Page 785-786, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


W. F. Benson of El Dorado, the present Bank Commissioner of the State of Kansas, was born in North Dorset, Vt., August 12, 1859, and came to Kansas with his father, mother and brother, Fred W. Benson, in November, 1878. From 1878 to 1892 Mr. Benson was engaged in farming and stock raising with his father and brother. From 1892 to 1894 he was county treasurer of Butler county. In July, 1897 he was elected assistant cashier of the Farmers and Merchants National Bank at El Dorado, Kans., which position he held until January, 1898, when he was elected to the cashiership on the death of H. H. Gardner. He held this position until January, 1905, when he resigned and was elected active vice-president of the Citizens State Bank, which position he resigned on his appointment to the position of bank commissioner. All these years he has been engaged in farming and stock raising on an extensive scale, and at the present time, he with his son, Frank A. Benson, have one of the largest and best herds of registered Galloway cattle in the State of Kansas.

Mr. Benson was married to Miss Margaret Farley of Rome, New York, in 1880; their family of children consists of Frank A. Benson, George J. Benson, Florence Benson and Bernice Benson.

When the "Farmers Alliance" was organized, he joined this movement and was nominated by the Peoples party for county treasurer in 1892 and elected. In 1894 he was renominated by his party, but was defeated. In 1896 he was nominated by his party and endorsed by the Democrats for the office of State senator, his opponent being the late T. B. Murdock. In 1905 he was nominated by his party for State senator from that district and was again successful.

For a quarter of a century he has been identified with the Democratic party of this State. Governor Hodges appointed Mr. Benson on the Panama-Pacific Exposition Commission, representing Kansas at the


Expositions, held in 1915, at San Francisco and San Diego, California. In November, 1915, Governor Hodges appointed him State Bank Commissioner, his term expiring March 1, 1917. Mr. Benson belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America, the Knights of Pythias, and he also is a member of the Masons, Knights Templar and a Shriner.

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