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TERRELL, BEN STOCKTON (1842–1928). Ben Stockton Terrell, soldier, lawyer, and Populist, was born in Colorado County, Texas, on July 10, 1842, the son of Henry Terrell. He moved to Guadalupe County in 1857. He enlisted in the Fourth Texas Infantry of Hood's Brigadeqv in 1861 and was wounded at Seven Pines and Sharpsburg before being transferred to Terry's Texas Rangers (the Eighth Texas Cavalryqv). He returned to farming in Texas in 1865, traveled the next year to Mexico as a trader, and in 1870 returned to Texas to farm. He joined the Farmers' Alliance in 1886 and became treasurer of the Texas Alliance Exchange. In 1887, after election as national lecturer of the alliance, he traveled widely through the South organizing new chapters and debating those who questioned alliance goals, including Benjamin R. Tillman, later governor of South Carolina. (Tillman was elected governor in 1890; he was nicknamed "Pitchfork" in 1894, when, as a candidate for the United States Senate, he said he wanted to go to Washington and stick a pitchfork into President Grover Cleveland's fat ribs.) In 1891 Terrell was elected president of the Confederation of Industrial Organizations, which included alliance representatives, and in January 1892 he traveled to St. Louis as a Texas delegate to the founding convention of the People's party. Later that year he was temporary chairman of the People's party national convention at Omaha and ran second in a bid for the vice presidential nomination. He was defeated for Congress as the Populist candidate in the Eleventh District in 1892, withdrew in 1894 in favor of an independent Democratic candidate, and continued as an active party leader through 1896. Terrell also served at various times as county and city attorney in Seguin and Guadalupe County. He was a Methodist. On February 23, 1876, he married Katie Heaner, with whom he had a daughter. He died on March 18, 1928.


Alwyn Barr, "Ben Terrell: Agrarian Spokesman," West Texas Historical Association Year Book 45 (1969). Galveston Daily News, September 20, 1894, September 13, 1896. Galveston Weekly News, June 23, July 7, 28, September 1, 1892. Seguin Enterprise, March 23, 1928. Texas Secretary of State, Report, 1892.

Alwyn Barr

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Handbook of Texas Online, Alwyn Barr, "Terrell, Ben Stockton," accessed November 20, 2017,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on September 29, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.