Benjamin Stewart Aten

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Benjamin Stewart Aten

Birthplace: New Jersey, United States
Death: December 11, 1891 (42-43)
Oklahoma, United States (He burned to death in a grass fire.)
Immediate Family:

Son of Herbert Henry Aten and Judah D. Malicy Aten
Husband of Elizabeth A. Aten
Father of Martha A. Aten; Sylvia Lanson Lane; Benjamin Harrison Aten; Julia Melissia Haymaker; Joseph William Aten and 5 others
Brother of Isaac J. Aten; Martha A. Aten; Philip M. Aten; Robert H. Aten; Rosanna Aten and 1 other

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Benjamin Stewart Aten

Source: Civil War Pension Record for Benjamin Aten,




Son of Herbert Henry & Judah D Malicy Litts Aten > Thomas & Sarah Henry Aten

ATEN, Benjamin Stewart 1848 (43 in 1891) 11 Dec 1891 Co.D, 11thRegt., IL Cav. 23 Mar 1865

transfr. to Co.E, 5thRegt. IL Cav.

res.CherokeeNation, Indian Terr. 18 Apr 1891

Elizabeth A. Pooler Aten Fowler 27 Dec 1855 5 Mar 1923 24 Dec 1891

(1)m. 1 Jan 1871 Perry, OK

Beloit, KS

(2)m. 13 Oct 1898

John Fowler died; Benton, IA 24 Oct 1916

minor ch.(1898): Sarah D., Joseph W., Susan E(1882), Martha A(1884), Silva L.V(1886), Bertha E(1889), Benjamin H(1892) & David L(1892)

Source: Letter referring to Benjamin Aten,

Manchester Fire Assurance Co. Belvidere N.J. Dec. 28th 1896

Henry J. Aten, Esq. Hiawatha, Kansas

My Dear Cousin:--Your kind letters of Nov. 30th ult., and Dec. 23rd inst., were both duly received and read with pleasure.

I was pleased to learn that you were all well at your home.

You spoke of having so far a very mild winter and no ice or snow; but how different we are here. We are right in the midst of ice and snow. We have had some very cold weather so far this winter, so much so that in some parts of this State, and in New York and Pennsylvania, several people have perished from the effects of the cold weather. Our streets and sidewalks are full of ice, and there has been some good skating and sleighs and sleds have been running. We had a White Christmas.-and you have no doubt heard the old saying,--“A black Christmas, a full grave yard.

I thank you for sending to me the slip in reference to pensions granted etc. I see the name “Benjamin S. Aten” deceased. I would not be surprised if that Aten was some relation to the family of a Mr. Thomas Aten who died up near Hope in this county several years ago, the one I think I mentioned to you about and who married Charity Henry. You see the way Henry Aten of Hope told me when I wanted to send to you some information, was, that a son of said Thomas Aten dec’d had long years ago married a Miss Inda Litts of Sussex County N.J. and afterwards removed to the West, and when the estate of said Thomas Aten was settled up this son who was then quite an old man, was found to be living in Saline County Kansas. Mr. Henry Aten told me that the man Harbert H. Aten was last heard from in 1877 or 1878. This man now dead, Benjamin S. Aten, may as I say, be, or rather have been, a son of the said Harbert H. Aten who went from New Jersey long years ago to the West. Your remarks about the pensions due to the brave men who went to the War are timely and to the point, nevertheless out here in the east we see many unfair things regarding the granting of pensions, and the receiving of pensions. For instance to show you what I refer to;-We have pensioners here and about here, getting $6, $8, $12, and $14, a month and who are not to the casual, ordinary every day observer very much disabled, while others apparently, and in reality, greatly disabled from following their usual avocation, weak, sickly, and unable to work getting only $6.00 per month, and their applications for increase are rejected. Then again, I see those who only served 3 months, or 9 months, or 1 year and were never in battle getting “big pensions;” while those men who marched through the mud and storm, and braved the dangers of many battles getting small pensions.-To me as an observer, it never seemed fair.-

I have in mind the case of an old veteran here in Belvidere, who served 3 years and a few days in our 11th N.J. Vol. Regt., and was wounded at the battle of Gettysburg, three times, all slight flesh wounds, was granted a pension, first at $6.00 per month-then raised to $8.00 per month, and then raised to $12.00 per month, and then again “razed” to $8.00 per month! Every body knows that he is, as they call it ruptured, and has other afflictions, and is,-if any one is, fully entitled to $12.00 per month.-As I said above, I know there are others not so much disabled who are getting $12.00 and $14.00 per month. It don’t seem fair. I think pensions ought to be granted to all who are disabled (other than for the loss of leg, arm or age) according to the length of service and on a basis of the length of service.

But I have said enough about pensions. If I ever meet you, after we have talked over the kinship and old family matters, I will then give to you my views on the question of granting pensions to the old soldiers. Being a Notary Public a great many come to me to fill out and prepare their vouchers for quarterly payments. The last time there came to me 32. Pensions are paid here from New York, and Philadelphia, and are paid on and after the 4th days of February.-May.-Aug.-and November in each year. I saw in a newpaper the other day the name of a person at Somerville, Somerset County N.J.-“William C. Aten.” Who he is or to what family he belongs I do not know. You see I think I told you before, I never knew much about the old families by the name of Aten. I was always told when I was young-that is younger some than I am now, that Great, Great, Grand Mother was an “Aten” before she was married and was a daughter of Derrick Aten of Aten’s ferry. And as I said when living close by old Uncle Peter Aten in my boyhood days, I heard the matters talked about by the families, and there the matter rested, until a few years ago, Cousin Caroline A. Prentiss, came out here and wanted me to help her look up some of the old family history, when I learned more about the history of the Aten family.

I have in mind that there may be quite a lot of history found by looking among the old records and papers at Flemington, the county seat of Hunterdon County. For you see, that Hunterdon was an organized county quite some time before the death of Adrian Aten, the ancestor, and as he owned land in Readington township at the time of making his last will, when the said land came to be disposed of by the heirs, or by whomsoever it was sold, there will be a record of the same, and the location of the place of his residence can be traced and found; as well no doubt many other things connected with the family.-I quite often have occasion to go to Flemington, but it so happens, I have not been there since I have begun a correspondence with you. When I go down, if I have any time to spare, I will look up the history of the Aten family, and will send copies of anything found, to you.

There may also be some to be found at Newton in Sussex County, as what is now Warren County was set off from Sussex County in the year A.D. 1824.-I also get up to Newton once in a while, and when I get up there again, I will see what, if anything can be found. All papers and copies of papers and records sent to you heretofore, as well as those sent with this are for you to keep, and also the paper containing the report of the laying the corner stone of the Trenton Battle Monument and speeches etc., is for you to keep. The report of the said corner stone laying and speeches etc., and the history of and picture of the Monument, is published in pamphlet form.

I send to you along with this two or three newspapers, so that you can all see what is said and done at Christmas, and during the hollidays in the East. All in the East try to enjoy the hollidays; in most of the Eastern cities and towns religeous meetings are held on Christmas.-I was to church on Christmas day. In one of the papers you will see a short marked article on Kansas,-Poor Kansas! I do not know why it is, but she seems to be the subject of ridicule, by the newspapers both East and West. Well since I saw Mrs. Mary Ellen Lease, last fall, and heard her balderdash, I don’t wonder very much. And yet I suppose she is no worse than the Hon. Senator Peffer and a host of others, that you have to contend with. We say out here, that Populism got such a set back last fall from the East and North that they will not resurect the Chicago platform again, and yet we see that W.J. Bryan and others say that the fight on that issue has only commenced. Very well those gentlemen know now where to find New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, New England, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, Indiana Illinois, Michigan and other States. I am glad the Cuban-Spanish question is as it looks now to be peacefully settled.-I never for one moment thought we would be led into a war.

Times, and business of all kinds out here are as they say, dull and slow. Prices of all kinds of produce is so low, money seems scarce among the people, and land has got down so low. Great lines of railroads make the distance between the East and West, seem so short, and fast freights run produce and grain from the West to the East so quick and cheap-I saw in a paper week before last that two train loads of eggs had arrived in Jersey City N.J., from the West-one from Kansas City and one from Chicago.-Don’t it beat all! Two train loads of eggs! Why a generation ago the idea of such a thing would have been ridiculed and declared impossible.

I send to you a clipping about a tree from N.J. to be planted in the Park at San Francisco.-Also I send to you another clipping in reference to a Revolutionary relic-a boulder Stone dedicated etc.

Then again you will wonder why I use the envelope enclosing this letter.-Well a gentleman of this place wishes to get his “Fish Spear,” advertised, and he gives out his envelopes to those who will use them in writing to their friends.-(see circular enclosed). On New Year’s night Jan. 1st 1897 I am to lead a large Missionary Meeting in the Church I attend-First Presbyterian of Belvidere, and I send you a little leaflet to be given to each one present as they come in.

Mrs. Josephine Hay was at our house on Saturday. She wanted my wife to go to the store with her, and help her select a suitable present for her (Mrs. Hay’s) son and his wife.-Her son is a telegraph operator and is now located at Brainards Warren Co, N.J. a small hamlet on the Pennsylvania Railroad, and is near to the place where the eminent man of God-David Brainard preached to the Indians. He lived near that place in a rude cabin and there is now a monument (small one) erected to mark the spot, where the Indians assembled. As you have no doubt seen in history, he preached there about 1734 and for about 3 or 4 years altogether. It is in the old Grave Yard near there, known as Lower Mount Bethel (Churches) GraveYard where some of the ancestors of Mrs. William J. Bryan of Lincoln Nebraska lie buried-Their names are, “Winters” of Harmony township, now Warren County N.J. and “Baird” of Lower Mount Bethel township Northampton County Pennsylvania. The Presbyterian Church at Lower Mount Bethel was established in about 1750 or thereabouts-while the Presbyterian Church at Oxford two miles from Belvidere has her early records from 1749-

The old Presbyterian Church up at Knowlton where I went to meeting in my boyhood days has records from 1767. The first old book is written in Dutch and German. I had a letter from Cousin Carrie A. Prentiss about a week ago. She writes me she has gone to New Rochelle, New York to spend the winter. I forgot to say in regular order that I let Mrs. Hay read your letter. So far she has read all your letters-I hope this is no breach of etiquette, or any thing wrong, as she is a nearer kinswoman to you then I am a kinsman, and she always enjoys reading your letters very much. She said I should say to that Cousin Aten, that he should come out East, and see all the old historic places, and his kinsfolk and then he could get acquainted with all his many friends. Mrs. Hay remembers so many incidents and things about the old families that you really would be pleased to talk with her.

I think I told you she lived with her Grand father Peter Aten, and he lived close to, and often went to see his father, and told her, and in her presence, of so many incidents and matters about his father and mother and friends.-Mrs. Hay also said she would be pleased to receive a letter from you. I really think cousin it would be a good thing to write to her, for the reason, she is one of the nearest of all your many relatives out here, and then it would be pleasant for her to write to you and give you some of the many little incidents she has stored away in memory. She is a nice lady, and a good woman, and writes a fair plain hand. She and her husband George R. Hay, are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he is a republican in politics, and their son (and only child-George R. Hay Jr.) is a member of the I.O.of O.F.-

Oh how cold it is here today. It was from 4 to 6 and some say down as low as 7 below zero this morning. Our courts open for the regular December term tomorrow Tuesday the 29th of Dec. The list of causes for trial is very short, and with all the other matters, I don’t think the term will last very long. I marked an article in one of the papers sent to you in reference to the Zoological Garden at Philadelphia. I don’t know whether you visited the place when you was in Philadelphia or not, but it is said to be the best and largest collection of wild beasts etc in the United States. I have now written you quite a long letter, and have not given you very much news either. You see when I begin to write a letter I write right along at railroad speed and do not pay enough attention to plain letters or words, and to punctuation. We are all well at my home, and Mrs. Hay and her husband are well. And all your other many kinsmen are as well as usual.

A Mr. Herbert M. Hageman of San Francisco California is out here on a visit. He is a lawyer, having an office at, “Room 3, Third Floor, Mills Building San Francisco., and is one of the firm of Milligan & Hageman. He is some distant kin of yours. His mother being a Grand daughter of John Aten who married Susan Bellis-His mother is a widow now, and lives over at Mount Bethel P.O. Northampton Co., Penna. I knew “Herb”ert from a boy, and I knew his father, and I am well acquainted with his mother-she Mrs. Mary Hageman was over here and took tea with us I think in February last 1896-we was over to her house I think in Sept. 1896. The young lawyer studied and was admitted to the bar in Easton, and wishing to see the West he went out to Tacoma Washington, and from there went to San Francisco. He was quite a studious man but never got along very good in the East as a lawyer.

I hope that you are all well at your home. We send love and kind regards to Mrs. Aten and the Misses Aten. I will be pleased to hear from you again whenever you can find it convenient to write. I never asked you but I do not imagine you have any objections to my allowing others of your friends out here read your letters. I show them to many as they are in town and all read them with pleasure. In conclusion I am my dear Cousins, very fraternally yours Nicholas Harris--

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Benjamin Stewart Aten's Timeline

New Jersey, United States
Kansas, United States
April 16, 1874
Abilene, KS, United States
Kansas, United States
November 25, 1880
Kansas, United States
December 1882
Kansas, United States
December 1884
Kansas, United States
October 14, 1886
[object Object], KS, United States
March 16, 1889
Abilene, Dickinson, Kansas, United States