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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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AUGUSTUS H. BENNETT, Cashier of the Homer National Bank, and senior member of the firm of Bennett & Starr, shoe dealers, is a worthy scion of a family that has occupied a high position in Central New York since the early pioneer times.

Mr. Bennett is a son of Lorenzo and Almira (Stone) Bennett. He was born on his father’s farm on East Hill in the town of Homer, April 14, 1840. At the age of two years, he was brought with his father’s family into the village of Homer, where he attended school and grew up into an honorable manhood. He had the benefit of an academic training at the Homer Academy, where he studied until he reached the age of sixteen, when he entered the store of William Sherman as clerk. After some time spent in the store of this pioneer merchant, he took a place in the establishment of Geo. J. J. Barber, who was for many years Homer’s leading merchant. There he staid until he reached the age of twenty-one, when in partnership with Mr. D. B. Corey, he started in 1861 a shoe business under the style of Bennett & Corey, which continued thus until 1877, in which year Mr. Corey died, and Mr. Bennett assumed full control, and thus managed the store until 1884, when he sold a one-half interest to Mr. E. W. Tripp and formed the firm of Bennett & Tripp. Mr. Tripp sold his share in 1886 to Mr. Starr, who is the junior member of the present firm. Besides the time spent in caring for the shoe business, Mr. Bennett, in 1884, assisted in organizing the Homer National Bank. This bank has a capital stock of $75,000.00, and its affairs have always been in a most flourishing condition. Mr. Bennett was on its complete organization made the first cashier, a place he still holds to the extreme satisfaction of all who are in any way connected with the institution. Associated with Mr. Bennett, in controlling and directing the policy of the bank, are George W. Phillips, the president, and V. T. Stone, the vice-president.

Mr. Bennett’s paternal grandfather was the oldest of two brothers, Deacon Asa and Elder Albord Bennett, who came from Mansfield, Conn., and were among the first settlers of Cortland County. Deacon Asa Bennett located on a farm, latterly known as the Johnson place, on East Hill, where he lived out a good and honored life. He was a farmer all his days, and was exceedingly devoted to the welfare of the Baptist denomination. In the old Baptist Church at Homer he was for many years a deacon. He also took a commendable part in politics, and served as superintendent of the poor of Cortland County for a long time. His wife was Chloe Grow, and she bore him a large family of sons and daughters. Among these children was Lorenzo Bennett, father of our subject.

Lorenzo Bennett came into the world on East Hill in March, 1812. He began his education in the district schools, and finished his mental training in the old Cortland Academy at Homer. Possessed of an eminently studious mind, this early training was really but a foundation for the fund of knowledge, which by self-teaching and unlimited reading he later on acquired. His earlier work in life was that of a teacher, and New Jersey was mainly the field of his labors in that line. In 1845 he determined upon a mercantile career, and accordingly embarked in the shoe trade at Homer. This line of activity he pursued for many years. He finally retired from active business cares and lived a retired life until his death, in 1891, at Homer village. Mr. Bennett was a Whig, and in his time filled several of the local offices. He was quiet and reserved in his ways, as was natural to a man who was possessed of his superior mental attainments. Of keen literary sense and most excellent memory, he could repeat without error many of the finest passages from the works of the best authors. His marriage with Almira Stone, a daughter of another of Cortland’s most prominent families, resulted in the birth of four children, two of whom were sons and two daughters.

Augustus H. Bennett, our subject, has been a very worthy son of such a noble father. He has followed the teachings of his family in political affairs, and is an influential member of the Republican party. He has served on the board of supervisors, has been treasurer of Homer village corporation, and a member of the school board. He was a trustee of the old Cortland Academy, and has served on the board of education for several years, being at present treasurer, and has been clerk and trustee of the Congregational Church, which he attends, for twelve years. Mr. Bennett wedded, June 27, 1866, Emma G. Pratt, a daughter of Dr. L. M. Pratt, who was once a leading physician of Albany, N. Y., but is now a retired resident of Homer. Four children have been born to this union, namely: Adeline, wife of H. L. Smith, Cashier of the Second National Bank of Cortland, N. Y.; Lester P. of Brooklyn, N. Y.; Fred V. of Homer; and Ralph Stone, now attending school at home.

Mr. Bennett is one of the prosperous and solid men of his native section. In business life he is regarded as a sound financier and a man of extremely good judgment. Of a genial, happy nature, he has friends in every circle, which he chooses to enter. He realizes fully the many responsibilities which rest on his shoulders, but performs the many daily duties which fall to his lot with a tact and ease, that come only from a long and trained experience.

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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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