Biography of Frank Bennett
Big River Township, Mendocino County, CA Biographies





Frank Kelley Bennett. This gentlemen, whose portrait appears in this work, is generally known by the name of Frank Kelley only, but his name is the same as given above. When he was a mere child, his father died, and in the course of a few years his mother married a Mr. Kelley, and Frank was naturally called by his stepfather's name, and thus grew up in the name, and never cared to attempt to correct the matter as it might lead to more confusion than to let it stand as he was known. We append this explanation that Mr. Kelley (Bennett) may not appear in a false light in our work. He was born in the Province of Canada East, July 12, 1848. He resided at his birthplace till 1861, being so busily engaged at his farm labors that he had not an opportunity to acquire even a common school education. In that year he went to Thurso, Province of Quebec, where he served an apprenticeship at the shoemaker's trade during a period of four years. During all the time of his apprenticeship he devoted his spare moments to his books, thus acquiring a fair knowledge of much more than the rudiments of an education. In 1865 he opened a shoe shop of his own at Thurso, and continued business till 1869; on the 17th of October of which year he arrived in California, and on the 21st of that month came to Caspar, Mendocino county. Here he found employment at the mill, working at piling lumber at the port, which he followed for a couple of months. He then began to " peg away" at men's "soles," "foxing" their boots and "tapping" them for the full price, "stitching" to "save the rent," until at "last," March 6, 1876, he threw the business up "awl" together, and, uniting with Joseph Lampitt, he embarked in a mercantile enterprise. At the end of a year the partnership was dissolved, Mr. Kelley (Bennett) purchasing the entire stock. He hags since conducted the business, and with a great degree of success; and well he deserves success for he is a genial, obliging, and, withal, a gentleman of high order, while his sense of honor is not to be excelled by any one. From a boy on a farm, deprived of even the advantages of a common school education, he has developed into one of the first business men along the Mendocino coast, and all through his own personal energies and indomitable will. He was married March 6, 1871, to Miss Georgenia Mathews, a native of Clarance, Canada, who was born November 3, 1846. They have one child, Eleana Isabella, born July 23, 1874.

From:
History of Mendocino County, California
Alley, Bowen & Co., Publishers
San Francisco, California 1880


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