The Starkville News, April 7, 1911

The Starkville News, April 7, 1911

Ben Chiles.

Ben Chiles, colored, who for many years past has been a familiar character in and about our town and vicinity, died on the 20th of March, having attained the ripe old age of 87 years.

He was born in South Carolina in 1825, removing to this county with his master, Mr. John M. Chiles, in 1837. Had he lived to see June 22nd, he would have been 88 years old.

During the dark days of reconstruction – in 76 and 77, he was elected to represent our county in the Legislature. Be it said to the credit of “Uncle Ben” that he was a factor in the wresting from carpet bag rule, our government. He never voted except with his Democratic colleague, always consulting him on every measure. As a consequence, he ever held the respect of both the white and black races.

Ben was inoffensive, lived and advocated a clean, moral life for the negro, looked upon the southern white man as the true friend of his people. He was a faithful slave, ever trustworthy in all things, and has no doubt now gone to receive his reward.

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