Ben Gordon

Ben Gordon (Term of Office 1970 - 1972)

Oliver Benjamin Gordon, the ninth Mayor of Federal Heights, was born on December 30, 1917 in Harrison, Iowa to Fithian Vade and Maggie Belle (Bonner) Gordon. Ben’s father passed away at the age of 27, a few months before Ben turned two years old and before his brother was born.  Ben, his mother, two sisters and brother lived with family members for a time after his father’s death.  Ben's mother, Maggie, passed away in 1932 when Ben was 14 years old.  Ben married Bernadine Amy Graybill on August 24, 1940 in Iowa.  As part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, Ben registered for the draft on October 16, 1940.  Ben and Bernadine's daughter, Sharon Lee, was born in 1943.  

Ben and Bernadine purchased Tract 38, 2705 W. 90th Place, in Federal Heights, where they lived for many years.  Ben ran unsuccessfully for Town Board in 1958.  He was elected for two-year terms in 1960 and 1962.  In 1970 he was again elected to the Town Board and was appointed Mayor Pro Tem by his peers.

When Mayor Delmar Huff resigned in November, 1970, Gordon filled the Mayor’s seat, serving out Huff’s term until the spring of 1972.  Over the course of his 18 months as Mayor, Gordon served with eight different Town Board members - Howard Anderson, Ronald Bacher, James Burton, James Craddock, Leo Friend, William Kennedy, Betty Mogensen and David Wilson.

While Ben (sometimes called O.B. or Oliver) was Mayor, 1970-1972, the Town Board considered zoning issues, water, mobile home parks and mechanical, plumbing, electrical and building codes. The Board adopted ordinances for social security coverage for Town employees, sign regulations, off-street parking regulations, criminal codes, liquor licensing and permitting the construction of child daycare centers.  During this time, the salary of the Mayor was raised to $100/month and each trustee was raised to $50/month.  The Board established four-year overlapping terms of office for trustees, a four-year term of office for the Mayor and established the position of Town Administrator. The last annexation in Federal Heights occurred in 1971.

In 1971, Ben became a partner in the Maura Villa Subdivision, portions of tracts 46 and 47 located north of 92nd Avenue on Clay Street, with Mary Elizabeth Sammons, another Federal Heights resident.  Covenants were developed and lots were sold to the families of Bearce, Brocious, Ciancio, Craddock, Craven, Dorris, Fink, Hafer, Hart, Johnson, Kohlmann, Mlinek, Poland, Portwood, Russell, Semprebon, Vandeest, Weaver and Woznick.  Descendants of some of these families still own property in Maura Villa almost 50 years later.

Ben continued service to his community by serving on the Town’s Board of Adjustment for 13 years, 1978-1990, addressing variances to zoning codes throughout Federal Heights. Ben’s wife Bernadine passed away on September 15, 1991 and he passed away five months later on February 16, 1992 at the age of 74. They are buried at Highland Memorial Gardens in Thornton.