The owner of the Ponderosa ranch and the father of Adam, Hoss (Eric), and Joseph (Little Joe). Later he adopts orphan Jamie Hunter as his son giving him four sons in total. He is a a good father,a good boss, and generally a good man.
- Non-Idle Rich: The owner of the biggest spread of the Nevada Territory. He is engaged in physical labor on his own ranch and is very active in his community.
- Papa Wolf: Want to make Ben get real angry real fast then threaten one of his sons. He also does not appreciate any children, in general, being threatened.
- Someone to Remember Her By: In a rare male example of this trope, Ben has one son from each of his three dead wives: Adam from Elizabeth Stoddard, Hoss(Eric)from Inger Borgstrom and Little Joe from Marie De Marigny.
Ben's eldest son. Adam went to college for architecture and designed the house where the Cartwrights live.
Eric "Hoss" Cartwright
Ben's middle son Eric, a.k.a "Hoss" Cartwright. A big and big-hearted man.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Hoss is one of the friendliest guys you'll ever meet... as long as you don't try to harm any one he cares about.
- Gentle Giant: Hoss is one of the biggest men in Nevada territory, He is also one of the kindest.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: No one calls him Eric. It is lampshaded at his birth.
Ben: We'll give him both names and see which one sticks.
Joseph "Little Joe" Cartwright
The youngest of the Cartwright boys. A real hot-head who at times struggles with a need to prove himself as more than just the baby of the family.
The Cartwright's hired chef.
- Supreme Chef: He is one, as everyone who stays for dinner at the Cartwright's can attest. Hoss, in particular, is a big fan.