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OBADIAH M. BENNETT -- At the age of fifty-nine Squire Bennett, of New Florence, Pa., passed to his reward, rich in the esteem of the people of West Fairfield and New Florence, who had known him from boyhood. He was active in business for forty-four years, and for thirty years served as Justice of the Peace. He succeeded in his business, and at his passing left a well-established furniture and undertaking business, which is now conducted by his widow, Mrs. H. Margaret (Graham) Bennett.

Squire Bennett was a grandson of Captain John Bennett, born in St.Clair Twp, Westmoreland Co, Pennsylvania, his farm on the Ligonier Pike, bordering on Tubmill Creek, later and for more than half a century being known as the “William Bennett” farm. Captain John Bennett became the owner of a tract of land in Fairfield Twp, the patent for which dates back to the opening of the land office in Westmoreland County. It was on this Fairfield Twp farm that he died April 19, 1826. He married (first) Elizabeth Good, who died March 23, 1816, at the birth of her eighth child, Catherine. Captain Bennett married (second) Nancy McColly. Children of first wife: (1) William born December 23, 1803; (2) Mary born August 5, 1805; (3) Addie born June 4, 1807; (4) Abraham born May 2, 1809; (5) John born April 3,1811; (6) Elizabeth born October 16, 1812; (7) Agnes born August 10, 1814; (8) Catherine born March 23, 1816. Children of second wife: (1) Sarah born March 25 1817; (2) Issac, of further mention; (3) Clarana born June 21, 1820; (4) Susan born August 3, 1822; (5) Amanda born March 30, 1825. All of whom lived to be eighty years of age except the youngest who died aged forty-eight.

Issac Bennett, eldest son of Captain John Bennett and his second wife Nancy (McColly) Bennett was born in Westmoreland Co, Pa. December 1, 1818 and died in West Fairfield in the same county September 13, 1899. After leaving public school he learned cabinet making under the instruction of Mr. Bartley of West Fairfield and after his marriage in 1854 opened a shop of his own and made fine furniture. He also established an undertaking business with John Kirker as partner, but later bought him out and ran the business alone. He was an active, honorable member of his community, keen and alert in furthering the interests of his town, a Presbyterian in religion, and a Republican in politics. He married on April 29, 1845, Margaret Brown who died January 1908, having a limb amputated two years prior to her death. She was born December 27, 1820, daughter of William and Mary (Huston) Brown of StClair Twp, the Browns’ home a stone house built by Mr. Brown in1837 on the Ligonier Pike one mile from New Florence. Mr. and Mrs. Brown were parents of: (1) Robert born March 6, 1817; (2) Archibald H. born December 7, 1818; (3) Margaret, wife of Issac Bennett; (4) Eliza born April 5, 1822; (5) Nancy born November 27, 1826; (6) William born March 7, 1828; (7) John born October 12, 1830; (8) George born December 28, 1832. Mr. and Mrs. Issac Bennett were the parents of : (1) Obadiah M., of further mention: (2) William B. born February 16, 1855 and married August 20, 1884 to Alice L. Larned, they were in turn the parents of two daughters: Carrie, married Dr J. L. Luther of Pittsburgh and Essie who married Dr. Harry C. Updegraff of Canock, Pittsburgh; and also of a son: Donald. (3) Mary E. born February 21, 1858 married Wallace Love, no children. (4) Nancy E. born December 29, 1863 married John P. Findley, two children, Bennett and Wallace Findley.

Obadiah M. Bennett eldest child of Issac and Margaret (Brown) Bennett was born in West Fairfield, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania April 5, 1851 and died in New Florence, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania April 26, 1910. He was educated in the public schools and West Fairfield Academy and early in life began working in the cabinetmaking trade under the direction of his father, becoming an expert workman and from 1865 he was associated with his father in the furniture store and undertaking business. Later he moved to New Florence where he successfully conducted a furniture store and an undertaking business. He was highly esteemed by his fellowman, they electing him to every borough office within their gift, including school director and justice of the peace. From term to term he was elected continuously until his tenure of office as justice covered a period of thirty years, his last election being just before his death. He fully realized the importance of the public schools and devoted considerable time to the cause of education. He was a member of the United Presbyterian Church and a Republican in politics.

Squire Bennett married, January 19, 1876 Hannah Margaret Graham, born March 14, 1855, daughter of William and Margaret Ann Graham of further mention. Mr. and Mrs. Bennett were the parents of twelve sons and daughters, two of whom died in infancy; (1) Anna born November 5, 1876; married J. P. Robb of Butler county Pennsylvania; children: Bennett, now in France with the United States Army; Meredith and Pierce Robb. The latter dying in September 1905. (2) Kate born May 13, 1878, died May 26 1890. (3) Margaret O. born April 20, 1880; married H. H. Horrell of New Florence; children: Henry and Margaret Horrell. (4) Charles G. born February 7, 1882; married Elizabeth Delaney, children: Hannah Margaret born July 31, 1914; Maria Elizabeth born July 13, 1916: and Janet Amelia born February 27, 1918. (5) Mabel R. born September 25, 1883, teacher in the public schools. (6) Ada Florence born June 29, 1885; married Alexander Lynch. (7) Andrew J. born February 3, 1888, died September 28, 1904 as the result of an accident. (8) Unnamed infant son, born and died March 29, 1890. (9) Jeanette T. born May 7, 1892, at home. (10) Obadiah S. born October 27, 1894, at home. (11) Unnamed infant son, born and died November 25, 1897. (12) Robert born July 17, 1900, died March 28, 1901.

Hannah Margaret (Graham) Bennett, who survives her husband, was born in Fairfield township, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania March 14, 1885, daughter of William Graham born in County Derry, Ireland January 1, 1800, died May 13, 1876. He was the owner of a two hundred acre farm in Fairfield Township and was a contractor, his activity alternating between the farm and his business. He bought the farm in Fairfield Township in 1828 and there resided until death. He married (first) June 18, 1822 Margaret Ann Brown of Scotch parentage born east of the mountains, July 17, 1800 and died November 13, 1851, the daughter of James and Polly (Faber) Brown who came to Fairfield township in 1804. William and Margaret Ann Graham were the parents of nine sons and daughters: (1) James L. born March 18, 1823, died November 16, 1899; married Sarah Ogden. (2) Robert born December 8, 1824, died April 2, 1887 at Pittsburgh; married Priscilla Johnson. (3) Thomson born May 25, 1827, died June 1, 1838. (4) William Faber born March 1, 1831, died in Virginia: married Nancy McPherson. (5) David L. born February 7, 1833, died July 31, 1904 at Cincinnati; married Jane Watt. (6) Paul Faber born March 13, 2836, died February 10, 1869 at Burning Spring, West Virginia, met with an accident; married Mary Moorhead. (7) John Laughry born February 10, 1838; married Maria Ogden of Beloit Kansas. (8) Thomas Maban born October 16, 1840, died January 3, 1866, killed in a railroad wreck; married Eliza Pershing. (9) Andrew Thomson born November 9, 1842, died April 29, 1852. Mr. William Graham married (second) May 30, 1854, Mary Ann Peal born November 9, 1820, died at New Florence, Pennsylvania December 10, 1895, daughter of Jonathan and Hannah (Thomas) Peale. Children: (1) Hannah Margaret, widow of Obadiah M. Bennett. (2) Alexander George born February 7, 1857 now living in Clinton, Iowa. (3) Hugh Charles born March 21, 1859; married Mary Smith of Latrobe, Pennsylvania. (4) Edgar Thomas born April 29, 1862; married Cora McClure and resided at Seattle Washington; they have two children; Chauncy, a soldier of the United States Army and Margaret. (5) Allen Hamill born January 15, 1865; married Margaret Hammond and resides in Denver, Colorado; children: Helen Brett and Fred Hammond as soldier of the United States Army. William Graham, the father, was an old-line Whig, then a Republican representing his district in the Pennsylvania House of Assembly in 1832 and 1833. He was a member of the United Presbyterian Church and he with both wives are buried in the United Presbyterian Cemetery in Fairfield township.

William Graham was the son of Robert Graham, who came from Ireland in 1806 and settled in Fairfield township on what is now the Ross farm, there he died January 18, 1825 and was buried in the old Fairfield graveyard with his wife. He was a Democrat in political faith and a member of the Masonic order. He married Eleanor McCleary, who died November 3, 1839. Children: (1) James, married Allen Hamill; (2) Margaret, married John Laughrey; (3) Anna, married James Dick; (4) Eliza, married Robert Martin; (5) Ellen, married a Mr. Barnwell; (6) William of previous mention, father of Mrs. O. M. Bennett; (7) Andrew, married Margaret Graham; (8) James married a Miss McConoughy; (10) Robert, married a Miss Pollock; (11) Hugh, married Nancy Ogden.

The grandmother of Hannah (Thomson) Peale was a daughter of Archibald Thomson and a granddaughter of Alexander Thomson who came form Scotland to America with his family in 1772, only his eldest son (1) Robert remained in Scotland. Children, (all of Cumberland county, Pennsylvania except Archibald who was of Franklin county): (2) Alexander, married Jane Grier; (3) William, married Jane Lindsey; (4) Archibald, married Ann Andrews; (5) John, married Hannah Rhea; (6) Andrew, married Isabella Edgar; (7) James, married Nancy Wright; (8) Margaret, married Andrew Watson; (9) Nancy, married John Calhour; (10) Mary, married John Purveyance; (11) Jennie, married Andrew Shaw; (12) Ann, married (first) Matthew Ligan (second) David Cowan; (13) Jean, married (first) Arthur Shields (second) Andrew McClellan.

Archibald Thomson, the forth son, married Ann Andrews, children were: (1) Elizabeth born August 7, 1786, died in Fairfield township September 9, 1851; married James Brown. (2) Alexander born January 12, 1789; was twice married, one of his sons, Frank Thomson being at one time president of the Pennsylvania railroad. (3) James L. born December 16, 1790; married Barbara Watson and died in Pittsburgh. (4) Jane born October 7, 1793; married John Hendricks and died at Shelbyville, Indiana.

Thomas Hendricks a vice-president of The United States. (5) Ann born November 18, 1785, died young. (6) Agnes born July 12, 1798, died young. (7) Hannah born October 13, 1800, died at Covodesville, Westmoreland county February 28,1874; married Jonathan Peale, son of John Peale born August 2, 1765; married September 10, 1795 to Mary McClintock born October 9, 1777 and was a farmer of Franklin county, Pennsylvania; children of John and Mary Peale; (1) James born July 23, 1796. (2) Johnathan of further mention. (3) Dr. John born June 15, 1800, died in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, was the father of State Senator Peale. (4) William born April 15, 1802, killed at a mill in Franklin county; (5) Eliza born May 8, 1804; married a Mr. Christman, moved to Illinois and there died. (6) Jacob born May 4, 1806, died in Mississippi. (7) Mary Ann born August 8, 1808, married Dr. Frence and died of an injury while sleighing. (8) Elijah born July 12, 1810, settled at New Orleans, Louisiana. (9) Robert born March 24, 1816, drowned in Rock River, Illinois. (10) George W. born July 1819. (11) Amanda born in 1820, married George Mentzer and moved to Rockford, Illinois.

Jonathan Peale the second son of John and Mary (McClintock) Peale was born May 14, 1798, died at Cavodesville, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania in 1858. He married Hannah Thomson, they the parents of sons and daughters: (1) Mary Ann married William Graham, they the parents of Hannah M., widow of Obadiah M. Bennett; (2) Margaret Andrews born August 10, 1822, died April 24, 1889 at Grand Rapids, Michigan, married John Cavode, a Congressman and eminent public man; (4) Elizabeth born December 28, 1823, married George Reynolds and died in Dubois, Pennsylvania and was the mother of nine sons and daughters. (5) Hannah Jane born March 5 1826, died February 15, 1874, married Thomas McCoy, they the parents of six children. (6) John Alexander born March 12, 1828, married Juliet Bland, and died at Vicksburg, Mississippi. (7) Henrietta born November 9, 1829, died February 6, 1842. (8) James Thomson born December 21, 1830, died august 1832. (9) Susan born September 15, 1832, died November 3, 1835. (10) Amanda born May 20, 1835, married Captain George Mabon, they were the parents of two children. (11) Major James Thomson born January25, 1837, married Jessie Nixon and yet resides in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. (12) Edgar born July 4, 1839, died February 28, 1840. (13) Emma born January 14, 1841, married Dr. Samuel Hamill and has two daughters and three sons.

Information from Steve Aberle