Ben Slocum

Mr. and Mrs. Ben Slocum

Ben Slocum was an artist whose works have received considerable attention in the area, and was a resident of the Indian Lands in McLean County, North Dakota.

Born at Arnette, Oklahoma, in 1908, Ben Slocum enjoyed drawing and using water colors as a child, and first tried his hand at oils at the age of fourteen. However, with the pressures of pursuing a livelihood, his painting fell by the wayside for a time.

He married Marjorie Sears of Elbowoods during her final year of nurse’s training in Denver, Colorado. After her graduation, the Slocums came to North Dakota for a visit, and eventually decided to move there.

Ben became a rancher-farmer, but his urge to paint persisted. However, it wasn’t until 1955, when Ben retired from the cattle business, that he found the time to satisfy this desire, and was able to achieve a certain amount of success with his paintings. His work was reviewed in several newspaper articles, and he won many ribbons at the North Dakota State Fair. In 1962, he received a Certificate of Recognition from the Bismarck Art Association for “Home Gate,” a paintings selected, in that year, by Northwestern Bell Telephone Company, for use in the company’s appointment calendars. Another of his paintings, entitled “Left Behind,” was used on the cover of the Reservation Telephone Cooperative directory, and others have been on display in several places around McLean County.

By 1967, Ben had painted more than three hundred paintings, many of which were portraits. He has painted a variety of subjects, but is best known for the Western motif.

The Slocums had two children, Jim and Joyce.