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Ben Farmer

The assassination of Ben Farmer, local merchant and butcher, of Farmdale in south Franklin County caused much excitement among the residents of Franklin County.  
On Saturday night of March 5, 1870, Mr. Farmer was asleep on the sofa, his head near the window which opened out on the porch.  Thomas Mayhall and William Wright
were at the Farmer home that night and in the same room where Ben was sleeping.  They heard a shot, went to the door, but could see no one. When they attempted to wake
Farmer they found him dead.  A wound to his head had penetrated his neck.  A negro man, named Charles Holmes was arrested on suspicion, but the evidence at the
examining trial was not sufficient to hold him. Some time after, circumstances led to the arrest of William Hawkins and Charles Polk.  Only Hawkins was indicted and
tried by a jury, however he was acquitted. As time passed another murder would occurred in Franklin County and many wondered if the two incidents perhaps were
related.  On the morning of April 1, 1876, Martin V. South, also a butcher by trade, was assassinated at the Market House in Frankfort.

Ben Farmer's General Merchandise Store was located just past the Kentucky Military Institute, now Stewart Home School. At one time the post office for Farmdale
and a thriving dry good business.  For years the old abandoned building stood as a reminder of times gone by. The old home of Ben Farmer stood just a few hundred
yards from the store and was known as the Old Farmer House. W. S. Farmer and wife, Ada, inherited the Farmer property.  They later opened Farmer-Hudson's located
                                                                                                                               on Main Street in downtown Frankfort.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

History of Franklin County, Kentucky, by L. F. Johnson



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