Name: Benjamin Preston WEST
Birth: 7 MAR 1889 in Corsicana, TX Navaro Co.
Death: 29 AUG 1943 in Clovis, NM
BENJAMIN PRESTON WEST
Ben West and family lived in the East Mound community from 1919 until 1931. They first lived on Jesse Marlin's place about 9 miles east of Plainview then on a rented quarter section south of the railroad about 7 miles east of town.
Ben was born 7 March 1889 in the Navarro County jail, Corsicana, TX. His father, Hezekiah Preston "Ki" West was sheriff there from 1886 to 1890. His mother was Mary Florence Durham, grand-daughter of Eleazer Nash, a citizen of the Republic of Texas from 1844. Eleazer, b. Granby, MA. 24 December 1801, was a descendant of Thomas Nash, (1587-1658), who debarked at Boston 26 July 1637. One progenitor, Lt. Eleazer Nash (1720-1775) marched on the Lexington alarm in the American Revolution.
In 1891 the Ki West family moved to Eldorado, OK. Territory where on 9 March 1913, Ben married Lela Mae Lawrence, 1894-1961.
In 1917 Ben and Lela filed on a 320 acre homestead near Blackfoot, Idaho where Ben farmed part time and worked as a locomotive fireman on the Union Pacific railroad. Ben liked railroad work and was pleased with the prospect of the homestead. Lela loathed the isolation of the homestead and wanted to be nearer her family. She returned to Eldorado for the birth of their third child, Ira B., b. 15 April 1919, never to see Idaho again.
Ben and Lela had three children, all born at her parents home at Eldorado, OK: Eva Christine West, Clinton Embrey West, and Ira Benjamin West, now living in retirement in San Antonio, TX.
Eva, Clinton, and Ira B. attended East Mound school. Usually they walked the 2 1/2 miles to school. At one time Ben bought a little mare thinking the three kids could ride her to school. But the mare didn't like three on a horse and when more than one would mount, she would just lie down. Ben bought a cart, but the mare didn't like that either. She laid down while hooked to the cart and the kids had to continue walking to school.
Clinton and Ira helped with the milking of five or six cows and took turns cranking the De La Valve cream separator. Cream was collected in 10 gallon cans to be delivered to the creamery in Plainview on Saturday. The skimmed milk was fed to the calves and hogs. Milk for family use was kept in crocks in a wooded trough through which cool water from the windmill ran continuously.
Ben was a hard worker. In the early 20's he owned a threshing machine; the stationary kind, powered by a coal burning Rumley engine. It gobbled up bundles of wheat that were fed it, separated the grain into a bin and spewed the chaff out the back into a giant haystack that was fun to play in.
In the mid 20's Ben was foreman of a construction job to build a road from Olton toward Levelland. This was a dirt project, earth being moved by "slips", "fresnos", and dump wagons drawn by horses or mules.
In the mid to late twenties Ben raised chickens, a thousand or so at a time, and sold fertile eggs to the hatchery in Plainview. The cull fryers were sold in Plainview too.
When the depression hit Plainview in 1929 and there was no market for fryers, the West family at a lot of chicken!! These were lean years. Much of the 1929 wheat crop was destroyed by hail and the wheat that was harvested brought only 30 cents a bushel at the Aiken elevator. The Chevrolet sedan that had replaced the Model T Ford in 1929 went back to the dealer in 1930. Ben took a job at the Cox Dairy Farm west of Plainview working from well before daylight until after dark seven days a week for a dollar a day.
In the spring of 1931 he went over to Clovis where he called on an old boyhood friend, and fellow Mason, Carl Hatch, then District Judge and later U. S. Senator from New Mexico. Carl Hatch arranged for Ben to get a job with the New Mexico Highway Department. The starting pay was eighty five dollars a month. Later Ben became District Foreman at Clovis and remained with the Highway Department until illness forced his retirement a year or so before his death 29 August 1943 in Clovis.
At Plainview High School, Eva Christine West was a star center on the girls basketball team. She attended Cameron College, Lawton, OK until her marriage to Roger Black. After the birth of a son, Roger Gilbert Black, she divorced her husband and returned to college. She received the first Associate of Arts Diploma issued by the new Eastern New Mexico Junior College at Portales, NM. After teaching school a few years she married Russell Wells. They had three daughters; Carolyn, Gloria, and Marilyn. Eva died 10 Sept.1961 in Albuquerque.
Clinton Embrey West graduated from Clovis High and was for several years a machinist at the Santa Fe shops in Clovis. He married Aleane Dickinson of Clovis and they had two children; Joyce Elaine West, and John Wayne West. Clinton died 6 August 1964 in Hereford, TX.
Ira B. West graduated from Clovis High School in 1937 and attended Eastern New Mexico College until the spring of 1941. He worked as a locomotive fireman on the Santa Fe until he entered the Navy in October 1941. After graduating from flight training and being commissioned Ensign in Sept. 1942, he married Jenna V. Setser in Clovis, NM. Of that union were born Thomas Ben West, 1 Aug, 1946, and died 14 Feb. 1974, and Carol West, born 26 Oct. 1950.
After 28 years in the Navy, Ira retired as a Commander in July, 1969. After Jenna's death he married Catherine Varner Smith, 27 Dec. 1980. They live in San Antonio, TX.
Tom West graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1968 and married Elizabeth Jane Goodhart, 8 June 1968. Two children of that marriage are: Thomas Raymond West and Matthew Setser West. Their father died in the crash of a Navy Jet Attack aircraft in night maneuvers near NAS Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, 14, Feb. 1974.
His sister Carol was promoted to Captain of the USN in January 1996, and is stationed in San Diego, California.
Children of Benjamin Preston and Lela Mae Lawrence West:
1. Eva Christine West, b. Feb. 21, 1914; d. Sept. 10, 1962. Md. 1st) Roger Black,
b. 1912. They had one son:
A. Roger Gilbert Black, b. July 11, 1933. Md. Nov. 1969 to Rosalie A. Lowe
a. Diane Marie Black
b. Karen Elizabeth Black
c. Debra L Snyder (stepdaughter)
d. Susan Snyder (stepdaughter)
Eva Md. 2nd) Lloyd Russell Wells, and they had three daughters:
A. Carolyn Mable Wells, b. Aug. 24, 1942. Md. Carroll Wayne Rust, b. Aug. 13,
1938. They have four children:
a. Glenda Carol Rust, b. Dec. 11, 1962
b. Carroll Wayne Rust, II; b. Nov. 4, 1963
c. Evelyn Christine Rust, b. Dec. 4, 1964
d. David Eugene Rust, b. Oct. 15, 1970
B. Gloria Helen Wells
C. Marilyn Dee Wells, b. Jan 11, 1950
2. Clinton Embry West, b. Oct. 19, 1916; d. Aug. 20, 1964. Md. Oct. 12, 1942 to:
Aleane Dickinson, b. Nov. 18, 1917. She lives in Hereford, TX. They had two
A. Joyce Elaine West, b. May 14, 1944. Md. Lynton Allred. Children:
a. Michael Stephen Allred, b. July 6, 1966
b. Bradley Sterling Allred, b. Feb. 26, 1969
B. Johnnie Wayne West, b. March 7, 1952; Md. Debbie____. Children:
a. Daniel Shane West, b. Feb. 23, 1977
b. Laura Elaine West, b. June 19, 1980?
c. Brent Alan West, b. Jan. 15, 1984
3. Ira B. West, b. April 15, 1919; Md. Sept. 29, 1942 to Jenna V. Setser, b. July 28,
1920. They had the following children:
A. Thomas Ben West, b. Aug. 1, 1946; d. Feb. 14, 1974. Md. June 8, 1968 to
Jane Elizabeth Goodhart. They had two sons:
a. Thomas Raymond West, b. May 11, 1969
b. Matthew Setser West, b. May 27, 1971
B. Carol West, b. Oct. 26, 1950
Ira Md. 2nd) to: Catherine Varner Smith, Dec. 27, 1980. They live in San Antonio,
Father: Hezekiah Preston WEST b: 9 NOV 1854 in Mayfield, KY
Mother: Mary Florence DURHAM b: 9 OCT 1858 in Corsicana, TX Navaro Co.
Lela Mae LAWRENCE b: 18 FEB 1894
7 MAR 1913
in Eldorado, OK. Indian Territory
- Living WEST
- Living WEST
- Living WEST