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Benjamin Oden West Obituary
Rochester IN Sentinal 1933
Benjamin Oden WEST, aged 76, for many years a resident of
this city during which period he was the local agent for
the Chicago and Erie railroad, died early this morning at
Palmetto, Florida, from shock which followed a fall he
suffered two days ago in which accident he fractured
the bones in his left hip.
Mr. West was an employee of the Chicago and Erie railroad for
over 50 years, retiring in October, 1927. He came to this
city with a crew of surveyors in 1881 who fixed the
location of the railroad right-of-way across the county. In
1882 he was appointed the agent for the railroad here and
served in that capacity until his retirement. At the time
he was retired, Mr. West was the oldest employee of the Erie
railroad in point of service.
Mr. West was born in Washington, D.C., on January 9, 1857 and
was the son of Benjamin and Mary WEST. Mr. West lived in
Washington as a small boy during the trying times of the
Civil War and it was he who furnished officers with one of
the first clues as to John Wilkes BOOTH, who shot and
killed President Abraham LINCOLN.
Booth on the day of the murder April 14, 1865
tied his horse in the alley back of the West home. This alley
also was directly behind the Ford Theatre, where Lincoln was shot
while attending a performance of a play. Booth it will be
remembered sprained his ankle when he leaped from the
presidentâ€s box to the stage of the theatre after he had
shot Lincoln when he caught his heel in the American flag
which draped the box.Booth ran limping from the back door
of the threatre and mounted his horse which he had tied back of
the West home. Mr.West hearing the commotion ran to the alley
and told officers about Booth and in which direction he had fled.
Mr. West also told the officers that he saw Booth tie his horse
earlier in the day and his apparent nervousness at the
Mr. West was married in Washington, D.C., to Virginia HELVIN on
December 4, 1878. She died several years ago. Since his
retirement from the railroad Mr. West has spent the winter
months in Palmetto, Florida and the summer months at his
home in this city at the corner of Pontiac and Second
Streets. The deceased was a member of the First
Presbyterian Church and the Knights of Pythias Lodge of
this city. He also was a prominent democrat.
Survivors are a daughter, Mrs. Guy BARGER and two grandchildren,
Oden F. BARGER and Miss Virginia Emma BARGER all of this
The funeral arrangements are incomplete.
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