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Villmer Benson Family

Photo page 339

Ina Hoffman and Villmer Benson were united in marriage on October 15, 1921. Villmer came to Madrid from the Sheldahl area. His father, Amos Benson, owned a farm in South Dakota and later in the Ringstead, Iowa area. They later farmed in the Sheldahl area. Amos married Emma Ringgenberg, and to their marriage were born four children: Villmer, Eva Benson Smith (Mrs. Paul Smith, of Boone, who is the mother of Keith, Gary, and Marilyn); Rose Benson Andrew (Mrs. Kaye Andrew, of rural Madrid, who was the mother of Eugene Andrew and Virginia Andrew Hinman); and Erving, who died in an accident during his youth. Amos's father, Ole Bjornsen (the Norwegian spelling of Benson) embarked the Old Country June 27, 1855, from which he traveled to South Dakota, where he farmed and raised his family.

Ina Benson, like many other Boone County residents, traces her family tree back through the lineage of Daniel Boone. Family roots are recorded as early as 1600, to George Boone the First, in England (1600). Following, his son, George Boone the Second (1636), and his son, George Boone the Third (1666), were all Englishmen. Squire Boone the First, who was the father of Daniel Boone, was probably the first ancestor to immigrate to America. A brother of Daniel, Squire Boone the Second, was Ina's greatgreat-grandfather, and his son, William Myrtle, was her great-grandfather. In a portion of his written recollections, William Myrtle Boone writes: "Of all my father's children (there were eight), only four survive, two sons, myself and Tyler, the latter having lived in Worth Township for many years as a prosperous farmer, and two daughters, Mrs. Melissa Scott, of Boone, Iowa, and Mrs. Elizabeth Williams, of Madrid, Iowa. My father was born in Virginia, and reared in Kentucky where he farmed for a number of years and crossed the river into Indiana. In 1852, he came to Boone County, Iowa, and settled on a farm in Worth Township, where with the aid of his sons, he again improved and developed a valuable farm. For several years, he was a resident of Boonesboro, some call it West Boone, Iowa."

William farmed near his parents and looked after their interests, residing in Worth Township for 56 years, until 1896, at the death of his wife, Nancy Parker Boone. To their union were born nine children: Alice, Edward, Jesse P., Virgil, Matilda, Laura, and Oliver P. Boone. Oliver P. Boone was Ina's grandfather. William Myrtle Boone was a lifelong member of the Whig Party, until its dissolution, when he joined the Republican Party, casting his vote for John C. Fremont in 1856, and for every successive Republican candidate thereafter.

Oliver Boone married Clara Rissler, and to their marriage were born three daughters: Nellie Williams, Gladys Oviott, and Ethel Dovie Boone Hoffman, who was Ina's mother, and a son, Myron.

Ethel Dovie Boone and Terry Hoffman were the parents of four daughters: Violett Hoffman Johnson, Ina Hoffman Benson, Clara Hoffman Olson, and E. Mildred Hoffman Konchar Brower. The family first lived in Boone, where Terry worked on the Northwestern railroad, and later on the streetcars. Following a tragic accident involving a fellow-worker, Mrs. Hoffman urged her husband to leave the railroad, and they subsequently moved to the Madrid area, where he could farm near her parents. They moved to Garden Prairie, where they farmed and raised their family. The family moved to Madrid and first took up residence in the new house at 227 South Main Street (the present Jack Wade home) when the oldest girls were in high school. Terry is remembered by many as an employee at the International Harvester Implement and the Ford Garage in Madrid, where he worked for many years. The Hoffmans were longtime members of the First Methodist Church in Madrid, where Terry's devotion as an usher served as an example to all.

Violett married Martin Johnson, whose family also has its roots in the Madrid area. They reside in Chicago, and are the parents of one daughter, Valeria (Mrs. Ed) Bowman, who lives in the Chicago area, and a deceased son, Durwood.

Clara married Edmond Olson September 2, 1930. They continue to reside in Madrid, where they were both born and raised. Clara and Ed have one daughter, Nancy McConnell (Mrs. Dave), and the Mc-Connells are the parents of two children: Paul N. (born April 12, 1965) and Kristy Lou (born April 15, 1967).

E. Mildred first married Harry Konchar, of Madrid on October 9, 1938. Harry was a partner in the Konchar Meat Market with his brother, Bob, for many years. Many Madrid residents will remember Harry's untimely death May 5, 1950, shortly after the large lights were erected at the football field in Edgewood Park. To their marriage was born one son, Robert Eugene Konchar, who married Sharon Rae Smith. The Konchars live in Cedar Rapids, and are the parents of three children: Jon Robert, Lisa Anne, and Michael Rob. Bob is a practicing attorney in Cedar Rapids. Mildred married Lloyd Brower on April 28, 1951, and they also lived in Cedar Rapids. Lloyd passed away October 3, 1982.

Ina and Villmer were married in the Garden Prairie Church, where they also celebrated their 50th Anniversary. They have lived in the Madrid area for most of their married life. Members of their family fondly remember Villmer's penchant for a practical joke, and particularly enjoy the story of Ina and Villmer's courtship. He introduced himself to Ina at a church gathering, as "Henry Johnson," and they kept company for a period of time. A local automobile dealer then hired Villmer to travel to Minnesota and pick up a new Huttmobile and return it to Madrid to the dealership. While he was gone, Ina told friends that her "beau," "Henry Johnson" had gone to Minnesota to get the Huttmobile. Imagine her surprise and chagrin when she discovered that everyone else knew it was actually "Villmer Benson" who was gone on this errand!

Prior to his retirement, Villmer worked at the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company in Des Moines. Ina and Villmer attend the Garden Prairie Church. The Bensons were parents of four children: Wilbur, Betty, Marvin, and Mary.

Wilbur married Virginia Swain, the daughter of Glen and Ethel Swain of Madrid, and they continue to reside here in Madrid. Their children are: Richard, Wayne, and Roxanne Benson Ellison, and they all reside in the Luther and Madrid area. Wilbur and Virginia have five grandchildren.

Betty married Kenneth Cronk, and they also lived in Madrid. They were parents of one son, Rollin Kenneth Cronk, born on Betty's birthday, May 29, 1945. Kenneth died in 1952, and Betty married Wesley Cronk in 1955. To that union, three children were born: Pamela (died in infancy), Cynthia Ann, and Kevin Mark. Betty and Wesley, Cindy, and Kevin moved to Florida in 1961. Rollin stayed on to live with his grandparents, Ina and Villmer. Betty passed away, in Florida, in 1974, and is buried next to Kenneth at Fairview Cemetery.

Marvin married Doris Burkey. They live on a farm between Sheldahl and Alleman, and their children are Connie Peterson and Alan Benson, who also live in the Sheldahl area. They have five grandchildren. Mary married Ralph Brundage, from Luther, and their children are Jeffrey and Lori Brundage Funk, both of whom live near Story City. Ralph passed away December 24, 1980, and Mary continues to reside in the family home in Luther.

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