Biography of Edwin A. Benson


Benson, Edwin A., manager of the Wagner Palace Car Co.'s Buffalo Works, was born at Easton, Washington county, N. Y., january 13, 1848. His parents removed to Warsaw, N. Y., when he was quite young, where he received a liberal education from the public schools and was graduated in 1866 under Professor Dann, receiving a teacher's certificate. He early evinced an interest in machinery, which was evidently inherited from his father, who was a skilled mechanic and inventor, and accordingly he entered the shops which were managed by his father, where he remained until he had thoroughly mastered the machinist's trade. He at this juncture removed to Elmira, N. Y., where he served an apprenticeship at the carpenter's trade under an uncle who was a prominent contractor at that place. After a time in the employ of his uncle he went to Rockford, Ill., remaining for a short time only, when he went to Aurora, Ill. It was while at this place he made the acquaintance of Mr. Thomas Bissell, with whom he has since been closely associated. After two years at Aurora he was offered a position in the Pullman shops at Detroit, where he remained from 1872 to 1879; during this time he was sent to Paterson, N. J.. to set up twenty-five thirty feet cabs for the engines, to be used on the Metropolitan Elevated Road in New York, which were built by the Grant Locomotive Works. His next place was in St. Louis as superintendent of repairs for the Union Depot Company, having charge of all repairs and car cleaning, and remained there eight months when he took charge of the machinery department of the Missouri Car Foundry Co., remaining there only a few months when he accepted a position with the Pullman Company at the new town of Pullman, Ill. He was the first settler of the town, and made out the first requisition for tools and material used for car building purposes at these works. In 1882, on account of ill health, the company removed him to St. Louis, giving him charge of the shops at that city, where he remained until March 1, 1886, when he severed his conuecdon with that company and entered the service of the Wagner Company at Schenectady, as master car builder, and when the new plant was established at Buffalo he was made assistant manager of this extensive plant, which position he filled until April 1, 1895. At this time he was appointed manager of the Wagner Palace Car Co.'s Buffalo Works, vice Mr. T. A. Bissell resigned. Mr. Benson was married January 9, 1870, in Rockford, Ill., to Sarah A. Burt of Castile, Wyoming county, N. Y. Mr. Benson is a thorough-going business man and has the happy faculty of retaining and constantly adding to his circle of friends.

Our County and its people
A descriptive work on Erie County, New York
Edited by: Truman C. White
The Boston History Company, Publishes 1898


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