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Below is a family biography included in The History of Cherokee County, Kansas included within the History of Kansas by William G. Cutler, published by A. T. Andreas, 1883.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WILLIAM M. BENSON, son of Samuel and Martha Benson, was born September 20, 1830, in Warren County, Ind., then a wild and sparsely settled portion of the State. The red man, not having been removed, was still an inhabitant of the forest. He received his rudimental education in the “Old Log School-house,” in the days when a boy was considered about perfect if he could spell his teacher down in the old elementary spelling book and cipher as far as the Single Rule of Three in Pike’s arithmetic. At the age of twenty, he entered college and received a scientific education. Loving an independent life, he chose farming as his profession, and for twenty-five years farmed during the summer and taught school during the winter. He married Miss Malinda P. Slauter, September 26, 1853, by whom he had six children—Martha Marinda, Cynthia Ann, Samuel I., William Willard, Rosalie and Osie Theodoshie. He came to Cherokee County in the summer of 1876 and spent five months in looking up a location and returned to Indiana. Returned to Kansas in the spring of 1877, purchased lands, built a house and moved his family the following winter; he arrived at Columbus March 15, 1878. Mr. Benson opened and improved a farm of 540 acres, which he now runs as a grain and stock farm; he has also a full line of fruits. He has 400 acres under good cultivation, plenty of good stock and stock water. He was burned out December 13, 1879. His house, furniture, clothing and a valuable library of rare and excellent books, which he had been collecting for forty years, were entirely consumed. The loss was total, the property not being insured. He immediately re-built, near the site of the former building, a more beautiful and commodious residence. Mr. Benson has held several offices of trust, is a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and is a member of the Masonic fraternity and the I. O. O. F.

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This family biography is one of 289 biographies included in The History of Cherokee County, Kansas included within the History of Kansas by William G. Cutler, published by A. T. Andreas, 1883.  For the complete description, click here: Cherokee County, Kansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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