Friday, September 17, 2010
William R. Benton
Nearly everyone has old family photos, so I figured I'd head to the attic and share a few of mine from time-to-time.
Today I'll feature an ambrotype of my great-great-grandfather, William R. Benton. William was born in Livonia, New York, in 1836. As a young man, he left for the west became a school teacher in Illinois. When the Civil War broke out, he volunteered for the infantry and was with the army at the siege of Vicksburg. He was taken prisoner at Holly Springs, Mississippi, but eventually paroled and rejoined the army and participated in the capture of Little Rock. The imprisonment was hard on him and he suffered medical problems for the rest of his life.
After the war, he married his sweetheart, Adella Fowler, and worked for his brother, Hiram, for a short time at his drug store in Andover, New York. A few years later, he packed up again and became homesteader in Blaine, Kansas. While in Blaine he farmed and resumed school teaching. In 1875, he was elected to the Kansas Legislature and eventually reelected before his health became an issue. In 1891, he retired to Oakland, Kansas (a suburb of Topeka) where he eventually died in 1894. He and his wife had six children, but only three lived until later adulthood.