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Page 6 text:
First To Use Log Rafts
ln 1863 Mrs. Benson became ill. Simon Benson sold his land
and logging outfit and moved to Colfax, Washington, where the
drier climate would help Mrs. Benson's condition. Benson worked
at a sawmill, earning seventy-tive dollars a month. Mrs. Benson
died several months later, and after paying for an extensive
funeral, Simon Benson was once again in debt.
Benson had a special talent for saving money, even though he
was frequently bankrupt. In one year after his wife's death, he
had saved 53,000 and had paid all his bills. It was then that he
went into partnership with Orway and Weidler on a 4,000 acre
land tract near Cathlamet, Washington. After four years of hard
work, Benson was becoming rich and was increasing his
business. With a dedication to get as tar ahead as he possibly
could, Benson was soon making 52,800 Cl day, and S300,000 a
Page 5 text:
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Simon Benson Hard Worker
It is with the spirit of patriotism that we dedicate the 1976
Blueprint to the celebration of our nation's Bi-centennial. Exactly
two hundred years ago our nation was founded by people who
were united in their beliefs in the cause of liberty, justice and
American independence. These people pledged their lives and
sacred honor to the ideals which make up our founding
document, the Declaration of Independence. This American
Dream has carried our nation forward in its two hundred year
history it is with the same spirit that 60 years ago
our school, Benson Polytechnic, was founded by Simon
Benson who believed in the American Dream. The desire to
educate ourselves and to become responsible citizens should act
as a beacon to all students of Benson to carry the American
Dream into the next two hundred years of our history.
Simon Benson was known mostly for his contribution to the
logging industry in the Pacific Northwest. He was born in south
central Norway in 1852, and sixteen years later, his family
moved to America. His family changed their name from
Bergerson to Benson because, in Simon's words, "We wanted to
be good Americans and have a good American name, a name
which could be remembered and pronounced with little
Benson worked for eleven years in logging camps and saw
mills in Black River, Wisconsin. He moved to Portland, Oregon,
when he was told about a lumber company that needed work.
Benson soon bought out the company and was making money.
Page 7 text:
IA 3 4, H.
Try. Try Again. Keep Trying
l'It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit
it frankly and try another. But above all, try something."
- Franklin D.Roosevelt
32nd President of the
He was the first person to use sea-going log rafts for quicker
and easier transportation of his timbers: doing this when
California was in the midst of boom times, Benson had a good
business in the logging industry. These log rafts were shaped like
cigars, and contained over six million board feet of lumber
In 1905, Benson donated logs from his holdings to be used in
the construction of the famous Forestry Building, located in
northwest Portland. The Forestry Building was built as a
commemoration to the lO0th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark
Expedition. ln l964 a fire destroyed the entire structure. A new
Forestry Building was built in the West Hills near the Portland
Zoo to replace the original.
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