Benjamin Darnell Lewis was born Feb 5, 1828 to Samuel Howell Lewis and Jane Darnell Lewis in Clay County, Tennessee. (Clay county was organized in 1870 from parts of Jackson and Overton Counties).
Ben was active in assisting his father on the farm during his early years while securing his education. He was a farmer, minister and surveyor. Ben surveyed the city of Carrier Mills, IL. He studied to become a doctor, and was active in that profession.
Ben married Mary Ann (Russell) Barker. Mary Ann was born to David B. Russell of Carrier Mills, Saline County, IL on Feb 5, 1836. She had previously been married to Wesley Barker, and had 2 children, Mary Jane Barker (b 1853) and George Barker (b 1855). She passed away on Sept 3, 1873 at age 37.
Dr Benjamin Lewis enlisted in the 31st Illinois infantry, Company B on September 18, 1861 in Pope County at the Colorado Post Office by Captain Pritcherd and went to a camp of instruction in the Brigade of General McClerand. With less than 2 months of drilling, he went into action in the battle of Belmont in Missouri (Nov 7, 1861). He served in 14 battles and 25 skirmishes in Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. He was mustered out of service first in Louisville, KY and then in Springfield where he got his final discharge on July 31, 1865.
Five children were born to the union of Ben and Mary Ann Russell Barker Lewis:
- Ellen Lewis Smith, born April 27, 1859, died Jan 27, 1937. Married Don Smith and had children Eva Smith, Myrtle Smith and Lee Smith.
- Margie Lewis Gee, born Feb 1861, died Sept 7, 1927. Married Jim Gee and had children Elbert Gee, Ira Gee, Annie Gee, Arthur Gee, Emire Gee, May Gee, Samuel Gee, Arlan Gee
- Abner Lewis, born Sept 11, 1864, died Jan 16, 1895. Married Ida Martin and had children Tom and Annie. Tom Lewis married Meade Morse. Annie Lewis married Harrison Brannon
- Martha Lewis Hancock, born April 10, 1869, died Dec 21, 1948. Married Joe Hancock and had child Willie Hancock. She later married Anderson Hensahaw
- Susan Lewis Martin, born Jan 15, 1870, died Jan 24, 1949. Married Moss Martin and had son Ben Martin. Later married Sam Miller and had Maude Martin, Hugh Martin, Lola Martin, and Naomi Martin. Two children died in infancy, William Hubert Martin born Aug 8, 1895 and Rosa Leone Martin born Sept 25, 1901.
Ben married Mary Winnie Wiley at the home of John Wiley on April 24, 1879.
Doctor Ben passed away on Nov 23, 1892 from injuries suffered from falling off a barn roof while repairing it, and is buried in Reid’s Chapel cemetery adjoining the Hancock Schoolhouse on Battleford Road between Stonefort and Mitchellsville, Illinois.