Simon Benson was a tee-totaler and he wanted to discourage his workers from drinking alcohol in the middle of the day. He believed that the pure, abundant water found in the foothills of Mt. Hood should be free to all of Portland’s fine visitors and inhabitants.
Benson donated the first twenty 4-spout fountains that were installed around Portland in 1912 and 1913. It was reported that beer consumption decreased by 25 percent.
Today there are 41 Benson Fountains. Forty Benson Fountains are in Portland and one Benson Fountain is in one of Portland’s Sister Cities, Sapporo, Japan.