Benson, Morris - Erie County

MORRIS BENSON Vice-President of the Adam, Meldrum & Anderson Company, has had a mercantile career which, when considered as regards length of duration, extensiveness of the interests involved and uniform success, places him among the representative commercial men of the State, connection with the firm of Adam & Meldrum, its predecessor, Mr. Benson has for about thirty-seven years been identified with the large establishment which he now serves as one of the managers and official executive, has taken a leading share in the upbuilding of its business, and has borne an equally significant part in the development of those modern and progressive methods which have in the last few decades worked such important changes in the commercial life of Buffalo.

Mr. Benson was born in Buffalo January 18, 1845, being the son of Silas Benson, who for many years was a prominent merchant of Buffalo, where he died in 1875. Silas Benson married Cynthia Schuyler Van Tyne, a daughter of Joseph Van Tyne of Troy, N. Y., who was of Holland Dutch extraction. The children of the marriage were two sons and one daughter, all of whom are deceased, except the subject of this sketch.

Morris Benson was educated in his native city, where he was graduated from the Central High School in 1860. During the Civil War he enlisted in the United States Navy, serving on the gunboat St. Clair, which was engaged in scout and transportation duty on the Mississippi, Cumberland and Tennessee rivers. Mr. Benson was present at the battles of Fort Donelson and Fort Henry, and continued in the naval service from August, 1861, to 1863, when he was honorably discharged, with the rank of Signal Quartermaster.

On his return to Buffalo Mr. Benson became connected with the carpet business of E. J. & R. D. Sherman, but after a year he went to Erie, Pa., where for five years he had charge of the carpet department of W. G. Gardner & Co. In 1871 he came back to Buffalo to assume the management of the carpet department of Adam & Meldrum. The present firm was incorporated in 1893, and ever since that time Mr. Benson has been one of its managers, actively concerned in the direction of the business, to whose success his large experience and sound conservatism have in a great degree contributed. Mr. Benson is a member of Chapin Post G. A. E., a 33d degree Mason. He is affiliated with and past master of Ancient Landmarks Lodge, No. 441; Hugh De Payens Commandery, No. 30, Knights Templar; Past Grand Master, Palmona Lodge of Perfection, and Noble of the Mystic Shrine. Socially he is a member of the Buffalo and Westminster clubs. In politics he is a Republican and religiously he is a member and trustee of Westminster Presbyterian Church.

August 31, 1867, Mr. Benson married Miss Percie Bennett, a daughter of Gates A. Bennett of Erie, Pa. They have two daughters, Carrie Cynthia (Mrs. Myron P. Bush), and Agnes Percie.

SOURCE: Memorial and Family History of Erie County New York; Volume I