JOHN L. BENNETT, born in McDonough county, Illinois, December 13, 1832, is the son of Isaac Bennett, born in North Carolina, May 22, 1808. He married in White county, Tennessee, Mary Lynch, April 8, 1834. She was the daughter of Charles and Mary Lynch. The latter was born August 7, 1814. Her parents, who were farmers, reared eight children, the father dying in Tennessee, at the age of forty-five, her mother in Hancock county, Illinois, aged eighty-four years. Grandfather Bennett died in Kentucky in 1831, and his wife in Hancock county at the age of eighty years. She came to Illinois in 1834, her son, Isaac, coming with her. They first settled in McDonough county, coming from Tennessee in ox carts, taking about eight weeks to the trip. They were in humble circumstances, and lived in McDonough county for two years, and then went from there to Hancock county, where they took up a claim of 160 acres of wild land with no improvements. They built a rude log cabin, in which they lived and reared most of the children. He made a good farm of this, for which he paid and took a deed in 1838. They had eleven children: John L., the second, is a farmer and stock grower of Hire township, McDonough county; Mary Jane was the wife of Philo McPeigh, who died and left two children; Norelan is a large farmer of Hancock county, and has three children; Barbary Ann was the wife of George Bradly, and died. leaving four children; Rufus, a farmer of Hancock county, Illinois; Lorinda, killed by a kick from a horse at the age of eleven; Zilpha died at fourteen; Jeremiah, a wealthy ranchman and stock-grower of Texas; Lucinda, wife of William Duncan, died leaving five children; Phoebe is married and resides in St. Louis, and has two children.
John L. Bennett had very limited opportunities for obtaining an education: could barely read when a young man. He had to begin hard work when but a child, plowing corn when only eleven years old. He has worked very hard all his life until very recently. He was and is still a very rugged and strong man, and could endure anything and everything, even the ague which shook him while a lad.
He was married at twenty-one and soon left home. His wife was Elizabeth Carder, born in Indiana, where she was reared, daughter of Cooper B. Carder, of South Carolina, who came to Illinois in 1839. Her mother was a Miss Dudney, of Tennessee. Mr. and Mrs. Carder came to Illinois in 1839, where the latter died in 1853, leaving Elizabeth to care for the home. Mrs. Bennett's father, nearly eighty years of age, is living with her on the farm, of 180 acres.
Mr. and Mrs. Bennett have had a hard struggle to get this farm. They worked rented lands for some years and then bought their first, land in 1864, fifty-five acres of timber for $700, paying one-half down. This was in Hancock county, and they sold this and bought where they now are. They have owned as much as 230 acres since. Mr. Bennett has done general farming all these years, and for the past few years has owned stock horses. He stands three fine stallions, two of them full blood, imported Clydesdale. He keeps from fifteen to twenty head of horses, some cattle and many hogs. Turns off as high as forty horses.
They have had twelve children, have buried two daughters and three sons; four died in infancy and early childhood. Eliza Ann, the first born, married Samuel Reeves, and died at thirty years of age. Those living are: Mary M., wife of William Neff, farmer in Hancock county, with two children; Charles Edward married Allie Buck, a farmer; John M. married Nancy White, resides with his parents and is running the home farm; Henry is single and has a tonsorial establishment in Chicago; Edgar is married to a Miss Swanson and resides in Chicago; Otto, in Hancock county; Homer, still a child, is at home. Mr. Bennett is a straight Democrat. He and his wife are highly respected by all who know them.
Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois, Biographical Review Publishing Co., Chicago, 1892, pages 238-239.
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