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John Benson


Posted By: A. Hammer
Date: 2/10/2004 at 12:50:27

"It is doubtful if any people that go to make up our cosmopolitan civilization have better habits of life than those who came originally from the Scandinavian peninsula, especially Sweden, which country has long been noted for citizens of thrift and honesty, and these two qualities in the inhabitants of any country will in the end alone make that country great. When with these two qualities is combined sound common sense, there are afforded such qualities as will enrich any land and place it in the forefront of the countries of the world in the scale of elevated humanity.

John Benson, of Pleasant Valley township, Fayette county, is one of that thrifty band who have come from the far northland referred to above and has bettered his condition by locating in America, and at the same time has lived a life that has benefited his neighbors and the community where his lot has been cast. His birth occurred in Sweden in 1840, and he is the son of Ben SWANSON and wife. (The difference in name here is accounted for by the fact that many of the residents of that country modify the spelling of their names or change them entirely upon coming to the United States, the father's given name being made the basis for the son's surname.) Mr. Benson grew to maturity and was educated in his native land and there worked in a steam-boat shop for some time, becoming a skilled workman in this line. It was in 1869 that he crossed the Atlantic ocean for our shores, coming direct to Highland township, Clayton county, Iowa, where he worked about twelve years, then went to the Pacific coast and worked in the state of Washington and California, there working out at various things. When he returned to Iowa he worked at different occupations, then formed a partnership with Ben SCHORI in the stock and grain business, the partnership lasting for a period of eight years, during which time they did a very satisfactory and extensive business.

Then, in March, 1887, Mr. Benson married Mary RUEGG, who was born in Monroe county, Ohio, the daughter of Jacob and Mary GULDINGER) Ruegg, both born in Switzerland, from which country they came to America when young, Mr. Ruegg spending his last days in Fayette county, Iowa. To this union were born two children, a daughter and a son, the latter dying in infancy.

After his marriage Mr. Benson farmed a two hundred and thirty-acre place in Fayette county, and later a farm in Clayton county, consisting of one hundred and forty-one acres, remaining there until 1903, when he moved to Elgin, Pleasant Valley Township, Fayette county, where he had built an attractive and substantial residence. He still owns his farm in Clayton county; while there he devoted much attention to stock-raising-in fact, ever since he began farming he has devoted much time to handling good stock. About 1906 he bought three hundred and three acres in Texas, selling the same two years later. He is a stockholder in the State Bank at Elgin.

Considering the fact that Mr. Benson started in life practically empty handed and by hard work and able management has become one of the substantial men of his locality, having made a good living and laid by an ample competence, indicates that he is eminently deserving of the large success that has attended his efforts and the high esteem in which he is held by all who know him. When he came to North McGregor he had but seventy-five cents and this was the start he had in America. He spent twelve years in clearing land and he and his brother saved in twelve years three thousand dollars and had this money on interest. He is now exceedingly well to do and has made a big success of life. He is a man in whom the utmost confidence may be safely reposed, being scrupulously honest and business-like and straightforward in all the relations of life. He is a member of the Lutheran church and a liberal supporter of the same."

Biographies included in the 1910 History of Fayette County.

Biographies included in the 1910 History of Fayette County

Fayette Biographies maintained by Constance Diamond.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

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