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Benjamin Ausmus, Jr.


Born October 10, 1843

Died May 31, 1928

Last Updated: 08/16/10


Name: Benjamin Ausmus, Sr.
Father: Benjamin Ausmus
Mother: Anna Christina Dunn
Born: 10 Oct 1843, Speedwell, Claiborne County, USA
Died: 31 May 1928 Speedwell, Claiborne County, USA
Children of first marriage to
Barbara Hunter: (19 Jan 1844 - 16 Apr 1881)

1. Malinda "Linnie" (Dec 1865 - ?) m. Isaac Bollinger
2. Catherine "Katie" (24 Sep 1866 - 22 Aug 1940) m. William Marshall Ellison (23 Dec 1854 - 21 Aug 1935)
3. Polly Emela, "Emma" m. (Nov 1868 - ?) m. John J. Graham
4. James Marion (2 Jun 1874 - 20 Aug 1927) m. Hannah Bollinger
5. William "Willie" M. Ausmus (18 Feb 1876 - 22 Sep 1906) m. Maggie Kelly
6. Rachael "Roxy" (23 Dec 1878 - 27 Feb 1943) married a McQuire

Children of second marriage to China O'dell: (24 Aug 1862 -  26 Sep 1903)

            7. Henry Franklin (14 Jul 1882 - 8 Jul 1937) m. Floy Eller Ellison
            8. Edgar Love (6 Jun 1884 - ?) m. Etta Belle Ellison
            9. Maggie (4 Jul 1887 - ?) m David Johnson
            10. Lillie B. (Feb 1889 - ?) m. Harrison Edwards
            11. Rhetta E. (12 Feb 1891 -?) m. Henry Dave Williamson
            12. Dora (23 May 1895 - ?) m. James H. Smith
            13. Lizzie "Marie" (Dec 1896 - ?) m. Otto Eryin
            14 Bessie M. (Aug 1898 - ?) m. James Carr.

Children of third marriage to Adeline Martha Beeler (22 Oct 1885 - 9 Dec 1953)

            15. Walter Brownlow Ausmus (27 Dec 1906 - ?) m. Ruby Fox
            16. Ethel (28 Jan 1908 - bef Apr 1910) died young per 1910 census
            17. Ester (28 Dep 1910 -?) m. Willis L. Ault
            18. Ova C. (10 Dec 1912 -? ) may have died young
            19. Ottis Harvey (12 Aug 1915 - Mar 1978) m. Nell Williams
            20. Edna "Janette" (1917 - died young)
            21. Granville Cecil (20 or 28 Mar 1920 -?) m. Mildred Rather


According to tradition from grandson, Robert Paul Ausmus, "Benjamin ran wagon trains to New Orleans. He started with two wagons then ended up with six wagons. He would pick up supplies for the Ellisons, O'dells and Edwards for their warehouse and general store."


At the age of 43, Benjamin Ausmus Sr. (b. 1801) and his wife Anna Christina Dunn (1802 - 1881) gave birth to their eight son and eleventh child Benjamin Ausmus Jr. in Speedwell, Tennessee on Davis Creek. Benjamin had no idea of his own birth date as established by the multiple different entries in the Census. His birth year differed every time the Census came ‘round.


21 Nov 1850 lists age 7

1 June 1860 lists age 17 

4 Aug 1870 lists age 26

9 Jun 1880 lists age 37

1 Jun 1900 explicitly states his birth month as October 1844

15 Apr 1910 age 64

20 Mar 1920 age 75


The most believable birth date is the date established by his parents when his age was stated as seven years old in the November 1850 Census, which makes his birth year 1843. He stated his birth month as October in the 1900 Census.


1846 Anesthesia is used for tooth extraction for the very first time.


In June of 1849, when Benjamin Jr was young, Tennessee experiences a cholera epidemic and Benjamin’s grandfather and neighbor, Henry Ausmus dies at age 75 while living as neighbor to Benjamin and his father in Speedwell, TN.


1850 (age 7)
Shortly after Benjamin's seventh birthday, the Census for Claiborne County, District 2 shows the value of his father’s real estate as $2,200, which was relatively high. Benjamin’s eldest brother, Francis (age 27) is listed as a deputy sheriff and living at home. All children in the home are attending school.


1851 Issac Singer invents that modern sewing machine.


1856 Louis Pasteur invents the pasteurization process.


1854 (age 11)
Cholera Epidemic and eldest brother, Francis Ausmus (age 27) dies on the day he was to wed [1].


(1860 Age 17)

Benjamin and his younger sisters are living are living at home and attending school. The Census for Claiborne County District 2 for 1860 lists Benjamin’s father's occupation as a farmer with personal assets of $1,41and real estate worth $2,500. Sometime after the death of his grandfather, Henry Ausmus, A 78 year old relative named, Martha Ausmus moves into the household. Martha Ausmus lists her place of birth as Maryland. Also in the household is 27 year old William Hopper.


Benjamin would later end up marrying China O’dell, the daughter of Serena Hopper and Marshall Love O’dell.


6 Nov 1860 (age 17)
Abraham Lincoln, who had declared "Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free..." is elected president, the first Republican, receiving 180 of 303 possible electoral votes and 40 percent of the popular vote.

April 15, 1861 (age 17)
President Lincoln issues a Proclamation calling for 75,000 militiamen, and summoning a special session of Congress for July 4.

During the Civil War, Claiborne County was divided in sentiment, like many communities in the border states, though it leaned towards Union sympathies. Though no major military conflicts occurred within the county, Tazewell was for a time occupied by Confederate troops. On November 11, 1862, the Confederates evacuated the town; a devastating fire coincided with their departure, though no local history directly incriminates the troops for starting it. Nonetheless, the fire destroyed many buildings in the heart of the town, including the antebellum courthouse. Claiborne County was without a permanent courthouse for five years, at which time a new structure was completed [1].

April 6/7, 1862 (age 19)
Confederate surprise attack on Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's unprepared troops at Shiloh on the Tennessee River results in a bitter struggle with 13,000 Union killed and wounded and 10,000 Confederates, more men than in all previous American wars combined. The president is then pressured to relieve Grant but resists. "I can't spare this man; he fights," Lincoln says.

April 11, 1862 (Age 18)
Benjamin’s 27 year old brother, William B. Ausmus gets mustered at Camp Spears. J


July 1, 1862 (age 19)
Congress passes the Internal Revenue Act, creating the Bureau of Internal Revenue (later renamed to the Internal Revenue Service). This act was intended to “provide Internal Revenue to support the Government and to pay interest on the Public Debt.” Instituted in the height of the Civil War, the “Public Debt” at the time primarily consisted of war expenses. Taxable goods and services were determined by legislative acts passed throughout the years. All persons, partnerships, firms, associations, and corporations submitted to the assistant assessor of their division, a list showing the amount of annual income, articles subject special taxes and duties, and the quantity of goods made or sold that were charged with taxes or duties [15]. The following is a list a copy of the list:



October 10, 1862 (age 19)

On Benjamin's 19th birthday, Benjamin's father dies at the age 61.


Nov 1862 (age 19)

One month after Benjamin’s father's death, the nearby town of Tazewell was evacuated. Confederate soldiers burnt down twenty buildings including the courthouse, a large brick hotel and several brick storehouses. 


May 1863 (age 19)

Benjamin Ausmus marries his 18-year old neighbor, Barbary Hunter, daughter of Jefferson Hunter and Rosannah (Beeler) Hunter. Benjamin and Barbary were next door neighbors growing up in Speedwell's District 2.


November 25, 1863 (age 20)

Benjamin’s older brother, John Franklin (age 24) dies at Lookout Mountain known as “The Battle Above the Clouds”. The Confederates were holding Lookout Mountain to guard against an enemy approach from Trenton. Sherman had, in fact, sent Ewing's division toward that place as a diversion; it rejoined his main body for the attack on Missionary Ridge. Lookout Mountain drops precipitously several hundred feet from a plateau nearly 1,100 feet above the river. The top was occupied by tow Confederate brigades. Walthall's brigade (Cheatham) blocked the narrow passage around the northern face of the mountain, and Moore's brigade of the same division was posted up the slope from it. Geary's division reinforced by one Cruft's brigades, crossed Lookout Creek above the Wauhatchie at about 8 A.M. Osterhaus and the rest of Cruft's division followed. Contact was made at about , and a sharp fight took place around Craven's Farm ("the White House"). A heavy fog covered the scene as both sides brought up reinforcements. About the defenders were driven from Craven's Farm to a new position about 400 yards away. Here they were reinforced by the two brigades from the plateau, and held this position from until after , when they were ordered to withdraw. The name "Battle above the Clouds" was given to this engagement after the war. The next morning a party from the 8th Ky. scaled the heights to plant the Stars and Stripes at a point plateau, and held this position from until after , when they were ordered to withdraw. The name "Battle above the Clouds" was given to this engagement after the war. The next morning a party from the 8th Ky. scaled the heights to plant the Stars and Stripes at a point.

24 Sep 1864 (age 20)
Benjamin and Barbary have their first child, Catherine “Katie” Ausmus, who later marries William Marshall Ellison (32 Dec 1854 -21 Aug 1935) in 1886. William was the She and her husband can be found in the 1900, 1910 and 1920 census for Claiborne County, Tennessee. They had three children: Bessie, Myrtle and Charlie.

1865 (age 22)
President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated.


December of 1865 (age 22)
Benjamin and Barbrey give birth to their second child, Malinda “Linnie” Ausmus. She married Isaac Bolinger, son of Andrew in 1888 or 89 and moved to Brush Creek Colorado. Isaac was a descendant of Isaac Bollinger of York County, Pennsylvania who married Catherine. Isaac left his will in 1770 and his widow married Philip Ausmus (c1728 - 1809) and removed to Tennessee. Malinda and her husband gave birth to four children, three of which lived until adulthood: Grace I. Bolinger, Walter R. and Ira Lawrence Bolinger.


1867 (age 24)
The first modern typewriter is invented. 1868 the fist traffic light is invented and is first used for railroad.

Nov 1868 (age 25)
Third child, Polly Emela “Emma”Ausmus is born. She m1 Jesse Russell and m2 John J. Graham (b. Sep 1767) in 1890. He was a postmaster of Knoxville post office for many years until he retired [2]. They had seven children: Ben, Jim, Charles, Mary, Linnie, Emma, and John.


1870 (age 27)
The first transcontinental railroad is complete. The first modern electric light bulb is invented. It wouldn't be until much later that the community of Speedwell would have common light bulbs.


4 Aug 1870 (age 27)
At the age of 27 (although he lists it as age 26), Benjamin is farming his father’s estate and is employed as a part-time revenue collector living next to his older brother, Joseph Ausmus. Catherine is six years old and attending school. Barbara, like most early Americans could read but not write. Scott Van Bebber is a black 19 year old male living in household. Malinda and Emma are also listed in the home.


2 June 1874 (age 31)
Benjamin and Barbary give birth to their first son, James Marion Ausmus (2 Jun 1874 - 20 Aug 1927) who later marries Hannah Bolinger (b. 25 Mar 1877 -12 Jul 1946) and became a practicing physician in Knoxville, TN. On 10 Jun 1896, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and per James’s WWI draft card, he is employed as a practicing physician at Campbell Coal mining Company and Tennessee Jellico Coal mining Company. He can be seen living at home at age 25 as a school teacher in the 1900 Census for Claiborne and can be seen as the enumerator of the Federal Census for Civil District 2. In the 1920 census he can be seen as a border and still practicing as a general physician in Claiborne County's Civil District 9. They had two children, Wilma and Carl [2].

18 February 1876 (age 32)
 Willie M. Ausmus is born to Benjamin and Barbary. William helped his father on the farm and according to "Old Speedwell Families, Revised and Updated, Edwards Davis, 1980, he later marries Maggie Kelly in 1894 and had no children. He died at age 30 on 22 Sep 1906 and was buried at the Cawood Cemetery in Speedwell, TN.

23 Dec 1878 (age 34)
Benjamin and Barbara give birth to, Roxey Ausmus

Name: Roxie McQuire
[Roxie Ausmus] 
Social Security #: 0
Birth Date: 23 Dec 1878
Birthplace: Tennessee
Death Date: 27 Feb 1943
Death Place: Sacramento
Mother's Maiden Name: Hunter

At the age of 21, Roxy can be seen as a housekeeper in the 1900 US census to her sister, Emma and brother-in-law, John J. Graham in Campbell County, TN. According to "Old Speedwell Families", she was engaged to Tilmon Dunn who died just before their wedding day (no date given). Roxy married a McQuire. She died in Sacramento, CA on 27 Feb 1943.

9 Jun 1880 (age 36)
William [B.] Ausmus
is the Census taker for Claiborne County's District 2. Benjamin's lists one white female servant in the household, Eliza Peters. William the census taker lists Barbara as "nervous" under the disability column.
A Nephew, William H[arrison] Ausmus (17 Mar 1862 - 26 Jan 1924) is also living in household. William's father, John Franklin Ausmus was killed in the Civil War

1880 toilet paper is invented in England.

16 April 1881 (age 37)
Benjamin's wife Barbara (Hunter) Ausmus dies at age 37. She was buried at the Cawood Cemetery in Speedwell.
According to tradition, 18-year old China O'dell, "sang with great reverence" at her funeral. Ben was said to have remarked that, "China sang like a bird". Shortly after, she took her place in his nest. They would be married in less than four months

23 June 1881 (age 37)
Benjamin’s mother, Anna Christina (Dunn) Ausmus dies in Speedwell, Tennessee.

1 August 1881 (age 37)
Benjamin and China Odell marry. China was born on 24 Aug 1862 to
Serena Hopper and Marshall Love O’dell (b. April 11, 1832). She died 26 Sep 1903 and is buried in the Cawood Cemetery. At the time, China was only two years older than Ben's oldest daughter. Marshall Love O’Dell moved his family from Jonesboro in Washington County, TN near the household of Benjamin Ausmus.

State of Tennessee, Grainger County,

In the matter of the Claim No. 430594 of Marshall L. Odell, Co E. Sixth Regiment, Tennessee Vol. Infantry, War of 1861-1865 the service of the United States, on this the 21st day of February 1908, personally appeared before me J.M. Groo? A County, Court Clerk in and for said County and State duly authorized to Administer oaths, Marshall. L. Kincaid aged 75 years a resident of Rutledge Grainger County, Tennessee and well known to me to be a person of good character, and entitled to credit, and who being duly sworn declared in relation to the aforesaid Claim as follows:

I am now 75 years old and will be 76 years old on April 10, 1908. I have known the claimaint - Marshall L. Odell all my life since I can remember any one. We were raised close together and our parents were intimate friends, and I have heard claimants' parents and my parents talk about our ages frequently one [sic] the dates on which were each born. I was born on April 10th 1832 and the claimant was born on the 11th day of April 1832. I being only one day older than the claimant I had heard claimaints father and mother, state frequently that claimaint was born n the 11th day of April 1832 or one day after I was born and I get my knowledge of claimaints age..July 14, 1882,


Henry Franklin Ausmus is born as the first child of China (O'dell) Ausmus. Henry helped his father on the farm until his father sent him away to school. Henry was a drifter and his father-in-law referred to him as a hobo. Henry was a very handsome man and married a beautiful woman named Floy Eller Ellison.


Henry is Pictured Below


June 6, 1884 (age 40)
Edgar Love Ausmus is born and marries Etta Belle Ellison sister of Floy Eller Ellison who married Edgar’s older brother, Henry Franklin Ausmus. Both Edgar and Henry were painters.

“Retired Painter Dies in St. Mary HospitalEdgar Ausmus 75 of 723 West Main Str. Died at 7:30 a.m. today after an illness of two years. He is survived by his wife, Etta (Ellison) four sons, Glen of Uravan, Louis of Grand Junction, Carl of Green River, Wyo., and Bob, formerly of Grand Junction; five daughters, Mrs. M.R. (Naomi) Baxter of Davis Ca., Mrs. A.D. (Myrtle) Biale of Napa, Ca, Mrs C.R. (Edith) Holybee of Susanville, CA., Mrs. Jim (Edna) Hindman of Las Vegas, and Mrs. B.F. (Floy) Williams of Houma, LA. Other survivors include three sisters, Mrs. Dora [Ausmus] Smith of Knoxville, TN., Mrs. Reta [Ausmus] Williamson of Speedwell, TN and Mrs Beth [possibly Bessie Ausmus] Alexander of Washington D.C.; 27 grandchildren and 13 great –grandchildren. Three children preceded him in death. Mr. Ausmus was born June 6, 1884 at Speedwell, TN and spent his childhood in TN. After moving from Tennessee to Texas in 1914, he moved to Colorado in 1916. He married Etta Belle Ellison at Speedwell, Tn on July 20, 1903. Mr. Ausmus, a retired painter was a member of the Methodist Church, IOOF and the Woodmen of the World. Funeral arrangements are being made by the Callahan-Edfast Mortuary.


1885 (age 42)
On New Years Eve, Benjamin’s daughter, Polly “Emily” Ausmus at age 16 marries Jessie Russell. Then on New Years Eave, Benjamin’s oldest daughter, Katie Ausmus (age 20) marries William Marshall “Marsh” Ellison. Katie can be seen still married to her spouse in the 1930 Census for Claiborne County.


4 July 1887 (age 43)
In the midst of a statewide drought, Maggie Ausmus is born on Independence Day. Maggie later marries a coal miner, David Johnson and has several children. They can be found in the 1930 Census for Campbell County, Tennessee renting a relatively nice home paying $10 per month rent. According to's One World Tree, she died 16 Apr 1949 in Florida. According to [3], she died 1943. This reference also states she had the following children: Arnold Johnson who m. a Dora, Bessie Johnson who married Joe Carroll; Ethel Johnson who m. Earl Nix; Mabel Johnson who m. Lee Walters; Edgar Johnson; David Johnson, Jr. who m. Lois Ausmus; Bill Johnson who m. Treva Boyd; Cylde Johnson who m. Anne Chandler.


Marie Ausmus pictured below.



February 1889 (age 46)
Lillie Mae B. Ausmus is born as shown in the 1900 census. She marries Harrison Edwards [2]. He was born in 1882 in Speedwell, Tennessee. Harrison was the son of Spencer Edwards and Malinda (Ausmus) Edwards.  In 1906, 24-year old Harrison fell in love with and married 16-year old Lillie Ausmus and had a boy named Hoyt Edwards circa 1907 and a girl that died at birth. When the 1910 census was taken for Claiborne County, Harrison and Lille can be seen with their 2 1/2 year old boy. In 1908 Harrison's parents moved to Crosbyton, Texas and Harrison soon followed taking Hoyt along. Hoyt would be watched by Grandma Edwards while Harrison worked for as a clerk in Edwards Grocery Store belonging to Ben and Frank Edwards. Harrison returned to Speedwell in 1916 and married a cousin of his first wife named Lillie Pearl Ausmus (b. 1901). She was the granddaughter of Henry Ausmus, a Baptist minister in Speedwell. Her mother's name was Ellen Patton. To this marriage were born: Ruby, Dorthy, Charles, Wanda, Ovida, and Kenneth [2].


12 Feb 1891 (age 47)
Benjamin and China's give birth to Rhetta E. Ausmus. She later marries Henry Dave Williamson (04/26/1885-10/15/1965). His mother was Eliza Ellison, a great grand daughter of Susannah Ausmus and James Ellison [2]. Henry and Retta married in Claiborne County on July 13, 1906 and had the following children: Jeanette, Ray, Benny, Harvey, Rhetta, Myrl, James, Bobby, and Johnny Mack. Henry died in Harrogate Tennessee and Retta died on January 10, 1980 in Middlesboro, Kentucky.


1893 (age 50)
State wide financial panic. Like most major financial downturns, the depression of the 1890s was preceded by a series of shocks that undermined public confidence and weakened the economy. In the last days of the Harrison administration, the Reading Railroad, a major eastern line, went into receivership. That collapse was soon magnified by the failures of hundreds of banks and businesses dependent upon the Reading and other railroads. The stock market reacted with a dramatic plunge. Fearing further collapse, European investors pulled their funds from the United States, but depression soon gripped the other side of the Atlantic as well. An ongoing agricultural depression in the West and South deepened, spreading the misery to those regions.

23 May 1894  (age 49)
Dora Ausmus is born to Ben and China Ausmus in Speedwell, Tennessee. (See picture above and below). She married James H. Smith, a telegraph operator. Reference [3] states her birth year as 1895 but the 1900 census explicitly states 1894. Dora's age as stated by her in the 1920 & 1930 census reveal 1895 but according to the date of her younger sister who was born in December of 1896, I tend to believe she was born in 1894. According to Oliver Springs, Anderson County, Tennessee's Census of 1920, 31 year old James H. Smith owns his home and his wife Dora, age 24. They have the following children: Nevin Raleigh; Uldeen W. or "Dean", James H. Jr. and China R., named after Dora's mother; Doris; Dora "Grace"; Ernest. According to her granddaughter, Lorinda Cabe, Dora was a homemaker. She enjoyed crafts, such as fabric painting, making silk flowers and painting plaster of pairs figures and story telling. When she died, she had been sick for several years with asthma, emphysema and heart disease.

Dora Ausmus and Jim Smith

1895 (age 51)
The first motion picture is played in front of an audience.


Dec 1896 (age 53)
According to the 1900 census, Lizzie "Marie" Ausmus is born. She marries Otto Ervin [3] and they have the following children: Nathaniel, Mary Lou; Wanda; Jimmy


24 August of 1898 (age 54)
Bessie M. Ausmus is born (pictured below).


She married Dr. James Calloway Carr (24 Dec 1888 - 2 Feb 1948) before 1920 in Claiborne County. They can be seen in the 1920 census for Claiborne County with no children. [5]. When the 1930 census was taken, James and Bess can be seen in Middlesboro, Bell County, KY where her father had been living.  According to some family relatives, Jim was a womanizer and was unfaithful several times. Bess and James separated and Bess moved in with her sister, Marie and worked in a clothing store.


Bess Ausmus Carr died in Knoxville, TN in June 1973. An old sewing machine of Bess' is currently in the hands of ancestor, Lorinda Cabe.


According to here SS death record, she was issued her card in Kansas.


Photo of Bess below

1898 (age 55)
Spanish American War begins.


1899 the first motor-driven vacuum is invented.


June 1, 1900 Census for Claiborne, Benjamin and China have been married 19 years and their young children are attending school. Benjamin’s son, James M. Ausmus is the actual census taker and is living with in the household and lists his occupation as a school teacher. James later becomes a practicing physician in Knoxville, TN. Two borders are living in the Ben and China's household.


In 1902, Ben's 15-year old daughter Maggie Ausmus marries a coal miner, David Johnson


(Picture Below)

Ben Ausmus Family 1902

Back Row: Maggie Ausmus, Rhetta Ausmus, Edgar Love Ausmus

Middle Row: Dora Ausmus, Ben Ausmus, China (O'dell) Ausmus, Lilly B. Ausmus

Front Row: Bessie M. Ausmus, Lizzie Marie Ausmus


September 26, 1903, Benjamin’s second wife, China dies at age 41 years, 1 month and 2 days.



22 Sep1906 (age 62)
Benjamin and his first wife's son, Willie M. Ausmus dies at age 30 in Claiborne County. He is buried in the Cawood Cemetery in Speedwell, TN.


Letter from Ethel Edwards Lynch
Knoxville, Tenn 1981

I know next to nothing about the Odell family except they lived across the river from us. I knew and loved my great aunt beautiful China O'dell Ausmus. I heard the story about how China sang at Aunt Barbara's funeral. Uncle Ben (Ausmus) watched as she sang and remarked, "she sings like a bird." Later he said, "I'd like to have that girl for my wife." China O'dell became Ben's second wife, mother of Henry and Edgar Ausmus husbands of the Ellison girls. A story is told about Edgar Ausmus that he had bought a new pair of overalls at the S. Edwards & Sons store. He was wearing them up the road and kept looking back toward the store. When asked why he was looking back he said, "I wanted to see if my new overalls was following me." The new purchase was about two sizes too big for Ed.


1906, daughter Retta Ausmus (at age 15) marries Henry David Williamson who lists his occupation as the manager of a bus terminal in Middlesboro when the 1930 census was taken. Retta died in January of 1980 in the same town she lived in most of her life, Middlesboro, KY.


1906 Benjamin marries third wife, Martha Adeline Bealer (22 Oct 1885 - 9 Dec 1953), forty-two years his junior. Martha can be seen living with her widowed mother in the 1900 US census. The enumerator of the census, being Ben's own son, James Marion Ausmus. Martha's parents were, Tilitha C. (Proffit) Bealer and William Henry Beeler.


27 Dec 1906 (age 63)
Benjamin and Adeline have their first child, Walter Brownlow Ausmus. According to's One World Tree, he marries Ruby Fox on 4 Feb 1932. The 1930 census for Monroe City, Monroe County, Michigan states that he was a laborer on the railroad while supporting his widowed mother and his siblings. He died in March of 1967 in Bristol, Tennessee. He can be seen living near his mother when the phone book for 1946, Bristol, Virginia. He was working for LC King Mfg in Anderson, TN (see image below at 1946). According to [3], they had a child named, Wayne Elwood Ausmus.


Around 1907, sixty three year old Benjamin, being too old to run the farm now that his youngest sons had married and moved away, decides to move a few miles north to the town of Middlesboro, Kentucky on the west side of the Cumberland Gap, with three youngest daughters, Dora, Marie and Bessie Ausmus. Ben gets a job working at a grocery store. It is possible that Ben's son William moved also because there was a W. H. Ausmus in Middlesboro Newspaper as an election officer during a local vote on November 7, 1922.


Pictured above is Middlesboro, Kentucky circa 1900. Picture at right is Ben Ausmus' daughters circa 1925





Pictured Above is Ben and China's daughter's.


28 Jan 1908 (age 64)
Ethel Ausmus
is born. states that she died in 1963 with no additional information. It is likely that she died an infant because when the 1910 census was taken on April 15, 1910. Reference [3] states her as deceased prior to 1983.


28 Sep 1910 (age 66)

Ester Ausmus is born and according to marries Willis L. Ault (29 Aug 1903 - May 1977) on 3 June 1928. According to [3] they had a child named Joyce who was born March 13, 1925.


1911 (age  63)
son Edgar marries Etta Belle Ellison


December 10, 1912 (age 69)
Ova C. Ausmus is born in Bell County, Kentucky to Ben Ausmus and Adeline Beeler in Middlesboro, KY. Her birth record is available for viewing in the Kentucky Birth Index. However, this individual is not found living in the home when the 1920 or 1930 census.


Benjamin's son, Henry Franklin Ausmus moved to Texas with his wife, Floy Eller Ellison and their first child, Edward Otto Ausmus.

Census for April 15, 1910, Benjamin is living near Harrision Ausmus, who is a real estate broker and probably had a hand in getting Benjamin his home in Kentucky. Benjamin is listed as a tax collector, states his age as 64 years old and married for three years. Benjamin’s step son, Walter Brownlow is living in household and the second son of Adeline is not listed. A 17 year old border is also living in household named Eva Edwards


12 Aug 1915 (age 71)
Otto "Ottis" Harvey Ausmus is born in Middlesboro Kentucky, later goes by Ottis. He married Nell Williams and on 8 Jun 1934 and died in Brunswick, Medina, Ohio in March of 1978. According to [3] they had children: C.J.; Harvey; Martha Sue; Shirley; Phyllis.


September 24, 1917 (age 73)
Edna Ausmus is born to Ben Ausmus and Adeline (Beeler) Ausmus in Middlesboro, KY. Reference [3] states her name as Janette born August 24, 1917 - decased.


1917 (age 74)
Ben, who was about 22 years old when the Civil War ended, witnesses the United States enter the first World War.


1918 (age 75)
Spanish Flu epidemic.


20 March 1920 (age 76)
In the 1920 census, Benjamin is living with Adeline in Middlesboro Kentucky. He states his age as 75 and she is 35. He is renting. Walter Brownlow Ausmus age 13. Ester is age 9 and Otto is 3 months. Adeline would also be pregnant with another child, Granville, Cecil Ausmus who would be born later in the year.

            Walter Ausmus                                    age 13

            Ester Ausmus                                       age  9

            Otto Ausmus                                        age 4 months making his date of birth approximately December of 1919.


1920 Son Edgar Ausmus is renting a house in Norwood, San Miguel, Colorado living with wife Etta Ellison.


28 Mar 1920 (age 77)
son “G.C.” or Granville Cecil Ausmus is born in Bell County, Kentucky. His birth record can be found in the Kentucky Birth Index. According to [3] he married Mildred Rather and had at least one child, Brenda Cecile Ausmus who was born 21 Sep 1944.


In 1930 son, Edgar Ausmus is living with wife and married 19 years and living in Colorado with $12 to his name.


Monday January 10, 1921 (age 77)

Benjamin puts an add in Middlesboro Daily News to sell 11.45 acres of town lots. An adjacent article in the newspaper reads:

Germany is Behind in Paying off U.S. “Cost to Maintain the Army on the Rhine $257,000,000 and only $34,700,000 paid


“Tell it to The Editor” page of newspaper for Middlesboro has the following comments:

The Christmas card habit is not useless. It provides a lot of stock for the Junk Man [garbage collector].

Many of the people who couldn’t pay their coal bills last summer because of vacation expenses, can’t pay them this winter because of their coal bills.

Several Hundred thousand men making a living by holdups and burglaries. About time for some sharpshooters to practice marksmanship on these fellows.


1922 (age 79)
Alcohol Prohibition begins.


April 19, 1923 Middlesboro Daily Newspaper states that Ausmus Pond at the corner of N. 16th Street and Lothbury will be designated as city’s dumping ground.

March 1925 Scopes “Monkey Trial


August 20, 1927 (age 84)
Ben and his first wife's son James Marion Ausmus dies in Texas at age 53.


At the age of 84, dies in Kentucky or Tennessee and is buried in the Cawood Cemetery amongst many of his children and wives. His headstone is beautiful and appears to be more modern than an 80-year old stone. The headstone states a birth month of Sept, contradicting the month of October he gave the census taker in the 1880 census and the month of death contracts reference [2] which states 31 May 1928.


When the 1930 census was taken, Adeline (Beeler) Ausmus, now widowed, can be seen living in Monroe, Michigan with her children where she was renting a house for $20 per month. Her son, Walter is a laborer on the railroad but is currently unemployed. The census lists many other Tennesseans who migrated.


1946 (deceased)
Benjamin's widow and orphaned children are living in Bristol, Tennessee near the Virginia border.



1.    "Claiborne County, Tennessee," at website accessed September 8, 2006.
2.    "Ausmus Family History", Harry L. Ausmus, 1963

3.  "Old Speedwell Families; Revised and Upadated; 1983; Lawrence Edwards, Joy Davis

5. Year: 1920;Census Place:  Civil District 8ClaiborneTennessee; Roll   T625_1732; Page:  9A; Enumeration District:  36; Image:  424.