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A photo of George Lawrence Benning

George Lawrence Benning 1898 - 1946

George Lawrence Benning of Bremerton, Kitsap County, Washington United States was born on April 21, 1898 in Boone, Boone County, IA to Immogene Nelson (Millard) Benning and William Joseph Benning. He had siblings Walter Joseph Benning, Lloyd Harold Benning, Lois (Benning) Los Kamp, Nelson William Benning, Henry Clay Benning, Walter J. Benning, Cora Mary Benning, Mabel Benning, and Grace Benning. George was baptized on February 9, 1908 at Mesa Baptist Church in Pueblo, CO County. He married Mildred (Wilson) Benning in 1922 and they later divorced in 1926. They had a child Lois (Benning) Ewen. He married Eileen Constance (Tasker) Benning on September 29, 1928 in Vancouver, Clark County, Washington, and they were married until George's death on August 23, 1946. They had a child Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch.
George Lawrence Benning
Georgie
Bremerton, Kitsap County, Washington United States
April 21, 1898
Boone, Boone County, Iowa, 50036, United States
August 23, 1946
Bremerton, Kitsap County, Washington, United States of America
Male
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George Lawrence Benning's History: 1898 - 1946

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  • Introduction

    George Lawrence Benning was born to William Joseph Benning (1852 - 1930) and Imogene N. (Millard) Benning (1854 - 1916) in Boone, Iowa. He had 12 siblings: Nelson, Henry, Lois, Cora, Walter Joseph, Isaac, Grace, Arthur, Mabel and Lloyd. He was the youngest. George was married twice and in his second marriage to Eileen Constance (Tasker) Benning had Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch. He also had a daughter, Lois (Benning) Ewen, from his first marriage to Mildred (Wilson) Benning. His second family lived first in Seattle, then Portland, then in Bremerton Washington, a small port town which grew during WW2. He owned the Chevrolet car dealership in Bremerton. George and Micky Reed, the owner of the Reed Chevrolet dealership in Bremerton Washington, were on a local river fishing trip and Micky drowned. Micky's widow, Meeka (who I, his granddaughter knew, since she and my grandmother were friends until they died), sold the dealership to George. He called it Reed-Benning dealership as an homage to Micky. Chevrolet didn't like the fact that a woman (oh lordy, a WOMAN!) sold the dealership on her own so they made new rules. The upshot? When George, my grandfather, died, my grandmother couldn't sell the dealership! He was very active in the business, social and political components of the community. I know that he was a Freemason and that he had some strong relationships with State politicians. (Note from his granddaughter: George was good friends with Warren Magnuson, first a US Representative and then a US Senator. Evidently, he used to spend summers at my grandparent's house - I saw a letter of condolence from him to my grandmother when George died, expressing how much he would miss George and referencing the wonderful summers he spent at their house. Also in their social circle? Names that you would recognize today: the Gates' - yes, that Bill Gates family - the Nordstroms , and more. The Seattle/Bremerton community was small then.) One cool story about George: He had a bit of real estate in Bremerton and rented two (?) homes to his employees. Upon George's death his will stipulated that the deeds to the homes get passed along to the employees. Also, the story my Mom (his daugher) told me about the homes - the people weren't employees but simply people who lived in Bremerton at the time. Since George was a Mason, he was also involved in charitable activities. Mom said that no one (including family) knew that he had bought (I heard 3) houses for people who had problems paying rent and were going to be evicted. (This was probably around the end of the Depression.) He didn't charge the tenants rent and when he died (within a few years), he left the homes to the tenants. However, my sister (who says she has a copy of George's will), says that she can find no record of this.
  • 04/21
    1898

    Birthday

    April 21, 1898
    Birthdate
    Boone, Boone County, Iowa 50036, United States
    Birthplace
  • Ethnicity & Family History

    Although his Benning family emigrated to the US from Germany (northern) during the 1840s, his mother's side (Millard) traces back to the Mayflower. Also, some from that side were in North America earlier - around 1605. That many times grt grandfather was a captain with the Dutch East India Company and he and his family settled here.
  • Nationality & Locations

    George was a United States citizen. Born in Iowa, George lived in Colorado as a child. After World War 1, he lived in Alaska, and then eventually moved to Seattle, Washington. He then lived in Portland, Oregon and settled in Bremerton Washington as an adult.
  • Early Life & Education

    George completed the 8th grade. His granddaughter shares: As a child of the 1950s, I thought everyone graduated high school and almost everyone in my family and extended family attended college. Turns out that I was the ignorant one. When George was a child, graduation from 8th grade was the normal end of education. Some went to college (and my own grandmother, who was 10 years younger and his wife, graduated high school) but that was the exception, not the rule. George demonstrated that he was smart and very good at business and my mom said "his handwriting was beautiful."
  • 02/9
    1908

    Baptism

    February 9, 1908
    Baptism date
    Mesa Baptist Church in Pueblo, CO County
    Place of worship
  • Religious Beliefs

    George was a non-practicing Baptist. He was heavily involved with Freemasonry and active with his blue lodge which requires a belief in a higher power.
  • Military Service

    Navy in WW1 Military ID# 1114953 George enlisted in the Navy in Denver, Colorado on April 16, 1917. His profession was listed as 'clerk' and he had been living at 725 B Santa Fe Ave., Pueblo, Co at time of his enlistment. His father, William Benning, is listed as his next of kin and he was residing at 331 W. Adams Ave., Pueblo, CO. George's pay per month once in the Navy started at $17...his paperwork states that he was 21 years, 11 months old; he was 5 ft. 6 1/2 inches tall, had medium brown hair, ruddy complexion and blue eyes. He had an inch long mark on his right breast, and his finger prints are on the paperwork. In June, 1917, George was in the hospital and was stationed at the Naval Station in San Francisco from 1917 to 1918. Feb. 4, 1918 George opted to take $5,000 in life insurance while at the US Naval Training Station in San Francisco, CA. The life Insurance was noted to go to his father, William. Note: The Navy listed his date of birth as 4/25/1895 and George verified that was accurate... We have no idea why he lied as he was really almost 20 when he enlisted. November 26, 1917, George was rated a Storekeeper 3rd class, and rated "Very good" on all of his test scores... May 7, 1918...qualified as Store Keeper 2nd class...received "very good's"on all scores... June 30, 1918 George was in Mare Island, CA and finally assigned to the USS Saturn until discharged in 1919... From Dec. 30, 1918 to Jan. 12, 1919 stationed at Vladivostok, Russia...rated Chief Storekeeper in 1919...rated Chief Yeoman in May 1919... making $60 per month at this point... July 19, 1919 Honorable Discharge at Mare Island, CA ...by Special Order , Secretary of the Navy.....requested mileage to Portland, Oregon, which George notes as his "place of enlistment" (tho it wasn't...). However, gives his PO address after discharge as 150 17th Ave., San Francisco, CA (his sister Lois' address...) He was recommended for the Good Conduct Medal and for reenlistment, if he chose to do so.... USS Saturn (1898-1922, later AG-4) USS Saturn, a 4840-ton collier, was built in 1890 at Wilmington, Delaware, for commercial use. Purchased by the Navy in April 1898, she carried coal to U.S. ships in the West Indies area during the Spanish-American War. In 1916-21, Saturn was mainly employed as a radio support ship in Alaskan waters, but carried coal, cargo and radio gear to Siberia in late 1918. Reclassified AG-4 in 1920, she decommissioned in March 1922 and was sold in September of that year. Saturn departed Bremerton on 2 September 1916 for Sitka, Alaska, to operate as a tender and relay ship for radio communication between Alaska and bases on the United States west coast. She cruised extensively in waters of the North Pacific and was placed in full commission on 4 April 1917 upon United States entry into World War I. She called frequently at Seward, Sitka, Tatoosh, Ketchikan, and Dutch Harbor, insuring continuous communications between the continental United States and the Alaska Territory. During November 1918, Saturn was assigned special duty carrying coal and supplies to the United States Expeditionary Force at Vladivostok, Russia, during the Russian Civil War and large-scale Japanese intervention. She departed Vladivostok on 12 January 1919 and proceeded homeward via Olongapo, Philippine Islands; Guam; and Pearl Harbor, arriving on 25 February at Mare Island Navy Yard. Saturn resumed duty as a communications link between Alaska and the continental United States, with occasional additional duty as a radio repair ship. She was classified AG-4 as a miscellaneous auxiliary on 17 July 1920. Honorable Discharge: George Lawrence Benning, 1114953, Chief Yeoman is honorably discharged from the USS Saturn and from the Naval Service of the United States, this 19th day of July, 1919 at Mare Island, California.....if within four months from this date the said Geo. L. Benning shall present this, his Honorable Discharge, at any United States Naval Rendezvous, and is found physically qualified, and shall re enlist for four years, then he shall be entitled to pay during the said four months equal to that to which he would have been entitled had he been employed in actual service...rating last qualified to fill, Chief Yeoman... (back of form) Geo. L. Benning , rate: Lds Yeo, enlisted April 16th, 1917 at Denver, Colo for 4 years; total naval service 2 yrs, 3 months; trade: clerk; citizenship: US; ratings held during enlistment Lds Yeo; App Sea; S.K. 3cl; S.K. 2cl; Chief Storekeeper; Chief Yeoman; Proficiency Rating: 3.90; Sobriety 4.0; Obedience 4.0 ; Average standing for term of enlistment, 3.97; Where born: Boone, Iowa; Date: April 25, 1895 (wrong year); Age 24 yrs, I month; Height 5 ft 6 1/2 inches; Weight, 142 lbs; Eyes, blue; Hair, Med. Brown; Complexion, Ruddy... Personal characteristics, marks, etc. m-in r breast; burk in-l knee; p.s. back r-arm.... War Service Certificate United States Navy: This certifies that George Lawrence Benning (#11149531) Chief Yeoman, performed honorable active service in the United States Navy from April 16, 1917 to November 11, 1918 on board the following ships and stations: US Naval Training Station, San Francisco, CA; Rec. Ship, Mare Island, California; USS Saturn...
  • Professional Career

    During his youth, he worked for the railroad as a clerk. Later he became a car salesman, then a sales manager, and then owned a Chevrolet dealership.
  • Personal Life & Family

    George was married twice. He met his second wife through work; a 19 year old Eileen Constance (Tasker) Benning who worked as a stenographer for him when he served as general manager at the Seattle Chevrolet dealership of Captain C.H. Wells in 1927. George was a 32nd degree Mason and was going to become a 33rd degree Mason, but he died before his induction. He was also President of the Chamber of Commerce in Bremerton Washington. He was a very talented musician. According to his granddaughter: I'm told that he could play any percussion instrument. I've heard from several people who knew him that his piano playing skills were incredible. But he couldn't read music - he simply could play any song he heard by ear. When Phil Harris' band was playing in the area, he was always asked to sit in with the band. And when the family visited New Orleans (circa 1940), Grandma and George went to Bourbon St at night, and he sat in with bands in all of the nightspots. I sure wish that musical skills were inherited - although my son and I love music, we aren't musicians. Maybe his son will be? :)
  • 08/23
    1946

    Death

    August 23, 1946
    Death date
    He was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and was treated for it for at least a year before he died.
    Cause of death
    Bremerton, Kitsap County, Washington United States of America
    Death location
  • Gravesite & Burial

    mm/dd/yyyy
    Funeral date
    Forest Lawn Cemetery 5409 Kitsap Way, in Bremerton, Kitsap County, Washington 98312, United States
    Burial location
  • Obituary

    The following obituary was published in the Bremerton Sun (Bremerton Washington) on August 1946: : Geo. Benning, Auto Dealer, passes at 49: A heroic but futile struggle to regain his health ended this morning at 5:30 o'clock when George L. Benning, head of the Reed-Benning Chevrolet Co., died at the Harrison Memorial hospital. He was 49. Mr. Benning, known as an always jovial gentleman by hundreds of Kitsap County folk, fell seriously ill of an internal ailment several weeks ago. When he failed to respond to treatment here, he was taken by plane to the Mayo clinic at Rochester, MN, a month ago and an operation was performed there. Returning home, Mr. Benning made steady strides toward recovery for a few days but then suffered a relapse and that was followed by his death today. He came here in December 1939, from Portland, to become manager of the then Reed Chevrolet Co. Its founder, MK Reed, had died a few months previously. In 1940, Mr. Benning purchased the controlling interest in the corporation from Mrs. Meeka Reed Vodila, widow of the founder, and the name was changed to the Reed-Benning Chevrolet Co. Mr. Benning was highly regarded by his employees and by business competitors and associates.
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43 Memories, Stories & Photos about George

Impact of George's death
My great-grandfather was only a handful of years older than me when he passed away at 48. His daughter, my grandmother, was only 16 at the time.

His passing was an event that significantly impacted my grandmother and my great grandmother. I've heard that grandma had a hard time after he died....like a crushing blow. She admired him like many daughters admire their father.

My great grandmother remarried a couple years later and that husband died within 2 years. She remarried a third time a few years later, and this husband died within a decade.

My mother once asked g-grandma why she didn't marry again and she said she simply could not handle another husband dying.

As a father myself I can begin to paint a picture of what the impact of me dying so young would do to my family.

George was successful both with business and relationships. He impacted the lives of those around him. But he died too young before he was able to fully realize the benefits of his life and prepare his immediate family and future generations with security.

What a different world it would have been had he passed away just a few decades later.
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Knowing your Grandparents
It was common in my parents' generation to have lost one, or both, of your parents in your childhood. So it was with my parents: My father's mother died when he was 5 years old and my mother's father died when she was 15.

I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with my surviving maternal grandmother and my surviving paternal grandfather, but I regret that I didn't know my other grandparents. I'm hoping that my memories (yes, I'm OLD to my grandchildren0 will survive so that they will know more about my own parents, and even the grandparents who I did know.

Will they ever be interested in me? Who knows? 🤣🤣
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Wentworth & Benning in front of '38 Nash
Wentworth & Benning in front of '38 Nash
Mr. Wentworth (co-owner, Wentworth & Irwin, Portland, OR) and George Benning, sales manager, in front of new Nash.
Date & Place: at Wentworth & Irwin in Portland, Oregon United States
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George Benning
George Benning
Date & Place: in USA
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In Alaska??
Yah what's the story behind this photo? I suppose he's wearing a typical hat, but at first glance it looks like he's dressed as a fireman.
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Reed-Benning Chevy Dealership
Reed-Benning Chevy Dealership
Article in the Bremerton Sun newspaper regarding the incorporation of the Reed-Benning Chevy dealership.
Date & Place: in Bremerton, Washington USA
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George Benning Dealership
George Benning Dealership
The front window of the Reed-Benning Chevrolet dealership in the early 1940s in Bremerton, Washington. This was advertising in the early 40s - paint it on your window! Although George Benning owned the dealership, his friend "Mickey" Reed owned it until he died, and his widow sold it to George.
Date & Place: in Bremerton, Kitsap County, Washington United States
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Did you know?
In 1898, in the year that George Lawrence Benning was born, on February 15th, the USS Maine exploded and sank in Havana harbor. The reason for the explosion has never been found, but it killed 266 men. "Remember the Maine" became a rallying cry and precipitated the United States' declaration of war on Spain two months later - the beginning of the Spanish-American War. On December 10th, the war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. The Treaty gave the U.S. Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Guam - for $20 million - and, temporarily, Cuba.
Did you know?
In 1900, by the time he was only 2 years old, the Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud published his book (written in 1899) "The Interpretation of Dreams". Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud in May of 1856, is the "father of psychoanalysis". Although he was a medical doctor, he was fascinated with the psyche and hypothesized the existence of the id, the ego, the superego, the libido, the unconscious, the Oedipus complex, and more. These are concepts that are still used by modern psychology.
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George Benning's Family Tree & Friends

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Friendships

George's Friends

Friends of George Friends can be as close as family. Add George's family friends, and his friends from childhood through adulthood.
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9 Followers & Sources
Daniel Pinna
I'm the creator of AncientFaces which we began in 2000 while I was a sophomore at Santa Clara University. To our amazing friends and super active members - thank you for your support & patience as we've slowly but surely evolved AncientFaces into the place where our loved ones live on through our memories. This particular account is for my personal interests. Feel free to reach out and say hi!
One of my more colorful (ahem black sheep) relatives was one of the first to be hanged for criminal punishment in the U.S.
Kathy Pinna
I'm a Founder of AncientFaces and support the community answering questions & helping members make connections to the past (thus my official title of Founder & Content and Community Support ). For me, it's been a labor of love for over 20 years. I truly believe with all of my heart that everyone should be remembered for generations to come. I am 2nd generation San Jose and have seen a lot of changes in the area while growing up. We used to be known as the "Valley of Heart's Delight" (because the Valley was covered with orchards and there were many canneries to process the food grown here, which shipped all over the US) - now we have adopted the nickname "Capital of Silicon Valley" and Apple, Ebay, Adobe, Netflix, Facebook, and many more tech companies are within a few miles of my current home in San Jose (including AncientFaces). From a small town of 25,000, we have grown to 1 million plus. And when you add in all of the communities surrounding us (for instance, Saratoga, where I attended high school, living a block from our previous Mayor), we are truly one of the big cities in the US. I am so very proud of my hometown. For more information see Kathy - Founder & Content and Community Director
My family began AncientFaces because we believe that unique photos and stories that show who people are/were should be shared with the world.
Daniel Pinna
I want to build a place where my son can meet his great-grandparents. My grandmother Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch always wanted to meet her great-grandchildren, but she died just a handful of years before my son's birth. So while she didn't have the opportunity to meet him, at least he will be able to know her. For more information about what we're building see About AncientFaces. For information on the folks who build and support the community see Daniel - Founder & Creator.
My father's side is full blood Sicilian and my mother's side is a combination of Welsh, Scottish, German and a few other European cultures. One of my more colorful (ahem black sheep) family members came over on the Mayflower. He was among the first to be hanged in the New World for a criminal offense he made while onboard the ship.
Lori Russell
My mother is Pamela Thompson. My dad is Richard William Russell.
My mom grew up in Fenwick Michigan. My dad grew up in Hart Michigan. They had 2 kids together. Living in Michigan.
Gracia Lionardi
I am the lead developer at AncientFaces.com and I keep myself busy doing just that!
I live in Indonesia with my husband and wonderful little dog.
Curtis Beitans
From Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
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