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Harold "Sime" Leroy Benkelman

Harold "Sime" Leroy Benkelman

Male 1897 - 1981  (83 years)

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  • Name Harold "Sime" Leroy Benkelman  [1, 2
    Nickname Sime 
    Born 27 Nov 1897  St. Francis, Cheyenne County, Kansas Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Gender Male 
    Died 8 Apr 1981  Pontiac, Oakland County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4
    Buried Elkland Township Cemetery, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • Ben Benkelman reported that after seing a production of Uncle Tom's Cabin, his brother, Harold, was nicknamed "Sime" by his siblings, who considered him as mean as Simon Legree. The January 17, 1908 Cass City Chronicle had a brief mention of the upcoming "Mason Brother's Uncle Tom's Cabin company at the Opera House," most likely this was the production that inspired Sime's lifelong nickname. Harold would have been around age 11 at the time. He played basketball in High School.

      Bob Benkelman wrote that his father was drafted into the army signal corps, where he worked as an airplane mechanic, and was stationed at Rockwell Field near San Diego. According to Wikipedia, the Signal Corps Aviation School was named Rockwell Field, on July 20, 1917, in honor of Second Lt. Lewis C. Rockwell, killed in a crash at College Park in 1912. Also in July, the United States Congress authorized the President to proceed with the taking of North Island for Army and Navy aviation schools. There was a need for trained military pilots as the United States had entered World War I earlier in the year. President Woodrow Wilson signed an Executive Order in August 1917 for condemnation of the land, which was still privately owned. The Army turned over the north end of the island to the Navy and relocated to the south end of North Island, the location of the Rockwell Field Historic District. The Navy's first occupancy of North Island occurred on September 8, 1917, but Congress did not authorize the purchase of North Island, for $6,098,333, until July 1919. The Army selected well-known Detroit industrial architect, Albert Kahn, to develop a site and building designs. Permanent construction of Kahn's design began in mid-1918. During World War I, Rockwell Field provided training for many of the pilots and crews sent to France. It also was the source of men and aircraft for the Sixth and Seventh Aero Squadrons, which established the first military aviation presence in Hawaii and the Panama Canal Zone, respectively.

      After his military service, Sime was a Studebaker dealer, and later worked for E.B. Schwaderer, a contractor who built highways throughout the state, and constructed airports all over the midwest during World War II. Before retirement, Harold, worked as head of maintenance of all of the road equipment for the Tuscola County Road Commission.

      Cass City Chronicle
      Friday, November 24, 1933
      Local Happenings
      Page Four

      Mr. and Mrs. Harold Benkelman and Mrs. Curtis Hung spent a few days last week hunting at Fairview.

      The 1941 issue of the Striffler-Benkelman Broadcast showed that Mr. and Mrs. H.L. Benkelman and sons had spent the winter holidays in Florida.

      Cass City Chronicle
      Thursday, April 16, 1981

      Benkelman Funeral Held

      Harold Leroy (Sime) Benkelman, 83, of Cass City died Wednesday, April 8, at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Pontiac.

      He was born Nov. 27, 1897, in St. Francis, Kansas, the son of Benjamin F. and Minnie (Jesse) Benkelman. He returned to Cass City as a small child with his parents. They made their home on the family homestead farm.

      He married Isabel Fletcher Sept. 14, 1918 in Detroit. Following their marriage, they made their home in Sandusky where he was an auto dealer. They later lived in Cass City, where he was employed as equipment supervisor by the E.B. Schwaderer Construction Company and then Tuscola County Road Commission until his retirement.

      He servied with the Army Air Corps during World War I. He was a member of the Salem United Methodist church of Cass City and a life member of Custer Lodge No. 393, F and AM, Sandusky.

      Benkelman is survived by his wife; two sons, Bill Benkelman of Bloomfield Hills and Robert Benkelman of Caro; six grandchildren, three great grandchildren; one brother, Benjamin Benkelman of Clearwater, Fla. (sic) and two sisters, Mrs. Eustis Ball of Clearwater, and Mrs. Lois Pease of Pompano Beach, Fla. One sister, Ruth, preceded him in death.

      Funeral services were conducted Friday afternoon at Little's Funeral Home, Cass City, with Rev. Eldred Kelley of the Salem United Methodist church officiating.

      Burial was in Elkland Cemetery.

      (Transcribed by Melinda McLemore Strong, Summer 2007)

      He was one the family members BonnieMargaret Jacobs personally interviewed when preparing her history of the Benkelman family.
    Person ID I35  Strong Family Tree
    Last Modified 17 Aug 2014 

    Father Benjamin Franklin Benkelman, Sr.,   b. 24 Sep 1863, Bowmansville, Town of Lancaster, Erie County, New York Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Sep 1952, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 88 years) 
    Mother Wilhelmina "Minnie" Johanna Friederika Jesse,   b. 27 Sep 1865, Sherman Township, St. Joseph County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Jun 1961, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 95 years) 
    Married 26 Dec 1892  St. Francis, Cheyenne County, Kansas Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 6, 7
    Photos
    Benkelman General Store (Ben F. Benkelman, Sr. Proprietor), Cass City, Michigan, ca 1901-1924
    Benkelman General Store (Ben F. Benkelman, Sr. Proprietor), Cass City, Michigan, ca 1901-1924
    After retiring from ranching, Ben Benkelman Sr. owned and operated a dry goods store in his hometown of Cass City for approximately twenty years. Ben Sr. is standing in the background of this photo. In the foreground is Mr. Philo S. Rice, who clerked at the Benkelman store for 19 years, and was proprietor of his own grocery store for nearly six years thereafter. He was born on Stuben, NY on 5 Dec 1863, and died in Cass City on 8 Oct 1928, leaving behind his widow, Carrie Fancher Rice and two children, Mrs. A. C. Atwell of Cass City and Roy F. Rice of Los Angeles. (Cass City Chronicle, 12 Oct 1928, page 1).
    Benkelman General Store (Ben F. Benkelman, Sr. Proprietor), Cass City, Michigan ca 1920's
    Benkelman General Store (Ben F. Benkelman, Sr. Proprietor), Cass City, Michigan ca 1920's
    The interior of Ben Benkelman's general store in Cass City, with store clerk Philo S. Rice standing on the left. The lady to the right is unknown. PLEASE EMAIL US IF YOU CAN IDENTIFY HER.
    Benkelman, Benjamin F. Sr. ca 1913 and Minnie (Jesse) Family of Cass City, Michigan
    Benkelman, Benjamin F. Sr. ca 1913 and Minnie (Jesse) Family of Cass City, Michigan
    Back, L to R: Ruth, Mae, Harold "Sime" and Ben, Jr.
    Front, L to R: Ben, Sr., Lois, Minnie
    Benkelman, Benjamin F. Sr. ca 1917 and Minnie (Jesse) Family of Cass City, Michigan
    Benkelman, Benjamin F. Sr. ca 1917 and Minnie (Jesse) Family of Cass City, Michigan
    Standing (L To R): Ruth, Mae, Harold, Ben Jr., Lois
    Seated (L to R): Ben Sr. and his wife, Minnie
    Benkelman Home (Ben and Minnie Family), Cass City, Michigan, sometime after 1901
    Benkelman Home (Ben and Minnie Family), Cass City, Michigan, sometime after 1901
    The home of Ben and Minnie Benkelman family of at 1454 Maple Street, Cass City, Michigan.
    Documents
    Jesse, Minnie 1892 Marriage to Benjamin Benkelman,Sr.
    Jesse, Minnie 1892 Marriage to Benjamin Benkelman,Sr.
    Copy of Marriage License as filed in 1892 in Cheyenne County, Kansas in 1892
    Family ID F16  Group Sheet,  Family chart

    Family Isabel Lizzie Fletcher,   b. 25 Oct 1895, Bad Axe, Huron County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Nov 1993, Caro, Tuscola County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 98 years) 
    Married 14 Sep 1918  Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 4
    • Cass City Chronicle
      Vol. 14, No. 22.
      Friday, September 27, 1918

      Fletcher-Benkelman

      Miss Isabelle Fletcher, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Archie Fletcher of Bad Axe and Harold Benkelman, elder son of Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Benkelman, were united in marriage Saturday evening, Sept. 14, by Rev. Henderson, formerly a pastor of the bride. The ceremony took place at the Presbyterian manse on Grand River avenue in Detroit. Following the ceremony the bridal couple were entertained at dinner at the Hotel Statier by Mr. and Mrs. Russell Newbold, of Philadelphia, cousins of the bride.

      Mr. and Mrs. Benkelman arrived in Cass City on Tuesday after visiting with relatives and friends in Detroit and other cities. \\

      (Transcribed by Melinda McLemore, Strong, Summer 2007)
    Children 
     1. Robert Benkelman,   b. Abt 1922, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1922, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 0 years)
     2. Robert Fletcher Benkelman,   b. 1 Oct 1926, Sandusky, Sanilac County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Sep 2006, Saginaw County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years)
     3. William Donald Benkelman,   b. 23 Oct 1928, Royal Oak, Oakland County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Aug 2002, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years)
    Last Modified 12 Sep 2008 
    Family ID F33  Group Sheet,  Family chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 27 Nov 1897 - St. Francis, Cheyenne County, Kansas Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 14 Sep 1918 - Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Elkland Township Cemetery, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Benkelman Family Sod Hut (Ben and Minnie Family), Cheyenne County, Kansas 
ca 1902
    Benkelman Family Sod Hut (Ben and Minnie Family), Cheyenne County, Kansas ca 1902
    (L to R): Harold "Sime" on horseback, Ben Benkelman holding the hand of his son Ben Jr., Minnie Benkelman nee Jesse, and daughters Ruth and Mae. This picture was taken in Kansas shortly before the family moved to Ben's home town of Cass City, Michigan where he opened a general store. After spending twenty years as a cowboy and rancher at the Kansas/Nebraska/Colorado border, Ben was again ready for the comforts of civilization.
    Benkelman, Adam and Anna Catherine (Schaufele) Descendants ca 1912 Family Reunion
    Benkelman, Adam and Anna Catherine (Schaufele) Descendants ca 1912 Family Reunion
    Back, Standing, l to r: Mae Benkelman, Kate Schwegler, John Benkelman Sr., Ester Ackerman Benkelman, Minnie Jesse Benkelman, Joe Benkelman, Augusta Krehl Benkelman, Dorus Benkelman, Will Schwegler, Ward Benkelman, Ben Schwegler, Sam Benkelman

    Middle Row, kneeling, l to r: Alvin Benkelman, Harold Benkelman, Ruth Benkelman, Marie Benkelman (standing), Lena Benkelman Schwegler, Barbara Rommel Benkelman, Louisa Benkelman Schwegler

    Bottom Row, seated, l to r: Bertha Benkelman, Glen Benkelman, Ida Benkelman, Lottie Benkelman, Ben Benkelman Sr. behind his nephew John Donald Benkelman, Lois Benkelman, Ben Benkelman Jr., Alice Ross Schwegler with her baby Edward William Schwegler, and ,facing left, Mary Striffler Benkelman (Mrs. Sam)

    (Legend Courtesy of Bonnie-Margaret Benkelman Jacobs)
    Benkelman, Harold 'Sime' ca 1918-1920
    Benkelman, Harold "Sime" ca 1918-1920
    Sime was drafted into the army signal corps during the First World War, and stationed at Rockwell Field near San Diego. He was an airplane mechanic. Sime is on the right, in sunglasses.
    _Benkelman, Harold Leroy 'Sime'
    _Benkelman, Harold Leroy "Sime"
    Husband of Isabel Fletcher
    B. 1897 Kansas D. 1981 Michigan
    Benkelman, Benjamin F. Sr. ca 1920's with his children and their spouses
    Benkelman, Benjamin F. Sr. ca 1920's with his children and their spouses
    Back Row, L to R:
    Bill Carpenter, Ben Benkelman, Sr., Ben Benkelman, Jr., Jim Pease, Minnie Benkelman, Eustace Ball, Harold Benkelman in the late 1920's.

    Front Row, L to R:
    Mae Benkelman Carpenter, Lois Benkelman Pease, Ruth Benkelman Ball, Isabel Fletcher Benkelman, Avis Smith Benkelman
    At least one living or private individual is linked to this item - Details withheld.
    Benkelman, Robert F. wedding to Lorraine Smith
    Benkelman, Robert F. wedding to Lorraine Smith
    Miss Lorraine Smith of Kalamazoo became the bride of Robert F. Benkelman Saturday evening, September 30, 1950, at eight o'clock in a ceremony at the First Congregational Church at Kalamazoo. The couple will live in Lansing. The bride, a graduate of State High School in Kalamazoo, attended Michigan State College. Her husband, who was graduated from Cass City High School, received a B.A. degree in speech, dramatics and radio from MSC.


    l to r: Clarence and Cora Smith, Lorraine Smith and Robert Benkelman, Isabel and Harold "Sime" Benkelman
    Jesse, Minnie ca 1960, with her children on her 95th birthday
    Jesse, Minnie ca 1960, with her children on her 95th birthday
    L to R: Ben Jr standing behind his sisters Lois and Ruth, Minnie, Mae and Sime

    The paintings behind the group were all done by Minnie herself, who took up painting as a hobby shortly after her 87th birthday.
    Benkelman, Harold 'Sime' ca 1960 with his wife, Isabel (nee Fletcher)
    Benkelman, Harold "Sime" ca 1960 with his wife, Isabel (nee Fletcher)
    Sime and Isabel at their Lake House in Caseville, Michigan
    At least one living or private individual is linked to this item - Details withheld.

    Headstones
    Benkelman, Harold and Isabel (Fletcher)
    Benkelman, Harold and Isabel (Fletcher)

  • Sources 
    1. [S469] Williams, Dorothy Ball--Family Researcher (dotwfl@comcast.net) 3331 Southwest Villa Place, Palm City, FL 34990 ; based in part on BonnieMargaret Benkelman Jacob's unpublished typescript, THE FAMILY BENKELMAN.

    2. [S653] Cass City Chronicle, P.O. Box 115, Cass City, Michigan 48726, Published continously since 1899, archived from 1899 through 2005 at http://newspapers.rawson.lib.mi.us/chronicle/, Friday, September 27, 1918 (Reliability: 3).

    3. [S333] Ancestry.com - U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-Current [database online], (Ancestry.com. Social Security Death Index [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2011. Original data: Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration Death Master File contains information on millions of deceased individuals with United States social security numbers whose deaths were reported to the Social Security Administration. Birth years for the individuals listed range from 1875 to last year. Information in these records includes name, birth date, death date, and last known residence.).

    4. [S492] Peck, Edward Arthur THE TEN BENKELMANS WHO EMIGRATED TO AMERICA Ca. 1850s AND CERTAIN OF THEIR DESCENDANTS, 1982.

    5. [S452] State of Kansas, Cheyenne County, Marriage License..

    6. [S653] Cass City Chronicle, P.O. Box 115, Cass City, Michigan 48726, Published continously since 1899, archived from 1899 through 2005 at http://newspapers.rawson.lib.mi.us/chronicle/, September 15, 1962 (Reliability: 3).

    7. [S1610] Jacobs, BonnieMargaret McDonald "The Family Benkelman" Unpublished Manuscript, 276 pages, October 1981 Version, (Copy owned by Barney Benkelman, Helena, Montana; which he xeroxed and sent to Melinda McLemore Strong in San Antonio, Texas), p. 134, instead shows location of marriage as Wano, Kansas (Reliability: 3).