Slaughter, Doctor Benjamin Franklin
Doctor Benjamin Franklin Slaughter (1842-1896), who usually went by the nickname Ben or Frank, was the post surgeon assigned to the region’s earliest military posts, including Camp Greeley/Hancock and Fort Rice.
Slaughter was born April 10, 1842 in Kentucky. Despite his southern heritage, he served the Union during the Civic War, where he was commissioned with the rank of Assistant Surgeon on November 14, 1864. He was promoted to full surgeon on April 10, 1865.
Slaughter was transferred to Fort Rice in 1871. The following year, on April 16, 1872, Slaughter was appointed by Special Order No. 65 of the Headquarters of the Department of Dakota to the board of directors responsible for locating a military post within the “immediate vicinity of the point where the railroad would cross the (Missouri) river.”
Fort McKeen and Camp Greeley (later Camp Hancock) were created as a result. Slaughter arrived in the new town of Edwinton (now Bismarck) aboard the Ida Stockdale on August 8th with other officers from Fort Rice to occupy Camp Greeley.
Slaughter retired from service in November 1873. He later served some time as postmaster. His wife also was a postmistress. He did of paralysis in 1896.
While an important figure in his own right, his wife, Linda Warfel Slaughter, arguably left a more important historical legacy. He met Linda in 1868.