The Olden Brothers

Captain William P. Olden

 Major William P. Olden

William Pomeroy Olden was born in Montpelier, Vermont, January 5, 1831. He began his education at McKendree in 1852 and graduated in 1861 finishing both law and the classical courses. He received the degrees of A.B. (Bachelor of Arts) and L.L.B. (Bachelor of Laws) at the same time upon his graduation. He was a member of the first law class to graduate from McKendree. He was a member of the Platonian Literary Society. Plato was founded in 1849 by members Henry C. Fike, Alexander Van Winkle, and Alonzo Thompson. Many members of Plato planned to pursue ministry and members frequently engaged in competitive debate and games against the campus’ other male literary society, Philo. After Olden’s graduation, he taught school one year at Moro, Illinois, and in the summer of 1862, he became captain of Company D of the 117th Illinois Volunteer.

Lieutenant Benjamin F. OldenFirst Lieutenant Benjamin F. Olden

Benjamin Franklin Olden, a younger brother of William P. was lieutenant of the same company. Captain Olden later earned the title of major. After the war, he began the practice of law in Springfield, Illinois, where he spent the remainder of his life. In addition to law, Benjamin F. Olden was an inventor and secured many patents. He was married January 5, 1872 to Mary Q. Staley. Their children are William Q. born in 1873, Mary E. born in 1875, and Ulysses S., born in 1879. Benjamin F. Olden died on March 3, 1904.

Guandolo, Joseph, ed. Centennial McKendree College with St. Clair County History. 1928.