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. 595-96.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  Carl J. Benna

Carl J. Benna, who owns and operates a valuable and well improved farm of eighty acres on section 12, Fairfield township, was born in Sweden on the 22d of January, 1870.  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., of this review; and Axel, whose sketch appears on another page of this volume.  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, 1836.  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 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 1878 that Nels Benna wedded Mrs. Matilda Anderson, by whom he had the following children:  Allen and Selma, both at home; Hilma, deceased; Sigird, 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.


Carl J. Benna was brought by his parents to the United States, the family home being established in Calmar, Iowa, and later accompanied his mother and stepfather on their removal to Buena Vista county.  After attending the country schools he was a student in a graded school at Peterson, Iowa, for two terms, and in 1895 was graduated from the business department of Augustana College at Rock Island, Illinois.  He then turned his attention to general agricultural pursuits, to which line of activity he has since devoted his time and energies, being widely recognized as a most progressive and enterprising farmer of Fairfield township.  His place comprises eighty acres of rich and productive land and the many substantial improvements on the property stand as monuments to his thrift and well directed energy.


On the 13th of November, 1892, Mr. Benna was united in marriage to Miss Minnie Johnson, a daughter of Gustav and Matilda (Hard) Johnson.  They have two children, Lillian and May. aged respectively four and three years.


Politically Mr. Benna is a stanch [sic] republican, while his religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Swedish Lutheran church, with which his wife is also identified.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Benna have ever displayed those sterling traits of character which in every land and time awaken admiration and regard and they have many warm friends throughout their home community.