Here is a transcribed collection of newspaper articles about William Bennett, my fourth-great-grandfather.
For the article, “Wild Bill Bennett”, please click here.
The Leaf-Chronicle, 06 Jan 1902, Mon, Page 6
And Able to Cultivate a Crop is William Bennett at the Age of 96 Years
Mr. Wm. Bennett, of the Second District, was in the city Wednesday. Mr. Bennett says that he is 96 years old and enjoys the vigor of young manhood. He never wore a pair of glasses, and can see to shoot a rifle 60 yards. He cultivated twenty acres in corn last year and says that he can do about as much work as any of his bands. In his young days he was given the name of “Wild Bill.” He is a polite old gentlemen, and looks like he might outlive many of us yet. – Ashland City Times.
The Tennessean, 27 May 1905, Sat, Page 10
NEAR THE CENTURY MARK.
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn., May 26 – (Special.) – William Bennett, the oldest citizen of Cheatham County, celebrated his ninety-ninth birthday this week. At this occasion eighty-two grandchildren and great-grandchildren were present, some of whom he had never seen before. Mr. Bennett looks hale and hearty and says he can do almost as much work in a day now as most men do who are many years younger. He has planted besides his garden and other truck patches fifteen acres of corn, and expects to cultivate it all himself.
Lawrence Democrat, June 9, 1905
William Bennett, the oldest citizen of Cheatham county, celebrated his ninety-ninth birthday last week. At this occasion eighty-two grandchildren and great grandchildren were present, some of whom he had never seen before. Mr. Bennett looks hale and hearty and says he can do almost as much work in a day now as most men do who are many years younger. He has planted besides his garden and other truck patches, fifteen acres of corn, and expects to cultivate it all himself.
Ashland City Times, May 15, 1911
William Bennett, aged 106, and his daughter, Mrs. Mary Dickerson, aged 80, of Cheatham County.
Ashland City, Tenn., May 15 – Mr. William Bennett and his daughter, Mrs. Mary Dickerson, are citizens of the Second [?] District of Cheatham County, Tenn. Mr. Bennett is 106 years old and Mrs. Dickerson, who keeps his house for him, is 80 years old. Mr. Bennett was born on the sixteenth of April, 1805, at Franklin, Tenn., moving to Davidson County in what is now Cheatham County, about 1811, where Mrs. Dickerson was born. Mr. Bennett says his father hauled the boards used to cover the first frame building built in Nashville and he, then a boy of five years, rode on the wagon. He says this was in 1810 and the building was on the corner of Square and First Avenue. He says they fed their team on this trip near the corner of Market and Broad Streets and ate dinner in the old fort, then occupied by Mrs. Demonbreun, who was his aunt.
Mr. Bennett has always been fond of hunting and still retains his love for his gun and dog. He tells many remarkable tales of his thrilling experiences in hunting bear, wolf, and other wild animals when a young man. He says on one occasion his uncle was in Davidson County on a visit from his home in Georgia. The women of the community had been troubled by a band of Indians who would hide near the springs where the women were compelled to go for water and spring out from their hiding places, frightening the women with their hideous war whoops. Just before leaving for his home in Georgia, his uncle shot one of these Indians, who had been particularly obnoxious, cut a strip of skin from the Indian’s back and down each leg one inch wide, and from this made the bridle reins which he used on his return trip to Georgia. None of the settlers of the community dared take any steps to put an end to this action of Indians for fear of a general attack.
Mr. Bennett never fails to attend the elections, county, state and national. He cast his first vote for Sam Houston for Governor. He is now a Republican, but voted for Bob Taylor and the Regular ticket in November. The year he was 100 years old he chopped cord wood for the Dupont Powder Company at Sycamore, chopping as fast as his great-grandson, Ed Bennett, could haul it to the powder mills. One year later he cut his foot severely hewing cross ties and since that time has been compelled to wear his shoe split on account of enlargement of the foot. He never drank alcoholic liquors to excess and has always been temperate in his habits. He can now ride a mule in a gallop and says he wants to live twenty years longer. He is the father of sixteen children, the oldest, Jacob Bennett, now living near the head of Marrowbone Creek in Davidson County.
Mr. Bennett has not been in Ashland City for about two years. He lives about six miles from the bank [?] and the last time he was in town he rode a mule 38 years old in a gallop the better part of the way, coming to town to pay his taxes. He says he was never in a buggy until after he was one hundred years old.
The Tennessean, 20 Jan 1912, Sat, Page 9
AT AGE OF NEARLY 106.
William Bennett Dies in Cheatham Leaving Sixteen Children
ASHLAND CITY, Tenn., Jan. 19 – (Special.) – At the age of 106 years, 8 months and 27 days, William Bennett died at his home in the Second district of Cheatham county. Mr. Bennett was born in Williamson county in the year 1806. He came to this county, which was then Davidson county, in his early childhood, and has been a resident of the Second district since that time. He is survived by sixteen children, the oldest being 86 years old.
When Mr. Bennett was 100 years old he cut cordwood as fast as his great-grandson could haul it to the Sycamore Powder Mills, a distance of some seven or eight miles. His father cut the first boards to cover the first frame building that was put up in Nashville in 1809, which building stood where Demonville’s drug store now stands. William Bennett was then about 4 years old and rode in the wagon with his father to town. They fed their team at the foot of Broadway and ate their dinner in the old fort with a widow, Mrs. L. T. Demonbreun, his great-aunt.
About five years ago, or when Mr. Bennett was 101 years of age, he cut his foot with an axe while hewing ties. This disabled him up to the time of his death.
Transcribed and compiled, Down Home Genealogy, firstname.lastname@example.org