. England remained
on his farm on Plattin Creek until a few months prior to his death,
when he moved near Bailey Station, and died here January 17, 1866.  He
was the father of six children who reached maturity, three sons and 
three daughters.  The fourth, the subject of this sketch, was reared 
at home, and educated in the common country schools.  He was naturally
endowed with good business ability, and at the age of seventeen began
a business career on his own account.  He and his brother operated a
farm at Bailey Station, and the next year with a partner engaged in
merchandising at the same place.  Two years later the business was 
removed to Hematite, but for two years Mr. England had charge of the 
farm.  In 1866 he purchased his brother's interest in the same and 
assumed charge in person, but eleven months later he sold the place to
a good advantage, and spent some time in Arkansas looking for a suitable 
location.  Not being satisfied, he returned to Missouri, and he,in 
company with his brother-in-law, E. F. Donnell, purchased 1,700 acres of 
land in the vicinity of Rush Tower.  After various changes in the firm, 
Mr. England became sole proprietor and owner.  He built a store, 
dwelling, warehouse, etc., which became the leading grain depot in 
Jefferson County.  December 8, 1863 he married Miss Amanda C., the
daughter of William B. Weaver.  She was born in Jefferson County and 
by her marriage became the mother of the following four children: 
Lottie Belle, Laura E., Orcart H. and Maggie Hoyt.  In 1875 over
30,000 bushels of wheat were shipped from our subject's grain depot,
Mr. England alone raising 2,200 bushels that year.  He operated the 
store until 1876, when he leased it and repaired to the farm two miles
west, but soon again engaged in merchandising.  In 1881 he made an 
extended tour through Dakota, California, etc., again looking for a
suitable location, but returned to Jefferson County, and in 1885 
engaged in merchandising. Since 1886 he has leased the store and devoted
his time to agricultural pursuits, and in the breeding of short horned
cattle.  Again, in June, 1887, he went to California, in pursuit of a
better location, but returned, not satisfied with a change.  Prior to
1871 he had served several years as postmaster at Rush Tower, but has
filled that position continuously since.  He is largely interested in
the R. E. Lee Gold Mine, at the Black Hills, also the Big Indian Silver
Mines at Georgetown, Cal.,; besides this he has an interest in the most
promising silver mines of North Missouri.  Mr. England's success has 
been largely due to his economy and good management.