Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
FRANK H. BENGE is well known
in Adams county as a man of force and ability and has shown, as well, commendable
uprightness in his pilgrimage here during the years past. He dwells about
sixteen miles northeast from Washtucna, and owns a farm of nine hundred
acres. Farming and stock raising occupy him and he handles about
one hundred and fifty head of stock each year.
Frank H. Benge was born in Davis county, Iowa,
on November 9, 1861, the son of Dr. Louis and Cyntha A. (Sheffer )Benge,
natives of Iowa. The father was a practicing physician of repute
and in 1862 crossed the plains, bringing his family with him. Enroute,
he was obliged to ferry his goods across the treacherous Snake in a wagon
box, which was no small undertaking. A stop was made at Milton, Oregon,
and then settlement was made in Walla Walla, where the father maintained
a good practice until his death in 1877. The mother is still living,
her home being in Lexington, Oregon, at this time. They were the
parents of the following named children, Mrs. Mattie M. Henderson, Mrs.
Cora Mack, Frank H., Ralph L., Mrs. Ruth Barnette, Fred J., and Mrs. Rose
Eskelsen. Mr. and Mrs. Mack are both deceased and four children survive
them. Our subject received a good common school education in the
Walla Walla valley and after his father's death assisted his mother to
support the balance of the family until he was twenty-five. Then
he married and went to Heppner, Oregon, where he spent five years.
After that came a move to Dayton, Washington, and two years were spent
in the hotel business there. In 1892, Mr. Benge came to Adams county
and took up stock raising, which he has continued to this date. He
has achieved a good success in this line and is a man of prosperity.
In 1888 occurred the marriage of Mr. Benge
and Miss Mary J., daughter of E. C. and Angeline (Mayse) Crouch, natives
of Illinois. They came to Washington in 1880 and now dwell in Adams
county. Five children have been born to that family, Joseph L., Mary
J., J. Edward, M. J., and G. T. Mr. and Mrs. Benge have two children,
Sarah R. and Annie L.
Mr. Benge has always displayed a great interest
in political matters and pulls in the Democratic harness. He has
served as school director and clerk, as constable and as justice of the
peace. On April 30, 1904, Mr. Benge was nominated by his party to
represent his county in the state legislature. Fraternally, he is
affiliated with the I. O. O. F. and while he does not belong to any denomination,
he is a liberal supporter of churches and church institutions.