Wilmoth A. Benson

1903 - 1989 

Wilmoth Benson, singer, organist, and choir director, taught in three academies and two colleges in the Seventh-day Adventist school system. At the end of her career she was known primarily as a voice teacher and specialist in elementary school music education.

Wilmoth was born in Newport, Kentucky, and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, the only daughter of Lester F. and Clara Beigong Benson, owners of a florist business. She attended the Arthur Jordan Conservatory of Music (predecessor of Butler University's Jordan College of Fine Arts) in Indianapolis, where she completed a B.Mus. in music education in August 1942, with organ as her performance area.

She then taught at Cedar Lake Academy, now Great Lakes Academy, in Michigan in the 1940s and in the 1947-1948 school year taught at Washington Missionary College, now Washington Adventist University, where she taught piano and assisted in choral activiites at the college and nearby Takoma Academy.

At the end of that year she accepted a position at Mount Vernon Academy in Ohio, where she taught for the next five years. During these years she was a frequent speaker and clinician at Adventist elementary school conventions and workshops.

In 1953 Benson became a member of the music faculty at Emmanuel Missionary College, later Andrews University, where she directed choirs and taught voice and music education classes. She completed an M.Mus. at Butler University in 1956 and would finish her career at AU.

Following her retirement, she resided in Berrien Springs, where she was living when she died at age 85.


Sources: 1910, 1920, 1930 U.S. Federal Census Records; 1942 Opus, yearbook for the the Jordan School of Music, 54; Lake Union Herald, 7 May 1946, 3; 7 October 1947, 3; 14 July 1953; 8 June 1965, 7; (Clara Benson obituary); The Church Officer's Gazette, September 1947; The Sligonian, WMC newspaper, 24 July 1947; The Journal of True Education, December 1956, 30; Various issues of the Columbia Union Visitor, 1947-1953; EMC/AU yearbooks; Social Security Death Records.