Lida St. Clair Benton was the daughter of Capt. Thomas Owen Benton and Thankful Willson. She was born at Limerick Plantation on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1857. She attended her father’s school, the Ouachita Female Academy. After graduation, she trained as a teacher at a Normal School in Columbus, OH. her summer vacations usually consisted of reading about sixty-three good books – Dickens, Scoot, Cooper, and Eliot.
After receiving her teaching degree, she first taught at the “Colony” near Swartz. She also taught at her father’s school. She became principal of a school at Mer Rouge. After a few years she headed the departments of English and Literature in the Monroe City School, where she retired after 30 years, the last two serving as the school librarian.
Lida was very strict on manners. When your petticoat begins to fall, simply step out of it, pick it up and be on your way.
She had a thing against chewing gum. A former pupil remarked: “One day, on a visit to Monroe, I was walking down DeSiard Street chewing gum at a great rate, when I unexpectedly met Miss Lida. I didn’t realize that the gum was in my mouth until I saw her, and I swallowed it! I would rather have choked to death than to have had her catch me.”
In 1925, a grammar school on Lee Avenue was named for her. After a four year illness, she passed away August 6, 1938 and was buried near her parents in Limerick Plantation cemetery, now known as Tennille cemetery.