Mary Larsen Bensonís Children

Donald Benson Alder & Elsie L. Alder, comp., The Benson Family: The Ancestory and Descendants of Ezra T. Benson (The Ezra T. Benson Genealogical Society, Inc., 1979), pp. 315-18.

[Transcribed by Ann Potter]

Walter Benson, first child of Ezra T. Benson and Mary Larsen, was born in Logan Utah, 17 June 1867, and spent his growing up years there, assisting in the support of his mother, Mary and his younger brother Henry Taft Benson. This was a most difficult time because of the passing of his father, Ezra T. Benson, in 1869 when he was two years old. In 1878, Mary, his mother married Peter Peterson and moved with her children and new husband to Petersboro on the west side of Cache Valley. Seven additional sons were born into this family.

In 1888 at the age of 21, young Walter decided to strike out on his own with his friend, Joseph Carlson, and, with their teams and wagons went into the overland freighting business. Their venture began at the new railhead, Corrine, Utah, taking in all points north into Idaho and Montana.

Coming back to Logan in 1899, Walter established his home permanently there and became engaged in various successful farming ventures. Through these activities he became a man of considerable means and was known throughout the community for his generosity.

One of the things his friends remember about him, was Walterís strong family loyalty. He seemed to be in a happy frame of mind when telling stories about his father, Ezra T. Benson, and also about his fatherís accomplishments.

Walterís support of local Church authorities was well known. When his nephew, Bishop Serge Ballif Benson, was in charge of building a new chapel for the Logan 4th Ward, he rendered services with his team and wagon whenever called upon.

Walter never married. During the last eight years of his life, he was cared for in the home of his niece and nephew, Virgo and Clarence Anderson. Great appreciation is extended to these most generous family members for their kindness to him.

Walter Benson never joined the L.D.S. Church in his life time. His ordinance work was done by a grand nephew Ronald Anderson, a son of Virgo and Clarence Anderson, in June 1962 in the Salt Lake Temple.

When Walter Benson died in June of 1958, age 91 years old, he was interred in Ezra T. Bensonís private plot in the Logan, Utah, cemetery.

Henry Taft Benson was born in Logan, Utah, 19 March 1869. He was the second son of Ezra T. Benson and Mary Larsen. His father passed away when he was six months old. The absence of his fatherís influence was a tremendous handicap during his growing years.

His mother, Mary married again in 1878 to Peter Peterson and went with her two sons and her new husband to live on a ranch in Petersboro on the west side of Cache Valley. Henry spent his early youth assisting his step father, Peter Peterson in developing this property into one of the most productive and largest ranching operations in the state of Utah.

In 1898 Henry decided to own his own farm. He purchased a tract of land about one mile south of the Peterson homestead and managed this property until 1940, when he retired. At this time his younger Peterson brothers assumed the running of Henryís farm for the duration of his retirement years.

Henry married Selma Lundberg in the Salt Lake Temple 4 Oct 1905 which coincided with the marriage of Calvin Coolidge on that same date. After a brief honeymoon in Salt Lake City, they returned to Logan where their new home was ready for them. Not many couples enjoy the advantage of a new home all paid for at the beginning of their married life. By 1905 standards, it was considered one of the finest upper middle class homes in Logan. A son, Wesley Taft Benson, and a daughter Virgo Benson, were born to this couple.

Henry followed the counsel of the L.D.S. Church authorities and stayed out of debt. By so doing, he was able to avoid the ravages of the great depression in the 1930ís. During this trying period, prices of farm products were extremely low. With good management, the family pulled through without going into debt. For this reason, the ranch and home were never in jeopardy.

After his wife Selma died, Henry married 4 Oct 1939, Letha McNeil, and it was a happy union. Members of the family are forever grateful to this wonderful woman who gave Henry loving care during his retirement years.

Henry passed away 24 Feb 1947 and was buried in his father, Ezra T. Bensonís, private plot at Logan cemetery.

Selma Lundberg Benson, wife of Henry Taft Benson, was born in Logan, Utah, 24 May 1876. Her father, Christian Lundberg, and mother, Anna Swenson, were converts to the Church. They came to Utah from Sweden before the railroad was completed. Selma grew up in a faithful L.D.S. family in semi-pioneer Logan. Before the turn of the Century, cultural advantages were hard to come by; yet she had a rich heritage which came through the influence of the Church.

Her husband, Henry Taft Benson, was a skilled mechanic, and donated much of his talent to the construction of the Logan Temple. Through her father, Christian Lundbergís example, Selma came to understand the deep significance of the Temple and devoted many years of her life to service in the House of the Lord.

A turning point in her life came during her courtship with Henry Taft Benson. After going together seven years, she could not accept his proposal of marriage because he was not a member of the L.D.S. Church. One night in the year of 1904, his father, Ezra T. Benson, who had been dead for many years, came to her and assured her that, if she would be willing to go through with Henryís proposal of marriage, Henry would join the Church and it would be a happy relationship. With this assurance, she agreed to accept. Because of Selma had faith in following the counsel of an Apostle of the Lord when, from all outward appearances the risk of failure was great, a happy home was created. Ezra T. Bensonís assurance became a reality.

There was much happiness in their home during the early years. By 1905-1912 stands, it was a lovely place. Many people came to visit as Selma was a very good home maker and hostess. She had a sense of beauty and charm, as far as music and the arts were concerned, that few mothers could equal. Her outstanding quality was that she had a firm testimony of the divinity of the Gospel. Through her influence and the cooperation of her husband, Henry Taft Benson, Gospel Stands and teachings became a part of their family life.

Selma Lundberg Benson passed away 13 July 1935 and her final resting place was in her father-in-laws, Ezra T. Bensonís, private plot in the Logan Cemetery