This prevailing spirit made America what it is.
For the next page or two, let's try to reconcile the reasons for the apparently planned wanderings of this respected ancestor - always pushing westward. In the first place, he was born in the backwoods country of western Maryland. The environment was not at all favorable for an education or advancement in any direction. His father, Benjamin5 was apparently a poor man. He frequently moved from one place to another. He had a large family. There had been much illness and many deaths among the children in his family. There are not any records available indicating that Benjamin5 was a land owner. Perhaps he worked part of the time at the blacksmith trade or in a gristmill. At any rate records disclose that Benjamin6 left the county of his birth, Washington County, Maryland, while only a lad. He wandered on the other side of the Potomac River. There he served an apprenticeship with an unknown blacksmith. His father, Benjamin5, died while he was a growing boy. The elder brother, Seely, served as the administrator for his father's estate. For some unknown reason the settlement of the estate dragged out over several years. At any rate, records indicate that Benjamin6 received the insignificant sum of $12.50 from the estate. Judging from these facts, he was on his own, so to speak, from boyhood. It is said that he took every opportunity to gain an education. There is ample proof on documents such as marriage licenses, deeds, etc., that he could write, and there is no doubt but what he could read for he later became a local Methodist preacher. Prior to his marriage in his twenty-third year, he removed to or near Wellsburg, West Virginia then Virginia. Apparently he was married here or in this general area to Margaret Hyatt, daughter of Hesekiah Hyatt, August 15, 1804. Margaret was born in Brookes County, West Virginia.
No records have been found indicating that Benjamin and
Margaret removed to the Ohio wilderness prior to the year 180t.
However, according to the story of tradition handed, down by
Solomon7, son of Benjamin6 and grandson William Benton, Sr.8,
Benjamin5 and his bride
Unquestionably the pioneer couple were in search of opportunity offered by the Government Land Ordinance of 1785 to pioneer settlers who expected to make the new country their home. The covered wagon contained the meager lot of the young couple's household goods, and Benjamin's blacksmith too1s.
The story of the migration as handed down by the father of the writer of this sketch, William Benton, Sr.8, is fascinating. A lad, perhaps 12 or 14 years old, accompanied this young couple on their journey westward. This lad's name, as the writer hazily recalls from his "hand- me-down" story, was Metcalf, Vachel Metcalf. This could easily be correct for Vachel Metcalf, Benjamin Bunn and others built a log fort or block house in their neighborhood to protect their families and themselves against the Indians during the troublesome