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Biography of Rev. O. I. Bennett

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Rev. O. I. Bennett, pastor of the Christian Church at Boynton and for many years an earnest worker in a vocation which is recognized as the noblest occupation of man, is also ministering to the physical needs of the body as a chiropractor, and along both spiritual and material lines his efforts have been productive of much good. He was born in Cone, Louisa County, Iowa, September 13, 1867, a son of J. W. and Mary Arm (Manley) Bennett, natives of Indiana and of Irish descent. In 1849, when six years of age, the father was taken by his parents to Iowa, the family home being established in Louisa County. The grandfather of O. I. Bennett became well known in educational circles of the state, following the profession of teaching at Mount Pleasant until his death. His son, J. W. Bennett, acquired his education in the schools of Louisa County, Iowa, and on reaching mature years took up the occupation of farming, which he followed for many years in that locality, but is now living retired at Leavenworth, Kansas. He is an honored veteran of the Civil war, in which he served for three years as a member of Company D, Ninth Iowa Cavalry. The mother passed away on the 13th of September 1903.

O. I. Bennett was reared in his native County and there pursued his education, subsequently completing a theological course at La Grande, Oregon. He began preaching when but nineteen years of age, finishing his theological studies five or six years later, and he has since devoted his life to the ministry, holding pastorates in the states of Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Idaho, Ohio, Illinois, Washington and Oklahoma. His religious instruction has proven a tangible force for good in the various communities in which he has labored and by example as well as precept he has pointed out to others the best way of life. In 1915 he was graduated from the Chiropractic College at Davenport, Iowa, and has since followed that profession in connection with his work as a minister of the gospel. He first practiced at Blanchester, Ohio, in connection with his duties as pastor of the Christian Church at that place, and from there he was called to the pastorate of the Church of that denomination at Moline, Illinois, where he remained for three years, or until 1918. In August of that year he accepted a call to Morris, Oklahoma, where he preached for three months, after which he devoted his entire time to chiropractic work until the spring of 1921, when he came to Boynton and has since successfully engaged in practice here. He thoroughly understands the scientific as well as the practical phases of his profession and is correct in the application of his knowledge to the needs of his patients; hence his labors have been attended by a gratifying measure of success and his practice has become an extensive one. He also maintains an office at Muskogee, over the Palace theatre, of which his wife has charge, and he likewise has oil interests there. He organized the Boynton Christian Church, of which he has since served as pastor, and its influence is a potent one for the spiritual uplift of the community.

Dr. Bennett has been married twice. His first union was with Miss Margaret E. Lewin, whom he wedded in August, 1891, and they became the parents of four children: Goldie married W. C. Ridges, of Muscatine, Iowa, and they have a son, William, Jr.; Ruby is the wife of Elmer Rock, a resident of Morning Sun, Iowa, by whom she has two children, Esther and Richard; Harold is the proprietor of a garage at Slick, Oklahoma. He is a veteran of the World war, serving for two years in the navy. While at the training camp he was commissioned an officer and was assigned to the battleship Louisiana, while later he was transferred to a destroyer, and was discharged from the service on the 4th of July, 1919; Gifford, the youngest of the children, met an accidental death through a fall from a motorcycle in June, 1915, when he was sixteen years of age. For his second wife Dr. Bennett chose Miss Mary Belle Shaffer, their marriage being solemnized on the 16th of September, 1913. She is also a graduate of the Chiropractic College at Davenport and has charge of the office at Morris, devoting three days each week to that work. She is likewise a very capable practitioner and is ably supplementing the efforts of her husband. Dr. and Mrs. Bennett have recently adopted a little daughter, Dorothy, who is eight years of age.

Dr. Bennett is a socialist in his political views and fraternally he is identified with the Masons and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, belonging to the lodge and encampment, and he is also a Patriarch Militant, while his son Harold is likewise affiliated with the Odd Fellows lodge. Dr. Bennett is a man of scholarly attainments, whose powers and talents have been a leavening force in making high ideals a tangible asset in the affairs of daily life, while his skill in alleviating the physical ills of mankind is also generally acknowledged.

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