Southern Appalachian Digital Collections

Western Carolina University (21) View all

Gwendolyn and Mary Alice Bennett in garden

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  • “Doc” Kelly Bennett (1890-1974) took this image of his first two children, Gwendolyn (1916-1994) and Mary Alice (1915-2001), in a garden. Bennett was a prominent pharmacist in Swain County, NC. Owner of the Bryson City Drug Company, Bennett served as alderman and mayor of Bryson City, on the Swain County Board of Education, as well as several terms as NC State Senator and NC State Representative. He participated in numerous other initiatives and organizations. Known as the “Apostle of the Smokies,” Bennett was an instrumental figure in the movement to create the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He was also an avid photographer, skillfully documenting a wide variety of people, places, and events in Swain County and the surrounding area.