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Below is a family biography included in The History of Washington County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  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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James F. Bennett, farmer, is the son of Dr. James H. and Elizabeth (Dillon) Bennett, who were born in Wayne County, Mo., in 1809, and Madison County, Mo., in 1808, respectively. The father received his education under Dr. Joseph Bennett, of Cape Girardeau, and for about twenty-eight years practiced his profession in Southeastern Missouri. He was a member of the Baptist Church, and died in 1858. His wife was a Catholic and died in 1846. Our subject was born in Wayne County, Mo., in 1837, and was the second of five children born to his parents. He went to St. Louis in 1852 to learn the miller’s trade, and having worked in mills in different parts of the State until 1857 he started as a Government teamster under Albert Sidney Johnston. On reaching Fort Bridger, W. T., it was decided, owing to danger ahead, to form a battalion of volunteers and go against the Mormons. He raised Company B, of the Utah Volunteer Battalion, and was elected captain of the same, but, on account of his youth, he would not accept but became first lieutenant. Before reaching the above named place the wagon train was attacked by about 300 Indians, and two of the train boys killed; after about eleven months’ service they returned and were mustered out at Fort Leavenworth, Kas. James F. returned to St. Louis, where he remained until 1859, when he went to Summit County, Colo., of which county he was elected sheriff, and served until 1862. A year previous to this, through the influence of Sidney Johnston and Col. Bernard E. Bee, he received a commission as major in the Confederate army, with orders to report to Col. Loring, in Texas. Instead of this, in 1862 he volunteered in Company A, Third Colorado Infantry, United States army, and on being mustered was elected first lieutenant, which commission he held, until the close of the war. For disease contracted he draws a pension. January 15, 1864, he married Miss Helen C., daughter of Judge M. F. Williams, and the result of this union was the birth of eight children. Mr. Bennett is a Republican in politics, is a member of the Masonic fraternity, a member of the G. A. R., and he and wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Mr. Bennett settled on the farm where he now lives, in 1884, though he has been a resident of the county for twenty-two years. He is a good farmer and has 240 acres.

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This family biography is one of 138 biographies included in The History of Washington County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Washington County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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