GEO. W. BENEDICT, a resident of Minnesota for the last twenty-seven years, dates his birth in Rochester, New York, on the 20th of March, 1825. When the subject of our sketch was five years of age, the family removed to Lower Canada, where he was reared and received his early education. In early life he acquired the printer's trade, at which he was employed in Hamilton and other portions of Canada, and in New York State, until 1851, when he went to Tecumseh, Michigan, and commenced the publication of the "Tecumseh Herald," continuing it till 1854. While a resident of the latter place, he was a delegate to the Presidential convention which nominated General Scott. In 1854, he came to Sauk Rapids, under an engagement to manage the "Sauk Rapids Frontiersman," for Jeremiah Russell, which position he held about four years, after which he started the "New Era," which was afterwards discontinued. In 1860, he was working in the "Times" office at St. Paul, and was afterwards foreman on the "Press." In 1864, he took charge of the printing department of the "Pioneer," and remained until 1868, when he started the "Sauk Rapids Sentinel," at Sauk Rapids. He also commenced the publication of the "Alexandria Post," but soon sold his interest in it. He continued the "Sauk Rapids Sentinel" until 1872, when, in company with some others, he started the "St. Cloud Press;" disposed of his interest at the end of the first year, and reestablished the "Sauk Rapids Sentinel," which, in 1875, he sold to the present proprietor, W. L. Nieman. Mr. Benedict was Clerk of the District Court of Benton County, in 1856, was a member of the State Senate, in 1874, and was appointed Deputy Revenue Collector, in 1876, which latter position he still holds. He was married in 1851, to Anna Cronk, of Canada.

History of the Upper Mississippi Valley (1881) p. 345 [Sauk Rapids]


Hon. George W. Benedict, the veteran newspaper man of Benton county and that part of Minnesota, is so well known that an introduction is unnecessary. He established the third paper of the state, and is still engaged in its publication. He is a thorough, wideawake business man and is a gentleman of integrity and well merits his high standing. He resides in Sauk Rapids, where he has extensive financial interests, all of which he has gained by his own industry and business tact.

Mr. Benedict was born in Rochester, New York. March 20, 1824. His parents, Reuben and Mancia (Smith) Benedict, were natives of Canada. Our subject was reared in Hamilton, Canada, now Ontario, and received a high school education there. He started in the printing business as an apprentice in Hamilton, Canada and worked there for five years. He then went to Montreal and Ottawa, Canada, and from thence to the city of New York, and was engaged on the “New York Tribune” for a short time. At the age of twenty-three years he went to California, over the plains, prospecting during 1848-49. He then went to lower Michigan and established a paper at Tecumseh, known as the “Tecumseh Herald.” After conducting the business there for four years he came to Benton county, in 1854, and established the “Sauk Rapids Frontierman” for Messrs. Russell and Wood. He later bought out that company and established the “Sauk Rapids Sentinel,” in 1864, which paper he has since published. He hauled his supplies and printing outfit by team from St. Paul. The country was then a wilderness, but he foresaw the development of that region and remained to become one of the substantial business men of the present. His was the third paper established in the state and was the sole survivor for some time, and was the first paper established in the county. He is now the owner of a block of residences in the town, an office building, and thirty lots in the town. His printing office is one of the best equipped of any country office of the state, and his paper is one of the bright exchanges of Minnesota, and has a circulation of twelve hundred.

Mr. Benedict was one of the heaviest losers in the village of Sauk Rapids during the cyclone which swept that region April 14, 1886. His present newspaper plant includes steam presses and all modern improvements and is valued at $4,000.

Mr. Benedict was married March 20, 1852, to Anna Cronk, who was born in Canada, March 20, 1831. Mr. Benedict is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Canada, the Masonic fraternity in St. Paul. and the Elks Lodge at St. Cloud. He is a member of the Methodist church. For two years he was clerk of courts and for eight years filled the position of deputy internal revenue collector. In 1874 he was elected senator and was an efficient and faithful worker during his term of office and gained the confidence of all who know him.

Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (1904) p. 495

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