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William H. Benson (1857-1924), of Irish descent and born in Allegany County, New York, opened the Benson’s Department Store in 1898. The dry goods store was initially located in the old Dawson Building on Seventh Avenue in Beaver Falls. In 1907 he built and moved into his own building (shown above) located beside the Granada Theater at the southwest corner of Seventh Avenue and 12th Street. Benson operated the successful store until his death in 1924. His descendants, including his son Harold Benson and possibly grandson William “Bill” Benson Jr., continued to run the business for many years. (Photo courtesy of Bill Cwynar) (c1970) Full Size
The interior of the Benson’s Department Store. Founder and owner William Benson can be seen at left. (c1909) (Photo provided courtesy of Bill Cwynar) Full Size
Two retail receipts signed by William Benson. (1907) Full Size
The interior of Benson’s Department Store. I believe the store was closed in about 1970. Eat’n Park subsequently operated a restaurant at the location from 1974 until early 2002, and then Lindy’s Restaurant occupied the location for a few years beginning in April 2002. The building was razed in c2008. The one-story Heritage Valley Family Medical Center now occupies the site. (Photo courtesy of Bill Cwynar) (c1950) Full Size