Benjamin Franklin Stermer

From Clara Hamilton's scrapbook clippings of the Log Cabin Democrat obits:


Faulkner County Surveyor B. Frank Stermer, 79, was stricken fatally today while driving his pick-up truck on Highway 65 near the Pulaski-Faulkner County line.

Mr. Stermer's truck ran off the right side of the highway and after striking an embankment it turned across the road and knocked down two mail boxes before coming to a halt. The motor was idle when passers-by reached the truck.

Floyd Green, employed at the Maumelle Ordance Works, saw Mr. Stermer as he slumped at the wheel and the machine went out of control. The truck did not overturn.

The body was removed to Owen & Co.'s Funeral Home in North Little Rock and Dr. Howard A. Dishongh, Pulaski County coroner, said Mr. Stermer's death was due to a heart attack.

The body was brought to Conway by McNutt's Funeral Home and later taken in charge by Doolin's.

Mr. Stermer held an almost indispensible job in his native county. He had worked as a surveyor for more than half a century and perhaps no one in Faulkner County had the knowledge of land descriptions and locations as he possessed.

He first was elected surveyor in 1898 and served five terms before giving up the post. He served another term in the early 20's and the past quarter of a century he was unopposed for the job.

The last eight years Mr. Stermer didn't even go to the trouble of getting his name on the ticket. Each biennium, however, hundreds of friends would write in his name on the ballot and his election was not opposed.

Mr. Stermer held a wide acquaintance throughout the county for his work carried him to all sections.

He maintained his residence on Rt. 2, about two miles southwest of Conway.

He was en route to a job in Pulaski County when he died. He left home shortly after 7 a.m.

At one time he was one of the biggest landowners in this county. He bought large acreages before World War I, but had disposed of numerous tracts in recent years.

Mr. Stermer was born near Gleason Feb. 12, 1874, a son of George and Elizabeth Bryant Stermer, and was a lifelong resident of Faulkner County. In march, 1898, he married the former Ida Elizabeth Durham, who survives.

Mr. Stermer, a veteran of the Spanish-American War, worked as a surveyor and civil engineer for the Missouri-Pacific Railroad for 25 years, returning full-time to his work as county surveyor in 1932.

Other than his wife, he is survived by two sons, Herman of Conway and Claud of Mission, Tex.; two daughters, Miss Frankie Stermer and Mrs. Hugh Hamilton of Conway, four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

During the past 10 years, Mr. Stermer was said to have transcribed his wealth of knowledge of the county's landmarks into a "most complete set of records." He surveyed almost exclusively by himself, and is said to have known where "every corner in Faulkner County" was located. Funeral arrangements are pending.


Funeral services for Benjamin Franklin Stermer, county surveyor, whose death occurred yesterday, will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow in Doolin's Funeral Home Chapel. The Rev. P.E. Turner will officiate. Interment will be in Oak Grove Cemetery.

Pallbearers: Active-Bob Troutman, C.J. Reasoner, W.S Little, C. Homer Jones, Faber Watson and Hanford Russel. Honorary-Joe Castleberry, E.A. Dickens, Dr. R.L. Taylor, Joe Troutman, G.S. McHenry, Otis Moore, Jess F. Dempsey, T.J. Starr and the Rev. Maurice M. Hall.

Benjamin Franklin Stermer: 12 Feb 1874 - 22 Sep 1953

Note: In the Census of Cemeteries of Faulkner Co, he is listed in Oak Grove as STERMER, ? and his birth date is listed inaccurately as Sep. I have seen this grave and have videotape of parts of Oak Grove, and in fact, his name is inscribed as B.F. with the correct dates. He has a double stone with his wife, Ida.

Contributed by Becky Millet 2002

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