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William H. Benson (1857-1924), of Irish descent and born in Allegany County, New York, opened the Benson’s Department Store in 1898. The dry goods store was initially located in the old Dawson Building on Seventh Avenue in Beaver Falls. In 1907 he built and moved into his own building (shown above) located beside the Granada Theater at the southwest corner of Seventh Avenue and 12th Street. Benson operated the successful store until his death in 1924. His descendants, including his son Harold Benson and possibly grandson William “Bill” Benson Jr., continued to run the business for many years. (Photo courtesy of Bill Cwynar) (c1970) Full Size
The interior of the Benson’s Department Store. Founder and owner William Benson can be seen at left. (c1909) (Photo provided courtesy of Bill Cwynar) Full Size
Two retail receipts signed by William Benson. (1907) Full Size
The interior of Benson’s Department Store. I believe the store was closed in about 1970. Eat’n Park subsequently operated a restaurant at the location from 1974 until early 2002, and then Lindy’s Restaurant occupied the location for a few years beginning in April 2002. The building was razed in c2008. The one-story Heritage Valley Family Medical Center now occupies the site. (Photo courtesy of Bill Cwynar) (c1950) Full Size
Bill Cwynar #
Jeff,Next time you are in Beaver Falls check out Lutton Funeral Home on 5th.ave. This was The former Benson mansion.Prior to that it was one of the Moltrup bros.mansion.Keep up the good work!Bill
Brian Conner #
My grandmother, Gladys Harter, worked in the children’s department on the third floor shortly before Benson’s closed and Eat ‘n Park opened a restaurant on the first floor.
I remember hiding among the clothing racks while my mom shopped, an old manual cash register and a pretzel jar that never failed to open when my mother took us to pick up “Gram”.
Thanks for the photo… just starting to explore your site, but having lots of great memories as I read!
Linda Dexter #
My grandfather, Thomas Evans purchased Benson’s around 1948 and operated it until about 1970.
Karen Roughton #
Brian, did your mom ever mention an elevator operator named Maddie or Mattie? She was a small black lady and I remember her being the sweetest lady I had ever met.. She would wear white gloves and that elevator shined like gold. Thomas L Evans, the second owner as Linda mentioned had 28 grandchildren. I don’t think we were all there at the same time, but I remember playing Hide and seek with my cousins in the stock rooms. We would ride up and down the elevators and Maddie never lost patience with us. Good memories!!
Rebecca Pace Jones #
My mother, Beatrice Pace, also operated the elevator at Benson’s Department Store. I think that was during the latter 60’s.
Marian Short #
There was a Little light skinned lady named Mrs Johnson that also run the elevator in the sixties as well .