Otis Benton*

Otis Benton*

donor plaque
Otis  Benton*

The late Otis L. Benton, ba 1884, was born July 31, 1866 in Louisville, Kan., the son of Almon and Fidelia (Lewis) Benton. He graduated from high school in Louisville and received a degree in English from Washburn in 1884. In 1885, he graduated from Elliott's Business College in Burlington, Iowa. He married Maude (Durkee) Benton September 22, 1887 in Eureka, Kan. Mrs. Benton was born June 30, 1868 in Shelby, Ill. and was a Daughter of the American Revolution. The Bentons had 3 children all of whom graduated from Washburn. Benton began working at the Oberlin National Bank in 1886 as a cashier and was appointed President in 1904. Benton was also vice president of the First National Bank of Norcatur and First State Bank of Dresden, and president of the First State Bank of Traer, the First State Bank of Herndon and Benton & Hopkins Investment Company of Oberlin. Benton owned extensive land holdings in Northwest Kansas including his residence in Oberlin and properties in Topeka and Kansas City, Mo. He was involved heavily in politics as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1908 and as a member of the State Republican Committee. He ran for Congress in 1916 but was defeated by his Democratic rival. Benton passed away June 10, 1921. His estate provided funds to Washburn College to build a women's dorm called Benton Hall, now home to the School of Applied Studies and the Division of Continuing Education.