Biography of Benjamin Franklin Strong, M. D.

Benjamin Franklin Strong, M. D. Now engaged in practice as a physician and surgeon at Chautauqua, Doctor Strong had a wide acquaintance in the two states of Kansas and Missouri, had practiced medicine in both states and had also a successful business record to his credit prior to his entrance into the medical profession.

He was born in Sabula, Iowa, June 4, 1861. He represents an old American family. His first American ancestor was Elder John Strong, who was the founder of Northampton, Massachusetts. The Strong family originated in Scotland but this branch of it came from England. Many generations resided in the State of Vermont, and Doctor Strong’s grandfather was born at Bristol in that state. He was a shoemaker by trade, and afterwards moved to the province of Ontario, Canada, where he died. James Franklin Strong, father of Doctor Strong, was born in London, Ontario, in 1833, and his mother died with his birth. He was taken by his foster parents and from infancy was reared at Sabula, Iowa. He was also married in Jackson County, Iowa, near Sabula. A farmer all his life, he continued that business in Iowa until 1868, when he removed to Johnson County, Missouri, and in 1870 to Lafayette County in the same state. He gave up his active duties as a farmer in 1896, and removed to Canyon City, Colorado, where he now resided at the age of eighty-three. In politics he had always been a republican since the formation of that party, and in earlier years was a very active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. During the Civil war he served as a member of the local militia and also paid for a substitute in the regular army. His wife, Mary Eleanor Esgate, was born at Maquoketa in Jackson County, Iowa, in 1837, and died at Canyon City, Colorado, in 1915. They became the parents of ten children: Anson Lester is an accountant living at Alton, Illinois; Charles Henry, who became a harness maker, died at Howard, Kansas, at the age of thirty-six; the third child, a son, died unnamed in infancy; the fourth is Doctor Strong; Lottie died at the age of nine years; Katie Josephine, who died in Japan in 1904, was the wife of Rev. E. R. Fulkerson, who for twenty years was president of the Chizei Seminary and during the Spanish-American war was vice consul of the American government at Nagasaki, Japan. Annie E. is the second wife of Rev. Mr. Fulkerson named above, and they now reside at Canyon City, Colorado, Mr. Fulkerson spending his time as a lecturer all over the United States in behalf of the foreign missions conducted by the Methodist Episcopal Church. James Hopkins died at the age of seven years. Mary L. died in infancy. Dolly is the wife of William M. Rambo, who is secretary of the railroad Young Men’s Christian Association at Mitchell, Illinois.

Benjamin Franklin Strong received most of his education in a private school conducted by Professor Jesse Carter at Waverly, Missouri. He was fitted for college there, attended Central College at Fayette, Missouri, one year, but did not remain to complete his higher education. In 1878 he opened a stock of merchandise at Waverly, Missouri, and sold goods in that old Missouri River town for about a year. In 1879 he brought his stock of merchandise to Elk Falls, Kansas, and was one of the leading merchants of that town until 1883. The following seven years were spent on the road as a traveling salesman, representing the wholesale grocery house of Long Brothers of Kansas City, Missouri. His territory was Southern Kansas and his work brought him a wide and intimate acquaintance with all the towns in that section of the state. On giving up his traveling position he engaged in the grocery business at Howard, Kansas, with F. A. Adams as partner under the firm name of Adams & Strong. This continued for three years.

His desire to become a physician had been a strong influence with him for a number of years, but the practical necessities of a business career failed to open an opportunity to prepare himself for that vocation. On leaving his store at Howard, Kansas, he entered Rush Medical College at Chicago where he remained until graduating Medical Doctor in June, 1896. Doctor Strong did his first work as a physician at Howard, Kansas, where he remained until 1903. From 1903 to 1905 he was in practice at Kansas City, Missouri, and he then removed to a farm which he had acquired at Norborne, Missouri, and was chiefly engaged in looking after his agricultural interests until 1910. In that year he moved into the Town of Norborne and was busily engaged with his practice there until 1915, when he removed to Chautauqua, Kansas, where he now had a general medical and surgical practice. His offices are in the J. B. Jones Building.

Doctor Strong had his own residence in the northwest part of Chautauqua and among other interests he owned a block of buildings at Norborne, Missouri, known as the Strong Block. Politically he is a democrat. For four years he held the office of county physician of Elk County, Kansas. He had served as steward and trustee in the Methodist Church and also as superintendent of the Sunday school. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Camp of the Modern Woodmen of America at Norborne, Missouri, the Knights of Pythias Lodge at the same place, and is a member of the Carroll County Medical Society of Missouri and the Elk County Medical Society in Kansas, and of the American Medical Association.

In 1882 at Elk Falls, Kansas, Doctor Strong married Miss Lillian B. Holmes, who died at Howard, Kansas, in 1897, leaving no children. In 1898 at Norborne, Kansas, Doctor Strong married Miss Edna Martha Clark, daughter of Dr. Edward and Charlotte (Corrin) Clark, both now deceased. Her father was for many years a physician and surgeon at Malta Bend, Missouri. Doctor and Mrs. Strong have an adopted daughter, Mary Josephine, who is a graduate of the Norborne High School, holds a teacher’s certificate for Chautauqua County and is now teaching in the public schools of Chautauqua.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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