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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:

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[This information is from Vol. III, p. 1011 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The founder of this Benson family in Troy came to the United States in 1865. Born and educated in Germany, he had alll the sterling qualities inherent in that race, which in this land of opportunity insure certain success.

Joseph Benson, son of John Benson, was born in Oberlautz, Germany, June 15, 1840, died in Troy, New York, March, 1905. He was the second eldest of three sons, Michael, Joseph and Jacob, and had a sister Margaret. He received the usual common school education that is the birthright of the German child, and on arriving at a suitable age was apprenticed to a shoemaker, with whom he learned his trade. In 1865 he left his native land and is next found located in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and later in Troy, working in a custom boot and shoe store as cutter and pattern maker. He was a skillful mechanic and soon was promoted to foreman. He spent several years in the employ of others and accumulated sufficient capital to start a custom shoe store of his own, manufacturing customm shoes for the elite residents of Troy and vicinity. He was a capable, energetic business man as well as a manufacturer, and in his own venture prospered. His goods were in demand, and his well-known ability and integrity assured him the credit and confidence necessary to business success. He dealt in real estate as well, and improved a great many vacant lots by erecting upon them residences. He disposed of these as rapidly as possible, retaining for his private residence the present Grand street home of his widow, where he died in 1905. He was a member of the Republican party, but never an aspirant for office, nor would he ever accept one. He was a Master Mason of King Solomon's Lodge No. 91, of Troy, and while he was not a member of any church, he liberally supported all worthy causes. He was a close student of human nature, and from an extensive reading he had stored away the history of many lands, and aided by a most wonderful memory he was a perfect storehouse of useful information. He married (first) Ann Lasch, born in Luxembourg, Germany, died in Troy, New York. Children:

  1. Joseph, born September 26, 1867; he is a practical machinist; resides in Troy; married and has children: Joseph, William and Robert.
  2. Elizabeth, died September 12, 1909; married Nicholas Meyer; resided in Averill Park.
  3. John, deceased.
  4. Margaret, deceased.
  5. Infant, deceased.
  6. Infant, deceased. He married (second) Elizabeth Lasch, sister of his first wife.

Children of second marriage:

  1. Annie C., born in Troy, New York; married John Hansen and has two children: John and Ruth.
  2. John, deceased.

Mrs. Ann and Elizabeth (Lasch) Benson were daughters of Peter Lasch, born in Luxembourg, Germany, 1811, died in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 1862. The family also included a son, William Lasch, who lives in Troy, New York.

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