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Davis County >> 1882 Index

History of Davis County, Iowa
Des Moines: Iowa Historical Company, 1882


Unless noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.

Van Benthusen, Judge Wm., Bloomfield; is a native of Orange county, N. Y.; born August 30, 1813. At the age of six, his parents, James and Susan Van Benthusen, moved to Clermont county, Ohio, and in 1828, to Shelby county, where he grew up and received his education. His father was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1851, and died with cholera, while serving as such, at the age of seventy-three. His mother died in 1862. In 1853, he settled on a farm near Drakeville, until 1865, when he was elected county judge and moved to Bloomfield. He enlisted, September 22, 1861, in company a, First Cavalry, and was elected captain of that company. He resigned in 1862, on account of failing health, and in 1864, enlisted again, in Company D, Forty-fifth Infantry, and was elected captain. Served four months; was in the battle of Pea Ridge. He now owns 500 acres of land, and lives in Bloomfield, having one of the finest residences in the city. He was married in Indiana, May 6th,1831, to Miss Francis Clark, a native of England, and by this union had fifteen children; four are living, Eliza, wife of J. W. Clayton; Barbary, wife of John Curl; Frank, wife of John Demuth; and Will, now editor of the Leavenworth Times. Mrs. V. died July 24, 1871, and he again married, September 10, 1872. Mrs. L. E. Watson, whose maiden name was Merritt; a native of Posey county, Indiana. Judge v. is a member of the M. E. Church, is also a Mason and Odd Fellow, and a member of St. John's Commandery, K. T., at Centerville, Iowa.