Erastus Benson was a land speculator, investor and philanthropist who unsuccessfully ran for Mayor of Omaha in 1906. He was an early investor in marketing Thomas Edison's inventions, including the phonograph and the Kinetoscope. In 1887, he purchased approximately 900 acres (3.6 km2) of farm land from Edward Creighton, an Omaha businessman. On March 4, 1887, Benson platted the land on the Creighton farm and called it Benson Place, later changing it to Benson. The newly platted community was located along Military Avenue, approximately 9 miles (14 km) northwest of Omaha.
In the mid-to-late 1910s, Omaha embarked on a course of annexations of suburban communities to its north and west. Residents of Benson, anticipating annexation of their own city, decided to build as many civic improvements as they could: they feared that Omaha would be inattentive to their desire for such improvements after annexation, and they knew that following annexation, the larger city would have to assume the debts incurred to build the improvements. To this end, they built a new combined city hall and fire station in late 1915.
Krug Park was an amusement park located at 2936 North 52nd Street in Benson. In 1930 the park was the site of the worst roller coaster accident in the country to that year, and in 1940 it was closed. Today Gallagher Park is located on the original Krug Park site.
Actor Nick Nolte lived in the Benson neighborhood on North 56th Street before his family moved to the Westside district.
Benson has many historic buildings, including commercial, governmental, educational and residential structures. Some of them including the following.
- Benson High School, 5120 Maple Street
- Masonic Temple, 5901 Maple Street
- Commercial Building, 5913 Maple Street
- E.H. Olson Building, 5918 Maple Street
- Commercial Building, 6016 Maple Street
- Commercial Building, 6020 Maple Street
- Commercial Building, 6067 Maple Street
- John Sorenson Building, 6104 Maple Street
- Jas. A. Howard Building, 6105 Maple Street
- Bank of Benson, 6108 Maple Street
- Commercial Building, 6115 Maple Street
- Commercial Building, 6117 Maple Street
- B.H. Post Building, 6214 Maple Street
- Benson U.S. Post Office, 6223 Maple Street
- Robinson, D. (1996) From Peep Show to Palace: The Birth of American Film, Columbia University Press. p. 37.
- Edison Film and Sound:History of Edison Motion Pictures. Retrieved 8/10/07.
- Moffett, Chad, Emily Schill, Erin Pogany, and Christina Slattery. "Reconnaissance Survey of Selected Neighborhoods in Omaha, Nebraska". Nebraska State Historical Society. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
- History of Nebraska - Chapter 35 Archived 2002-09-28 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 14dec2006
- "Survivor recalls Krug Park tragedy," Archived 2012-02-07 at the Wayback Machine KETV.com. Retrieved 2007-09-08.