Adelaide George Bennett (November 8, 1848 – October 10, 1911) was an American teacher, poet, and botanist. She is remembered for her poems which described Native American life and the Red Pipestone Quarry.
Early years and education
Adelaide George was born in Warner, New Hampshire, November 8, 1848. Her childhood was passed near Kearsarge Mountain. Her parents were Gilman C. and Nancy B. George. A sister, H. Maria George Colby, was well known in literary circles.
Gilman, born in 1820, died September 12, 1894, was a son of James and Hannah (Church) George, and a descendant of James George, who settled in Haverhill, Massachusetts, in 1653. He was a captain in the state militia in 1843–44, town clerk from 1868 to 1872, and selectman from 1885 to 1888. He was master of Warner Grange, president of the Kearsarge Agricultural Association, and was the first worshipful master of Harris Lodge, No. 91, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, of Warner. Colby was of English descent on both sides of the family and inherited literary talents from ancestors connected with Daniel Webster.
Bennett was educated in Contoocook Academy and under private tutors.
Bennett taught several years in the public schools of Manchester, New Hampshire.
In October, 1887, she married Charles H. Bennett, of Pipestone, Minnesota. The fascinating glamour of legend, woven into poetry Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his "Song of Hiawatha", led her to covet a piece of the "blood-red mystic stone" for her cabinet of geological curiosities, and she wrote to the postmaster of Pipestone, then a town surveyed within the precincts of the quarry, for a specimen of the stone. The specimen was forwarded by Mr. Bennett, accompanied by a set of views of the quarry and surrounding region. A correspondence and acquaintance followed, which resulted in their marriage. On their bridal tour, while calling upon Longfellow, they informed him that he had unwittingly been a match-maker.
Bennett began writing poems for the press after her marriage. When she did write for publication, it was at the behest of her husband. She had quite a reputation throughout the West for the writing and rendition of poems on public occasions. Possessing rare qualifications for literary work, she has principally confined herself to poetry. She has an elegant prose style, as is shown in her correspondence and a number of fugitive newspaper and magazine articles.
She was a botanist of distinction. During the season of 1883, she made a collection of the flora of the Pipestone region for Prof. Newton Horace Winchell's report on the botanical resources of Minnesota. That collection was, at the request of Winchell, exhibited in the New Orleans World Cotton Centennial in 1884.
She was an active member of the Woman's Relief Corps, and during 1888–89, she held the office of National Inspector of Minnesota. She served as president of Simon Mix corps. Bennett died October 10, 1911, in Pipestone, and was buried in that city's Old Woodlawn Cemetery.