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James Alexander Benedict

Family reference: 343.241.2

Born Born   17 May 1842  
Married Married 1st 20 Feb 1868 Celestia Ann Killmer
2nd 16 Oct 1878 Henrietta Marion Killmer
Died Died   9 Aug 1915 at his home


Children with Celestia:

  1. Oscar Alexander Benedict; 1869-1949
  2. Clifford James Benedict; 1871-1944
  3. John Prosser Benedict; 1875-1954
  4. George Richard Benedict; 1877-1962

Children with Henrietta:

  • Terance Neigel, b. about 1879, stillborn

The Parents of James

His father Alexander was a farmer and logger in Lafayette, New York who was killed at the age of 36 by a rolling timber log while building his house. His mother Eliza raised James and his siblings, marrying again in 1852.

Jamesís Early Years

James Alexander Benedict Ever since boyhood, James had been a farmer, subjected to all the hardships of pioneers, but becoming a well-to-do owner of property both in Kirkville and Lafayette. Always a loyal Republican in politics, he was nevertheless loath to accept a political office. But the leaders of his party decided on account of his popularity and genial dispostion to force the nomination of town tax collector upon his shoulders. He was elected by a large majority.

In 1900, he was placed on the ticket for assessorship and won the election that year and many others since that time. His record on the DeWitt Town Board of Assessors is one to be proud of and the taxpayers as a unit have expressed their sincere regrets over his untimely demise.

Besides his duties on the Town Board and his farming duties, he was also successful in the insurance business, being director of the Madison Onondaga County Fire Insurance Company for many years.

He was an active member, elder and trustee of the Collamer Methodist Church. James A. was a mail carrier for some years from Collamer and Eastwood on the "Star Mail Route", taking pouches of mail to the Main Post Office in Syracuse, then at the corner of Clinton and Genesse Streets.

For many years he was elected Trustee of the DeWitt #4 School. At that time, trustees included treasurer, clerk as well as the duties of trustee and inspector of elections. He was also a member of the 85th Regiment of the New York National Guard in 1864-51.

James and Celestia

Celestia Killmer Celestia was born on March 12, 1845, the daughter of Abram B. Killmer and Amanda Congdon. Her father died in 1886 at his home in East Syracuse, on Benedict Road, which later was the homesite for Elwyn Benedict, the author of Volume II. Her mother was born on 1812 at South Onondaga, New York and married Abram Killmer on Oct. 3, 18331.

Celestia's father, Abram Killmer was for many years a horse dealer buying in Canada and selling in New York state. He was called one of hte best judges of horses in the country and owned some of the finest specimens. He also carried on a butchering and meat business for twelve yers. Abram moved with his parents when only eight years of age to Britton Settlement, now known as Collamer, New York, and thence to Salina and in 1847 to the northwest corner of Kirkville and Fly Roads, where he cleared the land, then being heavy timber. n 1860 he moved to the present homestead on Benedict Road. Celestia died June 16, 18771.

James and Henrietta

James married Henrietta Marion Killmer, Celestia's sister, on Oct. 16, 1878. Whe was born July 10, 1847 and died June 3, 1921. They had one stillborn child, Terance Neigel.

The Final Years for James

James died on August 9, 1915 at the family homestead. His funeral was conducted at the Collamer Methodist Church by the Rev. Whittaker. The text was Luke 5:1. In a few well chosen remarks he paid tribute to the life and character of the deceased. Rev. Whittaker spoke about James being an elder in the church and the good work he had done in promoting the cause of religion and humanity. The funeral was one of the largest seen in the community in many years with the church being filled to capacity1.



  1. "Genealogy of the Benedicts in America", Vol. II by Elwyn E. Benedict; 1st pub. 1969; orig. avail. at Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, DC.

-- JimBenedict - 11 May 2008
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I Attachment sort Action Size Date Who Comment
JamesAlexander.gif manage 12.9 K 12 May 2008 - 04:31 JimBenedict James Alexander Benedict
CelestiaKillmer.gif manage 11.7 K 12 May 2008 - 04:32 JimBenedict Celestia Killmer

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