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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


FRANK H. BENEDICT. In considering the great interests involved in the building industry, which concerns the health and comfort of a community as well as business expansion and commercial progress, the building contractor occupies a place of great public responsibility. In lesser rank, the workman follows instructions, but it is the contractor who must bear the responsibility of success or failure, who must provide for every possible contingency. It is but a small part of his work to watch supplies, men, material, transportation and expense, and not every well trained and naturally skilled artisan can do all this. It needs much more than mechanical ability, including as it does, personal qualities of a high order, this explaining, perhaps, why this vocation is not an unduly crowded one. A building contractor who, at the present time, can successfully meet the demands of a modern city like Riverside in the way of beautiful and dignified structures must be accounted very competent, and one whose satisfactory work is seen in different parts of the city is Frank H. Benedict, who has been a resident of California since 1908.

Frank H. Benedict was born June 26, 1858, in Lenawee County, Michigan. His parents were John W. and Laurinda (Wolcott) Benedict, both of whom were born in the State of New York, and both families were of English descent and of Revolutionary stock. In earlier days the Benedicts were farming people, but in John W. Benedict the mechanical impulse became the stronger and he became a carpenter and later a contractor. He was a man of peace, but when the Civil war came on was anxious to do his part and show his devotion to the Union. Prevented from entering the army because he was the sole support of his aged parents, he paid three substitutes to serve in his place. He married Laurihda Wolcott, who survived him, passing the declining years of her life at Riverside, where she passed away in her eighty-seventh year.

Frank H. Benedict had educational privileges in the public schools and then learned the carpenter trade under his father. J He was twenty-one years old when he went to Detroit, Michigan, where he became a contracting carpenter and remained until 1908, in which year, attracted by building activity at Los Angeles, California, he removed to that city. He continued in business there until 1913, and then came to Riverside, which place proved so attractive that he soon determined to make it his permanent home. Soon after his arrival he built a striking and beautiful Swiss chalet type of residence at 170 Fairfax Avenue, which he afterward sold. Subsequently Mr. Benedict purchased his present handsome residence at 230 Terracino Drive, the D. D. Gage home, which had been built by Judge Richard North.

Mr. Benedict married at Weston, Michigan, Miss Sarah H. Withington, a native of Michigan and a daughter of D. E. Withington, a lumber man and sawmill owner in Michigan. Mr. and Mrs. Benedict have one daughter, Holly, the wife of O. C. Cofer, who is in the insurance business at Riverside. Mr. and Mrs. Cofer have two children: Marcia and Janet. Mr. Benedict and his family belong to Calvary Presbyterian Church. In his political attitude he is somewhat independent, never having formed unbreakable party ties and never feeling desirous of holding a political office. His own affairs have demanded close attention and he has never felt justified in accepting a public responsibility to which he would have to give a divided mind. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity, being a member of the Blue Lodge. Chapter and Council at Detroit, Michigan. Mr. Benedict has a wide acquaintance in business circles, and in every way stands deservedly high as a citizen and social factor.


History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties 
By: John Brown, Jr., Editor for San Bernardino County 
And James Boyd, Editor for Riverside County 
With selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period 
of growth and achievement.
Volume III, the Western Historical Association, 1922, 
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, ILL

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011