A Biographical Dictionary of

Leading Living Men of the City of Detroit

Edited by Albert Nelson Marquis


A. N. Marquis & Company


Copyright, 1908 by Albert Nelson Marquis

Pages 57 - 59

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Special Thanks to Linda Bakken for transcribing these pages .

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Page 57

BENNETT, John F., physician and surgeon; born, Salem, Mich., Sept. 13, 1864; son of Asher C. and Barbara (Kapp) Bennett; educated in district schools of Salem and South Lyon (Mich.) High School; Medical Department University of Michigan; Michigan College of Medicine and Surgery, Detroit, graduating, M.D., Mar. 15, 1892; married at South Lyon, Mich., Sept. 13, 1887, Army M. Smith. Has been engaged in practice in Detroit since 1892. Member U.S. Pension Examining Board No. 1., Mich., since 1901. Member American Medical Association, Michigan State Medical Society, Wayne County Medical Society. Member Detroit Board of Education, 8 years; elected coroner Wayne County, Nov., 1906, term expires Jan. 1, 1909. Republican. Methodist. Member Masonic order, I.O.O.F. Recreation: Motor boating. Office and residence: 1993 Jefferson Av.

BENSON, John J., resident manager Fidelity and Casualty Co. of New York, for Michigan and Indiana; born, New York City, Apr. 25, 1855; son of Robert an Jane (Braithwait) Benson; educated in public schools of Troy, N.Y. Engaged in hardware at Troy, 1870-90; became associated with the Fidelity and Casualty Co. as special agent at Troy and became resident manager at Richmond, Va., for Virginia and North Carolina; has been located at Detroit since June, 1893. Republican. Episcopalian. Member Masonic order (32), Shrine. Clubs: Fellowcraft, North Channel, Detroit Golf. Office: 1021-1023 Hammond Bldg. Residence: The Plaza.

BENSON, Oliver N., dry goods merchant; born, Plymouth, Mass., Dec. 12, 1860; educated in public schools and business college. Entered dry goods business at Troy, N.Y., 1877; removed to Detroit, 1888, and was for many years connected with J. Sparling & Co., dry goods, as manager and partner; withdrew from the firm, 1906, and organized dry goods and furnishings business in his own name, of which he is proprietor and manager. Member Detroit Board of Commerce. Mason. Club: Fellowcraft. Office 168-170 Woodward Av. Residence: 85 Palmer Av., E.

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BERGER, Robert C., wholesale leaf tobacco; born, Detroit Dec. 2, 1875; son of Casper B. and Lena (Bloom) Berger; educated in public and high schools of Detroit; married at Chicago, 1904, Miss Bettie Adler. Began in leaf tobacco business under his father, 1890; became partner C.B. Berger & Sons, 1902; acquired sole ownership of the business, 1905, which he still retains, deals in Havana, Sumatra and Domestic leaf tobaccos. Club: Phoenix. Recreation: Fishing. Office: 216 Jefferson Av. Residence: 1628 Woodward Av.

Page 58

BERRY, Thomas, manufacturer; born, Horsham, Eng., Feb. 7, 1829; son of John and Catherine Berry; came to America with parents, 1835; educated in private school at Elizabeth, N.J,; married at Niagara, N.Y., 1860, Janet Lowe. Began active career in tannery business with his father at Elizabeth; was manager of branch establishments for his father at Richmond and other points in Virginia; traveled for a year and in 1858 located in Detroit, and joined his brother, Joseph H. Berry, in manufacture of varnish, in which brother had been engaged for some time at Springwells (now suburb of Detroit); plant moved to present location at foot of Leib St., cor. Wright, and has grown to be the largest varnish factory in the world; chairman Berry Brothers, Limited, since May, 1997. Vice president Citizens' Savings Bank. Member Detroit Board of Commerce. Formerly trustee Michigan College of Medicine, and member Detroit Board of Estimates, Board of Education, Poor Commission, City Council. Republican. Member Masonic order, Knights Templar. Office: Leib and Wrights Sts. Residence: 1100 Jefferson Av.

BESSENGER, Frank H., real estate; born, Detroit, Oct. 13, 1871; son of George E. and Susan (Hooper) Bessenger; educated in public schools of Detroit, 1876-85, and at Detroit Business University, 1889; married at Detroit, Mar. 26, 1902, Artie Earll. Began active career in crockery and glassware store of Charles H. Wetmore, 1885, continuing 1886; was bookkeeper for McDonald, Rich & Co., 1887-88, and for the Delta Lumber Co., 1889; was connected with Grindley Real Estate Exchange, subsequently known as the City and Suburban Homes Co., 1889-1902; has been engaged in real estate business with Alanson A. Moore, as Bessenger & Moore, since 1902. Secretary Detroit Real Estate Board. First lieutenant and battalion adjutant First Infantry, Michigan National Guard. Republican. Methodist. Member Masonic order. Club: Detroit Rifle. Recreations: Autombiling, shooting. Office: 302 Telegraph Bldg. Residence: 149 Grummond Av.

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BEYER, William Phillip, proprietor Hotel Ste. Clair; born, Detroit, June 29, 1857; son of Johan Barthalamaus Beer; educated in private schools and at German American Seminary, Detroit; married, Detroit,1897, Cornelia Dupont. Served apprenticeship as steel plate engraver with Calvert Lithographing Co., Detroit, but in 1877 met as accident which changed his vocation; was employed at the Michigan Exchange Hotel, 1877-82; was chief clerk of Montezuma Hotel, owned by the Santa Fe Ry., at Las Vegas, N.M., and teller First National Bank, Las Vegas; returned to Detroit, 1889, as manager of the Wayne Hotel; proprietor Hotel Ste. Claire since 1903. Republican. Lutheran. Member Detroit Board of Commerce. Mason. Club: Detroit Yacht. Recreation: Automobiling. Office and residence: Hotel Ste. Claire.

BEYSTER, John, manufacturer and dealer in lumber, lath, shingles, boxes, etc.; born in Holland, May 27, 1838; served apprenticeship at carpenter's trade in Holland for 51/2 years; came to America, 1867, and located in Detroit; married in Holland, 1860, Hendricka Matthie. Followed carpenter's trade and contracting in Detroit until 1877, when he established planning mill and yard in his own name, which still continues. Member Detroit Board of Commerce. Republican. Mason Recreation: Reading. Office: 875 Fort St., W. Residence: 444 Lafayette Av.

Page 59

BEZNER, Frederick O., secretary E. R. Thomas Detroit Co.; born, Jerseyville, Ill., Sept. 3, 1879; son of Frederick K. and Anna Mary (Prediger) Bezner; educated in Jerseyville High School and Chicago Business College, Chicago; unmarried. Began active career as stenographer for passenger department of the Goodrich Transportation Co., Chicago, 1898, continuing two years; stenographer and city buyer National Cash Register Co., Dayton, O., 1900-02; assistant purchasing agent Detroit Copper and Brass Rolling Mills, Detroit, 1902-03; assistant purchasing agent Olds Motor Works, Detroit 1903-05, and purchasing agent same company, 1905-06; has been secretary and director E. R. Thomas Detroit Co., makers of motor cars, since May, 1906. Mason Club: Commercial. Recreation: Automobiling. Office: E. R. Thomas Detroit Co. Residence: 321 Hurlbut Av.

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BIDDLE, Andrew Porter, physician; born, Detroit, Feb. 25, 1862; son of William S. and Susan Dayton (Ogden) Biddle; grandson of Maj. John Biddle, of Detroit, and of John Ogden, judge of supreme court of New Jersey; educated in public schools until 10 years of age; private school, Geneva, Switzerland, 10 to 12; public high school, Heidelberg, Germany, 12 to 15 (1874-77); Detroit High School, 1877-80; naval cadet, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., 1880-83; graduate Detroit College of Medicine, M.D., 1886; married at Boston, Oct. 20 1892, Grace Wilkins; one daughter, Beatrice Bradish Biddle. In practice in Detroit since 1886; professor dermatology and syphilology, Detroit College of Medicine; consulting dermatologist Detroit Board of Health; dermatologist and secretary medical board, St. Mary's Hospital; dermatologist Children's Free Hospital. Member American Dermatological Association, American Roentgen Ray Society, American Medical Association, Michigan State Medical Society (general secretary, 1900-06, and editor of the Journal of the society, 1902-06), Wayne County Medical Society, Detroit Academy of Medicine. Was U.S. pension examining surgeon, 1893-97; major and surgeon 31st Michigan Volunteer Infantry during Spanish-American War, 1898. Republican since campaign of 1896. Episcopalian. Recreation: Amateur gardening. Office: 57 W. Fort St. Residence: 187 Seminole Av.

BIEBER, Charles H., railway official; born, Hillsdale, Mich., Mar. 17, 1862; son of Jacob and Katherine (Knoll) Bieber; educate in public schools and business of Jackson, Mich.; married at Dearborn, Mich., Oct. 7, 1882, Kate F. Farland. Began railway service at Jackson, as messenger Michigan Central Rd., 1879; was telegraph operator, same road and place, Apr. 1, 1881-Oct. 1, 1882; telegraph operator in office of Fort Wayne & Jackson R.R. at Jackson, 1882-84; returned to freight department of Michigan Central until 1886; clerk in office of general car agent, same road, 1886-90, traveling car agent, 1890-Feb. 1, 1891, general car agent, 1891-1906, superintendent car service same road since Jan. 1, 1906. Was member Michigan National Guard, at Jackson, 1880-83. Republican Episcopalian. Member Masonic order (32), Knights Templar (Past Eminent Commander), Shrine. Clubs: Detroit Transportation, Buffalo Transportation. Recreation: Reading. Office: 57 Michigan Central Depot. Residence: 1094 Trumbull Av.

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