Left: Rockhold Brother General Store on Main Street. Right: The Rockhold House on Indian Hill Road was designed by James C. Stanley.

Benjamin F Rockhold

Benjamin Rockhold played a unique role in the aftermath of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. During his Civil War service he fought in the Army of the Potomac in several notable encounters.

Discharged in 1864, he returned home briefly but reenlisted in the Hancock Corps and arrived at Union Depot in Washington at 9 p.m. on April 14, 1865. An hour and a half later, Lincoln was shot.

Rockhold was the commander of the detachment of guards placed at the prison where Mary Surratt and the conspirators accused of aiding Booth were imprisoned and eventually hanged. He was also in charge of the guard protecting Secretary of State William H. Seward, after he had been attacked by one of the Lincoln plotters at his home the same night as the assassination.

In 1888, Benjamin and his brother, John, were persuaded to come to Riverside by positive reports from their old friends, the Dyers, who had earlier gone west. They opened Rockhold Brothers General Store on Main Street. Eventually the store was sold and became the A. M. Lewis Company.