FROM: The History of Gallatin, Saline, Hamilton, Franklin, and Williamson Counties, Illinois (Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1887).  P. 675-676.

          Valentine S. Benson, M. D., of McLeansboro, was born in Gallatin County, May 22, 1834, the son of Charles R. and Mary (Riggin) Benson, natives respectively of Virginia and Tennessee. Grandparents Babel Benson and Nelly Soward, his wife, resided in Greenbrier County, Va. The father was born in Greenbrier County, Va., September 28, 1793. The mother, Polly Riggin Benson, was born in Knox County, Tenn., June 25, 1796, and was the daughter of James Riggin, a Methodist minister. They were married in Knox County, Tenn., April 5, 1821, and immigrated the following fall to Sangamon County, Ill., then St. Clair County, and in 1830 moved to Gallatin County, Ill. The father served in the war of 1812, was in several hard fought battles, that of the Horse Shoe Bend being one of them. About the year 1822 he located in Sangamon County, then St. Clair County, and finally settled in Gallatin County on a farm, and followed stock raising and farming successfully until his death, October 16, 1847, while on a visit in Missouri. The mother died December 26, 1838. The father then married Mrs. Lovina Puddles, by whom he had two daughters, one living, Mrs. Anne de Journet, of Mount Vernon, Ill. By his first marriage were James M., of Johnson County; Andrew H., of Gallatin County, Ignatius M., of Johnson County; John F., of Benton County, Oreg.; Charles B., killed in the late war; Nancy H. (deceased); Mary R., (deceased wife of Dr. John De Webber), Gallatin County; our subject, and Francis A., who died at the age of seven or eight years. Our subject, reared and educated in his native county, also attended high school in Jacksonville. In 1853, he began medical study under Dr. Rathbone, of Harrisburg, and read also under Dr. Bishop, of Shawneetown. In 1855-56, he attended St. Louis Medical College. He practiced in Hamilton County and McLeansboro, and in 1869-70 graduated from the Kentucky School of Medicine, at Louisville. He has practiced here ever since 1863, having practiced in Benton, Ill., for six years prior to this. He is deservedly

successful and is the peer of any in his profession in the county. February 18, 1855, he married Mary E., daughter of Dr. L. Rathbone, an early and prominent physician. She died in February, 1864, leaving four children, two living now: Dr. John C. Benson, and Kittie, wife of J. R. Campbell. His second wife, Mariam H. Allen, died about eight months after marriage. In January, 1867, he married his present wife, Judith A. (Wilbanks) Parrish, a native of Jefferson County. He is a Democrat, and in 1865 represented the county in the State Legislature. From 1876 to 1880 he was a member of the State Board of Equalization, and for three and a half years on the local pension board. In August, 1885, President Cleveland appointed him physician to the Indians, in which capacity he spent a year at Fort Peck, M. T., and resigned. Since his return he has been also interested in farming and stock-raising on his valuable land. He has been prominently identified with municipal affairs for years. He is an Odd Fellow, and a man of recognized ability in his business and profession.

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