Born on a farm near Benham, Indiana, Benham attended the public schools, a business college in Delaware, Ohio, and a normal school in Brookville, Indiana. He taught school in the winter and attended college in the summer, being engaged as a teacher in various places in Indiana from 1882 to 1907. He was graduated from Indiana State Normal School at Terre Haute, Indiana, in 1893 and from Indiana University at Bloomington, Indiana, in 1903. Specialized in history at the University of Chicago for several terms. Superintendent of schools for Ripley County for fourteen years. He returned to Benham, Indiana, in 1907 and engaged in the timber, milling, and contracting business. Also followed agricultural pursuits. He served as delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1916.
Benham was elected as a Republican to the Sixty-sixth and Sixty-seventh Congresses (March 4, 1919-March 3, 1923). He served as chairman of the Committee on Expenditures on Public Buildings (Sixty-seventh Congress). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1922 to the Sixty-eighth Congress. He moved to Batesville, Indiana, in 1923 and engaged as a building contractor. Again superintendent of schools for Ripley County, Indiana from 1924 to 1929. He retired from active business pursuits in 1931 and resided in Batesville, Indiana, until his death there on December 11, 1935. He was interred in Benham Church Cemetery, near Benham, Indiana.
This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.