Benjamin Franklin Stetson (1846-1930)

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Benjamin Franklin Stetson
Birth: December 25, 1846 (1846-12-25) (170 years ago)
North Providence, Rhode Island
Death: March 4, 1930 (age 83)
Ludlow, Kentucky
Father: Nathaniel Whitaker Stetson (I)
Mother: Louisa M. Lawton
Spouse/Partner: Mary Ellen Stafford
Marriage: December 1, 1875
Grant County, Kentucky

Benjamin Franklin ("Frank") Stetson was born December 25, 1846 in North Providence, Rhode Island to Nathaniel Whitaker Stetson and Louisa M. (Lawton) Stetson.

Civil WarEdit

Before the Civil War, Frank was living near Freedom, Maine where he was a farmer. He enlisted for three years at Bangor, Maine as a private in Company H, 11th Maine Infantry on September 5, 1862 at "age 18". (Clearly, he lied about his age.) He was described as having blue eyes, brown hair, light complexion, and standing 5 feet 7 inches tall.[1]

Frank was discharged from the 11th Maine on November 23, 1863 at Morris Island, South Carolina "In consequence of diarrhea accompanied with 'chills' or 'shakes' contracted while in the line of his duty on or about July 1st 1863." In his examination, the regimental surgeon stated that he had "chronic diarrhea, following intermittent fevers from which he has suffered during the last four months. He is quite feeble, lower extremities edematous. Disability total now. He is under age--unfit for the Invalid Corps."[2]

He reenlisted for three years at Augusta, Maine as a private in Company I, 7th Maine Infantry on June 22, 1864.[3] Because the 7th Maine Infantry had lost so many men due to battles and disease, it was consolidated with men from the 5th Maine Infantry and 6th Maine Infantry whose enlistments had not yet expired. The new regiment was designated the 1st Maine Veteran Infantry Regiment. Frank was transferred to Company I on August 21, 1864. He mustered out with the regiment in Washington, D.C. on June 28, 1865.

Regular ArmyEdit

Frank enlisted as a private in Company B, 3rd Battalion, 13th U.S. Infantry at Memphis, Tennessee on December 20, 1865 and assigned to Jefferson Barracks, Missouri on January 1, 1866. He was promoted to corporal January 12, 1866.

The muster rolls for October 1867 state that Frank "Deserted Sept 1st 1867" and was "apprehended Sept 5 / 67. He was tried for desertion, found guilty and duly sentenced." On February 1, 1868, he was reduced in rank to private. Frank was later transferred to Company E, 22nd U.S. Infantry in May 1869 during consolidation.

His regiment served at Fort Stevenson, Dakota Territory (near present-day Garrison, North Dakota) which served as a supply base for Fort Totten. Stevenson was constructed of adobe bricks and was ill-prepared for the harsh Dakota winters. The winter of 1868-69 was particularly brutal with temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and snow accumulation above the barracks windows. Frank and many other men were dishonorably discharged on July 13, 1869 at Fort Stevenson per General Court Martial Order No. 36. He had been found guilty of "Mutinous conduct committed on or about Feby 11 / 69."[4]

Later lifeEdit

After his service in the regular army, Frank moved to Kentucky where he took up residence in Gallatin County, Grant County, Lincoln County, Boone County, and Kenton County. He worked for the Louisville & Nashville Railroad as a switchman for many years. Frank was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and frequently visited the National Military Home in Dayton, Ohio.

He died in Ludlow, Kentucky on March 4, 1930 and is buried in Highland Cemetery, Fort Mitchell, Kentucky.


Name Birth Death
Children of Benjamin Franklin Stetson and Mary Ellen (Stafford) Stetson

Charles W. Stetson 1 April 1876
22 September 1877

Louisa Elizabeth ("Bettie") Stetson 11 September 1877
6 December 1929
Cincinnati, Ohio

Laura A. Stetson 6 May 1879
11 January 1959

Willie Myrtle Stetson 3 April 1881
19 May 1967
Covington, Kentucky

James Franklin Stetson 3 October 1883
Verona, Kentucky
10 May 1956
Cincinnati, Ohio

George Grover Cleveland Stetson 7 Mar 1886
11 January 1895

Mary Jane Stetson 31 January 1888
10 February 1888

Maggie C. Stetson 20 March 1890
12 August 1891

Martha Francis ("Mattie") Stetson 24 May 1892
13 June 1973
Ludlow, Kentucky

Michael L. Stetson 21 June 1894
6 July 1905

Nathaniel W. ("Nat") Stetson 16 July 1896
McKinney, Kentucky
16 December 1951
Ludlow, Kentucky

Patrick D. Stetson 25 June 1898
26 June 1899


From his paternal great-grandmother Temperance Curtis, Benjamin Franklin Stetson is a direct descendant of Mayflower passengers Edward Doty, Stephen & Elizabeth (Fisher) Hopkins, and Francis Cooke. From his maternal grandfather, he is a direct descendant of Mayflower passengers John Alden, Priscilla Mullins, John Cooke, Francis Cooke, Richard Warren, and William & Alice Mullins.

Benjamin Franklin Stetson's ancestors in three generations
Benjamin Franklin Stetson (1846-1930) Father:
Nathaniel Whitaker Stetson (I) (1816-1885)
Paternal Grandfather:
Nathaniel Stetson (II) (1795-1887)
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Nathaniel Stetson (I) (1771-1846)
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Temperance Curtis (abt 1773-1808)
Paternal Grandmother:
Elizabeth D. ("Betsy") Whitaker (abt 1795-aft 1860)
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Louisa M. Lawton (1822-1849)
Maternal Grandfather:
Isaac Lawton (abt 1786-1865)
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Thomas Lawton (abt 1761-1812)
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Sarah Wilcox (1767-aft 1860)
Maternal Grandmother:
Abigail (Abby) Fink (abt 1795-1863)
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Maternal Great-grandmother:


  1. ^ B. F. Stetson discharge, 1863
  2. ^ B. F. Stetson discharge, 1863
  3. ^ B. F. Stetson enlistment, 1864
  4. ^ U.S. War Dept., 189?


  • 1850 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1860 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1900 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1910 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1920 U.S. Federal Census
  • Benjamin F. Stetson, certificate of disability for discharge, November 23, 1863
  • Benjamin F. Stetson, correspondence of the Adjutant General's Office, War Department, 189? to the Commissioner of Pensions
  • Benjamin F. Stetson, volunteer enlistment paper, June 22, 1864
  • U.S. Army Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914
  • U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles

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