Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

Jay F. Bennett

JAY F. BENNETT has been a factor in affairs in Smith County for a number of years, is a practical farmer, and his qualifications and personal popularity have brought him official place and responsibility as county clerk of Smith County.

Mr. Bennett was born in Hastings, Nebraska, November 19, 1877. He is of old American stock, the Bennetts originally coming from Scotland and were early settlers in the Carolinas. An interesting bit of history connected with the family is that the scene of General Johnston's surrender to General Sherman at the close of the Civil war was the James Bennett house near Goldsboro, North Carolina. James Bennett was a cousin to Jay F. Bennett's grandfather, Jason Bennett. who was born in North Carolina in 1813. Jason Bennett grew up there and later accompanied his parents to Indiana, thence going to Illinois, and finally to Iowa. He was a farmer all his life, and in 1893 retired and located at Reamsville in Smith County, Kansas, where he died in 1898. He married Livia Ann Abbott, who was born in Indiana in 1816 and died at Reamsville, Kansas, in 1911.

Roland M. Bennett, father of the Smith County clerk, was born April 21, 1843, and fought as a soldier in the Union army during the Civil war. His service was with Company L of the Third Iowa Cavalry, and he was on duty in the states of Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, Alabama and Georgia. He was at the battle of Pea Ridge, was with the Union forces engaged against General Price, and was also in the fight at Tupelo, Mississippi. Aside from his army experience his life was spent as a farmer. He lived for many years in Nebraska, later in Kansas, and is now retired at Athol in this state.

Roland M. Bennett married Miss Julia Sullivan, who was born in County Kerry, Ireland, in 1849, and died at Eureka Springs, Arkansas, in 1896. Their children were: Jay F.; Margaret, wife of J. G. Hawkins, a stock buyer at Franklin, Nebraska; Roland M., Jr., a farmer at Wages, Colorado; Livia, wife of Cal Post, a farmer in Smith County, Kansas; William H., a stock buyer at Franklin, Nebraska; and Charles L., a salesman living at Holyoke, Colorado.

Jay F. Bennett attended the grade and high schools at Doniphan, Nebraska, to the age of fifteen. During the next six years he was employed on his father's farm, and on reaching his majority took up farming as his independent vocation at Reamsville in Smith County, Kansas. He was closely tied to his farm and its duties until 1908, since which time he has been a public official. He served 6 1/2 years as postmaster of Athol under Presidents Roosevelt and Taft. In November, 1914, he was elected county clerk, and by re-election in 1916 holds that office today and is giving an administration creditable to himself and satisfactory to his constituency. He also served two terms as clerk of Martin Township, Smith County.

Mr. Bennett is a republican, a member of the Congregational Church, is past noble grand of Reamsville, No. 530, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and a member of the Knights and Ladies of Security.

October 10, 1905, at Reamsville, Mr. Bennett married Miss Clara Bates, daughter of C. T. and Rebecca (Rorabaugh) Bates, of Reamsville, where her father is a merchant. Mr. and Mrs. Bennett have four children: Clayton R., born October 10, 1906; Arden C., born August 14, 1908; Ralph E., born in 1911; and Leo W., born September 14, 1915.