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There is no occupation or calling for which there is a more universal need than that of general merchant, and those who follow it, whether in a large city or small village, if they possess industry, perseverance and wisdom, cannot fail to succeed. In the list of prosperous merchants of Queens County we mention Benjamin Pearsall, who for some years has carried on a large and profitable business at Port Washington. In addition to this enterprise, he has also had important interests in the oyster business.

Before presenting facts connected with the life of our subject it may not be amiss to briefly record his parentage and ancestry. His father, Benjamin, Sr., was born in Rockville Center, L.I., December 1, 1825, being a son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Valentine) Pearsall, who were born near Rockaway. Thomas, whose birth occurred in 1790, was drafted in the War of 1812 and by his marriage had six children, of whom Benjamin, Sr., was the youngest. The grandfather, who was a farmer, also engaged in work on the bay and for a time served as watchman in the Brooklyn navy yard.

Receiving a limited education in Brooklyn, Benjamin Pearsall, Sr., early learned the mason?s trade, at which he served an apprenticeship of seven years, and later was employed as a journeyman and contractor. In Brooklyn, July 25, 1853, he married Miss Charlotte M. Titus, and three children were born in their union, but our subject is the only one living. After a time spent in Rockaway, he came to Port Washington, where he has been engaged at his trade and also has been interested in oyster planting. In early life he was a Whig, and upon the organization of the Republican party identified himself with the new movement. For a number of years he has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is an honest, industrious man, and while he has never gained wealth, he has a sufficient amount to provide for his declining years.

During the residence of his parents in Brooklyn, the subject of this sketch was born, July 24, 1856. He was an infant when the family moved to Far Rockaway, where a few years were spent. His education was gained principally in the public schools at Port Washington, where he was a student for some years. After leaving school he engaged in planting oysters, with which he had been familiar from boyhood and which he still carries on with a partner, doing a good business. At the beginning of his mercantile enterprise he had a partner, but in January, 1890, he became sole proprietor, and has since increased the business to such an extent that he has found it necessary to build an addition to his store and enlarge his stock.

The day before Christmas, 1885, Mr. Pearsall was united in Marriage, at Port Washington, with Miss Minnie, daughter of Robert and Fannie (Hyde) Jarvis. They are the parents of one child, Robert B., who was born here on Christmas Day of 1886. Mr. and Mrs. Pearsall are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he is an active worker and treasurer of the Sunday school. In politics he votes the Republican ticket, but is not a partisan in his preferences. He is a member of the Atlantic Hook and Ladder Company, and a contributor to all enterprises for the benefit of the people and the advancement of the welfare of the village.

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Queens County (Long Island) New York"
(Copyright 1896 by Chapman Publishing Company)