Biography - John Bennett

JOHN BENNETT, M. D. Holding a high position in his profession, known as a leader of his political party in his section, popular with all classes and holding the respect and esteem of all who know him, Dr. John Bennett, of Ava, Illinois, is worthy of a place among Jackson county's representative men who have worked their way to places of prominence through the force of their own merit. Dr. Bennett was born at Rockwood, Randolph county, Illinois, August 30, 1869, and is a son of Charles William and Sarah Jane (Brewer) Bennett, and grandson of Charles Bennett, a native of North Carolina, of English descent.

When Charles William Bennett was a lad he was taken by his parents from his native state of Kentucky, where he had been born January 13, 1837, to St. Louis, and in that city he acquired his education and learned the trade of millwright. During the 'fifties he located in Randolph county, Illinois, and at Rockwood engaged in the lumber business, but subsequently went to Wittenberg, Missouri. His death occurred March 14, 1877. In about 1858 he was married to Sarah Jane Brewer, of Jackson county, Illinois, daughter of Washington and Sarah (Woolrich) Brewer, one of the earliest-settled families of the Mississippi Valley, and four sons were born to this union: William, who resides at Jacob, Illinois; Lincoln, who is deceased;' John, of Ava; and Charles, who is deceased. The mother of these children died at the age of sixty-five years, in 1904, at the old homestead of her mother at Raddle. She was a Campbellite in her religious faith, as was her husband, and in his political belief he supported the principles of the Republican party.

John Bennett spent his early life in Randolph and Jackson counties, Illinois, and some time in Perry county, Missouri. He also attended the schools of Pinckneyville, Illinois, and after the death of his father made his home with his aunt until he reached manhood. On completing his education, in 1884, Mr. Bennett secured employment in the railway mail service, his first trip being made to Carbondale with Mr. George Bowyer, and during the six years that followed he carefully saved his earnings, having from boyhood had a yearning to become a doctor. On leaving the service of the railroad he went to St. Louis and entered the Missouri Medical College (now Washington University), from which he was graduated in 1898, with the degree of M. D. Since that time he has taken a great deal of post-graduate work at Chicago while he has been engaged in practice at Ava, where he has a large clientele. Dr. Bennett is self-educated and self-made, and his success in his chosen vocation has been the result of years of study, faithful labor, persevering effort and conscientious application. He is a member of the Jackson County and Illinois State Medical Societies and the Association of the Southern Railway Surgeons, and has been appointed a member of the Board of United States Pension Examiners for Jackson county. Fraternally Dr. Bennett belongs to the Masons and the Modern Woodmen of America. Politically a Republican, his influence has been felt in local and county matters, and he has served as mayor of Ava and given the city an excellent administration.

In 1898 Dr. Bennett was married to Miss Helen G. Miller, of St. Paul, Kansas, daughter of John and Mary Miller.

Extracted 15 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 2, pages 941-942.

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