The Fort Dodge Messenger: April 7, 1903
John Walter Bennett was born in Seghill, Northumberlandshire England March 31st, 1829, and died at kalo, Ia., March 29th, 1903.
He was married at Vinegar Hill, Jo Davis county, Ill., January 7th, 1852, to Margaret Ward, who died June 14th, 1856. He was married again to Jane Anderson at Center, Lafayette county, Wisconsin, Feb. 3rd, 1858. To them were born eight children, one of whom, Robert William died in childhood. The other seven are all married, residing, Cordelia Jane Hay, at Sioux City, Walter Bennett at Pittsburg, Kansas, Mary F. Williams at Pleasant Lake, N.D., William F. Bennett, Benton, Washington, J. Wesley Bennett Kalo, Ida May Williams, West Bend, and Elizebeth E. Chilgren, of Fort Dodge. Five of these were present at the funeral.
In young manhood he lived in Pana, Ill., and Wisconsin. For the past 33 years he lived in Iowa. He settled in Kossuth county with the early pioneers and endured with his family much hardship during the grasshopper scourge. Twenty-eight years ago he came to Coalville and has lived in Kalo since 1880. Probably no man has received more of the regard and respect of the community than he. A man of great integrity, he was true to his convictions in all departments of life. No one ever thought of doubting his fidelity to what he conceived to be right.
In early life he became an active Christian. For a while he was a member of the Primitive Methodist church. But most of his life he was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, to which he was greatly attached. The Methodist itinerant was always sure of a hearty welcome in his home. He was well read in the doctrines of history and policy of his church. For at least thirty years he was class leader and had special qualifications for this work.
Before his wife died and all the five years he has lived with his son, Wesley, he has been a great sufferer and suffered to the end. A good man has left the community who will be long remembered. But he has gone to his reward, for he died in the Lord.
Rev. John Cook, of Epworth, Iowa, preached the sermon from the text, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.” He preached Mr. Bennett’s father’s funeral sermon 30 years ago. Rev. Cook had with him on the platform Rev. Francis Fawks, pastor of the Congregational church and Rev. Jones of the Otho Methodist church. Mr. Fawks made the opening prayer. The services were very impressive and were attended by a very large part of the community.