Elbridge H. Benham

Elbridge H. Benham was a lawyer and real-estate broker in Neosho, Missouri.  He was born at Salem, Wisconsin on 5 February 1840 and died at (presumably) Neosho on 25 February 1919.
     He was educated in the local public schools and at Oberlin College.  He joined the Independent Order of Good Templars in 1855 and later the Sons of Temperance.
     He enlisted in the Union Army during the Civil War, becoming orderly sergeant of Company I, 38th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry.
     Soon after the close of the War, he completed his law studies and was admitted to the bar at Janesville, Wisconsin.   He then settled at Neosho, where he engaged in the real-estate business in connection with his law practice.  He was Newton County attorney in 1866-1868.
     Benham’s growing interest n the temperance cause led him at length to take up the dissemination of more-correct information on that subject.  Beginning in 1884, he edited and owned, either entirely or in part, the Neosho Tribune, the Carthage Banner, the Barry County Beacon, the Columbus (Kansas) Times, and the Kansas Prohibitionist.
     Benham travelled quite extensively through Missouri, Iowa, and Kansas as the representative of the IOGT and of the Prohibition Party, often going many miles on foot for the  sake of reaching the smaller communities with the Prohibition message.
     He was twice married, in 1869 to Louise Ferris (who died in 1873) and in 1874 to Mary B. Brown.

Data from Cherrington “Standard Encyclopedia of the Alcohol Problem” (1925), located by Adam Seaman.