Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BENNER, Philip, iron-maker, born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, 19 3lay, 1762; died in Centre County, Pennsylvania, 27 July 1832. He served in the revolutionary war, and it is said that his mother quilted money into the back of his vest for use in ease he was captured. After the war he engaged in the iron business in Coventry, and in 1792 he purchased the " Rock Forge lands," where he established works, in 1794 he erected a forge, the first in that vicinity, and manufactured iron during the year. At the beginning of the century he had increased his plant by the erection of a grist-mill, and had begun the building of a larger forge, afterward adding a nail-mill, furnaces, and other improvements. The development of the iron industry in the western part of Pennsylvania is largely due to his enterprise. The output from his works was packed on horses and sent to Pittsburghh, where for many years he enjoyed, without competition, the trade in what he called "Juniata iron." The borough of Bellefonte was greatly indebted to his enterprise and liberality. He acquired a large property, and built some of the finest residences in the town. tie also contributed largely for the building of the water-works. In politics he was a democrat and was twice a presidential elector, notably on the Jackson-Calhoun ticket of 1824. In 1827 he established the "Centre Democrat" at Bellefonte, in the interest of General Jackson. He was Major-General of the Pennsylvania Militia, and left a valuable estate.
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