Senator Benjamin Rex Vale View All Years

Compiled Historical Information
Date of Death: 4/3/1915
Party Affiliation: Republican
Assemblies Served:
Senate: 22 (1888) - 25 (1894)
Home County: Van Buren
Family Members Who Served in the Iowa Legislature: Father: Jacob G. Vale; GAs 13, 14
Benjamin Rex Vale
Van Buren County

MR. PRESIDENT—Your committee appointed to draft resolutions commemorative of the life, character and services of Benjamin Rex Vale beg to submit the following report:


Honorable Benjamin Rex Vale was born in Smithfield, Ohio, June 4, 1848; he died at Bonaparte, Van Buren County, Iowa, April 3, 1915. He was the son of Honorable Jacob G. Vale and Anne (Rex) Vale, and with his parents removed from his birthplace to Lee County, Iowa, in 1850, thence to Harrisburg Township, Van Buren County, in 1856. He went to school at Birmingham Academy, Birmingham, Iowa, thence to Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois, from which he graduated with the degree of A. B. in 1873, later receiving from the same institution the degree of A. M. While in school at Monmouth, Illinois, he met Miss Julia Biddle whom he married on February 12, 1874. To this union was born four children, all of whom are living. They are Mrs. Regina Tedford of Mt. Ayr, Mary B. Vale, Mrs. Margaret Emma Roberts and Bruce Rex Vale of Bonaparte.

Almost at once after his graduation he returned to the farm pursuits in which he had been engaged with his father, and took personal management of the cultivation of the large and fertile farms the older Vale had acquired on his arrival in Iowa. He became the owner of these lands upon the death of the father and continued in the active operation of the same throughout the remainder of his life. He was a pioneer in the field of thoroughbred cattle and swine breeding, being known through the United States as one of the most expert and successful improvers of the Chester White hog. He early identified himself with township and county movements for better study and practice in the farming arts, serving often in responsible capacities as an official of these. He organized the Farmers and Traders Bank of Bonaparte in 1882 and remained its head while he lived, serving also as president of the Mount Sterling Savings Bank, an auxiliary of the Farmers and Traders Bank. He was an active and influential factor in the rural school administration of his township and a member and constant attendant on the services of the Presbyterian Church.

In 1887 he was nominated at the Republican Senatorial convention held at Fairfield, Iowa, and was elected twice, serving the district composed of Van Buren and Jefferson counties in the Twenty-second, Twenty-third, Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth General Assemblies. He was twice chairman of the Senate committee on Agriculture, and was an active member of the committees on Schools and Banks.

He lived the simple life and delighted to mingle with the people. He loved his home and was happy in his family in whom he took pardonable pride. He was beloved by his neighbors and friends who consider his death a great loss to the state. He was honest and upright in all his dealings and had the confidence of all who knew him.

Whereas, The Honorable Benjamin Rex Vale, a member of this body in the Twenty-second, Twenty-third, Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth General Assemblies, has been called from this life; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Senate has heard with deep sorrow and regret of his death and that it recognizes the high character of his service to his state and in his death the state has lost a worthy and noble citizen.

Resolved, That this Senate extend to his family its sincere sympathy in their great bereavement. Be it further

Resolved, That these resolutions be entered upon our Senate Journal and a copy be sent to the bereaved family of the deceased.





The resolutions were adopted unanimously by a rising vote.