Daniel Bennett, Jr.

Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 1)


Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 1)


[page 1]

[corresponds to front cover of Daniel Bennett, Jr.]

Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 2)


Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 2)



[corresponds to unnumbered title page of Daniel Bennett, Jr.]


A Story of His Background and Life

Written in Commemoration of the

One Hundred Fiftieth Anniversary

of His Birth

1819 - 1969

Louise Bennett Pinney and Raymond Durling Bennett
Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 3)


Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 3)


[page 3]

[corresponds to unnumbered page 1 of Daniel Bennett, Jr.]


DANIEL BENNETT, Jr. was born just one hundred

fifty years ago. Cities, states, colleges and churches

always recognize in some special manner the completion

of one hundred fifty years of their history. It is cus-

tomary also, to celebrate the sesqui-centennial of the

birth of our statesmen, authors, artists and others who

have made a worthy contribution to our heritage. It

would seem equally appropriate for us to recognize the

one hundred fiftieth anniversary of the birth of this

forefather of the Bennett Family - especially so, since

he was a person so worthy of our admiration and esteem.

We, Louise Bennett Pinney and Raymond Durling

Bennett, have become increasingly interested in the last

few years in learning what we can about our family back-

ground and heritage. We hope we may be able to add

some details to the valuable study published by Aunt

Mertie Smith in 1924 under the title "Genealogy of Immi-

grant Edward Bennett and Descendants", as well as to ex-

plore some other branches of our ancestry. We are hoping

that time and health will permit us to compile some of

our findings so that they will be of interest to younger

generations as they have been to us. As we have been

comparing and exchanging our information recently, the

question inevitably arose: What could be more appropri-

ate, in this year 1969, than to tell the story of the

forefather of us all - our grandfather, Daniel Bennett,


Grandfather Bennett was born March 8, 1819,

one mile west of Center Village, in Harlem Township,

Delaware County, Ohio. He lived all his long life of

eighty-three years within a mile of his birthplace;

but his life, his interests and his influence were much

broader than the boundaries of any one small locality.
Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 4)


Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 4)


[page 4]

[corresponds to page 2 of Daniel Bennett, Jr.]

HARLEM TOWNSHIP. Since so much of the life

and experience of at least three generations of the Ben-

nett family - and also of our closely related families -

Adams, Mossman and Durling - is centered in Harlem Town-

ship, a brief statement about this township may be of in-

terest. Harlem Township is located in the extreme south-

east corner of Delaware County, Ohio. The land of the

township is almost uniformly level, except near the lower

parts of two small streams that eventually feed into Big

Walnut Creek. According to J. R. Lytle's History of

Delaware County (1908), the character of the soil of Har-

lem Township "is the most uniform of that of any of the

eighteen townships of the county. It is a deep black

loam, and very productive: the general yield of all ce-

real and vegetable products in the township is much above

the average for the county. There is no waste land. The

timber in the native forest was luxuriant.... Almost the

entire population is engaged in farming.... Along and near

the lower part of Duncan Run there are extensive stone

quarries, which produce Waverly stone of the very best

quality, but they have been worked very little." Small

wonder, is it, that several pioneer families of Luzerne

County, Pennsylvania, decided to settle in this area?

Every history of Harlem Township tells the fol-

lowing story relation to what is now the south-west

quarter of the township: *Benajah Cook was a Connecticut

Yankee with a college education, who came to Ohio in 1805

-06. Mr. Cook and his family traveled to Ohio by wagon

and carried under the rear axle a bucket of lard, in

which was buried the family fortune, in gold coin. When

they reached Granville, they camped out and Mr. Cook

started looking for land to purchase. Land sales were

frequently conducted by the Franklin County Sheriff at

Franklinton (now a part of Columbus) and land speculators

attended these sales and dominated the bidding. If an

outsider tried to buy the land they would run up the

price on him. Terms of the sales were cash in hand.

*Earl M. Murphy - The Adams Family History 1750-1967.

and J. R. Lytle, History of Delaware County (1908) p.456.
Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 5)


Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 5)


[page 5]

[corresponds to page 3 of Daniel Bennett, Jr.]

Benajah attended some of these sales and became familiar

with their methods. When he learned that 4000 acres of

the land that he had chosen were to be sold to the high-

est bidder by the Sheriff, he immediately prepared him-

self with the necessary funds, as he hoped to make the pur-

chase in case he became the lucky bidder. He was going

among strangers, of course, and was liable to be robbed.

For his own protection, he dressed himself in old clothes

covered with patches and rags, permitted his beard to

grow long, put on a dirtier shirt than usual; in short,

he presented an appearance of wretchedness and poverty.

Beneath his patches and rags, he concealed his gold coin.

No one suspected that he had any money or was other than

a beggar, and when he commenced to bid, the rival bid-

ders assumed that his bidding was a farce and ceased

their competition. The going price for land at that time

was about two dollars an acre. Mr. Cook bid 42 cents an acre,

and when no one bid against him, the bidding was closed.

He then ripped off his patches, dug out the gold coin

and paid for the land, 4000 acres, $1680.00. Mr. Cook

kept 500 acres and sold the rest, which included the area

in which the homes and farms and activities of Grand-

father Bennett and his father and some of his brothers

were later located.


long line of American pioneers which begins with Edward

Benet, who came from Wiltshire, England to New England

about 1636. According to genealogical historians, the

Benets of Wiltshire, England are considered to have been

the most ancient family of that name in England.

The fifth generation of the family in America,

included ISHMAEL BENNET, SR. (1730-1820), who was the

grandfather of our grandfather, Daniel Bennett, Jr.

Ishamael Bennet was born in Rhode Island, later moved to

Connecticut, where he married. He later moved to Wilkes-

Barre in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, with his three
Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 6)


Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 6)


[page 6]

[corresponds to page 4 of Daniel Bennett, Jr.]

children, his wife having died. He served as a private

in the Revolutionary War. With his children, he was in

Pittston Fort at the time of the Battle of Wyoming, Penn-

sylvania, July 3, 1778. The surrender of this fort to

an army of English soldiers and their Indian allies was

followed by the notorious Wyoming Massacre, one of the

most bloody and revolting incidents of the entire War, in

which the Indians, after the capitulation of the fort,

began the most ruthless torture and massacre of those, who

had surrendered. Ishmael, with his three children, es-

caped from the massacre, but he was able to observe some

of the murderous orgy from a safe distance.

After the War, about 1783, Ishmael married

Abigail Weeks, whose husband and three sons had been

brutally murdered by the Indians at Wyoming. Abigail,

after experiencing the deep tragedy of Wyoming, became

the mother of a second family of five children. Years

later, in 1816, she and her husband moved from eastern

Pennsylvania to Harlem Township, to join their son

Daniel, who had come to Ohio a few years earlier. She

was then 65 years of age. She lived to the good old

age of 88 years. Three cheers for Great-great-grand-

mother Abigail!

Our great-grandfather, DANIEL BENNET, SR.

(1783-1861) was the eldest of the five children born

to Ishmael and Abigail Bennet, and was the father of our

grandfather Daniel Bennett, Jr. A history of the Harlem

Methodist Church, written by Mr. Kelly Adams, in 1954,

states that "in 1809 Miss Sarah Adams, a beautiful young

lady of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, married the Rever-

end Daniel Bennet". She was twenty-one years old and

he was four years older when they came to Ohio,

accompanied by two of Sarah's brothers, Elijah and

John Adams.

Occupationally, of course, Daniel Bennet, Sr.
Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 7)


Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 7)


[page 7]

[corresponds to page 5 of Daniel Bennett, Jr.]

was a farmer. After coming to Ohio, he first bought 150

acres from Benajah Cook; later he added 200 more. Within

three years they had cleared some land, built themselves

log cabins, and, in co-operation with other pioneers, had

built the first church (a log structure) in Harlem Town-

ship, - in 1812, on land owned by Benajah Cook. Daniel

Bennet, Sr. was also a preacher and preached the first

sermon in this new church. When a young man, he had been

licensed to preach in the Methodist Church and, shortly

after coming to Ohio, he was ordained. Baskin's History

of Delaware County* tells us that for over fifty years

"he was a faithful worker in the church and during that

time received no pay for his labor. For many years his

house was a preaching point, and when building his last

residence, he built one large room for that purpose."

His home was located the the south-east corner of the in-

tersection of Delaware County Roads #18 and #25, one mile

directly west of Center Village. Daniel and Sarah Ben-

net had eleven children. Baskin's History tells us that

"they both lived to see all of their children married

and all members of the church".

Ishmael and Abigail Bennet and Daniel, Sr.

and Sarah Bennet are all buried side by side in the

cemetery at Harlem. Remarkably, their gravestones have

not been discolored by age, but are still as clean and

glistening white as when they were erected, perhaps over

a century ago.

DANIEL BENNETT, JR., our grandfather, with

whom we are chiefly concerned, was the seventh of the

eleven children of Daniel, Sr. and Sarah Bennet. Un-

fortunately, we know very little about Daniel's early

life. We do know that up to the time of his sudden

and final illness, he had a "constitution of iron",

that in adult life he had never been compelled to lie

in bed a single day because of illness or accident, -

*Baskin, History of Delaware County, Ohio (1880) p. 839.
Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 8)


Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 8)


[page 8]

[corresponds to page 6 of Daniel Bennett, Jr.]

although during his later years, he became quite hard of

hearing. This strong constitution must have been devel-

oped by years of hard toil. He was born when the country

was largely a wilderness. He had helped to fell the for-

ests, roll the logs, till the soil with rude implements

drawn by oxen and reap the grain with the sickle. He

probably followed the winding path by blazed trees through

dense forests on horseback to Lancaster, the nearest place

where grinding could be obtained. On his father's farm

there was a brick kiln and we can imagine that Daniel, Jr.

helped in making the brick. The old Harlem Church, built

in 1838, was one of the buildings made with brick from

this kiln.

[photo Daniel Bennett, Jr.]

[photo Margaret Mossman Bennett]
Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 9)


Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 9)


[page 9]

[corresponds to page 7 of Daniel Bennett, Jr.]

Daniel Bennett, Jr. married Margaret Mossman

November 30, 1848. He was twenty-nine and she was six-

teen years of age. Margaret Mossman Bennett was born in

Sussex County, New Jersey, May 2, 1832, and at the age of

four years, moved to Ohio in a wagon, with her parents,

Robert and Anna Mossman. They settled near Granville,

but soon afterward moved to Harlem Township, where Marga-

ret spent the remainder of her life. For a time after

their marriage, she and her husband lived with her par-


Daniel and Margaret Bennett had four children,

all of whom lived to maturity, married and became heads

of families. In order of birth they were: Harwell L.

(1852-1917); Lillie May (1859-1930), the wife of M. L.

Williams; Russell Bigelow (1862-1927); and Mertie Lee

(1866-1960), the wife of Dr. McKendree Smith.

Grandfather Bennett owned and operated a farm

of 150 acres. About 1865, he built an eight-room brick

house, using brick produced on his own farm. The house,

still standing, is located at the south-east corner of the

intersection of Delaware County Roads #17 and #25, one

mile north of Harlem, one mile directly west of his birth-

place, and two miles directly west of Center Village.

During his lifetime, the intersection came to be known

as "Bennett's Corners". The old "brick pond", from which

the clay used in making the brick for the house was exca-

vated, is well remembered as a summer recreation center

where his young grandsons, Ernest, Ray and Floyd, used to

paddle homemade rafts on its muddy water.
Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 10)


Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 10)


[page 10]

[corresponds to page 8 of Daniel Bennett, Jr.]

[photo of home of Daniel Bennett in Harlem Township]

The above photograph of the old home is repro-

duced from an original 8" x 10" photograph taken proba-

bly, about 1880. It shows the spacious, well-kept lawn,

with the proud father and mother and all four children,

plus the first son-in-law, Uncle Mitch Williams. For

many years, Grandfather managed the 150-acre farm himself.

In his later years, much of the responsibility was turned

over to Uncle Mitch, who, with family, moved into the

north wing of the eight-room house, while Grandfather and

Grandmother Bennett occupied the south half.

Aside from the farm, Grandfather Bennett owned

and operated, or at least owned, a major interest in a
Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 11)


Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 11)


[page 11]

[corresponds to page 9 of Daniel Bennett, Jr.]

stone quarry along Duncan Run, south-west of Harlem. As

early as 1874, we find in son Harwell's diary many entries

such as these:

March 26, 1874 Worked at the quarry.

April 16, 1874 Began opening a new stone quarry at


April 27, 1874 Worked in the quarry for Pa.

June 2, 1874 Worked in the stone quarry.

June 13, 1874 Cutting stone.

Sept. 10, 1874 Worked in the stone quarry.

Oct. 2, 1874 Cut stone and delivered a load.

We recall that one of Grandfather's major inter-

ests was the developement of good roads, by converting

the dirt roads of the township into hard stone pikes, so

that farmers could haul their produce and persons could

travel the year round, regardless of the weather condi-

tions. During the last ten years of his life, he was re-

sponsible for installing stone crushing equipment in the

Duncan Run quarry to provide stone for paving many of the

nearby roads.

Probably the happiest events in the lives of

Grandfather and Grandmother Bennett were those occasions

when they were surrounded by their family- children and

grandchildren. To their sons and daughters who deeply

respected and loved their parents, Daniel and Margaret

Bennett were always "Pa" and "Ma". To the grandchildren,

they were "Grandpa" and "Grandma". And to their many

friends and neighbors, in their later years, they were

known affectionately as "Uncle Dan'l" and "Aunt Margaret".

They felt fortunate because the families of all four chil-

dren lived within convenient driving distance, even in

the horse-and-buggy days, of the old home. The farthest

away were Mertie Smith and family, who had moved to Colum-

bus, while Russell and Harwell lived in nearby Westerville.

They were always welcome to the old home at any time.
Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 12)


Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 12)


[page 12]

[corresponds to page 10 of Daniel Bennett, Jr.]

Grandfather Bennett was devoted to his grand-

children. He could be counted upon to bring them some

candy whenever he came home from a trip to the country

store. Ray remembers to this day, accurately, the fol-

lowing nonsense rhyme which Grandpa took great delight

in teaching to his little grandsons:

Zee roo die hay dad

Ben hay dad

Pipe pap - Snip snap

Bender brass - Go to grass

The one never-to-be-forgotten annual family

gathering, of course, came at Christmas time. The

Christmas dinner was always a feast, topped off with

Grandma's annual masterpiece, the hickory nut cake.

Three generations, fifteen to eighteen person, would

gather around the long extension table, with its solid

walnut top and solid cherry base- the same table that

now, beautifully refinished serves the fourth and fifth

generations in Eleanor and Paul Gentzel's attractive

Early American dining room in Rocky River, Ohio

Without doubt, the most memorable social event

of all occurred in 1898. The invitation, printed in

gold, read:

1848 1898

Mr. & Mrs. D. Bennett

request the pleasure of your presence at their


November Thirtieth, Eighteen Hundred and Ninety-eight

from 11 to 4.

No Presents
Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 13)


Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 13)


[page 13]

[corresponds to page 11 of Daniel Bennett, Jr.]

All of the family and a host of friends gathered in the

old home to celebrate with Daniel and Margaret Bennett

their fifty years of happy, busy and very useful life to-

gether. A remarkable fifty years it was: All of their

sons and daughters, with their wives and husbands and chil-

dren (except for two grandchildren, who had died in very

early infancy) were living and were present - a remarkable

record of fifty years of family ties unbroken by death.

Love for his church, with a deep Christian

faith, was a dominant element and a major interest dur-

ing Grandfather's entire life. He was a member of the

Methodist Church for over seventy-one years, more than

fifty of which he was a class leader. Mr. Kelly Adams,

in his History of the Harlem Methodist Church, tells us

that Grandfather Bennett was a very generous contributor

toward the cost of building the church in 1838. This

church was always an object of his devotion, and weather

was never too bad to keep him from attending, and partici-

pating in its services. The old church building one-

half mile north of Harlem, is still standing.

Daniel Bennett had never known illness until,

in the eighty-third year of his life, in December 1901,

he suffered a stroke. During most of his remaining

twelve weeks, he was able to walk and even to attend

church, but was deprived almost entirely of his speech.

He would sometimes try very hard to converse with friends,

but, being unable to do so, would turn it aside with a

smile. During such times as he was able to make his

thoughts known in broken sentences, he had nothing to say

about his farm, but his whole thought seemed to be about

the church and about how he might do a little more good

in the few days he had left to work. When anyone would

sing to him one of his favorite hymns, his lips would

seem to follow the words, although he could not utter the

Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 14)


Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 14)


[page 14]

[corresponds to page 12 of Daniel Bennett, Jr.]

Grandfather and Grandmother lived to complete

over fifty-three years of life together. Grandfather's

death occurred March 13, 1902 at age 83 years and five

days. Grandmother died eight months later, November 15,


In 1923, a most fitting memorial to his father

was given to the Westerville Methodist Church by Russell

Bennett. In that year, when the church sanctuary was re-

modled, Russell presented a pipe organ to the church in

memory of his father - a man who had always loved the old,

familiar hymns of the church.

The Dedication Service for the Bennett Memorial

Organ was held on December 16, 1923. The organ was play-

ed by Rowland P. Downing, then organist for the Broad

Street Presbyterian Church of Columbus. Mr. Downing was

a resident of Westerville and a native of Harlem Township,

his boyhood home having been on a farm adjoining that of

our Grandfather Bennett.

When the new church was built in 1958-59, the

old organ had served its purpose and was replaced by a

new one given by the Johnston families. The wood cover-

ing of the pipes of the old organ was used for paneling

the walls of the ladies' lounge of the new church; thus

a part of the old organ still carries on in the church

now known as the Messiah United Methodist Church of West-

erville, Ohio.

We close this sesqui-centennial story by quoting

excerpts from a letter written to Harwell Bennett on

May 14, 1902, by Dr. J. C. Arbuckle, upon having heard

of Grandfather Bennett's death. Rev. Arbuckle had been

Superintendent of the Columbus District of the Methodist

Church and had had frequent contacts with Daniel Bennett

at meetings with the Harlem Church. Dr. Arbuckle's

letter, in well chosen words, also expresses our own
Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 15)


Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 15)


[page 15]

[corresponds to page 13 of Daniel Bennett, Jr.]

thoughts about our Grandfather Bennett:

"I regard it a great privilege to have had the pleasure

of knowing and being acquainted with a man of such no-

bility of character and of such real personal worth as

Daniel Bennett.... He was an honor to his friends, his

family and his community.... Daniel Bennett was, first,

a Christian man. He stood with open heart and hand

ready to help in every good word and work.... He was

faithful, reliable, could be counted upon.... He be-

lieved in the church. He gave to the church his time,

money and efforts. Daniel Bennett was a man who made

his life stand for something in real benefit and help-

fulness to others.... I admired him for his clean cut

convictions, his courage, his generous spirit, and

for his noble and manly life.... He was no ordinary

man.... He left to us the heritage of a beautiful

Christian life."
Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 16)


Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 16)


[page 16]

[corresponds to page 14 of Daniel Bennett, Jr.]


From Edward Benet to the Family of Daniel Bennett, Jr.


in America

1 Edward Benet Came from Wiltshire, England to

Massachusetts, 1636. Died 1646.

2 Samuel Benet I (1628-1684)

3 Samuel Benet II (1654-1735)

4 Samuel Benet III (1690- ) 1716 m. Mary Stafford

5 Ishmael Bennet, Sr. (1730-1820) About 1761 m. Martha

---. ( -1775) They had three

children. 1783 m. Abigail Beers

Weeks (1751-1839). They had five

children of whom the eldest was

Daniel, apparently the only one

who came to Ohio.

6 Daniel Bennet Sr. (1783-1861) 1809 m. Sarah Adams

(1787-1872). They had eleven chil-

dren, all of whom married: William,

Harriott, Susanna, Clarcy, Hulda,

Hannah, Daniel, Sally (Adams), Mary

(Fetters), Rev. Russell Bigelow,

John Wesley.

7 Daniel Bennett, Jr. (1819-1902) 1848 m. Margaret

Elizabeth Mossman (1832-1902).

They had four children: Haewell L.,

Lillie May (Williams), Russell

Bigelow, Mertie Lee (Smith).
Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 17)


Daniel Bennett, Jr. (p. 17)


[Page 17]

[corresponds to note on back cover of Daniel Bennett, Jr.]

Velma Bagley

I'm glad to be able to send you

this little story about Harlem Twp.

and Louise's and my grandfather.

With best wishes,

Raymond B.

Dublin Core


Daniel Bennett, Jr.


Biographies--Daniel Bennett, Jr--Harlem Township--Ohio


This document is the biography of Daniel Bennett, Jr., written
by his grandchildren Louise Bennett Pinney and Raymond Durling Bennett to
commemorate the 150th annivesary of his birth.


Louise Bennett Pinney; Raymond Durling Bennett










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