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 city of Bradford. By the way, italics are my explanatory notes.
p. 63 description of oil fields in Bradford area. “Olmsted, of Tidioute, finished his well into slush oil below the old Bennett farm, on the Crooks farm, one mile north of the well on the Kennedy farm, about July, 1875.”
p. 66 listing of “pioneer” oil wells prior to 1880. Under the heading of “TUNA VALLEY (producing)” were two Bennett references:
Bennett, Hale & Carll (2)
Bennett, Foster (1)
(The first reference seems to be a geographic notation, second reference seems to be the oil “company” or partnership owning the well, the numeric reference seems to be to the number of oil wells.)
p. 67 listing of “pioneer” oil wells prior to 1880. Under the heading of “TUNA VALLEY (dry)”
Bennett, unknown (1)
p. 68 listing of “pioneer” oil wells prior to 1880. Under the heading of “CLARK, BABCOCK, & HULINGS TRACT”
Fitzsimmons & Bennett (2)
p. 78 listing of “pioneer” oil wells prior to 1880. Under the heading of “COLE CREEK (producing)”
Bingham lot 404, Bennet & Quick (1)
Bingham lot 407, Bennett & Quick (7)
p. 81 listing of “pioneer” oil wells prior to 1880. Under the heading of “TRAM HOLLOW (producing)”
Borden, Austin & Bennett (3)
p. 84 listing of “pioneer” oil wells prior to 1880. Under the heading of “MIX CREEK (dry)”
Annis, Brown & Bennett (1)
p. 98 In an historical overview by Henry Hamlin in the mid 1800s, it states: “1823-24 (about), Bradford first settled by Dr. William M. Bennett, the Farrs, Scotts, Fosters and others…”
p. 104 July 4th celebration in McKean County (1828), “O.R. Bennett or John E. Niles read the Declaration [of Independence]…”
p. 107 “In 1831-32, Colegrove, Bennett, and Fobes were commissioners.”
p. 113 February 1830 term of the court, Levi Bennett, was listed as the “crier.”
p. 114 January 1852, court met “with Sherriff Bennett present.”
p. 122 Election of 1844: Oshea R. Bennett (Democrat) was chosen coroner.
p. 122 Election of 1851: David R. Bennett (Democrat) was elected sherriff.
p. 157 first freight from the first train to make it to the county seat “was received by Ed. Schenk of the Bennett House.”
p. 167 overview history of the city of Bradford. “From 1823-1827, the pioneers of a new race appeared on the scene. Dr. William M. Bennett, after whom Bennett’s branch is named, the Pikes, Farrs, Scotts, Fosters, Beardsleys, Harts, Dollops and Fishers came into the beautiful wilderness.”
p. 167 BACKGROUND NOTE: Bradford wasn’t actually surveyed until 1838 and was named “Littleton.” In 1851 the first faint beginnings of settlement were starting when “a large tract” of the 250,000 acre holdings of the United States Land Company were sold to Daniel Kingsbury. In 1858 a major drive ensued by the new landowner/developer to begin building up the village and the name “Bradford” adopted. That’s when a newspaper, several churches, mercantiles, etc. really started up. In 1873, with oil starting to be a successful endeavor, finally there were enough people to move for the establishment of a borough government for Bradford. It would be 1880 before the Riddell House and seven other large brick buildings (along with 500 wood frame houses) would be built, the swamp reclaimed and new streets laid out.