An Immigrant’s Story

boy in suit, 1856-1900
Simon Benson is 17 years old. He leaves Norway, and he comes to the United States. Simon is an immigrant.

 

 

cash register in old general store
Simon lives in Wisconsin. He works at a store. He also studies English. He wants to make more money.

 

 

men walking in Oregon forest
Now Simon is 28 years old. He moves to Oregon. He buys a big forest.

 

 

men logging in the forest
Simon starts a business. It cuts trees for wood. Business is good.

 

 

Simon Benson House, PSU, Portland

Simon is very rich. He has a lot of money. He has a nice house in downtown Portland.

 

 

logs loaded on flatcars
Many people work for Simon. Work in the forest is not easy. The workers are thirsty.

 

 

two steins of beer
Sometimes the workers drink beer at lunch.

 

 

Simon Benson
Simon doesn’t like beer. He says, “Drink water, not beer.”

 

 

old parade float from 1912
Simon watches a parade on the Fourth of July. He sees a little girl. She is crying. She is thirsty, but she has no water.

 

 

Simon Benson with Benson Bubbler
Simon gives $10,000 to Portland. The city makes 20 drinking fountains. They are called “Benson Bubblers.”

 

 

A Benson Bubbler on the Portland transit mall, 2009

Today there are more than 70 “Benson Bubblers” in downtown Portland. Have you seen one?

 

 

Comprehension Questions

 

 

Discussion Question

Talk with a classmate. Are you an immigrant? Where are you from? What is your story?

 

 

 

License

Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Portland People and Places by Timothy Krause is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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