Louis Bennett 1849-1918

Principal of the Glenville Branch of the West Virginia State Normal School

Louis Bennett

Politically a Democrat, he held much credit with many appointive and elective officials. While a committee clerk in the West Virginia State Senate during 1873, he was appointed to serve as Principle of the State Normal School at Glenville. He continued as Principle for the next two years. Then, desiring to follow his profession of law, he declined further appointment in 1875 but remained associated with the school for some time as a member of the Board of Examiners.

Louis Bennett was born the son of the Honorable Jonathan M. Bennett, a prominent lawyer, and of Margaret E. Jackson-Bennett, daughter of Captain George W. Jackson. As a boy, he spent the last two years of the Civil War at Richmond, Virginia as a midshipman in the Confederate Navy before the evacuation of the city. Afterwards, he received a liberal education at private schools, the old Academy at Morgantown, and the University of Virginia. He graduated with a degree in law in 1871.

Upon returning to Weston in 1875, he engaged in an active practice of law. However, he did spend one term as the principle of the Weston High School because he was appointed to do so because of his experience at Glenville. He was also the Prosecuting Attorney of Lewis County for eight years from 1880 to 1888 and was the Speaker of the House of Delegates during the session of 1891. After retiring from the law profession, he devoted most of his time to his increasing business affairs.

In 1904, he was placed upon the Democratic presidential ticket as elector-at-large, and in 1908, he was the Democratic nominee for governor for West Virginia. During his life, his many professions could be described as a real estate owner, farmer, stock raiser, banker, manufacturer, and an independent coal, oil, and gas operator. He passed away in 1918.