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Descendants of William Ellis Bentley, Sr.

Generation No. 1

1. WILLIAM ELLIS1 BENTLEY, SR. was born 27 Mar 1823 in England1,2,3,4, and died 14 Aug 1896 in Angus, Boone Co., IA5. He married FANNIE REED 1870 in Wheeling, Ohio Co., WV, daughter of RALPH REED. She was born 04 Dec 1850 in Wheeling, Ohio Co., WV6, and died 09 Jun 1938 in Perry, Dallas Co., IA7,8.

Notes for W
The year of William's immigration is unknown but he submitted "first papers" in 1875 and was naturalized in 1878 in Jefferson County, Iowa. His first wife (name unknown) died in England before he could send for her and their two children. The children were raised in England by his first wife's parents. William was a coal mine owner and operator and lived for a time in Zanesville, Ohio. After his second marriage to Fannie Reed, they moved to Fairfield, Iowa and lived in the town of Perlee from about 1873 to 1884 where he was employed as a blacksmith. They then moved to Des Moines, Altoona, Dawson and finally Angus where William and two of his sons were employed by one of the coal mining companies there. His gravesite (lot 27) at Bower Cemetery is marked with a large, plain rock.

"The village of Perlee is situated in Penn township on the Chicago & Rock Island Railroad, six miles northeast of Fairfield. Prior to the completion of the railroad, the coal mines known to exist for twenty years had been operated in a small way and the product hauled in wagons to Washington. LaGrange and Miller had done the principal business in that line. F.J. Demarsh had erected a saw mill as early as 1860 and the first house built on the town site was a log cabin erected by Israel Snook to accommodate the workmen at the mill. The railroad was completed in 1870. The Jefferson County Coal Company was organized in that year and the town laid out. The post office, established soon after, was named Perlee at the Post Office Deptartment, Washington, D.C. Previous to this, the station had been known as Acheson, named by P.J. Demarsh in honor of George Acheson, Esq., of Fairfield. Perlee is now a thriving town of 500 inhabitants, with three dry goods stores, one grocery, one drug store, one saw mill, which also grinds cornmeal; a hotel, BLACKSMITH and other shops, one church (Presbyterian), etc. The Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias each have a flourishing lodge. Mr. Demarsh, the principal merchant, opened his present store in 1872 and is doing a business of $12,000 per year. The town also supports a good school, with two teachers and an attendance of 130 scholars. The principal trade of the place is derived from the coal mines." (History of Jefferson County pub. 1879)

"The town of Angus was situated partly in Greene county and partly in Boone county. Coal was first discovered in 1866. Up to 1881 it was known as "Coal Town." In 1878 the first steam shaft was erected. The town had a fine opera house with seating for 800. It was also famous for it's "Whiskey Row", some 16 saloons all located with each bar room centered on the county line. In case of trouble, patrons could move from one side of the bar room to the other side and avoid arrest." (Jefferson Iowa Website, How Greene County Communities Received Their Names).

More About W
Burial: Unknown, Bower Cem., Greene Co., IA
Naturalization: 04 Sep 1878, Final

Notes for F
"Mrs. Fanny E. Bentley, 88, Perry woman who has resided with her daughter, Mrs. Frank Reynolds for the past 26 years, died at the home of a daughter, Mrs. Chas. Hegwood at Paton this morning at 4 o'clock. Death was due to heart failure which came while Mrs. Bentley was asleep. She had no previous illness. Funeral services will be held in Perry at the Workman Funeral home Saturday afternoon at 1:30 o'clock with Warren Hile, pastor of the Church of Christ, officiating. Interment will be made in Violet Hill cemetery. Mrs. Bentley was preceded in death by her husband W.E. Bentley in 1912 and since that time has resided in Perry. She was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, in 1850 and came to Iowa following her marriage moving into the Angus vicinity where the family resided for many years...." (Obituary, The Perry Daily Chief, 9 Jun 1938)

There is an error in the obit above, William Bentley died in 1896. Other discrepencies found in researching Fannie: birth record for Anna gives Fannie's surname as MARSH. 1920 Dallas Co. census gives Fannie's place of birth and her parents' places of birth all Ohio. This could be attributed to misinformation as Wheeling is in Ohio county. Fannie is buried in section A (old section) of Violet Hill cemetery.

More About F
Burial: 11 Jun 1938, Violet Hill Cem., Dallas Co., IA
Children of W
  i.   MAE E.2 BENTLEY, d. Bef. 1900.
  Notes for MAE E. BENTLEY:
Died in infancy.

2. ii.   CHRISTENA E. BENTLEY, b. 27 Jun 1873, Perlee, Jefferson Co., IA; d. 10 Dec 1949, Jefferson, Grant Twp., Greene Co., IA.
3. iii.   WILLIAM ELLIS BENTLEY, JR., b. 22 Jun 1877, Perlee, Jefferson Co., IA; d. 06 Feb 1957, Bouton, Dallas Co., IA.
  iv.   CHARLES E. BENTLEY, b. Dec 1879, Perlee, Jefferson Co., IA9,10,11; d. 14 Apr 1922, Des Moines, Polk Co., IA12,13; m. VIOLA, Abt. 1914; b. Abt. 1878, IL14; d. Unknown.
"Charles Bentley, 42 years of age, a former resident of Angus and Perry, was found dead at a spot on the White Pole road on the northeast outskirts of Des Moines yesterday morning. The presumption is that he was murdered and robbed and his body taken there in an automobile and left in the road, although so many conflicting stories are afloat that the whole affair is shrouded in mystery. The first reports received in Perry yesterday were those contained in an Associated Press story carried in the Chief, but it was not until last evening that it was known Bentley was from this community. He was a coal miner by occupation and something of a wanderer. His mother and other relatives here had not heard from him for about three years until this week. Tuesday a letter was received by Mrs. Frank Reynolds, a sister. It was written from a town in Oklahoma and stated that he was on his way to Perry and would be here in a few days. The joy which was occasioned by the letter was turned to grief for the aged mother, brothers and sisters last night when it was learned he had been killed. Mr and Mrs. Reynolds went to Des Moines this morning and made arrangements for the removal of the body to Perry. It will be brought here tonight at 8:30 and taken to the T.R. Phillips undertaking rooms. The funeral services will be held at the Reynolds home on Third street Monday afternoon at 2:30. Bentley is survived by his mother, Mrs. William Bentley, who makes her home with Mr. and Mrs. Frank Reynolds, two brothers, W. E. Bentley of Perry and R. Bentley of Kansas City and six sisters. The latter are: Mrs. C. Salzgeber of Paton; Mrs. A. Jameson of Chicago; Mrs. G. Alywood of Perry; Mrs. F. Reynolds, Perry; Mrs. F. Peters, Albany, N.Y.; Mrs. C. Hegwood of Paton. Bentley was married about eight years ago, but he and his wife had been separated for a number of years. She is now living in Des Moines and the authorities are holding her in an effort to learn more about the death of her husband. He called at her home late Thursday afternoon. Another woman, Mrs. Elizabeth Beghtol, of Eldon, Iowa, to whom he had been engaged for a number of years, arrived in Des Moines yesterday only to find that he had been killed. The generally accepted theory is that Bentley was slugged and robbed and taken in an automobile to the spot where the body was found. It was stated that he had a big roll of money on his person when he arrived in Des Moines, but only $80 was found by the officers. This was concealed in a secret pocket of his underclothing. (The Perry Daily Chief, 15 Apr 1922)

Burial: Unknown, Violet Hill Cem., Perry, Dallas Co., IA
Occupation: Miner

4. v.   ANNA E. BENTLEY, b. 02 Aug 1881, Perlee, Jefferson Co., IA; d. 02 Dec 1941, Chicago, Cook Co., IL.
  vi.   RUTH E. BENTLEY, b. 12 Nov 1883, Altoona, Polk Co., IA15,16; d. 09 Jun 1977, Carroll, Greene Co., IA17; m. GEORGE AYLWOOD; b. 190918; d. 17 Nov 1964, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Co., CA19.
  More About RUTH E. BENTLEY:
Burial: Unknown, Violet Hill Cem., Perry, IA

Burial: Unknown, Violet Hill Cem., Perry, Dallas Co., IA

  vii.   REUBEN E. BENTLEY, b. Mar 1888, Perlee, Jefferson Co., IA20,21,22; d. 1960; m. MARY; d. Unknown.
  Notes for REUBEN E. BENTLEY:
Reuben appears in the 1920 census for Schafer, McKenzie Co., ND. BLM records show that he owned a substantial amount of land, purchased in 1918 and 1920.

Burial: Unknown, Lyons, Rice Co., KS
Residence: 1938, Lyons, Rice Co., KS

5. viii.   FLORENCE BENTLEY, b. 17 Apr 1890, Dawson, Dallas Co., IA; d. 10 Oct 1980, Perry, Dallas Co., IA.
  ix.   ETTA E. BENTLEY, b. Mar 1892, Perlee, Jefferson Co., IA23,24; d. 20 Mar 195125; m. (1) GEORGE SWANSON; d. Unknown; m. (2) FRED PETERS; d. Unknown.
  More About ETTA E. BENTLEY:
Burial: Unknown, Violet Hill Cem., Perry, Dallas Co., IA
Residence: 1938, Buffalo, Erie Co., NY

6. x.   ELLEN BENTLEY, b. 08 Jan 1894, Angus, Boone Co., IA; d. 28 Feb 1970, Jefferson, Greene Co., IA.

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