A Biography of Ben Cartwright
Written by AC1830, November 2015
Honorable. Trustworthy. Sincere. God-fearing. Family-focused.
These words, among many others, describe one man – Benjamin Cartwright.
Benjamin Cartwright is a leading citizen and well-respected business man in Virginia City, Nevada. He owns and runs the Ponderosa, a 1,000 square-mile ranch, with his three sons – Adam, Hoss, and Joe. The Ponderosa produces high quality beef cattle, prime timber for building, and well-bred horses.
As a widower, Ben left Boston, Massachusetts, with his infant son, Adam, to fulfill a dream. He wanted to own a cattle ranch in the West where the trees grew tall and the mountains touched the sky. He found his dream in the High Sierras on the edge of Lake Tahoe and began to build his ranch and empire through sweat, hard work and sacrifice. Years later he is running the ranch with his three adult sons.
Ben Cartwright is highly respected in the area. He is known for his honesty and integrity. He can be shrewd in securing business contracts but is also fair and always works within the law.
Ben is a deeply religious man. He seeks out the path of the Good Lord for guidance, strength and wisdom. He has instilled his beliefs in his sons as well. Thrice widowed, Ben has had his three sons by his side as he built the Ponderosa. He has taught them his Faith and his work ethic – don’t ask anyone else to do the work you wouldn’t do yourself.
While Ben can be a formidable opponent if his land or his sons are ever threatened, he is also the most humble and giving of souls. He will help the wayward person get back on his feet, share of his land’s bounty with those in need, and always have an open door for the weary traveler.
Ben has taught his sons to take care of the land that is the Ponderosa - to take only what one needs and to give back what one takes. The Ponderosa is Ben’s legacy to his sons and future generations. But for how much the land means to him, he has made one solemn promise, “I’ve never held my land above my sons. Before that’d happen, I’d destroy the Ponderosa.” ("The Truckee Strip").
Proverbs 11:3 "The integrity of the upright shall guide them.” That is Ben Cartwright.