The Bennett Trust endowment was left to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. The endowment will be initially managed by Dr. Larry Redmon, the first Bennett Trust Extension Specialist, through the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University. Additional endowment partners include the Departments of Animal Science and Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M, County Extension Agents, Extension Regional Program Leaders, and local environmental nonprofit organizations.
Eskel H. Bennett was born in Iola, Texas on September 30, 1919 and passed away on September 25, 2006. He was a true Texas gentleman cowboy, always dressed in his cowboy attire and looked the part. His cowboy hat and boots were a part of him. He also served in the Merchant Marines and worked for Dow Chemical in Freeport, Texas, before moving to Henly in 1970. He was very active in his community and church, served as a charter member of the Hays County Senior Citizens Activity Center in Dripping Springs, and helped build the pavilion that is now the Thrift Shop. He enjoyed playing dominoes and being with his friends. For years, Eskel was a member of the Henly Volunteer Fire Department, and was very active in it, always ready to do his share and more.
Eskel was a man of the earth and respected it. His dog, Benny, was his sidekick. He loved his animals and ranch and took great care of them. He was an ever-willing volunteer, helper and giver, always available to do his part. He never made a big deal of what he did and preferred to be in the background, yet he eagerly helped his neighbors and friends when they needed it. He made it a priority to look after others who had no one else. He cared about many folks and was loved by many. Eskel was very private, yet a kind and loyal friend.
Eskel and his wife, Ruth, retired to a ranch near Dripping Springs. They cared greatly for the land and truly left a legacy of stewardship and conservation in the Edwards Plateau region. Their generous endowment to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will provide unparalleled support for Extension educational efforts in the region and will ensure the Bennett’s legacy lives on for generations to come.