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Benjamin Franklin Behimer. Among the successful financiers of Cimarron County of the younger generation there is probably no one more perfectly in sympathy with that public spirit which has contributed to the progress of the growing communities than Benjamin Franklin Behimer, cashier of the Cimarron County Bank, of Kenton. Persevering and energetic in whatever direction his efforts have been turned, he has won a substantial place in banking circles, and as president of the Kenton Commercial Club is a leading factor in the activities which are adding to the prestige and importance of his adopted place.
Mr. Behimer was born April 18, 1886, on a farm in Sumner County, Kansas, and is a son of Michael J. and Sarah (Peterson) Behimer, and a grandson of Michael and Elizabeth (Oxley) Behimer, natives of Ohio. His father was born October 13, 1860, at Cincinnati, Ohio, and has been a farmer and stock raiser all of his life, being at present a resident of Ellis, Illinois. He was married January 22, 1883, at Blue Grass, Illinois, to Miss Sarah Peterson, a daughter of Benjamin and Lydia F. (Pilkington) Peterson, natives of the Sucker State. Four sons and two daughters have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Behimer, namely: Jessie Pearl, born October 29, 1884, in Vermilion County, Illinois, married February 20, 1906, Frank M. Brennan, a merchant at Ellis, Illinois, and has two children,–Sarah Irene and Mildred; Benjamin Franklin, of this review; Charles, born September 20, 1888, now a live stock farmer at Clarence, Illinois, married September 29, 1912, Miss Katherine Philabaum; Arthur, born April 13, 1891, associated with his brother, Benjamin F., in the management of a cattle ranch in Union County, New Mexico, married in 1913, Miss Irene Brennan; Robert Leo, born August 18, 1898; and Edith Lillian, born February 28, 1901.
Benjamin Franklin Behimer was two years of age when taken by his.parents from Kansas to Illinois, and there his education was secured in the public schools of that state. He was further prepared by a business course in the Gem City Business College, at Quincy, Illinois, graduating with high honors, and in 1907 received his introduction to the banking business, the same year, when he entered the Potomac National Bank, at Potomac, Illinois, in the capacity of bookkeeper. In 1908 he crime to Oklahoma, locating at Blackwell, where he had charge of a set of books in the State National Bank, now the State Guaranty Bank, of that place. In February of 1909 he was offered a position as bookkeeper with the First National Bank of Clayton, New Mexico, and believing he would have a fine opportunity for advancement he accepted the same and has since been associated with the people who own that bank. In January, 1911, Mr. Behimer, who by this time had a good grasp on the details of banking, was elected assistant cashier of the Cimarron County Bank, of Kenton, and October 5, 1912, was advanced to cashier of this institution, a position which he has since retained. This banking house, one of the most substantial in Cimarron County, was established in May, 1908, by H. J. Hammond, of Clayton, New Mexico, who continues as its president, he being also president of the First National Bank of Clayton, New Mexico, the pioneer financial institution of Union County, New Mexico, as the Cimarron County Bank is also the first banking concern of Cimarron County. In addition to discharging the duties of his official position in an entirely capable manner, Mr. Behimer has other interests, chief among which is his cattle ranch, twelve miles west of Kenton, which he operates in partnership with his brother, Arthur. He is president of the Kenton Commercial Club, n director of the Western Oklahoma Bankers’ Association, and a member of the board of education. He is what is known in business circles as a “live wire,” being a stirring, energetic factor in every movement launched which promises to benefit Kenton’s civic, business, educational or financial interests. He is a Mason and an Odd Fellow and has numerous warm friends in fraternal circles.
On September 19. 1909, at Potomac, Illinois, Mr. Behimer was united in marriage with Miss Flossie Olive Coon, who was born April 27, 1890, a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Swisher) Coon, natives of Vermilion County. They have two children: Elsie Charlotte, born January 22, 1912; and Melvin John, born June 16, 1915, both at Kenton, Oklahoma. Mr. and Mrs. Behimer are consistent members of the United Brethren Church.