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Arnold L. Benson (Buzz)

Owanka, SD

1934-35, 793, Hill City, F-9

Arnold "Buzz" Benson, 92, Jasper, Missouri died Thursday May 14, 2009, at Barton County Memorial Hospital. He was born on his father's homestead, November 10, 1916, near Cedar Butte, NW of Wall, South Dakota. In 1919, he moved with his parents to a ranch in Belcher Draw NW of Owanka, SD. He graduated from the Owanka High School in 1934, one, of a class of two. In October 1934, he enlisted in the 793 Co. CCC, where he served for 18 months. He cooked in a 'fly camp' in the summer for the crew that built three trails up the flanks of Harney Peak. In winter, he fired the camp boilers and thinned jack pines in the timber.

After his discharge in 1936, Buzz worked on ranches in Conata Basin, Spring Creek, Battle Creek, Cheyenne River and on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where he drove the Z Bell "pie wagon" and cooked for the branding crew. At the outbreak of WWII, he enlisted in the USAAF where he served four years, three years in Europe. He was discharged in late 1945, S/Sgt.(Staff Sergeant), six major battle stars and presidential citation.

In November 1945, he married Marie Winans of Carthage, Missouri. They purchased a ranch on Hart Table, NW of Scenic, SD. In later years they moved to Jasper, MO. He was a rawhide and leather braider and had built numerous cow whips, bridles and rawhide bronc quirts and hackamores. He taught braiding to those who were interested. He was a "Cowboy Poet" and entertained occasionally at rancher and cowboy gatherings. He wrote short stories for magazines.

Survivors include his wife, Marie Benson, Jasper; three daughters, Darlene Garcia, Jasper, Mary Rodriguez, Webb City, and Lillian Jendry, Tennessee; 12 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren a brother, Harold Benson, Rapid City, SD and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Jesse and Estella Benson, and a sister, Evelyn Brassfield.

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