Biography of George P. Bentley
Erie County, OH Biographies





GEORGE P. BENTLEY. After years of successful endeavor as one of the representative agriculturists of Erie County, Mr. Bentley removed from the old homestead farm which had been his place of abode from the time of his birth and established his residence in the Village of Birmingham, in 1912, and here he has since lived in the well earned retirement that consistently rewards him for the former years of earnest and productive application. He is a scion of the third generation of the Bentley family in Erie County and the name which he bears has been prominently and worthily identified with the industrial and civic development and upbuilding of this now opulent section of the Buckeye State, where his paternal grandfather established a home in the midst of the forest wilds nearly a century ago,

On the homestead farm of which he himself became the owner and which is now owned and occupied by his only daughter and her husband, in Florence Township, George P. Bentley was born on the 4th of August, 1850, and he is a son of Parker and Amanda (Crawford) Bentley, both of whom were natives of the State of New York and representatives of sterling families that were founded in New England in the colonial era of our national history,

Parker Bentley was born about the year 1820, and was a son of John and Anna (Parker) Bentley, both natives of the State of New York, where the former was born April 20, 1782, and the latter on the 1st of September, 1792, their marriage having there been solemnized in December, 1818. In the old Empire State they continued their residence until after the birth of three of their children, and in the early '30s they came with their family to Ohio, the journey having been made with wagons and ox teams. John Bentley acquired a tract of timbered land in the wilds of Florence Township, Erie County, where Indians and wild game were still much in evidence, and his primitive log house was one of the early pioneer dwellings established in the township mentioned. This sturdy pioneer, with the assistance of his sons, reclaimed his land to cultivation, and the old homestead, which comprises 150 acres and which is situated to the east of the Vermilion River, on what is known as the East Vermilion Road, is now owned by his grandson, Ira Bentley, of whom individual mention is made on other pages of this work. The members of the family did not escape the ravages of the all prevailing ague, or "chills and fever," and to avoid the same John Bentley and other members of the family went back to the State of New York seven different times, in as many seasons, before improvements and individual immunity made it possible for them to remain consecutively on the pioneer homestead. On this pioneer farmstead John continued to reside until hips death, which occurred March 29, 1859, and there his widow was summoned to eternal rest on the 28th of April, 1862, Concerning their children the following brief record is entered: Sheba Ann became the wife of James Wood and died without issue; Andomeda married Silas Dunham and she was a resident of Michigan at the time of her death, one of her children still surviving her; Parker is the father of him whose name introduces this article; the next child, a son, died in infancy; Margaret became the wife of Dr. Moses Trumbull and both were residents of Ohio at the time of their death, all of their children being now deceased; Anna, the wife of Ebenezer Hopkins, died in Florence Township, and two of her children are yet living; John, Jr., was the father of Ira Bentley and further reference to him is made elsewhere in this volume, in the sketch of the career of the son.

Parker Bentley was a lad of about ten years at the time of the family immigration to Erie County, where he was reared to manhood on the pioneer farm, to the reclamation and development of which he contributed his aid. After his marriage he established his home on a tract of land that was mostly covered with timber and without any definite improvement. This place is situated on the Butler Road, about half a mile distant from the old homestead of his father. There he reclaimed a productive farm of 140 acres, and there he continued to reside until his death, which occurred about a quarter of a century ago. As a young man he wedded Miss Amanda Crawford, who was born in the same neighborhood as was he, in the State of New York, and who was a daughter of Alexander and Martha (Wood) Crawford, likewise pioneer settlers in Erie County. Mrs. Bentley survived her husband by nine years and both were consistent members of the Christian Church, - earnest and upright folk who ever commanded unqualified popular esteem. Mr. Bentley was a staunch supporter of the cause of the democratic party and was influential in public affairs of a local order, as shown by his having served as a member of the board of trustees of Florence Township. Of the two surviving children George P. of this review is the elder. and his sister, Sarah, now a resident of the Village of Birmingham, this county, is the widow of John Brogran, whose death occurred at Medina, this state. Mrs. Brogran's first husband was Sidney A. Smith, and their daughter Clara is the only child of Mrs. Brogran, Mr. Smith having been a resident of Erie County at the time of his death. Clara, the only child, first wedded Jay Heath, and they became the parents of one daughter, Dorothy, who remains with her mother. After the death of her first husband Mrs. Heath became the wife of Herman Behrens and they reside in the City of Elyria, Lorain County.

Reared to manhood on the old home farm which was the place of his nativity, George P. Bentley made good use of the advantages afforded in the common schools of the locality, and thereafter was for six terms a student of higher branches, under the preceptorship of Job Fish, an able and popular instructor. He continued to be associated in the work and management of the home farm until the death of his father, shortly after which he became the owner of the property. There he continued his active and successful operations as an agriculturist and stock grower until his retirement and removal to Birmingham, in 1912. The farm is specially well improved, having a substantial house of twelve rooms and two large barns, besides which its equipment includes the best type of silo and a modern windmill The farm is now owned by Mr. Bentley's son in law, Clinton E. Ennis, who is one of the progressive and representative young farmers of Erie County. Upon his removal to Birmingham Mr. Bentley purchased his present attractive residence of eight rooms, and the supreme loss and bereavement in his life came with the death of his noble and devoted wife, who here passed to the life eternal on the 24th of March, 1914, at the age of fifty nine years.

In Wakeman Township, Huron County, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Bentley to Miss Julia E. Deman, who was there born and reared. The only child, Elsie, acquired her education in the public schools of Birmingham and is now the wife of Clinton E. Ennis, owning and occupying the old home farm of her father. They have two children, Glenn, born in 1905, and Julia, born in 1908. Mr. and Mrs. Ennis are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as was also Mrs. Bentley, whose gentle and gracious personality gained to her the affectionate regard of all who came within the sphere of her influence. Mr. Bentley is a democrat in national politics but in local affairs is not constrained by strict partisan lines, as he gives his support to men and measures meeting the approval of his judgment. He served four terms as assessor of Florence Township but official preferment has not been a magnet of any special attraction for him. He was formerly affiliated with the Birmingham camp of the Knights of the Maccabees and served nine years as its commander.

From:
A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio
By: Hewson L. Peeke
Assisted by a Board of Advisory Editors
The Lewis Publishing Company Chicago and New York 1916


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