About a decade ago I helped research the Bennett family using J.H. Beers & Co.’s 1890 book: History of the Counties of McKean, Elk, Cameron, and Potter, Pennsylvania. Here are the references from the McKean County section dealing with the Smethport and Keating Township area. By the way, italics are my explanatory notes.
p. 254 included in the list of resident taxpayers of Keating Township in 1836-37: “… Levi Bennett (who sold the site for the poor farm to Col. Wilcox)…” as well as D.R. & O.R. Bennett
p. 254 Keating Township 1846: O.R. Bennett had one of five general stores, one of two taverns. (The other was the tavern of “Richmond & Bennett.”) ALSO NOTED: “Elijah Bennett had a store in December.”
p. 257 O.R. Bennett listed as merchant in Keating Township in 1852, as well as also being a “liquor dealer.”
p. 257 The Citizen, no. 1, vol. VI, Sept. 3, 1859 includes a hotel advertisement for “the Bennett House, by D.R. Bennett.”
p. 257 Bordell area (Coleville post-office): “In November , thirty-five buildings were reduced to ashes, the Bennett House, the leading hotel, conducted by T.P. Hill, being among the number.”
p. 259 According to assessment of Smethport borough in 1856-57, the resident property owners included “… D.R. Bennett, O.R. Bennett (hotel keeper)…”
p. 260 O.R. Bennett elected assessor for Smethport borough Feb 11, 1853
p. 269 Smethport, Feb. 1, 1890: William Bennett installed as officer (first guard) in the newly formed Keystone encampment No. 77, Knights of St. John and Malta.
p. 273 “Some short time after [the first hotel, 1822] came Squire Crow from the Sinnemahoning country to compete with the Willard Hotel. The house which he erected occupied the site of the Bennett House. This last named hotel was erected in 1851 by O.R. Bennett. This house, and the Haskell store, built in 1857 by B.D. and Henry Hamlin, were destroyed by fire in May, 1862.”
p. 273 “In January, 1847, O.R. Bennett petitioned the court to open an inn at his house in Smethport. This petition was signed by Edward Hartnett, O.A. Holmes, B.D. Hamlin, Ferd. Hamilton, W.F. Ormsby, O.R. Bennett, Nathan Barrett, J.B. Taylor, Gideon Irons, Adam Brockham, W.F. Young and N.W. Goodrich.”
p. 273 “Gen. Hammer, of the Bennett House, leased [the newly built Grand Central Hotel] soon after [its completion in 1881] and after two years H.S. Sartwell conducted the house.”
p. 274 “The Smethport fire of May, 1882, originated in the Bennett House, destroying Haskell’s large store-building on the other side of the street, the banking office of Henry Hamlin in that building, the Bennett House and Sterrett & Rose law office.”