Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
BENJAMIN F. TEGARDEN. In studying the life record of Benjamin F. Tegarden it will be seen that he is the possessor of those attributes which never fail to win success if persistently and properly directed, as has evidently been done in his case, for he has accomplished definite results in many lines of human endeavor, including extensive mining operations, a large meat packing business and at present he ranks among the most progressive agriculturalists and stockmen of Greene county, being proprietor of beautiful "Clover Leaf Hereford Farm" in Murray township, where he is carrying on farming under the most approved and advanced twentieth century methods and is making a specialty of handling a high-grade of live stock.
Mr. Tegarden was born December 15, 1857, in Orange county, Indiana. He is a son of Andrew and Sarah (Fisher) Tegarden. The father was born in Kentucky in 1802, where he spent his boyhood, and located in Indiana in 1818, when sixteen years of age, with his parents, Basil Tegarden and wife, and he spent the remainder of his life in Orange county, that state, on the farm where he first located. He made many visits to Missouri but never established his home in this state. He devoted his active life to general farming and made live stock raising a specialty. He prospered through his able management and judicious dealings with his fellow men, and became one of the leading farmers of Orange county, owning seven hundred and sixty acres of valuable land at the time of his death. He was well informed on general topics and an influential man in the affairs of his community. He was very successful in a business way and accumulated considerable wealth all through his individual efforts, for he started out in life without a dollar. His death occurred November 8, 1872, at the age of seventy years. He was known as a man of public-spirits, charitably inclined and a true friend to those worthy of his friendship, and he was widely known and highly esteemed for his many fine qualities. Andrew Tegarden was three times married, first to a Miss Lee, by which union four children were born, namely: William Henry, Abraham, John and Jane, all now deceased. His second wife, Mrs. _____ Finley, bore him five children, namely: Joseph, Polly Ann, Sally, Amanda, all four deceased; and Preston, who lives in Fort Scott, Kansas. His third wife, Sarah Fisher, was born in Orange county, Indiana, in 1822, and her death occurred January 16, 1877, at the age of fifty-five years. Ten children were born to this last union, named as follows: Benjamin F., of this sketch; David Andrew lives in Kansas; Winfield Scott lives in Arkansas; Elijah Elsworth lives in Kansas; Ulysses Grant lives in Springfield, Missouri; Robert Basil makes his home in Arkansas; Mrs. Cora Dell Carr, of Indiana, and John Reed, of California, were twins; Elmer J. is a resident of Louisiana; the youngest child died in infancy.
Benjamin F. Tegarden spent his boyhood days on his father's farm in Orange county, Indiana, and there he learned the various phases of agricultural pursuits which stood him so well in hand in later life, and he received his early education in the public schools of his native community, but left school at the age of thirteen years, when his father died, continuing to assist with the work on the home place until he was eighteen years of age, when he struck out in life for himself, and he is today a fine example of a successful self-made man. He began his career by working in a brick yard, keeping his eyes open the meanwhile and learning thoroughly the brick making business, spending three years in the same yard. He also learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed two years. For some time he devoted his attention to well drilling in western Kansas. He has traveled extensively, having been in twenty-seven states. Farming has formed no small portion of his life work. He is entitled to rank with the progressive, scientific, well-informed husbandman who is doing much to place this country on an equal basis with the best as an agricultural country. For ten years he engaged in the mining business at Joplin, Missouri, Arkansas, and what was then the Indian Territory. He also followed the show business for three years and the meat packing business for eight years, in partnership with his brother, Ulysses Grant Tegarden, they having founded the Tegarden Packing Company of Springfield, Missouri, which has long been a successful and well-known concern throughout this section of the country. Our subject is no longer connected with this splendid and well-equipped plant, but it is still operated by the Welsh Packing Company. Our subject also followed the meat packing business in Fort Scott, Kansas, for some time. He at present has interests in mines in California. It was in 1904 that he came to Springfield and he resided there until 1913, when he bought his present fine farm of three hundred and sixty acres in Murray township, which is one of the best and most desirable farms in Greene county, none being more highly improved or more productive, however, it was badly "run down" when he took possession of it, but by hard work, the expenditure of ample funds and the application of modern ideas of farming he has transformed it into an estate of which he should be justly proud and which is one of the show places of the township. He has remodeled the barns and painted them an attractive red and made such other improvements as were necessary. He has a feed mill, and his residence is commodious and nicely furnished. The general surroundings are beautiful, and everything about the place indicates thrift, good management and excellent taste. In connection with general farming he is making a specialty of handling Percheron horses and Hereford cattle, being a breeder of the latter. At this writing he has seventy head of cattle and nine head of horses, and is also an extensive raiser of a good grade of hogs. He has worked hard to make his place a model farm in every respect and is realizing the accomplishment of his ambition.
Mr. Tegarden was married on December i8, i8go, to Margaret Crawford, who was bom in Iowa, a daughter of Harvey and Mary (Riley) Crawford, both n atives of Indiana and both now deceased. They spent their early days in their native state, finally establishing their home in Iowa, where they became comfortably located and were well known and highly respected and there Mrs. Tegardert grew to womanhood and was educated. She has proved to be a fit helpmeet to her energetic husband in every way and no little amount of his success has been due to her encouragement and counsel.
The union of Mr. and Mrs. Teagarden has been blessed by the birth of three children, namely: Hazel Dorothy, who married George Bolds, who is now connected with the Kansas City Star, and he is also a vaudeville sketch and song writer of some note and has placed two benefit shows on in Kansas City which were a success; this marriage has been without issue. Harvey married Nellie Harrison, a native of Greene county; he lives with his father, whom he is assisting on the home farm; he and his wife have one child, Benjamin F., Jr., Bernice, the youngest of our subject's children, is at home with her parents.
Politically, Mr. Teagarden is a Progressive, is a man of liberal views on civic, religious and other questions, and while he takes much interest in public matters has never sought or held office and has no fraternal affiliations. He is essentially a business man and a home man, never better contented than when by his own cheerful fireside with his mutually happy family. Mrs. Tegarden is a member of the Methodist church. They are both known to their neighbors as hospitable, helpful and kindly disposed.
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