Biography of Willis C. Benson
Poweshiek County, IA Biographies





Willis Clinton Benson, who is engaged in the produce business in Searsboro, was born in Fayette county, Ohio, on the 23d of October, 1846, and is a son of James and Sarah (McPowell) Benson. The parents were also natives of Fayette county, where the mother passed away in 1848. The father, who was a cobbler, migrated to Iowa in 1850, locating in Benton county, where he followed his trade for two years. He purchased a farm at the end of that time and engaged in agricultural pursuits, continuing to be identified with that avocation until about twenty five years prior to his demise, which occurred on the 15th of April, 1896. Mr. Benson was a republican in politics and fraternally he affiliated with the Masonic order. Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Benson there were born two children of whom the daughter, Sarah M., who is now deceased, was the younger.

As he was only a lad of four years when his father settled in Iowa, Willis Clinton Benson obtained his education in the common schools of Benton county. The experiences of his early years were very similar to those of the majority of boys who spend their lives in the rural districts. He early became familiar with the routine work of the homestead, his duties and responsibilities increasing with his age and development. After leaving school he gave his entire attention to the work of the farm until he was twenty two years of age. He subsequently came to Poweshiek county, locating in Sugar Creek township, but later he removed to Clarke county, Iowa, and purchased a farm upon which he resided for four years. Disposing of his interest at the expiration of that time he returned to Poweshiek county, settling in Sugar Creek township, where he rented a farm. He followed agricultural pursuits until 1893, when he removed to Searsboro and engaged in the produce business for four years. At the end of that period he withdrew from this occupation and returned to the country, where he engaged in general farming until 1906, when he again went into the produce business, this time being associated with Charles Evans. At the end of the first year he purchased his partner's interest, and has ever since conducted the business alone. He handled all kinds of produce, in addition to which he is also the agent for the DeLaval cream separator.

On the 7th of May, 1871, Mr. Benson was united in marriage to Miss Emma Tish, a daughter of Samuel R. and Catherine (Shafer) Tish. Her father was a native of Pennsylvania and the mother of Ohio, in which state they were also married. The father, who was a farmer and a cabinetmaker by trade, came to Iowa in the early days, acquiring a farm of two hundred and fifteen acres in Sugar Creek township. The mother passed away on the homestead. in 1897, and the demise of the father occurred in the same place in April, 1904. He was a democrat, and Mrs. Tish was a member of the Christian church. Mrs. Benson is also a native of the Buckeye state, her birth having occurred there in 1853. To Mr. and Mrs. Benson were born the following children: Willis, who is a resident of Clemens Grove, Iowa; Elizabeth, the wife of Horace Ent, of Grinnell; Sarah Ann, who is deceased; Alta, the wife of Richard Myers, of Sugar Creek township; Ida, who married Herman Kluger, of Swea City, Iowa; Charles A., who is living in Grinnell; and Goldie, the wife of Roscoe Bartlett, of Brighton, Iowa.

His political support Mr. Benson gives to the democracy. He has served as city marshal, while for the past five or six terms he has acted as constable. In matters religious the views of both himself and wife coincide with the principles of the Friends church, in which they hold membership and in the faith of which they reared their family.

From:
History of Poweshiek County, Iowa
A Record of settlement, organization
progress and achievement
By: Prof. L. F. Parker
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1911


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