Source: History of Whiteside County, Illinois
Edited by: Charles Bent
Morrison, Illinois 1877
Transcribed by: Denise McLoughlin
Tampico Area Historical Society
Christian Benson was born in Gottenburg, Sweden, in 1805, and came to this country in 1820 with Capt. Benoni Cook, of Providence, Rhode Island, as a sailor. He was employed in 1822 on the Robert Fulton, one of the first successful steamboats then runnig between New York and Providence. He soon became a pilot, and for years followed the business on that route. Hell Gate was as familiar to him as a straight path, and the storms of Point Judith had no more terror for him than an April shower. Becoming tired of the water, he came West with his old comrade Capt. Baxter, and arrived at Dixon late in November, 1835. In company with Smith Rowe, they started out on the prairie for Portland, and when on the road to Prophetstown Mr. Benson got into a slough, and in trying to extricate himself became thoroughly wet, and it being cold, both of his feet were frozen, so that he was obliged to remain at Mr. Stakes; cabin five weeks. He settled first on the bottom, but afterwards built on the high land. In 1849, he went to California, where he remained two years, and then returned, and is still living with his only son, Benoni C., near Spring Hill. His children are: Emily, who married James Bryant, and lives in Portland; and Benoni C., who first married Miss Ammisetta Martin, and after her death, Miss Susan Bulger and lives in Portland.