Ben Franklin

Church in Ben Franklin, Delta County, Texas

Church in Ben Franklin, Delta County, Texas

Ben Franklin is an unincorporated community in Delta County, Texas. Photograph by Michael Barera.
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Map of Delta County

Ben Franklin is on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad and Farm roads 38 and 128 four miles northeast of Pecan Gap in northwestern Delta County. The settlement was located on Benjamin Simmons's land grant and named for his son. The Simmons family, along with the Birdwells and Hogues, arrived in the area in 1835 and were among the first settlers. The first post office was established by Isaac B. Nelson in 1853 at his one-room cabin on the crossroads. The community, at that time in Lamar County, supported cotton gins, the Greenville Smith sawmill, and the Wynn and Donaldson distillery. In 1854 Taliaferro B. Chaffin donated two acres for a Methodist Episcopal church. Citizens built the structure from materials provided by Smith's sawmill. Funds raised from the sale of whiskey supplied by the distillery paid the pastor's $190 annual salary. The post office was closed in 1859 but reopened in 1867.

Mary Dinnie taught the first school in the settlement, probably established shortly after the Civil War in the vacant side of a double log feed crib. A new facility, though not much more elaborate, was constructed two years later, and a man named Moore taught classes there. In 1870 B. F. Nidever opened the first livery stable and began a stage line to the county seat. By 1884 Ben Franklin was a school district; the community had a population of 200 and thrice-weekly mail service. Cotton ginning and shipment were the major businesses, but others included three sawmills, a shingle manufacturer, two flour mills, and a feed mill. The town also had three general stores, the McGinnis and Company saloon, a restaurant, an apothecary shop, and a blacksmith shop.

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Vista K. McCroskey | © TSHA

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Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Ben Franklin is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Ben Franklin is classified as a Town


Latitude: 33.47677360
Longitude: -95.76885110

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated


Population Count, 2009