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Oscar F. Bentley (1833-1905)
Pioneer of Gibson Township, Bay County, MI.

History of Bay County, MI, by Augustus H. Gansser, 1905


Oscar F. Bentley, who was the second pioneer settler of Gibson township, Bay County, Michigan, resides in the town of Bentley, which was name in his honor. He was born in Monroe County, New York, in 1833, and is a son of Thomas and Sarah (James) Bentley.

Thomas Bentley was born in New York State and lived there many years. In 1847, accompanied by his wife and children, he moved to Michigan and located near Flint, where he purchased a tract of 80 acres, now known as the Roat farm, the second best farm in Genesee County. Additions were made to this property from time to time and the members of the family became large property holders. Twelve children were born to Thomas Bentley and his wife, Sarah James, and of these our subject is the 11th in order of birth and the sole survivor at the present time. The mother died on old homestead at the age of 68 years. Thomas Bentley formed a second marital union and with his wife spent his declining years on the farm of his son, Nelson. He died in his 71st year.

Oscar F. Bentley's educational training begun in the public schools of New York State, was completed in the schools situated in vicinity of Flint, Michigan. He remain on the home farm in Flint township, where his father and four brothers had cleared farms of dense forest and place them in a tillable state, until his marriage in 1854. He then became a pioneer settler in Saginaw County, where he farmed until 1859. In that year he took up government land in Blue Earth County, Minnesota, and there maintained his homestead for 12 years, at the end of which time he move to Northern Kansas and live two years.

While a resident Minnesota at the time of the Civil War, he enlisted in the Union Army, but the outbreak of the Sioux Indians kept his regiment in the West. He served three years as a member of the Second Regiment, Minnesota Vol. Cav. At the time of the New Ulm massacre, and with his neighbors moved to a place of safety to live until the depredations ceased.

Upon leaving Kansas, he returned to Genesee County, Michigan, and in April, 1887, made his last pioneer stand at Bentley, Gibson township, Bay County, where he has since resided. When Mr. Bentley first came here, he erected a large sawmill, which burned four years later. He rebuilt it at once and two years later the second mill burned. He again rebuilt this mill, which is now owned and operated by his son Frank. He has three farms, consisting of 320 acres, and is one of the substantial men of his section.

On February 8, 1854, Mr. Bentley was married to Matilda Anderson, and they have spent 51 years in happy companionship, together braving the struggles of pioneering in different sections of the United States. They have rear six children, as follows: Adelbert, born in 1855; Murray G., born in 1858, who married Annie Smythe and has one son, -- Herbert M.,; Perry Oliver, born in 1861, deceased October 15, 1880; Frank, born in 1863, the proprietor of a general store at Bentley, who married Cora Edmund and has one child, -- Norma; Fred A., born in 1867, deceased in 1899; and Effie M., born April 30, 1870, who died May 2, 1894, leaving a husband, Meade Burlingame and one son, -- Floyd. Adelbert Bentley, the oldest born to our subject and his wife, first married Edward Genreaux and has two children. -- Alta and Walter; and Roy. Mrs. Bentley died in 1898, and the following year Adelbert Bentley formed a second union with Jane Hannah; four children have been born to this union: Nona, who died in infancy; Russell, born July 3, 1897; Nina, born in 1899; and Stanley, born in 1901.

Oscar F. Bentley has always been an unswerving supporter of Republican principles, and takes an earnest interest in his party's success. He is a man of pleasing personality, and stands high in regard to his fellow-citizens, among whom he has lived so many years.

Additional Notes.

    1850 - Census: Genesee Co., Mich.

  • Bentley, Thomas - age 64, b. N.Y.
  • Sarah - wife, age 61, b. N.Y.
  • Hiraim - age 19, b. N.Y.
  • Oscar - age 18, b. N.Y.
  • Thomas Jr. - age 16, b. N.Y.

    1880 - Census: Forest, Genesee, Mich.

  • Bently, Oscar F. - b. 1837, New York, farmer
  • Amy M. - wife, born in New York

    1900 - Census: Gibson Twp., Bay, Mich.

  • Bentley, Oscar - b. Feb. 1833, New York
  • A(?), wife - b.Aug. 1840, New York
  • Budingame, Floyd - grandson, b. Apr. 1890, Mich.
  • Stroff (?), Ida - servant, b. JUn. 1885, Jun., 1885, Mich.
  • Ruse, Samuel - boarder, b. Jul., 1863, New York.
  • Williams, Fred - boarder, b. Aug., 1879, Mich.

    1905 - Missouri Deaths: Gibson, Bay, Mich.

  • Date: Mar., 29, 1905. Oscar F. Bentley, age 72, born in New York, died at Gibson Twp., Bay, Mich.
Related Note & Pages

Oscar F. Bentley

Bay Co. CW History
Gibson Twp. History
People Referenced
Anderson, Matilda (wife)
Bentley, Adelbert (son)
Bentley, Effie M. (dau)
Bentley, Frank (son)
Bentley, Fred A. (son)
Bentley, Hiriam (bro.)
Bentley, Herbert M. (son)
Bentley, Murray G. (son)
Bentley, Nelson (bro)
Bentley, Nina (g-dau)
Bentley, Nona (g-dau)
Bentley, Norma (g-dau)
Bentley, Oscar F. (subject)
Bentley, Peter O. (son)
Bentley, Russel (g-son)
Bentley, Sarah (sis.)
Bentley, Stanley (g-son)
Bentley, Thomas (father)
Bentley, Thomas Jr. (bro.)
Burlingame, Floyd (gson)
Burlingame, Meade
Edmund, Cora
Genreaux, Alta
Genreaux, Edward
Genreaux, Roy
Genreaux, Walter
Hannah, Jane
James, Sarah (mother)
Smythe, Annie
Stroff, Ida
Williams, Fred
Subjects Referenced
2d Reg., MN Vol. Cav.
Bay County, MI
Bentley, MI
Blue Earth Co., MN
Civil War
Flint, MI
Flint Twp., MI
Genesee Co., MI
Gibson Twp., Bay Co.
Monroe Co., NY
Roat farm, Genesee Co.
Saginaw Co., MI
Sioux Indians
Ulm massacre
Internet References
None at this time.
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.