Ezra T. Benson (1811–1869)
Excerpt from “George T. Benson”
Progressive Men of Southern Idaho (Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., 1904), 690–92.

. . . [George’s] parents were Ezra T. and Adelina B. (Andrus) Benson, natives of Connecticut, who were converted to the Mormon faith soon after 1840 in their native state, whence they soon afterward emigrated separately to Nauvoo, Ill., where they were married not long after their arrival.


Making their home at Nauvoo until the spring of 1846, they then joined the first company of their faith to make the long and trying trip across the plains to the new home of the church on the shores of the Great Salt Lake. While on this trip they halted at Garden Grove, Iowa, and there, on May 1, 1846, their son, George T. Benson, was born. From that place the father proceeded to the new country and was one of the first 128 men who arrived at and occupied the site of the permanent Zion of the church, then the dream of the faithful, now the established result of their labors and the magnificent center of its power. The mother came over “the plains across” with a later train and with her infant in her arms reached her destination in October.

Taking up land for a home, they engaged in farming, and later the father built grist and sawmills in the Tooele Valley, nor far from the prospective city of Salt Lake, which he operated for a number of years, always, however, making his home in the city. From the time of his conversion to Mormonism he has been active and zealous in its work. He was ordained an apostle in 1848 at Winter Quarters, and was long one of the principal men of the organization in Utah. In 1860 he moved to Logan, being one of the first settlers at that place, and was called to preside over the Cache Valley church organizations as an apostle. From that time he has devoted the greater part of his life to church work, but he has also had business interests, and owned and farmed land at Logan.

In partnership with H. Thatcher, he built the first gristmill in the Cache Valley, and, under the firm name of Thatcher & Benson, he aided in conducting it vigorously and profitably for a number of years, being connected with the enterprise at the time of his death on September 1, 1869. His widow survived him for thirty years, passing away on April 20, 1899, and their remains are buried at Logan. . . .

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