THE LEADING CITIZENS OF MADISON COUNTY

CONTENTS
Preface
Names Index
Portrait Index


   BENTLEY BROTHERS is the name under which Edward C. and G. Duane Bentley are carrying on a thriving business in the manufacture of desks. Noah Bentley, their grandfather, was a farmer by occupation, and spent his last years in Sand Lake, Rensselaer County. In that town occurred the birth of George W. Bentley, their father. He was reared to agricultural pursuits, which were not to his taste; and when old enough to earn his own living, he went to Connecticut, and there learned the trade of a chairmaker. Remaining there three years, he then returned to this State in 1837, and started a factory for the manufacture of chairs in West Edmeston, where he remained until 1855. He ten removed to South Brookfield, and established a factory there, which he operated for twenty-one years. Disposing of that property, Mr. Bentley built another factory in New Berlin, and continued successfully engaged in manufacturing in that town until the time of his death. The maiden name of his wife was Susan Cutler; and of their union two children were born,--Edward C. and G. Duane.
   Edward C. Bentley, the senior member of the firm, was born in Edmeston, Otsego County, January 18, 1849. His elementary education was received in the public schools, and supplemented by a course of study at Whitestown Seminary. After leaving school, he entered into a partnership with his father, remaining thus until the death of the latter. He and his brother, G. D. Bentley, who had been admitted to the firm previously, then sold out the business in New Berlin, and removed to their present location in Earlville, where they erected a factory. They succeeded well from the first, but were unfortunate enough to have the building struck by lightning and burned to the ground, all tools, machinery, and stock being also destroyed. This was a disastrous calamity to them; but, with characteristic energy and enterprise, they at once began the erection of a new factory, having it well under way in less than twenty-four hours after the fire. Some years later they were the victims of another conflagration, again being completely burned out; but, Phoenix-like, they arose to brighter and better fortunes, and have since continued doing a most prosperous business.
   Edward C. Bentley was united in marriage in 1872 to Miss Sarah L. Clark; and of their union one child has been born,--Georgiana. He and his family are regular attendants at the Episcopal church. In politics he is a stanch Democrat. Socially, he belongs to the Masonic fraternity, having been a member for twenty years, and is now Chancellor commander in the Knights of Pythias, and an esteemed member of the Veiled Prophets.
   G. Duane Bentley, the junior member of the firm, was born in South Brookfield, March 5, 1855. He attended the district schools, and afterward took the course of studies at New Berlin. Subsequently he was admitted to the firm with his father and brother, and has continued thus engaged since, as above related. When twenty-four years of age, he married Miss Rosalind Talcott, daughter of William and Julia Talcott. To them has been born one child, a son, Glade T. Politically, he is a strong adherent of the Democratic party. Socially, he also is a member of the Knights of Pythias. He and his family are worshippers at the Episcopal church.
   In the manufacturing and industrial interests of Otsego and Madison Counties the name of Bentley holds high rank, this firm having been in uninterrupted business for over half a century. First established in West Edmeston by the father in 1837, it has been continued since his decease by his sons, the present firm, who are recognized as valued factors of the business community, being practical and progressive men, straightforward and honorable in all their transactions, well worthy of the high regard in which they are held.

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