The votes have been tallied! The Board of Directors of the Benson Museum of Local History has selected the 2018 Black History Month honoree — former Benson commissioner Frederick D. Nelson, Jr.
A native of New York, Mr. Nelson moved to Benson in 1989 and married Hazel Peacock. He served as a Town of Benson commissioner from 1997 till 2017 — a large portion of those years, from 2007, he acted as Benson’s Mayor Pro-Tem. Mr. Nelson is also a Deacon at St. Marks Christian Church in Dunn.
He was quite shocked to find out he had been chosen.
“He said he couldn’t believe it,” said Cultural Arts Director Terry Hobgood. “But he happily accepted the nomination. We are thrilled to honor Fred and look forward to seeing a packed house at the museum in February.”
After announcing he would not seek re-election as a Benson commissioner, Mr. Nelson was honored with an official town proclamation in October for his two decades of dedication to Benson and its residents.
An excerpt from that proclamation exemplifies why the Museum Board sought to honor Mr. Nelson at the upcoming Black History celebration.
“(Mr. Nelson) bears part of the responsibility for the progress that has been made in Benson over the past two decades. He has served as a faithful servant for the citizens of Benson. Always present, always prepared and always engaged,” it reads.
“Slow to anger but quick to address issues that affect the people of Benson, particularly those who may be overlooked and their concerns not represented. He is a man whom God has blessed with wisdom.”
The Benson Museum of Local History’s Seventh Annual Black History Month Celebration will be held on February 25, 2018 from 2pm to 4pm. Guest are encouraged to bring historical items to share. The Benson museum is located at 102 West Main Street.