Family Skeleton

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For one Iowa family, a family skeleton brought them together again. Literally. After 132 years, James Benson’s bones were unearthed from his Lafayette County, Wisconsin, grave so relatives could move them to the family plot in Lamoille, Iowa. It took two grave diggers one-and-a-half hours to uncover the remains. Then, family members were invited to sift through the dirt for remaining bones.

To some this may seem like a grizzly way to reunite five generations of buried Bensons. But not to Wendell Benson, James’ 73-year-old grandson. “We’re a very close family,” Wendell said. The idea to dig up great-great-great-grand dad originated at the 1997 Benson Family Reunion. Family members agreed to share the cost of exhuming and transporting the remains. The family plans a graveside service at its 1999 reunion.

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