441 Keppochhill Road, Glasgow. G21 1HY.Tel: 01413321556.
Benson’s is named after landlords William R Benson. There has been a pubs on this site since 1879.
Elizabeth West an Irish lady was the first licensee, she formerly ran a pub on 111 Castle Street before coming to New Keppochhill Road. She also resided next door to her pub in Castle Street before moving to Flemington Street, Springburn.
In 1881 she moved house with her children next door to the pub, Matthew her eldest was an apprentice engine fitter, daughter Elizabeth and sons William and Archibald, she also had a domestic servant Mary who originally came from Islay.
James Muirhead was born in 1831 in the parish of Denny, Stirlingshire. He was married to Jessie Ballantyne and had five children, James the eldest, John, Jessie, William and Margaret. All the children were born in Glasgow.
In 1881 James was living 4 New Keppochhilll Road with his wife and family, they were fortunate enough to have a domestic servant Catherine McCorquodale.
James started out in the licensed trade in the 1870’s in a small public house at 122 Millburn Street in the Garngad. Many will remember this old pub as the Mill Vaults. He was then living at 181 Garngad Road before moving to better accommodation to Keppochhill Road. Business flourished, new pubs were added to his small empire, Springburn Road premises were taken over in 1876, New Keppochhill Road pub then the Snug Bar at 147 Castle Street.
With a very prosperous business, James moved house with his family to even better accommodation to Viewfield Villa on Balgaryhill. His businesses included public houses and a Billiard room at 366 Springburn Road he also let property in Springburn.
James sadly passed away in 1900, his wife Jessie didn’t know the licensed trade neither did his children, his eldest son James was an engineer in Africa. The public houses were sold on to various Glasgow Publicans. William MacKintosh took over the New Keppochhill Road premises, Margaret Murray took over Millburn Street pub and William Smith took over the Castle Street pub.
Thanks to Joan Nicklin for much of the information on her family.
William Benson who the pub is named after ran public house in the 1930s until the 1950s, he also had the Bristol Bar, Renfield Street.