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M. J. Benjamin, a popular business man of Effingham, Atchison county, may justly lay claim to being one of the pioneers of this section of Kansas. He is a native of Michigan, his birth occurring there in 1841. His father, James Benjamin, was born in Ohio, but, going to Michigan in early manhood, continued to make his home there until his death. During the great Civil war he offered his services to his country and served for three years in a regiment of Michigan infantry, participating in some of the hardest campaigns of that fierce strife, and in one engagement being wounded. He married Sarah Miller and they had six children. A son died when young, and the others are M. J., of this sketch; Seth L., who is engaged in the livery business in Atchison, Kansas; Emory, of Effingham; Daniel, also of this place; and Ida Tickner, of Atchison.

Coming to Effingham in 1881, after a residence of some thirteen years in this county, M. J. Benjamin engaged in the livery business. He has continued to devote his attention to this calling and enjoys a liberal share of the patronage of this locality. His place of business is on Howard avenue, where he owns a large barn 30x100 feet in dimensions. Ample accommodations are here found for the fine line of modern carriages and road-carts which he always keeps on hand, and, in addition to this, he runs a flourishing sale stable in connection. Integrity and a genuine desire to meet the wishes of the public have resulted in his own financial success and position of influence in the community. In his political views he is a Republican, and though he takes an active interest in the success of the party in whose policy he is a firm believer, he has no desire to occupy public positions of emolument or responsibility.

Prior to leaving his native state Mr. Benjamin married Miss Mary Burt, who has been a loyal helpmeet to him in the vicissitudes of their life in the West. They are the parents of three children, of whom the eldest, John, is engaged in business in Omaha, Nebraska. The eldest daughter; Mrs. Belle Ballsinger, a resident of Effingham, is a lady of genuine artistic ability. Nellie, the youngest daughter, married Albert Durest, who is a business partner of Mr. Benjamin. Religiously Mr. Benjamin is a Lutheran and Mrs. Benjamin is a Presbyterian. They contribute liberally to the maintenance of their churches and are among the respected citizens of Effingham.