John was born 24 August, 1861, at Fort Ross, California, full name John Edwart Benitz — Johnie to his siblings. He was a child of 6 when the family moved to Oakland, and 13 upon arrival in Argentina. Still 14 when his father died in June, 1876, he grew up at “La California” to become a civic-minded successful estanciero (rancher).
John helped establish towns and schools, served as mayor of two towns, was a founding member of the Rosario and Bell Ville agricultural societies, and of the “The River Plate Polo Association”, 1892 (precursor to the “Asociación Argentina de Polo”, 1922).
He managed “La California” from 1884 to 1899 when he moved his family to the recently purchased estancia “Los Algarrobos” (near Monte Buey, Córdoba), which became solely his when Benitz Hermanos dissolved in 1902. He also managed “El Victoriano” & “La Escondida” next to the Algarrobos, and “El Bermejo” in the Chaco — estancias he owned in partnership with T. Agar, M. Cross, and others; and, he oversaw neighboring “La Minnesota” for his brother Alfred.
On 25 October, 1892, John married Marjorie M. Macintosh; at “La California”. They had 5 children.
His life was cut short on 20 March, 1916, when a flash flood washed through his summer home “Cruz Grande”, Cruz Grande, Córdoba. He was 55 years old. Marjorie lived another 30 years and was 83 years old when she died on 26 December, 1945, at “Los Algarrobos”. They are both buried at “La California”.
© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)