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Notes for CASSIE MIMS:
see notes on Harley Waldburg Bennett.
Notes for HARLEY WALDBERG BENNETT:
1879-1960 Ware, Bacon Co., GA
Harley Bennett was born July 4, 1879, a son of Jefferson Davis and Julia Ann Bagley Bennett. He married Tennessee Meeks, born June 27, 1878, daughter of Charles Wesley Meeks and Lucy Moore They married January 3, 1901. They had 2 sons, and Tennessee died from complications following the birth of the second son, June 24, 1904.
Following the death of Tennessee, her sister, Lydia Meeks Hinson, and husband Dan, took Harley (the baby), to raise. Calvin stayed with his father. Harley, Jr. went by the last name of Hinson all his life.
On August 31, 1905, Harley, Sr. married Cassie Mims, born Feb. 27, 1886, daughter of Alexander and Penelope Waters. They had 10 children.
Harley Sr.'s brothers' wife, Minnie Meeks, died about two weeks after the birth of their son, Lester Julian Bennett, born March 28, 1938. Harley Sr., and wife Cassie, took Lester, and raised him as their son. Lester married Jenell Hughes, born Feb. 25, 1941, daughter of Jessie D. Hughes and Varnell Hurst. They divorced in Dallas, TX in 1971. He then married Kay Diane Newman Evans, on Nov. 12, 1973, in Dallas.
From JoAnne Douglas Bennett Stewart:
I never knew Harley when he was a young man, but I have pictures of him, and he was nice looking. He was about 6 ft. tall, with brown hair and eyes. When I met him in 1946, he had already had a very serious heart attack, and survived. He was a kind, gentle, soft-spoken man whose hair was grey, though he still had all of it. He had gone blind in 1942, from cataracts, and possible glaucoma. Doctors didn't know that much about glaucoma in those days. In 1976, when his son, John Berrien (JB) found out that he also had glaucoma and cataracts, and that it was inheritable, he remembered the operations Harley had gone through trying to restore his sight, and the way it affected him. Harley told me one day that he could still see light, and if someone or something went in front of him, he could see, but not enough to distinguish who or what it was. He used a cane to get around, and you could usually find him sitting near a radio, twirling his cane, while he kept up with current events. He was a Deacon in the Primitive Baptist Church, and always lived his religion. Eventually, Harley had a second heart attack, and died in their home (July 6, 1960) on 12th Street, in Alma, GA. He was buried in the Stewart cemetery in Alma, where they attended church.
Cassie Mims was very short, had blonde hair and blue eyes in her youth. She wore her waist-long hair pulled back into a ball, and it was white when I met her. She also wore glasses. She loved her children, their wives, and her grandchildren. She reminded me of a little Bantam hen, coming in defense of her kin, should anyone so much as hint anything against them. My husband, JB, always enjoyed making her laugh, and as her little stomach went up and down, would try to grab it. She was the best mother-in-law, never interfering in any of her children's lives, but always there when one needed her. She was quite a little lady, and it was my privelege to have known her. Cassie lived alone after Harley died, and died on August 3, 1968 in the hospital in Alma. She was buried next to Harley in the Stewart Cemetery. Most of their children are buried there, also.
From Michael Dean Bennett:
Although we lived in Texas, my parents often made the trip (by car) back to Georgia to see their folks. I got to meet Harley (though he was Papa, to me) a few times before his death, but I was just a small child. He was the first sightless person I had ever seen, and I didn't quite know how to deal wih it. I would sit in his lap, or next to him, and help twirl his cane. We didn't talk much, as I was so young, but I felt very comfortable just being around him. In 1960, his funeral was my first exposure to death, and was hard for me, since I was but seven years old.
Cassie (Granny) was a tiny burst of sunshine to me. The tiniest thing, she couldn't have been over 5 ft. tall. I was always amazed at how this tiny woman could give birth to so many big old boys. She was cheerful, and always spent her time doting on everyone else. The pinky finger of one of her hands was whole, but always curled up (permanently), and I was fascinated by that. Their house was very small, and made from cinder blocks. It had a kitchen, a living room, and two bedrooms with a bathroom between them. She washed her clothes on the back porch, and had chairs on the front porch, where she and Harley spent a great deal of time. She was a cooking machine, and always had food for all. Her biscuits and Watermelon rind preserves were to die for. While I loved her a great deal, I regret that I did not live close enough to know her better.