PRIVATE RALPH BENNER was born in Salem NJ on November 14, 1891 to Clinton C. and Carrie Benner. He was one of at least seven children. Clinton Benner conducted a grocery store in Salem, where the family lived, at 266 Broadway, in 1900. By 1906 the Benners had moved to Camden. City Directories show that the family lived at 557 York Street in North Camden through 1912. Clinton Benner was then in wholesale produce, and Ralph, the oldest son, was working as a clerk in a drugstore. By 1914 the family had moved once again, to 828 North Sixth Street in North Camden.
When Ralph Benner registered for the draft in June of 1917, he was working as a leather glazier at Burk Brothers, 3rd and Wildey Streets in Philadelphia PA. Prior to being called up in September, 1917, he had been a member of the Ottawa tribe of the the Improved Order of Red Men, a patriotic fraternal organization. After initially being sent to Camp Dix, he sailed for France in February of 1918.
Private Ralph Benner died of cerebral softening at Base Hospital No. 214, Seveney, France, fifteen miles from St. Nazaire, on April 26, 1919. As a member of the medical detachment of the 314th Infantry Regiment, Private Benner had seen action five battles during the war.
Private Ralph Benner was survived by his father, Clinton C. Benner, also of 828 North Sixth Street, Camden NJ. Also surviving and residing at the North 6th Street address were brothers Norman and Hubert C. Benner, and sisters Verna and Emma H. Benner.
Ralph Benner was a member of the patriotic fraternal organization, the Improved Order of Red Men, belonging to Ottawa Tribe No. 15, which met in Morgan's Hall on Market Street in the years leading up to America's entry into World War I. Ottawa Tribe No. 15 members included J. Richard Geist, Fillmore Haines, Burton Bagg, John Harkins, Joseph Covert, and William Schucker.
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