Charles W. Benton, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Charles W. Benton

CHARLES W. BENTON. Among the citizens of Valparaiso who would be properly classed as prominent in the general activities of the last twenty-five or thirty years, probably the record of none contains more useful service as a citizen and more satisfying accomplishments in business than that of Charles W. Benton.

Mr. Benton was born in Sandusky county, Ohio, August 7, 1858, a son of Asa E. and Sarah (Gunsaul) Benton. His father at the age of six years accompanied his parents from his native state of Massachusetts to Ohio, in which state he grew up and for many years followed successfully the work of farming. He and his wife were the parents of Mary, Reuben, Gilbert and Charles W., all of whom received their primary education in the district school near the old home in Ohio.

When confronted with the problem of how to make a beginning of practical work and how best to serve himself and others, Charles W. Benton chose the profession of teacher. A great many young people accept that occupation as preliminary to something else, but throughout his career he has been first of all an educator, and his success has been noteworthy from every standpoint. While in Ohio he attended the normal school at Ada, and near his old home he began teaching in what was called the Maple Grove school. Later he had his home school for two years, and was principal of the Gibsonburg schools. From there he came to Valparaiso. The college afforded him part of his professional training, but since 1886 he has been identified with this important institution as one of its faculty, in charge of its commercial department. Nearly thirty years of service have had results in the careers of men and women, the benefits of which no statistics could measure. In this time about twelve thousand pupils have received his instruction, and the trained efficiency of this small army of workers has not been among the least important assets of the world of commerce and of personal integrity.

In 1887 Mr. Benton further identified himself with this city and vicinity through his marriage with Miss Mina Hackett. Mrs. Benton was born in this county April 30, 1865, a daughter of Samuel and Anna (Weston) Hackett, her father being a native of Seneca county, Ohio, and her mother of Indiana. Samuel Hackett was a very successful business man and influential citizen. For many years he was in the lumber industry and as manufacturer of charcoal. He acquired about eleven hundred acres of land in LaPorte and Porter counties, and the agricultural operations on this estate assumed increasing importance with the successive years. His three children were Emily, Mina, and William C., all of whom were well educated. Miss Mina finished at the Valparaiso College. Mr. and Mrs. Benton, who have been residents of Valparaiso ever since their marriage, are the parents of two sons, Leland H. and Thomas H. Leland graduated from the scientific and commercial course at Valparaiso in 1910, and Thomas is still with his studies at the university.

One of the noteworthy products of Mr. Benton's successful career as an educator was a text-book on bookkeeping, which is used not only in this university but has been adopted by other well known schools as a work of superior merit. Outside of his profession Mr. Benton has long been active in the civic life of his home city, and has done much to promote municipal efficiency and the welfare of the community. For four years he was a member of the city council, and was a member of the board of county commissioners from 1900 to 1906.

In the business community Mr. Benton is most influentially known as the president of the Valparaiso National Bank, a position he has held ever since 1908. Previous to that time he was vice president of this financial institution. He is also president of the First Trust Company of this city. His early training on the farm gave him a thorough delight in country life and its activities, and in latter years of his successful career he has been able to gratify his tastes in this direction. His fine farm of four hundred and twenty-seven acres, including a dairy of thirty fancy-bred Holsteins, is one of the model and productive estates of this vicinity. In politics he has always supported the Republican party.

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: 377-378

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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