In 1917, W. H. Benson (1888-1971) purchased a bakery in Marietta, which he sold in 1918 when he entered military service. After the war, he purchased the old Athens Boston Bakery (corner of West Hancock and Hull Streets), renaming it Benson's Bakery, and operations began on January 1, 1919. As business increased the bakery outgrew its original location and moved to other facility at the corner of Washington and Hull Streets (1937). Eventually, in 1958, Benson's Inc. opened a larger plant in Bogart, Ga. and moved its business offices to Thomas Street. Mr. Benson was active in local civic organizations and heavily invested in state and national politics regarding industry and agriculture.
Mr. Benson's son, H. E. (Ed) Benson, a graduate of the University of Georgia, served in the 48th Fighter Squadron, 14th Fighter Group during World War II. He joined his father's business in 1947 and served as manager of the bakery until 1956, at which time he assumed the presidency of the company. Under Ed Benson's leadership the business expanded the number of production facilities and grew its Old Home Kitchens fruit cake fundraising program. Ed Benson, like his father, has been very active in local civic organizations, especially the Athens Rotary Club and Athens Mentor Program.