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:
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
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.
BY THE PRESIDENT   FRANKLIN PIERCE
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.
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
Ebenezer Nethaway and Martha Rockwell.
Brother-in-law and sister of Eleanor M. Rockwell Bennett.
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:
Oliver M. Bennett.
Oliver M. Bennett and Addie French.
Mary E. Bennett.
Thomas Corwin Nooney.
Thomas grew up in Mantua. He rode his horse around the neighborhood to tell people of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. When he was sixteen, Thomas moved to Kansas and lived there for two years. He returned to his old home in Ohio and lived there until 1879. That year he came by wagon to Elsie, Clinton County, Michigan where he lived the rest of his life.
Mary and Thomas had three children:
George J. Lowrey died April 15, 1953. Dora M. Nooney died September 3, 1974.
Mary E. Bennett died January 4, 1910 in Elsie, Clinton County, Michigan and is buried there. Three years later, in June 1913, Thomas married Amanda Starkweather, widow of Winfield Scott Starkweather. Amanda Acre was born in Canada to Alexander Acre and Johanna Lundy. Amanda grew up in Clinton County, Michigan. She married Winfield Scott Starkweather in March, 1873. Their daughter Nora Starkweather married Hiram's nephew Dow W. Bennett of Fairfield, Shiawassee County, Michigan. Dow Bennett was the son of Hiram's brother Almon D. Bennett. Winfield Scott Starkweather died August 28, 1910.
The following biographical information about Winfield and Amanda Starkweather comes from the book Past and Present of Clinton County by Judge S. B. Daboll, published in 1906.
On the list of retired citizens in Elsie appears the name of W. S. Starkweather. He is now enjoying a well-earned rest but for years was a prosperous farmer of Clinton county and also owned and operated land in Montcalm County. He had farming interests in Ovid and Duplain townships and was actively engaged in the tilling of the soil until 1901, when he removed to Elsie and purchased the residence property that he now owns. He dates his residence in Michigan from 1847 and in Clinton County from 1856. He was born at Eagle harbor, New York, March 14, 1847. His father, Sidney Smith Starkweather, was a native of New York and was there reared and married. He wedded Miss Sarah Smith, a native of Pennsylvania and in order to provide for his family he followed the millwright's trade, devoting his entire life to that pursuit. In 1847 he removed westward to Michigan, locating first at Pontiac, where he was employed at his trade, building the first mill on the shore of Lake Huron. It was a sawmill and Mr. Starkweather removed his family there and remained for a year, after which he returned to Pontiac. In 1856 he located in the town of Ovid, Clinton County, where he was also engaged in business as a millwright. He and his sons likewise cleared and opened up a farm in Ovid township, whereon he made his home during his last days. His death, however, occurred at the residence of his daughter in Oakland County, his wife having passed away some four years previous. In their family were twelve children, six of whom reached adult age, of whom two sons and two daughters are yet living. W. S. Starkweather spent the days of his boyhood and youth in the usual manner of farm lads in Ovid Township and assisted in the arduous task of clearing and developing the home place. He remained with his father until after he had reached adult age and in 1864, when a youth of seventeen years, he responded to the country's call for aid, enlisting in Company K, Thirtieth Michigan Infantry. He was detailed to take drafted men to the front and return prisoners to the north and thus he served until the final close of the war, being honorably discharged in June 1865.
Mr. Starkweather then returned to his home, where he lived at different intervals for several years, working, however, at other times in other localities. He was married in Ovid Township in March 1873, to Miss Amanda Acre, a native of Canada. In the Acre family were seven children, four sons and three daughters; Joseph, who is living in St. Johns, Michigan; Edward, a farmer residing near the Colony in Duplain township; Arthur, a resident of Ovid Township; Grant, who is living in Eagle Township; Mrs. Starkweather; Mary, and Lillie, the wife of James Worden, of Elsie. Mrs. Starkweather largely spent her girlhood and youth in Clinton County.
After his marriage Mr. Starkweather rented land in Ovid Township, where he engaged in farming for two years, and subsequently removed to Montcalm County, where he purchased eighty acres of raw land and began the development of a farm, transforming the tract into a productive property. There he lived for four years, after which he sold that place and returned to Clinton County, purchasing forty acres of land to Duplain Township, near Elsie. Again he began the development and improvement of a farm and subsequently he purchased the old homestead in Ovid Township, to which he removed, living there for many years, when he sold the property to his father, from whom he had purchased it. Mr. Starkweather of this review once more took up his abode in Duplain Township, where he carried on agricultural pursuits for a few years, and then traded the place for another farm of eighty acres in Duplain Township. Settling thereon he greatly improved the property, adding to it all modern equipment and accessories. He also built a fine large barn at a cost of one thousand dollars and remodeled and improved the house. In all of his agricultural work he has been enterprising and progressive, keeping in touch with modern thought regarding agricultural interests. He has been eminently practical in all his work and year by year he has harvested good crops and thus secured a gratifying financial return for his labor. At length he sold out and bought a home in Elsie, where he has since live retired. He likewise owns another residence in the town.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Starkweather have been born three daughters, the eldest being Carrie Belle, the wife of James White, of Lansing Michigan, by whom she has a son, Vern. Ruby Pearl is the wife of Archie Leavey, of Duplain Township, and they have two sons, Glen and Dale, and a daughter, Irma. Nora is the wife of Dow Bennett, of Fairfield, Michigan, and they have two children, Almon and Ethena (sic). The parents are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which Mr. Starkweather is serving on the board of stewards. He belongs to the Grand Army post at Elsie and gives his political allegiance to the Republican Party, the principles of which he has staunchly championed since casting his first presidential vote for U. S. Grant. In all life's relations, whether upon the field of battle, in the discharge of civic duties or in meeting the obligations of home, social or business life Mr. Starkweather is always found loyal and true and his many excellent traits of character commend him to the good will of all with whom he has been associated.
Amanda Acre Starkweather Nooney died January 27, 1923. After Amanda's death Thomas lived with his daughter Dora and her husband George Lowrey for the rest of his life.
Thomas Corwin Nooney died in Elsie on January 4, 1936, exactly twenty-five years after his first wife Mary died. Thomas is also buried in Elsie.
Mary E. Bennett.
Thomas Corwin Nooney.
Thomas Corwin Nooney.
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.
Back to Oliver Roby Bennett and Elizabeth Ford.
Back to index of my personal genealogy pages.
Last modified by pib on May 24, 2013.