Andrew Benson has had a long and varied experience in the oil fields of both the East and West, and for a number of years had been established at Independence, from which city as headquarters he had operated extensively in the oil and gas districts of Southern Kansas and Oklahoma.
Born March 5, 1864, in Warberg, Sweden, he was six years of age when his parents came to the United States in 1870 and settled in Jamestown, New York. He grew up there on a farm, received a fair amount of schooling, and in 1883, at the age of nineteen, went to Bradford, Pennsylvania. In the meantime he had received some experience while employed in a furniture factory at Jamestown, New York. At Bradford he became identified with the oil business, and for many years was connected with the Oil Well Supply Company of that city. In 1898 the company sent him to the West Virginia oil fields. In 1903, with his family, he removed to Independence, Kansas, where he had since operated extensively as an oil and gas man. He occupies a suite of offices in the Booth Building and had acquired some valuable properties, including his fine residence at 409 North Ninth Street, other residence buildings, and some unimproved property. Mr. Benson is president of the Benson Oil & Gas Company, and of the State Line Oil and Gas Company.
In politics he is a progressive, is a member of the Presbyterian Church, belongs to Union Lodge No. 334, Free and Accepted Masons, at Bradford; to Lodge No, 780, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, at Independence, and to the Protected Home Circle at Bradford, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Benson married Anua S. Engdahl. She was born May 4, 1862, at Kalmer, Sweden, and in 1873 came to this country with her parents, who located in Cherry Creek, New York. To Mr. and Mrs. Benson were born four children: Flavia, who died at the age of two years; Carl W.; T. W., who is now a junior in the law school of the Kansas State University; and Allen Duane, who died when one year of age.
The son, Carl W. Benson, attended the public schools at Bradford, Pennsylvania, gradnated from the high school of Jamestown, New York, in 1903, and had since identified himself with the oil and gas industry. As a representative of the Oil Well Supply Company he was sent to Independence, and in 1905 to Bartlesville, Oklahoma, for one year. In 1906 he entered the service of the Standard Asphalt and Rubber Company and remained with that corporation until 1911. Since then he had been in business for himself as an oil and gas well drilling contractor, and had put down many wells in Southeastern Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. He is a director in the State Line Oil and Gas Company and a stockholder in that and in the Benson Oil and Gas Company. He is a progressive in politics, a member of the Presbyterian Church, is affiliated with Elks Lodge No. 780 at Independence. He was married in 1908, at Independence, to Miss Nina C. Nees. Her father, W. M. Nees, is a prominent business man at Brazil, Indiana. Mr. and Mrs. Benson have one child, Beverly Jane, born May 7, 1914.
Andrew Benson was the twelfth of thirteen children born to Bern and Edla (Gunnarson) Benson. His father was born at Warberg, Sweden, in 1816, was a farmer in his native country and also served his time in the regular army of that nation. In 1870 he brought his family to America, settling on a farm at Jamestown, New York, where he lived until his death in 1902. He was a republican and an active member of the Lutheran Church. His wife was born at Warberg, Sweden, in 1821, and died at Jamestown, New York, in 1908. Of their large family of children the four now living are: Anna L., who lives at Jamestown, New York, the widow of Andrew Erickson, who was a blacksmith; Olaf, who lives retired at Jamestown, was an oil operator and spent twelve years in the oil fields around Independence, Kansas; Christine is the wife of Andrew Benson (not related), who is a retired furniture manufacturer, and they live at Jamestown; the fourth is Andrew Benson.