William Bench, Sr.

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William Bench, Sr.

Birthplace: Rockbourne, Hampshire, England
Death: Died in Manti, Sanpete, Utah, United States
Place of Burial: Manti, Sanpete, Utah, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Bench, Sr. and Mary Ann Abraham
Husband of Ann Bench and Ellen Bench
Father of John Bench, Sr.; William E. Bench, Jr.; George Bench, Sr.; Mary Wall (Bench); Martha Watt Kilfoyle and 2 others
Brother of John Bench; George Bench; Henry Bench; Thomas Bench, Jr.; Charles Bench and 3 others

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About William Bench, Sr.

http://allthroughtheages.com/2/51665.htm Thomas Bench (-) Mary Ann Abrams\Abraham (-) William Bench (1815-1875)

Family Links

Spouses/Children: Ann Longman

   Martha Ann (Bench) Watt (Twin)+

William Bench

   Born: 3 Mar 1815, Rocksted, Hamshire, England
   Marriage: Ann Longman on 14 Oct 1836 in Southhampton, England
   Died: 27 Dec 1875, Manti, Utah at age 60
   Buried: Manti, Utah

William married Ann Longman, daughter of Edward Longman and Martha Copp, on 14 Oct 1836 in Southhampton, England. (Ann Longman was born on 1 Feb 1807 in Devenshire, England, died on 15 Jan 1886 in Manti, Utah and was buried in Manti, Utah.)

From the records of John L. Bench, Sr. as written by John L. Bench, Jr. for the 1952 centennial of the William Bench Family arriving in Utah:

William Bench was the son of Thomas Bench. He was born March 3, 1815, at Royal Tollard, Willshire, England, near the village of Rockburn.

He was trained in the trade of blacksmithing at Rockburn and after serving his apprenticeship in that trade, he moved to the town of Southampton, England. Here he worked in a brass and iron factory. But before he left his father's home at Rockburn, he became acquainted with Ann Longman who was working at the home of a minister of the Church of England. She was a native of Devonshire. Her parents were Edward Longman and Martha Copp. She and William were married before going to Southampton.

Sometime after moving to Southampton, William bought a piece of land near the dock yard, where he built a comfortable house at Paget Street No.13. During that period, their five children were born, three boys and two girls, the girls being twins.

One Sunday evening in the month of June 1849 as William was on his way home from an afternoon stroll, he saw a group of people collected; he walked that way and saw a man standing on the street preaching the gospel of faith, repentance and baptism - or as we say - teaching the gospel of Mormonism. William took the elder to his home and through the influence of this Elder T.B. Stenhouse, the Benches accepted the gospel. They were baptized in June 1849 by the same elder.

The three boys of William Bench had been attending a school regularly until January 1841 (1851?) when their father decided to emigrate to America. He disposed of all his property to the best of his advantage, and started out for Liverpool. They stopped on their way at London to say farewell to Ann's uncle, Mr. Jonas Copp, and after reaching Liverpool, set sail for New Orleans on the ship Ellen Maria on the first day of Feb. 1851. After ten weeks of sailing, they arrived safely at the port of New Orleans. They speak of being refreshed with the fruits of the country after such a long journey and of getting more provisions before starting for St. Louis by steamboat on the Alex Scott. Enroute, they stopped at Kansas City for three weeks and then went on reaching Council Bluffs, Pottawatamie Co., Iowa in safety.

After reaching Council Bluffs, William Bench found he was not in a position to go on to Salt Lake valley, so he concluded to remain and try to be ready by the coming spring. He took what money he had on hand and bought a set of blacksmith tools and a shop owned by a Sidney Roberts, situated on the main-traveled road between Kanesville and Missouri Ferry. There he and the boys went to work.

It is not known just when they started westward, but they had two yoke of oxen, some cows and perhaps a horse or two. When they reached Salt Lake City, Brigham Young sent them on to Mt. Pleasant in the northern part of Sanpete County because a good blacksmith was needed there.

During the summer, Indian trouble arose and the small band of Saints - about 30 in number - were surrounded by 150 Indians who succeeded in driving away the entire herd of cattle, over 200 head, and nearly 40 horses. After losing all their stock, the people moved to Manti.

At Manti, they endeavored to make a new start, but were foced to live in the fort and guard against the Indian attacks until spring of 1854 when through the kind intervention of President Brigham Young, peace was established. They were again able to go about their work without molestation. The community still worked to strengthen the fort so they could withstand any reaction of the Indians.

Their winter at Manti was very hard, but when spring came their crops were planted and things looked more promising to all. This condition could not last long, however, as the diary tells us that grasshoppers came by the millions just when the crops were getting a good start. They came from the east and darkened the sun until one could look with ease upon it at noonday. The sun's rays were almost completely shut off at times with myriads of devouring insects hovering beneath it. The grain fields were soon gone and gardens, trees, and everything was stripped of its foliage. That year a few small potatoes and a little Indian corn were raised because they could be planted late. The next year, 1856, seems to have been even worse as the produce which had been saved for planting had been eaten up, but the diary does not go on at that point.


William and his family emigrated across the plains in the Robert Weimer Company from 12 July 1852 to 15 Sept. 1852 traveling from Kanesville, Iowa to Salt Lake Valley, Utah Territory.

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William Bench, Sr.'s Timeline

March 3, 1815
Rockbourne, Hampshire, England
March 24, 1815
Rockbourne, Hampshire, England
March 24, 1815
Rockbourne, Hampshire, England
October 15, 1837
Age 22
Southampton, Hampshire, United Kingdom
June 29, 1838
Age 23
Sheepwash, Devon, England
November 6, 1840
Age 25
St Mary Bourne, Hampshire, United Kingdom
March 20, 1843
Age 28
Southhampton, Devon, England
August 27, 1846
Age 31
August 20, 1847
Age 32
Southampton, Hampshire, England
November 14, 1868
Age 53
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States