Pictorial and Genealogical Record
of
Greene County, Missouri

Together with Bibliographies of Prominent Men of Other Portions of the State, Both Living and Dead


LYMAN G. BENNETT. Nothing is more true than that good management, fair dealing and application to business will result in profit to the parties interested, and failure rarely, if ever, comes unless as the consequence of negligenc, rash speculation or dishonesty. Lyman G.Bennett is one who has been successful in the accumulation of worldly goods and owes all his prosperity to his own good business management and honest dealing. He was born in Schuyler County, N. Y., August 1, 1832, to Charles M. and Louisa (Canfield) Bennett, the former of whom was of English descent. There is a tradition that the family came to this country at a very early day and settled in Massachusetts. An early ancestor of the subject of this sketch was banished with Roger Williams to Rhode Island. Prior to the Revolutionary War a company of people from Connecticut and Rhode Island started westward with the intention of locating in the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania, but the war coming on and the Indiana proving troublesome they stopped temporarily in Orange County, N. Y., Ephraim Bennett, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, served with credit in the patriots' ranks during the war, after which the original intention of the colonists was carried out and they removed to Pennsylvania. After a short residence in that State the Bennetts removed to western New York and there the great grandfather and grandfather took up a tract of land near Elmira on the Newtown battle ground, where they remained some years. They eventually located in Schuyler County where the grandfather died at the age of eighty-one years. He reared. a family of twelve children and a number of his sons took part in the War of 1812. Charles M. Bennett was the youngest of this family and in the Empire State he grew to manhood and married. In 1849 he moved to Kendall County, Ill., where he made his home until 1872, when he came to Greene County and took up his residence on a 500 acre tract of land which he purchased and on which he lived until 1882. In that year while making a visit to his native State of NewYork death overtook him. He was a Democrat in politics until 1856, then became a Republican, which he continued to be the remainder of his life, and although not an active politician he was public spirited. He was successful in the accumulation of means and left an estate valued at $20,000, not withstanding the fact that while in the State of New York he was compelled to pay a security debt of $15,000. This act of honesty materially diminished his means and was the direct cause of his removal westward for he deemed the Mississippi valley offered good inducements to the tiller of the Boil, and subsequent events showed the wisdom of his views. He became well known throughout Greene County and war highly honored in business circles, as an upright Christian gentleman. His wife was a native of New Britain, Conn., and a daughter of Peter Canfield, of Irish descent, who moved from the Nutmeg State to New York in an early day, in which State Mr. and Mrs. Bennett were married. Mrs. Bennett was the youngest of five children and died in Greene County, Mo., in 1888, a member of the Baptist Church, and at the time of her death was seventy-six years of age. To herself and husband the following children were born: Lyman G.; Elizabeth, who. died at the age of five years; Guy, is now a successful stockman of Arizona, is married to the daughter of a former governor of Arkansas, and is a man of family; Martin V., is a farmer of Norwich, Kan.; Hannah died at the age of four years; Ephraim died in New York State at the same age; Caroline is the wife of Col. William Christy, of Phoenix, Ariz., who was colonel of an Iowa regiment; Louise, the wife of Marsh Christy, of Phoenix, Ariz.; Charles M. is living on the old home place of his father in Greene County, near Springfield; Frank who is living at West Plains, Mo., is engaged in operating a mill, and Catherine, who is the wife of Orlo H. Christy, of Phoenix, Ariz. Some members of the Bennett family were great Indian fighters; in the early history of this county and were in the bloody Wyoming Massacre. The early life of Lyman G. Bennett was spent in the State of his birth and in attending the district schools and the Havana Academy, and he began an independent business career in 1855, after which he became a teacher and followed that occupation five winters, He began clerking in a United States land office in Minnesota upon giving up the calling of a pedagogue, but two years later gave up that calling to learn that of a surveyor or civil engineer and was afterward made surveyor of Kendall County, Ill. He was there married in 1859 to Miss Melissa E. Lyon, a native of New York State and daughter of William Lyon, who was of Scotch descent and an early pioneer of Kendall County. He and his wife are deceased, he having died in Kansas in 1859. Mrs. Bennett is one of the four surviving members of their eight children. Upon the opening of the Civil War Mr. Bennett war the first to volunteer from Kendall County, Ill., in a company formed at Oswego for the 300 day service, but not being accepted many of them joined the Thirty-sixth Illinois Volunteers, went to Rolla, Mo., where Mr. Bennett was detailed as engineer to construct fortifications and inspect the country round about and make a map of the region. Later he was sent to St. Louis under Gen. Halleck, who ordered him to go to Cape Girardeau to build a fort, but he asked leave to rejoin his regiment, was permitted to do so and rejoined the evening before the battle of Pea Ridge in which he hook part. After that he was on detached duty with Gen. Curtis and helped to construct the fort at Helena, Ark. He, together with Col. William M. Fishback, who is now governor of Arkansas, raised a regiment of Arkansas troops called the Fourth Arkansas Cavalry, and took part in the battle of Little Rock, holding the rank of major, after which he was engineer of Gen. Curtis' staff until 1866, being in the service almost six years. He was in numerous engagements and skirmishes and followed Price to the Arkansas River. During the winter of 1864-5 he was sent to build forts westward from Fort Kearney to Denver, and succeeded in establishing a line of posts along the overland route including Forts McPherson and Sedgwick. He was then attached to the expedition of Col. Cole to the Black Hills, Powder River and Big Horn Mountains as engineer, where he remained some months. He was honorably discharged in March, 1866, and returned to his family in Illinois, soon after which he was appointed county surveyor and deputy circuit clerk, and three years later was appointed to fill that office by reason of the death of the former incumbent. In 1872 he was elected to the office of circuit court clerk and re-elected in 1876. In December, 1880, he came to Missouri and bought land in Greene County on which he erected a handsome residence, and. which he has since tilled with good success. He has always been a Republican with a tendency toward Prohibition. In 1890 and 1891 he surveyed No Man's Land strip in the Indian Territory, under the direction of Secretary Noble and has also surveyed railroads in the State and additions to Springfield. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M., the I. O. O. F. and the Good Templars, is much interested in temperance work, and also belongs to the G. A. R. Mr. Bennett has had four children: Minnie, wife of C. E. Phillips, of Springfield, by whom she has one daughter, Edith; Edgar A., who is a farmer of Greene County, is married to Bessie Calkins and has three children, Helen, Ralph and Edgar A.; and Edith who died at the age of five years. Carrie died at the age of eighteen. She was a graduate of the public schools of Springfield and then a teacher in them. Mrs. Bennett is a member of the Calvary Presbyterian Church, and the family are highly respected by all who know them. respected by all who know them.

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