William H. Benedict was born in Connecticut, July 11, 1829. When he was seven years old he removed with his father to Orange County, N.Y., and when he was eleven years old he engaged as boatman on the Delaware and Hudson Canal, and followed that business six years. He then spent two years in the pineries of New York, and on July 4, 1849, he was married to Elsa P. Fitch, who was born in New York in 1831, and died in 1856, leaving one child, Martha J., now Mrs. Chas. Eaton. In 1857 Mr. Benedict married his second wife, Lemira Andress, a native of Connecticut. She died, having been the mother of two children - Clinton, born Oct. 24, 1858, and Morris, Oct. 23, 1861. Mr. Benedict was married to his present wife, Nancy L. Hummel, nee Martin, on Jan. 14, 1874. She was born in Ohio, in 1830, and was married to Samuel Hummel Dec. 23, 1845. He died in Henry County, Ia., in 1871. They resided near Spirit Lake, Iowa, at the time of the great Indian massacre which occurred there. Mrs. Benedict drove two yoke of cattle from there to Clayton County, with six children in the wagon. They had several rivers and creeks to cross, and the journey was a very perilous one. She had seven children by her first husband - Eliza, born Sept. 28, 1846; Martin, September, 1848; Martha Bruce, Sept. 3, 1850; Mary E., Apr. 21, 1852; J.A., Jan. 13, 1854; George W., June 30, 1856, and Elijah B., Mch. 3, 1862. Mrs. Benedict's father, Andrew Martin, was born in Canada, and is now over ninety- three years old. He served in the war of 1812, under General Macomb, receiving a wound in the forehead at the battle of Stone Hill. He participated in many battles and skirmishes, and relates many events of the war with remarkable accuracy. He was married in Cleveland, O., June 28, 1828, to Martha Cousins, by whom he had eleven children. He came to Iowa in 1850. He receives a pension of $8 a month. The subject of this sketch enlisted enlisted in the United States service in 1862, in Company A, Thirty-eighth Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and served three years. He was mustered out at Albany, N.Y., and returned to Iowa, where he had settled in 1855. He owns 100 acres of finely cultivated land in Sperry Township. In his political views he is a Greenbacker, and is a member of the United Brethren church.
source: History of Clayton
County, Iowa, 1882, p. 1089-1090
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