Benjamin LeGrande, prominent citizen of South Haven, Kan., is a native of Virginia and a descendant of old Virginia families, on both his paternal and maternal sides. He was born May 21, 1861, at historic Appomattox Court House, and is a son of Peter A. and Caroline M. (LeGrande) LeGrande, both natives of Virginia. The father was born at Lynchburg in January, 1830. Like the average Virginian, when the Civil war came on he cast his lot with his native State and supported the cause of the Confederacy, becoming a captain in the Southern army. He was a gallant soldier and went to his death while in the line of duty. He was killed at the battle of Gettysburg, July 3, 1863. Caroline M. LeGrande, the wife and mother, was born at Appomattox Court House, December 6, 1829. She was a Virginia school teacher before her marriage, and in 1869 removed from Virginia to Missouri with her little family, and died in Lawrence county, that State, October 9, 1906. Benjamin M. LeGrande is the only surviving member of a family of five children, he being the youngest. The names of the others are as follows: William Walker; Carrie; Peter A., and Archer. Benjamin M. came to Missouri with his mother in 1869 and they located in Lawrence county, and here he attended the public schools, and later the Baptist College. In 1886 he became a traveling salesman for a harvester company, and afterwards was engaged in the agricultural implement business at Springfield for five years. In 1891 he came to Kansas, where he was engaged in the agriculture business eighteen years, and in 1909 engaged in the real estate, loan and insurance business, which he has since followed. Mr. LeGrande has built up an extensive business in the vicinity of South Haven, in both the States of Kansas and Oklahoma. He is a progressive business man who does things, and by right methods has built up a large business. He is a writer of considerable ability, and a frequent contributor to the press on topics chiefly relating to conditions and advantages of Sumner county and that vicinity. His ability as a writer gives him considerable advantage over the average business man, in the way of writing advertisements, in which he sets forth the merits of Sumner county in entertaining poetry and convincing prose.
He was married, September 19, 1887, to Miss Minnie F., daughter of George W. and Mate (Cook) Bills, of Valparaiso, Ind., where she was born September 18, 1861. They have no children of their own, but have taken a special interest in orphans, and have reared and educated seven orphan children. Their noble work in this great field of true charity did not stop there. For over ten years he has acted as agent for the Children's Aid Society, of New York City, and during that time has found permanent homes for twenty-six orphan children. Mr. LeGrande is a crayon artist and cartoonist of no mean ability, but has never commercialized his ability in that direction, but does a great deal of blackboard work, which is both instructive and entertaining, especially in Sunday school work. Mr. and Mrs. LeGrande are members of the Congregational church and he is chairman of the board of trustees. His fraternal affiliations are with the time-honored Masonic lodge and he has been secretary of the South Haven lodge for many years.Pages 534-535 from a supplemental volume 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 October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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