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Old 12-31-2008, 03:06 PM   #93
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Benedum Civic Center, Bridgeport - Harrison Co.

Benedum Civic Center is located in the heart of Bridgeport where Rt 50 crosses the railroad tracks, and next door to the city pool. I was surprised to read about Michael Benedum.

From an article by Linda Fluharty: (in yellow)

Michael Late Benedum, born in Bridgeport, Harrison County, West Virginia on July 16, 1869, was the son of Emanuel Benedum and Caroline Southworth. Michael was the namesake of Dr. Michael Late, the physician who delivered him.

Early in his career, Michael worked in flour mills and sold milling machinery, but he got involved in the oil business soon after giving up his seat on a train to a stranger. The man was John Worthington, the general superintendent of South Penn Oil Company. Michael eventually became a leasing agent for Worthington but resigned in 1898 to begin an independent company. With his partner, Joseph Trees, he owned and operated one of the most successful oil and gas corporations in the United States.
On May 17, 1896, in Monongalia County, West Virginia, Michael L. Benedum married Sarah Nancy Lantz, born in September 1870. They lived in Cameron, Marshall County, West Virginia and are found there in the 1900 census with their two year old son, Claude W., born in Cameron on January 13, 1898. Michael Benedum's occupation was "Superintendent Oil Company."
Later, Benedum quit his position with the South Penn. company and with other men took up a number of leases in the Cameron district and began to do his own drilling. An office was opened in Cameron and Parriott, who was born and reared there, was placed in charge. Since then they had worked together in the industry. They moved their headquarters to Wheeling in 1903 and went from there to Pittsburgh where the partnership was dissolved a few years ago.

The Benedum family moved to Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania in 1907. In the census of 1910, Michael Benedum, an Oil Producer, resided with his wife of fourteen years and their only child, Claude, age twelve.
According to his draft registration card, dated September 12, 1918, Claude Worthington Benedum, 20, born January 13, 1898, was a resident of 3021 Macomb Street, Washington, D. C. He was employed by the Federal Government at American University and worked as a "Laboratory Assistant Chemical Warfare." He was medium height, with light hair and blue eyes.

About three weeks later, on October 3, 1918, Claude was in a motorcycle accident:
"A motorcycle, ridden by Claude Benedum, 3021 Macomb street northwest, ran into Clyde Edwards, 35 years old, of 5304 Eighth street northwest, yesterday, seriously injuring him about the head and breast. The accident occurred on Macomb street near Thirty-third. Edwards was taken to Georgetown University Hospital. Benedum, who was slightly injured, refused hospital treatment." - Washington Post, Oct 4, 1918.

Just two weeks later, on October 17, 1918, Claude Worthington Benedum died. The news of his death was published in the Moundsville Journal (West Virginia) the next day, and, if accurate, reveals that he was born in Cameron, Marshall County.

[Note: Here's the interesting part ]

An article in the Washington Post, dated October 18, lists the name of Claude Benedum among the ninety-one deaths from Spanish Influenza that occurred in a 24-hour period in Washington, D. C. Claude's death occurred at Walter Reed Hospital.
The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 killed between twenty and forty million people, making it more devastating than the Bubonic Plaque and taking more lives than the 15,000,000 lost during the four years of World War I.

Which proves riding motorcycles is less dangerous than the Spanish Influenza!

The Historical Marker located in front of the Civic Center on Rt 50 in Bridgeport.

View from across the street (along with the obligatory bike shot).

Better view of the Civic Center.
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pnoman screwed with this post 12-31-2008 at 09:14 PM
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