Pueblo County, Colorado
Frank H. Benham
Contributed by Jean Griesan.
Frank H. Benham is one of the honored veterans of the Civil War whose devotion to his country was tested not only by service on the field of battle, but in the still more deadly dangers of a southern prison den. This gallant soldier is now one of the honored and highly respected citizens of Pueblo County, where he owns and operates a ranch and also a sawmill five miles from Rye.
Mr. Benham was born in Hammondsport, Steuben County, N. Y., June 5, 1846, and is a son of Henry and Mary (Cleveland) Benham, also natives of the Empire state, where the father engaged in the tanning business many years. In the family were two other sons who were also among the boys in blue during the Rebellion. George K. died in the service of his country, while Lemuel C. served all through the war and participated in the battles of Antietam, South Mountain and others.
During his boyhood and youth Frank H. Benham attended the public schools of his native county, and in November, 1863, he enlisted in the Twenty-second New York Cavalry, and being in active service until taken prisoner, participated in many important battles and skirmishes. He was first incarcerated in Libby prison and later at Pemberton and Salisbury, N. C., and at Florence, S. C., being finally released March 1, 1865, at which time he returned to Annapolis, Md., where he was discharged the following June. His first engagement was the battle of the Wilderness.
At the close of the war Mr. Benham returned to New York, where he did contract work until 1872, coming to Pueblo County in that year. He located upon his present place, which he has improved with a good residence and substantial outbuildings. Being situated at the foot hills of the mountains and easily accessible to the timber belts, he early became interested in the milling business. For some years he engaged in that enterprise in connection with others, but subsequently purchased the mills and now carries on business alone. They are run by steam and he has succeeded in building up a large and profitable trade.
January 7, 1879, Mr. Benham was united in marriage with Miss Louesa Butler, a native of Webster City, Hamilton County, Iowa, and a lady of culture and refinement. Her father, Theodore Butler, came to Pueblo at an early day, and later settled on a ranch in the mountains, where he died in 1876. As a Republican, Mr. Benham has ever taken an active and prominent part in local politics, and two years ago was the candidate of his party for the office of county commissioner, but lacked nine votes of being elected. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and in business and social circles occupies an enviable position. As a citizen he stands ready to discharge every duty devolving upon him, and has manifested the same loyalty in days of peace as in days of war.
Extracted from "Portrait and Biographical Record of the State of Colorado," published by Chapman Publishing Company in Chicago in 1899.
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