Sam and Susan Bennett
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Sam and Susan Bennett
Rose Spray
Birth Date:   Mar 19, 1868      Birth Date:   Feb 11, 1874
Death Date: Sep 3, 1939      Death Date: Jan 10, 1960


S.J. Bennett was born March 19, 1868 in Tennessee. He was a lawyer and school teacher having been educated in Tennessee schools and colleges. He came to Texas with credentials to practice law and teach school. He met Susan E. King in Farmersville. They were married June 9, 1895 in McKinney. They made their home in Farmersville where Mr. Bennett taught school. Two children, Mae and Opal, were born there. At one time Susie studied to become a stenographer in Mr. Bennett´s law office, but instead of practicing law, they moved to West Texas in 1901, where Mrs. Bennett´s father had purchased land for all his children. Susan King Bennett was born Feb. 11, 1874.

Three children, Ellen, Sam and Jim, were born on their farm southeast of Cone. Mr. Bennett taught school at Fairview, Mt. Blanco and Pansy. It was a nine mile drive to Mt. Blanco in a buggy. Opal and Mae attended school with him. When he taught at one school, he left Monday morning and did not return until Friday night. There was no sale for farm products. Farmers kept hogs and chickens for home use. Every farmer had cattle which were turned out on pasture. There were miles and miles of grass and no fences so the cattle had free run to pasture. Farmers had to raise bundles and grain to feed the cattle, hogs, chickens and horses.

Coal was used for fuel and at times the men would drive their wagons to the canyon and get dead trees. Also people picked up wagon loads of cow chips for fuel.

Bennett obtained a school at Emma. "Miss Susie" declared to him she was not living alone during school week anymore, so he built her a home at Emma.

Many times Bennett made trips in his wagon to Amarillo to bring supplies to the grocery,hardware, and drug stores in Emma. He also freighted to Canyon in a wagon. Once in the winter he was gone 15 days. He had to take food and water with him. On the cold winter days he would walk beside the wagon to get exercise and keep warm.

When he taught at Emma, the school term was nine months long. He moved his family there, March 24, 1910, there was a grass fire that started near Plainview and swept the pastures all the way south of Emma going through the town and burning several barns and houses. there were four teachers in the Emma school, W.H. Saffold, S.J. Bennett, Josie Lee, and Kate Reagan. They were afraid that the school would burn, so they marched the children to a plowed field a half mile away. Mr. Bennett´s milk shed, barn, carriage, and feed stack burned in the back yard.

When the county seat at Emma was moved to Crosbyton, he moved his house and family to Ralls. He taught that year at the Robertson School southwest of Ralls and boarded with Fiddler Robertson. That was his last year to teach. He went into grocery business with his brother Charlie in Ralls for awhile. Leatha and Leola were born while the Bennetts lived in Ralls. Sam and Susie moved back to their farm. By that time there was a good market for farm products. After his children were grown and most of them married, he built a home in Ralls. Bennett worked for awhile in a grocery store and served as justice of the peace. Mrs. Bennett was a dressmaker all her life and kept busy sewing for the public.

Sam and Susan Bennett were members of Church of Christ. They are buried in Ralls. Cemetery.

Source: "Crosby County History Book 1876-1977", Crosby County Historical Commission, ©1977

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