History of Ezra T. Benson
born 22 Feb 1811 at Mendon, Worcester, Mass.
Donald Benson Alder and Elsie L. Alder, comp., The Benson Family: The Ancestory and Descendants of Ezra T. Benson, (The Ezra T. Benson Genealogical Society, Inc., 1979), 17–27b

    Ezra T. Benson was the first son of John and Chloe Taft Benson of Worcester County, Massachusetts. His father was a farmer and a very industrious man—a quality which his son inherited—and Ezra T. lived at home helping him on the farm until he was sixteen years old. Then, he went to live with his sister, Abby Ann Benson and her husband, Calvin Rawson, who were keeping a hotel in the center of the town of Uxbridge, Mass. He remained working for them for three years. His grandfather, Easmon Taft, was also a farmer, and while engaged at work in the field, he fell and died suddenly on the 29th of April 1829 at Uxbridge. At the age of nineteen, his grandmother, Hannah Taft, requested him to take charge of her farm.

    One year later, at the age of 20, Ezra T. Benson married Pamelia, the daughter of Jonathan H. and Lucina Parsons Andrus of Northbridge, Worcester, Mass. In 1832, he moved from the farm and bought out his brother-in-law, Calvin Rawson, and operated the hotel for about two years.

    He made considerable money which he invested in a cotton mill, and, with his wife’s brother, Orrin C. Andrus, they began to manufacture cotton in the town of Holland, Mass. Through a combination of causes over which he had no control, he lost money, and, giving up the manufacturing business, took a hotel to run in Holland. He was also appointed postmaster of that town. Though he made money in the hotel business, he could not be content as he had a great desire to visit the West.

    In the spring of 1837, he and his family started West, and, while in Philadelphia, he made the acquaintance of a gentleman who spoke discouragingly about the West and persuaded him to go to the town of Salem, stating he would assist him in getting started in business. Ezra T. Benson remained in Salem one year, and though his neighbors offered to lend him assistance that he might need in setting up the business, he still yearned for the West, and he started in that direction. He stopped at St. Louis, obtained a small stock of goods, and, then went up the Illinois River, not knowing where he would land. While on the river, he made the acquaintance of a man who proved to be his father’s cousin.

    Ezra T. Benson next lived at Griggsville and Lexington, Illinois, and afterwards went to the mouth of the little Blue River where he and a man by the name of Isaac Hill laid out a town and called it “Pike.” Here he built himself a dwelling house and a warehouse, but, the place was sickly and he was restless. Afterwards, he said he thought the Lord was preparing him for the future which awaited him, and later he could understand why he could not feel contented in the various places where he visited.

    Early in 1838, he heard of Quincy, Illinois, and he went there in search of a home. There he met the Latter-day Saints, who had just been driven out of Missouri by mob violence. He heard they were a very peculiar people; yet in listening to the preaching by their Elders, and in conversation with them, he found them very agreeable. He boarded, during the winter, with the family of Thomas Gordon who were Latter-day Saints, and formed a high opinion of them.

    In the spring of 1840, he secured two acres of land in the town of Quincy, fenced it in, and built a house on it. During this time he still associated with the Latter-day Saints, and his sympathies were much moved towards them and he held conversation with them about their principles.

    A debate was held in Quincy between the Latter-day Saints and a Dr. Nelson, who was opposed to them, and the Prophet Joseph Smith was present. Sidney Rigdon was to debate in favor of the Mormons, but he did not show up, so a Dr. Ells took his place and they debated for two hours. Dr. Nelson was trying to make the people believe that Joseph was the false prophet spoken of in the scriptures. Brother Joseph looked up and smiled very pleasantly, and Ezra T. Benson thought he was not the character Nelson made him out to be. After making another attempt to ridicule the Mormons and their doctrine, Dr. Nelson had a fit, and had it not been for his friends, would have fallen on the platform.

    From this debate, Ezra T. Benson became convinced that the Latter-day Saints were believers in the truths of the Bible. He had no idea at that time that he would ever become one himself, yet their principles were the chief topic of conversation with himself, family and neighbors. His wife, Pamelia, attended their meetings and was the first to avow her belief in their doctrines, and when the word went out that they were “believers” in what was called Mormonism, a strong effort was made to get them to join a sectarian church.

    During the winter of 1840, after attending a meeting with the Saints, Ezra T. Benson felt a weakness come over him and needed the Spirit of God to guide him. One evening when the moon shone brightly, he retired near a grove to pray. There was about one foot of snow on the ground with a crust which was about half an inch thick. He knelt down by a hay stack and commenced calling on the Lord, and he heard a sound as though someone was walking on the frozen snow. Ezra T. Benson got up on his feet and looked in the direction of the sound but did not see anything or anyone. The noise was repeated three times. He became satisfied it was an opposing power to keep him from praying, and he said, “Mr. Devil, you may break snow crust, but I will pray!” After that, he heard nothing more.

    Elders Orson Hyde and John E. Page, visited Quincy about this time, having started on their mission to Jerusalem. Their preaching seemed to have the effect of removing whatever doubts remained about the Latter-day Saints, and Ezra T. Benson and Pamelia were baptized 19 July 1840 in the Mississippi River. That fall, he went to conference at Nauvoo and was ordained an Elder. After his return to Quincy, he was visited by President Hyrum Smith. Ezra T. Benson had heard that Hyrum was coming to Quincy, so he laid in wait for him and invited him to his house. Hyrum Smith remained with them about three hours and read and explained to them some of the prophecies. The next day, Hyrum ordained him a High Priest after he had organized a stake. Hyrum had made Father Moses Jones, who was about seventy years old his first counsellor, and remarked that Brother Jones was an old man and experienced in the Church, and Brother Benson was young and wanted to learn.

    About the first of April 1841, the Bensons moved to Nauvoo, where Ezra T. Benson bought a lot, fenced and improved it, and built a log house on it. Later he was to build a more substantial house in this city.

    The lot purchased for the new house was the southwest corner of Lot Fifty Two in block four of Kimball’s addition to Nauvoo, and the lot cost $25.00.

    Ezra T. Benson erected a red brick house, two stories high, twenty-four feet by eighteen feet. The house had two rooms on the second floor with a hallway. There was a cellar beneath the west half of the house with a stairway coming down on the inside of the house. This was the house the Bensons left in February of 1846.

    In 1854, a German immigrant, Simon Zachhuber, acquired the property, remodeled it and added on to the house. What had been the rear door of the Benson house became a connecting door between the original house and the new addition. The old door is there today, the original Mormon door.

    Sometime after 1900, a new owner, Mrs. Louis Luscher Tiemann’s husband, tore down the west, south and east walls of the old Benson home and used the brick as lining for a bungalow-type house. Only the north wall of the Benson house was left standing, and it forms the south wall of the old Zachhuber addition which the Tiemanns used as a workshop and is now the present day garage. The bungalow faces on Fullmer Street.

    On the first of June 1842, Ezra T. Benson started on a mission to the eastern states, where he remained into the fall of 1843. He returned and stayed until May of 1844, when he again started east in the company of Elder John Pack. When the news of the death of the prophet reached them, they returned. That fall, 1844, he was called to be a member of the High Council in Nauvoo, and in December of 1844, he was again sent east on a mission. He presided over the Boston conference until the beginning of May 1845, when he was counseled to gather up all the Saints who could go and move them out to Nauvoo. The remainder of the summer and fall he worked on the Temple and at night stood guard to keep off the mob.

    Ezra T. Benson moved out of Nauvoo with his family in the first company in 1846. When he asked Brother Brigham how he should travel without horses or wagon, Brother Brigham had told him to go out in the streets and inquire of every brother he met until he could pick one up, and that is exactly what Ezra T. Benson did. He got a horse from Jared Porter, a wagon from Brother Chidester and a horse and harness from another person, and Stephen Farnsworth gave him a cloth for a wagon cover.

    Next, Ezra T. Benson traded off his wife’s shawl and other things to a man for two hundred pounds of flour. He also gathered eight hundred pounds of flour, a few bushels of Indian corn meal, twelve pounds of sugar and a few pounds of coffee and tea, and a little bedding and clothing.

    At one time while traveling, Ezra T. Benson went to Brother Brigham and told him he could not proceed on account of the heaviness of his load and the weakness of his teams. Brother Brigham said to bring his flour and meal to his camp and he would lighten him up. Then Brother Brigham had John D. Lee weigh it out and divide it among the camps. Ezra T. Benson had only fifty pounds of flour and a half bushel of meat going into the wilderness country. After that, when he heard others complain about their wagons sinking to their axletrees in the mud, he would say to them, “Go to Brother Brigham and he will lighten your loads!”

    At Mount Pisgah, Ezra T. Benson was appointed a counselor to Father William Huntington. While at this place, he received a letter from President Young informing him of his appointment to the Quorum of the Twelve, instead of John E. Page. He moved up to the main camp at Council Bluffs where he was ordained as the 20th Apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the 16th of July 1846, by Brigham Young.

    Shortly after this date, Ezra T. Benson was sent east on a mission and he returned 27 Nov 1846. The next spring he accompanied President Brigham Young as one of the pioneers to Great Salt Lake Valley, and after his arrival there, he was sent back to meet the companies which were coming out so that they would be informed that a place of settlement had been found. After he met the companies, he returned to the Great Salt Lake Valley, and then started back to Winter Quarters.

    Another mission east had to be performed, and he left the camp about the 1st day of 1847 and was gone several months. Upon his return he was appointed to preside in Potawattamie County, Iowa, where he was associated with President Orson Hyde and George A. Smith.

    In 1849, in company with George A. Smith, he moved to the Great Salt Lake Valley. From the 1849 Crossing the Plains Index, in the 5th Company, part of which arrived in Great Salt Lake 22 Oct 1849, are listed:

Benson, Ezra T. (38) Captain of 5th Company
Benson, Parmelia A. (39)
Benson, Charles A. (12)
Benson, Parmelia E. (7)
Benson, Isabella (3)
Benson, Eliza Ann (21)
Benson, Alice E. (1)

Ezra T. Benson was dangerously sick on the road and was not expected to live, but the camp fasted and prayed for him and he recovered.

Tooele County

    In 1849, Ezra T. Benson, Bishop John Rowberry and Cyrus Tolman were sent by Brigham Young to make a survey of the Tooele area and they determined that cattle would do well there. On the 24th of November 1849, Ezra T. Benson and others were granted rights to saw and building timber in Settlement Canyon, Middle Canyon and Pine Canyon. The first mill site failed for lack of water, then Ezra T. Benson had a lumber mill erected at Twin Springs using the water from Stansbury Lake for water power. It was known as “Benson’s Saw Mill.” This saw mill was destroyed by fire after several years of use, exact date not determined.

    The Saints who settled in Tooele Valley were organized 24 Apr 1850 into a branch by Ezra T. Benson.

    In 1854, a grist mill was built on Twin Springs Creek located near the saw mill. The grist mill remained in the hands of the Church corporation until June 1866 when Ezra T. Benson paid Brigham Young $3,333.33 for all claims to it; from then on it was known as “Benson’s Mill.”

    The mill pond was the water source serving the Ezra T. Benson Mill. The walls, rafters and beams generally are as straight today as the day they were built, although much of the interior and the boards on the outside have deteriorated. This grist mill still stands near Richville. It is just north of Stansbury Park, a new housing development a few miles before entering Tooele City, Utah. The mill is on the National Register of Historic Places and is owned by Terracor.

    Near the mill was an adobe dwelling house, sheep sheds, cattle and sheep corrals, pig pens, hen house and all other out houses, plus a water right. Only the adobe outlines of the house remains.

    The exact date Ezra T. Benson moved his family to Richville is not known, nor is it known which of his wives he took with him. Eliza Ann Perry Benson went with him, and perhaps Adeline Andrus Benson, as she processed salt from Great Salt Lake at Garfield near there. Elizabeth Gollaher Benson’s parents lived in Tooele, and she gave birth to her son, Fred Gollaher Benson in Tooele, Utah, 17 Jan 1855.

    In 1851 Ezra T. Benson left on a mission to Potawattamie County in Iowa to gather up the Saints, and he returned in August of 1852.

E. T. City (Lake Point)

    Peter Maughan settled E. T. City, named in honor of Ezra T. Benson, in the late spring of 1854. E. T. was located at the foot of the Oquirrh Mountains, about 11 miles north of Tooele City, and 1 1/2 miles from the south shore of Great Salt Lake.

    Peter Maughan was the ecclesiastical officer for E. T. However, Ezra T. Benson never did live in E. T. City, as he built his house in Richville, near Milton.

    The land in E. T. City was not good for farming as large quantities of alkali came up and threatened their crops and grasshoppers ate the remaining vegetation.

    The first L.D.S. Sunday School was held in this community in 1864, and in 1868 the population was 97. But E. T. prospered and dreamed of being famous as a resort town when Dr. Jeter Clinton built his “Lake House” in 1871. The railroad brought visitors to this point. In 1875 the Old Folk social was held and the visitors sailed on Stansbury Lake in the “City of Corrine.”

    The swampy lands encouraged malarial fevers and diphtheria, and many lives were lost, especially young people and infants.

    There were salt boilers on the edge of the Great Salt Lake to reclaim the salt by boiling the water from the Lake. It took three buckets of water, when boiled down, to make one bucket of salt. The clean salt was traded in Salt Lake City for supplies, but life was hard. Soon some of the men began working in Salt Lake City to make a living, sometimes walking all the way home on weekends, a distance of twenty-five miles.

    In 1855 Ezra T. Benson began construction on a two story house formerly standing on the corner of South Temple and Main Streets in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is the present site of the Kennecott Building.

    The house was spacious with wide halls, plenty of windows to let the sunshine in, with double verandas on both the first and second floors. These verandas were on the front and the back of the building. The cost was $12,000.

    Planted around the house were trees, shrubs and flowers. In the rear of the house was a vegetable garden with an irrigation stream.

    In 1856, while Elizabeth Gollaher Benson was still living in Tooele, Utah, she received a letter from her husband, Ezra T. Benson, who had been appointed a mission to Europe with Orson Pratt.

    Dated 15 June 1856, he stated that it had taken them forty-eight days to arrive at Mormon Grove. He mentioned that there was a great deal of fighting between the pro-slavery men and the abolitionists, and that they were robbing and killing each other in that region. He stated how thankful the Saints ought to feel that God had given them a mountain home safe from this turmoil. The men had come down from St. Louis on a steamboat called “Polar Star.”

    He further stated that on the next Tuesday, all the Elders who could get means would leave for the East, and he expected to be one of them, the Lord willing. He told them how lonesome he was and that money could not hire him to stay from his family, and were it not for the Gospel, he would leave on the morrow for home. He said for Elizabeth not to except him to write too often as he had so many to write to, and then he sent his love to her and to little Fred, their son.

    He asked Elizabeth to give his love to Bro. Rowberry and Bro. Maughan and all his Tooele brethren who enquired after him. He gave Elizabeth and address where she could write to him: No 42 Islinton Street, Liverpool, England, in care of O. Pratt. He returned home in the fall of 1857.

    The year ending in 1859 probably saw much progress made on the “Big House.” Plans were made to furnish it, but the Ezra T. Benson family never did move into this lovely home in Salt Lake City, Utah. President Brigham Young needed Ezra T. Benson to take charge of religious matters in Cache Valley, Utah. His wives were probably very disappointed, but they followed Ezra T. Benson to Logan, Utah.

    In a census taken 16 July 1860, living in Great Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, were: Pamelia Benson, 50, Parmelia E. 18, Isabella 14, Charlotte T. 9, Eliza P(erry) Benson, 30, Alice 11, Malina 8, and Carrie 2 weeks old.

    In a census taken 2 weeks later on 30 July 1860 in Utah Territory, Cache County, Brigham Post Office, were: Ezra T. Benson, 49, Adeline Benson 47, Mary Benson 27, Elizabeth Benson, 27, Chas A. 22, George 13, Frank 7, Samuel 7, Nelly 6, Fred 6, Brigham 2, Louisa 2, with Wm. Robinson 23 and Geo. Berrett 22, servants.

    This census indicates that when Ezra T. Benson went to Logan he took only part of his family with him. The rest of them were to follow soon afterwards.

    In 1860 Ezra T. Benson was “called” by Pres. Young to move to Cache Valley to organize wards and stakes and to name towns. Peter Maughan, whom Benson had known in Tooele County, was the presiding bishop in Cache Valley and also president of the stake. The Mormon Apostle, Benson, met the people of Logan and gave them instructions. Ezra T. Benson and Peter Maughan worked well together and they traveled and organized new settlements into wards and proposed bishop’s names. As Logan was in the center of the little towns, it became the largest settlement.

    In order to protect themselves from the Indians, they organized a militia and chose Ezra T. Benson colonel. Part of the Cache Valley Militia consisted of infantry, and they drilled frequently to impress the Indians with their power.

    The early pioneers of Cache Valley lived close together for protection. The townsmen went to the mountains to cut logs to build their homes, chapels and schoolhouses, and they rode together to distant communities to defend their neighbors when menaced by the Indians. They helped their neighbors plow fields and gave part of their meager supplies to hungry Indians and hired a teacher to educate their children.

    But they had time to work together, pray together, sing together and dance together.

    The first house Ezra T. Benson built was a long log cabin and each wife and family had their own section until he could provide them with their separate houses. It was pioneering all over again, building log houses, breaking the ground for gardens, planting and harvesting their own food.

    In 1861, a large group of Indians came to the south part of the valley and they were very hungry. Brother Benson had a talk with them and gave them what flour was collected and then they went off to their camp. Very soon, 1300 pounds of flour was collected from Logan for them and Presidents Benson & Maughan and an interpreter went to the Indian camp to hold a council. The Indians demanded a great deal more, but Pres. Benson & and Maughan were able to keep the peace this time. But this was not the end of their Indian troubles.

    On 14 March 1866, the City Council met a the home of E. T. Benson to organize their city under their charter. Pres. E. T. Benson opened the meeting with prayer. The presence of an Apostle of the Church at this meeting showed the harmonious and close relationship between the church and state in early Cache Valley. Pres. Ezra T. Benson’s advice was listened to and helped guide the Council in future meetings.

    Ezra T. Benson helped in the organization of other towns, giving counsel when needed. There was a site in Cache Valley called Camp Hollow, where twenty-one families lived in dugouts, a cabin and wagon boxes. They were preparing to plant one hundred acres of grain. In May, E. T. Benson and Peter Maughan visited the camp and advised the settlers to move to higher and better-drained ground.

    When Clarkston was settled, Apostle Ezra T. Benson, accompanied by James H. Martineau, came from Logan to survey the town site and dedicate it. Then they called an Indian interpreter to bring a small band of people, mostly from Logan, to found the village.

    In Hyrum, Apostle Benson advised the people to select a suitable piece of land in their fields and put in fall wheat and sow it in September. It proved sturdy, and when the grasshoppers descended upon it, it was very resistant.

    In 1864, Ezra T. Benson with Apostle Lorenzo Snow went on a mission to the Sandwich Islands (now the Hawaiian Islands). While trying to land, their boat turned over, but Benson and Snow were save from drowning. When their mission was over, they returned to Utah.

    Besides performing these missions for the Church, Elder Benson filled many important posts at home. The Provisional State of Deseret was organized previous to the organization of Utah Territory, and he was a member. He was also a member of the Territorial House of Representatives for several sessions, and he was elected to the Territorial Council every term during the last ten years of his life.

    In 1868, the transcontinental railroad came into Utah, and many Cache Valley people obtained employment on the building of both Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads. The Union Pacific from Echo, Utah, to Promontory Point, was built mainly by Mormons under contract with Brigham Young who sublet contracts to bishops in Cache Valley. Benson, Farr & West got a contract from Central Pacific to build their line one hundred miles west. One thousand workers were employed from Cache & Weber Valleys. Ezra T. Benson was not able to get a settlement from the Railway company, and it caused him considerable anxiety.

    When the railroad was finished and the golden spike was driven at Promontory, Utah, 10 May 1869, the Central Pacific could not keep its agreements and was indebted for some time to Benson, Farr and West, for the sum of $200,000. Elder Benson used up most of his own money so he could pay the men who had worked so hard for him.

    Ezra T. Benson left Logan the afternoon of 2 Sept 1869 with Alvin Crockett for Ogden in connection with his business. Elder Benson felt well to all outward appearance, and he felt confident he could make a settlement with the railroad.

    On the way to Ogden, his horse got the colic, and when he arrived at the Farr home in Ogden, he bled the horse and then walked it up and down to exercise it, then put it in the barn.

    As he walked towards Lorin Farr’s house, he fell to the ground without warning. He was dead at the age of 58 years, on 3 Sept 1869. Overwork and the burden of worry had weakened his heart and brought on his death.

    His remains were taken to Logan for a funeral. All the member of the Twelve who were present spoke at his funeral. Elder Benson had been taken suddenly; he had been a true and faithful servant to his Heavenly Father.

    Ezra T. Benson is buried in Lot 20, Block 2, Plat A, in Logan, Utah, cemetery. A granite shaft was erected later in his honor. A photograph of him is mounted on the southwestern side of the marker and is still in good condition.

    Ezra T. Benson, b 1811 in Mendon, Worcester, Mass., served 8 formal missions as well as special assignments for Brigham Young.

1. 1 June 1842 left Nauvoo and started a mission to the Eastern States, returned fall of 1843.
2. May 1844 started East with Elder John Pack, returned after the Prophet’s death in 1844.
3. Left Dec 1844 for the Eastern mission, and presided over the Boston Conference. Returned to Nauvoo in June of 1845.
4. July of 1846 sent to go in search of other camps who had made the exodus from Nauvoo.
5. 1846 sent East on a mission, returned 27 Nov 1846.
6. 31 December 1847 sent on a mission east and was absent for several months.
7. 1851 he left Salt Lake City for Pottwattamie County, Iowa, to gather up the Saints. He returned August of 1852.
8. 1856 he left on a mission to Europe with Orson Pratt and presided over the British Mission until the fall of 1857.
9. 1864 he left Logan with Apostle Lorenzo Snow and Joseph F. Smith for the Hawaiian Islands.


1. Baptized 19 July 1840 in Mississippi River by the President of the Quincy Branch.
2. 1840 at the Fall Conference at Nauvoo ordained Elder.
3. 25 Oct 1840 ordained High Priest by Hyrum Smith.
4. Made Apostle to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 16 July 1846.

    An incident regarding the Benson family move to Cache Valley was told to Ezra Taft Benson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve, and the oldest great-grandson of Ezra. T. Benson, by President Heber J. Grant, in 1945. President Benson relates:

    “The last time I saw President Heber J. Grant in the Church Office Building before his passing, the follow incident occurred:

    “I was entering the side rear door of the Church Administration Building as President Grant was approaching the door from the First Presidency’s Office with Brother Lund on one arm and Brother Larson on the other.

    “During his last weeks in mortal life, President Grant became quite feeble but insisted on coming down to the office to sign his mail. Two of the brethren would help him from the car into the office where he would sign his mail, take care of any other pressing business, and then they would help him back to the car and he would be driven home.

    “As I entered the door, President Grant looked toward the door, squinted a bit and said, ‘Isn’t that Brother Benson coming?’ to which Brother Lund replied, ‘Yes, that is Brother Benson.’ President Grant, with a motion of the finger, said, ‘Come here Brother Benson, come here.’ I went over to him and he said, ‘Did you ever here of the mean trick Brigham Young played on your grandfather?’ Of course he meant my great-grandfather. As he spoke I could see a twinkle in his eye. I replied, ‘No, President Grant, I didn’t know Brigham Young ever played a mean trick on anyone!’ ‘Oh, yes he did,’ replied the President, ‘I’ll tell you about it.’

    “I could see the two brethren were practically holding President Grant up, so I said to him, ‘I’ll come up to your house some time, I’d like to hear about it.’ To which he replied, ‘No, I’ll tell you right now, these brethren can steady me while I tell you.’ And then he said, ‘You know where Zion’s Bank stands on the corner and the Z. C. M. I.?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Your grandfather built the finest home in Salt Lake City on that corner, unless it was Brigham Young’s home.

    “Then he described the home. He said it was a two story frame home with porches the full length of the home at both levels on both sides of the building. He said he had it all finished, a white picket fence around it, ornamental and fruit trees planted and a little stream going through the back yard and he was all ready to move his families in from their log cabins—five families—when Brigham Young called him into the office one day and said:

    “‘Brother Benson, we’d like you to go to Cache Valley and pioneer that section and preside over the Saints. We suggest you sell you home to Daniel H. Wells.’ And then President Grant added, ‘Now Daniel H. Wells was Brigham Young’s counselor, wasn’t that a mean trick? Come on brethren, let’s go.’ President Grant left the building with the two brethren assisting him. This was the last time I ever saw him in the Church Office Building.

    “As I went up to my office on the floor above I reflected upon the incident. We had never heard of it in the family and I assumed that President Grant might have had it mixed up with some other incident. In any event, I called the Historian’s Office and told them who had told me and asked if they would check it and let me know the facts.

    “In about three hours, they called me back and said, ‘The facts, Brother Benson, are just as you related them.’ They said, ‘We have and old tintype picture of the lovely home. It was always know as the Daniel H. Wells home and some of the finest social functions in Salt Lake City in pioneer days were held in that home. Your great-grandfather went to Cache Valley and with the help of Saints built a log cabin and moved in with his families. He pioneered Cache Valley, presided over the Saints and named most of the towns in the valley. He continued his service there making periodic trips to Salt Lake by buggy or buckboard wagon to attend meetings of the Council of the Twelve.

    “‘He was en route to a meeting of the Twelve and had stopped at the home of Lorin Farr in Ogden when he passed away. It was the custom to drive from Logan to Ogden the first day, and then drive from Ogden to Salt Lake the second day for meetings with the Twelve.’

    “I often wondered where the posterity of Ezra T. Benson would be today if he had refused the call of the President of the Church.”

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