Benedict, Adonijah (History - 1836)






----Source: 1918 History of Clark County, Wisconsin


Adonijah Benedict, 1836

ADONIJAH BENEDICT, an early settler, and in former years a prominent citizen of York Township, but now deceased, was born on a farm in New York State, about 1836, a son of Solomon and Emory Benedict. His father, Solomon, was an early settler of Fond du Lac County, Wis., where he was offered land at $5 an acre on the site of what is now the thriving city of Fond du Lac. When he arrived there he was accompanied by his wife and three children, two others being born to them there. Their family then consisted of two sons and three daughters. Solomon secured a tract of land in the timber, about thirty miles from Sheboygan, which was his nearest market. He had nothing but a yoke of oxen and often walked to the market town with produce on his back, bringing home his supplies in the same manner. Starting with an old log building, he finally cleared and improved his farm and was one of the respected citizens of his locality.


He was an ardent member of the Methodist Church, helping to build the church edifice in his vicinity and in early days religious services were often held in his log cabin. His death took place when he was 63 years old, his wife having previously passed away. Adonijah Benedict grew to manhood on his parents' farm in New York. After removing to Fond du Lac County, Wis., he continued in agricultural work, buying a place of his own of 20 acres, on which he put up a frame building. He was married in Fond du Lac County, in 1852, to Clarissa Bryant daughter of Albert and Luvisa Bryant, and they took up their residence in the frame dwelling he had erected. While engaged in clearing his farm the Civil War broke out, and he and his brother William Edgar, enlisted, Adonijah becoming a member of Company A, 21st Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers. This was in 1862, and he served three years, during which time he was made prisoner and afterwards paroled. The brother William also served three years in the war. Adonijah had left his wife and three children at home, the latter being Sanford W., Adelbert R., and Charles H. On his return he ran a steam engine for awhile in Fond du Lac County, and then, in 1873, removed with his family to Clark County, having at this time one more child, Frederick They drove from Fond du Lac County by sleigh, it being in the winter time, and in two days arrived in York Township, locating at York Center, where the store and town hall now stand. There he got forty acres of wild land, with no road leading to it. The family took up their residence in an old shanty while Mr. Benedict built a log house, which was set back on the hill in the center of his tract. The next summer he bought a cow, having none the first summer, though he had started with $50 in money he also had his sleigh. For some time he worked in the lumber woods with oxen he had got by trading, receiving the oxen and cow for his team of horses. There he lived for a number of years, clearing his forty acres, and building the brick house now standing on the site of the old log structure. He then sold out his farm and bought the store at York Center, also conducting the post office there, which had first been established in his own house. It was he and Silas Wilcox who got the Wilcox post office established.


He was also township assessor for four years, chairman of the township board four or five years and justice of the peace for ten or twelve years, besides serving as an official of his school district, which he helped to establish. Later he. sold the store to William E. Benedict, his grandson, who now conducts it, being also township clerk. Mr. Benedict was also a leading man in the Methodist Church, helping to establish the church of that denomination in York township, and to organize the Sunday school the first summer he was here. He died at the age of 72 years, in November, 1908, having been a widower for some eight years before his death, his wife having passed away in 1900, at the age of 65. He was a man who always took great interest in the development of the township and its prosperity, supporting the construction of roads and bridges and other public improvements, and it will be many years before he and his good wife are forgotten.



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