Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]
William P. Bennett, or Judge Bennett, as he is familiarly known, was born in Maulmein, British East India, October
17, 1831, and was the son of Cephas and Stella (Kneeland) Bennett, both natives of the State of New York. The elder
Bennett was a printer by occupation, and, in 1829, was sent out by the American Board of Foreign Missions with
the first iron printing press ever operated in Central Asia. In 1840, be returned to America with his family, and,
after a stay of about a year and a half, returned to India, leaving William P. at New Woodstock, N. Y., where he
remained until 1845, when he came to Tecumseh, Mich., but subsequently returned to New York. He was educated at
the Cortland, Woodstock and Groton Academies and at the Oneida Conference School at Cazenovia. October 5, 1850,
he was married to Miss Louisa Brokaw, of Cayuga County, N. Y., and, in 1851, the young couple came to Michigan
and, in October of 1852, settled in Marcellus Township, then a new country, and began the construction of a home.
His ability was soon recognized by the people, and for ten years he was their representative on the Board of Supervisors.
In 1868, he was elected to the most important and responsible position in county affairs, that of Probate Judge,
and such has been the appreciation of the people of the manner in which he has discharged the duties of the office
that he has held the position uninterruptedly since. In politics, Judge Bennett is an unswerving Republican. He
takes a deep interest in political matters, using the term in its broadest and best sense, and has always been
active in advancing the best interests of the community. He is a man of large reading, and his acquaintance with
general literature seems as intimate as his knowledge of the topics of the day. He is not a church member, but
a man of good habits and morals and of sturdy character. His mode of thought is vigorous and his conversation plain
and direct. He is a man in whom dignity is finely tempered withkindness and affability, and the pleasant vein of
humor in his composition renders him engaging in his manner.
Mr. and Mrs. Bennett have a family of three children Alton W., a resident of Big Rapids, Mich.; Frank M., a graduate
of the Naval School at Annapolis; and Stella M., now Mrs. Lieut. Douglas Roben, an officer on the retired list
of the United States Navy.
History of Cass Couny, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of some of it's Prominent Men and Pioneers.
Waterman, Watkins & Co., Chicago 1882.