Name: Benjamin F. BRACK
Birth: 4 AUG 1892 in Otis, KS
Death: 1984 in Wichita, KS
Emigrated 18 AUG 1913
<From WFT Vol1, Tree 573 - Brack Tree>
_RIN: 129 1
Change Date: 10 APR 2003 at 08:25:34
Ben F. Brack (1892-1983) Father of Helen Marie, Henry, Leland, and Lucille
Born in a sod hut outside Otis, six miles North and 1mile East of Great Bend, Ben F. was the first child of eight kids of Mary Moore and Henry A. Brack. Mary Moore was barely 17 at the time she got married. Things were a little rough back then, because Ben's father also made stone fence posts for himself (he'd started raising cattle and needed to fence them in) and to sell. H.A. was out making stone fence posts when Ben F. arrived into the world. Mary Moore was alone at the time.
Ben worked the farm and later at his dad's general store in Otis. For schooling Ben F. was sent away to Enterprise Normal Academy in Enterprise, Kansas. After finishing at the Academy Ben F. returned to Otis to make his fortune and for a brief time worked for an uncle, Peter Brack, in Peter's Grocery Store also later known as the Olmitz Bank.
Granddad told me once that the Bracks were one of two non-catholic families in the area and he married the only daughter of the other family, Marie Galyardt. The history of Barton County indicates that this wasn't exactly true. He may have meant Methodists. There was a bit of a flap when Ben F.'s grandmother remarried after Phillipp's death. She was married by the Methodist minister and when she died shortly after the turn of the Century, the Lutherans wouldn't let her be buried in the Lutheran and only Cemetary. Now that her great great granddaughter, Helen Marie is a Lutheran, everything is patched up again and the two church groups even have ice cream socials together in Otis.
Ben had 2 sisters and 4 brothers, a typical family of that era. Peter helped Ben F. and helped him legally receive his "Rights of Majority". Having these rights conferred, Ben F. could run his own Bank. Ben and Marie moved to Galatia, Kansas after they were married and Ben, a very bright man was successful in business, and the Bank was called the Galatia State Bank with Ben F. becoming president and at least part owner of the Bank. The Family lived in a large home across the street from the Bank. It was in Galatia that Helen, Henry, and Leland were born. The home was quite large and Marie Galyardt Brack's parents also came to Galatia and lived for a time with the family in their house. It was also around this period when Ben ran for Senator (State or Federal?) but lost the race. He was proud of the attempt and showed me a calling card once, which advertised himself in the campaign.
After Galatia, the Brack family moved to Hoisington, Kansas where they lived for 4-5 years and then to Winfield, Kansas where Ben F. was in the insurance business. The oil boom started and the Family moved to Wichita, Kansas where Ben F. got into the oil business. He also studied law through correspondence at LaSalle University, did quite well in his studies, but was never admitted to the Bar. The depression hit and around 1932 they moved to Denver and shortly thereafter on to Fort Collins where Ben acquired the Traveler's Insurance agency and developed the agency into a solid company, the largest single agency in the State prior to Ben suffering from a heart attack and moving to back to Wichita, Kansas about 1939.
When Ben returned to Wichita, the four kids, Henry, Leland, Lu, and Helen Marie had grown up. Ben F. left the insurance business to Bill Galyardt, Roberta's husband, who acquired it and continued the business. In Wichita Ben rested and recovered from his heart problem, but for a couple of years after moving to Wichita was unable to work much. Marie or one of the family had to drive him to appointments. They purchased older homes on the east side of Wichita and did some restoration which helped. Ben F reentered the oil and gas leasing business about this time, and I remember him telling a few stories about Grandmom driving him to farms where he would get farmers to sign leases. He was one of three partners who discovered the Hugoton gas field. At the time and for several decades later, it was the largest gas field in the world. Granddad's story about this discovery and the subsequent events tells much about this god-fearing Christian. With news of the discovery still pumping adrenaline in their systems, Ben F was summoned to a meeting in Los Angeles by one of the world's oil tycoons, J. Paul Getty. Ben F was offered millions, riches never dreamed of before. All he had to do in the process was sell out his partners. Ben left the meeting a humble man and never looked back on what could have been. Believe I was 14 or 15 at the time when Granddad told me the story. As he explained it "You'll be offered certain things in life, but in the end you still have to live with yourself " hard to do if your soul is dirty and you don't have any friends.
He was still successful and managed to build a Brack Oil Company and a Brack Drilling Company. During my year at Wichita State in Wichita, I asked Granddad about then Congressman Bob Dole whom I'd visited with during the summer of 1960 when in Washington with a friend. Grandad told me that after WWII, Bob Dole had returned to Russell, Kansas from the War badly wounded (his right arm was no longer functional) and that Grandad's advice to Bob was to go into politics. He was a supporter of Dole as long as he was alive. Many years later, when Ben and Marie still lived on North Delrose, I recall visiting their home and in the evening before they went to sleep at night, they would go to their bedroom and read a chapter or a verse or two from the Bible and say a favorite prayer..
Father: Henry A. BRACK b: 15 JAN 1869 in Schoenfelt, Samara, Russia
Mother: Mary MOORE b: 8 AUG 1874 in Moor, German Colony, Russia
- Title: World Family Tree Vol. 1, Tree 573 - Brack, Galyardt, Hawks of KS, OH 1599-1995 (Luft)
Publication: May 31, 1995, imported 1998.
Abbrev: World Family Tree Vol. 1, Tree 573 - Brack, Galyardt, Hawks of KS, OH
Some of the Bracks married Luft and Lebsacks.
Page: Tree #0573
Text: Date of Import: Feb 6, 1998