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Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published by Chapman Publishing Co., in 1895.  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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JOHN M. BENNETT, a prominent agriculturist in the town of Dix, was born January 22, 1822, in the town of Catlin, Tioga County, and is a son of Col. Green and Cynthia (McClure) Bennett. His father was a native of Pennsylvania, and when a young man located in Tioga County, N. Y., where he married Cynthia McClure. His father, Ephraim Bennett, was an early settler of Pennsylvania, where three of his brothers were killed in the Wyoming Valley Massacre. Colonel Bennett was well known throughout Schuyler County, and while here filled numerous public offices, among them being Supervisor of the town of Catlin. For some years he was Superintendent of the Chemung Canal, and in 1835 was elected to the State Legislature. His death occurred in the town of Dix in 1889, his wife having preceded him to the better world a number of years.

When our subject was but ten years of age he commenced work on the tow-path of the canal, which occupation he followed until he attained his majority. He then entered the select school of Professor Gillett, of Havana, which he attended three years. When twenty-three years old he purchased two hundred and twenty-three acres of timber land in the town of Dix, which he partially cleared and finally sold. His marriage with Miss Clymena Shutts a native of Schuyler County, occurred January 11, 1851. Three years of their married life were spent on the home place, and then he purchased the farm which has since been his home, with the exception of five years spent in Arizona. In 1875, on account of the failing health of Mrs. Bennett and their son, he was induced to travel with them in the far West. After traveling through a number of the Western States and Territories he finally concluded to remain in Arizona. During his residence there he engaged in stock dealing and grazing, and for three years was Postmaster of Walnut Grove. He was also appointed a Justice of the Peace, and at the election following his appointment he was elected to the office, which he retained until his return to New York. While there he also filled the office of School Trustee.

The sojourn of the family in the West was attended with gratifying results, both Mrs. Bennett and her son fully recovering their health. In 1879 they returned to their old home and again became identified with its history. In his agricultural operations Mr. Bennett has been very successful, and in spite of his recent disastrous loss of $10,000, caused by the failure of the First National Bank of Watkins, he is still carrying on improvements, at the present writing (1895) being engaged in the erection of a large barn on the place. In addition to general farming, he has engaged in stock-raising, and until recently carried on sheep-raising quite extensively. For fifty years he has been a Master Mason, and for thirty years a Royal Arch Mason. He has always been interested in public affairs, and for four years served as Postmaster of Moreland, besides filling various town offices.

To Mr. and Mrs. Bennett three children were born: Ephraim J., a graduate of Union College and now Cashier of the Valley Bank at Phoenix, Ariz.: Oscar C., a student in Alfred Seminary, and who is now conducting the home farm; and Burton G., a graduate of the business college of Rochester, who is now holding a responsible position with the Northwestern Life Insurance Company. Politically Mr. Bennett is a Democrat.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published in 1895. 

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

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

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