Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. 
 Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa
Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 575-76.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  Axel Benna

Axel Benna, who is successfully engaged in farming on section 11, Fairfield township, was born in Sweden on the 11th of February, 1871.  His father, August Anderson, also a native of Sweden, followed the miller's trade in that country and after his emigration to the United States was employed on the railroad.  His demise occurred at Calmar, Iowa, in 1871, soon after his arrival in the new world.  His wife, who bore the maiden name of Matilda Johnson, was also born in Sweden and accompanied him on his emigration to America.  Unto August and Matilda (Johnson) Anderson were born two children:  Carl J., an agriculturist of Fairfield township, who is mentioned on another page of this volume; and Axel, of this review.  These children took the name of their mother's second husband.  Following the demise of August Anderson, his widow became the wife of Nels Benna, whose birth occurred in Sweden, May 20, 1839.  In the year 1869 he crossed the Atlantic to the United States, locating in Illinois, where he worked on a farm for two years on the expiration of which period he came to Buena Vista county, Iowa, and entered a claim of one hundred and sixty acres.  This property he brought under a high state of cultivation and it has since been the home of the family, his widow still residing thereon.  As his financial resources increased he added to his original purchase until he owned more than five hundred acres at the time of his death, which occurred in Fairfield township in 1895.  The estate is still undivided.  It was in 1873 that Nels Benna wedded Mrs. Matilda Anderson, by whom he had the following children:  Allen and Selma, both at home; Hilman, deceased; Sigird [sic], the wife of Olaf Nelson, of Albert City; Gust, who is operating the home farm; Berthold, who has also passed away; and George, at home.


Brought to this county by his parents in early childhood, Axel Benna has since made his home here, and attended the country schools until nineteen years of age, while subsequently he spent a year in the high school at Marathon and for one term was a student in Storm Lake College.  He then began farming on the home place and has since been thus engaged, operating two hundred acres of the estate.  He owns a farm of one hundred and fifty acres two miles west of Albert City, and is widely recognized as a prosperous and enterprising agriculturist of the community.


On the 6th of October, 1897, Mr. Benna was united in marriage to Miss Esther Benzon, a daughter of Rev. Benzon and Dora Benzon.  They now have four children:  Constance, Bertel, Dorothea, and Sylvia, aged respectively nine, six, four and one years.


In his political views Mr. Benna is a stalwart republican and has served as township trustee.  He and his family are devoted members of the Swedish Lutheran church, and are well known and highly esteemed throughout the community in which they reside.