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A.M. Benton
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Birth: Oct. 23, 1832
Fremont
Sandusky County
Ohio, USA
Death: Sep. 11, 1915
Nashville
Barton County
Missouri, USA

A Tribute to American Pioneer Anson M. Benton

A Tribute to American Pioneer, Anson M. Benton ( 1832-1915) -- He began his life in Sandusky County, Ohio, as the oldest son and first born child of pioneers, Margaret (Miller) Benton (1807-1889) and Joel Benton (1810-1882). On March 15, 1836 his father, Joel Benton purchased land, through the U.S. Land Offices, in Washington Township, Sandusky County, Ohio. Anson spent his childhood years, as a pioneer, in Sandusky County in the Northern Ohio area, not far from the shores of Lake Erie. This was Anson's childhood home. Anson loved Sandusky County, and even though the Benton family moved on to a new homestead on the Wabash River in Adams County Indiana, in the mid-1840s, upon coming of age he returned to Sandusky. There on November 6, 1853 he married Sarah Jane Wolcott (1835 - ) To this union were born two and possibly three children:

Hannah Benton (1854 - )
William Benton (1859 - )
?Jane Benton 1864 - )

The 1860s brought the Civil War to America and on the 29th of July 1862, Anson joined the 4th Regiment of the Michigan Calvary in Adrian, Michigan. Adrian is about 80 miles north of Freemont, Sandusky, Ohio. The winter of 1863 found Anson a patient at the newly opened state of the art military hospital in Jeffersonville, Indiana. The record states that he mustered out on December 17, 1863. Meanwhile, something seems to have happened to Sarah Jane. I have seen her burial place listed as near Adrian, Michigan, but this remains unproven. The 1870 Census shows a William and Jane Benton, who are 10 and 6 years old, who could possibly be Sarah and Anson's children, in the household of an Alfred and Julia Robinson in Michigan.

1870 finds Anson in Grand River, Henry County, Missouri, married to Eleanor Huff of Canada, once more pioneering the land. To this union were born:

George Benton (1866 - )
Thomas Henry Benton (1868 - )
May Benton (1871 - )
Lee Ellsworth Benton (1872 1924)
Delbert Author Benton (1875 1966)
Edgar Benton (1877 - )
Edith Maude Benton (1885 - )
Laura Benton Campbell (1886 - )

Their oldest son, George was born in Illinois in 1866. Thomas Henry was born in Missouri in 1868. Anson and Eleanor lived in Missouri for about five years, at which point, they moved to Iowa, where Lee and Delbert were born. By 1881 they are in Lambton, Ontario, Canada where Edgar and Edith Maude were born. Anson's occupation in the 1881 Canadian Census is listed as a carpenter. By 1886 they are in St. Claire, Michigan, where Anson is listed as working as a ship's carpenter. Anson and Eleanor's youngest daughter was born in St Clair.

In the 1890s Eleanor and Anson settled in Cheboygan, Michigan where Eleanor seems to have died about 1900. The 1900 Census shows Ansons information printed over hers in a very odd way.

By 1901, Anson is in King County, Washington, where the record shows him marrying Mrs. Annah Carter. In 1903, there is another document recording his marriage to Elizabeth A. Ream, the widow of Eli Gibert. Elizabeth or "Eliza," who Anson was to spend his, last days with, was born the daughter of Lutheran minister, Samuel Ream, and Lydia Irwen.

1910 finds Eliza and Anson living in Malott, Okanogan County, Washington, a town formed in 1909 by the Helensdal Investment Co. The year 1911, shows Anson pioneering the land one last time. He homesteaded 160 acres of Okanogan County Land which he purchased through the Waterville, Washington, Land Claim Office. However, Anson's health was severely impaired by this time and he and Eliza were unable to manage alone. The 1910 Federal Census recorded Anson as being deaf, blind and unable to speak. Finding themselves unable to manage the land and Anson's ill health, Eliza and Anson moved to Nashville, Barton County, Missouri, the home of Eliza's parents and her brother, John Franklin Ream. On September 11, 1915, Anson passed away. He is buried in Pierce Cemetery on the rolling prairies of Missouri. Samuel and Lydia Ream, Eliza's parents are buried in this cemetery also. In addition, Eliza's brother, John Franklin, and his wife Sarah are buried in Pierce. Anson's death certificate lists his cause of death as Bright's Disease, an old medical term, which encompasses a range of kidney diseases.

Note: The tombstone records the title COL. Anson's formal military records record that he entered the Cavalry as a private; however, his grandfather, Zebulon Benton was a private in the Continental Army and the Captain of the Rowe, Massachusetts Militia after the Revolutionary War. Perhaps this is the case with Anson.

Rebecca Benton McKnight, Great Granddaughter of Anson's younger brother, George Washington Benton.

Portions of the bio below are based on a newspaper interview given by Anson's younger sister, Angeline Benton Rood, on the occasion of her 100th Birthday. Angeline lived to be 102 years old.

About 1845, when Anson was thirteen years old, the Benton family left their home in Sandusky, Ohio headed west to a land claim a mile and a half beyond the Wabash River, in Adams County, Indiana. When they reached the Wabash River, it was flooded and the family had to wait three weeks for the river waters to recede, before they could cross to the far bank. When the river finally returned to its normal course between its two banks, all the family's belongings and each family member were ferried to the other side of the river in a canoe. One at a time, they crossed the now calm river waters. Two men, one at each end of the canoe, paddled the craft across the recently wild Wabash, depositing the Benton family safely on the far bank.

The river's proximity to the Benton's new land claim provided them with an ample source of water and a place to wash clothes as the family settled into their new home. At first, the Benton's used roughly made furniture in their new homestead. Their beds were made by forcing four forked-tree limbs into the dirt-swept prairie house floor. Brush was placed atop the poles that provided a bed-frame for the crude four-poster bed. The family's new home had a large fireplace where the family cooked all their meals. Eventually, an outdoor oven was added which helped to keep their prairie house cool in the summer. Anson was probably a grown man before he ever saw a store-bought cook stove and since Anson's family made and used brown maple sugar, he probably never saw white sugar purchased from a store either.

By 1853, Anson had returned to Sandusky County, Ohio where he married Sarah Jane Wolcott and lived until the beginning of the American Civil War in the 1860s. As the young Anson Benton family entered the new decade, the Winds of War were blowing through America. They heralded not only changes for the nation, but personal changes for the Benton family as well. The American Civil War threatened to rip apart an America that was less than a century old, an America that Anson's grandfather, Zebulon Benton, had fought for. Anson's parents, Joel and Margaret Benton contributed four son's to their nation's preservation. However, of the one's who fought, perhaps Anson paid the greatest price, for by the end of the War, Anson had paid the price of his wife and family.

Anson Benton was a beloved member of the Benton family. He pioneered with them in Sandusky, Ohio and Adams, Indiana on the Wabash River. In addition, he pioneered with them in Missouri in the 1870s. He must have loved being a pioneer, because at the age of 82 he again attempted to pioneer with his last wife, Eliza, in Okanogan County, Washington.

 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Joel Benton (1810 - 1882)
  Margaret Miller Benton (1807 - 1889)
 
 Spouse:
  Eliza Ream Benton (1845 - 1936)
 
 Children:
  Thomas Henry Benton (1868 - 1961)*
  Lee Ellsworth Benton (1872 - 1924)*
  Delbert Arthur Benton (1875 - 1966)*
 
 Siblings:
  A.M. Benton (1832 - 1915)
  Sarah Jane Benton Ward (1835 - 1922)*
  Joel C Benton (1836 - 1917)*
  Isiah Henry Benton (1837 - 1903)*
  Angeline Benton Rood (1839 - 1942)*
  Emeline Benton (1839 - 1860)*
  George Washington Benton (1843 - 1904)*
  Levi Benton (1845 - 1923)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Inscription:
COL. A.M.
BENTON
BORN
OCT. 23, 1832
DIED SEP. 11, 1915
 
Note: Only initials given on death certificate.
 
Burial:
Pierce Cemetery
Barton County
Missouri, USA
 
Maintained by: Rebecca Benton McKnight
Originally Created by: Big John
Record added: Dec 05, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 62599879
A.M. Benton
Added by: Big John
 
A.M. Benton
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Big John
 
 
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

HONORING ANSON M. BENTON FOR HIS SERVICE TO HIS COUNTRY
- Rebecca Benton McKnight
 Added: Apr. 26, 2012

- ANSON M. BENTON - AN AMERICAN PIONEER
 Added: Apr. 26, 2012

- FOR FARMER ANSON
 Added: Apr. 26, 2012
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