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Biography: Benjamin Franklin Cliett born January 31, 1849

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(1849-aft. 1904)

Talladega County, Alabama


Benjamin Franklin Cliett, of Sylacauga, Alabama, was a native of Columbia county, Georgia, where he was born Jan. 31, 1849. His father, Minor Johnson Cliett, was born in the same county, Oct. 10, 1817. In early life he was an active Whig, but after the war became a Democrat. He was during his life a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity. He married Sarah A. Smith, daughter of Arthur and Emily (Skinner) Smith, of Columbia county, Ga., and in 1858 came to Alabama, where the father followed farming until his death, which occurred May 4, 1873. Sarah A. Cliett died on Sept. 19, 1887.

Benjamin F. Cliett was one of a family of fourteen children, eight of whom grew to maturity, and five of whom were still living in 1904. When he was nine years of age the family settled in Talladega county. He was educated in the common schools and, like his father, became a tiller of the soil. He prospered, and in time became one of the wealthiest farmers in Talladega county. He owned three farms, including about six hundred acres of the finest land in the county, though he lived retired in the town of Sylacauga in 1904, he enjoyed the fruits of his labor in earlier years.

He and his wife were both members of the Baptist church, and for thirty-three years he was a member of Sylacauga lodge, No. 200, Free and Accepted Masons. In politics, he was an unswerving Democrat and always took an active part in political affairs. For thirty years he was a member of the county executive committee, and he was frequently called upon to serve his party as a delegate to the State or congressional conventions. He served three terms as justice of the peace, and more than eight years as county commissioner.

Masonic Historical books 

Mr. Cliett was a mixture of Scotch, French, and German. The Clietts are French; the Smith family is of Scotch-Irish extraction, while a trace of German blood runs through the Skinners. On June 12, 1873, he married Elizabeth Oden, daughter of John Piney Oden, and they had two children,

  1. Jeptha Lee Cliett lived in Sylacauga in 1903
  2. Sarah “Sadie” Elizabeth Cliett,  lived in Sylacauga in 1903.

He passed away May 16, 1905 and is buried in Marble City Cemetery, Sylacauga, Talladega County, Alabama along with his wife who died July 25, 1903.


  1. Notable Men of Alabama: Personal and Genealogical, Volume 1 edited by Joel Campbell DuBose
  2. Find A. Grave Memorial #5923919 # 5923918 # 5923923

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