Biography of Benton L. Darnold
Audubon County, IA Biographies

The gentleman whose name forms the caption of this sketch belongs to that class of men who wins life's battles by sheer force of personality and determination, coupled with soundness of judgment and keen discrimination. In whatever Mr. Darnold has undertaken, he has shown himself to be a man of ability and honor, always ready to lend his aid in promoting principles affecting the public good, having ably and conscientiously served the city of Audubon as marshal and water commissioner, while in other phases of social and political life, he has so conducted himself as to win the unqualified endorsement and support of his neighbors and fellow townsmen.

Benton L. Darnold was born on January 3, 1843, in Madison county, Virginia. He is the son of William and Lucinda (Quinn) Darnold, natives of old Virginia. William Darnold was born in 1808 and was a son of William Wallace Darnold, also a native of Virginia. Lucinda Quinn, who married William Darnold, was of Scotch-Irish parentage and was born in 1812. The family came to Iowa in 1858, driving overland, and located in Wapello, Louisa county, Jowa, where they settled on a farm and were among the pioneer settlers. In 1878 they went to Kansas with a son and the father died in that state; the wife dying in 1879, soon after the death of her husband. They reared a family of twelve children, Joseph A., who is a contractor in Kansas City; Richard, who is a government contractor in Washington; Donald, who lives at Villisca, Iowa; John H., who also lives at Villisca; Edward, deceased; Mrs. Sarah Lookingbill, who lives in Mediapolis, Des Moines county, Iowa; two, who died in infancy; Benton L., the subject of this sketch, and Thomas W., who was a member of the Eighth Iowa Cavalry and later enlisted in the regular army under General Miles, and is located in the West.

Benton L. Darnold was thirteen years of age when his family came to Iowa, where he assisted his father on the home farm. He enlisted when nineteen years old at Burlington on. January 23, 1862, in Company K, Second Iowa Cavalry, and served until the end of the war, when he was mustered out at Salem, Alabama. He was engaged in the battles of Black River, Juka Springs, Shiloh, Nashville and West Point. He was also in many minor engagements and was wounded at Farmington, Mississippi, in a charge, his right wrist being struck by a bullet which plowed through the flesh to the shoulder. A brother, Thomas N., was taken prisoner and kept in Andersonville for a short time.

At the close of the war, Mr. Darnold operated an engine and a sawmill for two years. He then farmed for about ten years and came to Audubon county in 1875. He owned a farm in Hamlin township, but moved to Audubon in 1883 and operated a grain elevator for three years. Since 1886 he has been cite marshal and street commissioner and for several years has been water commissioner of Audubon.

Mr. Darnold was married in 1866 to Martha Barton, who was the daughter of Josiah Barton, and was born in North Carolina in 1841 and died in October, 1912. She was left an orphan early in life and was adopted by a Mr. Sheets, who brought her to Iowa. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Darnold, Nettie, the wife of Charles Lefoy, of Melville township, Audubon county, who has four children; Sarah, the wife of Louis Jones, of Audubon; Mrs. Lottie Ralph, of Audubon; Mrs. Elsie May Mertz, of Sioux City; Mrs. Daisy Carper, of Audubon; William Hutton and Anna, both deceased.

Benton L. Darnold is a Republican and has been affiliated to this party during his entire life, He is a member of Allison Post, No. 34, Grand Army of the Republic: All of the members of the Darnold family are conscientious and devout members of the Baptist church.

History of Audubon County, Iowa
Its People, Industries and Instutions
H. F. Andrews, Editor
B. F. Bowen & Company, Inc.
Indianapolis - 1915

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