The History of Bennett - A Proud Heritage
Information courtesy of Mary Ellen Dressler, Bennett Historical Society
Many of us have read or heard that the town of Bennett got its name from two sisters who were the wives of two train engineers killed when a flood washed out the Bennett bridge and washed away the train on which their husbands were working. But is that really where the name originated? And how did the town begin and develop?
Our local historical society has done a great deal of research to dig into these questions and provide us with the origins of our town. Documents from the Bureau of Land Management show that four Bennet brothers (Hiram, John, Uriah and one un-named brother) filed homestead papers in 1862 for two sections (34 and 24) now in the town Bennett. These two sections were adjacent diagonally on the north and south to the current location of the Post Office in Bennett and, together with other sections homesteaded by the Bennet brothers, formed the Bennet Ranch.
One of these brothers, Hiram Pitt Bennet, was a respected judge in the early territory of Colorado. Mr. Bennet was elected the first Territorial Representative for Colorado in 1862 and was instrumental in obtaining statehood for Colorado, having introduced the first bill on statehood in 1863. Though the first bill did not make it out of committee, Colorado achieved statehood four years later in 1876. Mr. H. P. Bennet went on to become the third Postmaster of Denver in 1869 and began developing a method of delivering mail to all the new pioneer people in rural areas. Documents from the U. S. Post Office Department show that the Bennet Post Office was approved by the government in the spring of 1877 and located on Section 26 in the middle of the Bennet Ranch. Through the years the English name of Bennet was Americanized to Bennett, first noted in railroad records; thus the town name evolved from the old Bennet Ranch.
The town of Bennett was not incorporated until 1929, but long before that time, the family that originally homesteaded the town and for whom the town was named were leaders in the development of the state of Colorado and in forging communications for the original settlers of the area.