Gunfighter and occasional sheriff of the Old West who worked with grand showman, Buffalo Bill Cody and gunmen Wild Bill Hickock.
He fought on the Confederate side of the American Civil War, and later worked as a mercenary for the emperor of Mexico.
In 1881, he became marshal in Austin, Texas.
His parents were William and Mary Ann Thompson. He had a younger brother, Billy, and a younger sister, Mary Jane. The family traveled on the ship Granada from Liverpool to the United States when Ben was eight years old.
Buffalo Bill once gave him a custom-made, engraved Stevens-Lord No. 36 target pistol.