Russell Hoadley Bennett II was born on November 30, 1896. His father was a mining engineer and Mr. Bennett began the same career in 1922 as mine surveyor with the Meriden Iron Company. He held a number of positions in the mining industry including the positions of Chairman of Electro Manganese Corp in Knoxville, TN and of Placer Development Ltd. of Vancouver, BC. He wrote a book well known in mining circles in 1979 - Quest for Ore.
For his entrepreneurial and engineering accomplishments in the finding and development of challenging mineral enterprises throughout the world and his dedication to his fellow man, he was awarded in 1978 the AIME William Lawrence Saunders Gold Medal by the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers.
In the Minneapolis area he was at one time the Mayor of Deephaven, MN, President of Dunwoody Institute from 1937 - 1948 and was Chairman of the Board of Dunwoody 1953 - 1957.
In 1932 he realized a long-cherished dream and bought a ranch in southern Alberta Canada. From his experiences of becoming a rancher he wrote the book The Complete Rancher in 1965.
Mr. Bennett was a founding director of the Friends of the Wild Flower Garden in 1952 and remained a director of The Friends until 1968 and was an honorary director until 1980. He and other long-time directors were invited to attend the 1977 25th Annual Meeting of the Friends and say a few words but he was unable to attend as he was on his way to his ranch in Alberta. He then attended the Annual Meeting the following year on May 20, 1978 at which he made a few comments indicating his pleasure at the progress being made in the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden. This was his last meeting with the Friends. He passed away on Dec. 16, 1981 and is buried at Lakewood Cemetery.
Reference: Minutes of The Board of Directors and other documents of the Friends of the Wild Flower Garden, Inc.; AIME documents, Dunwoody Documents, Minneapolis Tribune. Text by Gary Bebeau.