Sunday, June 10, 2012

Benyew Dunham Philhower (1869-1952)

   After yesterday's profile of Bridgeton, New Jersey resident/state senator Providence Ludlam,  we journey to Northern New Jersey to profile obscure oddly named Mayor Benyew Dunham Philhower. Mr. Philhower served a short term as Mayor of the borough of Madison, New Jersey and little else could be found on him other than the following!
  Philhower was born in New Jersey on March 16, 1869, the son of Phillip (1828-1872) and Mary Dunham Philhower (1830-1901). Facts detailing his early years have proven to be difficult to locate, with the exception going to his marriage to Susan Reeve Techer in 1893. The couple was married for nearly sixty years until her death at age 80 in 1951. Benyew and his wife are known to have had at least one child, Helen May Philhower, who is listed as dying in 1974.
   We fast forward now to January 1914, and it was in this month that Philhower was elected Mayor of Madison, New Jersey. He served a one year term in this office, concluding on December 31, 1915. Five years after leaving the mayors office, Philhower became Madison's Fire Chief, serving a short term from 1920-21.
  Other than the preceding information, little else could be found on the life of Benyew D. Philhower. It is known that he died on August 2, 1952, at age 83 and was buried alongside his wife in the Pottersville Reformed Cemetery in Pottersville, Somerset County, New Jersey.

   I am currently in the process of trying to locate more facts on the life of Benyew D. Philhower, and need your assistance! As there is next to nothing online about this interestingly named man, maybe someone out there knows more than what's already stated in this article. If any reader/lurker/amateur historian wants an interesting project to fill their time with, see what you can locate on this obscure politician!

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