The honors of a name ’tis just to guard;
They are a trust but lent us, which we take,
And should, in reverence to the donor’s fame,
With care transmit them down to others hands.
— Shirley’s Parricide.
The Glory of Children are their Fathers.— Proverbs 17:6.
My interest in the Bentley family arises from the fact that my wife is a Bentley, which brought me into acquaintance, many years ago, with her grandfather General Robert Bentley, and several of his brothers, all of whom were early pioneers in eastern Ohio.
They were superior men in many ways, and later on when I became interested in the genealogy of my own family, it occurred to me that the Bentleys also were well worthy of record, and so, as opportunities offered, I gathered up the threads of Bentley history, and now at last I have put them into shape for preservation.
It is a mere outline, at best, of Ohio Bentleys, but back of them I have referred to collateral lines in only a few instances, and have simply followed the lineal ancestors of the tribe of Benjamin back to William the first, of whom we have record as early as 1679, in the colony of Rhode Island, where all the Bentleys in America, whose ancestry antedates the revolutionary war, had their origin.
Of these Bentleys there are now several thousand of the name and blood, and no family in America has a more honorable record and its history ought to be completed. With the genealogical tree fully outlined it is now comparatively easy to locate the different branches, if they can be brought together, and it is to be hoped that some one of the name will be found with the leisure and patriotism to accomplish that result.
Solomon has declared that
a good name is rather to be
chosen than great riches, but a good name, if it is to be of
practical value, must be established and made known.
Doubtless errors will be found in the statements I have made, and important additions may be suggested, and if so I would be glad to hear from anyone who can furnish authentic information.
R. BRINKERHOFF. Mansfield, Ohio, 1897.
The Bentley Family.
As early as 1679 we know that there was a William Bentley
who resided in Kings Town, Rhode Island, for history shows
that he with 41 others of Narragansett, sent a petition to the
King praying that
he would put an end to these differences
about the government thereof, which hath been so fatal to the
prosperity of the place; animosities still arising in the people’s
minds, as they stand affected to this or that government.
William Bentley was a currier by trade, and his name appears upon the town record in various transactions. In 1687, Sept. 6, he was taxed 4s. 6½d. In 1705 he had liberty granted by the town to set up a house, convenient for carrying on of his currying trade. In 1712, Jan. 30, he deeded to his son James 128 acres. In 1715, Nov. 1, he deeded to his son Thomas 11 acres recently bought of widow Weathers and her son. In 1720 he died and his wife Sarah and son Benjamin were appointed executors under his will. There were bequests to his eldest son William, and also to sons James, and Thomas, and Benjamin, and to his daughter Jane Whitmore.
So far as known all the Bentleys in America, who date back their ancestry to a period prior to the Revolutionary War, are descendents of William Bentley, Sr., of Rhode Island. Possibly he may have had brothers, but we have no certain record of them. However there are some traditions that are worthy of consideration, in which it is claimed that there were two or three brothers.
John D. Bentley, of Corry, Pa., writes:
My father and a
son now living in Boston, both of whom were at some expense
and travel in tracing the name back, claimed that there were
three Bentleys, who came from England, one settling in Rhode
Island, one in Berlin, Rensselaer County, New York, and one
was an officer in command of an English regiment, which was
quartered in eastern New York and who returned to England.
The brother who settled in Berlin built the first grist and saw
mill in Rensselaer County, and was named Philip Bentley.
Still another tradition from Mrs. Lavinia Bentley Jones,
who resides upon the old homestead of her father, Sheshbazzar
Bentley, Jr., near Bentleyville, Washington County, Pa., is,
that during the colonial period one George Bentley was drafted
into the English service and came to America as a member of
the Royal troops. Sometime after the war closed he located
permanently in Chester County, Pa., where he married Jane
Carson, a native of Ireland. To them a large family was born,
of whom Sheshbazzar Bentley, my grandfather was the oldest.
There is still another tradition which comes from E. T.
Bentley of Ithaca, N. Y., who says:
About 1716 three brothers
John, William and Joseph Bentley came from Scotland and
settled in Rhode Island. Joseph soon became homesick and
returned to Scotland. When the boundary line was run between
Rhode Island and Connecticut, it brought William into Connecticut.
Both married and had large families. John was a large
man with black hair and eyes. Williain had sandy hair and
blue eyes. My grandfather was a son of William and now down
to the fifth and sixth generation the red hair crops out, though
there were none of my fathers family — fifteen in number — who
had red hair; but many of his grandchildren and great‐grandchildren
show the red hair. John’s family nearly all had black
hair and eyes, and this is peculiar to them until the present time.
My grandfather, Greene, (son of William) was born in Connecticut
about 1730 (really March 23, 1741.) At the outbreak
of the Revolutionary War he enlisted and served seven years,
and died in Chemung County, N. Y., 1830. My father Benjamin was
born in Litchfield, Connecticut, in 1772 and died at
Tioga, Pa., 1854. Some of John Bentley’s family settled in
Jefferson County, N. Y., and some in Chemung. They were
nearly all Baptists, and my grandfather was driven out of
Connecticut because he would not pay tithes to the Church of England.
This tradition may be true but my impression is that the John Bentley mentioned was the oldest son of William Bentley, Jr., and the half‐brother of Greene Bentley, as will appear farther on in the family record of William Bentley, Jr., of R. I. All of the traditions given have a family resemblance and may be based upon the substantial fact that there were two brothers and that John Bentley was the brother of Wm. Bentley, Sr., of Rhode Island. Greene Bentley, however, was evidently the son of Wm. Bentley, Jr., of Rhode Island, as his name appears in the chart of Rhode Island Bentleys, printed as an appendix to this pamphlet.1
There is still another tradition given by Aholiab Bentley in
a letter written in 1884, in which he said:
I have heard by
some one, but I have forgotten by whom, that originally four
brothers came from England to America, one settling in Pennsylvania,
one in Virginia, one in New England, and the other
in New York. I was acquainted with some of the name from
Virginia, and years ago in traveling in Indiana the landlord,
where the stage stopped for supper, was a Bentley, and he informed me
he was from the state of New York, and that his
name was George.
The Indiana man was doubtless a descendant of one of the Rhode Island Bentleys, already noted as coming to New York, and the presumption is that the other three brothers were of the same Rhode Island origin.
The Bentleys in America of Rhode Island origin prior to the Revolution—and apparently there are no others—are largely Baptists in religious faith, and among them baptist ministers are numerous.
For a century after the settlement of Rhode Island by Roger Williams, in 1636, there was no other colony where a conscientious Baptist (and all pioneer Bentleys were such) could have found a church home, and even down to the Revolution there was no other community where they would have received toleration or welcome, except among the tolerant Dutchmen on the Hudson river, or among the Quakers of Pennsylvania, and therefore all presumptions are in favor of Rhode Island as the starting point of the Bentleys of that period.2
Among the Bentleys, down to the present, scripture names have been largely in the ascendant.
John D. Bentley of Corry, Pa., writes:
The old stock
partook of the times in which they were reared, and with a devotion
that seems merciless they tortured their children with
scripture names, no doubt thinking to obtain Divine favor in so
doing. My grandfather, after exhausting the scriptures in selecting
names for his children, had the cruelty to name a girl
Zipporah. My grandfather was Noah Bentley of Stephentown,
Rensselaer County, N. Y. He was a Baptist minister and had
three wives by whom he had 23 children, 14 boys and 9 girls.
His family finally became too numerous for the Church to support,
when he took up and became the owner of 500 acres of
land, and raised 23 of his children.
The Bentleys have largely been farmers, but of these many, all along the line, have also been millers and millwrights.
John D. Bentley says:
While the Bentley name occupies
no place of distinction in the history of the country, I have met
some very able men of that name as lawyers, judges, doctors,
musicians, merchants and mechanicps. I met a gentleman of that
name in Titusville a short time since, who stated that he had
made extensive inquiries about the family and that he had never
heard of one who was a public charge as a pauper, or died a
drunkard, or had been in prison as a convicted criminal, and my
own experience confirms the truth of this statement.
In these conclusions Ohio Bentleys fully concur, except as to the practice of conferring scripture names upon their children, which they still believe in as preferable to those of the heroes of modern fiction, or the celebrities of pagan history.3
The Tribe of Benjamin.
As this monograph is confined mainly to the descendants of Benjamin Bentley, of whom we first have record as a resident in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and who is the common ancestor of nearly all of the Ohio Bentleys, we will only make brief mention of those who preceded him. His father was George Bentley, the second son of William Bentley, Jr., who was the oldest son of William and Sarah Bentley, the original settlers in Rhode Island, from England and Scotland.
William the First.
William Bentley, Sr., the first of the Bentley name of whom we have any knowledge in America, settled in Kings Town, Rhode Island, prior to 1679, but how much earlier we do not know. His wife’s name was Sarah, and they died in 1720, leaving five children, viz: William Jr., James, Thomas, Benjamin, and Jane. William, Jr., was twice married and left 13 children, 9 sons and 4 daughters. James was twice married, and left two daughters. Thomas was married but left no children. Benjamin left one son, who may have had descendants, but so far as we have any knowledge, all the descendants of William Bentley, Sr., of the Bentley name, are from William Bentley, Jr.
William the Second.
William Bentley, Jr., was twice married, first April 21, 1703, to Mary Elliot; and second to Bathsheba Lewis, Aug. 1, 1734. He had 13 children, 8 by the first marriage, and 5 by the second, as follows: Third Generation — 1. John, 2. George, 3. Caleb, 4. Ezekiel, 5. Tabitha, 7. Ruhama, 8. Mary, 9. William, born May 29, 1735, 10. Thomas, 11. James, born June 6, 1739, 12. Greene, born March 23, 1741, 13. Benjamin, born June 11, 1744.
George Bentley, the second son of William Bentley, Jr., came to Chester County, Pennsylvania, sometime before the war of the Revolution, but how long before we do not know. Tradition says that he married Jane Carson, a lady from Ireland. They raised a family of eight children, six sons and two daughters, viz: Fourth Generation — 1. Sheshbazzar, 2. House, 3. Jeffrey, 4. Absolom, 5. Mary, born Dec. 15, 1754, 6. Benjamin, born Aug. 14, 1757, 7. Margaret, born Dec. 2, 1759, 8. Joseph.
About the time of the Revolutionary War, George Bentley removed with his family to western Pennsylvania, and settled at Jacob’s Creek, in Westmorland County, (then a wilderness) where he remained until 1787, and then removed to a tract of land lying on the west bank of the Monongahela river in Washington County, Pa., where he died. We know from the records of deeds in Washington County, that his oldest son Sheshbazzar, by deed dated May 8, 1777, purchased a tract of land of 1,050 acres, situated and lying on Pigeon Creek, for which he paid 400 pounds. To this he afterwards added 297 acres at the mouth of Mingo Creek.
The records also show that House Bentley, the brother of Sheshbazzar, bought 413 acres adjoining his brother, for which he obtained title by deed dated Aug. 19, 1794.
Joseph, the youngest brother, remained with his father until his death, and inherited his entire estate in Washington County.
Sheshbazzar, the oldest brother, was born in Chester County, Pa., where he learned the trade of millwright which he subsequently followed. Upon his removal to Washington County, he built and operated the first mill on Pigeon Creek. The first election in his district was held in his house in 1787. In religious faith he was a member of the Society of Friends. The village of Bentleyville, near his residence was named after him. He died in 1800 and was buried upon his own land, in a spot selected by him, which still remains the family burying‐ground. Sheshbazzar Bentley married Hannah Baldwin, a widow, by whom he had six children, viz: House, George, Benjamin, Hannah, Jane, and Sheshbazzar, Jr. All these children married and left families except George, who left no heirs. Of these children Sheshbazzar, Jr., remained on the old homestead, where he was twice married and raised a family of 13 children, 5 sons and 8 daughters. One of these daughters married Mr. J. W. Stephenson from whom, a dozen years ago, I received nearly all the information I have given in regard to the Bentleys of Western Pennsylvania. One of the daughters is Lavinia Bentley Jones, wife of Rev. J. P. Jones, who inherited the old homestead and still resides upon it.
House Bentley, the brother of Sheshbazzar, Sr., also married and left a family in Washington County. Of the other two brothers, Jeffrey and Absolom, we have no information. The oldest sister Mary, was born Dec. 15, 1754, and died Dec. 20, 1830. She married John Worth of Chester County, Pa. They raised a family of 8 children, all sons except one, and all left children, and many of their descendants still remain in eastern Pennsylvania. Among them is Bentley Worth of West Chester, Pa., now 77 years old (1897) who is a grandson of Mary, and to whom I am indebted for valuable information.
Margaret, the youngest daughter of George was born Dec. 2, 1759, and died Nov. 26, 1849, at Mt. Vernon, O. She married Hugh Newell of Washington County, Pa. She had 11 children, 6 sons and 5 daughters. Of these daughters, Mary Bentley Newell, married James McGibeny, and one of their sons, John Newell McGibeny, married Mary Lyon Huston, and one of their daughters, Harriett McGibney, married Alfred Z. Anderson and resides at Cleveland, Ohio. Mrs. Anderson has taken special interest in Bentley genealogy, and has given valuable assistance in its compilation. She has 4 sons, Ralph, Harold, Dwight, and Paul.
Mrs. H. E. Brown of Findlay, Ohio, is also a granddaughter of Mary Bentley Newell.
Joseph Bentley, the youngest son of George, married Lucy Dailey, by whom he had seven children, six sons and a daughter.
Benjamin Bentley, the sixth child of George, apparently did not go with the other brothers to Washington County, or at least did not settle there. At any rate we find him in 1810 with his family in Mercer County, Pa., near where Sharon now stands, and from there he moved to the adjoining County of Trumbull in Ohio, where he located upon a farm, and remained there until his death Sept. 23, 1818. By trade he was a millwright. Benjamin Bentley married Mary Baldwin, daughter of his brother Sheshbazzar’s wife, who was a widow Baldwin. By her he had 13 children all of whom grew to maturity, married and raised families except one daughter, Mary, who was drowned at the age of 8 years. They were as follows: Fifth Generation — 1. Robert, born Sept. 30, 1783, died May 5, 1862; 2. Adamson, born July 4, 1785, died Nov. 1864; 3. Elizabeth, born July 12, 1787; 4. George, born June 28, 1790, died Oct, 7, 1865; 5. Hannah, born Nov. 27, 1792, died May 5, 1856; 6. Benjamin, born April 6, 1796, died Oct. 22, 1880; 7. James, born May 23, 1798, died May 14, 1890; 8. Martin, born May 25, 1800, died May 14, 1834; 9. Sheshbazzar, March 12, 1803, died July 13, 1877; 10. Mary, born May 17, 1805, died Feb. 13, 1813; 11. Aholiab, born May 22, 1807, died Dec. 26, 1891.
The sons of Benjamin, and there were 8 of them, were large, fine‐looking and healthy men, and all were tall men except Robert and Martin. Adamson was near six feet four inches tall, and all lived beyond three score years and ten, except Martin who died at 34. They were all men of ability above the average, and all were worthy and useful citizens, and men of influence in the communities where they lived.
Robert Bentley, oldest son of Benjamin, was born in Pennsylvania and came with his father to Trumbull County, Ohio, where his early life was spent, and where he married Phebe Lake, daughter of Constance Lake. In 1815 he removed to Mifflin Township, Richland County, Ohio, where, with his family he camped about a week upon the south‐west quarter of Section 10, while he was building his cabin. He brought with him two yoke of oxen, two horses ahead of them, two sows, two calves, and a fine mare, upon which Mrs. Bentley rode with her child Mary, who subsequently became the wife of Dr. William Bushnell. The only road through the township was the State road from Wooster through Mansfield to Bucyrus, a mere trail sufficient for the passage of a wagon. After living in his log house for a time he built near by the first brick dwelling house in Richland County. Some years later he removed to Washington Township and erected a flouring mill which he operated for many years. In 1839 he removed to Mansfield where he resided until his death in 1862. He was a man of mark in his day and filled various important offices. In 1821 he was appointed Associate Judge of the Court of Common Pleas and served 7 years. In 1828 he was elected to the State Legisture (House of Representatives) and was re‐elected in 1830, serving in that capacity four years. He was for some time connected with the military service, rose to the rank of Major General of the militia. In the war of 1812 he was an officer of the militia, and was called out after Hull’s surrender, and participated in whatever service the Ohio troops rendered at that time. In person he was the shortest of all the brothers, but still he was a man of medium height, strong and athletic, and died of old age, rather than by disease. Like his ancestors he was a loyal Baptist and when he came to Mansfield was the founder of the Baptist Church, and to the end was one of its main supporters and worthy members. He had but two children who grew up to maturity. The oldest, Baldwin, born June 21, 1810, was one of the early merchants and successful business men of Mansfield. February 29, 1832, he married Anna Maria, daughter of Henry Arnold of Lancaster County, Ohio, and died at the early age of 26, leaving two children, the eldest of whom, Mary, married General Roeliff Brinkerhoff and still resides with her family in Mansfield, Ohio.4
The youngest named Robert Henry, now General Robert H. Bentley, is a fanner and resides on the old homestead in Washington Township, Richland County, Ohio. His record as a soldier is given in Whitelaw Reid’s "Ohio in the War" Vol. I, page 959, and that of Gen’l Brinkerhoff on page 960.
The second child of Robert was named Mary, and she married Dr. Wm. Bushnell, one of the pioneer physicians of the county, and for over sixty years its best known practitioner. They had five children, only one of whom survived, viz: Martin Baldwin Bushnell, who still resides in Mansfield and is one of its leading citizens.5
Adamson Bentley, second son of Benjamin, was born in Allegheny County, Pa., July 4, 1785, and at an early age came to Brookfield, Trumbull County, Ohio. He began life at 19 years of age as a Baptist preacher, and was settled as a pastor in Warren, the county seat of Trumbull County, in 1810. In addition to his work in the ministry he was a merchant, a cattle drover and also managed a tavern. He was a director in the Western Reserve Bank, and built a number of houses. About 1820 he became interested in the doctrine advanced by Alexander Campbell, and eventually became one of his followers. He died in November, 1S64.
In “The Historical Collections of the Mahoning Valley” it
is stated (page 207)
in 1810, May 19, Adamson Bentley, a man
of great worth and no small celebrity, took charge of the
congregation of the First Baptist Church in Warren, and a year later
became the established pastor. The church increased under his
ministrations, and the house of worship now occupied by the
Disciples, north of the Public Square, was built in 1821–23. It
is therefore the oldest building for public worship in Warren.
Adamson Bentley married Mary Brooks of Warren, Ohio. They had nine children, viz: Lorinda, Stoughton, Mary, Benjamin, Martha, Martin, Laura, Lucretia and Emily, all of whom are now deceased except Martha and Emily who reside at Chagrin Falls, and Martin who resides in Chicago. Stoughton was a merchant at Birmingham Ohio, and his son Charles Stoughton, is a lawyer in Cleveland, Ohio, and has been a Common Pleas Judge. Benjamin Bentley was a merchant in Philadelphia where his family still resides.
Elizabeth Bentley, eldest daughter of Benjamin, was born July 12, 1787. She married William Marford and left children, of whom none are now living.
George Bentley, fourth son of Benjamin, was born in Washington County, Pa., June 28, 1790. In the year 1798 the family removed to Mercer County, Pa., and later on, about the year 1811, he with some other members of the family, acquired a tract of land in Trumbull County, Ohio, where he built a grist mill, and later on a saw mill and oil mill. In the War of 1812 he was an officer in the Ohio militia, and was called out at the time of Hull’s surrender. In the year 1812 he married Jane Wheeler, a daughter of Simon Wheeler, who, as a soldier of the Revolution from Connecticut, had received a grant of land upon the Western Reserve. They had eight children, viz: Adamson, Saloma, Wheeler, Lucy Ann, George J., Benjamin, Condace and Ambrose Dudley, all of whom were born in Trumbull Co. In 1836 he removed with his family to LaPorte County, Ind., where he remained until his death in 1865. Like his brother Adamson he adopted in early life the teachings of Alexander Campbell, whose followers are now known as Christians, and was a faithful member of that church until he died.
Of his children only three are now living. One, Ambrose Dudley Bentley, is a farmer on the old homestead near Waterford, LaPorte County, Ind. Another, George Judson Bentley, is a leading physician in San Jose, California, where he has resided since 1875, and is still active in his profession at the age of 75. The third, Mrs. Lucy Bentley Hagerman, resides in Jackson, Mich.
Dr. Bentley was born Sept. 16, 1823, in Brookfield, Trumbull County, Ohio, and removed with his father to Indiana in 1836. There he managed to get a liberal education, and then learned the trade of a millwright and worked at it until he accumulated a thousand dollars. He then studied medicine and graduated at the Rush Medical College in 1852. In 1853 he married Julia Ann Parker, and practiced medicine in Michigan City until 1862, when he went into the army as a surgeon. On his return in 1864 he was appointed by Governor Morton as physician and surgeon at the Northern Prison, Michigan City, and held that position for six years. In 1875 he removed to his present location in California.
Hannah Bentley, the fifth child of Benjamin, was born November 27, 1792, and died May 5, 1856. She was twice married, first to Henry Newkirk, by whom she had three children, two sons and a daughter, then to Wm. Shepherd by whom she had a son and a daughter. Of these children only one is now living, Cyrus Newkirk, who resides at Del Rosa, in Los Angeles County, Cal. He formerly resided in Sedalia, Missouri, where he was president of a National Bank.
Benjamin, the sixth child of Benjamin, was born April 6, 1796, and died in the state of Tennessee Oct. 22, 1880. He was a man of ability, and of fine presence and manners, so that he was called “the gentleman” of the family. In the early days he was a merchant and banker in Wooster, Ohio, but meeting with reverses he removed with his family to eastern Tennessee, where he established a sheep and fruit farm. In 1823 he married Mary Stewart. They had four children, viz: Benjamin Franklin, Mary Stewart, William, and Flora, all of whom are now dead except Mary Stewart, who is the wife of Hon. Jas. W. Allen, an old resident and leading citizen of Nashville, Tennessee.
James Bentley, the seventh son of Benjamin and Mary Baldwin Bentley, was born May 22, 1798. His parents came from Baldwin Township, Washington Co., now a part of Allegheny County, Pa., in 1796 to Sharon, Pa. In 1806 they moved 1½ miles west of Sharon into Brookfield, Ohio, on the farm where James Bentley lived until his death, with the exception of about two years when he clerked for his brother in a store at Warren. February 22, 1822, he was married to Temperance Buttles of Granby, Connecticut, with whom he lived 65 years, when Mrs. Bentley died. Mr. Bentley was the father of seven children. Amos Baldwin, who is a lawyer at Ravenwood, Missouri, Anson G., Caroline, Eveline, Martin, Benjamin and Joel Buttles. Mr. Bentley was a farmer by occupation, though for many years he owned and operated a saw mill in connection with his farm work. The mill was propelled by water power and situated on the Big Yankee Creek which runs through the farm. Physically Mr. Bentley was a little above medium hight with great constitutional vigor and vitality. Politically Mr. Bentley was a Democrat. His first presidential vote was cast for James Monroe’s second term (1820), his last one for Grover Cleveland. He claimed to have voted at every National, State and County election held in Brookfield since the Monroe campaign until 1890. He never sought notoriety or office, but when chosen by the people he served two terms as Justice of the Peace, and in 1840, before Mahoning County was formed, he was one of the marshals who took the census of the south half of Trumbull County. He never united with any church or any order except the Masonic, which he joined in 1819 and continued a member until his death which took place May 14, 1890, having been a member of that order for 71 years.6
Martin, the eighth child of Benjamin, was born May 25, 1800, and died May 14, 1834. He was a business man of marked ability. For a time he resided in Warren, Ohio, where he was treasurer of Trumbull County and Cashier of the Western Reserve Bank. From Warren he removed to Norwalk, Ohio, where he organized the first National Bank of which he became president, and retained that position until he died. In 1823 he married Elizabeth Fitch of New York City, and left one child, Martin Bentley, Jr. Mrs. Bentley survived her husband many years and died in 1869.7
Sheshbazzar, the ninth child of Benjamin, was born March 12, 1S03, and died July 13, 1877.
This scripture name is found in the book of Ezra, chapt. 1,
verse 8, where it is recorded that Cyrus, King of Persia, delivered
the vessels taken by Nebuchadnezzar from the house of the
Lord, unto Sheshbazzar, the Prince of Judah.
He was a very superior man in many ways. He was brought up on a farm, but acquired an excellent education. In early manhood he went to Wooster, Ohio, where he married Louise Jeffries, and where for a time he was connected with a bank.
The bank having failed, he removed in 1849, to southern Ohio, in Gallia County, where he went into the manufacture of pig iron. About that time a tariff bill was passed by congress putting a high duty upon iron, which made the iron business very profitable, so that in a few years Mr. Bentley retired with an ample fortune and settled in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he resided until he died.
In later years he travelled widely, in America and in Europe, and was a man of large and varied information. From early manhood he was a devoted and zealous member of the church of “The Desciples of Christ,” and his daily life was a proof of the sincerity of his convictions.
He had four children, only two of whom grew to maturity. Amanda, who married John Bishop, of Cincinnati, and now resides in New York City, although in recent years she has spent a good deal of time in Europe. Lillie, who married Harry Bowen of Cincinnati, and who for several years past, since the death of her husband, has resided in Paris, France, for the education of her two daughters.
Mary, the tenth child and youngest daughter of Benjamin, was born May 17, 1805, and was accidently drowned Feb. 13, 1813.
Aholiab Bentley, (Exodus 31:6) the youngest of the family, was born May 22, 1807, near Sharon, Mercer County, Pa., and died at Portsmouth, Ohio, December 26, 1891.
When a year old he removed with the family to Trumbull County, Ohio, His education was of the kind afforded by the common schools of the day, but his experiences in the pioneer times was a mine of education which he worked to the fullest capacity. At the age of 20 he taught school in Warren County, Ohio, and then for a time he was a merchant in Youngstown. In 1846 he established an iron furnace in Gallia County, Ohio, known as Gallia Furnace, which he operated for eleven year. He was also interested in the Eagle Furnace. Having acquired a comfortable fortune, he removed in 1853 to Portsmouth, where he resided during the remainder of his life. Here he held prominent positions in business and social circles, being a member of the city council for some time, and occupying other positions of public trust.
He was twice married, first in 1830 to Mrs. Mary Ann Dennis McCalla, of Brown County, who died April 8, 1836. By this marriage there were two children: Morrison, who (1897) is a farmer and real estate agent at Salem, Oregon, and Martin Corwin, who was accidently killed in 1854 at the age of 21 years. The second marriage was in 1840 with Jane Linn, daughter of Ebenezer Linn of Brown County, Ohio, and to them five children were born. Laura Jane and Mary Ellen, who married brothers, C. P. and R. M. Lloyd. Both are now widows and reside with their children in Portsmouth, Ohio. Linn Bentley, the oldest son, like his father is an iron manufacturer and resides with his family in Columbus, Ohio. The son, Benjamin, resides at Jackson, Ohio, and Franklin died in infancy.
Aholiab Bentley was identified with the Methodist Church for over 50 years and held various positions of honor and trust in the 6th Street Methodist Church of Portsmouth, Ohio.
He was a man of sterling integrity and left to his children the priceless heritage of an unblemished name. So with all the Bentleys as far as known, a good name has been their continuous inheritance.
Of six preceding ancestors, that gem
Conferred by testament to the sequent issue,
Hath it been owned and worn.
It is an honor belonging to our house,
Bequeathed down from many ancestors.
Which were the greatest obloquy in the world
In me to lose.
The facts I have given in regard to Greene and John Bentley were obtained from E. T. Bentley of Ithaca, N. Y., (now deceased) with whom I had correspondence in 1885. In addition he said that his grandfather, Greene Bentley, married Dianah Greene about 1755, and that they had nine children, seven girls and two boys. The family moved from Connecticut to the west branch of the Susquehanna, in Pennsylvania, and then to Chemung County, N. Y. Three of the daughters married and went west. Benjamin, one of the sons, who was the father of E. T. Bentley, moved from Chemung County, (Bentley’s Creek) to Tioga County, Pa., 1806, and resided there until his death in 1854. ↑
Since the foregoing was written I have received a letter under date of Dec. 11, 1896, from Bentley Worth of West Chester, Pa., in which he says:
I have examined fully in the records of Chester County and find a George Bentley as giving a mortgage on a farm of 144½ acres, in the Township of Newlin, for the sum of £80, dated Nov. 9, 1758, recorded March 15, 1759 and not satisfied. I cannot find any deed for the property, nor any sale of the same recorded, as I wanted to see who his wife was. Elsewhere, however, I find her name was Jane Carson. I find in the history of Chester County, that in 1747 a regiment was formed in the time of the English and French war, and George Bentley was appointed a lieutenant, but nothing further is mentioned of him. In the history it appears that the Rev. Owen Thomas was the first Baptist minister in Newlin Township. He preached at John Bentley’s house. After the death of John he preached in the house of his son Jeffrey, who in 1752 gave a lot of ground and built a meeting house, with small help from others. Jeffrey Bentley, after the death of his father, was made deacon. After a great revival the meeting house became too small, and being badly located a new location was chosen where the Hephzibah Church now stands. In 1792 the corner stone was laid. The location was selected by a committee, three of whom were Jesse Bentley, Elizabeth Bentley, and Lydia Bentley. I find in county records a will dated 1759, of Mary Bentley, widow of John Bentley.As to the relationship between John and George Bentley Mr. Worth has no knowledge, but all the circumstances seem to indicate that they were brothers, and sons of Wm. Bentley, Jr., of Rhode Island. Mr. Bentley Worth says that so far as he knows there are now no Bentleys in Chester County. Mr. Bentley Worth himself is a grandson of Mary Bentley, daughter of George, and is now 77 years old, and has lived in Chester County all his life. ↑
John D. Bentley was born in Rensselaer County, N. Y., near the Massachusetts line, in 1840. Here his father Ray Bentley, who was a farmer, was born. Here his grandfather Noah, the Baptist preacher, heretofore referred to, was born, and lived, and died, and here his great‐grandfather Philip settled and built the first grist and saw mill in the county. Tradition says he had a brother who settled in Rhode Island, and if so Wm. Bentley, Sr., was the man, but more likely I think, he was a nephew of Wm. Bentley, Sr. John D. Bentley states that his grandfather Noah Bentley married for his second wife Dianah Greene, in 1791. It will be noticed in note to page 6 that E. T. Bentley states that HIS grandfather, Greene Bentley, married a Dianah Greene in 1755, all of which is evidence of Rhode Island kinship. John D. Bentley in 1864 married Julia Swetland, of Mayville, N. Y., and for a number of years was a merchant in Vineland, N.J. About 1870 he removed to Corry, Pa., where he still resides as a prosperous merchant. At the present time (1897) he is a member of the House of Representatives of the Pennsylvania Legislature. He has a family of four sons and a daughter. ↑
Mary Lake Bentley of the seventh generation, was born October 30, 1833, and has resided in Mansfield all her life. February 3. 1852, she was married to RoelifF Brinkerhoff of iVIansfield, Ohio. From that Union there were four children. Robert Bentley, born April 19, 1854, is a lawyer in New York City. He is married and resides in Brooklyn. Adelaide Horton, born October 21, 1855, resides with her parents. Mary, born January 24, 1859, married Colonel William McCrory, of Minneapolis, where she resided until her death April 1, 1892. Roeliff Brinkerhoff, Jr., born October 26, 1864, is a lawyer and now Probate Judge of Richland County. He is married and resides with his parents. ↑
Martin Baldwin Bushnell, son of Mary Bentley, daughter of General Robert Bentley, was born July 13, 1837, in Mansfield, Ohio. December 31, 1833, he married Elverda Snyder, of Mansfield, Ohio, by whom he had six children. Charles Bentley was born Nov. 2, 1864. He is a manufacturer, is married and resides in Mansfield. Irene was born Feb. 15, 1866, and died January 17, 1890. Mary was born August 6, 1867 and died January 4, 1868. William Samuel was born October 9, 1868. He is a physician, is married, and resides in Mansfield. Elverda, born Sept. 2, 1874, resides with her parents. Frederick Martin, born June 2, 1877, is now in the Eastman Commercial College at Poughkeepsie, N. Y. ↑
Anson G. Bentley, second son of James and Temperance Bentley, was born Dec. 25, (Christmas) 1824, in Brookfield, Trumbull County, O. His early life was spent on his father’s farm in summer and going to school in winter. As soon as he was fitted for the profession, he engaged in teaching. In 1853 he gathered together his possessions and started for the gold fields of California locating in Nevada City. There he remained for five years and met with satisfactory results. In 1858 he returned to his old home and soon after settled in Youngstown, O. There he conducted a lumber business for one year. He assisted in organizing the first National Bank of Youngstown and for many years was vice‐president and one of the directors. He was also interested in a flouring mill. In 1869 he came to Niles with two partners and started the Bank of Wick, Bentley & Co. This was afterwards converted into a Banking Association of which Mr. Bentley was president. Ten years afterwards this association was succeeded by A. G. Bentley & Company and three years later in 1883 this business was closed out. Since that time Mr. Bentley has given his attention to real estate and other business interests. He was united in marriage Aug. 5, 1858, to Miss Mary Amelia Ingraham, daughter of Rev. S. W. Ingraham of the M. E. Church. Mr. and Mrs. Bentley are the parents of four children, Anson J., Frank, Mary E. (now Mrs. W. A. Thomas) and an infant that died at the age of two years. ↑
Martin Bentley. Jr., was born July 16, 1832, and died April 11, 1862. Like his father he was a man of superior business qualifications. For a time he was assistent cashier of the Mahoning County Bank and then a partner in the banking firm of Wick Brothers of Youngstown, Ohio. Robert, the oldest, resides at Youngstown and is the secretary and treasurer of the Ohio Iron and Steel Co. Eliza H. (Mrs. Stewart) who is a widow with two children, resides with her mother in Youngstown. John Martin, the youngest, resides in Joliet, Illinois, and is the Second Auditor of the Illinois Steel Company. ↑
Rhode Island Bentleys.
From a chart issued some years ago by Joel Munsell’s Sons, genealogical and local history publishers, of Albany, N. Y., we glean the only information we have of the Bentley family in Rhode Island. From this chart it appears that William Bentley, of Kingstown, R. I., signed the petition heretofore referred to on page 4, on the 29th day of July, 1679. It is also stated that his wife’s name was Sarah, and that he died in 1720.
Thus far we have no Documentary Evidence or Distinct Traditions, connecting these Rhode Island Bentleys with the New York and Pennsylvania Bentleys, but the family names, dates of births, and all the surrounding circumstances (or res gestae as the lawyers would say) indicate their kinship. If anyone can prove the contrary, I would be glad to hear from him. William Bentley had five children who are recorded in the Rhode Island chart as follows:
William, b. Kings Town, Westerly, Richmond, R. I., d. 1760
m. (1) 1703, Apr. 21, Mary Eliot, d. of Eliot
m. (2) 1734, Aug 1, Bathsheba Lewis, (w. of Israel), d. of Lewis
He married his first wife at Stonington, Conn.
1748, Aug. 18. Will—proved 1760, Aug. 12, (by Governor after petition 1760, May). Exx. wife Bathsheba. The eldest son John, 5s., he having had already, and like amount to sons George, Caleb and Ezekiel, eldest daughter Elizabeth Potter, daughters Tabitha Sweet, Ruhama James and Mary James. To wife Bathsheba, all my household goods and movable estate. Executrix to sell homestead and house I now live in, when my son Benjamin comes to age of fourteen, and divide equally to my five youngest children, viz: William, Thomas, James, Greene and Benjamin Bentley. To wife Bathsheba, all income of whole estate, real and personal, to bring up my five youngest children.
Inventory £486, 15s., vi: apparel, spinning wheel, linen wheel, cow, 2 sheep, &c.
James, b. Kings Town, R. I.
m. (1) Dorothy Albro, d. of Samuel & Isabel (Lawton) Albro
m. (2) Hannah —
Thomas, b. Kings Town, R. I.
m. 1706, Jan 6, Elizabeth Chamberlin, d. of Chamberlin
He was a cordwainer.
1718, Mar. He had suit brought against him by Thomas Phillips, for trespass, &c., and answered that he rightly possesseth in the right of his father, William Bentley.
He may have bene identical with Thomas Bentley of Exeter, who died 1778, and who mentions in his will (dated 1772, Jun. 15, proved 1778, Apr. 15) wife Mary, sons William and Benjamin, and grandson Caleb.
Benjamin, b. Exeter, R. I., d. 1744
m. — Rathbone, d. of Thomas & Mary (Dickens) Rathbone
He was a currier.
1719, Sep. He and his father answered the suit of James and Daniel Updyke, in an action for trespass &c. damage £150.
1725, Feb. 8. He was witness to a deed from Alexander Huling and wife Elizabeth, to Alexander Brown.
1744, Aug. 29. He gave a receipt for his wife’s portion of estate of her father.
1750, Apr. 29. His son William married Mary Sweet, daughter of William. At this date, Benjamin Bentley was called of Exeter.
m. 1700, Jan 6, John Wightman, b. 1674, Apr. 16. of George & Elizabeth (Updyke) Wightman, d. 1750.