Elizabeth Golliher Benson
John Henry Evans and Minnie Egan Anderson, Ezra T. Benson: Pioneer, Statesman, Saint [Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1947], 351–52.

    On the 4th of June in 1853 in Salt Lake City, Elizabeth Golliher became the fifth wife of Ezra T. Benson. He first met Elizabeth on the plains. Elizabeth was born December 30, 1832 at Clinton County, Illinois, a daughter of William Culbertson and Elizabeth Orton Golliher. They were the parents of seven children. A dainty, immaculate woman and very spiritual minded, Elizabeth became a counselor in the first Relief Society organized in Logan, Utah, on May 18, 1868. Six years later to the day, she became ward Relief Society president, which office she held until 1877 when she became Stake President. She served in this capacity for 18 years. In those early days the Stake Relief Society officers traveled many miles by horse and buggy to visit the various wards. Sometimes Elizabeth would be away from her home and family for two weeks at a time completing her visits. On Sunday when she dressed in her best black silk dress and quaint bonnet she was a cameo picture with her auburn hair tinged with grey.

    Patient and cheerful, she was an excellent housekeeper. An exceptional cook, she loved to prepare special dishes for Ezra T. Benson of which he was fond. In these years his first wife, Pamelia, aristocratic in her New England stateliness, took a motherly interest in the younger wives. They came to her for advice. Pamelia and Adeline suffered from ill health a great part of the time in their later lives and ofttimes when Elizabeth was preparing to attend a social function with her husband, Pamelia would send over a lovely brooch or some other prized possession as an attractive accessory for the occasion. Frequently, when unexpected guests of note came from out of town, they were entertained at Elizabeth’s home. It is told how quickly she could prepare a bounteous meal of stewed chicken and dumplings with melting soda biscuits and fresh green vegetables from her own garden.

    When her boys were young they used to drive to the canyon for wood. Many times, if they were gone longer than she thought necessary, in her motherly anxiety she would walk to the mouth of the canyon and wait until she saw the wagon coming, then she would hurry home, not letting them know of her worry.

    Elizabeth’s sons inherited the warm, friendly characteristics of their parents. Fred Golliher Benson with his brother Hyrum Smith Benson entered the drayage and transfer business, becoming prominent citizens of Helena, Montana, where they actively participated in the community affairs of that region. William C. Benson became interested in mining. Brigham Young Benson, named for the great pioneer leader Brigham Young with whom his father was so closely associated, followed a career similar to his father’s. He, too, was interested in enterprises which were helpful to the people. He became president of the Trenton, Clarkston Milling and Elevator Co. He was a director of the West Cache Canal Co., the Lewiston State Bank and the Cache County Fair Association. He also was active in the Church life of the community, serving in the capacity of counselor in the Bishopric of the ward. Elizabeth died on May 4, 1903, at Wellsville, Utah having lived to be seventy-one years of age.

- End –