Benson’s first schoolhouse needs repairs

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by Reed Anfinson, Editor
Though $40,000 was budgeted last year for repair and upgrade of the historic school building that sits in Ambush Park, not all members of the Benson City Council are sure it is a wise expenditure.
The alternative is eventually hauling it away and then burning it down.

Benson’s first schoolhouse has traveled around since it was built in 1871 on the site of today’s Swift County Courthouse. After being used for eight years, it was replaced in 1879 with a new brick building, according to a history of the building written by Benson resident the late Howard W. Peterson. No longer needed, the school was sold to the Conference Congregation and put to use as a church. But when its size no longer met the needs of the congregation, it was sold to the parishioners of Six Mile Grove Township and moved several miles southwest of Benson.

When the congregants of Six Mile Grove church joined Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church in Benson, the building fell into disuse. In 1965, Peterson bought the church at a public auction. In March 1966, it was moved back to Benson and placed next to the city’s municipal power plant.


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