IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

James W. Bentley

James W. Bentley is a representative of the second generation of one of the well-known pioneer families whose name has been worthily linked with the social and material development and progress of Clayton county, and, loyal to and appreciative of the manifold advantages and attractions of his native county, James Wilbert Bentley has had no desire to sever his allegiance thereto, for he has here continued an exponent of the important and basic lines of industry under whose influence he was reared and is one of the substantial and enterprising farmers of Highland township.

He was born in this township on the 26th of December, 1861, and is a son of Albert and Sarah Jane Bentley, who became residents of the county in the earlier '50s and who here passed the remainder of their lives — folk of strong individuality, invincible integrity and that appreciation of the true value of human thought and action that made them account well for themselves in all of the relations of life. Of their children the first-born, Albert, died in infancy; Emma, the widow of George Keeland, resides in the state of North Dakota; Charles E. is deceased; Mrs. Mary Bateman resides in the city of Minneapolis, where her husband is identified with business enterprise; and James W., of this review, is the youngest of the children.

After having made good use of the advantages afforded in the public schools James W. Bentley continued as an active and resourceful assistant in the work of the home farm until he had attained to the age of nineteen years, when he went to West Union, Fayette county, where he worked about one year. He then made his way to the State of Michigan, but in the following spring he returned to his native county, where he worked on a farm until the ensuing autumn. He then went to Minnesota, where he amplified his experience, but after an absence of a year he showed his continued loyalty to his home county by resuming his residence within its borders and by renting the old homestead farm of his father. He remained with his widowed mother until her death, and shortly afterward, in 1883, he purchased his present farm, which is eligibly situated in section 23, Highland township, and which comprises two hundred and thirty-five acres of the fine land for which this section of the Hawkeye state is famed. Since assuming possession of this domain Mr. Bentley has made many high-grade improvements on the place, including the erection of a house and other buildings of the most approved modern type. He has had no aspiration for the honors of political office but has shown loyal interest in all things touching the well being of the community and gives unequivocal support to the principles and policies for which the Republican party stands sponsor. In a fraternal way he is affiliated with the Modern Brotherhood of America. His splendid rural home is about four miles distant from the village of Volga, from which place it receives service on mail route No. 1.

On the 22d of June, 1884, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Bentley to Miss Margaret Waltenbaugh, who was born in Clayton county, April 28, 1865, and of the five children of this union the eldest is Mabel, who is the widow of Frederick Heiden and who now resides at Elkader; Delia is the wife of William Davis, of Manchester, Delaware county; Hattie is the wife of James Meyers, of Volga; and Blanche and Mildred remain at the parental home.

source: History of Clayton County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; pg. 39-40

-OCR scanned by S. Ferrall


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