AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF COL. BEN T. BROCK

 

 

Born in Trenton, March 21, 1866, son of Dr. and Mrs. William E. Brock and grandson of Benjamin Brock, who emigrated from North Carolina to Dade County, and who was a son of Rev. Nathaniel Brock, a Revolutionary soldier, and for whom I was named, a chapter of the Daughters of the Revolution.

 

My mother was Nancy M. Taylor, who lived where New England is now located.

 

Attended most of the public schools of Trenton, including the Chattanooga District High School conducted under the auspices of the M.E. Church, South.

 

At the age of 15, I attended William and Emma Austin College at Stevenson, Ala., for a short time until taken sick.  Got out of bed and come home when my father, Dr. W.E. Brock, was injured in a runaway accident from which he died October 11, 1881 (I, being unconscious at the time, suffering with a severe attack to typhoid fever).  After working on the farm the following year, and experience not new to me, I attended a private military school out from Atlanta, just across the road from Gen. John B. Gordon, where I was given a special course under Capt. Lyman Hall, a graduate of West Point and later president of Georgia Tech.  I had been promised an appointment to West Point by Congressman Clements.  On account of physical disability, which continued for three years, my hopes for West Point were abandoned.

 

The year 1883 was an eventful one for me, as I became engaged to a lady who later became my wife.

 

And becoming 16 years of age, then subject to road duty for 15 days each year, I was made overseer of the road from Trenton to the Connally place.  Also, a convention was held at the courthouse in Trenton to choose a delegate to a congressional convention at Cedartown, Georgia.  Dade voted for Clements over Judge Fain, and I was sent as a delegate, and became secretary for the convention.

 

Another job which came to me (and which I thought at the time a very important one) was to command the guard of 49 of the best citizens of the county at the hanging of D.T. Walker, witnessed by about 4,000 people.  That was a big day for me.  In this year, I was determined to study law, and took a one-year course at Washington and Lee University, being the youngest in my class.  After a year of private study was admitted to the bar March 19, 1885 and have followed it ever since until I was stricken with ill health.

 

On January 5, 1886, I was married to Sarah Frances Cureton, daughter of Col. J.W. Cureton.  Seven children were born to us.  My wife died May 4, 1934.

 

From 1888 to 1892 I was proprietor of the “State of Dade News.”

 

My first commissioned office was as the Board of Education to fill out an unexpired term in 1898.

 

In the Spanish-American War, I was commissioned 1st Lieutenant of Co. D. 3rd. Reg. Adj. of the 3rd Batt. of the Reg. By Maj. John S. Cohen.

 

Served as member of Georgia House of Representatives from 1900-01.

 

Acted as Secretary to Congressman John W. Maddox at 1904 to August 1905.

 

Was Solicitor for the County Court of Dade from January 1904 to August 1905.

 

During the War, I served as President of the County Red Cross, also chairman of the War Savings Committee.

 

In 1929-31 was a member of the lower house of the Georgia legislature and served as a senator of the 44th Dist. During 1931-33.

 

Children:

            Bennie Brock, Mary Nita and Guy.

            Bennie Brock married Edwin Wells.

Children:

            Martha Frances, who married William H. Pullen.

            Edwin R. Jr. who died in 1948

            Mary Nita Brock who married Robert Whidden.

Children:

            Bobby Whidden

            Guy Brock who married Olive Reed.

(Used by permission HISTORY OF DADE COUNTY GEORGIA, Retired Senior Volunteer Program, 1981.)

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