|Birth: ||Mar. 19, 1892|
|Death: ||Sep. 16, 1986|
Born in Ashtabula City, 19 March 1892, Rockford was the first son of Jeremiah and Stella Struble Benson. At age two, he moved with his family from the lumber company in Ashtabula to Frogtown, near Beaver, PA, where his father and Uncle Albert ran a sawmill. After several years, they moved the mill to Iron Gate, VA, and from there to Shady Springs, WV. They spent one winter with his grandfather Struble in Pierpont, returning to Crow (two miles from Shady Springs) in the spring…
While living in Iron Gate, VA, a diphtheria epidemic was spreading around the country and affected that area, including Rockford. As Rockford lay near death, the local doctor said that he had heard of good results with a new anti-toxin which was not available in the area. He had the stationmaster telegraph to Cincinnati and it was put on a "through" train which did not normally make stops. It arrived at midnight of the same day and Rockford received the first shot of the anti-toxin that was given in the state. He required 24-hour care for some time. He also experienced such a severe case of chicken pox while living in Shady Springs, that he was said to be "out of his head" for a week.
They returned to Ohio in 1907, taking up permanent residence on a 126-acre dairy farm that had been purchased south of Conneaut in Monroe. Rockford was 15 at his time and was destined to remain in this location on Center Road for the rest of his life. He attended Conneaut High School but was withdrawn early after his father hurt his back, to help on the farm. They had a dairy herd and in those days, the cows were milked by hand. Syrup was also produced in the spring until around 1920 when the timber was sold off.
Excellence in baseball continued from father to sons as both Rockford and Jerry excelled in the sport. Rockford was known as one of the best catchers around and played on different teams in the area. The first team at Farnham included Willis and Cornell Fuller, Ralph Durkee… plus several others. When the Farnham team broke up, he played with the Bushnell Giants. Tom, Charles and Cleve Miller with pitcher Lloyd Felch were the other regulars on the team. They played teams in the area and occasionally went to Beaver, PA.
At a Christmas party in Bushnell, he met Wanda Evans. Their first date consisted of his escorting her to a church service in Kelloggsville. Transportation for him at the time was a one-horse cutter sleigh with the horse hitched to the side of the front which enabled it to walk in the broken path rather than break a new one through the snow. On one particular date, he had a high-spirited drive horse hitched to the sleigh and, as it was trotting along at a good clip, it suddenly switched to the opposite track, tipping the sleigh over. Realizing that he couldn't let go of the horse, Rockford shoved Wanda clear of the sleigh and completely into a snowbank! Being a gentleman, he came back and dug her out.
After their marriage, they lived on the farm where Rockford continued in the dairy business with his father. Jed and Stella purchased a house and three acres that already stood on the northeast corner of the farm property. The first child born to Rockford and Wanda was Florence Virginia, 4 Oct 1919. She lived only a few hours and was diagnosed as being a hemophiliac (bleeder), rare in a girl. Betty Louise was born 23 Feb 1921; Richard Arthur on 2 March 1927, and Mary Jane on 20 Feb 1929. Rockford assisted "Doc" Dewey with the birth of the last three children, delivering the babies while the doctor administered ether.
For years, Rockford, with help from his father and later, his sons, operated a milk delivery service in the Conneaut area.
(from "History of Ashtabula County" as told to Martha Stump Benson by Rockford and Wanda Benson, p188)
Jeremiah Charles Benson (1865 - 1934)
Stella Struble Benson (1867 - 1942)
Wanda Louise Evans Benson (1891 - 1986)*
Florence Virginia Benson (1919 - 1919)*
Rockford Leming Benson (1892 - 1986)
Jeremiah Struble Benson (1895 - 1974)*
Monroe Township Kelloggsville Cemetery
Plot: Section 2 Lot 12 Grave 1
Created by: Amy Elizabeth
Record added: Sep 20, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 97470795