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Mer Rouge in Morehouse Parish, Louisiana — The American South (West South Central)
 

"Ben and the Boys"

1856   Ben V. Lily   1936

 
 
"Ben and the Boys" Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, October 25, 2017
1. "Ben and the Boys" Marker
Inscription.  Like Esau, Jacob's brother of Bible times, Ben Lilly was the ultimate hunter...but never on Sunday. Not one to focus on acquiring "things" and money, Ben acquired knowledge, knowledge about the outdoors and the four-legged challenges he found there...mainly bears and lions. Cotton and cattle were soon phased out of his life. Starting a few miles east of here on Bayou Bonne Idee and Beouf River, he, with his dogs, hunted South through Tensas swamp, where President Teddy Roosevelt came to hunt with him, then on West through East Texas, Northern Mexico and ultimately to Southwest New Mexico, where he settled down to do his "patriotic duty"...kill the mountain lions and bears that killed the ranchers' livestock. The ranchers paid him, the government paid him, unlike back home in Louisiana, so he stayed. He sent the money back home to his wife and children, who lived two blocks North of this monument. One of his two daughters, Verna, became a school teacher of note: At her death in 1985 she bequeathed over a half-million dollars, in two trust funds, to the Mer Rouge Methodist Church. One fund supports two student scholarships
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each year, the other, the pastor's salary. Ben Lilly, after a bout with pneumonia, died and was buried in Silver City, N.M. at the age of 80, never having been back to Mer Rouge, but leaving his mark here and across the Southwest.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureAnimalsChurches & ReligionSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #26 Theodore Roosevelt series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1985.
 
Location. 32° 46.609′ N, 91° 47.733′ W. Marker is in Mer Rouge, Louisiana, in Morehouse Parish. Marker is on Davenport Avenue (U.S. 165) east of South 22nd Street, on the right when traveling east. Located in front of the Mer Rouge Post Office. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 405 Davenport Avenue, Mer Rouge LA 71261, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Luther E. Hall (approx. 5.8 miles away); Morehouse Parish Training School (approx. 7˝ miles away); Point Pleasant (approx. 9 miles away).
 
"Ben and the Boys" Marker in front of the post office. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, October 25, 2017
2. "Ben and the Boys" Marker in front of the post office.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 16, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 409 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 16, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

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Mar. 3, 2024