William Collins Benson

9 Mar 1791 to 10 Jun 1858
(this is possibly his photo, although some say, since he died in 1858 it would have been too early for photos to have been taken)

Today my 4th Great Grandfather William Collins Benson celebrates his 228th birthday. He began his life in Pomfret Connecticut and died while visiting his brother in Patterson, New Jersey, and is buried there.

He was the son of Rev. John C. Benson, who, after seeing a vision of God in a near death experience on the high seas, turned away from the families gold and slave trading business to preach the word of God.

Family folklore says that he went to California for the Gold Rush; he was gone so long without being heard from, that his wife remarried and had another child. Upon his return, she had to choose which husband. (this is highly doubtful though as she was 55 at the time, past childbearing age)

Three of his daughters came to Iowa: Susan Ann (Benson) Coats, Mercy Celestia “Charity” (Benson) Dennison, & Mary Jane (Benson) Cook, (my 3rd Great Grandmother).

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