Class of 1863
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Persons listed in Black
Bold have obituaries posted on the In
|Frances J. (Reed) Bennett 1844-1927
Oberlin High's first Graduate, per "The
Oberlin High School Alumni
Banquet" article in
The Oberlin News, Oberlin, Ohio, Tuesday, July 4, 1899, p. 4.
Frances Reed Bennett is believed to be the first graduate of
Oberlin High School based on the article referenced below which says,
were read from Mrs. Frances Reed Bennett, Bradgate, Iowa, the first
from G. W. Waite, and others." From the federal census records of
1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1920, and 1930, we learned the following:
In February 2006 we obtained a copy of Frances Bennett's obituary
from the Humboldt
County Genealogical Society.
If anyone has any additional information about Frances, our first
graduate, please send it to Bob
Updated 15 February 2006
- Frances J. Reed was born 13 April 1844 in Oberlin, Ohio,
daughter of Herschel and Eliza Reed. She died 1 May 1927 at her
home in Humboldt, Iowa.
- Frances' father, Deacon Herschel Reed, "was one of the first
Oberlin College, having been induced to come here from Essex county,
York, by Father Shipperd in 1834, when he was 21 years of age,"
to his obituary in The Oberlin Weekly News of 29 April 1881, p.
However, his health failed him and he did not complete his studies to
a missionary as he had planned. He settled in Oberlin and worked
as a carpenter and joiner. He was one of the founding members of
the First Congregational Church in 1834 where he served as a
Herschel Reed died in Oberlin on 21 April 1881.
- Frances' mother, Eliza Harteton (Hitchcock) Reed, was born 3 Nov
1817 in Hawley,
and came to Oberlin in 1840. Like her husband she came to study
college but ill health prevented her from completing her studies.
After teaching for two or three years in the Oberlin public schools,
married Herschel Reed in 1845. Mrs. Reed died at 25 College Place
on 1 Oct 1898; her obituary
appeared in The Oberlin News of 4 Oct 1898, p. 3.
- The Reeds lived in Russia Township (as opposed to Oberlin
- Frances had a younger brother, Albert (b. about 1845 in Ohio),
sister, Amelia Naomi (b. about 1848 in Ohio). Amelia graduated
OHS class of 1865 and eventually lived with her sister in Iowa (please
see her obituary).
- On 28 April 1870 Frances married Edwin Bennett (b. about Aug.
- In the 1870 and 1880 censuses Edwin & Frances Bennett were
Deer Park, LaSalle Co., Ill., where Edwin was a farmer. The 1900
census has them living in Avery Twp., Humboldt Co., Ia., where Bradgate
is located. The 1920 census has them in Humboldt Town, Springvale
Twp., Humboldt Co.
- According to records in the Oberlin College Archives, Frances
Reed Bennett lived in Farm Ridge, Ill., Albia, Ia., Siscomb, Ia.,
Lehigh, Ia., Bradgate, Ia., and Humboldt, Ia. She taught school
in Ohio, Illinois, and Iowa.
- The children of Edwin and Frances from the census records and her
- Hattie May, b. about 1871, died in infancy
- Eugene H., b. about June 1872 in Ill., of Humboldt, Ia., in May
- Charles A., b. about June 1876 in Ill., of Grandin, N.D., in
- Alonzo, b. about 1877 in Ill., apprently died young
- Lyle E., b. about Nov. 1878 in Ill., of Folsom, S.D., in May
- Clyde P., b. about Aug 1879 in Ill., of Humboldt, Ia., in May
- Miles Clay b. about July 1882 in Ill., of Sioux City, Ia., in
- Ethel R., b. about Aug 1884 in Ia., of Humboldt, Ia., in May
- Frances' obituary says she had seven children, and mentions all
of the above except Alonzo. Charles and Alonzo both appear in the
1880 census, aged 5 and 2 years respectively, so they must be different
persons. Perhaps Alonzo was a nephew or other relative, or
perhaps the obituary was in error. We do not find Alonzo in the
- From the birth places of their children, it appears they moved
to Iowa sometime from 1882 to 1884.