Sons of the Midwest: Biographical Sketches of Wesley Henry Bennington, His Son and Grandson

Bennington, Brenda
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
Wesley Henry Bennington was an ambitious, impulsive, idealistic mid-western man. His career and family life was erratic. He had a strong sense of mission in law, politics, and business. He sacrificed his family's comfort for his career ideals. A family man he was not. Wesley's involvements gave him little family time. He strived to have his ideas recognized. To a small degree, Wesley attained recognition. The Cyclopedia of American Biography devotes a page to him. His life had a slightly erratic beginning. Wesley was born on his mother's homestead in Crawford County, Ohio, in 1861. He probably spent his babyhood on his father's farm in North Robinson, Ohio, until a tragedy occurred. Thomas, his young father, during a sudden change of weather, caught cold while doing farm work, and in 1864, died. Left behind was Wesley, aged three, and his brother, aged three months. The mother of twenty-four, husbandless, returned to her family's homestead in Crawford County, her own birthplace, there to raise her sons. For Wesley, family life went from one extreme to the other. He and his younger brother probably had their mother mostly to themselves for the five years she remained single. After this time, his mother remarried, and had a third son. Two other males probably demanded the attention of his mother. Wesley went from his mother's, to his father's, back to his mother's home, and from having a father, to not having a father, to having a stepfather.
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