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Charles J. Benson. Though a well trained lawyer by profession, Charles J. Benson since he came to Oklahoma nearly twenty-five years ago has been primarily identified with banking. He has been at the head of a number of prosperous and substantial institutions in various parts of the state, and is now president of the First National Bank of Sapulpa. He bought the chief interests and assumed the management of this bank in the fall of 1914. An indication of its steady growth since that time is found in the statistics relating to deposits. At the end of September, 1914, the deposits aggregated $435,000, while by June, 1915, that item was approximately $512,000, an increase of almost $100,000 in less than a year. The First National Bank of Sapulpa has resources totaling over $640,000. The officers are: C. J. Benson, president; W. S. Bunting, vice president: R. Steinhorst, cashier.
Though most of his active career has been identified with Oklahoma, Charles J. Benson is an Ohio man and was born at Akron November 27, 1869, a son of J. E. and Sarah (Underwood) Benson. His parents spent all their lives on a farm in Ohio, and Charles J. was the next to the youngest of eight children. He grew up on a farm but attended the public schools in Akron, and completed his education in the law department of Georgetown University at Washington, D. C., where he received his degree LL. B. in 1891.
Shortly afterwards, at the opening of the Pottawatomie Reservation, he came to Tecumseh, and for about a year made the law his primary business. He then was drawn into banking affairs, as cashier of the Tecumseh State Bank in 1893, moved from there to Shawnee, was made cashier of the Shawnee State Bank in 1895, and in 1897 became cashier of the Shawnee National Bank. In 1900 he bought the Oklahoma National Bank, of which he became president, and remained at its head until 1907. In 1911 he removed to Bristow, and was president of the Bristow National Bank and is still at the head of that institution, though his home is in Sapulpa. In October, 1914, he acquired most of the stock in the First National Bank of Sapulpa, and has since been its active manager and president.
While his time has been so completely absorbed with banking, Mr. Benson has always shown a public spirited attitude toward local affairs. He has the distinction of having been the first county superintendent in Pottawatomie County, but held the office only one year. For six years he was a member of the board of regents for the Agricultural and Mechanical College, and was its treasurer. Besides banking he has some extensive oil interests, and is president of the Layton Oil Company. Mr. Benson is a republican, is affiliated with the Order of Elks, is a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason, belonging to the Consistory at Guthrie, and to the Mystic Shrine at Tulsa. He is a director in the Sapulpa Commercial Club.
In 1894 Mr. Benson was married at Tecumseh to Miss Grace Adams. They have one son and one daughter: Richard W. and Grace Alice.