The Richmond Register

July 31, 2013

Marge Benge, Madison County woman of great talent

By Rose Miller
Register Columnist

NORTHSIDE — Sometimes, there is a person in a circle of friends that is just a cut above the norm. Now, that is exactly what friends of long-time, former, northern-county resident, Mary Benge, think of her talents and service to our community for over 38 years.

Mary was married to the late Charles Benge, of northern Madison County, for 46 years. 

Her many and varied talents have served more people than I will ever know. She is an artist, poet, singer-songwriter and cosmetologist; however, Mary is most proud of being a Christian and past member of the Mount Pleasant Christian Church.

One of Mary Benge’s most popular and outstanding paintings is of the Valley View Ferry, which runs between Jessamine and Madison counties, titled, “The Pride of Valley View.”

The second is the old brewery at Camp Nelson, in Jessamine County named, “Camp Nelson by the River.”

Copies of the Madison County and Jessamine County historical sites (though most of the Camp Nelson brewery buildings are rubbish) are alive and picturesque in Mary’s paintings and may be purchased for framing by contacting Mary at (859) 885-4210.

Today, Mary Benge is 86 years young and takes care of her 92 year-old sister, Emaree Willis, at their childhood home in Nicholasville, Kentucky.

Now, if you think for one minute this small lady, with the large talent, is resting on her laurels — think again!

Just last year, Mary made a recording of her songs and poetry for friends, family and the many admirers of her writing and vocal talent.

My good friend, Mary Benge, is at it again. She has been honored with a month-long exhibition on her artistic talent of miniature flower and church building paintings, by the Jessamine County Library, beginning Aug. 5. I can scarcely await their viewing.

What has Mary done as of late? Well, only yesterday, she chuckled when informing me of helping to preserve 18 pints of pickles; 9 quarts of peaches; 20 pints of peach preserves and 28 quarts of beans.

My friend, Marge Benge, is from the ‘Old School’ with a slightly modified, but appropriate adage that fits her work ethic perfectly. It reads as follows: “Do what you can, and can what you get.” 

May God bless you, my dear friend, with good health, much happiness and Heaven as your reward.

If you have children planning on attending  Head Start or preschool, call 625-6037 and schedule a screening as soon as possible.  These programs begin this month on Aug. 26.

Wednesday, Aug.14, will be the first day of the 2013-2014 school year for Madison County students.

The Madison County Band students are making great strides mastering this year’s new marching program. Please, favor these hardworking students’ efforts when they ring your doorbell peddling this year’s charitable fundraisers in order to support their trips to the many Saturday contests.

I have a heart full of folklore, old sayings, signs and remedies called in by happy readers, but there is always room for more. Please join the Richmond Register readers in sharing in on this fun-filled section of my column. Your selections are welcome, and they are never too corny or weird.

Contact me with community and church news, personal and special events, by calling 527-0411 or e-mail me at I am here to serve you.

Until next week, may God bless you and yours.