Country Facts and Folklore
By Andy Reddick
THE MANUFACTURING HUB OF BENTONSPORT
Near the grist mill, several factories were located along the river bank in Bentonsport, and all of them ran on water power. A woolen mill was owned and operated by Seigel and Esgen. The structure burned in 1865 but was replaced by another one built by G. L. Moore and O. B. Brown.
Green Brothers and Bragg ran a paper mill. There was a plow factory in the stone building along the railroad and a copper shop run by Edenton. Linseed oil was made at the oil mills. There was a shop owned by John Cox, and a wagon factory.
The building that later became the Odd Fellows Hall was built for a business house, and was a furniture store for many years. Among those establishing business firms were H. F. Greef and Brother, John Rhinehouse, Robert Creswell, Samuel Payne, Clement Wood, G. L. Moore and C. Hines who was the tailor. McVity Brothers, Herman Baker and Alexander were shoemakers, and R. L. Clark’s father ran the first drug store.
Cabinet shops and undertakers were Mason and Augustus Rehkoff. Carters sold meat and Mr. French sold hay and grain. The "picture gallery" as it was called, was operated by Mr. Tewksberry.
Bentonsport had a newspaper called the Signal. Among the doctors were Dr. C. U. Cowells, Dr. Allen and Dr. Cornell. Mr. Stanley, Miss Ellen Becker, Miss Ruth Mangram, Mr. Perkins, Mrs. Kise, Peter Keck, and J. D. Hornby were among the teachers who taught at the academy in Bentonsport that opened in 1851.
During the heydey of the 1850s and 1860s, Bentonsport supported four churches: the Presbyterian, Methodist-Episcopal, Congregational, and Universalist. All had large membership, as country people came in wagons from many miles.
(from an old newspaper article contributed by Evelyn McCracken)
Contributed to the Van Buren Co. IAGenWeb Project by Andy Reddick