Perry Wallace Benedict, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Perry Wallace Benedict

PERRY WALLACE BENEDICT. For almost half a century has Mr. Benedict known Porter county as a resident, and for many fruitful years has been an intelligent and progressive citizen and industrious worker here. His homestead in Porter township, acquired entirely through the industry and thrift of himself and his good wife, is evidence that the years have not been wasted.

Of English lineage, Perry Wallace Benedict was born in Geauga county, Ohio, June 23, 1857, the oldest of five children, four sons and one daughter, whose parents were Jacob and Lovilla (Dewey) Benedict. Three are now living, the other two being: Albert, who was educated in the common schools, is married, and a prosperous farmer in Ohio; and Stephen, who is married, and likewise engaged in farming in Ohio.

Jacob Benedict, the father, was born in .New York state and died in 1877, when about seventy-five years old. His education was obtained in the common schools, and his trade was carpenter and joiner. His early home was near the legendary and poetic Catskill mountains, where he remained until his majority, when he moved out to Ohio, was married there, and about 1859 came to Illinois, where he worked for a time at his trade in the city of Kankakee, and then settled permanently in Porter county. He lived here until his death, which occurred in Center township. During his early citizenship he had been an old-line Whig and then became a Republican. He and his wife were both members of the Methodist church. His wife was born in Ohio, January 28, 1836, and is still living in that state and enjoys good health. She has been throughout her life a devout Christian and brought up her children in admiration and obedience to religious precept.

Mr. Benedict was too young to remember when the family moved out to Illinois, and Porter county has been his home practically throughout the formative and active period of his life. For a few years he was given the privilege of the common schools in this county, but most of his education has been obtained outside the walls of a schoolhouse. Reared on a farm and choosing agriculture for his life pursuits, he began earning wages when he was only thirteen years old, being paid fifty cents a day for planting corn with a hoe. Hard work has been an intimate part of his experience. For several years he worked during the summer on farms in Center township for twelve dollars a month, and it was with the results of such work that he got his start in life.

Finally he had gained a point in his career where he felt justified in establishing his own home, and then, on the 13th of January, 1886, was married to Miss Alvaretta Thatcher, who for twenty-five years has been his companion and co-worker and much of his success is due to her energy and good counsel. They are the parents of a son and daughter. The daughter is M. Marie, who received her diploma from the common schools at the age of fifteen and was graduated from the city schools of Valparaiso in the class of 1906. She is one of the successful teachers of Porter township and has been engaged in the work for the past four years. During 1911 she took a scientific course in the Valparaiso University. She is a member of the Christian church in Valparaiso. Myron D., the son, after graduating from the common schools in 1904, took a course in the city schools, and is now associated with his father in the work of the home farm. His tastes incline to mechanical pursuits.

Mrs. Benedict is a native of Porter county, where she was born March 20, 1860, the third in a family of eight children, four sons and four daughters, born to Daniel and Martha J. (Young) Thatcher. Six are still living, namely: Edgar, a painter by trade, whose residence is at LeGrande, Oregon, and he is married; Carleton, who is married and is a farmer of Porter township; Mrs. Benedict; Albert, married and farming in Porter township; Clarence, a farmer of Porter township and the head of a family; and Mae, the wife of A. W. Cowdrey, teller in the Valparaiso National Bank and also secretary and treasurer of the First Trust Company.

Daniel Thatcher, the father of Mrs. Benedict, was born in Ohio, July 12, 1832, and his death occurred July 22, 1902, when he was ten days past his seventieth birthday. He had been a farmer throughout his active career. When he was a boy his parents settled in Clinton county, Indiana, and he was married in Porter county. He owned a fine farm of one hundred and fifty acres in Center township, where he resided until his death. He and his wife were members of the Christian church, and he was one of the most liberal supporters and a deacon in the church. Mrs. Thatcher was born in Clinton county, this state, March 2, 1836, and she died July 2, 1911. She was a noble Christian woman and her memory is held in the highest regard by her children.

Mrs. Benedict during her girlhood in Porter county attended the district schools, and practically all her life has been spent in this county. After their marriage Mr. Benedict and his wife began as renters, and their habits of industry and determination to win a home and sufficient prosperity were their best capital. They were tenant farmers for five years, three years of this time being renters from .Mr. Elias Merriman of Porter township. Then in 1890 they bought the eighty acres which constitutes their present beautiful estate. A dilapidated house and a thatched straw-roof barn were the principal improvements which they obtained with the land, and the soil itself was much impoverished. A debt of sixteen hundred dollars was an additional handicap, but it only served to spur them to greater effort. At the present writing not a dollar of debt rests against this home, and as a country estate it presents so many evidences of thrift, good management and comfort that it attracts the notice of the casual passer by. Their modern home, which is fitted with an acetylene lighting plant and other conveniences, was erected in 1896. The outbuildings and fences are all in excellent condition, and the farm has value and fertility written on its every acre.

Mr. Benedict is a Republican who cast his first vote for James G. Blaine, but in local government he supports the man rather than party. He and his wife are strong advocates of general education, and they gave their children the best advantages they could afford. The Christian church at Valparaiso has their membership, and he is one of the deacons of the church. Their home is situated four and a half miles from the city of Valparaiso, and is known as the" Maple Lawn Farm," the abode of hospitality and good cheer. It represents the substantial results of honorable industry, just as the country-wide esteem in which Mr. and Mrs. Benedict are held betokens their integrity of character and wholesome citizenship.

Source: Lewis Publishing Company. 1912. History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company. 881 p.
Page(s) in Source: 577-579

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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