Benjamin F. Pankey

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Benjamin Franklin Pankey

Death: June 01, 1929 (67)
Immediate Family:

Son of William Hampton Pankey, Jr. and Sarah Ann Bickers

Managed by: Private User
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About Benjamin F. Pankey

Benjamin Franklin Pankey (born August 16, 1861 in Harrisburg , Illinois , † June 1, 1929 in Santa Fe, New Mexico) was an American politician of French descent. Between 1919 and 1920 he served as Lt. Governor in the state of New Mexico and in 1920 as acting governor.


Benjamin Pankey, son of Sarah Ann Bickers (1837-1875) and William H. Pankey (1836-1886), was born in Saline County about four months after the outbreak of the civil war. He attended public schools in Harrisburg. In January 1880 he married Flora Wells Harris (1863-1937). The couple had seven children: Lola May (* 1881), Ethel Ann (* 1883), Daisy Lee (* 1885), Flora Lillian (* 1890), Lula Bernice (* 1893), Eugene Franklin (* 1895) and Living. Five of their daughters reached adulthood. In 1882 the family moved to Topeka ( Kansas ). There he had a ranch with livestock. In 1901 he ran a successful telephone company in Topeka as a competitor to Alexander Graham Bell. He then sold his shares in the company in 1907. He acquired a 10,000- acre ranch near Emporia, Kansas, and an 81,000 acre ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the family moved shortly thereafter. On his land he ran a large cattle and sheep herd. He was on the New Mexico Cattle Sanitary Board .

Politically, he was a member of the Republican Party. He participated in 1910 as a delegate to the Constituent Assembly of New Mexico. In his election to the Convention, he received 95 percent of the vote from six electoral districts in his part of the county. On November 7, 1911, he was elected to the First Senate of New Mexico.

In 1918 he was elected Lt. Governor of New Mexico - a post he held from January 1919 to December 1920. During his tenure Governor Octaviano Ambrosio Larrazolo issued on November 22, 1920 an amnesty for a group of convicted prisoners, which was known as "the Villistas". They belonged to a marauding gang of Mexicans under General Pancho Villa. This group crossed the international border between the United States and Mexico on March 9, 1916 and seized the city of Columbus in Luna County without prior provocation where there were many deaths. After the amnesty, governor Larrazolo left the state for some time. During his absence, Pankey acted as governor. On November 24, 1920, a lawsuit was filed against the amnesty at the county court of Santa Fe County. Pankey then ordered the detainees affected to remain in the detention centers until further orders were issued to the executive branch of New Mexico or the courts. Pankey served as Acting Governor for the reception of the Spanish writer Vicente Blasco Ibáñez responsible at the Hotel De Vargas.

Between 1927 and 1929, he held the post of New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands. He died on June 1, 1929 in Santa Fe. His body was then buried in the eponymous cemetery in Topeka.


BENJAMIN F. PANKEY, stock raiser, (Rep.) delegate Santa Fe Co., b. Harrisburg, Ill., Aug. 16, 1861, of French parentage; educ. pub schools Harrisburg; married Jan., 1880; has family five grown daughters and one son (Dana, aged 11 years); removed to Topeka, Kan., 1882 and engaged in ranching and cattle raising; 1901 successfully engaged in telephone bus in Topeka, opposing Bell system; 1907 sold telephone interests and purchased 10,000-acre ranch near Emporia, Kansas, and 81,000-acre ranch near Santa Fe, N. M., removing to New Mexico short time later; has voted Rep. ticket for past 20 years; in campaign for election to convention received 95 percent of votes cast in 6 precincts in his section of county; now engaged in cattle and sheep business on large scale; mem. New Mex. cattle sanitary board; elected Nov. 7, 1911 as mem. first state senate from 10th dist., mem. 32nd Mason, Knight Templar, Elks. Address: Lamy, N. M.

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Benjamin F. Pankey's Timeline

August 16, 1861
June 1, 1929
Age 67