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Benjamin Franklin Simpson

Wyandotte Constitutional Delegate. Born: October 24, 1836, Belmont County, Ohio. Married: Augusta L. Redfield-Buford, March 15, 1862. Died:August 10, 1916, Paola, Kansas.

B. F. Simpson was the youngest delegate of the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention at age 23.  He was born in Belmont County, Ohio, on October 24, 1836, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar just prior to his move to Kansas Territory in 1857. Simpson was unmarried at the time of the convention, living in Paola with an Ohio-born millwright named E. McClure. Almost immediately he became involved in local politics and public service-elected Miami County attorney in 1858. He continued practicing law in that village, married in Paola on March 15, 1862, a widow, Augusta L. Redfield-Buford, who had one son, and by 1870 the couple had three children of their own: Frank, Carrie, and Martha. The family grew and prospered, and within another decade added two sons, two daughters, and two black domestic servants. In the years following his service at the convention, Simpson represented Miami County in the territorial legislature, was elected Kansas's first attorney general under the Wyandotte Constitution on December 6, 1859 (served, February to July 1861; resigned this position to enlist in the army), and served as captain of Co. C, 15th Kansas Cavalry, throughout the Civil War (promoted to major, June 7, 1865). Subsequently, Simpson was active in the Republican Party and elected to several terms in the state legislature (both the house and the senate), serving as speaker of the house for the 1871 session. He was appointed United States marshal for the District of Kansas in 1878 (until 1886) and served as a supreme court commissioner from March 5, 1887, to March 1, 1893. He died in Paola on August 10, 1916.

Entry: Simpson, Benjamin Franklin

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2011

Date Modified: January 2013

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.