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John H. Benham


Posted By: Gail Meyer Kilgore (email)
Date: 2/18/2004 at 01:40:47

JOHN H. BENHAM. This gentleman is the owner and occupant of a productive tract of land on section 18, in Clay Township, Grundy County, which he took possession of in 1881. The farm consists of one hundred and sixty acres, bears the usual improvements, and is so managed as to bring forth abundant crops of good quality.

Our subject comes of a good family, being a son of Alanson and Maria (O’Farrell) Benham, the former of whom was born in Cortland County, N. Y., August 2, 1814. He followed the occupation of a farmer; and so successful was he in this undertaking that he was enabled to retire from active work in his fifty-second year, at which time he moved to west Winnebago County, Ill., where he made his home until his decease in 1883. The paternal grandfather, Isaac Benham, was also born in the Empire State, where he spent his entire life.

The mother of our subject, whose birth occurred April 11, 1816, in Onondaga County, N. Y., was a daughter of William and Dina O’Farrell, the latter of whom was a native of Holland. She is one of a family of nine children still living, and makes her home in Winnebago County, Ill. By her marriage with Alanson Benham she became the mother of four children, all of whom are living.

John H. Benham was born in Onondaga County, N. Y., March 13, 1850, and at an early age began to help his father on the home farm. Like many lads in that early day he was not permitted to attend school very regularly, but being ambitious to learn, he improved his spare moments and gained a fair education. When starting out in life for himself he was married December 26, 1870, to Miss Christine E. Cooper, who like himself was also a native of New York, her birth occurring May 27, 1850. Her parents, Israel H. and Elizabeth (Smith) Cooper, were likewise natives of New York, where they carried on farming. Removing to Michigan in 1853, they there continued to reside until their decease, the father departing this life December 24, 1864, in his fifty-fourth year, and the mother in 1867, when forty-nine years of age. The paternal grandparents of Mrs. Benham were Nathaniel and Sallie Cooper, while on the mother’s side they bore the names of Ira and Elizabeth Smith. Grandfather Smith was a soldier in the War of 1812, receiving for his services a land grant.

After his marriage, Mr. Benham located on a farm in Winnebago County, Ill., which he tilled successfully for five years, and then came to this state, making his home on section 16, Felix Township, Grundy County. This property, which consisted of eighty acres, was partly improved land, and in its tillage he was engaged for four years. At the end of that time he became the proprietor of his present estate, on which he erected a shanty, where the family made their home until such time as he could afford to build a more comfortable residence. He has done well at his calling, and now owns a splendid estate, on which he has a substantial residence, where the family enjoy the comforts of life.

To our subject and his wife have been born a daughter, Gertrude, now a miss of ten years. They are true Christian people, and in them the Methodist Episcopal Church find two of its leading members. Four of Mr. Benham’s uncles were old-time preachers in that denomination, one of whom was for many years a missionary to Africa. The parents of Mrs. Benham were also active in all church work, to the support of which they were liberal contributors.

Portrait and Biographical Record
of Jasper, Marshall and Grundy Counties, Iowa


Grundy Biographies maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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