The little hamlet of Benbow, which stands on the northwest quarter of section 13, township 59-8, was originally called Midway. Its founder was Thomas Adams, who established a general store or trading post at the site thirty years ago, and continued to do business at this point for many years. The name was changed with the establishment of the post-office, during the war, in 1862. Prior to this time the citizens of the western part of the township had obtained all their mail matter at Emerson. The post-office department was dissatisfied with the loyalty or political opinions of the postmaster, removed him, and appointed a widow lady in his stead. The people of the vicinity of Midway concluded to ask for an office, and Collen B. Kemble and Harvey J. Mann drew up a petition, which was largely signed, and presented it to the department, asking for the establishment of a post-office at Midway, the office to bear that name.
The department, in answer, signified its willingness to establish the office, but informed the petitioners that there was already one post-office called Midway in Missouri, and that another name must be selected. Mr. Adams owned a farm on section 2 (59-8) through which passed a branch of Troublesome creek, which, by reason of a peculiar crook in it thus had formerly been called Bent-bow, from its likeness in shape to a bended bow, but which name had gradually been contracted until it was commonly pronounced “Ben’bow.” It was concluded to recommend the postmaster general to call the office Benbow, which he did, and this name it bears to this day.
The village now has two stores, a post-office, and a good blacksmith shop. The leading merchant is Mr. J. W. Terrill, the proprietor of the “People’s Store,” a very superior establishment, and one very popular in the community, containing a large assortment of general merchandise, sold at reasonable rates. Mr. G. W. West, the village blacksmith, has been in the place four years, is an excellent workman, and always at his post in his little smithy, where week in, week out, from morn till night, you can hear his bellows roar.”
The village is situated in a beautiful section of country, well improved, and very valuable.
Source: History of Marion County, Missouri, pp. 755-56