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.
JOSEPH M. BENNINGTON, who resides
at Ritzville, the county seat of Adams county, is a real estate and financial
agent, being associated with his brother, W. J. Bennington. These
gentlemen do a large business and hold in their own right between three
and four thousand acres of well tilled wheat lands. They have placed
a large amount of money for investors in Adams and Lincoln counties, and
are well known as sterling business men.
Mr. Bennington was born in Marshall county,
Illinois, on June 8, 1866. He is a son of Washington M. and Edith
C. (Vandament) Bennington, natives of Frankfort, Kentucky, and Marshall
county, Illinois, respectively. The father went to Marshall county,
Illinois, with his parents when a child, they being among the pioneer settlers
of that part of the Prairie State. He secured land in Marshall county
and became a well known and well-to-do citizen. His father, William
Bennington, served in the Black Hawk war and with his brothers, had been
a pioneer to Kentucky.
Our subject secured his early education in
the public schools of his native state, finishing with a short collegiate
course. Being a farmer's son he early gained a practical knowledge
of soil tillage from which vocation he has never succeeded in entirely
divorcing himself. He was subsequently employed for about two years
in the operating department of the Iowa Central railroad.
Coming west in 1891 he associated himself
with a wholesale house in Portland, Oregon, with which he remained for
over six years, finally quitting their employ as chief clerk and confidential
bookkeeper, being attracted thence by the "land boom" in Eastern Washington.
Settling in Adams county he immediately took up land and, forming a partnership
with his brother, he became actively engaged in his old vocation, the tillage
of the soil, at which he has been very successful. In the fall of
1903 they leased their large properties and together took up the business
in which they are now engaged.
Mr. Bennington began life without any other
capital than a firm determination to succeed and he has, thus far, seemed
to have achieved his purpose in a very gratifying manner. He has
never been a candidate for office in any way and says he has absolutely
no political aspirations or ambitions, although he is the present chairman
of the Republican County Central Committee of Adams county.