IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Ben M. Benson

Ben M. Benson holds precedence as one of the representative farmers of Highland township, and is well worthy of recognition in this history of his native county.

He was born in Marion township, on the 22nd of July, 1862, and is a son of Michael and Bergat (Olson) Benson, both of whom were born in Norway. Michael Benson was reared to manhood in his native land and in 1859 he immigrated to the United States and established his residence in Marion township, Clayton county, in 1861. After due experience as a pioneer farmer in that township he removed to section 3, Highland township, where he developed a fine farm of one hundred and twenty acres, this old homestead having continued as his place of residence until his death, which occurred January 10, 1891, the devoted wife of his young manhood having been summoned to rest on the 5th of June, 1875, and both having been earnest members of the Norwegian Lutheran church.

Of their five children the first, Ben, died in infancy, and the second child is Ben M., the immediate subject of this review; Ole is a prosperous farmer in Wagner township; Carrie is the wife of Nels E. Nelson, of Lyon county; and Isabel is the wife of Henry Embertson, of Wagner township.

Ben M. Benson has resided on the old homestead farm from the time of his birth and now owns a well improved landed estate of two hundred and sixty acres, devoted to diversified agriculture and the raising of approved grades of live stock. He has at all times taken a loyal interest in community affairs, is a Republican in his political adherency, served two terms as township trustee and is now a member of the school board of the home district in which he himself acquired his early education. Both he and his wife are communicants of the Norwegian Lutheran church in Highland township and he is serving as its treasurer. His attractive home, with modern conveniences and appointments, receives mail service on rural route No. 2 from the village of Elgin.

On the 8th of March, 1889, was recorded the marriage of Mr. Benson to Miss Berdelia Lein, who likewise was born and reared in this county, where her parents, Lars and Josand (Olson) Lein, established their home upon their immigration to America from Norway, in 1857, her father becoming one of the sturdy and honored pioneer farmers of Highland township. He died in 1870 and his widow now resides in the state of Minnesota. They became the parents of eleven children, of whom the first, Ivan, is deceased; Ole resides at Grand Forks, North Dakota; Emily is the wife of Bertines Hulverson, of North Dakota; Isabel is the wife of A. Storeland and they reside in Minnesota; Bertha is the wife of Hans Hanson, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Lars is deceased; Mrs. Benson was the next in order of birth; Georgina is the wife of Henry Highfield, and they reside in the state of Idaho; Julia is the wife of M.T. Paulson, of Austin, Minnesota; Caroline is the wife of Rev. N.G. Peterson, who is now pastor of a Lutheran church in the city of Des Moines; Laura is the wife of M.O. Swinstad, of Devil's Lake, North Dakota.

In conclusion is given brief record concerning the children of Mr. and Mrs. Benson: Leonard Elmer was born September 22, 1889, and is associated in the management of the home farm; Betsy Maria, born November 7, 1890, is the wife of Lars Larson, of Boardman township; Adelia Louisa, who remains at the parental home, as do also Josephine Ida, Melvin Enoch, Cornelia Betina, Belva Belinda and Luella Geneva.

source: History of Clayton County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; page 37-38
-transcribed by Mary Cameron


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