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Source: History of Bergen County New Jersey. By J. M. Van Valen. New Jersey Publishing and Engraving Company, New York, 1900. p.649-650
WILLIAM W. BENNETT
William W. Bennett, Superintendent of the Phelps Estate in Bergen county; was born in England, February 4, 1841. When six months old his parents came to America and located at Binghamton, New York, where the father died about twelve years later. When eleven years of age young Bennett was taken by a Mr. Louis Lee Morris, a farmer of Otsego county, N. Y. where he remained six years. This was one of the important periods of his life, in which he was trained to habits of industry, and frugality and otherwise prepared to meet and solve the many difficult and trying problems of life which come to all. At the age of seventeen years, the young man met Mr. John Stewart Wells, of Binghamton, N. Y., to whom he apprenticed himself to learn the trade of carpenter, and remained with him three years, thoroughly mastering this branch of mechanics, becoming an architect as well. After working for a time at his trade at home, he enlisted as a mechanic, in the War, in 1862, and stayed with the army in one capacity or another, with the construction and repair work on railways, going to Alexandria, then to Norfolk and Suffolk, Virginia, remaining for a considerable time on the Peninsula where McClellan operated. In 1863 he was assigned to the quarter-master's department, under Captain Goodwin, and then was employed solely in the construction of Barracks and prison houses, and in the manufacture of army furniture, which closed his army career. After the fall of Richmond, he applied for his discharge papers, and while on his way home, when near Turner's Station, on the Erie railroad, in New York, President Lincoln was shot, and a singular coincidence was, that he happened to be on the same spot on July 2, 1881, when President Garfield was assassinated.
For two years after the war, Mr. Bennett followed his trade of carpentering at Binghampton, N. Y., but in 1867 came to New Jersey, going to the home in which he now lives, staying there one year as a tenant. In 1882 he returned to the same house, where he has since resided. His work in New Jersey, was the erection of a fine house for Judge Phelps, subsequently building a row of houses in Teaneck, and following this with a number of buildings in Englewood, then the elegant residence of William Walter Phelps, which led to the acquaintanceship of the two men, and the life long superintendency of Mr. Bennett in the management of the Phelps estate. This was twenty-seven years before the death of Mr. Phelps, during which time the large interests of this wealthy resident of the county was so ably managed and so agreeably with Mr. Phelps' wishes, that substantial considerations not infrequently accompanied the salary allowed, and also honorable mention with flattering financial considerations were made in his will.Mr. Bennett has been married twice. His first wife was Mrs. Mary C. Corby,, daughter of Peter and Catherine Terhune to whom he was married in 1870. She died in 1875. Two daughters were the fruit of this union, Catherine, the younger being the wife of Captain Frank S. De Ronde. On June 10, 1877, he was united in marriage to Mrs. Margaretta Ferdon, daughter of Gilchrest and Eliza Perry of Nyack, N. Y. They are the parents of four children, two boys and two girls, the elder of the boys now being a member of the Second Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, Infantry.
When Mr. Bennett first came to Englewood he was elected Town Committeeman and held that office for a number of years. He was also chosen member of the board of Freeholders and elected by both parties and re-elected.
When Teaneck township was formed he was selected by all parties for Town Committeeman and elected chairman of the Board. This office he held three years and then by all parties, was re-elected to the same position and also selected for Justice of the Peace.
Mr. Bennett's life has been a comparatively smooth one. He is a kindly man whose lines have fallen in pleasant places. In politics his preference has always been Republican, except where in his judgment the party needed discipline, in which case he has not hesitated to vote with the opposite party.
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