Hiram H. Bennett

Hiram H. Bennett and Eleanor M. Rockwell

Hiram H. Bennett, son of Oliver Roby Bennett and Betsey Ford, was born August 13, 1821 in Orleans County, New York. He spent most of his adult life on a farm which he purchased from the General Land Office of the United States in Ionia, Michigan. The deed was dated November 1, 1853. Here is a transcription of the text of the deed:

To all to whom these presents shall come greetings:

Whereas, HIRAM H. BENNETT, of Clinton County, Michigan has deposited in the GENERAL LAND OFFICE of the United States, a Certificate of the Register of the Land Office at lonia whereby it appears that full payment has been made by the said HIRAM H. BENNETT according to provisions of the Act of Congress of the 24th of April, 1820, entitled "An act making futher provision for the sale of Public Lands", for THE WEST HALF OF THE NORTHWEST QUARTER OF SECTION TWELVE IN TOWNSHIP EIGHT, NORTH OF RANGE ONE WEST, IN THE DISTRICT OF LANDS SUBJECT TO SALE AT IONIA, MIHIGAN CONTAINING EIGHTY ACRES --- according to the Official Plat of the survey of said Lands, returned to the GENERAL LAND OFFICE by the SURVEYOR GENERAL, which said tract has been purchased by the said HIRAM H. BENNETT: NOW KNOW YE, That the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA in consideration of the premises and in conformity with the several Acts of Congress, in such case made and provided, HAVE GIVEN AND GRANTED, and by these presents do GIVE AND GRANT, unto the said HIRAM H. BENNETT and his heirs, the said Tract above described: TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the same, together with all rights, privileges, immunities and appurtenances of whatsoever nature thereunto belonging, unto the said HIRAM H. BENNETT and his heirs and assigns forever.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I, FRANKLIN PIERCE, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, have caused these letters to be made Patent, and the Seal of the General Land Office to be hereunto affixed. GIVEN under my hand, at the City Of Washington, the first day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty three and of the INDEPENDENCE OF THE UNITED STATES the seventy eighth.


These eighty acres remained in the family for three generations. In 1948 Hiram's granddaughter Dora and her husband George Lowrey sold the farm and moved into Elsie proper.

Hiram married Eleanor M. Rockwell on November 1, 1855 at her father's house in Fairfield, Shiaswassee County, Michigan. (This is where Hiram's brother Ephraim lived.) Eleanor's brother-in-law the Reverend Ebenezer Nethaway presided at the wedding. Joseph Tabor and Lyman Cobb acted as witnesses. See Hiram and Eleanor's wedding license (35K).

Hiram H. Bennett

Hiram H. Bennett.

Eleanor M. Rockwell was the daughter of Marick Rockwell and Margret Johnston. Eleanor was born in Hinkley, Medina County, Ohio on November 19, 1829. According to the journal which Eleanor kept for most of her life, her parents "started for Michigan April 25, 1855 and got there on the 10th of May, 15 days on the road, stopped in Duplain (Twp) Clinton County and then moved to Fairfield (Twp.) Shiawassee County, Michigan June 15, 1855." Eleanor preceded her parents to Michigan by four years. She arrived in 1850 with her sister Martha (see Martha's obituary) and brother-in-law Ebenezer Nethaway. She went back to Ohio in the spring of 1853. She returned to Michigan, accompanied by her parents, in 1855.

Eleanor M. Rockwell

Eleanor M. Rockwell

Eleanor M. Rockwell

Eleanor M. Rockwell

Eleanor M. Rockwell

Eleanor M. Rockwell

Ebenezer Nethaway and Martha Rockwell

Ebenezer Nethaway and Martha Rockwell.
Brother-in-law and sister of Eleanor M. Rockwell Bennett.

Children of Marick and Margret Johnston Rockwell

Children of Marick and Margret Johnston Rockwell.
Top left: Eleaner Rockwell Bennett.
Top right: Andrew Rockwell.
Bottom left: Martha Rockwell Nethaway.
Bottom right: Maryette Rockwell VanDeusen.

Two other children, William H. J. "Henry" Rockwell
and Lucy Rockwell, died as children.

Hiram and Eleanor had two children:

Eleanor Rockwell received her Teacher's Certificate on March 19, 1851. Sara Show's essay on the early history of Elsie talks about the first schoolhouse built in Elsie and mentions that

one of the early teachers, if not the first, seems to have been Eleanor Rockwell who was afterwards known to a younger generation as 'Aunt Eleanor Bennett.'

Eleanor's journal includes the following items:

Hiram H. Bennett died in Elsie, Clinton County, Michigan on August 11, 1889 (see his obituary.) He is buried there. Eleanor M. Rockwell Bennett died January 27, 1910 in Elsie (see her obituary). She is buried in the same lot as Hiram.

Photos courtesy Paul Lowrey, Wayne L. Caswell, Richard Carl Nethaway, Claude Nethaway, Leonard C. Tillotson, Mary Porubsky, and D. Tabor. Parts of the biographical information and transcript of the land deed courtesy Paul Lowrey.

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Last modified by pib on May 24, 2013.