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Below is a family biography included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1898.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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A. K. BENNETT, the leading merchant of the town of Taylor, Cortland County, is a son of Ezra, Jr., and Mary L. (Chapman) Bennett, and was born at Pitcher, Chenango County, N. Y., July 28, 1856.

The Bennett family originally came from Rhode Island. Ezra Bennett, the grandfather of our subject, was born and reared in that state, and lived out most of his life there, engaged in following the pursuits of agriculture. The latter part of his life was spent in the towns of Taylor and Pitcher, Cortland and Chenango Counties, respectively. He was twice married, and became the father of four sons and three daughters.

His son Ezra Bennett, Jr., father of our subject, was born in Providence, R. I. When a young man he came to this state, first locating in Taylor, and latterly in Pitcher, Chenango County. He was a successful farmer and speculator in stock. Politically he was a Republican, and was a constant attendant of the Presbyterian Church, of which he was a valued member. His first wife, who was Mrs. Anderson, bore him a son, Fayette, deceased, and a daughter, also deceased. He was a prominent hardware merchant of the town of Pitcher, when he died. The union of Ezra Bennett, Jr., with his second wife, Miss Mary L. Chapman, of Onondaga County, N. Y., resulted in six sons: George W., a farmer and lumberman of Pitcher, N. Y.; A. K., the subject of this biography; Miles D., a farmer of Pitcher, N. Y.; Myron, deceased; Dallas D., an agriculturist of Taylor; and John C., deceased.

Our subject was brought up on the farm, and received his education in the district schools of Pitcher, and in Cincinnatus Academy. He left school, however, at an early age on account of his health, which would not permit him to resume his studies. Being of an enterprising disposition and desiring to support himself and make his own way in the world, he looked about for some means of employment, which promised good profits and a return to health. Farm labor was out of the question, as he could not have stood the long hours and hard work, and as his means were small he could not very well engage in trade. One thing alone seemed practicable, and that he adopted with little hesitation. He started out in the business of peddling tin and glassware about Chenango County, and followed that line of occupation for two years. At the end of that time his health was much improved. He returned to the farm for two years, and then engaged in the mercantile business at Cheningo, in the town of Truxton, Cortland County, where he continued to build up a trade and make a success of his venture until 1885, when he removed to Taylor. His business has grown so that he commands as large a trade as is usually given to any country merchant. He carries a full line of all kinds of merchandise, such as are found in a well conducted first-class general country store. He has also dealt extensively in all kinds of stock and country produce. While he does not keep a hotel, his house is always open to the traveling public, and there they find excellent accommodations, equal to any to be found outside of cities.

Mr. Bennett took to himself a wife on February 10, 1878, in the person of Florence E. Widger, daughter of Harvey L. Widger of Truxton, N. Y., by whom he has been made the parent of two girls: Melva J., and Mabel F. Socially, he is a member of Cincinnatus Lodge, No. 706, F. & A. M. He is a Republican, as regards his political proclivities, and was supervisor for two terms, in 1888 and 1889. He is a member of the M. E. Church.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published in 1898. 

View additional Cortland County, New York family biographies here: Cortland County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Cortland County, New York here: Cortland County, New York Map

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