Benjamin Franklin Eakins was born on October 22, 1895 in Webster, Kentucky. He was the third of eight children born to parents Wade Ramsey Eakins and Genoa Fannie Downey.
In 1900, the family is renting a house in Onton, Webster County, Kentucky. Ben is four years old.
In 1910, the family owns a own farm in Summers, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. Ben is living with his father and siblings as his mother is not listed on the census. Ben is 14 and lists his occupation as a farmer. When asked about his education, it is listed that while he can read, he cannot write and he has not attended school in the past year.
On July 15, 1918, Ben was drafted into the army during World War I. He listed his residence at the time as Spar Dodds, Missouri. He was a private in the 27th Company at Camp McArthur. He was sent overseas from September 26, 1918 to May 18, 1919. He was not disabled when he returned and he was honorably discharged.
By 1920, the family has moved to Como, New Madrid County, Missouri. Ben is still living at home with the family and again, Ben’s mother is not listed on the census with the family. They are renting a home and Ben lists his occupation as a laborer in a saw mill.
On January 23, 1925, Ben married Almedia “Medie” Chambers in New Madrid, Missouri. Both Ben and Medie list their place of residence as living near Lilbourne, New Madrid County, Missouri.
Together, they went on to have nine children together:
- Sarah Elizabeth Eakins (b. 1925, Missouri – d. 2005, Rolla, Missouri)
- Paul “Bud” Wade Eakins (b. 1927, Missouri – d. 2002, Calliham, Texas)
- Ruth Joyce Eakins (b. 1930, Arkansas – d. before 2006)
- Benjamin Franklin “Frank” Eakins (b. 1934 – Arkansas – d. 2012, Rolla, Missouri)
- Erman Lee Eakins (b. 1936 – Illinois – d. 1987, St. Louis, Missouri)
- Christine Eakins (b. unk, Missouri)
- Robert Bobby Eakins (b. unk, Missouri)
- Wanda Eakins (b. unk, Missouri – d. before 2010)
- Marvin Eakins (b. 1943, Catron, New Madrid County, Missouri – d. 2006, Troy, Missouri)
In 1930, Ben’s family in Brinkley, Arkansas. The family is living on a farm and Ben’s father Wade Medie’s brother Charles Chambers are living with them. Ben lists his occupation as a farmer. Ben as well a everyone else in the family lists their place of birth as Arkansas making it likely that someone else gave the census taker the information on the family or that place of birth were assumed as being born there.
By the places of birth of his children, we know that by 1936, the family was living in Illinois and shortly thereafter they moved back to Missouri.
In January of 1965, Ben died in St. James, Phelps County, Missouri. He was buried at St. James Cemetery in Phelps County with many other Eakins family members.