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Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
High on the list of Chillicothe's progressive and far-sighted business men appears the name of Benjamin F. Broyles, who is today conducting an extensive real-estate enterprise in the city and is otherwise closely connected with general business interests. He was born in Chillicothe on the 2d of September, 1879, a son of Michael and Rachel (Siler) Broyles, natives of eastern Tennessee. The father was born in that section, November 7, 1838, of which the grandfather of the subject of this review, the first Michael Broyles, was an early settler. He married Miss Nancy Perkins and came with her from Virginia to Tennessee, spending the remainder of his life in that state and passing away on November 13, 1848, at the age of forty-seven years. To him and his wife eleven children were born, namely: William; Lucinda; Hannah; Aaron; Elizabeth; Samuel; Nancy; Cynthia; Michael; Mary and Sarah Ann The last named is still residing in Tennessee, Hannah and Cynthia make their homes in Missouri, while Michael, the father of our subject, resides in Chillicothe. On August 31, 1856, he married Miss Rachel Siler and in the following year they set out together for Missouri, traveling in a prairie schooner drawn by horses. They settled as pioneers in Livingston county and witnessed most of the development of this part of the state, for they came here at a period when prairie chickens, wild turkeys and wild geese were abundant and the streams were full of fish. Michael Broyles still has many interesting tales to relate of those early times, when the settlers lived together like one large family, sharing the general joys and sorrows. After the war, however, conditions were entirely charged owing to the great influx of eastern settlers. Mr. Broyles engaged in farming for a number of years, operating a large and well managed agricultural enterprise. He has now lived retired for over twenty years. He made his home in Chula for some time but about five years ago he moved into Chillicothe and has since resided with his daughter Cora, now Mrs. Edward Helf. His wife passed away April 28, 1900. To their union were born eleven children, of whom four died in infancy. The others were as follows: Otis, who was born July 17, 1859, and who is now practicing medicine at Ludlow; Laura May, who was born March 12, 1861, and who married Frank Sparling, her death occurring about 1892; Susan, who was born March 16 ,1863, and who married Edward Sparling, of Cloverdale, California; Aaron, who was born November 6, 1865, and who makes his home in Chula; Cora Alice, who is the wife of Edward Helf, of Chillicothe; Mary, who married L. Taylor, of Chula; and Benjamin F., of this review. The father of these children is a third degree Mason and active in the affairs of the Southern Methodist Episcopal church.
Benjamin F. Broyles was reared at home and acquired a public-school education. He began his business career in Chillicothe by establishing himself in the real-estate business and has since become a representative factor in local business circles, for his patronage has steadily advanced in volume and importance. He has the utmost faith in the merits of Missouri land and in the continued prosperity of the state along all lines, and his success is due in large measure to his forceful personality and fine enthusiasm. He is president of the Broyles Land Company, dealers not only in Missouri lands but in
Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma real estate. The concern handles tracts of from six to thirty thousand acres, and Mr. Broyles has reduced his business system to a science and has leased no tract so small that he cannot instantly lay his hands upon all the information pertaining to it. He is altogether one of the greatest individual forces in the development and upbuilding of this part of the state, his work being of the constructive kind which influences advancement. In business dealings he is able, resourceful and far-sighted and he has not only attained individual prosperity but has left a deep impress upon the history of the city and state.
Mr. Broyles married Miss Sadie Knouse and they have two children. His political allegiance is given to the democratic party and fraternally he is affiliated with the Masonic order. He is greatly respected wherever he is known, as his efforts are to a high degree unselfish and so directed as to prove of permanent and practical benefit to those with whom he is associated.