William Riley Bentley
and Lucinda Profitt

William Riley Bentley b 22 Oct 1852 NC d 27 Sept 1953 Letcher Co KY; buried Riley Bentley Cemetery, Letcher Co KY; s/o Quiller Bentley and Lucinda Bagwell. William Riley Bentley m. Lucinda Profitt b 18 Jan 1852 d 4 Apr 1910 Letcher Co KY; buried Riley Bentley Cemetery, Letcher Co KY; d/o John Profitt and Sarah Roark. Children of William Riley Bentley and Lucinda Profitt;

1. Sherman Bentley b 10 Dec 1874 Letcher Co KY d 12 Feb 1920 Letcher Co KY; buried Riley Bentley Cemetery, Deane, Letcher Co KY; m 28 Sept 1892 Letcher Co KY to Ada Sergent b 10 Jun 1872 Letcher Co KY d 18 Jun 1921 Letcher Co KY; buried Riley Bentley Cemetery, Deane Letcher Co KY; d/o David Andrew Sergent and Nancy Jane Bagwell.

2. Amanda Bentley b 18 May 1876 Letcher Co KY d 18 Aug 1935 Letcher Co KY; m. 1898 Letcher Co KY to Patrick Hagen Bates b 10 Sept 1878 Whitesburg, Letcher Co KY d 11 Jul 1927; s/o Jesse Bates and Ibby Victoria Berry. Children of Patrick Hagen Bates and Amanda Bentley; i. Luther Bates b 7 Nov 1898 Millstone, Letcher Co KY d 22 Apr 1977 ii. Gordon Arthur Bates b 11 Sept 1900 Millstone, Letcher Co KY d 9 Nov 1977

3. Newton Bentley b 24 Jan 1878 Letcher Co KY d 23 Sep 1977 Letcher Co KY; buried Riley Bentley Cemetery, Deane, Letcher Co KY; m. 1901 to Arminda Annie Martin b 3 May 1880 Letcher Co KY d 17 Feb 1953 Letcher Co KY; buried Riley Bentley Cemetery, Deane, Letcher Co KY; d/o Allen Martin and Emily Ritter Sergent.

4. Shadrack Bentley b 18 Nov 1879 Letcher Co KY d 9 Aug 1968 Letcher Co KY; m. Mary Wright. Child of Shadrack Bentley and Mary Wright; i. Lucinda E Bentley b 24 Jan 1902 Letcher Co KY d 26 Jul 1983 Letcher Co KY; m. 18 Sept 1919 Letcher Co KY to Hugh Strunk b 3 Nov 1891 Whitley, KY d 7 Sept 1974 Letcher Co KY; s/o Abraham Lincoln Strunk and Nancy Jane Nelson.

5. Mary Bentley b 14 Oct 1881 Letcher Co KY d 25 Aug 1957 Letcher Co KY; m. James William Willie Crase b 23 Sept 1879 Letcher Co KY d 28 Jul 1974 Letcher Co KY; s/o Hiram Monroe Crase and Martha Dicy Collins.

6. Minerva Nannie Bentley b 13 Jul 1883 Letcher Co KY d 11 Apr 1985 Hazard, Perry Co KY; m. 1901 Letcher Co KY to Stephen Sergent b 1 May 1876 Democrat, Letcher Co KY d 12 Jun 1912 Democrat, Letcher Co KY; s/o David Andrew Sergent and Nancy Jane Bagwell. Minerva Nannie Bentley m. abt 1914 to Watson Hall d abt 1915. Minerva Nannie Bentley m. 27 Jan 1916 Knott Co KY to Huram Pigman b 13 Jan 1856 Letcher Co KY d 2 Jun 1929 Carr Creek, Knott Co KY; s/o William Pigman and Rebecca Branham Smith. Huram Pigman m. 1 Feb 1877 Whitesburg, Letcher Co KY to Sarah Franklin b 14 Mar 1848 Line Fork, Letcher Co KY d 29 Mar 1914 Carr Creek, Knott Co KY; buried Johnnie Hall Cemetery, Colson, Letcher Co KY; d/o James W Franklin and Eliza Cornett. Sarah Franklin m. 24 Dec 1866 Letcher Co KY to John Hamilton b 27 Apr 1848 Scott Co VA; s/o Robert Schuyler Hamilton and Malissa J Wheatley. John Hamilton m. abt 1862 to Frances Willoughby b abt 1848.

6. Martha Bentley b Apr 1885; m. 17 Nov 1917 Letcher Co KY to Cannon Hall b 4 Jun 1896 Letcher Co KY d 16 Dec 1968 Letcher Co KY; s/o Ezekiel Hall and Phoebe E Meade. Martha Bentley m. 3 Mar 1906 Letcher Co KY to Talton Hall b 1886 d 1 Aug 1914 Letcher Co KY; s/o Howard Lewis Hall and Eveline Quillen.

7. John Bentley b Dec 1888.

8. Ewens Bentley b May 1891 d 27 Feb 1935 Deane, Letcher Co KY; buried Bentley Cemetery, Deane, Letcher Co KY; m. 1920 Letcher Co KY to Bertha Collins b 26 Aug 1896 Colson, Letcher Co KY d 5 Jan 1978 Miami, Miami Dade Co VL; buried Bentley Cemetery, Deane, Letcher Co KY; d/o James Jasper Collins and Nancy Collins.


William Riley Bentley
and Sarah Banks

William Riley Bentley b 22 Oct 1852; m. (2) to Sarah Banks b abt 1882. No children.


Article From Mt Eagle Newspaper
Whitesburg, Letcher Co., KY, May 21, 1952
A Visit With Uncle Riley Bentley and Wife On Rockhouse

William Riley Bentley Turns 100 October 22, 1952
On Friday, May 1st Mr. and Mrs. Nolan of The Eagle visited in the home of Uncle Riley Bentley and his good wife on Rockhouse Creek. Uncle Riley told us he would be 100 years of age if he reaches October 22nd of this year. He stated that he has not been well for over a year, but seemed very alert and genuinely delighted for visitors to come, being most anxious to pass along some of the things of yesteryear and reminiscences from his early life. He went out into the yard to have pictures made with us, even put his shoes on himself, refusing aid from us. He holds his head up proudly and is not or drawn as one would think a hundred-year-old man might be. We asked him what he attributed his long life to and he immediately replied: "I have read in the Bible where it says, Honor your father and mother that your days may be long upon the earth." This I did and I always went out of my way to help my father, even to getting his wood for him after I married, and settled below his home. I would take my family and go and help him get his crops cultivated. I have tried to live by the Golden Rule. I have lived a simple but clean life. Many times I have helped others without fee or reward. Among the many things Uncle Riley told us was how few people lived on Rockhouse in his early life.

He said the nearest store for many years, was at the mouth of Rockhouse, it being the old Shade Combs store. Most of the shopping or trading was done on Shelby Creek in Pike County. Most of the travel was done through the hills by man-made trails and paths. He told us about the Civil War days when sections of the mountains were being raided. He said his father picked his family up and even though it was a long hard journey, took them to Ohio, a few miles South of Portsmouth where they lived until the close of the Civil War when he brought his little family back to his beloved hills. This is where Mr. Bentley has spent his entire life with the exception of the three years in Ohio during the war. He told us about the first term of court that was held in Letcher County, and remembered Judge Nat Collins, said he was a mighty fine man. He said the first term of court was held at the mouth of Peart Creek. That was before Whitesburg was decided upon as a location for the County Seat. He said he thought the County Seat should have been at Mayking. Mr. Bentley said his father was the late John Quiller Bentley and his mother was Miss Cinda Thacker before she married. They both lived to be over eighty, he said. Most of his family migrated from Virginia, he added.

We asked Mr. Bentley if he were to be given a new start in life. if he would begin as he did 100 years ago or start with the present, he replied: "The old way is the best, I would rather start as I started. This age is too fast for me." He thinks children are not being brought up right, and it is the fault of the parents they are not being taught the value of work he said. 'He recalled the days when he and his family would clear the new ground and till the soil, many times leave before day light and come in after dark. He said they often took their lunch with them to keep from having to climb the steep hill. People raised lots of sheep, cattle and horses then, he said. The only living member of Mr. Bentley's father's family is his brother, John Bentley who is 85 and lives a short distance from his home on. Rockhouse. Mr. Bentley stated that he and his first wife had 10 children, she passed away in 1910 and he later married Mrs. Sarah Banks no children were born to this union but they stated that they had kept quite a large number of children at different times and at varying ages in their home. Mrs. Bentley is now 70, is very active, makes her own garden and does a lot of canning of fruits and vegetables for winter use.

One story Uncle Riley enjoyed telling us about was the first release of logs by man-made water dams. There was much Yellow Poplar then he said and he and Bill Wright (Dr. B. F. Wright's father) would get the logs ready to go, some of the Poplar was over 4 feet through, then build dams at various places and splash them out into the Kentucky River. The biggest market for timber at that time was at Jackson, but some of it went on to Beattyville and other places farther down stream. He related one incident of how he saved a man's life, this kind of work was very dangerous he said. He said when Bill wright came down sick he sent for him and wanted him to let the dams go. Mr. Bentley said he told him he had not had much experience at that sort of thing, but Mr. Wright said, "I know you haven't, but I feel that you can do it as good as anyone." He showed us a picture of himself and Martin Wright, a brother of Bill, said he was a fine man.

Mr. Bentley said the game in his early youth was plenty, there being deer, squirrel, fish, coon, woodchuck, possums and rabbits, there were also a few bear in the early days, he said. "Deer meat was really good", he said. He said he could remember when there was not a cook stove in the county, and wood was the only fuel used. For many years he said, one of the hardest jobs to do in the fall, was to get in enough wood for the winter. They started burning coal about 45 years ago, he added. He remembers when he could walk through the hills to Neon which was only about 10 miles in a short time and to Whitesburg which is only about 12 miles, by the woods. He said he would love to be young again in order to do some work said he loved to make money, said on many occasions he had served as sort of a banker for his community, he keeping all the way from $2000.00 to $3000.00 dollars at a time for his neighbors and friends. Asked if he knew many people in Whitesburg, he replied "I know several young fellows over there, a young lawyer, Combs, Hawk, a young fellow Hale."

He said when the first courthouse was torn down the old brick in the building was up for sale, a certain local man appeared, went over and leaned against the brick, and said, "Boys, it's mine, I have come after it," then when the bid reached a pretty good sum he just walked off and said, "I was just going to see that no one got it for nothing." Uncle Riley laughed heartily as he told this one. In those early days he said there were lots of hitching posts in town, all around the court house, now not a hitching post can be found. There were no roads then, he added, and the mud in the streets was knee deep. Mr. Bentley said one of the hardest items to get in the early days was salt, and coffee, said most all of the salt was hauled in barrels by oxen from Prestonsburg. He remembers when three barrels were hauled in one load, each barrel weighing 300 pounds each. As we left Mr. and Mrs. Bentley extended an invitation to visit with them again. Mr. Bentley said he wished more people would come to see him, that he was not able to go anywhere, I feel like I am getting weaker every day he said. Needless to say we enjoyed our visit with these beloved people.


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