J. R. Benton, proprietor of the Benton Brothers Tile factory and owner of a saw-mill, is one of the leading business men of Scioto Township, and he is a representative of two of the oldest and most substantial pioneer families of this section. Mr. Benton was born in Scioto Township. Delaware County. Ohio. November 5, 1855, and is a son of Benjamin Thomas and Mary K. (Newhouse) Benton.

Benjamin Thomas Benton was born at Pbillipsburg. Pennsylvania, November 22, 1824, and was nine years old when he accompanied his parents to Mt. Vernon, Knox County, Ohio. There his father, Edward William Benton, remained until 1829, when he came to Scioto Township, Delaware County, purchasing the farm on which the subject of this sketch was born.

The Benton family originated in England, and was transplanted to America by four brothers, of whom Thomas H., the youngest, became a distinguished American statesman and the father of the brilliant woman who became the wife of Gen. John C. Fremont. One of these brothers. Edward, was the great-grandfather of J. R. Benton. He had three sons, one of whom went to California and was lost sight of; another is called to memory by the city of Benton Harbor, Michigan, which he founded; and the third was Edward William, the grandfather of J. R. Benton.

Edward William Benton was born April 4, 1782, in Maryland, where he subsequently owned a plantation. This he abandoned on account of the slave laws, of which he did not approve. He moved to Pennsylvania and from that State to Knox County, and subsequently to Delaware County, Ohio. In 1806 he was married, first, to H. Duvall, and secondly, in 1820, to Matilda Phillips. His children were: Benjamin Thomas, Eli, Katherine, Anna, Erasmus and Nancy.

Benjamin Thomas Benton resided until bis death, which occurred August 26, 1906, on the farm in Scioto Township, purchased by his father. He assisted in clearing this property, which, in the memory of his son. was still partly covered with native timber, and resided in the log house bis father had constructed. In his early political life he was a Whig and later embraced the Republican party principles, becoming a man of influence in his community in public affairs. He was a Free Mason, belonging to the fraternity at Delaware. He was married August 13, 1846, to Mary K. Newhouse, who was born January 2, 1825, and who died January 9, 1901. She was a daughter of William and Annie (Richey) Newhouse. both members of the leading pioneer families. William Newhouse was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, March 11, 1800, and came with his parents, Anthony and Nancy (Coons) Newhouse, to Delaware County, in May. 1814. On January 6, 1823, he married Annie Richey, who was a daughter of William Richey. After their marriage they settled near Bellpoint but later removed to Union County, whence they returned still later to Delaware County, settling on the farm in Scioto Township which is now owned by John R. Newhouse. They had eleven children, namely: Mary K., David Emery, Will Lafayette. Isaiah, Belinda, John R., Catherine. Nancy Jane. Adam, Joseph, and James H.

William Newhouse died December 6. 1842. Benjamin Thomas Benton and wife had six children, five of whom grew to maturity, namely : William Edward, who was born April 9. 1847, who is engaged in the practice of medicine in Wyandot County, Ohio; Thomas Byron, born November 29, 1851, who died in November, 1895; J. R., whose name begins this sketch; and Narcissa M. G., born May 14, 1858. married Hon. Brodrick, judge of the Court of Common Pleas at Marysville, Ohio, and Charles B., who resides on the home farm. Mr. Benton was a very active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, serving as a trustee, steward and class leader. He was a liberal contributor toward the building of the W. C. T. U. hall. When the sturdy manhood of the country was called on to rally to the defense of Washington, in 18O4, Mr. Benton became a member of the One Hundred and Forty-fifth Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served as long as his services were needed. He subsequently united with Tanner Post, Grand Army of the Republic, of which he was past commander. After reaching the age of sixteen years, with the exception of two years spent in Iowa and the time covering his army experience, Mr. Benton always lived in Scioto Township. In 1856 he purchased his farm from his father and contentedly passed his life raising grain and livestock.

J. R. Benton, the direct subject of this article, was reared in Scioto Township and was educated at the Delaware Union schools. After leaving school he learned the carpenter's trade. In the fall of 1884. he entered into the tile business on the home farm, and since 1895, has been also in the sawmill business. In the year above mentioned he moved to his present place, where he has facilities for shipping his entire product over the Big Four Railroad. Since 1906 he has done a large amount of building. His factory turns out 25,000 rods ot tile a year and his tile business is a prosperous industry. For twenty years Mr. Benton has been also a large producer of honey.

Mr. Benton married Eva L. Brodrick, who is a daughter of Isaac and Sarah P. (Hoff) Brodrick. who reside near Lewisburg, Union County. Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Benton have had four children, the three survivors being: Wyville E., who married Florence James of New Dover, O., residing at Columbus; Dwight Omar, who is a builder and contractor; and Mary K., who married Lorenzo Dow Poling, of Springfield, Ohio. Mr. Benton and family are members of the Presbyterian Church.

Fraternally, Mr. Benton is past grand of Edinburg Lodge of Odd Fellows and has served as deputy to the Grand Lodge. Both he and wife are members of Prosperity Lodge of Rebeccas, of which Mrs. Benton is a past noble grand, having been also a representative to the superior bodies. She belongs also to the Pythian Sisters, No. 261, of Ostrander. In politics, Mr. Benton is a Republican.

 

From 20th Century History of Delaware County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens by James R. Lytle