MARCUS E. BENSON, manufacturer and lumber dealer of West Plains, Missouri, like many of the prominent and successful business men of the town, was reared to farm life and there learned habits of industry and energy that have remained with him thus far through life.
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He was born September 15, 1856, and his parents,J. R. and Julia (Jones) Benson, were natives, respectively, of Vermont and New York. Grandfather Benson was in the battle of Lundy’s Lane. The father of our subject moved to Michigan at an early date, but in 1865 came to this State, and settled in Monroe County, where he resides at the present time. He has always followed farming, is a stanch Republican, and has been a prominent politician in that county.
Our subject attended school in Michigan, Missouri and Illinois and came to Missouri with his parents in 1865. In this State he finished his growth and subsequently branched out in business for himself, meeting with excellent success thus far. He was a candidate for the Legislature from Monroe County when a young man, and was well and favorably known in that section. In 1885 he came to this county and embarked in the manufacture of yellow pine lumber, making a success of this, while many other men in the same line of business failed. For about seven years he continued this business, and in 1893 he was made manager of the World’s Fair Fruit Company which had the exclusive right to sell fruit at the Fair. There he remained all through the Fair, making a financial success of a very difficult undertaking. At present Mr. Benson is engaged in the machine business and has a shop for the manufacture of novelties. He owns and built the Grand Opera House of West Plains, the first one erected in the city, and he is a stockholder in the Howell County Bank. He was a candidate for representative from Howell County and is now a candidate for the nomination for Congress from the Fourteenth Congressional District. Mr. Benson has always been successful in a business way, and is an energetic, enterprising and public-spirited citizen.
His business qualifications are of the highest order and he is recognized as one of the leading business men in this part of the State. He is erecting a fine residence on Garfield Avenue, and is the owner of considerable real estate in West Plains. Mr. Benson has always adhered to the principles of the Republican party, for which he is an active worker, and carries considerable influence in the county. He was married in the State of Illinois to the daughter of Rev. John Gilispie, and one child, Beatrice, has blessed this union.