Lee County Biography

James Bennett

Dixon Township

James Bennett is one of the extensive landowners of the county. He now resides on section 9, Dixon Twp. where he has made his home for the past 30 years, but his farm is situated on sections 8,9,16 and 17. His land possessions aggregate 330 acres most of which is under a hight state of cultivation. The farm is wells tocked and watered by the Rock River which flows across its Southwestern boundary. The improvements are in keeping with the enterprising and progressive spirit of the owner who is classed among the prominent and leading farmers of the community.

Mr. Bennett was born in County Down Ireland about 1827 and is of Scotch-Irish descent. He was the third in order of birth in a family numbering seven sons and three daughters of whom four sons and a daughter came to this country, while four are yet living. The parents were hugh adn sarah (Smith) Bennett, who were also natives of County Down, where as farming people they spent their entire lives and passed away when well advanced in years. THey were members of the Protestant church.

Upon his father's farm James Bennett spent the days of his boyhood and youth and the educational advantage afforded him were those of the common schools of the neighborhood. In the county of his nativity, he led to the marriage alter Miss Martha Barnett who was born in county Down almost 70 years ago. Her parents wer Francis and Mary (Gilson) Barnett, also natives of that county, where their entire lives were passed. Her father died of sunstroke at the age of 48 years, but her mother reached the advanced age of 4-score years. In the Presbyterian Church they held membership and were people of sterling worth and integrity. In their family wee six sons and six daughters but few are now living.

The year 1844 witnessed the emigration of Mr. and Mrs. Bennett to America. They took passage in a sailing vessel "John & Robert" which weighed anchor at Belfast and after a voyage of 43 days landed in New York. For 10 years they made their home in that city, where Mr. Bennett worked at any occupation he could find whereby he might earn an honest dollar. At length he determined to try his fortunes in the West, and in September, 1854 cast his lot with the early settlers of Lee County IL. For seven years after his arrival here he engaged in brick making near Dixon and then turned his attention to farming, which he has since followed with excellent success.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Bennett have been born eight children, five yet living - James the eldest, wedded Eliza Patton and resides on his father's farm; Francis married Alice Lanver and is also engaged in farming in Dixon Township; Hugh married Maggie Patton and is a farmer of the same township; Mary is the wife of Morris Leach who is engaged in agricultural pursuits in Dixon Township; and Samuel is a mechanic and also helps to carry on the home farm. The three othe children died in infancy.

Mr. and Mrs. Bennett are both members of the Presbyterian Church and their lives have been such as to win them the conficence of all with whom they come in contact. He and his sons are supports of Republican principles but public office has had no attraction for our subject.

Lee County Portraits & Biographical 1892 Pg 383

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