Mary Edith (Pittinger) Benshoof

(October 17, 1868 - February 17, 1949)

The Lusk Herald
February 24, 1949

Last Rites Held for Mary Benshoof at Jay Em Thursday

Mrs. Mary Edith Benshoof, 80, wife of Perry Benshoof of Prairie Center, died at the Spencer Hospital in Lusk on Thursday, February 17, from the effects of a cerebral hemorrhage which she suffered at her home several days previous.

Mr. and Mrs. Benshoof have been residents of the Prairie Center community since 1933.

Mary Edith Pittinger was born on the 17th of October 1868, in Muscatine County, Iowa. When she was a young girl of 10 or 12 her family moved to western Iowa, northeast of Red Oak, and later moved to Red Oak. When she was about 15 years of age she came with her brothers to Wayne County, Nebraska. This trip from Iowa was made in a covered wagon. Her parents followed a year or so later. It was in Wayne County that she grew to womanhood. When she was 17 she began teaching in the rural schools of that county and continued teaching for five years.

In 1890 she was married to G. B. McGill in Winside, Nebraska and to this union was born one son, Max P. McGill, now of Mobile, Alabama. In 1894 they moved to Albion, Neb., where for a good many years she operated a photographic studio and it was during this time that she started the first public library in Albion, providing the space and book shelves in the studio and acting as librarian. In 1915 she sold her studio in Albion and moved to Central City, Neb., where she operated a studio until 1926, at which time she moved to Mobile, Alabama, operating a portrait studio in partnership with her son until 1933, at which time she was married to Mr. Perry Benshoof of Jay Em, Wyoming.

For the past sixteen years she has been active in club and community work in the Jay Em and Prairie Center areas. She was an active member of the Congregational Church of Prairie Center, a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, and for many years a member of the Easter Star, in which organization she had held numerous offices. During her entire lifetime she took an active part in the civic and religious work in each community or city in which she lived, and during the time she lived in Mobile, she became known as one of the leading portrait photographers of the South.

Funeral services were conducted in Jay Em on Sunday, February 20, by Rev. Lawrence P. Juell.

She is survived by her husband, one son, Max P. McGill of Mobile, Alabama; one brother, F. A. Pittenger, and one sister, Olive Johnson, both of California; five step-children and fifteen grandchildren.

In compliance with her wish, her body is to be cremated and the ashes are to be scattered over Mobile Bay.

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