Interim Content

Bennett, John Cook


3 Aug. 1804–5 Aug. 1867. Physician, minister, poultry breeder. Born at Fairhaven, Bristol Co., Massachusetts. Son of John Bennett and Abigail Cook. Moved to Marietta, Washington Co., Ohio, 1808; to Massachusetts, 1812; and back to Marietta, 1822. Married first Mary A. Barker, 9 Jan. 1826, at Marietta. Joined Pickaway Masonic Lodge, ca. 1827, in Circleville, Pickaway Co., Ohio. Methodist; later affiliated with Christian Disciple (Campbellite) faith. Moved to Wheeling, Ohio Co., Virginia (later in West Virginia), 1831. Charged with lying and other misconduct by Pickaway Masonic Lodge, 1834. Moved to Fairfield, Wayne Co., Illinois, 1838. Commissioned brigadier general in Second Division in Illinois militia, 1839. Moved to Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, 1840. Baptized into Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sept. 1840, at Nauvoo. Helped draft and secure Nauvoo charter, 1840. Served as quartermaster general in Illinois militia, 1840–1842. Elected major general and inspector general in Nauvoo Legion, Feb. 1841. Served as assistant president in First Presidency, 1841–1842; mayor of Nauvoo, 1841–1842; chancellor of University of Nauvoo, 1841–1842; and master in chancery of Hancock Co., 1841–1842. Grand Secretary of Nauvoo Masonic Lodge, 1841–1842. Excommunicated for adultery, 11 May 1842. Cashiered from Nauvoo Legion, June 1842. Expelled from Nauvoo Masonic Lodge, 1842. Divorce from wife finalized, Oct. 1842. After disaffection from church, publicly accused JS of committing adultery and planning the 6 May 1842 attempt to kill former Missouri governor Lilburn W. Boggs. Urged Missouri and Illinois officials to renew 1838 charge of treason against JS, which resulted in JS’s arrest in June 1843. Moved back to Fairfield, before Mar. 1843. Married second Sarah Ryder, 28 Mar. 1843, at Plymouth, Plymouth Co., Massachusetts. Briefly associated with George M. Hinkle’s movement, The Church of Jesus Christ, the Bride, the Lamb’s Wife, 1843, at Moscow, Muscatine Co., Iowa Territory; with Sidney Rigdon’s movement, 1844, at Nauvoo; and with James J. Strang’s Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at Voree, Racine Co., Wisconsin, as general-in-chief, 1846. Excommunicated from Strangite movement, 1847. Moved to Plymouth, 1847; to Great Falls, Strafford Co., New Hampshire, 1851; to Des Moines, Polk Co., Iowa, 1853; and to Polk City, Polk Co., 1856. Died at Polk City.


Engraving, Oliver Pelton, 1842; from a drawing by Alvan Clark, 1842. (Church History Library, Salt Lake City.)

John C. Bennett Engraving, Oliver Pelton, 1842; from a drawing by Alvan Clark, 1842. (Church History Library, Salt Lake City.)