Ezra Taft Benson was a member of the original Council of Twelve Apostles and was selected by Brigham Young and his associates as Captain of the Second Ten because of his special capabilities in leadership. He was born February 23, 1811, in Mendon, Worcester county, Massachusetts, the son of John Benson and Chloe Taft. After arriving in the Great Salt Lake Valley with the pioneer company, he returned to Winter Quarters that same season with President Young and was appointed to preside over the Saints in Pottawattamie county, Iowa with Orson Hyde and George A. Smith.
In 1849, in company with Elder Smith, he returned to the valley. En route he became dangerously ill and was not expected to live, but through the faith and prayers of the members of the camp he recovered. In 1851 he returned to the Indian country and the following year brought back a company of Latter-day Saint converts. In 1856 he was appointed to a European mission and with Elder Orson Pratt presided over the British [p.494] Mission until 1857, when he returned home. In 1860 he was appointed to preside in Cache Valley at which place he made his home until his death.
Apostle Benson performed many important missions at home and abroad during his lifetime, among them one to the Sandwich Island in 1864, which was the last time he left Utah. He served as a member of the Provisional State of Deseret; a member of the Territorial House of Representatives and during the last ten years of his life was elected to the Territorial Council every term. He died September 2, 1869 and was interred in the Logan cemetery.
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