Thomas W. Bennett (territorial governor)

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Thomas W. Bennett
Thomas W. Bennett territorial governor - Brady-Handy.jpg
Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives from Idaho Territory
In office
March 4, 1875 June 23, 1876
Preceded by John Hailey
Succeeded by Stephen S. Fenn
5th Governor of Idaho Territory
In office
Preceded by Thomas M. Bowen
Succeeded by David P. Thompson
Personal details
BornFebruary 16, 1831
Union County, Indiana
DiedFebruary 2, 1893(1893-02-02) (aged 61)
Richmond, Indiana
Political party Republican, Independent (after 1874)
ResidenceRichmond, Indiana
Profession Attorney

Thomas Warren Bennett (February 16, 1831 in Union County, Indiana February 2, 1893) was governor of Idaho Territory from 1871 to 1875. He also served as a Congressional delegate from the territory from March 4, 1875 to June 23, 1876. He also served in the Indiana State Senate.

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Bennett was born in Union County, Indiana. [1] He left his father's farm in 1850 to attend Indiana Asbury University (now DePauw University) where he received his law degree in 1855. [2]


Bennett returned to Liberty and practiced there until the Civil War. He raised a company of volunteers and was commissioned captain, and attained the rank of colonel and was brevetted brigadier general. A year after his move to Richmond, Indiana, he was elected mayor and served for two years. [3]

American Civil War Civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865

The American Civil War was a war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in U.S. history. Primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people, war broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.

Colonel is a senior military officer rank below the brigadier and general officer ranks. However, in some small military forces, such as those of Monaco or the Vatican, colonel is the highest rank. It is also used in some police forces and paramilitary organizations.

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Bennett, a Civil War veteran and local politician in his native Indiana, was the fifth choice of President Ulysses S. Grant to succeed David W. Ballard as Idaho Territory governor. Grant's first two nominees accepted the appointment, but then each quickly decided to instead accept other government appointments before they ever travelled to Idaho. A third choice declined the offer entirely, while the fourth, Thomas M. Bowen, disliked the Idaho landscape so intensely that he resigned from the governorship and returned east after only one week in office. As a result, fifth choice Bennett took office several months after Ballard's term expired; all told, the territory had been effectively without a governor for an entire year when Bennett accepted the position. He was Governor of Idaho Territory from 1871 to 1875. [4]

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David W. Ballard American politician

David Wesley Ballard was governor of Idaho Territory from 1866 to 1870. Unlike many territorial governors of the Reconstruction Era, Ballard physically resided in his jurisdiction during his tenure. A physician by trade, Ballard actively practiced medicine in Boise throughout his tenure as territorial governor.

Thomas M. Bowen American judge

Thomas Mead Bowen was a state legislator in Iowa and Colorado, a Union Army officer during the American Civil War, a justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court, briefly the Governor of Idaho Territory, an elected judge in Colorado and a United States Senator from Colorado.

In 1874 Bennett was declared the winner of the election for Congressional delegate from Idaho Territory. Bennett served until June 1876 when a recount determined his opponent in the 1874 election, Stephen S. Fenn, was the actual winner. Upon leaving office Bennett returned to Indiana.


Bennett died on February 2, 1893 in Richmond, Wayne County, Indiana. [4] He is interred at Earlham Cemetery, Richmond.

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  1. "BENNETT, Thomas Warren, (1831 - 1893)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 16, 2012.
  2. "Thomas W. Bennett". Morrisson-Reeves Library Richmond and Wayne County Biographies. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  3. "Thomas W. Bennett". Morrisson-Reeves Library Richmond and Wayne County Biographies. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  4. 1 2 "Thomas W. Bennett". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 14 September 2012.

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Hailey
Delegate to the  U.S. House of Representatives
from Idaho

Succeeded by
Stephen Southmyd Fenn