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Introduction / Barbara Allan / Westray Allans / Isabella Allan and George Gullion / GraceGullion and Adam Benston

Thomas Benston

Thomas Benston, son of Adam Benston and Grace Gullion was born in Canada about 1852. No other information has been found to indicate where in Canada the Benstons were. In 1860 and 1870 Thomas was on his family's farm in Wisconsin. He married in Alma, Buffalo County, Wisconsin, on 6th June 1873 Mary Elizabeth Henry, daughter of Andrew and Mary Henry. The marriage record indicates that Thomas was a farmer and a native of Canada. In the 1880 census he was living in Alma; his census entry is:

Alma, Buffalo County, Wisconsin
Relation Age Occupation Born
Thomas Benston Head 28 years Works in Mill Canada
M. Elizabeth Benston Wife 26 years Keeps House Scotland
A. Franklin Benston Son 5 years Wisconsin
Joseph Benston Brother 26 years Works in Mill Wisconsin
R. Susan Benston Sister in Law 25 years Pensylvania

It appears that Thomas' wife and son died in the early 1880s. The next indication of Thomas is in the 1900 census, when he was living in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, with his German born wife Mary, and three children. (No sign of A. Franklin, born about 1875 was found in the 1900 census.) Obituary notices indicate he had married Mary Lenhart in Warren, Minnesota. Mary was born in Germany on 22nd July 1859 and had come to the US with an aunt in 1862. Thomas and Mary had four children:

  • Frank Benston, b. June 1884 in North Dakota and d. July 1910 in Missoula, Montana.
  • Clarence Benston, b. 28 Nov 1894, Thief River Falls, Minnesota who married Hilma Olson on 24th Nov 1926. He had three daughters, and died, in Minnesota, 27th Sep 1989, age 94. He was a farmer and carpenter.
  • Grace Benston, b. Nov 1896 who married Oscar M. Anderson
  • A daughter, name and dates unknown, who died in infancy.

Census records indicate that Thomas married Mary Lenhart about 1876, but this date is believed to be in error. It is thought likely that they were married about 1883, but no marriage record has been found. Based on Mary's obituary, they homesteaded in Turtle Mountain, North Dakota, then moved to Devils Lake, North Dakota, then to Crookston, Minnesota, finally settling in Thief River Falls in 1891. Thomas died 23rd August 1924, and Mary died on 5th May 1941. Both are buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Thief River Falls.

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