Durkee, Benton S. (Portland)

Durkee, Benton S. (1872-1920)(Portland)
As a child, shortly after his tenth birthday, he got a job in Portland as a messenger for the Postal Telegraph Co. In 1888 he won the international diamond and gold metal at a contest in New York City for the fastest telegraph operator in the United States, Canada and Mexico. He became a member of the Oregon Camera Club on April 10, 1901. By 1904, he was the chief operator of the telephone company. In the spring 1909 exhibition, he showed a print described by a reviewer as a “harbor scene, on the Willamette, with huge logs in the immediate foreground and the massed strength of tall ships in the background.” In 1910 he was elected vice president of the OCC, and kept that office through 1915. He died on February 16, 1920 after a brief illness.