BENJAMIN F. MASTERMAN
Independence Daily Reporter, Thursday Evening, October 25, 1906:
DR. MASTERMAN SUCCUMBS AFTER BRIEF ILLNESS
Had Practiced Medicine Independence for 30 Years
Death Caused by Pneumonia
Dr. Benjamin F. Masterman died of pneumonia at this home, 408 North Ninth street, at 8 o’clock this morning after an illness of only four days, at the age of 62 years, 8 months, and 29 days.
The doctor located in this city and commenced the practice of medicine and surgery in 1870 at the age of 26 years, and from that time until death claimed him, enjoyed a lucrative practice and was one of the best known of the leading men in his profession in Southern Kansas.
Deceased was born in Steuben county, New York, but had lived in Kansas over 36 years, and all who knew him during these many years of his activity here speak of him as a man of great ability, a kind neighbor and true friend. Those of his profession feel that in losing Dr. Masterman they have lost a wise counselor and a fearless leader, in medicine and surgery.
Deceased came here not in search of wealth but of health. His close confinement as a drug clerk and as a student of medicine racked his body and the bleak and unsettled west was turned to as the fountain which would restore his health. For nine years after coming to Independence, he ministered to his patients as an under graduate and the, with a breadth of experience and a strong physique, he returned to finish his college work. Accomplishing this in 1880, he returned and resumed his practice in Montgomery county.
At the age of 13, he left the farm in New York and accompanied his father’s family to Salem, Indiana where he entered a drug store as a clerk. From this position he enlisted in Company “E”, 5th Ind. Cavalry, for service in the civil war, and saw service in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Kentucky. The doctor served as hospital steward the last 18 months and was discharged June 14, 1865 and returned to Salem, Ind., and resumed his old place in the drug store. He then took up the study of medicine regularly and was occupied with it till the first of the year 1870, when he left the Ohio Medical College, at Cincinnati, and sought his health and fortune in Kansas. In Montgomery county his achievements have been attained. Here his adaptability to an honored profession was demonstrated; here his efficiency as a public servant were displayed; here his sincerity and honesty as a citizen and his integrity as a man won the confidence and the friendship of all who knew him.
Deceased was made a Mason in Blue Lodge, Chapter and Commandery of Independence and in 1899 was made a Shriner at Leavenworth. In politics he was a Republican. He served one year on the board of education, eight years on the city council, one term as mayor of Independence and four years as county coroner.
The living relatives of deceased are three children, Mrs. Frank Daugherty, wife of M. F. Daugherty of Independence; two sons, Henry L Masterman, who is now attending school at Ypsilanti, Mich., and Emmet M., who is attending the military academy at Orchard Lake, Mich., three brothers, C. E. Masterman, vice-president of the Home National bank at Arkansas City; John Masterman, a prominent business man at Spencer, Iowa; two sisters, Mrs. Nellie Calkins, of Alamosa, Colo.; Mrs. Jennie Edmonds, of Elk City. His two sons and his brothers and sisters have been advised of his death by wire and most of them will reach here today.
South Kansas Tribune, October 31, 1906:
DR. BENJ. MASTERMAN
Soldier, Pioneer, Physician
Our readers will be saddened to know that Dr. B. F. Masterman died last Thursday, at the age of 62 years, 8 months and 20 days. While not the oldest in years he was oldest in continuous service as a physician in this county, having located here in the spring of 1870.
Dr. Masterman was born in Steuben county, N. Y., in 1844, and at the age of 13 went with his parents to Salem, Ind., and there became a drug clerk. He enlisted early in the war in the Fifth Indiana Cavalry, and saw service in the south, but on account of his knowledge of medicine was detailed as hospital steward, and served till June, 1865. When discharged he returned home, went into the drug store, studied medicine, later attending the Ohio Medical College. On account of threatened lung trouble he came west, locating here in 1870, where he demonstrated his ability as a physician and his character as a citizen has been shown for thirty-six years.
From the very first the Doctor enjoyed a large practice which continued to the last, and has always ranked among the advanced of his profession, and has been public spirited and enterprising. Doctor served several terms as councilman and later as mayor, and proved a good one, and the town improved and got back on a financial basis. He also served under two different administrations as president of the board of pension examiners, and was serving a third term as county health officer, and had served as coroner, always with credit to the position filled.
He continued in his practice until the last, having been to Elgin to see a patient the Sunday previous to his death, but never left the house after his return, dying from the effect of a hemorrhage of the lungs. For two years he has lived at the home of his only daughter, Mrs. Frank Daugherty. His son Emmett M., is attending school at Orchard Lake, Mich., and the other son Henry is at school at Ypsilantia, Mich., where his mother went in September.
The Doctor was an enthusiastic Mason, having seen Fortitude lodge grown from its first dispensation, and had earned its honors and taken the degrees up to the Shriner.
He leaves three brothers, E. E., president of the Kansas National Bank, Wichita; A. F., vice-president of the Home National at Arkansas City, and John, a business man at Spencer, Iowa. His sisters are Mrs. Calkins of Alamosa, Col., and Mrs. Edmonds of Elk City.
The funeral was held from the Daugherty home Sunday afternoon, Rev. E. A. Boss officiating in a short service, after which the Knights Templar took charge of the remains and of the interment. The pallbearers were all physicians, members of that degree, and in all there were eighty Sir Knights in line, in addition to the other Masonic Orders, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Grand Army of the Republic, and the Independence Concert Band. The service at the cemetery was deeply impressive.
His sons Ned and Henry came from Michigan where they were attending school, and his brothers, Emmett from Wichita and Bert from Arkansas City, and his sister, Mrs. Edmonds from Elk City.
From History of Montgomery County,
Kansas, By Its Own People, published by L. Wallace Duncan, Iola, Kansas, 1903,
During the period of pioneer settlement of Montgomery county there came to
Independence one of its permanent citizens, a gentleman whose influence and
power made itself felt in after years in the public and professional interests
of the county seat, and whose individuality has stamped itself indelibly upon
the social fabric of the county. This pioneer character was Dr. B. F.
Masterman, of this review, the date of whose advent to his new home was February
He came here, not in search of wealth, but of health. His close
confinement in the old state as a drug clerk and as a student of medicine racked
his body and the bleak and unsettled west was turned to as the fountain which
would restore youth. Although a junior in the preparation for his
profession, the foundation principles of the subject had been well laid and the
work of the senior year was little more than a formality necessary to the
securing of a diploma. Following his inclination, he opened an office for
the practice of medicine and was encouraged in its continuance by the success of
his work and by his love for the profession. For nine years he ministered
to his patients as an undergraduate and then, with a breadth of experience and a
strong physique, he returned to finish his college work in his professional
year. Accomplishing this in 1880, he resumed his practice in Montgomery
Dr. Masterman is of English blood. He was born in Steuben county, New
York, February 5, 1844. His father, Matthew Masterman, was born in
England, came to the United States young, grew to maturity in Steuben county,
New York, and there married Mary E. Runyon. He was for a time a merchant
at Penyan, New York, and left there in 1858 and settled in Washington
county, Indiana, where he died in 1876, at sixty-eight years of age. He
was in politics a Whig, but without ambition for public office. His wife
died in Mazomania, Wisconsin, in 1858, leaving him seven children, six of whom
survive, viz: Mary E., wife of John Runyard of Mazomania, Wisconsin; Dr.
Benj. F., Mrs. Nellie Calkins, of Alamoosa, Colorado; Emmett, of Wichita,
Kansas; Mrs. Jennie Edmunds, of Elk City, Kansas; Albert F., of Reno, Oklahoma.
William, the first child of the family, died in the army while a private in the
11th Wis. Vols., war of the Rebellion.
At thirteen years of age, Dr. Masterman left the farm in New York and
accompanied his father’s family to Washington county, Indiana, where, at
Salem, he entered a drug store as a clerk. He remained in this position
‘till some time in 1862, when he enlisted in company “E”, 5th Indiana
cavlary, for service in the Civil war. The regiment saw service in
Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Kentucky, and was a integral part of the Army of
the Ohio. The doctor took part in Morgan’s raid, or rather in the
pursuit of Morgan’s band, was on the outside of the seige of Knoxville,
accompanied Sherman’s forces to the initial work of the Atlanta campaign and
fought guerrillas in Tennessee and Alabama. He served as hospital steward
the last eighteen months of his enlistment and was discharged June 14, 1865.
On his return to Salem, our subject took his old place in the drug store, where
he remained one year. He then took up the study of medicine regularly and
was occupied with it ‘till the first of the year 1870, when he left the Ohio
Medical College at Cincinnati, a junior, and sought his health and his fortunes
in Kansas. It is in Montgomery county that his achievements have been
attained. Here his adaptability to an honored profession has been
demonstrated; here his efficiency as a public servant has been displayed; here
his sincerity and honesty as a citizen and his integrity as a man have won the
confidence of the public and assured him an unfaltering friendship during his
In December, 1871, Dr. Masterman married Nannie D. Conner, a daughter of Lewis
Conner, who came to Independence from Iowa, and was one of the early hotel men
of this city, and of Coffeyville. The issue of this union are:
Franc, wife of M. F. Dougherty, of Independence; Henry L. and Emmet.
In 1874, the Doctor was made a Mason, and holds a membership in the Blue Lodge,
Chapter and Commandery, of Independence, and, in 1899, was made a Shriner at
Leavenworth, Kansas. In politics he is a Reupblican, and his hand has been
in many a battle of the ballot in town and county. He has served one year
on the school boar, eight years on the city council, one term as mayor of
Independence and four years as county coronor.