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Who Was W. J. Bennet?

He was the first architect to live in Medford, Oregon--and possibly the first in Roseburg, Grants Pass, La Grande, Canyon City, Baker City, Enterprise, Union and Cove as well, along with Yreka, Etna and Sisson (now called Mount Shasta), California. Yet, other than mentions of his name in a very few National Historic Register listings, W. J. Bennet (only one "t") has been completely forgotten.

He made it easy to be forgotten, handily avoiding most of the usual historic records. He seems to have arrived in Oregon after the 1880 Census, and he committed suicide before the 1900 Census. (Most of the 1890 Census burned in 1921.) He married, had his children, and died just a few years before legally recording such events was required. Most frustrating for the first years of my research was Bennet's insistence on living in an era when many men went by their initials, and initials only. And it didn't help that he kept on the move, following the building activity during the economically turbulent end of the nineteenth century.

His vital statistics are few. I finally discovered that the 1898 Shasta County Register listed his age as 48, his birth state as Virginia, and his first name as William. We know that he arrived in Roseburg in 1893 as a married man with a child. We don't know his wife's name, but we know that she gave birth to a fourteen-pound daughter in Medford on December 5, 1895. (The missus was presumably quite a bit younger than W. J.) His death left two children, but we don't know their names, or the sex of the older child.

Upon his death the editor of the Roseburg Review remarked that Bennet had come to Southern Oregon from Salem, but I've been unsuccessful finding any evidence to support this. After 1893 he was diligent about advertising in multiple newspapers, but I haven't yet found a single ad or directory listing for his supposed time in Salem prior to 1893.

It's tempting to speculate, then, that his architecture career may have begun in Roseburg, that he'd promoted himself from draftsman (or carpenter) to architect upon his move to the hinterlands. We know that he was a believer in self-advancement, promoting himself from "architect and draughtsman" (as he advertised in Roseburg) to "architect and superintendent" upon his move farther south to Medford. This would be one way to explain why Bennet didn't belong to the AIA, why I can't find an architect by his name in the 1870 or 1880 Census, why I've been unable to find any architecture school that claims him as an alumnus, and why the Medford newspaper sniped after his death that Bennet's plans tended not to "work out."

Below is every printed mention I've located of W. J. Bennet's life and work. So
me architectural details have been omitted, but the spelling of the originals is retained, including variations in spelling of names .


W. J. Bennett, O&CRR
"The Hotels," Morning Oregonian, June 19, 1888, page 8

On board the steamer Walla Walla, bound from San Francisco for Port Townsend:
W. J. Bennett and wife.
“Passenger Lists,” Portland Oregonian, January 26, 1889, page 5
(This could easily be a different W. J. Bennett/Bennet; there were several in the U.S. in 1889)

    There are now in course of construction in Roseburg at least 15 new buildings, including ten residences, one warehouse and two elegant brick stores, besides several buildings just completed and numerous others which will be begun soon. She also has a woolen mill ready for operations as soon as the spring clip comes in; a building and loan association with a capital stock of $100,000; a water company with a capital of $20,000 and several other business enterprises, all organized within the past few months.
"General Notes and News," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 18, 1889, page 4

    Bill Bennett, a sub-contractor on the Vining building, is missing, having taken wings and flown to unknown parts, leaving many mourning creditors. On Saturday he drew $165 from contractor Robert Scott for the avowed purpose of paying the Masons. He not only failed in this but borrowed considerable money from various individuals and neglected to settle a hotel bill of $40 at the Bartholet House.
"Local Brevities," Yakima Herald, July 4, 1889, page 3    Let's hope this is the wrong Bennett--but he did have a son in Brooklyn, Washington in November 1889.


    Roseburg will have a building boom this summer.
"All Sorts," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 1, 1891, page 4

    One Roseburg firm burned nearly 1,000,000 brick this year, and will carry over 300,000 for next season. They think that the building prospect is brighter than ever before, and are figuring already on quite a number of business houses.
"General Notes and News," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 18, 1891, page 4

    A ROSEBURG BUILDING.--It was practically decided by the board of directors of the Odd Fellows Building Association last night to accept the plans submitted by architect Bennett, of Albany. According to his plans, the building is not to cost over $12,000, and it will have a town clock in the tower. Mr. Bennet has returned to Albany, and if he sends up the specifications and enters into a bond that the cost will not exceed $12,000, as he has agreed to, his plans will no doubt be formally accepted within a few days. Three Portland architects, one from Salem, and G. W. Orcutt and J. A. Perkins, of this city, also submitted plans. Most of them provided for too costly a building to suit the board.--Review.
Daily Democrat,
Albany, Oregon, April 16, 1892, page 3

    W. F. Bennet, the architect, has been in Roseburg to attend to one or two contracts there in which he is interested.

"Social and Personal," States Rights Democrat, Albany, Oregon, May 6, 1892, page 3

    NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT the undersigned is not in any manner connected with W. J. Bennet in the architectural business, and will not be responsible for any debts contracted heretofore or hereafter by him.
    Albany, Or., May 24th.                                                                 G. H. BRUCKMAN.

States Rights Democrat, Albany, Oregon, June 10, 1892, page 3


    CAN'T GIVE BONDS.--The Roseburg Review: The Odd Fellows Building Association will hold a meeting Wednesday to take action about increasing their capital stock to $14,000. So far W. J. Bennet, the Albany architect who was awarded the contract for the new hall, for $12,000, has failed to give satisfactory bonds and is likely to lose the job. The directors have secured all money necessary to complete the building and there is no doubt of its being put up this year.
"Local Record," States Rights Democrat, Albany, Oregon, July 1, 1892, page 1

    W. J. Bennet, the Albany architect, arrived in town Saturday evening, and will hereafter make Roseburg his home.--Roseburg Plaindealer.

"Social and Personal," States Rights Democrat, Albany, Oregon, July 1, 1892, page 1

IOOF Building, Roseburg, Oregon

    A ROSEBURG BUILDING.--The O.F. of Roseburg are having a serious time letting the contract for a new building. The last Review says: The stockholders of the Odd Fellows Building Association held a meeting in the county clerk's office last night. A majority of the shares were represented, and it was voted to increase the capital stock from $12,000 to $14,000. W. J. Bennet, to whom the contract for the new building was let, failed to file the proper bonds and all bids were rejected. It is now the intention to let the contract privately and negotiations are going on with several contractors, and final arrangements will soon be made. That the proposed temple will be built there is not the slightest doubt. The plans as submitted by Mr. Bennet will be adhered to, and work will be pushed when once begun so that the new theater will be ready for the winter season.
States Rights Democrat, Albany, Oregon, July 8, 1892, page 3


    W. J. Bennet, the architect, is doing the designing for the finishing work on Bailey & Van Houten's new hotel. The work on the main entrance, the corner and stairway is not excelled in appearance in any of the larger cities.--Roseburg Plaindealer.

"Social and Personal," States Rights Democrat, Albany, Oregon, August 12, 1892, page 3


Ground for the Soldiers' Home.
    Roseburg, Or., May 4.--The commissioners of the soldiers' home have purchased of the Brown estate, about one mile west of Roseburg, 40 acres of land for $3000. The plans have been submitted. W. J. Bennet, the architect, is working on plans. As soon as completed the contract will be let for an $8000 building.
Capital Journal, Salem, May 4, 1893, page 1

    W. J. Bennet, the architect, has completed plans for a residence which Charlie Curry will build on Riverdale farm. It will be modeled after the old Southern style of a home, and it will be one of the finest farm homes in the country. The carpenters will go today to begin work on it.
The Plaindealer, Roseburg, May 8, 1893


W. J. Bennet ad, January 24, 1895 Roseburg Plaindealer
January 24, 1895 Roseburg Plaindealer

W. J. Bennet
Architect and Draughtsman.
Office Up stairs in Abraham’s building.
Plans, specifications and details furnished on application.
ROSEBURG, OREGON
Roseburg Review, July 31, 1893 through February 28, 1895
(There's a gap in the Roseburg papers previous to July 31, 1893, so it's unknown when Bennet's ad began its run--or when Bennet arrives in Roseburg. At some point, the ad changes to read “Office: In the county surveyor’s office.”)

    Architect W. J. Bennet
is building a neat dwelling house on the heights in Flint's addition.
Roseburg 
Review, July 31, 1893, page 3

W. J. BENNET
Architect and Draftsman,
ROSEBURG, OREGON.
Personal Supervision given all work.
Roseburg Plaindealer, August 3, 1893 through January 14, 1895

    W. J. Bennet
had a nail driven through one of his fingers [at the Roseburg Sash and Door Factory] . . . . It is a painful wound.
excerpt, Roseburg
Review, September 7, 1893, page 3

    The Roseburg Review says: "Tuesday
was a good day for accidents at the Roseburg sash and door factory. W. L. Dysinger was struck by a stick he was running through a saw in such a manner as to fracture one of the bones of his right wrist. It will bother him for some time. W. J. Bennet had a nail driven through one of his fingers about the same time. It is a painful wound."
"Home and Abroad," States Rights Democrat, Albany, Oregon, September 15, 1893, page 4


    NEW HOUSES
--Architect W. J. Bennet has plans completed for several new residences which will be erected in Roseburg this year. J. E. Johnson will build a very neat and attractive house on Pine street, and the drawings in Mr. Bennet's office are sufficient evidence that it will be an ornament to that section of the city. Hon. A. M. Crawford will, also, build a handsome residence on Flint heights near the water company's reservoir. The house of Chas. Curry on Riverdale farm was, also, planned by Mr. Bennet, and it will be one of the most roomy, comfortable and convenient farm houses in the state. The interior will be beautifully furnished. This house is now well under way.
Roseburg
Review, September 31, 1893

Curry Manor, Roseburg
Curry Manor Residential Care Facility, now on the National Register at 1458 Quail Lane, Roseburg.

    W. J. Bennet the architect has moved his office into the Marks building up stairs.
Roseburg
Review, October 16, 1893, page 3      (His ad remains unchanged.)

    W. J. Bennet, the architect, now occupies office rooms in the Marks building.
"The City and Vicinity," Roseburg Plaindealer, October 19, 1893, page 3

    W. J. Bennet, the architect, recently completed a perspective of the proposed soldiers home and last week presented this office with a photograph of the same. It presents a handsome appearance, and shows fine work on the part of the draughtsman.
"The City and Vicinity," Roseburg Plaindealer, October 26, 1893, page 3

    Building houses on paper seems to be quite popular here in Roseburg at present. A number of plans have been drawn recently for business houses and residences, but as yet no steps have been taken toward the erection of but a few of them.
"The City and Vicinity," Roseburg Plaindealer, November 2, 1893, page 3

The tract comprises 40 acres, beautifully situated on the banks of the South Umpqua river, and was secured at the very moderate price of $3000. Plans for the principal buildings, submitted by Architect W. J. Bennet, were accepted, and it was proposed to celebrate the laying of the corner stone on Memorial day, May 30th.
     The plans for the soldiers' home building drawn by W. J. Bennet and accepted by the Board may be summarized as follows: The building will be practically four stories high with a frontage of 110 feet, a depth of 75 feet, including a wing 65x36 feet on the right side. The basement is of brick with frame above, and hip roof, with numerous dormer windows. A broad veranda will extend around three sides of the building at the first and second floors and form a balcony for the attic. The two

Old Soldiers' Home, Roseburg

front corners will be surmounted by towers. On the first floor the main entrance is into a 10 foot hall running through the center of [the] main building. On the right is the gents' sitting room 16x25 and on the left is the matron's sitting room and quarters. From here is a dumb waiter to kitchen, and speaking tubes to all parts of the building. There will be bath rooms and closets on each floor and especial care will be given to the sanitary arrangements. Hot as well as cold water can be used for flushing all waste pipes.
excerpt,"The Soldiers' Home," Roseburg Review, November 6, 1893, page 1

Oregon Soldiers Home

THE OREGON SOLDIERS' HOME.
The Contract Let for Its Construction.
    A meeting of the Oregon Soldiers' Home Commission was held in this city Tuesday, and the contracts awarded for the construction of the building. Stokes & Zeller Bros., of Portland, were awarded the contract for the building, and Dugan Bros., of Salem, secured the contract for the plumbing, heating and ventilating. The several bids submitted for the building were as follows:
[among the bids was the following:]
W. G. Bennet, Portland . . . . . . . $9,045
Excerpt,
Roseburg Plaindealer, December 21, 1893, page 3

    Bricklaying has been commenced on the foundation of the Oregon Soldiers' Home building at Roseburg.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 29, 1894, page 3

Oregon Soldiers Home

ROSEBURG KEELEY LEAGUE NO. 3.
It Was Organized Last Monday Night.
    J. H. Strupe, W. J. Bennet, Thos. J. Criteser, E. F. Walsh, David S. Aiken, A. M. Rose, Thos. Neil Wilson, A. B. Campbell, Dr. Jas. Barr and J. G. Flook are the names that appear on the charter of Roseburg Keeley League No. 3. The organization was effected Monday night, the following being a list of officers elected:
    President, Capt. Langley Hall; vice president, Thos. J. Criteser; secretary, W. J. Bennet; treasurer, David S. Aiken. The executive board consists of A. C. Cox, Thos. J. Criteser, W. R. Wells, Chas. Medley and David S. Aiken. The committee on entertainment consists of J. H. Shupe, E. F. Walsh, Geo. Langenberg, Dr. Jas. Barr and Chas. Medley. Those on the cure fund committee are W. M. White of Loraine, J. D. Wilson of Yoncalla, Geo. Langenberg of Roseburg and John Bear of Marshfield. The employment committee consists of Capt. Langley Hall, J. H. Shupe and J. G. Flook. A committee consisting of Dr. Jas. Barr, W. J. Bennet and C. B. Campbell was appointed on by-laws. The mission of the Keeley League is aid in the case of temperance, and any man or woman who feels that he or she would like to aid the work of the Keeley League is privileged to join the organization. The Roseburg League starts under very favorable circumstances and promises to do much good. The league organized with 15 members, which number will probably be doubled at the next meeting, which will be held on the 17th inst.
Roseburg Plaindealer, February 8, 1894, page 3

    Roseburg has a Keeley League. W. J. Bennet, formerly of this city, is one of the members.
"Personal," Daily Democrat, Albany, Oregon, February 9, 1894, page 3

New Loan Associates.
    The Puget Sound National Saving and Loan Association of Portland, Oregon, completed their local organization yesterday. Over 100 shares were subscribed and the following officers were elected: Rev. Thos. Neil Wilson, president; H. S. Webber, vice president; H. W. Miller, secretary; S. C. Flint, treasurer; A. M. Crawford, attorney. Board of appraisers: S. C. Flint, August Schloemann, H. S. Webber, W. C. Hildebrand, J. R. Webb, W. J. Bennet.
    Much hard work has been done and care has been taken to establish this association n Roseburg. Considerable inquiry was made by A. M. Crawford and others to ascertain the responsibility of the association. Very complimentary letters were received from Judge James Watson and others of Portland, which spoke in the highest terms of the company and its management. It offers a good and safe investment for those who wish to make a home of their home.
    W. H. Frasier, who is deserving of much credit for his patience and hard work, is special agent of the association and has charge of the territory south to the California line, but will make his headquarters in this city for some time to come.
W. J. BENNET.
Roseburg Plaindealer, February 15, 1894, page 2

    Roseburg has a Keeley League. W. J. Bennet, formerly of this city, is one of the members.
States Rights Democrat, Albany, February 16, 1894, page 1

    J. W. Bennet, architect, has removed his office to the Johnson building on Main Street, between Washington and Oak.
"The City and Vicinity," Roseburg Plaindealer, March 8, 1894, page 3

    All members of the Keeley League, and all whose names have been accepted as members, are requested to attend a meeting of the league to be held Saturday evening in the Odd Fellows hall, as business of importance is to be transacted.
W. J. BENNET, Sec.
"The City and Vicinity," Roseburg Plaindealer, March 15, 1894, page 3     Bennet also published a similar notice in the March 29 edition.

A Social Party.
    A social party was given Tuesday evening at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. W. A. McKenzie, and a very pleasant time was had by all present. Music and games were indulged in and an elegant lunch was served. Among those present were Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Woolley, Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Renfro, Mr. and Mrs. D. B. Fisher, Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Bennet, Mr. and Mrs. Bolster, Mrs. Ben. Lohr, Mrs. Berry, Mrs. Sanders, Mrs Kitchell, Misses Minnie and Mae Fisher, Miss Rosie Parrott, Miss Hattie Berry, Miss Addie Briggs, Miss Lottie Konke, Frank Campbell, Bolt Briggs, H. Harrison and others.
Roseburg Plaindealer, April 15, 1894, page 3

Oregon Soldiers' Home circa 1910
Oregon Soldiers' Home, circa 1910.

THE HOME DEDICATED.
Over 7500 Persons Took Part.
A GREAT DAY FOR ROSEBURG.
Full Account of the Dedication of the Oregon Soldiers' Home.
    The thirteenth annual encampment of the Department of Oregon, Grand Army of the Republic and the dedication of the Oregon Soldiers' Home were events in the history of Roseburg never to be forgotten. Jackson Street was a perfect sea of bunting, flags, Japanese lanterns, evergreens, etc., and many of the decorations were highly artistic
    The grand arch at the intersection of Jackson and Oak streets was greatly admired by the visitors in Roseburg. It extended across the street, and was covered with flags, bunting, emblems of the G.A.R., W.R.C., S. of V., and the army and navy, and bordered by evergreens. On each side also appeared "1861--Welcome--1862" [sic]. At night it was illuminated by incandescent lights, and presented a handsome appearance. It was designed by W. J. Bennet and reflects much credit upon him.
DESCRIPTION OF THE BUILDING.
    The building is three stories with an attic and covers a ground space of 45 feet by 73 feet. It has seven gables and a main tower 13 feet square, the top of which is surmounted by a 24-foot flagstaff. The site for the Home is about one mile west of Roseburg and south of the railroad track. The plans were prepared by W. C. Knighton, architect, Salem.
Much abridged, Roseburg Plaindealer, May 14, 1894, page 3   I've found no explanation for the discrepancy in--or substitution of--architects for the soldiers' home.

Oregon Soldiers' Home circa 1910
Oregon Soldiers' Home, circa 1910, detail

    W. J. Bennet was out at Riddle yesterday, taking measurements for the new county bridge to be built across Cow Creek. He will make three sets of plans from which contractors can make their estimates for bids for the work.

"The City and Vicinity," Roseburg Plaindealer, June 21, 1894, page 3

    W. J. Bennet, the architect, has removed his office to the court house, and will hereafter have his office with County Surveyor Haydon.
"The City and Vicinity," Roseburg Plaindealer, July 16, 1894, page 3

Council Organized
    Friday evening the organization of Roseburg Council, Loyal Mystic Legion of America, was effected and the following officers were elected: Worthy Councilor, L. A. Sanctuary; Vice-Councilor, Dr. F. R. Coffman; Treasurer, J. W. Wright; Secretary, J. I. Chapman; Prophet, P. Benedick, Worthy Fathers, M. G. Wilkins, Thos. Gibson and C. A. Sehlbrede; Escort, W. J. Bennet; Guardian, D. E. Noah. The council was organized by L. A. Hall, District Deputy Organizer, assisted by Messrs. Carey and Madigan, with about 40 charter members. The next meeting of the council will be held Friday of next week.
Roseburg Plaindealer, July 16, 1894, page 3

September 13, 1895 Oregon Statesman
September 13, 1895 Oregon Statesman, Salem.


    The Keeley Institute is soon to erect a handsome building in Salem. Architect W. J. Bennet of this city has just finished the plans for the new building.
"The City and Vicinity," Roseburg Plaindealer, July 23, 1894, page 3

   W. J. Bennet left for Marshfield today on a business trip. He was accompanied by W. H. Carroll.
"The City and Vicinity," Roseburg Plaindealer, August 9, 1894, page 3

August 15, 1894 Coos Bay Times
The above ad ran in the Coos Bay Times from August 1, 1894 through July 15, 1896.
The address changes to "Medford" with the March 20, 1895 issue.

   W. J. Bennet and W. H. Carroll are back from their trip to Coos County.
"The City and Vicinity,"
Roseburg Plaindealer, August 20, 1894, page 3

   The Keeley Institute, the only one in Oregon, has moved from Forest Grove to Salem, where it is permanently located, with a fine new building of its own and every facility for the care of patients. Absolute privacy is assured in a city of that size and it is expected the number of patients will be largely increased. The institute can be addressed in confidence at Lock Box 372, Salem, Oregon.
"The City and Vicinity,"
Roseburg Plaindealer, September 13, 1894, page 3

    The Keeley Institute building from [architect] Mr. Burggraf's office is now under roof. It is similar in design to a large modern 2.5-story residence and will cost $5000. All the sub work is let except the plumbing and heating.
"Good Words for Salem,"
Capital Journal, Salem, October 21, 1894, page 4

    W.  J. Bennet of Roseburg, the expert architect, was in Medford this week for the purpose of arranging the preliminaries or drafting of plans for the extensive improvements that Capt. Nash is going to make to Hotel Medford. The building will not only have another story added to it, but will be enlarged to cover the entire ground purchased by the new proprietor. It is probable that the contemplated improvements will cost several thousand dollars.
Democratic Times
, Jacksonville, Oregon, December 20, 1894, page 2 

Nash Hotel, Medford
The Nash Hotel, Main and Front streets, Medford, Oregon, circa 1910. Burned in 1978.

    W. J. Bennet, an architect from Roseburg, is here this week preparing plans and specifications for the building and re-modeling of Hotel Medford. He is here at the instance of Capt. Nash, the recent purchaser of the above mentioned property. Wednesday he had a photograph made of the building and the same day telegraphed Nash to meet him here Thursday for a conference regarding matters pertaining to the new building. Mr. Bennet
states that in order to make the building anywhere near what Mr. Nash has mapped out it will be necessary to remove the entire front of the hotel and build anew from the ground up. The Mail is glad to make mention in connection with this item that there is a probability of Mr. Bennet becoming a permanent resident of our city. He is an architect of superior ability and we hope his final decision will be favorable to his locating in this city.
excerpt, “Plans Made for the New Medford,” Medford
Mail, December 21, 1894, page 1
(Capt. J. T. C. Nash had been a prominent mine owner in the Roseburg area before buying the hotel, on the southeast corner of Main and Front. The construction contract was also awarded to a Roseburg firm.)

A Hotel for Medford.
    MEDFORD, Dec. 21.--Some weeks ago the Hotel Medford property, in this city, was sold to Captain J. T. C. Nash, of Glendale. W. J. Bennet, a prominent architect, of Roseburg, has been here to prepare plans for a new building, which are about completed. The building will be a three-story structure, to cost not less than $10,000. It will be built on the latest modern plans; will be supplied with elevators, steam heat and electric light, and, when completed, will be the finest hotel south of Portland.
Oregonian, Portland, December 22, 1894, page 3

 
    From W. J. Bennet, a prominent architect of Roseburg, who has been here to prepare plans for the enlargement of Hotel Medford, we learn that the building will be a three-story structure and will be supplied with elevators, steam heat and electric light. When completed it will be the finest hotel south of Portland and will cost $10,000.
Democratic Times
, Jacksonville, Oregon, December 24, 1894, page 2 

    Architect W. J. Bennet has prepared some very elaborate plans for the new Hotel Medford and as Mr. Nash, the owner of the property, declares them to be identical with his notions it is probable that the building will be re-built upon the plans furnished.
Medford
Mail, December 28, 1894, page 5

    W. J. Bennet, the architect, has moved here from Roseburg and opened an office in Halley’s brick.
Democratic Times
, Jacksonville, Oregon, January 10, 1895, page 2

A possible Bennet design in Grants Pass, circa 1905.
A likely Bennet design in Grants Pass, circa 1905.

    W. J. Bennet, the architect, this week returned from a business visit to Grants Pass and Medford.
Roseburg Plaindealer
, January 10, 1895, page 3

    W. J. Bennet, the architect has decided to make Medford his permanent home and will soon move his family here. He has taken living rooms in the Halley block on C. street [Central Avenue] and has an office in the Hamlin block. Besides the work on the new hotel, Mr. Bennet is making plans for several business structures, to be erected the coming season.
Medford
Mail, quoted in the Roseburg Review, January 10, 1895, page 3

W. J. Bennet specifications cover, 1895-96, Medford, Oregon
Bennet's specifications cover, printed circa 1895 in Medford.
University of Oregon


    What is now Hotel Medford will be known as Hotel Nash when the process of reconstruction will have been completed. The new name is given the house in honor of its present owner Capt. J. T. C. Nash, and a fitting tribute to the gentleman it is. Mr. J. W. Bennet, the architect has shown us the plans, of the new structure, which are most convenient and grand, and credit in large lumps is due any gentleman capable of so cleverly planning a structure of this nature.
    The building throughout will be first class, and while any amount of credit is being bestowed upon Mr. Nash for thus giving to our city that which we have so long felt the need of, we must not forget the part which the master hand of Architect Bennet has taken in designing so beautiful a structure.
excerpt, “A Grand Hotel--That Is To Be,” Medford
Mail, January 11, 1895, page 4

    Architect Bennet has leased living rooms in the Halley block and office room in the Hamlin block. His family is now at Roseburg but will be here soon and from the date of their coming they will be permanent residents of this city. Mr. Bennet’s intentions are to make this his headquarters but he expects to do work in various parts of the valley.
Medford
Mail, January 11, 1895, page 5

    W. J. Bennet, the architect, will go out to Medford this week on a business trip. He expects to be absent about three weeks.
Roseburg
Plaindealer, January 14, 1895, page 3

    Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Bennet went out to Medford this morning, where they will remain some time. Mr. Bennet has considerable work at Medford and Grants Pass, and he will probably spend much of his time out there during the coming spring and summer.
Roseburg
Plaindealer, January 14, 1895, page 3

    Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Bennet came out to Medford from Roseburg Monday to remain some time. Mr. Bennet is the architect for the new Hotel Nash in Medford.
Ashland
Tidings, January 17, 1895


Medford Mail, January 18, 1895, page 8. Bennet's only known display ad.

    “W. J. Bennet, Medford” is listed as a subscriber.
Medford
Mail, January 18, 1895, page 4

    W. J. Bennet and family arrived in Medford Sunday [January 13], and they are now housekeeping in the Halley block.
Medford
Mail, January 18, 1895, page 5

    The offices fitted up for Architect Bennet, in the Hamlin block, are models of beauty, grandeur and neatness. The Murray boys did some of their best work on this job.
Medford Mail, January 18, 1895, page 5

    Dan'l Fisher, of Roseburg, and draftsman for Architect W. J. Bennet, arrived in Medford Saturday and will make this his home for a period of time not mentioned. Mr. Fisher is a splendid appearing young man and is backed by recommends from the best people of Roseburg as being straight and honorable. The Mail bids him welcome.
Medford Mail, January 18, 1895, page 5

W. J. BENNET,
ARCHITECT AND SUPERINTENDENT.
Plans, Specifications and Details. Perspective Drawings and Blueprints. Ventilation and Drainage a Specialty.
Hamlin Block, Medford, Oregon.
Medford Mail. (This ad begins January 25, 1895 and is revised on September 13, 1895.)

    The question of supply and demand is exemplified very nicely by the coming to Medford of W. J. Bennet, the architect. Prior to his coming there were no men here of his profession and many were the conjectures made as to the success of this exclusive business in our city, but Mr. Bennet seems to have dispelled all thought of failure. He is now employing three draftsmen, and is himself “rolling logs” night and day--and his work is accumulating with each day’s setting sun. This fact has a double significance. It signifies that there is a great amount of building under consideration in our city, and another is that the gentleman’s excellent work is being appreciated. The new men employed in Mr. Bennet’s pleasant and very beautiful office are I. A. Palmer, recently from Portland, but who at one time was the government architect for the Hawaiian island. Mr. Palmer will be chief draftsman for Mr. Bennet. The other recent acquisition to the office is D. W. Terwilliger, a gentleman from Portland, who is visiting in the city for a few weeks. Designs are shown us by Mr. B. for no less than three brick buildings and a number of new residences, but as the arrangements for their construction, in all cases, has not been made positive we are asked to not mention names for a couple of weeks.
Medford
Mail, February 1, 1895, page 5

    W. J. Bennet, Medford architect and superintendent, was the guest of Engineer C. F. Lewis during the week. Mr. Bennet also made the acquaintance of a number of our business men during the week.
Medford
Mail, February 8, 1895, page 2

    The prospects for the erection of several fine dwelling houses in this city for the coming season are most flattering. As a matter of positive fact the prospects brighten with the advent of each new day, and in two instances which we have in mind the plans and specifications have already been made by Architect Bennet and as soon as the contractors shall have been given ample time to submit figures on their construction, work will commence on the same. One of these will be built by Merchant E. E. Thompson, upon his property in southwest Medford. The building will be 30x40 feet in size, two stories high and will be Eastlake in general design.  . . . The estimated cost of the building, complete, is $1600. Attorney W. H. Parker is another gentleman who is going to invest a few of his shekels in a splendid home dwelling. It is to be built on West Seventh [Main] street; will be a one and a half story, eight-room, southern cottage, 32x44 feet in size, and superb in architectural design and finish. . . . The cost of the building when completed will be about $2000. Architect Bennet is doing some most excellent work on these jobs and they can well be aught else than beautiful structures.
excerpt, Medford
Mail, February 8, 1895, page 5

    Daniel Fisher, draughtsman in architect Bennet's office, went to Roseburg last evening to visit until Monday.

"Personal," South Oregon Monitor, Medford, February 8, 1895, page 3

    CONTRACT LET.--The plans for attorney W. H. Parker's new residence on West Seventh Street have been completed by architect Bennet, and the contract for the building was awarded to S. Childers. The cost will be about $1800, and the design is a one-and-a-half-story southern cottage.
South Oregon Monitor, Medford, February 12, 1895, page 3

    J. C. Whipp, the Jacksonville marble works proprietor, was in Medford Tuesday by special appointment with Architect Bennet. The subject of their conference was in direct line with the possibility of stone work which Mr. Bennet is figuring on putting into use in the several brick blocks which are under contemplated construction in this city, also one in Ashland. The Mail can say, and without fear of contradiction, that any piece of work contracted for with Mr. Whipp will be just as represented to be. There is not a more reputable business man in Southern Oregon than Mr. Whipp.
Medford
Mail, February 15, 1895, page 4

Y.M.C.A. Building
    At a recent meeting of the Young Men's Christian Association, a committee consisting of Messrs. W. J. Bennet, J. W. Lawton, W. T. Kame, W. H. Gore and Rev. A. S. Foster was appointed to look into the matter of erecting a building for the use of the organization. Tuesday evening the committee met and the consultation presented such a favorable outlook that architect Bennet was instructed to complete plans for a building, and books were opened at once for the subscription of stock. As we go to press nearly $4000, about half the amount necessary, has been assured. Not only are members of the association putting their shoulders to the wheel but business men generally, well knowing the value of an organization of this kind in a community, are liberally supporting the venture.
    The plan of the building designed by the architect is a three-story brick, with 50-foot front and 80 feet long. The lower story is to be taken up with two nicely arranged store rooms with stairway between. The second floor front and part of the side will be partitioned for five office rooms, and back of these will be the library and secretary's room on opposite sides of the hall. The back part of this floor is to be occupied by the lecture room, 40x50 feet. If necessary arrangements can be completed, the third floor will be made into a lodge room and a gymnasium for the Y.M.C.A.
    Much good is accomplished in other towns and cities every year by similar organizations, and every boy and young man in Medford who has a desire for higher culture can obtain much benefit from the use of the library and reading room, and other advantages to be afforded by this association when in substantial working order.

South Oregon Monitor,
Medford, February 15, 1895, page 3


    W. J. Bennet, the Medford architect, is in the city.
Roseburg 
Review, February 21, 1895, page 3


    Architect Bennet and wife, Mrs. Bartlett, Mrs. Wm. Meeker and Miss Meeker were up from Medford Tuesday visiting and on business.
"Personal and Social," Valley Record, Ashland, Oregon, February 21, 1895, page 3

    Architect Bennet has shown us the draftings he has made for S. Rosenthal’s new brick block. The design, as shaped by Mr. Bennet, includes a new front to the adjoining building, owned by Mr. Pres. Phipps, and which is quite likely to be among Medford’s springtime improvements. The two store buildings, with the entire front solid, makes a very pretty and attractive piece of workmanship.
Medford
Mail, February 22, 1895, page 5

    Architect Bennet is at Roseburg for a couple of days, figuring on making plans for two dwellings in that city.
Medford
Mail, February 22, 1895, page 8

    The Y.M.C.A. society lately organized at Medford are actively at work upon a scheme to build a brick building, three story, planned to cost $8000. About $4000 has been guaranteed already.
Ashland
Tidings, February 28, 1895, page 3

    Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Bennet, Mrs. W. H. Meeker, Mrs. Hattie Bartlett and Miss Ella Meeker were at Ashland Tuesday. Mr. Bennet’s mission was that of presenting to a stock company the designs made by him for an elegant brick block which is proposed to be erected in that city this coming spring and summer. Another mission was that of chaperoning the ladies who accompanied him, they having made the visit as a pleasure trip and to acquaint themselves with the Granite city and its pleasant surroundings.
Medford
Mail, February 22, 1895, page 8

    The Y.M.C.A. meeting held at the M.E. church south last Sunday afternoon was well attended, and although no special program had been prepared the song service and a short talk by Rev. Thompson and W. J. Bennet were very interesting and an hour or more time was thus agreeably passed. Plans for the new building were presented and pinned to the wall, where all might view the design of the beautiful structure. . . . The building committee reported considerable progress in their work of soliciting subscriptions, and seemed sanguine as to the probability of raising the required amount.
excerpt, Medford
Mail, March 1, 1895, page 5

    L. B. Bomer, of Olympia, Washington, arrived in this immediate locality Monday, and, in company with Architect Palmer, he is now out in the hills in the vicinity of Anderson creek looking for yellow metal.
Medford Mail, March 15, 1895, page 4

    The Y.M.C.A. building association was organized at the city hall, on Wednesday evening of this week. W. T. Kame was elected president; W. J. Bennet vice president. . . . The building which it is proposed to erect will cost about $10,000 and of this amount $8000 has already been subscribed.
excerpt,
Medford Mail, March 15, 1895, page 5

    Architect Bennet was in Ashland this week planning the work of a large brick block.
"Medford Items," Valley Record, Ashland, Oregon, March 21, 1895, page 3

    A stock company has been organized up at Ashland and a $15,000 brick block is going to be built by the company. Architect Bennet, of this city, has the plans all perfect for the building--and a beautiful structure it is to be. It will be located on the Judge Hensel property and contain five store buildings, a bank and hall, besides numerous offices on the second floor.
Medford
Mail, March 29, 1895, page 5     (This structure was apparently never built.)

    W. J. Bennet, the architect, was up from Medford yesterday. Mr. Bennet has been figuring for some time with parties interested in the erection of a handsome new brick block in Ashland, to be erected on the Howell corner, opposite Hotel Oregon. He has had the plans prepared for some time and he informed the Tidings yesterday that a total of $28,000 had been subscribed here in the stock of the new enterprise and he was confident that a joint stock company would be organized and the work gone ahead with. Mr. Bennet says he will go to Portland this week and will try to enlist the aid of parties there who are interested in Ashland to the scheme and will then return and push the organization of the company. The lot and the structure as proposed would cost about $38,000. The plans call for a building 80x160 feet in size, two stories high. On the lower floor would be five store rooms and on the upper floor ten office suites of two rooms each and a society hall.
Ashland Tidings, April 4, 1895, page 3

    Attorney Parker's new residence is taking on more beauty as each day's work is added. Architect Bennet's cleverness as a skilled man at his business crops out at every point and corner, while the execution of his designs, by Contractors Childers and Lyon, is work commendable in any tradesman.
Medford
Mail, April 12, 1895, page 1

    During the life of the Y.M.C.A. in Medford there has not been held a more interest[ing] mission than the one of last Sunday. There were about one hundred and fifty people present and each was glad to be one of that number. The exercises were led by W. J. Bennet with W. H. Turner, vice president, in charge of affairs.
"News of the City," excerpt, Medford Mail, April 12, 1895, page 5

1888 Plumbing Catalog
    Merchant D. H. Miller has commenced the reconstruction of his dwelling house. A second story is to be put on the entire building and this furnished in modern style of architecture, while the interior will be a perfect model of convenience. There will be baths and electric lights--and everything that's neat and handy, and there isn't a couple in Medford who deserve the comfortable home it will be more than Mr. and Mrs. Miller. W. J. Bennet is the architect and E. W. Starr the carpenter.
Medford
Mail, April 26, 1895, page 1

    Tuesday was "opening day" at Thompson, Van Dyke & Co.'s new store. . . . New fixtures have been added, such as show cases, counters, etc., and among other things most beautiful and convenient is the very artistically carved umbrella rack--designed by Architect Bennet and manufactured by Weeks Bros.
excerpt, "Medford's First Formal Opening," Medford
Mail, May 10, 1895, page 1

    Architect W. J. Bennet has moved his office from the Hamlin to the Halley block.
Medford
Mail, May 17, 1895, page 5

    Dr. E. P. Geary is preparing to make several changes and improvements about his fine residence, on West Seventh Street. Architect Bennet has the designing and superintending of the rearrangement.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, May 31, 1895, page 5


    Medford has been duly honored again. This time the honor comes through our very eminent townsman and efficient architect, Mr. W. J. Bennet, who has been designated as one of several architects to submit plans for the construction of a state capitol for Minnesota, to be built at St. Paul. The building is to be 250x300 feet in size, three stories high and to cost not more than $1,500,000. Mr. Bennet has accepted the invitation to submit a plan and is now at work on the same. His will be on the plan of Romanesque architecture, and while the gentleman does not hardly hope to be able to be first man on the entire structure, he does expect that some parts of his design will be accepted--and if they are, he will be well paid for his trouble, as was the case with the capitol of Mexico for which he drew plans, the tower of which was accepted and for which he received $1500. The Mail is glad that Medford is the home of a gentleman of the ability possessed by Mr. Bennet and we hope he may be successful in winning, at least a part of the reward.
Medford 
Mail, June 21, 1895, page 4
(The reporter may have meant the 1886 New Mexico capitol; Mexico City's Palacio Nacional has no towers or domes.)

    W. J. Bennet, who designed the plans for the Hotel Nash, is one of the several architects who have been asked to submit plans for the construction of the state capitol at St. Paul, Minnesota.
Democratic
Times, Jacksonville, Oregon, June 24, 1895, page 3
(The Minnesota state capitol is credited to architect Cass Gilbert.)


    Arthur Poe is an artist of no mean calibre, for a boy. In Architect Bennet's office is a pen drawing of his that is truly first-class and possesses the earmarks of one who will develop an artist's cleverness. His picture is the "Lions at Home"--taken from the San Francisco Examiner. Arthur has commenced taking lessons in drafting in the office of Architect Bennet, and unless we are greatly mistaken he will do himself proud.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, June 28, 1895, page 5


    W. J. Bennet swung into line at W. H. Meeker & Co.'s store a few days this week--helping 'em out with their rush of work incident to the Fourth.
"News of the City,"
Medford 
Mail, July 5, 1895, page 5

    W. J. Bennet and family left for Ashland Saturday, at which place the family will camp for a few weeks. W. J. returned to Medford Monday evening.
Medford 
Mail, July 19, 1895, page 4

    There is probably not a happier man in the Rogue river valley than Merchant S. Rosenthal--and there are grounds, to a liberal extent, for elation. On Wednesday of this week he moved his large stock of clothing and gents' furnishings from his rented store room on East Seventh [Main] street to his new magnificent brick store, recently completed and built directly opposite the post office on the ground formerly occupied by himself and his little wooden structure--and in the center of the liveliest city in the Great Rogue river valley. The new structure is 25x80 feet in size and two stories high. The first floor has been beautifully fitted up especially

Sam Rosenthal's Palace
Sam Rosenthal's building, 1919. Current site of U.S. Bank, East Main Street

for the convenience and display of the line of goods handled by Mr. Rosenthal. The second story is the Mason's lodge hall, entire. A 25x60 foot lodge room has been especially fitted for this order and their work at the front, while at the rear are two or three rooms set apart for the keeping of the lodge property and arranged for the lodge's best convenience, and aside from these is an ante room. The whole being high ceilinged and well lighted. This hall will also be used by the Knights of Pythias order. The front of the building is very pretty while the show windows are unlike any in the city and are beauties and "up to the limit" in architectural designing--in fact the whole structure is a credit to Architect W. J. Bennet and Contractors Childers, Shawver and Nicholson and Butler & Green.
Medford 
Mail, July 26, 1895, page 1
(This structure, now demolished, was adjacent to the northwest corner of Main and Central.)

    L. B. Warner, the fruit tree agent and insurance man, is arranging to put up a fine residence in Southwest Medford, upon an acre of land recently purchased from J. D. Whitman, just north of E. H. Faucett's fine home. The building will be 44x44 feet in size, part of it one story high and part two stories. In architectural design it will be a combination of both Italian and colonial. There will be a parlor, sitting room, two bed rooms, dining room, bath room, pantry and kitchen on first floor and a study room and two bed rooms on the second floor. It will cost when completed from $1600 to $2000. W. J. Bennet is the architect--which is a guarantee that it will be both convenient and beautiful.
Medford Mail, August 9, 1895, page 5

Warner House, Medford
L. B. Warner House, 519 South Oakdale. Burned and razed 1982.

    Mrs. S. E. Ish, living between Medford and Jacksonville commenced Tuesday the construction of a fine farm residence. The main building will be 24x28 feet in size and two stories high, and to this will be added a 12x28 foot lean-to. The first floor will be divided into a sitting room, ball, dining room, parlor, kitchen, pantry, and bath room. An open stairway will lead to the second floor where will be three sleeping rooms and three closets. There will be a porch across the entire front, also one at the rear. It is one of Architect Bennet’s designs and is truly a beauty. The contract for the carpenter work is being done by Barret, Butler and Stewart and the mason work and plastering by G. W. Priddy. The cost of the building completed will be about $1400.
Medford 
Mail, August 16, 1895, page 5

Sophie Ish Baker House
Sallie Ish's house, now known as the Sophenia Ish Baker House. Now on the National
Register at the intersection of Jackson and McAndrews. November 2007.

    Architect Bennet is preparing plans for two school buildings. Both are to be of brick and ten rooms each, but entirely different in design.
Medford Mail, August 23, 1895, page 8

    Joe Shone has purchased from Charlie Nickell lots 1 and 2 in block 38, Medford, paying therefor $150. The property is located one block west of the brewery, and upon it Joe is now at work building a five-room cottage, 24x36 feet in size with a 14x16 foot kitchen annex. The plans were made by Architect W. J. Bennet and it is going to be a little beauty, and is to cost about $800. Aside from this new residence Joe has also invested in a new Waverly [sic] bicycle, the same purchased from Deuel & Stevens.
Medford Mail, August 23, 1895, page 8
(The bicycle was advertised in the Medford Mail; according to its logo, it was spelled "Waverley.")


Medford Mail, August 9, 1895


    The special meeting of the taxpayers of Medford School District, Saturday afternoon, to consider the matter of constructing a new school building to take the place of the one recently destroyed by fire, was unanimous for a new building at once, and the directors were instructed to go ahead on a new brick building according to plans submitted by W. J. Bennet, the architect. the directors were authorized to borrow $7500, which with the $7000 received from insurance on the burned structure, it is thought will build and furnish the new school house, the cost of the building being estimated at $12,000. Architect Bennet's plans provide for a building 65 feet front by 85 feet deep, with an L 45x35 feet, two stories high, with ten rooms. The practical unanimity with which the proposition for undertaking to build such a creditable structure was received speaks volumes for Medford's interest in the public schools.
Ashland Tidings, September 5, 1895, page 2


W. J. BENNET,
ARCHITECT AND SUPERINTENDENT.
Plans, Specifications and Details. Perspective Drawings and Blueprints. Ventilation and Drainage a Specialty.
Halley Block, Medford, Oregon.
Medford Mail. (This revision of the ad begins September 13, 1895; the ad ends with the June 5, 1896 issue.)

    As stated in The Mail last week Medford is going to have a new school building, and it is going to be a good one, too. One has only to glance over the plans and specifications which have been prepared by Architect Bennet, and which have been accepted by the school board, to convince himself that Medford is going to have as good a school building as can be found in any district in the Pacific coast states, outside, perhaps, of some of the larger cities.
    By the kindness of Mr. Bennet a Mail representative was shown the plans and the details of the new building, and each and every particular explained.
    The foundation of the building will be of stone and laid on the bed-rock. It will be two and one-half feet from the ground to the first floor. The building walls will be of brick and each story will be fourteen feet in the clear.

Washington School
Washington School
Washington School, Medford--site of today's Jackson County Courthouse.

    The division between the principal's room and that of his assistant will be a "rolling partition." It will be so arranged that it can be easily rolled up or down. Should the principal wish to leave the room he has only to roll up this partition and the two rooms are thrown into one and can be under the direction of the vice-principal during his absence.
    The principal's room will be to the northwest corner of the building, and near his desk will be a speaking tube running to the teacher's closet in each of the other rooms, supplied with proper signaling appliances. This brings the principal within speaking distance with all the teachers and is a great convenience to all.
    On the north side and near the east end of the building will be located a tower sixty feet in height. In this tower is the main entrance, which will be eleven and a half feet in width. This entrance opens into a hall with stairs eight feet in width, leading to the upper floor. There will also be an entrance at the north-west corner, with stairs six feet wide leading to the second floor. In each flight of stairs there will be a landing half way up. This will prevent a jam in case of a rush down the stairs. The halls on the upper floor are narrower than the stairs
--this also to do away with a jam in case of a rush.
    All in all Medford will have a school building of which she can justly feel proud. It will be a structure unequaled by any in architectural design and modern conveniences. Mr. Bennet will have personal supervision of the work and it will be the aim of the directors and all who have the work in charge to see that it is done in a first-class manner and nothing but first-class material used.
"A Good, Grand Structure," Medford 
Mail, September 13, 1895, page 1

    Henry Klippel has this week commenced the erection of a residence on [Holly] Street, between Fourth and Fifth. It is to be a six-room cottage, with a 12x14-foot brick storeroom at the rear. In the front and on the north side will be a parlor 13x14, with a large bay window. Back of this is a dining room 15x19, with sliding doors between the parlor and dining room. Back of this is a 13x14 kitchen, with pantry. On the south side of the house are two large bedrooms, with closets in each, and a smaller bedroom near the back end. A well and cistern will both be provided. The house will be well lighted--double windows and sash doors being numerous. The plans were gotten up by Architect Bennet, and the work is being done by Contractors Starr and Drisko.
Medford Mail, September 13, 1895, page 5

    Medford Mail: Jos. Koch was down from Grants Pass last week assisting architect Bennet in doing tracing and preparing blueprints for the schoolhouse plans.
Daily Eugene Guard, September 14, 1895, page 4

    Miss Carrie Sackett has commenced taking a course in drafting, in Architect Bennet's office. After a few weeks she will teach a term of school in the Mountain district, after which she will complete her course in drafting.
Medford Mail, September 20, 1895, page 5

    S. Childers, Jr., has plans and specifications made for a nine room, two-story brick dwelling house, to be built just across Bear creek, north side of [Main] street. W. J. Bennet is the architect and it is going to be a beauty. It will cost about $2000. More will be said of it later.
Medford 
Mail, September 20, 1895, page 8

    Last week we spoke of the new brick residence to be built by S. Childers, Jr. The building will be quite unique in design, the verandas and porticoes being also of brick. It will be a two story building with six rooms below and three above.
"Medford Improvements," Medford Mail, September 27, 1895, page 4


    J. O. Johnson, the Table Rock rancher, has purchased a tract of land just south of Dr. B. F. Adkins' residence--50 feet wide and long enough to reach to the bank of Bear creek. Upon this land Mr. Johnson is having laid a foundation for a five room brick cottage. The main part of the building will be 30x35 with an ell 14x24, and a porch on two sides. . . . W. J. Bennet, architect.
"Medford Improvements," Medford Mail, September 27, 1895, page 4

(Adkins' residence was at 56 North Riverside; Johnson's would have been at or near the present site of Rack 'Em.)

    A few weeks ago we made mention of a new residence which L. B. Warner, the fruit tree man and insurance man--and Mail solicitor--was going to build. . . . It will be two stories high, six rooms below and three above. This will be a frame building and will cost about $1800. It will be located near Attorney J. H. Whitman's residence. W. J. Bennet, architect.
"Medford Improvements," Medford Mail, September 27, 1895, page 4


    Joe Shone has the foundation laid for his new residence in Northeast Medford, but the gentleman is so dog-blasted busy with other work that he gets but little time for his own house.
    Ed. Wilkinson's new brick block, in which Ed. will carve steaks to the general liking of all who come, is fast narrowing down to a finish, so far as the brick work is concerned. This will positively be the gem of all the buildings--and of which Ed. is justly proud.
"Medford Improvements," Medford Mail, September 27, 1895, page 4

    Architect Bennet left last night for Portland, to be absent a few days in the interests of some purchases to be made for the Wilkinson block.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, September 27, 1895, page 8

OREGON
    Medford will erect schoolhouse. Write Arch. W. J. Bennet.
"School Building Notes," The School Journal, October 5, 1895, page 299

    The Wilkinson block is fast taking on shape and with the setting of each day's sun new beauty is added to the general appearance. This is truly to be a building of beauty--and more such would be a credit to any city. Contractor Shone is doing a good job and is entitled to credit.
    The Mail was this week shown the plans and specifications for the Adkins and Childers block, as prepared by Architect Bennet.  The general design of the front is something quite out of the ordinary, especially in this city, and while it will cost but very little more than straight up and down brick work it will be a front of much beauty and attractiveness. Over each store front and in the second story will be formed a large, substantially built, brick arch, the ends of each resting upon the center and side pillars. On the second floor there will be room sufficient for three sets of offices and one suit of living rooms--over each store. The entire west wall is already built, Dr. Adkins owning one-half interest in the wall, erected by I. A. Webb. The principal part of the east wall is also built, a similar state of ownership existing as with Messrs. Adkins and Webb.
"News of the City," excerpt, Medford 
Mail, October 11, 1895, page 5

Adkins-Childers Building
The Adkins-Childers Building, circa 1900. The building survives at 226 East Main,
though the façade has been modernized.

    Contractor L. M. Lyon has purchased an acre tract of land from S. W. Speas and will very soon commence the construction of a residence. The main part will be 16x28 with a wing 16x20, and all one and a half stories high. It will be finished in East Lake style and will be a beautiful building when completed. W. J. Bennet is the architect.
Medford 
Mail, October 18, 1895, page 5

    Our building boom is waning not a little bit. . . . Among the latest to waltz into the arena is Merchant E. E. Thompson. He has purchased three acres of S. W. Speas, over near the young Mr. Lindley’s place [George R. Lindley lived on East Main] , and will at once commence the construction of a beautiful cottage thereon. The building will be 32x28 feet in size, one story high. . . . The front gable will be plastered with cement plastering and in it will be thrown, when green, bits of broken colored glass--giving it the effect of an old Romanesque building . . . W. J. Bennet is the architect and L. M. Lyons the contractor. Work will commence at once. The cost of the building will be about $1800.
excerpt, Medford 
Mail, October 18, 1895, page 5

    G. C. Grove, of Tacoma, is taking a course of study in architecture in W. J. Bennet's office. The gentleman has been stopping in the Applegate mining district during the summer, and the climate having proven beneficial to his health he has decided to remain permanently.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, October 25, 1895, page 8

    The Mail will bark at no man’s back. When it hears ugly rumors regarding people whose movements if correct, as alleged, interfere directly with a fair show among our mechanics we will go direct to the fountain head and begin sifting. This week we heard that Architect Bennet was discriminating between our builders when opening bids for buildings. We went to Mr. Bennet and he most emphatically denied the charge--and to prove his assertions he has asked a Mail reporter to be present at each occasion of opening bids.
Medford 
Mail, October 30, 1895, page 5

    The finishing touches have about all been placed on the Wilkinson building, and it does not take the eye of a skilled mechanic to determine that it will be one of the handsomest buildings in Southern Oregon when all completed. The original plan has been changed to some extent, and the stairs will not go up from the front as first designed, and the entrance will be in the center of the building, with plate glass windows on either side. Contractor Shone is doing some excellent work on this building, and shows himself to be a workman of enviable ability.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, November 1, 1895, page 5

    The Adkins-Childers block is being rapidly pushed upward. There is but the front centre and part of one side to build, but there is being no time lost in its construction. Those brick archways between the front and rear rooms of each store are going to produce a fine effect and will be convenient.
Medford 
Mail, November 8, 1895, page 5

BENNET--In Medford, Dec. 5, 1895, to Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Bennet, a daughter.
Medford 
Mail, December 9, 1895

    Everybody takes their hats off when South C street [Central Avenue] has a word to say. As a mark of appreciation the people of this street ought to be pensioned for the interest manifest in their endeavors to make Medford a city of three thousand inhabitants. Note the record for the past couple of months: The Stevens household a girl, Bliton a girl, Strang a pair of boys; Plymale a boy--and now comes Architect W. J. Bennet to the front with the announcement that a fourteen and a half pound girl baby came to his home on Thursday of last week--and cigars were plentiful, for all of which here is ho!--to his hearty, healthy and happy household.
Medford 
Mail, December 13, 1895, page 5
(The Palace Hotel was in the Halley Block on C Street, now Central Avenue.)

Call for Bids.
    Sealed bids will be received up to 12 o'clock noon of December 30, 1895, for the erection of a church building in either brick or wood, for the Presbyterian society, according to plans and specifications to be inspected at the office of W. J. Bennet, architect, Medford, Oregon. The committee reserves the right to reject any and all bids; also the privilege of thirty days' time in which to sign contract with successful bidder. Bids to be filed with J. R. Erford, secretary of committee.
             A. S. Foster
             J. R. Erford
             E. P. Geary
             Building Committee.
Medford Mail, December 27, 1895, page 5

    Mrs. J. R. Cox and daughter, of Brownsville, visited over Saturday with architect Bennet and family.
"Medford," Capital Journal, Salem, January 6, 1896, page 2

    Architect W. J. Bennet is preparing plans and specifications for a fine farm residence for our good friend, Mr. J. H. Lame, he who owns a good chunk of good land near Tolo. The building is to be of modern architecture and a beauty throughout. It will be put up some time next spring or early summer.
Medford 
Mail, January 10, 1896, page 5

    Joe Shone is putting in some good work these days on his new residence, which, when completed, will be one of the best and prettiest buildings in Medford. Joe being a carpenter--and a good one--he is leaving not a thing undone that would help the building's beauty and convenience. One especially fine feature is that the building stands well up off the ground, thus permitting of the grading of splendid grounds around it. The finish of the building is to be of a style of architecture very out of the ordinary and when completed it cannot fail to attract much favorable comment.
Medford 
Mail, January 10, 1896, page 5

Joe Shone House
The Shone-Charley House, now on the National Register, corner of Fourth and Grape.
November 2007.

    Architect Bennet is at work on plans and specifications for a large, beautiful, new residence which Attorney A. S. Hammond is contemplating building during the spring and summer. It will be a beauty if built as designed--and one which any person would be happy in possessing. Mr. Bennet has also designed a dwelling for A. P. Green, the painter. The building is to be Italian in design and will probably be erected during the coming summer--upon Mr. Green's North C street [Central Avenue] property, just north of the water ditch.
Medford 
Mail, January 24, 1896, page 5
(Green later decided to move a southwest Medford residence to his lot.)

    At a meeting of the building committee of the Presbyterian church, J. R. Erford was appointed treasurer of the building fund and all subscriptions to the same can be paid to him or whom he may appoint. It is the intention and desire of the committee to push the matter of building and complete the same as soon as possible. It is also now the intention to build a brick veneered building--with the main building to be 30x40 feet, with an ell 14x28 and a tower 8x8, as per plans drawn by, and in the office of, W. J. Bennet, architect.
Medford 
Mail, January 31, 1896, page 5

Presbyterian Church, Medford
Presbyterian Church, southeast corner of Holly and Main. Razed circa 1927.

    Architect W. J. Bennet is this week at work upon plans of J. U. Willeke’s new East-side residence. . . . It will be a very pretty building when completed and one of which its owner may well feel proud. Its cost will be about $2000.
excerpt, Medford 
Mail, February 14, 1896, page 5

    Ed. Wilkinson has moved his family to his new palace home over his meat market. . . . The front, or sitting room, overlooking as it does the principal street of our busy city, is indeed an ideal palace in which to while away a few leisure hours. In this room is a fire place, over and around which is is a beautifully designed arch mantle of oak wood with a plate glass mirror at the top and center. The room is beautifully papered with ingrain paper. Back of this is a sleeping room with folding doors between it and the sitting room, and opening off this room is the children's sleeping apartment, and adjoining these two rooms is a bath-room which is fitted with all up to date appliances together with hot and cold water pipes. The dining room and kitchen are at the rear, and between them, opening into each is a large, glass-door cupboard. Off of the kitchen is a large pantry in which are a pump, water pipes, cupboards and tables. Still further back is a porch and woodshed.
    The woodwork bears the hand marks of Joe Shone and is good
--first class. W. J. Bennet is the architect and to him the credit of the very clever designing is due.
    We forgot to mention that all of the interior rooms are well lighted by means of sky-lights. Mr. Wilkinson has had new carpets placed on the floors and new furniture in all of the rooms. For convenience and comfort Ed. has a home difficult to beat.
excerpt, “Ed. Wilkinson’s Palace Home,” Medford 
Mail, January 24, 1896, page 8

Swem-Wilkinson Building, Medford
The Wilkinson-Swem Building, now on the National Register, 217 East Main.
November 2007.

    And the new brick buildings continue to loom up in Medford. The latest acquisition to the brick block arena is a two-story structure now under construction by Messrs. Crane & Childers. It was but a few days ago that W. T. Crane, of the Oriental livery stables and H. E. Childers (all the same Bert) entered into a compact to conduct the livery business together, as joint partners. The combine is working fine, first-rate, and to the entire satisfaction of all. A few days prior to the deal, however, Mr. Crane purchased from J. T. Miller two lots on North Front street, near the city bastille, at a cost of $600, with the intention of putting up a brick stable thereon, which intention is now being carried out--only there are two intentions instead of one. On Monday of this week the new firm began work on the foundation for the new building and on or before April first it will be finished and occupied. The building will be 50x60 feet in size, twenty feet to the fire walls, and the walls to be twelve inches in thickness. This will not furnish room necessary for the business but the boys own 40x60 feet on the back of this which will be built upon during the summer. When completed they will have a building 60x100 feet--and a good one, too.
excerpt,
Medford Mail, January 31, 1896, page 5

    Architect W. J. Bennet is this week at work upon plans of J. U. Willeke's new East-side residence. The first story of the building will be 28x42 feet in size and in this there will be a parlor, sitting room and dining room, and a kitchen, chamber and bath. There will be a veranda on two sides, an alcove porch on the west and a rear porch at the southeast corner. The second story will be 28x32 feet in size. There will be three large bed rooms and a closet off of each. It will be a very pretty building when completed and one of which its owner may well feel proud. Its cost will be about $2000.
Medford 
Mail, February 14, 1896, page 5


    Gee, whizz!  But how we will bloom out in our new brick buildings this spring. There are three that are assured and two right now that are prospective--with the prospects fair. The third and last one that is assured us is a 25x80 foot building to be built by T. J. and G. W. Hamlin, on their lot on South D [Front] street, where Waschau’s jewelry store and Coulter’s paint shop now stands. The building will be two stories high, and there is a possibility that it will be fifty feet wide instead of twenty-five, as the designs were first prepared, the gentlemen having secured an option on the lot adjoining theirs on the south which is owned by G. Naylor. . . . The first story will be for store purposes but is unlike any other building in the city in that the entrance will be at the side of the front instead of the center as is usually the case. This gives room for a large show window and plenty of room left for a stairway. The second story will be made into suites of offices and each of the suites is conveniently and very pleasantly arranged. Architect W. J. Bennet has done some good work in the designing of this building. One of his new features is the entrance at the side of the front, and another is in the window and door casings which will not be there at all but in their stead the walls will be rounded in to meet the window jams, thus doing away with the square turn and presenting a very pretty effect. Work is to commence on the building now very soon.
excerpt, Medford Mail, February 28, 1896, page 5

    The brick work on the Crane & Childers livery stable was commenced this week. Architect Bennet has the plans completed--and the stable is all right, and a beauty.
Medford Mail, February 28, 1896, page 5

    The design, plans and specifications for this fine building [Washington School] are the product of Architect W. J. Bennet, of this city, and to him is due, and is given, credit for the splendidly arranged and commodious new building. No person is there who visits the building and well inspects it in detail but that will speak words of compliment for the architect and superintendent.
excerpt, Medford Mail, March 6, 1896, page 1

Washington School
Washington School, on the current site of the Jackson County Courthouse.
Medford Mail, March 6, 1896

    L. B. Warner, the fruit tree and organ agent, has moved into his beautiful new residence, in Southwest Medford. It is a beautiful dwelling, pleasantly located and is in one of the best neighborhoods in the city.
Medford Mail, March 27, 1896, page 5

    Dan'l Fisher, he who at one time did work with Architect Bennet and who left Medford last May for San Jose, Calif., dropped off in Medford Saturday evening for a day's visit with his old-time acquaintances. He left Sunday evening for Roseburg, where he has interests to look after and where he will remain for several months. He reports business quiet in California and plenty of men for every job.
"Purely Personal," Medford 
Mail, April 10, 1896, page 8

    Know ye not that there is a silver party in the field? . . . That you have brought us by your votes to this calamity we are in, of falling prices, a twenty-five cent horse, two bits a day for work and take your pay in truck and turnover, or a fifty-cent dollar, which if you don't like that, then tramp. . . . When you have had enough of this deceit then join us quickly and help us yelp, "America for Americans." . . .
    If you are with us then show it by your work in every precinct in the state of Oregon by forming clubs if not more than three and as many more as you can get [sic]. And send a list of the officers and members to the representative secretary of the national executive committee of the silver party, W. J. Bennet, of Medford, Oregon, in order that you can receive papers and documents and don't forget to recommend some man in favor of the silver party in each county for chairman of the county executive committee for provisional work.
      E. P. Hammond
      Chm. State Ex. Comm. Silver Party
      W. J. Bennet, Sec.
      Medford, Oregon
excerpt, Medford 
Mail, April 17, 1896, page 2

    J. H. Lame was in Medford Saturday upon business. Upon returning he took with him the plans and specifications, prepared by Architect Bennet, for his new residence, to be erected upon his Willow springs farm.
Medford 
Mail, April 17, 1896, page 5

    A. P. Green is soon to commence the construction of a residence, on his North C street [Central Avenue] property. Architect Bennet has the plans and specifications completed and contractors will soon be given a chance to bid. It is to be a five room cottage of Romanesque design--very pretty and convenient throughout.
Medford Mail, April 17, 1896, page 5

    Architect Bennet is now engaged in making plans and specifications for a library building to be built at Auburn, New York. This is a competition piece of work and upon it there are architects from all parts of the United States at work. The structure is to cost $25,000. The plans which Mr. Bennet is preparing are Egyptian in design and very beautiful.
Medford 
Mail, April 17, 1896, page 5
(Auburn’s Case Memorial Library was designed by a New York firm.)

    The new ads this week are those of Deuel & Stevens, who are making a special run on gents' furnishing goods; [and] the Oriental livery stable, Crane & Childers, proprietors, which is now located very comfortably in the new brick building on North D [Front] street. . . .
excerpt,
Medford Mail, April 17, 1896, page 5
(W. T. Crane bought out Childers' interest in the stable a month later.)

Oriental Livery Stable
The Oriental Livery Stable at 42 North Front Street, circa 1900, after it had become the
Hotel Nash Livery Stable. Remodeled in early January 1913.

    Architect Bennet was at Sisson, Calif., this week looking after some possible work in his line, which will be necessary in the rebuilding of that portion of that town recently consumed by fire.
Medford 
Mail, April 24, 1896, page 8

    W. L. Halley has purchased a corner lot just west of A. A. Davis’ fine residence and will at once commence the construction of a brick dwelling  thereon, the timber necessary having already been placed on the ground. The building will be 34x40 feet in size and will be two stories high. There are five rooms with closets on the second. The building is very conveniently arranged and is to be a good looker from the outside--as well as inside. W. J. Bennet, architect.
Medford 
Mail, May 1, 1896, page 5

    Architect W. J. Bennet returned Saturday from his trip to Sisson. He reports having accrued a good bit of work in his line and has the promise of more. He is now getting out plans for a barber shop and grocery building for H. Rostell and also a store building for Jeweler L. Mugler. In the absence of brick he is using lava rock, which rock is found in great quantities near the town. When taken from the quarries the rock is soft and can be easily cut with an ax, but exposure to the elements hardens it--like flint. This is laid in the walls when first taken from the quarries and in cement and clay. Mr. Bennet has the promise also of the architectural work on a large hotel which is soon to be built. He also secured a hotel and a couple of store buildings at Etna, a small town thirty-five miles off the railroad from the railroad [sic] at Gazelle. The monthly pay roll of Sisson, he states, is $48,000.
Medford 
Mail, May 1, 1896, page 8

    Architect W. J. Bennet went over to Sissons [sic], California, on Tuesday to deliver several sets of plans of buildings, which he had prepared for parties in that city, to take the place of those recently destroyed by fire.
Medford 
Mail, May 8, 1896, page 8

    Architect W. J. Bennet returned Tuesday evening from Yreka, Calif., at which place he has been making plans and specifications for a new courthouse for Siskiyou County. He is also at work on plans for a new jail for the same county. He has also perfected the plans for a couple of buildings in Sissons [sic], Calif. George Gove, who is a most exemplary young man and a good architect, had charge of the Medford office during Mr. Bennet’s absence.
Medford 
Mail, May 22, 1896, page 5
(A George Gove designed Tacoma's 1906 Thomas Wilson house and the 1912 Olympia city hall.)

Siskiyou County Courthouse, ca 1896
Siskiyou County Courthouse, Yreka, California, circa 1896. The building survives, though
entombed within later additions. Courtesy of the Siskiyou County Museum.

    The [Presbyterian Church] building is located on the site of the old building on West Seventh street. The main building is 32x42 feet in size and into this opens two rooms each 15x15 feet, used for infant and bible class rooms. These rooms are separated from the main room by sliding doors, and when occasion requires it, they can be thrown open and made into one room, which gives a seating capacity of 400 people. . . . As you enter the church from the outside, you are conducted into the waiting room, 10x10 feet in size, and from this room you pass through two large folding doors into the main room in front, and also through a door to the left, leading into the class rooms. Between the two class-rooms is another sliding door, which can be thrown open, and there you have a room 15x30 in size.
     The plans for the building were drawn by Architect W. J. Bennet, but the general arrangement of the interior are from Rev. Foster's own ideas.
excerpt, "New Presbyterian Church Completed--Dedication Next Sunday," Medford 
Mail, May 29, 1896, page 8

    Mrs. Legate was allowed $280 by the insurance company on damage done her residence by fire recently and $275 on the furniture destroyed. The adjustment of damage to dwelling was placed in the hands of Architect Bennet and the insurance paid was the amount named by him., which is considered very liberal to Mrs. Legate.
excerpt, Medford 
Mail, June 12, 1896, page 8

    Architect W. J. Bennet and family were at Ashland Wednesday. Mr. B. returned the same evening, but the family will remain for a month with Mr. Fenton’s family, after which they will go to Colestin for a couple of months’ stay. Mrs. Bennet has been in quite poor health for the past few months and the move to the mountains is made in hopes that her health will be restored. Mr. Bennet will leave for Yreka Saturday, to be absent about a week. He has several buildings now in course of construction at that place.
Medford 
Mail, June 19, 1896, page 8

    W. J. Bennet has closed his architect’s office and will locate to Yreka, Calif.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, Oregon, June 18, 1896, page 3


    We now pass to L. B. Warner's new home, which has recently been completed and which ranks among the best and prettiest in that part of the city. It is a very large two-story house right in amongst the thickest of those lovely oaks which are the pride of the residents of that section and from which it receives its name. Mr. Warner has a fine home and no mistake, but so has Myron Skeel, whose place adjoins Mr. Warner's and which is the last one we will mention in this issue.
"Oakland [sic]--A Medford Suburb," Medford Mail, June 19, 1896, page 8

    It is reported that W. J. Bennet, the architect, of Medford, has fallen heir to a handsome fortune of $65,000 by the death of a wealthy bachelor uncle in New York.--Ashland Tidings. This news will interest Mr. Bennet's Roseburg creditors.--Roseburg Review.
Daily Eugene Guard, June 24, 1896, page 4

    George Gove, he who has been draughtsman in Architect Bennet's office in this city for several months past, has accepted a like position with R. W. Gray, the Prospect saw mill man. George is not only a splendid and very accurate workman, but as well a cracking clever lad--and there is nothing in his composite that is not the true gentleman.
Medford 
Mail, June 26, 1896, page 5

    Architect W. J. Bennet is reported to be doing heap plenty business in his line over at Yreka. Contractor Butler informs us that Mr. Bennet is positively overrun with work--all of which is good for Bennet, and his friends here are glad.
Medford 
Mail, September 11, 1896, page 7

    The Yreka Journal states that Architect W. J. Bennet, formerly of this city, while out driving last Sunday [September 20] with three other gentlemen, was thrown from the carriage, and holding to the lines was dragged several feet. “The entire side of his face,” says the Journal was badly scratched and bruised while his side was also injured, although he does not anticipate any serious results.
Medford 
Mail, September 25, 1896, page 7

    Architect W. J. Bennet came up Monday from Yreka, Calif., for a few days’ business stay hereabouts. He reports having lots of business in his line at Yreka. Says nearly all the county officials are putting up some very fine residences. He is also doing architectural work for a number of business blocks, including a large hotel. That rumor of a few weeks ago in regard to Mr. Bennet having fallen heir to a fortune of $60,000 or $70,000 was a long ways from being all moonshine. A rich uncle of his recently died in Cuba and his entire fortune, amounting to the above given figure, was left to Mr. Bennet.
Medford 
Mail, October 2, 1896, page 6
San Francisco Call, April 26, 1897, page 3
San Francisco Call, April 26, 1897, page 3

    Among the leading business men are G. Cooper, W. J. Bennet and A. A. Bennet, architects; M. Miner, R. H. Dewitt, J. Cleland and H. Brinzer, general merchants; Walker & Avery, J. Churchill & Son and D. O'Connell, druggists; Junker Bros., H. Stimmell and F. Antenrieth, hardware; H. Waldsworth and Cleland & Caseday, butchers.
"The City of Yreka," San Francisco Call, April 26, 1897, page 3

    W. J. Bennet is visiting the city after an absence of four years. Mr. Bennet is an architect in Yreka, Siskiyou County.
"Personal Mention," Daily Record-Union, Sacramento, April 28, 1897, page 2

    The Salmon River Belcher Mining Company. Principal place of business, Yreka. Capital stock, $500,000, with $200,000 subscribed, and William Baptist, W. J. Bennet, H. W. Scheld and George Gove of Yreka, and Frank Courant of Oakland, as directors..
"Articles of Incorporation," Sacramento Daily Union, April 29, 1897, page 5

    William J. Bennet, architect, age 48, born in Virginia, living in Redding
1898 Shasta County, California Register

    W. J. Bennet, the architect, formerly of Medford, has been awarded the contract for placing fire escapes in the new Masonic temple at Redding, Cal.

"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 24, 1898, page 3

W. J. Bennet May 14, 1898 La Grande Observer
Daily Morning Observer, La Grande, Oregon, March 26 through October 21, 1898

La Grande, Oregon circa 1910
La Grande, Oregon circa 1910

    Mr. W. J. Bennet of Medford has arrived in La Grande and has concluded to locate here. Mr. Bennet is an architect and will follow his profession here. We acknowledge a very pleasant call from the gentleman and are glad to welcome him to our city.
"Local and Personal,"
Daily Morning Observer, La Grande, Oregon, March 22, 1898, page 3

    Mr. W. J. Bennet, the architect, has taken the rooms formerly occupied by the Commercial Club in the Scriber building and will fit the rooms up for an office.
"Local and Personal,"
Daily Morning Observer, La Grande, Oregon, March 23, 1898, page 3

    In another column of the Observer will be found the professional card of Mr. W. S. Bennet the architect. The Observer man was in his office in the Rogers building yesterday and was shown many handsome drawings of numerous business blocks and residences which Mr. Bennet had designed in Southern Oregon, many of which it had been our pleasure to see. Though the gentleman has been in our midst but a few days he has already received orders for four new buildings, one business building and three residences.
"Local and Personal," Daily Morning Observer, La Grande, Oregon, March 26, 1898, page 3

    Mr. W. S. Bennet, the architect, went to Elgin yesterday on business connected with the proposed erection of some new buildings there.
"Local and Personal," Daily Morning Observer, La Grande, Oregon, March 29, 1898, page 3

    Architect W. S. [sic] Bennet was busy yesterday drawing the plans for a two-story building for John Anthony, to be erected on his lots across the track. Mr. Anthony had intended to build a single-story building, but has now decided to make it two. According to the sketch seen in Mr. Bennet’s office last evening there will be two good sized store rooms and [it] will have five large plate glass windows.
"Local and Personal," Daily Morning Observer, La Grande, Oregon, March 30, 1898, page 3

    W. J. Bennet, the architect, formerly of Medford, is now located at La Grande. He still forgets those who accommodated him while he was here.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, Oregon, April 7, 1898, page 2

Union, Oregon circa 1910
Union, Oregon circa 1910

    Architect W. S. [sic] Bennet is now busy drawing plans for a fine two story brick Masonic temple for the Masonic lodge at Union. The lower floor will be utilized for office rooms and the upper floor will be used for the lodge rooms, banquet halls and reception parlors.
"Local and Personal," Daily Morning Observer, La Grande, Oregon, April 9, 1898, page 3

    Architect Bennet is preparing plans for a neat modern dwelling for J. H. Cronemiller, foreman of the La Grande Chronicle.
"Local and Personal," Daily Morning Observer, La Grande, Oregon, April 11, 1898, page 3

    John Anthony has six teams at work excavating for his cellar under his business property across the track. This building will be 50x60, either of veneered or solid brick.
"Local and Personal," Daily Morning Observer, La Grande, Oregon, April 11, 1898, page 3

Fergus County High School and Gymnasium, 1899-1917
Fergus County High School and Gymnasium, Lewistown, Montana, 1899-1917

    Architect W. S. Bennet received an order for the plans and specifications for a two-story high school building for the city of Lewistown, Mont. The building is to cost in the neighborhood of $20,000.
"Local and Personal," Daily Morning Observer, La Grande, Oregon, April 16, 1898, page 3

    J. W. Scriber is having plans drawn by Architect Bennet for a neat modern cottage which he will build at once on his lots on the corner of Fourth and Park streets.
"Local and Personal," Daily Morning Observer, La Grande, Oregon, April 16, 1898, page 3

    E. L. Harris, of Elgin, who will superintend the building of the Presbyterian Church there, was up Saturday to get the plans and specifications from architect Bennet.
"Local and Personal," Daily Morning Observer, La Grande, Oregon, April 18, 1898, page 3

    Architect W. J. Bennet has completed the plans for J. W. Scriber's residence and work will soon commence.
"Local and Personal," Daily Morning Observer, La Grande, Oregon, April 22, 1898, page 3

    W. J. Bennet, the architect, is putting the finishing touches to the plans for the Anthony building, and work on the structure will begin at once. It will be a modern one-story brick with a plate glass front.
"Local and Personal," Daily Morning Observer, La Grande, Oregon, April 22, 1898, page 3

La Grande, Oregon circa 1910
La Grande, Oregon circa 1910


    Architect W. J. Bennet is working today on plans for a single-story brick, to contain three store rooms. The building will be upon one of our principal streets, and is to be built by Portland capital.
"Local and Personal," Daily Morning Observer, La Grande, Oregon, April 25, 1898, page 3

    Contractor J. L. Slater was the lowest bidder on the Scriber house. The bids were submitted to Architect W. J. Bennet.
"Local and Personal," Daily Morning Observer, La Grande, Oregon, April 27, 1898, page 3

    Architect W. J. Bennet was in Union yesterday on business connected with the building of the Masonic temple to be erected there.
"Local and Personal," Daily Morning Observer, La Grande, Oregon, April 28, 1898, page 3

    W. J. Bennet, the architect, is putting the finishing touches to the plans for the Anthony building, and work on the structure will begin at once. It will be a modern one-story brick with a plate glass front.
Eastern Oregon Observer, La Grande, April 28, 1898, page 3

TO CONTRACTORS.
    Notice is hereby given that the plans and specifications for the John Anthony brick are now completed and are at the office of Architect W. J. Bennet of this city. Contractors are invited to place bids with W. J. Bennet for the construction of said building.
Daily Morning Observer,
La Grande, Oregon, May 2, 1898, page 4


    Architect W. J. Bennet, who went to Pendleton to meet his family who have just arrived from Redding, California, returned yesterday morning with them and was on the hunt for a house.
"Local and Personal," Daily Morning Observer, La Grande, Oregon, May 4, 1898, page 3

    Architect W. J. Bennet has been awarded the contract to furnish the plans and specifications for the Masonic building to be built at Union.
"Local and Personal," Daily Morning Observer, La Grande, Oregon, May 5, 1898, page 3

TO CONTRACTORS.
    Notice is hereby given that the plans and specifications for the John Anthony brick are now completed and are at the office of architect W. J. Bennet in this city. Contractors are invited to place bids with W. J. Bennet for the construction of said building.
Daily Morning Observer, La Grande, Oregon, May 7-9, 1898, page 2


    Architect W. J. Bennet has been awarded the contract to furnish the plans and specifications for the Masonic building to be built at Union.
Eastern Oregon Observer, La Grande, May 12, 1898, page 3

    Architect W. J. Bennet, who has been in Baker City for the last few days, passed through La Grande last evening en route for Pendleton, where he goes in response to a telegram, to come at once on business connected with the building of the large flouring mill about to be built in that city.
"Local and Personal," Daily Morning Observer, La Grande, Oregon, May 17, 1898, page 3

    Johnie [sic] Mars has resigned his position as assistant in the post office and will accept a position with W. J. Bennet, the architect. Johnie has a natural ability for artistic drawing and will no doubt make a record for himself and capture many honors in this high profession.
"Local and Personal," Daily Morning Observer, La Grande, Oregon, June 3, 1898, page 3

    George Gove, the architect formerly of Medford, now of Yreka, submitted a design for a house to an illustrated journal of Tennessee, the American Homes, in connection with many others. The design was a Spanish mission cottage with tiled roof. So well pleased was the journal with the design that special mention was made and a premium was given. The work was also commented upon editorially by the journal.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, June 3, 1898, page 7

    W. J. Bennet, the architect, was in Union yesterday.

Daily Morning Observer,
La Grande, Oregon, June 4, 1898, page 3


    Contractor Clements has a force of four men on the Anthony building. Superintendent Bennet states that 40,000 brick will be used in this building.
"Local and Personal," Daily Morning Observer, La Grande, Oregon, June 11, 1898, page 3

    Architect W. J. Bennet has completed the plans and specifications for the splendid new store building for Mr. J. C. Henry, the furniture dealer, to be erected on the corner of Adams avenue and Fir street. The building will be 40 by 110 feet one story high, and built of the best obtainable [omission]. It will front on Adams avenue and also Fir street. The front will be made of pressed brick laid in black mortar, and trimmed with Elgin brown stone. This will give a pleasing effect as well as make it thoroughly substantial. The plate glass will be the largest east of Portland and west of Salt Lake. Taking the building from beginning to end it will be the finest furniture store in Eastern Oregon. Mr. Henry will begin work just as soon as the brick can be secured.
Eastern Oregon Observer, La Grande, June 23, 1898, page 3

    J. W. Scriber has Architect W. J. Bennet drawing plans for the remodeling of three small houses near Brick school house, which according to the plans will be quite a credit to that portion of the city.
Eastern Oregon Observer, La Grande, September 2, 1898, page 2

    The designs of the school building displayed in Molitor’s drug store, are those drawn by Architect W. S. [sic] Bennet, for the consideration of the people while the subject of a new school house was under consideration a few weeks ago.
Eastern Oregon Observer, La Grande, September 9, 1898, page 2

    Architect J. W. Bennet of La Grande was in the city Tuesday on business.
Eastern Oregon Observer, La Grande, September 16, 1898, page 3

    Architect Bennet states that he has at least twenty parties who contemplate building this season, on the string evolving in their mind about what they desire so he can make plans and drawings to conform with them.
Eastern Oregon Observer, La Grande, September 16, 1898, page 5

    W. J. Bennet, a La Grande architect, arrived at the Belvedere yesterday.
"Personal Mention," Oregonian, Portland, October 2, 1898, page 5

    W. J. Bennet, of Spokane, is registered at the Belvedere.
"Personal Mention," Oregonian, Portland, October 2, 1898, page 5


Suicide in La Grande, Oregon.
    La Grande, Ore., May 31.--W. J. Bennet, an architect, of La Grande, while in Union, Ore., on business took poison last night and died today. Domestic troubles is supposed to be the cause.
Ogden (Utah) Standard Examiner, May 31, 1899, page 4

W. J. BENNET
ARCHITECT
Estimates furnished on application.
LA GRANDE, OR.
The Cove Ledger, June 1, 1899, page 1

Cove, Oregon, circa 1910
Cove, Oregon and Cove School, circa 1910


A SUDDEN DEATH
Architect W. J. Bennet of La Grande
Expires at the Hotel in Union
Wednesday Morning.
    A surprise and shock to this community was the advice by phone that architect W. J. Bennet, of La Grande, died at the Hotel in Union at an early hour yesterday morning. He was taken suddenly ill about midnight and medical attendance was immediately summoned, but all efforts were unavailing. Heart disease is said to be the cause of death.
Cove, Oregon School, 1913
Cove School, 1913

     Deceased was a member of the Masonic fraternity and K. of P. and had belonged to the Maccabees but had allowed himself to fall in arrears, thus forfeiting his beneficiary insurance. Mrs. Bennet arrived in Union from La Grande shortly after her husband’s death. Mr. Bennet had drawn plans for the new public school building in Cove which were accepted, and it will be constructed according to those plans. He had built up a fine reputation professionally and made plans for buildings in Canyon City, Baker City, Lewiston, Enterprise and Union, and also did considerable work in his line for the O. R. & N. [Oregon Railway & Navigation] Co. He will be interred at La Grande, where his bereaved wife and children reside.
The Cove 
Ledger, June 1, 1899, page 2    (There is no record of Bennet's having been buried in La Grande.)

Cove, Oregon circa 1912
Cove, Oregon circa 1912

W. J. Bennet Commits Suicide.
    LA GRANDE, May 31.--W. J. Bennet, an architect of La Grande, while in Union on a business trip, took poison last night and died early this morning. Business troubles are supposed to be the cause. Deceased leaves a wife and children. This is the third sudden death here in ten days. Mr. Bennet was formerly of Roseburg and was well known throughout Southern Oregon.
Roseburg Plaindealer, June 1, 1899, page 1

HE TOOK POISON.
Architect W. J. Bennet Committed Suicide at Union.
BUSINESS TROUBLE THE CAUSE
Bennet Formerly Resided in Roseburg,
and Planned a Number of Buildings in This City.
Special to The Review
    LA GRANDE, June 1--W. J. Bennet, architect of La Grande, while in Union on a business trip, took poison last night and died early this morning; business troubles are supposed to be the cause.
     Bennet left La Grande for Union the day before to look after business and is said to have been drinking heavily for several days. He took two doses of morphine at Union Tuesday and went into an unconscious state about midnight from which he never recovered. He had acted strangely for several days and it is supposed that suicide was premeditated. So far as [is] known his family is poorly provided for and in destitute circumstances.
     (Mr. Bennet was well known in Roseburg, having resided here awhile, coming from Salem. He planned the Odd Fellows' temple and quite a number of other buildings in this city, finally moving to Medford and from there to California and later to Eastern Oregon. He was a competent architect, but drank heavily, taking the Keeley treatment for liquor habit while here.)
Roseburg 
Review, June 1, 1899, page 3

HE TOOK POISON
W. J. Bennet, of Lagrande, Commits Suicide at Union
    Lagrande, Ore., May 31--W. J. Bennet, an architect of Lagrande, while in Union, Ore., on a business trip, took poison last night and died today. Business troubles is supposed to be the cause.
Idaho Daily Statesman, Boise, June 1, 1899, page 1

TOOK POISON
A La Grande Architect Ends Life’s Turmoil by Poison.
    LA GRANDE, May 31.--W. J. Bennet, architect of La Grande, while in Union on a business trip, took poison last night and died early this morning; business troubles are supposed to be the cause.
Weekly Capitol Journal, Salem, Oregon, June 1, 1899, page 1

    W. J. Bennet, an architect well known in Southern Oregon, died in Union, Oregon, last Wednesday, as a result of a dose of morphine supposed to have been taken with suicidal intent. He had been dissipating for several days prior to his death. Bennet formerly resided at Medford, and spent considerable time at Ashland, afterward removing for a time to Siskiyou County, Cal. He was well schooled in his profession and his services were always in demand.
Ashland Tidings, June 5, 1899, page 2

    W. J. Bennet, the architect, who drew the plans of our school house and other buildings in this city and county, but who has been a resident of La Grande, Oregon, lately took two doses of morphine at Union on the night of May 31st and died the next morning.  He acted strangely for several days previously and had been drinking heavily. It is supposed that he committed suicide. So far as is known his family is in destitute circumstances.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, Oregon, June 5, 1899, page 2

Union, Oregon, circa 1905
Union, Oregon, circa 1905


LOOKS LIKE SUICIDE
----
W. J. Bennet, the Architect,
Dies Suddenly in Union.
----
TOOK THE MORPHINE ROUTE
----
Had Been Drinking for Several Days--
Passed Away Without a Word of Ex-
planation of His Actions.
    W. J. Bennet, the architect of La Grande, who designed the Masonic temple and other buildings in Union, died suddenly in Union at 8:30 o’clock Wednesday morning under circumstances that point strongly to suicide.
    Bennet had been on a prolonged spree for several days--his wife stating that he had not been home since last Saturday [May 27]. He came to Union on an early freight train Tuesday [May 30] and spent the day on the streets and in saloons drinking more or less. His actions generally indicated that he was somewhat beside himself. In the evening, he called at a doctor’s office and represented that he was a confirmed morphine fiend and that it was absolutely necessary that he have some of the drug to relieve him of his misery. He said morphine had been used on him while he was having a broken limb treated and that at times he had taken as much as seventy cents worth of the drug without injury so strongly had he become habituated to the drug. He succeeded in getting 25 cents worth of the stuff.
     About midnight, he complained of being ill and went to the residence of Dr. Phy on North Gale street. Upon entering the house, he went into convulsions. One fit followed another all night until the next morning when he died, every effort to relieve him having failed.
     It is learned that he had several times recently threatened to commit suicide, having at one time obtained a pistol avowedly for that purpose.
     His wife and two children, whom he left in destitute circumstances, arrived from La Grande on Wednesday’s passenger train.
     A subscription was taken up here to relieve Mrs. Bennet in her troubles. Bennet had represented himself as being a member of several fraternal organizations but everything indicates that the representations were untrue. The body was buried by the county.
     Bennet was a man well met and of considerable ability as an architect and had he mastered his desire for strong drink could no doubt have been a great success in a business way.
Bennet IN PENDLETON.
    The Pendleton E.O. says: W. J. Bennet, who suicided at Union, was in Pendleton the previous day, and stopped at the Golden Rule hotel. It is understood that he tried to commit suicide there, but was prevented possibly by the forethought of the clerk, Eddy Kelley, who insisted on providing a nurse for the man during the night. Bennet at that time was apparently in need of attention, to prevent him from doing something violent, and Clerk Kelly [sic] had a man watch him during the night. Bennet had taken something of a poisonous nature, and apparently wanted to take some more. The presence of the nurse deterred him.
Weekly Republican, Union, Oregon, June 8, 1899, page 1

LOOKS LIKE SUICIDE
W. J. Bennet, the Architect,
Dies Suddenly in Union.
TOOK THE MORPHINE ROUTE
    The following telegram from Union, Oregon, of date May 31st, says: W. J. Bennet, the well-known architect of La Grande, died at the home of Dr. Phy in this city this morning. Bennet was taken ill last night and called at the doctor’s house to be treated. It is learned today that he bought some morphine last night and it looks as if it might be a case of suicide. He has been on a spree for several days.
     Mr. Bennet was formerly a resident of Medford. He was the architect on the school house job, and several other buildings in the city. He was an architect of ability and a good superintendent, but contractors claimed his plans would not “work out.” Before coming to Medford Bennet had been a heavy drinker but while here he kept well away from the cup. He is reported to have taken the Keeley cure at two different times.
Medford 
Mail, June 9, 1899, page 2

Chessmore Nicholson house
The Chessmore-Nicholson House, 35 Crater Lake Avenue. The dormer has since been removed
and the porch modernized. I haven't yet found reference to it in the Medford Mail,
but it sure looks like a Bennet--the love child of the Shone-Charley and Ish-Baker houses.

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Dear Mr. Truwe:
    First let me thank you for the wonderful article you compiled on my great-grandfather, W. J. Bennet. I knew nothing but his name, and even that I had spelled incorrectly. Your lengthy document answered my questions about our family background.
    If I may, I would like to provide you with some names: He was married to Hannah A. Poley (1873-1954), though I have no date of the marriage. Their union produced two children: Howard Leffel Bennet born November 23, 1889 in Brooklyn, Washington and Minnie Sylvania Bennet born December 5, 1895.
    Thank you for your diligence in researching his background and providing the information on the Internet. I have spent many hours trying to research my grandmother's family. You opened a door for me.
[name withheld]


Hospital for Children and Training School for Nurses
California and Maple streets, San Francisco
Sylvania Bennet, patient, female, 4 years of age, born in Oregon
U.S. Census, enumerated June 14, 1900


Bennet, Hannah M, widow, r 340 Oak (page 263)
Davidson Frank E, conductor, Presidio and Ferries RR, r 2422a Polk (page 523)
Davidson P L, conductor Presidio and Ferries RR, r 2422a Polk (page 523)
Davidson Samuel F, bricklayer, Pac Gas Imp Co, r 2422a Polk (page 523)
Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1901


Bennet, Hannah M, widow, r 340 Oak (page 263)
Davidson Frank S, r 2422a Polk (page 531)
Davidson Simeon F, bricklayer, Pac Gas Imp Co, r 2422a Polk (page 531) Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1902


MARRIAGE LICENSES.
Frank E. Davidson, 38, 429 Jersey Street, and Anna A. Bennet, 29, 827 Polk Street.
San Francisco Call, February 22, 1902, page 13


Honoraries, second grade, Mrs. H. B. Steele, teacher-- . . . Sylvania Bennet . . .
"Diplomas at Lick School," San Francisco Cal
l, June 10, 1904, page 7


Bennet Howard, driver, r 1409 Castro

Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1909, page 253


2900 block Laguna Street, San Francisco
Frank S. Davidson, 47, streetcar conductor. Born in Ill. Father born Ky., mother Ohio.
Hannah A. Davidson, 37. Born in Calif. Father born N.J., mother Calif.
Frank M. Davidson, 4. Born in Calif.
Howard L. Bennet, 20, box factory teamster.
    Born in Wash. Father born Iowa, mother Calif.
Minnie S. Bennet, 16, candy store saleswoman.
    Born in Oregon. Father born Iowa, mother Calif.
U.S. Census, enumerated April 30, 1910


Bennet Howard, teamster, r 2958 Laguna (page 261)
Davidson Frank E, cond[uctor], r 2954 Laguna (page 488)
Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1910


Bennet Howard, cooper, r 2958 Laguna (page 256)
Davidson Frank E, cond[uctor], r 2954 Laguna (page 507)
Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1911


JOHNSON--In this city, July 17, 1911, Margenette A., beloved wife of Judge Ellis C. Johnson, and sister of Mrs. Frank Pion, Mrs. Frank Davidson and Mrs. Robert L. Burns and William and Joseph Pohley, a native of San Francisco, aged 35 years 6 months and 17 days.
    Friends and acquaintances are respectfully invited to attend the funeral services tomorrow (Thursday), at 10 o'clock a.m., at her late residence, 612 Mission Road, thence to St. Ann's Church, Colma, where services will be held for the repose of her soul, commencing at 10:30 a.m. Interment Holy Cross Cemetery.
San Francisco Call, July 19, 1911, page 4


Davidson Frank E, cond[uctor], r 2954 Laguna (page 505)
Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1912


Bennet Howard, cooper, r 36 Gladys (page 270)
Davidson Frank E, cond[uctor], r 2954 Laguna (page 539)
Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1913


Davidson Frank E (Hannah), cond[uctor], h 1900 Filbert
Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1914, page 555


Davidson Frank E, cond[uctor], r 2948 Laguna (page 548)
Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1916


Bennet Howard, cooper, r 2948 Laguna (page 283)
Davidson Frank E, cond[uctor], r 2948 Laguna (page 583)
Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1917


Howard Leffel Bennet
2948 Laguna Street, San Francisco
Born November 23, 1889, Brooklyn, Washington
Employed as a cooper by Marchetti, 639 Front Street
Single, Caucasian, 5'9'', blue eyes, red hair, medium build, disabled in left eye
Draft registration card, June 5, 1917


Bennet Howard, cooper, r 2948 Laguna (page 263)
Davidson Frank E, cond[uctor], r 2948 Laguna (page 506)
Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1918


Bennet Howard, cooper, r 2948 Laguna (page 209)
Davidson Frank E, cond[uctor], r 2948 Laguna (page 453)
Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1919


254 Castro Street, San Francisco
Howard Bennet, 30, born in Wash. Cooper. Father born Wash., mother Calif.
Rosable Bennet, 26, born in Calif. Parents born in Italy.

U.S. Census, enumerated January 9-10, 1920


338 Boyle Avenue, Los Angeles
Frank E. Davidson, 56, steam railroad shop foreman. Born in Ill. Parents born in U.S.
Ida B. Davidson, 50. Born in Ill. Parents born in Germany.
Sarah Davidson, 66, half sister. Born in Wisc. Parents born in U.S.
U.S. Census, enumerated January 12, 1920



Bennet Howard L (Rosalba), cooper, r 254 Castro 
Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1920


Bennet Howard L (Alma), cooper, r 254 Castro 
Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1921


Howard Bennet
Birth Date: 23 Nov. 1889
Death Date: July 1963
Actual Death Residence: California
Social Security Death Index



Last revised September 19, 2015