Benedict, Julius Sidney (History - 1852)


Janet Schwarze





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


Juluis Sidney Benedict, 1852

JULIUS SIDNEY BENEDICT, a well-known and respected resident of Neillsville, is one who has done much to promote the dairying interests of Clark County, having been a pioneer here in that branch of agriculture. He was born at Marshall, Ill., Nov. 26, 1852, son of Sidney D. and Erneline Helen (McPherson) Benedict. The father was born at Saratoga, N. Y., Nov. 6, 1827, and was a son of Stephen and Elsie Benedict, the former of whom died in his 24th year, his wife surviving him until April, 1852. Sidney D. Benedict and his wife were married June 12, 1842. He was a farmer by occupation, and was thus engaged in his native state until 1855, in which year he joined the westward movement, locating with his family in LaCrosse County, Wis.


There he remained until 1870, when he removed to Clark County, settling on eighty acres of wild land in Section 6, Sherwood Township. He had brought with him two yoke of cattle and two cows, and on taking possession of his property he built a log house 18 by 24 feet in size. After clearing up most of this homestead, he moved to Grant Township, where he cleared and developed another tract of land. This last place proved to be his last earthly home, as it was the scene of his death. His wife died in the State of Michigan. Their family included five children-Mary, now Mrs. Dan Covey, residing in Nebraska Julius S., of Neillsville Thomas, a resident of Michigan Perry, who lives in York, Clark County, and Fred, who is now deceased. Julius S. Benedict attended school in La Crosse County and grew to manhood on his father's farms, in the operation of which he assisted. At the age of 21 he struck out for himself, working for others and saving his money with the intention of buying a farm. As soon as he was able he purchased forty acres of wild land in Section 23, Grant Township, which he subsequently sold, buying eighty acres in Section 19, the same township, on which land he erected a frame house. At this time he used an ox team in his farming operations, and it was not until some years afterwards that he substituted horses. For many years he devoted his time to the development of this farm, from time to time putting up good buildings as they were needed, draining the land and making many other improvements. Here, also, he entered into the dairy business, with which he was conspicuously connected for a number of years, becoming a member of no less than nine creamery companies, and among other things helping to start the first creamery in Grant Township, known as Pleasant Ridge Creamery. He also bred Holstein cattle, in which he took great pride, and graded Clyde horses.


About three years ago Mr. Benedict retired from the farm and took up his residence in Neillsville. He is a member of the Farmers Co-operative Elevator Company of this city, and is one of the well-to-do residents here, having a large circle of friends and acquaintances by whom his record is known and who honor him for the things he has accomplished. Though not active in official life, he served one year as school clerk. Mr. Benedict was married June 20, 1879, to Celia Reed, who was born near Arbutus Lake, in Jackson County, Wis., Oct. 21, 1859. Her parents were Thomas and Lucretia (Marsh) Reed born, respectively, in the States of Maine and Michigan. Thomas Reed, the date of whose nativity was July 11, 1830, was an adopted child of a Mr. Reed, his father being Thomas Sears. His marriage to Lucretia Marsh, who was born June 15, 1836, took place at Black River Falls, Wis., in 1858. After working for some time in the timber woods he settled on a tract of wild land in Section 30, Grant Township, Clark County, homesteading eighty acres and securing another eighty acres by purchase. This was in June, 1863, and the rest of his life, which came to an end Jan. 25, 1885, was spent in the development of his farm. lie began with very small resources, having only a single ox, but later securing an ox team. There were no roads in the vicinity and to reach his place with a wagon he had to cut a track through the woods. His first house was a small frame building which he himself erected. In subsequent years he built a finer residence and other substantial buildings. During his early career in this county he worked in the woods for a number of winters, being foreman of a lumber gang and later took jobs in this line of business himself. For some time he served as chairman of the township board, and was also prominent in school affairs. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge at Neillsville. He and his wife reared two children--Celia and Fannie. Mr. and Mrs. Benedict have been the parents of seven children, six sons, and one daughter, namely: Russell and Arthur, who are engaged in railroad work and reside
in Fond du Lac, Wis. Norene, now deceased Harry, Murray, Marion and Laurel.



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