HASSARD BENNETT, farmer, sec. 20, Austin Tp., was born in Essex Co., N.Y., Oct. 22, 1837, son of Isaac and Mary Bennett, who were natives of FRance, and came early in their lives to the United States, settling in New York. Mr. Bennett commenced life as a common laborer, and found various avenues of employment for several years, finally becoming a trapper, which pursuit he followed for some time. He then engaged in lumbering, at which he worked until Oct., 12, 1861, the date of his enlistment in the Union army. He enrolled in Company K, First VErmont Cavalry, and his first active service was under Gen. Kilpatrick, in the valley of the Shenandoah. He was in the Sharpshooters' brigade until 1863, when the regiment was transferred to the command of Gen. Custer, with whom he remained until his discharge Oct. 19, 1864. Mr. Bennett was in all the principal engagements of the Rappahannock and Shenandoah. At the second battle of Bull Run he received a saber wound through the leg, and at the time of Lee's attempted retreat across the Potomac at Hagerstown, was shot through the shoulder. He was promoted to Corporal for bravery in action.
He came to Big Rapids, Mich., in the spring of 1865, and again interested himself in the lumber business, which he pursued until 1869. In that year he purchased the place where he now lives, and took immediate possession, proceeding to clear away the timber and otherwise make improvements; has now 42 acres under the plow and in good tillable condition. He also owns a half interest in 160 acres in Mecosta Tp. He was married Sept. 30, 1866, to Elizabeth, daughter of Charles and Mary Smith, who was born in Ireland, April 10, 1849, and died Feb. 19, 2873, leaving the children, Charles H., born March 9, 1879; (think this should be 1869) Ernest J., Feb. 22, 1871; Elizabeth M., Feb. 5, 1873. Mr. Bennett contracted a second marriage April 9, 1874, with Margaret, daughter of William and Lydia (Wample) Smith, born in Michigan, July 2, 1855. They have two children: Emma M., born Nov. 9, 1874, and Minard I., May 7, 187-.
Mr. Bennett is a radical Republican and has held all the important township and school offices until he declines farther duties.