Charles E. Benton, agent for the Lehigh Valley Coal Company, and also identified with other industries of Utica,
was born in this city, on the 24th of August, 1844, and is of English extraction, his parents, James and Susan
(Bradley) Benton, having emigrated to the United States from the mother country. The father was born in Yorkshire,
England, in 1805 and was there reared and educated, subsequently learning the mason's trade, becoming a first class
workman. Upon attaining his majority he decided to come to America and in 1826 crossed the Atlantic, taking up
his residence in Utica, New York. During the remainder of his active business life he was engaged in contracting
and building in this city and in 1875 served as its mayor, being elected on the citizens ticket. He passed away
in 1895, at the venerable age of ninety years. His wife, whose birth occurred in Leicestershire, England, died
in Utica in 1888. Both were conformists and affiliated with St. Stephen's Episcopal church of New Hartford. In
their family were three sons, Charles E., of this review; James, who is living retired in Utica; and George, a
farmer in Utica
Charles E. Benton was reared in Utica, where he acquired his education in the common schools. In early life he
was engaged in farming and in 1866 purchased the historic Stonewall farm in New Hartford, from Burton D. Hurlburt,
at a very high price. The following year he was married and for twenty years he and his wife labored hard in its
cultivation. By thrift and economy they paid for the place in that period, from the sale of its products. He still
owns one of the best cultivated and highly improved farms of Oneida county comprising one hundred and fifty acres
of land in the town of Hartford, adjoining the city limits of Utica. The farm has always been chiefly devoted to
dairying, and Mr. Benton has been an enthusiastic breeder of Ayrshire and Holstein cattle, devoting considerable
attention to the crossing of these two breeds, with most excellent results.
In 1886 Mr. Benton's health failed and he was obliged to retire from the strenuous duties of the farm and two years
later, in company with his son Frederick, he purchased a block of land from Elm to Kimball streets, on the West
Shore Railroad, and embarked in the coal business. The son died in 1905, and since that time our subject has been
alone in business and is agent for the Lehigh Valley Coal Company and receives a large patronage and is a man of
unusual executive ability and business sagacity and has been officially connected with a number of different enterprises.
For several years he acted as receiver for the Utica Belt Line Street Railway and is now serving as president of
the Utica Sanitary Milk Company. Until recently he was also president of the Utica. Canning Company, but is now
vice president of that company.
Mr. Benton married Miss Lydia S. Smith and to them were born three children: Fannie S., now Mrs. E. W. Dixon; C.
Frederick; and Theodore, who died in infancy. The elder son was educated in the New Hartford and Utica schools
and later engaged in business with his father and was subsequently made agent of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company,
in which capacity he was serving when he developed consumption. He went to Denver in the hope that the climate
would prove beneficial but steadily grew worse and there passed away, leaving a widow and two children.
Mr. Benton is a member of the Arcanum Club and Utica Chamber of Commerce and Central New York Farmers Club, being
one of the earliest members of the last named society. Religiously both he and his wife affiliate with Grace Episcopal
History of Oneida County, New York
From 1700 to the present time
of some of its prominent men and pioneers.
By: Henry J. Cookinham
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Oneida County, NY
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