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Crayton Bennett

Submitted by: Jerry McClure, 11 July 2001
Surnames: Baum, Bell, Bennett, Cahoon, Dennis, Quick, Ross, Simms


Crayton Bennett was born in Pennsylvania about 1812. On August 20, 1833, he was married to Elizabeth Cahoon in Vermillion Co., IN. By January 1836, three children had been born: Melinda, Huldah and David. The family moved to Clay Co., MO, where they are listed on the 1840 census. He received a patent for 160 acres of land in Platte Co., MO, April 1, 1846.

By 1850, Crayton and the family were again living in Vermillion Co., IN, where the census for Eugene township shows he was a ferryman. It appears there were close ties with the Simms family and very probable that he worked on the ferry started in 1831 by William Simms and run by Norburn Thomas from 1832 to 1907. A William Simms was married to Frances Cahoon (sister of Elizabeth?) on May 4, 1834, in Vermillion Co.

It is likely that Lydia Bennett who was married to John Simms was a sister of Crayton. The following children of John and Lydia Simms were living at home in the 1850 Vermillion Co. census: Julia, Edward, Lewis, Maria, Mary, Margaret, and Melissa. Their son, Crayton Simms, had married Mary Ross on January 5, 1850, and they were close neighbors of Crayton Bennett in 1850.

On April 23, 1853, Crayton and Elizabeth Bennett's daughter, Melinda, was married to Thomas W. Bell who was born in 1825 in Pennsylvania. Thomas started a tailor shop and lived in Eugene until about 1891 when he moved to Danville, IL, with his son, David Willis Bell. David had been a partner with William Hosford operating a drug store and serving as postmaster in Eugene. Another son, William Bell, was also a businessman in Eugene. Thomas died in 1896 and Melinda died in 1901. Both are buried in the Eugene cemetery.

On October 23, 1849, Crayton and Elizabeth's daughter, Huldah, was married to Ambrose Quick. They had three children: Victoria, Perry and Elizabeth. Huldah died in 1901 in Vermillion Co. From census information, it appears that Crayton Bennett died before 1860 and his wife, Elizabeth, died before 1870. They are likely buried in the Eugene cemetery.

About 1856, Crayton and Elizabeth's son, David, moved from Vermillion Co. to Otoe Co., NE, where he worked with his uncle, Gideon Bennett, on a ferry on the Missouri River. In 1857, he married Elizabeth Dennis, the daughter of Andrew and Sarah (Bennett) Dennis. About 1867, David and Elizabeth moved to Fairbury, Jefferson Co., NE, where David became the city marshal. They had four children: William, Emma, John and Georgina. David died in 1905 and Elizabeth in 1915. They are buried in the Fairbury Cemetery.

Andrew and Sarah Dennis were married April 4, 1833, in Vermillion Co. Sarah was likely a sister of Crayton Bennett. Andrew and Sarah also moved to Otoe Co. where they were neighbors of Gideon until 1867 when they moved to Jefferson Co., NE. They are buried in the Fairbury Cemetery in Fairbury, NE. Andrew and Elizabeth's children were: Elizabeth, Mary, John, Lydia, Percillis, Charlotte, William, Benjamin, Martha and Sarah.

Gideon Bennett married Jane Elizabeth Baum on March 22, 1847, in Atchison Co., MO. In addition to operating a ferry at "Bennett's Ferry", he was also elected to the Nebraska House of Representatives. In 1860, he lived at Nebraska City where he died in 1864. Gideon and Jane's children were: George, John, Mary, Columbus, Lafayette, William and Emma.

From census information, it appears that Crayton Bennett died before 1860 and his wife, Elizabeth, died before 1870. They are likely buried in the Eugene cemetery.