Niagara County

1897 Biography - Nathaniel L. Benham

Benham, Nathaniel L., was born at Seneca Falls, N. Y., October 29, 1851, and was the third son of John A. Benham, who was a builder and contractor there, and died in Sacramento, Cal., in 1890, at the age of seventy. Mr. Benham is a direct descendant of John Benham. who came to this country in 1630 from Plymouth, England, settling at Dorchester, Mass. In 1639 John Benham accompanied the colony of Eaton and Davenport to New Haven and was one of the heads of seventy families that constituted that settlement. On the maternal side he is a descendant of Cary Latham, who was one of the founders of New London, Conn. Mr. Benham received his education in the public schools of Seneca Falls and later in the Seneca Falls Academy and prepared for college. At the age of seventeen he began teaching school in the town of Seneca Falls, and afterwards was connected with the schools of the village of Seneca Falls for eight years. During this period he had been studying law in the office of J. N. Hammond, at Seneca Falls, and in 1878 he was admitted to the bar of the State of New York. He practiced his profession at Waterloo (the county seat of Seneca county), being the senior partner of the firm of Benham & Rood, until 1880, when he removed to Buffalo. He there engaged in the railroad business with the New York Central Railroad and afterwards in the general eastern freight office of the Michigan Central Railroad. In 1884 he was appointed principal of the Niagara Falls Union School and remained as such until 1891, when he was chosen superintendent of the public schools of the village of Niagara Falls. On the organization of the city of Niagara Falls he was continued as superintendent of the city schools. He also is clerk of the Board of Education. He has been for many years a director of the Niagara Permanent Savings and Loan Association, one of the most flourishing local loan associations in the State. He is a past master of Niagara Frontier Lodge No. 132, F. & A. M., and a member of Niagara Chapter No. 200, R. A. M., and Niagara Commandery No. 64, K. T. In 1886 he married Margaret E. Sheldon of Niagara Falls, by whom he had three children, two of whom, daughters, are living.

Extracted from Landmarks of Niagara County, New York

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