James Marcus Bennett, who was connected by marriage with two of the best known families of Claremont, was born in New Milford, Conn., December 12, 1819. When a young man he settled in Canada, and by his extraordinary business ability and sterling integrity achieved a marked success. He engaged in the hotel business, becoming the principal owner of the Tecumshi Hotel at London, Ont., the largest hostelry in that city. His business brought him into personal contact with men of prominence in public life, and, becoming a citizen of Canada, he joined the Reformed party. He was elected to the Board of Aldermen of London, and while in that position displayed a capacity for public affairs which placed him in high repute among his fellow-citizens. He was unusually prosperous and in a fair way of securing an independent fortune when a general business depression inflicted reverses upon him from which he never recovered. He paid his debts manfully, but his losses proved such a severe shock to his nervous system as to cause his death in 1866.
Mr. Bennett married Sarah N. Grannis, who survives him, and who is now residing in Claremont. She is a daughter of George and Susannah (Strowbridge) Grannis, and a granddaughter of Timothy Grannis, an account of whom will be found in a sketch of Homer E. Grannis, which appears elsewhere in this work. George Grannis, who was a prosperous farmer and a prominent citizen of Claremont in his day, died in 1847, aged fifty-five years. His wife, Susannah, was a daughter of Colonel John Strowbridge, an early settler in Claremont and a man noted for his strict integrity and courtesy. He married Patience, daughter of Ephraim Tyler and a representative of a highly reputable family in this section. Their children were: William, John, Hiram, Nancy, Susannah, Patience, Betsey, and Jeanette. George and Susannah (Strowbridge) Grannis had four children, as follows: Susan S.; Charles E., who at an early age was drowned in the Hudson River; Sarah N., who is now Mrs. Bennett, and is the only survivor; and George H., who died at the age of eleven years. Susan S. married David Campbell, a man of wealth, who was for several years a United States government official. She died leaving three children. While residing in Canada, Mrs. Bennett availed herself of the opportunity of learning the French language, with which she is thoroughly familiar. She possesses estimable qualities of heart and mind, and is highly esteemed by her large circle of friends and acquaintances.