John S. Bennett was the son of Benjamin L. Bennett and Margaret (Hall) Bennett. Benjamin had three children from a previous marriage, Ann C., Thomas J., and Martha Bennett, all born in Alabama.
John S. was born in Alabama, but interestingly, his younger brother Henry was born in Rutherford County, TN.
By the late 1850's his father Benjamin was a well established farmer in Marshall County, Alabama, near Guntersville, with over 300 acres in cotton and several business lots in the nearby town of Warrenton. Benjamin died of rheumatic fever in 1860, when John S. was ten years old. John S. continued living on his father's land with his mother, brother, and half sister Martha. His maternal uncle Henry Hall lived nearby and helped his mother manage the estate.
In the US Census of 1870, Marshall County, John S. (age 20) was living with his mother, Margaret A. (42), brother Henry W. (14), and half sister, Martha M. Eubanks (25).
John S. Bennett married Rhoda Helen "Dolly"/"Miss Doll" May on 22 Jan 1880, per Alabama County Marriages 1809-1950. The couple had at least two children:
John May Bennett (1882-1953)
Gus May Bennett (1883-1951)
John S. Bennett served as Sheriff of Marshall County from 1880-1884.
Per US Census 1900, head of household John S. Bennett and wife lived on a farm that they owned free and clear, with sons John M. and Gus M. Both sons listed as farm laborers. The entire household was literate. They lived three households away on the census sheet from John's uncle, Henry W. Hall (age 80), who lived with a servant and three boarders.
Per the US Census 1910, head of household John S. Bennett (59) lived with wife Helen (46), son John Jr. (26), son Gus M. (24), daughter in law May Bennett (20), grandson Washington Bennett (1), and son OH Taylor (12).
Sheriff John S. Bennett died in the winter of 1917, per Alabama deaths, 1908-1974. The source lists John S. Bennett., age 67, of Marshall County, AL dying on 4 Jan 1917, with his father listed as BL Bennett and his mother Margaretta Bennett. His children continued living on the land until the 1950's.
In the 1930 census, John S.'s son, John M. (48), was a widower living on the old Bennett plantation land with daughters Margarette (15), Vera M. (11), and Marie (5), along with his mother, Rhodie H. (75). His son Gus also lived on the land with his family.
When John S.'s son Gus died in 1951, he left his portion of the estate to his grandchildren since their father Washington had been killed the previous year. Washington's widow Jane remarried a man named Gallagher and in 1962 she sold the last remaining 79 acres of Benjamin Bennett's land to L. Couch, the head of the local TVA.
Rhoda Helen May Bennett
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