Charles C. Benner, a former judge of the Common Pleas Court in Summit County, has with brief exceptions concentrated his time and talents upon the practice of law in Akron for over thirty years, and is head of a law firm ranking among the most successful in that city.

Judge Benner was born at Manchester, in Summit County, Ohio, March 7, 1890, son of Simon and Caroline (Slaybaugh) Benner. His grandfather, Henry Benner, came from Pennsylvania to Summit County in 1825, conducted a pioneer blacksmith shop, and also cleared and developed a farm. Simon Benner was born in Summit County, January 17, 1846, and spent the greater part of his life on a farm in Norton Township, where he died August 22, 1884. His wife, Caroline Slaybaugh, was born in Summit County, July 21, 1844, daughter of Jacob Slaybaugh, and she died January 7, 1890.

Charles C. Benner was fourteen when his father died. He attended district schools while on the farm, was a pupil in the high schools at Norton and Copley and studied law in Ohio Northern University and in the law offices of Baird & Voris at Akron. He passed the law examinations and was admitted to the bar in June, 1893, and subsequently was admitted to practice in the Federal Court. He gave his time and attention to an individual general practice until 1919, when he became senior member of the law firm of Benner, Harter & Walker, and this is now the firm of Benner, Harter, Walker & Watters.

His first public service was rendered as police prosecutor of Akron, from 1897 to 1901. He was safety director of Akron from 1910 to 1911, being the first appointed to that office under the new code. He had previously served as a member of the Akron Board of Safety. From 1912 to 1916 he was a member of the Civil Service Commission, and from August, 1917 to January, 1919, served as judge of the Common Pleas Court by appointment of Governor Cox. He was twice elected a member of the Democratic State Central Committee.

Judge Benner is a director of the National City Bank of Akron and Treasurer of the Eastland Company. He served as captain of Company B, Eighth Regiment, Ohio National Guards, from 1893 to 1897. He is a member of the Summit County, Ohio State and American Bar associations, belongs to the Portage Country Club, the Akron City Club, and in Masonry is past eminent commander of Akron Commandery of the Knights Templar, is a member of Lake Erie Consistory of the Scottish Rite, and also belongs to the Knights of Pythias and is past exalted ruler of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He has been a member of the Chamber of Commerce since its organization. Judge Benner married, September 29, 1897, Miss Gertrude Foster, of Akron, daughter of Martin B. and Sarah (Clark) Foster.

 

 

History of Ohio, The American Historical Society, Inc., 1925, Volume III