Benjamin Augustus Henlen, M. D.As a prominent member of the medical profession of Kansas, in which state he was in active practice for more than twenty years, and as a citizen of Herington who was actively identified with nearly every phase of her development, Dr. Henlen is entitled to distinctive recognition in this publication.
Benjamin A. Henlen was a native of Pennsylvania and was born in North Washington, Butler county, Dec. 23, 1848, son of Christopher and Nancy (Lowe) Henlen. Christopher Henlen was a successful merchant and was prominent in the commercial, civic and social life of his section. Both he and his wife were born and lived in Pennsylvania. They were the parents of five children, of whom three continued to live in the East, Dr. Henlen and a sister, Florence, now a resident of South Pasadena, Cal., coming to the West, and the sister was a member of the Doctor's family for several years. The parents were devout members of the Lutheran church, active in its affairs, and their charities were many and generous.
Dr. Henlen was reared in North Washington and acquired his early education in its public schools. This he supplemented by a course in the West Sunbury Academy and later graduated in the Iron City Business College, in Pittsburgh. A desire to become a physician led to his entering the medical department of Western Reserve University, at Cleveland, Ohio, and he was graduated with the class of 1875. He located for practice in his native town of North Washington, where he remained eight years, established a paying business and enjoyed the confidence of the community. In 1883 he came to Kansas and located at Garrison, Pottawatomie county, remaining until 1887, when he removed to Herington. He established a drug business, in connection with his practice, and it became the leading enterprise of its kind in the city and one of the most extensive and profitable in Dickinson county. As a physician he was recognized as one of the most skillful and successful in central Kansas. He was a close student and a tireless worker and was often sought for in consultation by his fellow practitioners. He kept thoroughly abreast of the times by post-graduate work and considered the time and money well spent. During the winter of 1886-87 he did post-graduate work in the Jefferson Medical College, at Philadelphia, and made a study of skin diseases at the Philadelphia Hospital, receiving diplomas from each. In 1895 he spent some time in post-graduate work in the Bellevue Hospital, the New York Post-graduate Medical School, New York City, receiving a certificate of study. He was an active and influential member of the Dickinson County and the Kansas State Medical societies and a member of the American Medical Association. Dr. Henlen attained to the Knight Templar degree in Masonry and for many years was identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He was president of the board of trustees of the Presbyterian church at the time of his death and had been a member of the board for many years. He was deeply interested in educational affairs, gave liberally of his time in this connection, and was treasurer of the school board at the time of his death. He was a lifelong Republican, but was too closely occupied professionally to entertain public office had he so desired. His commercial interests were large and there was no enterprise calculated to assist in the development of Herington but found him ready to assist with time and money. He was for many years a director of the First National Bank of Herington. In his death, Feb. 24, 1904, Dickinson county was deprived of the services of one of her most aggressive and progressive citizens.
Dr. Henlen married, Sept. 14, 1876, Miss Thalia A., daughter of Samuel A. and Hannah M. (Thompson) Campbell of North Washington, Pa. Dr. Henlen is survived by his widow and a daughter, Florence C., the wife of Raymond G. Tripp, a civil engineer of Topeka, Kan. One other child, a daughter, died in infancy. Mrs. Tripp is a graduate of the Herington High School and completed a three-years course at the University of Kansas, the serious illness of her mother preventing her attendance during her senior year. Dr. Henlen was in all respects a high type of the conservative, unassuming American, diligent in his professional duties and commercial affairs and conscientious in all things.Pages 1376-1377 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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