History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915
CLAUDE A. BENNETT.
Claude A. Bennett, judge of the county court of Stanley county, who since 1908 has been an active representative of the South Dakota bar, was born on the 18th of April, 1882, six miles west of the city of Canton, in this state, his parents being Millard and Mary Bennett, who settled on a homestead in Lincoln county in 1874. The father was a native of New York born of English parentage and the mother a native of Illinois and of Welsh descent. Both are residents of Canton at the present time. They were pioneers in the development of the great west, recognizing its possibilities and aiding in the work of reclaiming the broad acres for the purposes of cultivation and improvement.
Judge Bennett mastered the elementary branches of learning and qualified for entrance into the Canton high school from which he was graduated in 1898. He subsequently became a student in the Yankton College from which he won the Bachelor of Science degree upon graduation with the class of 1904. Subsequently he became a student in Chicago University,completing the course there in 1907 and in 1913 Yankton College conferred upon him the Master of Arts degree. He closely applied himself to his law studies and his careful preparation has constituted the foundation of his success at the bar. He settled at Philip, South Dakota, on the 11th of May, 1908, and there entered upon the active practice of law, winning a large clientage that connected him with much of the important litigation tried in the courts of his district. His ability in handling intricate and involved legal problems led to his selection for the office of county judge of Stanley county and following his election he removed to Fort Pierre on the 1st of January, 1913. He is now upon the bench and his decisions are strictly fair and impartial, being based upon a comprehensive knowledge of the law and the equity of the case.
On the 28th of August, 1912, at McLaughlin, South Dakota, Mr. Bennett was united in marriage to Miss Irene M. Harris, who is a daughter of Mrs. Anna Harris of McLaughlin, and who was born in Beadle county, South Dakota, in 1885. Judge and Mrs. Bennett attend the Congregational church in which she holds membership and he belongs to the Masonic fraternity, being affiliated with Philip Lodge, No. 153, A. F. & A. M.; Pierre Chapter No. 22, R A. M.; and Capital Commandery, No. 21, K. T. He has always been an earnest republican in his political views, believing firmly in party principles, yet he has never allowed partisanship to interfere with the faithful performance of his judicial duties.