Thursday, April 6, 2017

Thou Art Greatly Beloved!

     What wonderful words to be said of anyone, and especially our subject today, Benjamin Taylor Ristine!  He was born in Gallatin County, Kentucky, in 1807 and lived for a while in Madison, Indiana.  Ben's father, Henry, was a ranger in the War of 1812, and having traveled through the Wabash Valley,  picked Montgomery County as a place to raise his young family. They moved by wagon from Madison, Indiana, in 1823, taking ten days to make the journey. They purchased land in section 31, next to Ambrose Whitlock, on property which is now Farmington Hills subdivision. They built a "log hotel" in the downtown area, kept that until 1829, moved away, moved back and bought another public house east of the courthouse. Young Ben worked in the hotel business, while "reading" for the law.  He abandoned law, and ran a dry-goods business for seven years.  He resumed the law, and was admitted to the bar in 1840. He was in partnership with several lawyers: William T. Noel, Hosea D. Humphreys, and Alexander Thompson.  He later partnered with two of his own sons--Theodore and Hosea.
from Beasley's Crawfordsville Directory for 1878-79
   Ben married Hosea Humphrey's sister, Florinda, in 1837, and produced six sons, and one daughter-- they became two attorneys, two doctors, a farmer, and a soldier, and a well-placed daughter.  Albert, the soldier, died immediately after the Civil War, of illness. 
   In his full front page obituary of the Crawfordsville Weekly Journal on January 1, 1897, high praises rang across the page for this early settler and well-regarded attorney. He was held with great esteem by all those who knew him across the state of Indiana, and in our own vicinity. The Ristine name would go on to be intertwined throughout the history of Montgomery County, and a search on our library database will provide much proof of this. 

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