William Benson

William Martindale Benson (1830 - 1904)

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William Martindale Benson
Born in Warren County, Indianamap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married in Warren County, Indianamap [uncertain]
Husband of — married about in Crawford, Cherokee, KSmap [uncertain]
Descendants descendants
Died in Cherokee Co., Kansasmap
Profile last modified
This page has been accessed 29 times.



1850; Census Place: John Q Adams, Warren, Indiana; Roll: M432_178; Page: 63; Image: 437. Birth date: abt 1830 Birth place: Indiana

1870 Census Place: Warren, Indiana In Household: William age 39 Prudence M age 34 Martha M age 13 Cynthia A age 13 Samuel Isaac age 12 William W age 8 Rosalee J age 6 Martha age 65 (Mother of Prudence, most likely)

1880; Census Place: Crawford, Cherokee, Kansas; Roll: T9_375; Family History Film: 1254375; Page: 446.2000; Enumeration District: 39; Image: 0792. Birth date: abt 1831 Birth place: Indiana

1900 Census Place: Cherokee Kansas Household: William Benson age 70 Margaret A (Fagan) age 36 Tressie T age 13 George W age 9 Marguerite age 7 Lucy M age 1 Samuel age 41 (probably his father)

Buried Bethany Cemetery, near the Benson homestead.

Occupation: Teacher. 1853 to 1878. Warren County, Indiana.

Education: De Pauw University.

Information gleaned from FindAgrave.com

Survivors include his second wife, children Samuel, Tressie, George, Margaret & infant. -Many thanks to Mary Parmele for the above information and headstone photos.

KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS-William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas-CHEROKEE COUNTY, Part 15:

WILLIAM M. BENSON, son of Samuel and Martha Benson, was born September 20, 1830, in Warren County, Ind., then a wild and sparsely settled portion of the State. The red man, not having been removed, was still an inhabitant of the forest. He received his rudimentary education in the " Old Log School-house," in the days when a boy was considered about perfect if he could spell his teacher down in the old elementary spelling book and cipher as far as the Single Rural of Three in Pike's arithmetic. At the age of twenty, he entered college and received a scientific education. Loving an independent life, he chose farming as his profession, and for twenty-five years farmed during the summer and taught school during the winter. He married Miss Malinda P. Slauter, September 26, 1853, by whom he had six children- Martha Marinda, Cynthia Ann, Samuel L., William Willard, Rosalie and Osie Theodoshie. He came to Cherokee County in the summer of 1876 and spent five months in looking up a location and returned to Indiana. Returned to Kansas in the Spring of 1877, purchased lands, built a house and moved his family the following winter; he arrived at Columbus March 15, 1878. Mr. Benson opened and improved a farm of 540 acres, which he now runs as a grain and stock farm; he has also a full line of fruits. He has 400 acres under good cultivation, plenty of good stock and stock water. He was burned out December 13, 1879. His house, furniture, clothing and a valuable library of rare and excellent books, which he had been collecting for forty years, were entirely consumed. The loss was total, the property not being insured. He immediately re-built near the site of the former building a more beautiful and commodious residence. Mr. Benson has held several offices of trust, is a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and is a member of the Masonic fraternity & the IOOF.

In "History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & compiled by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Andrea Martin, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 12/20/1996. This information was found in KSGenWeb Project, Table of Contents, Representative Citizens Index, 1904 All Name Index, Cherokee Co. KSGenWeb, KSGenWeb Archives. Tom & Carolyn Ward, Columbus, KS email: tcward@columbus-ks.com:

WILLIAM M. BENSON, who was a prominent farmer of Crawford township and one of the early settlers of Cherokee County, coming here in 1876, died August 17, 1904. He was born in Warren County, Indiana, near the Wabash River, on September 20, 1830, and was a son of Samuel and Martha (Martindale) Benson, a grandson of James Benson and a great-grandson of James Benson. James Benson, our subject's great-grandfather, was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, and shipped to America, at the age of 18 years, subject to indenture for his passage money of $30. This resulted in his working for six years for a Philadelphia weaver, who was a just man and took the young Irish lad into his family as one of his own, winning the youth's lifelong devotion. Prior to the Revolutionary War, he went to South Carolina, where he secured a title to 400 acres of land in Union County, and resided upon it until his death in 1790. His son, James Benson, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born in Union County, South Carolina, and in 1810 removed with his family to Warren County, Indiana, where he resided on a farm until his death. On the maternal side, William M. Benson's great-grandfather was a native of Sweden, an expert weaver, who was employed in London and later settled in County Tyrone, Ireland. The genealogy can be traced traditionally back to the days of Holy Writ, even to the tribe of Benjamin. Samuel Benson, the father of our subject, was born December 15, 1800, in Union County, South Carolina, and died on his 66th birthday, December 15, 1866. His wife was born in 1805 in Greene County, Ohio, of South Carolina parentage. The subject of this sketch was the only son of the family that reached maturity. William M. Benson was reared in Warren County, Indiana, and was afforded excellent educational opportunities. He took a three-years collegiate course at what is now De Pauw University. His cousin, H. C. Benson, was one of the first graduates of this institution and later became a member of its faculty as professor of Greek. For about 25 years Mr. Benson then made teaching his profession. mainly in Warren County, his last experience in this line being in the winter of 1877-78. In 1876 he purchased a claim in the northwest quarter of section 10, Crawford township, Cherokee County, Kansas, and secured the deed from the railroad company in 1877. He built a house on his land and then returned to Indiana for his family, bringing them to their new home on March 15, 1878. This home was burned in the following year, while he and his wife were visiting in Indiana. Upon his return, he built another house, which is one of the most attractive in the township. With wise forethought, he brought with him from the old home a number of cedar tree slips, which he disposed about his residence. They took kindly to the genial climate and fertile soil and have much more than repaid, in their growth, symmetry and beauty, all the care Mr. Benson ever bestowed upon them. The place has now a beautiful grove of more than 500 pines and cedars, which apart from their value were, during his life, constant reminders of the days of his boyhood and young manhood, and brought back many tender recollections of those who had passed away. Mr. Benson owned large bodies of land in Cherokee County, at one time an aggregate of 600 acres, but retained at the time of his death only 220 acres, located in sections 3 and 10, Crawford township. This property, known as "Evergreen Bower Farm," he devoted to general farming and spared neither labor nor expense in placing it under a high state of cultivation, and making permanent improvements.

Mr. Benson was first married, in Indiana, to Prudence M. Slauter, who was born in Warren County, Indiana, and was a daughter of one of the early settlers of that county, who came there from the State of New York. Mrs. Benson died in 1884, aged almost 48 years, leaving a family of six children, viz: Martha Marinda, who married J. H. Clawson, resided for a time in Warren County and then moved to the Indian Territory, where she died in 1900; Cynthia Ann, who married Robert Radley, in Kansas and died in Cherokee County in 1896; Samuel I. (unmarried), his father's successor on the farm; William Willard, who married Emma Allen, and resides near Shawnee, Oklahoma; Rose Lee, who married William Cline, and resides in Oklahoma; and Theodoshia, who resides at home.

In 1885, Mr. Benson was united in marriage with Margaret Ann Fagan, of Cherokee County, who was born in Andrew County, Missouri, June 12, 1864. Mrs. Benson is a daughter of George and Margaret (Waterson) Fagan, the latter of whom was born on the Isle of Man. Mrs. Benson's father was born in County Killarney, Ireland. He came to America in 1850, and still resides in Cherokee County, where her brother, Thomas W. Fagan, and a half brother and sister also reside. Hon. Henry Watterson, the great Democratic editor of Louisville, Kentucky, probably came from the same family branch as did the mother of Mrs. Benson. Mr. and Mrs. Benson had five children, namely: Tressie Treene, aged 17 years; George W., aged 14 years; Marguerite Christine, aged 10 years; Lucy May, aged five years; and Clara June, aged one year. In religious views, Mr. Benson was a member of the First-Day Adventist Church. He was a liberal supporter of church work, and not only contributed the site, but also paid about $600 (My note: $13,000 in 2009 according to CPI at http://eh,net/hmit/) toward the expense of erecting Bethany Methodist Episcopal Church, which is located in section 10, Crawford township. Politically, he was reared a Jacksonian Democrat and was practically one of that party's supporters, although he did not favor a departure in any way from its sound old principles. His first vote was cast for a candidate of the Know Nothing party. Mr. Benson most acceptably filled many of the township offices, and always took a deep interest in educational matters, his long experience as a teacher making him particularly well qualified to judge of the efficiency of school methods. For a number of years he was active in the Masonic and Odd Fellow fraternities, but was not affiliated with the local lodges, never having taken his demit from Indiana. The mortal remains of Mr. Benson were interred in Bethany cemetery, which is located near the Benson homestead, Rev. Mr. Stone, of the United Brethren Church officiating.

Transcribed by Sheri (Ownbey) McNary


"United States Census, 1870." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. Citing NARA microfilm publication M593. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with William by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with William:

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Images: 4
William Benson Image 1
William Benson Image 1

William Martindale Benson on far right. Others in photo, left to right of first family: Emma (daughter-in-law), daughter Mary Theodoshie at piano, son Samuel; Second family: daughter Tressie Treene, Margaret Ann Fagan (2nd wife) and baby George Watters
William Martindale Benson on far right.  Others in photo, left to right of first family:  Emma (daughter-in-law), daughter Mary Theodoshie at piano, son Samuel; Second family:  daughter Tressie Treene, Margaret Ann Fagan (2nd wife) and baby George Watters

William M. Benson
William M. Benson

Grave marker
Grave marker


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