AUTO CRASH FATAL TO HARLIE BENNETT
From the Colon Express newspaper, September 19, 1938: “A head-on collision between two cars took the life of Harlie D. Bennett, well-known St. Joseph County man, and placed two others in the hospital with serious injuries, Sunday afternoon. The accident happened at about 5:30 on M-60 about a mile east of Leonidas.
Mr. Bennett who resides at his farm home two miles northwest of Centreville, near the Sturgis dam, was returning home from Battle Creek where he and Mrs. Bennett had been to visit their daughter, Mrs. Claire Clouse. Mrs. Bennett remaining in Battle Creek for a short visit. His car was struck head-on by another car driven by Harold King of Detroit, who evidently was traveling with his car out of control and swung directly in front of the Bennett car in an attempt to pass a car ahead. Mr. Bennett was killed instantly and Mr. King and wife, occupants of the other car were taken to Three Rivers hospital.
An investigation by Sheriff Carl Burr and other officials was made and they were of the opinion that King was driving his car at a high rate of speed and out of control, as Mr. Bennett had driven his car partially off the pavement to avoid the crash.
Mr. King is still in the hospital and his condition in improving, however, officials have been unable to secure a connected statement from him and no charges have as yet been placed against him.
Mr. Bennett was very well known in Colon, as he was born in Colon township September 18, 1871 and has lived in this county the greater part of his life. He followed the pursuits of a farmer and occasionally worked as a mason, and his hobby was good horses. For many years he owned trotting horses and delighted in training and driving them in the races at the county fair.
On June 1, 1899, he was united in marriage with Mary L. Hazard at Colon. Mr. Bennett leaves the bereaved widow, two daughters, Thora Hushel of Constantine and Mrs. Claire Clouse of Battle Creek, and one step-daughter, Mrs. Margaret Schoolmaster, of Buffalo, N. Y. A step-son preceded him in death. There are also two sisters, Mrs. Frances Pulver and Mrs. Vina Rommel, both of Three Rivers, and a nephew, Claire Dougherty, of Colon, as well as two grandchildren survive.
The funeral was held Wednesday afternoon from a Three Rivers funeral home and thee body was brought to Lakeside cemetery, Colon, for burial.”