Anton Eric BENSON/Amy Constance NELSEN

Husband: Anton Eric BENSON (B525)
Born: 10 APR 1900 at: New York City, , New York Married: 1 OCT 1930 at: Died: 6 APR 1988 at: Westbrook, Cottonwood, MN Father: Mother: Other Spouses: NOTES
Wife: Amy Constance NELSEN (N425)
Born: 30 NOV 1905 at: Died: 10 MAR 2002 at: Westbrook, Cottonwood, MN Father:Ned Peter NELSEN Mother:Anna Hansina BUSK Other Spouses: PEDIGREE NOTES
Name: Roger Owen BENSON Born: at: Married: at: Died: at: Spouses: Carolyn Kay BUSSWITZ
Name: Ronald Earl BENSON Born: at: Married: at: Died: at: Spouses: Eleanor Elaine LESEMAN


Anton Benson was born to Peter and Charlotte Milton Benson April 10, 1900 in New York City. He came, with his parents to southern Minnesota when he was three years old because his father needed to be in a different climate. They lived for a short time in Cottonwood County and then moved to their farm in Murray County. Anton went to country school (Dist. 105, Murray Co) and then Westbrook High School for 1½ years before he was needed on the farm to help his father. The first year he started after Christmas, but passed all the subjects.

Anton Benson Family in 1944

Amy Constance Nelsen was born on Thanksgiving Day, 1905. She was the oldest of 12 children born to Ned and Anna Nelsen in Murray County, Minnesota. After a year, the family moved to South Dakota to be closer to her mother’s family. But in 1908 the family returned to Minnesota, moving onto Grandma Sina & Grandpa Jens Nelsen’s farm. Amy started school in District 108 when she was six years old. Then her father bought a farm south of Dovray (Murray County) and moved one day before Amy’s 7th birthday. Amy then had to go to a new school - District 25 in Murray County. These were one room schools with all eight grades together. There were no school buses in those days, so Amy had to walk to school which was about ¾ miles away. There were 20 or more pupils, some almost 16 years old. They quit then, as that was the law - to go until 16. In the sixth grade, Amy had a teacher she so admired, she decided she wanted to be a teacher too.

Amy started attending Westbrook High School in September 1922. She stayed with a German family that spoke German most of the time, so it was pretty lonesome. They were real strict and would not let her go out anywhere at night. Uncle Dave came one night and wanted to take Amy some place, but they wouldn’t let her go. When her Dad brought Amy there, he said something about them taking care of her, and they really took that to heart.

Amy graduated from Westbrook High School in 1925, and went to the Normal Training Department at Fulda, Minnestota for 1 year. She stayed with friends who lived two miles out in the country and walked to school. She milked two cows morning and night to help pay for my board. There were only 2 boys and 6 girls in the class.

Amy then taught in the same two schools she had attended earlier. These were 8th grade schools, with up to 20 pupils in all 8 grades. Her first year, she had six beginners. She got $85 to $90 per month and had to do janitor work too. The last school was her home school. When the school board came and asked her. Amy hesitated, but her dad said she should take it. Amy taught one brother, Donald, and two sisters, Nina and Ardys, in her classes. She also had 6 first cousins, a second cousin, two sisters and a brother in her classes.

Amy and Anton were married in 1930. Any had known Anton since high school as his sister was a year behind Amy. Amy and Anton went together for a couple of years before getting married. They didn’t have a big wedding. They were married at the parsonage with Amy’s brother Leslie as best man and Anton’s sister Esther as bridesmaid. After the wedding, the couple left for South Dakota to visit Amy’s uncles, aunts, and cousins. Then the couple returned to Murray County and took over Anton’s fathers farm. Amy had saved much of her salary from teaching and bought all new furniture for their home when they got married.

Amy and Anton had two sons - Roger and Ronald. They went to country schools until they graduated from the 8th grade, and then went to Westbrook High School. Roger graduated in 1949 and Ronald in 1951. Both Roger and Ronald were in the army. Roger was stationed in Korea while the war was on, and Ronald was at Fairbanks, Alaska. He had been in camp at Fort Bliss in Southern Texas where it was real hot. Then was sent to Fairbanks where it was 30 below, and he had to sleep outdoors the first nights there.

One year after Ronald came home, he lost his left hand in a corn picker accident. The accident happened on Amy’s birthday. Both boys had wanted to farm, but after the accident, he gave that up. He went to Dunwoody Institute and took up welding and is working in Minneapolis.

When Roger married in 1961, he took over the family farm and Amy and Anton moved into Westbrook. The farm is still in the Benson family. Anton and Amy’s great-grandson Joshua is the fifth generation to live there.

Anton served on the District 105 school board for many years until the school closed. Anton also served on the Westbrook Hospital board and as both deacon and trustee of Trinity Lutheran Church in Westbrook. Amy was a 4H leader for 5 years. She is still active in the ALCW at Trinity Lutheran Church. She has served as treasurer and takes part in the circles and sews many quilts and quilt tops for the Dorcas Circle, which is for mission work.

Anton went to the Westbrook Good Samaritan nursing home in 1986 and died there on April 6, 1988, two days short of age 88. Amy spent her last couple years in the Westbrook Good Samaritan nursing home and died at the age of 96. Amy and Anton are buried in the Westbrook Cemetery, just north of town.


  1. This Is My Life html linkpdf link; written by Amy Benson in 1993.
  2. Anton BENSON in A History of Murray County html linkpdf linkphoto link, Murray County, Minnesota, by the Murray County Historical Society, Slayton, Minnesota. 1982. p. 309-310.
  3. Long Lives The Nelsen Clan html link pdf linkphoto linkNewspaper article -Worthington Daily Globe, Worthington, Minnesota, Saturday, July 19, 1997, p. A9.
  4. Church obituary html linkpdf linkphoto link - Anton Benson.
  5. 1910 Census - Ned P. and Anna NELSEN and Sine NELSEN html linkpdf link; Des Moines River Township, Murray County, Minnesota, ED 131, sheet 2B, family no. 33, lines 74 - 80.
  6. The Busk Family Tree Booklet.