Grampa Bill had been able to find but very little
of Henry Benner. His name appears in the History of the Church only
twice... once in a listing of those who participated in
Zion's Camp and again in a listing of those called to the original First
Quorum of the Seventy.
Then wrote Brother David Forney, direct descendent of
Henry Benner's older sister, Mary M Benner who married Johann Karl Forney.
David was able to confirm some of what had been supposition, and add useful and
interesting tidbits to the life of Elder Benner.
Henry in the Ancestral File, and learn that he was born May 18, 1800 in
Venango County, Pennsylvania, to Daniel Benner and Katerine Ettleman, the date
being confirmed by his tombstone from the Thurmon, Iowa Cemetery. (Photo courtesy
Henry Benner first married about 1825 Sophia Underwood, by
whom he had two children. Upon her death, Henry remarried about 1835 to Susan
Ettleman and they had eight children.
Henry was a younger brother of Elias Benner. Both served in
Zion's Camp. Elias became one of the early martyrs of the Church a few years later,
being killed by a murderous mob in the Haun's Mill Massacre.
Henry and Elias Benner were early converts to the Church, for by 1834
they were volunteers in Zions Camp, the excursion to provide relief to the suffering
Saints in Missouri. We may assume that following Zion's Camp he returned to the Kirtland
area. But even if so, he must have returned to Missouri, for we find Henry Benner among those who
filed redress petitions seeking reimbursement from the government for the losses
suffered during the Missouri persecutions. Henry Benner summed his losses at $550.00.
In 1835 Henry was ordained a Seventy and called as
a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. He died June 4, 1880 in Thurman, Iowa
after having married Susan Ettleman, and fathering a numerous posterity.