Pages 775-776, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




DEWITT C. BENNETT, who is residing upon a farm of two hundred and forty acres in Everett township, Woodson County is numbered among the practical and progressive agriculturists of the community, and is one of the honored veterans of the Civil war who for four and a half years loyally defended the starry banner—the symbol of an undivided Union.

He was born near the famous Otsego lake, in Otsego County, New York, on the 16th of July, 1840. His parents, Elisha B. and Hannah (Pierce) Bennett, were also natives of the Empire state, and the father there died in 1854, while the mother passed away in Illinois, in 1872, when sixty-eight years of age. They were the parents of ten children, four of whom are yet living, Dewitt C. Bennett being the youngest of the family. He resided in the state of his nativity until 1856. When at the age of sixteen he left the great old farm house on the hill side with its garrets holding the uniform his father had worn in the militia at the time of the Mexican war and accoutrements his forefathers in the war of 1812 and also in the Revolution and started westward to make his own way in the world, unaided by pecuniary advantages or influential friends. Going to Illinois he was there employed by the month as a farm hand, and at the age of 17 years he came to Kansas, locating in Linn County. This was about the time of the trouble between Missouri and Kansas, known as the border ruffian war and thus early Mr. Bennett became familiar with the hardships and horrors of war. For some time he was with John Brown and General Montgomery, aiding in defending the west side of the line. He also experienced many of the difficulties and trials of pioneer life during his nearly three years' stay in the Sunflower state.

In 1860 Mr. Bennett returned to Illinois, White County. The slavery question and the right of secession had precipitated the country into Civil war he put aside all personal considerations, and enlisted in Company H, Forty-sixth Illinois Infantry, in October, 1861. He served for more than four years and participated in the battles of Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Pittsburg Landing, the seige of Vicksburg, Island No. 10, the battle of Mobile and many other engagements. When hostilities had ceased the Forty-sixth Illinois was sent to follow the enemy on an expedition through Texas and up the Rio Grande river, so that he was in the service for many months after actual hostilities had ended. In 1866 he received an honorable discharge, having given four and a half years of his young manhood to his


country. His was an honorable record. He always fearlessly and faithfully discharged his duties, and to such of the boys in blue the country owes a debt of gratitude which can never be repaid.

On being mustered out Mr. Bennett returned to his home and them spent a portion of the next two years in Wisconsin and Iowa, but in December, 1868 was married to Miss Mary J. Adams, of DeKalb, Illinois. When he decided to return to his first love, "beautiful sunny Kansas," which resolution he carried into effect in the spring of 1870, he located in Everett township, Woodson County, where he secured a homestead claim of eighty acres, on which he resided for twenty years, making many improvements on the place. He then sold the property in order to find broader scope for his labors, and he and his wife purchased his present farm of two hundred and forty acres, on which he has a good residence, substantial barn and all modern equipments and accessories found upon a model farm of the new century. He also engages in raising as much stock as his farm will support, and his labors are bringing to him a richly-merited income.

Mr. and Mrs. Bennett have living nine children: Georgia A., wife of Fred Richards; also Eugene, Frank D., Allie, Elva, Coral, Jesse, Hazel and Jennie, all of whom are still under parental roof. Mr. Bennett belongs to ——————Post. No. 145. G. A. R., at Yates Center, and in his political affiliations he is a Republican, unswerving in his advocacy of the principles of the party. His army service is but an example of the loyalty which has ever characterized his entire life in its every relation, and which has made him one of the valued residents of his adopted county.

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