IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

August Benson

August Benson is another of the sterling sons of the fair Norseland who have found in America the advantages and opportunities for the achieving of definite independence and prosperity, and he has been a resident of Clayton county for over thirty years. Here his industry and progressiveness are indicated in his ownership of one of the fine farms of Highland township, and he is specially worthy of representation in this publication.

Mr. Benson was born in Goteberg, Sweden, on the 5th of August, 1855, and is a son of Bengt Anderson and Bertha (Larson) Anderson, who passed their entire lives in their native land, their son August receiving the surname of Benson, in accordance with the ancient custom of Sweden, that of giving to children for surnames the full or a derivative from the personal name of the father. He whose name initiates this review was reared on his father's farm and gained his early education in the schools of his native land. He was the eighth in order of birth in a family of twelve children, of whom the eldest, Anna Breta, remains in Sweden; Christina and Andrew died in their native land; Lars and Johannes still reside in Sweden; Carl and August (first of the name) are deceased, the latter having died in infancy and the same name having been given to the subject of this review, who was the next child; Magnus is deceased; Johanna is the wife of Halvor Torkleson, a progressive farmer of Clayton county; John resides in the city of Chicago, as does also Emma, who is the wife of August Jacobson.

August Benson remained at the parental home until he had attained to the age of twenty-one years, when he severed the ties that bound him to his native land and came to America, fortified with energy and ambition and determined to make advancement through his own efforts. He resided for some time in the state of New York, maintaining his home first at Brockton and later at Dunkirk, and incidental to his work at this period of his career it is interesting to record that he had the distinction of driving the first spike in connection with the construction of the line of the Nickel Plate Railroad in the Empire state. Later he was for five years in the employ of a physician, Dr. Williams, at Dunkirk, and he then, in 1885, came to Clayton county, where he worked one year on a farm. He had carefully conserved his earnings during the period of his residence in the United States, and thus he found himself at the expiration of this first year justified in the purchasing of his present farm of one hundred and sixty acres, in Section 1, Highland township. He has made the best of improvements on the place, has a substantial and modern residence of two stories, and in addition to the homestead he now owns a tract of twenty acres of timber land, in Highland township. Mr. Benson is a practical, industrious and progressive farmer, gives special attention to the raising of clover, and propagates also the other crops best suited to the soil and climate of this section of Iowa, including alfalfa, which he has grown quite successfully in a small way for the last few years, besides raising fine grades of live stock. The splendid prosperity that has attended his indefatigable efforts is further attested by his having in recent time purchased in Highland township an additional tract of one hundred and ninety-seven acres, in which he has given to his sons a partnership interest. He is a staunch Republican, is serving as school director of his district and he and his wife are earnest communicants of the Lutheran church.

In 1884 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Benson to Miss Elizabeth Jacoby, who likewise was born in Sweden, and she has proved his devoted helpmeet during the years of their gracious companionship. Of the children born to this happy union, all received the advantages of the excellent schools of Clayton county. Hilma, the oldest, is married to Mr. Levy M. Erickson of Farmersburg; Charles August is a graduate of the Iowa State College of Agriculture at Ames, and is the present deputy clerk of the District Court of Clayton county. Jerda is a successful and popular teacher in the district schools, and Oscar Arthur is preparing himself for a collegiate course at Ames College. It is planned soon that Charles shall resign his official position and that father and sons shall join in the improvement of the old homestead and their newly acquired land, which is all in one body, and convert it into a first-class stock farm.

source: History of Clayton County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; pg. 36-37

-OCR scanned by S. Ferrall


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