Viola Bennel or Bennet or Bennett? Ahh, handwriting…

Viola Bennett, 1908 Seneca, KS

Viola Bennett, 1908 Seneca, KS

I think this is Viola Bennett. Viola was a freshman at Seneca High School in Kansas in 1908. She is identified in this class photo as #2 and as you can tell the name written by #2 appears to be Viola Bennel. However, as you can probably guess, I found no evidence of a Viola Bennel anywhere near Seneca, Nemaha county, Kansas in 1908. I could however find a Viola Bennett.

Whoever wrote this list of names was rather lax with the crossing of the t’s.

The list of names

The list of names

If you look at some of the other names,  #1 Ruth Smith for example, the t is barely crossed.  #5, Floyd Carpenter, almost looks like Carpenlir. You get the picture. So, when I found a Viola Bennett, born in 1894 in Kansas, living in Nemaha county from 1905 to 1920, I was fairly confident this was our girl. An important point to remember, you never know how much information an anonymous writer of information has.

Here’s what I can tell you about Viola Bennett – her parents were William Bennett (1863-1910) and Theresia Grollmes (1870-1954). Viola was the oldest of about 6 or 7 children. Her parents married in Nebraska, but the family lived in Kansas all her life. Between 1920-1925 she married John Edgar Sparling and they settled in Oneida, Kansas. They had at least one child, possibly more. Viola died relatively early in 1958, just a few years after her mother.

Here’s to hoping we’ve got the right Viola!

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