Wm Tyler Bentley's story

"Goshen Daily Democrat" July 4, 1900
Where in New York State was William Tyler Bentley (1795-1873) born? Why did he choose to uproot his family and settle in the frontier area of Wabash, Indiana--and then move west to Tulare county, California?

William Tyler Bentley was hubby's 3rd great-granddaddy.

He married Olivia (or Olive) Morgan (1799-1838) about 1820 and began raising their family in Oswego county, NY.f Then the family moved. The Bentleys were among the pioneers of Wabash, Indiana. Land records show that he bought 160 acres from the U.S. government in 1835 in an area known as Middlebury.

In 1848, ten years after William's wife died, he headed out to California, presumably as part of the Gold Rush. Three years later, according to his daughter's obit at left, three daughters and two sons followed William to California.

Children of William Tyler Bentley and Olivia Morgan
 Elizabeth E. Bentley (1821-1898), Elisha Morgan Bentley (1824-1884), Lucinda Helen Bentley (1825-1903), Lucy E. Bentley (1826-1900), Jane L. Bentley (1831-?), Abbie Eliza Bentley (1832-1893).

 Here's what I know about each of these descendants:
  • Elizabeth E. Bentley married Emanuel Light (1816-1897) in Wabash, IN in 1847. He had children from his first marriage to Harriet Pruden. Elizabeth and Emanuel had four children, William (who died in early childhood on the way to California), Frank, Lucian, and Martha. The family moved to Tulare county, California around 1851.
  • Elisha Morgan Bentley married Charlotte Raymond (b. 1823) and had a son, Charles E. Bentley (b. 1858 in NY?). This couple was part of the California move in about 1851. Charlotte died at age 69 in Visalia, CA.
  • Lucinda H. Bentley married Jonas C. Shank (1815-1907) and their children were Henry, William, Josephine, Jennie, Emma, Everitt, and Lucy. Lucinda remained in Indiana with her family. At the age of 78, she suffered a stroke and after some time, died at the home of her son Everitt.
  • Abbie Eliza Bentley married Leonard Curtis (1824-?) and their children were Henrietta, James G., Charlie C., and Hattie E. Curtis. They were part of the 1851 California trip.
  • Lucy E. Bentley married Brice Larimer, and you can see her detailed obit above, which notes she was born in Oswego, NY and died in Indiana.
  • Jane Bentley was living with one of her sisters and her bro-in-law Emanuel Light in Middlebury, Elkhart, IN in 1850 (according to the Census). After that, I can't track her (yet!) but she almost certainly went to California.
Some of the Bentleys wrote in the "Remembrance Book" of Harriet Pruden, who was the first wife of Emanuel Light. One of Harriet's descendants has assembled those poems and comments into a book that imagines what each writer was thinking as he or she jotted notes in Harriet's album.

My posts about the Bentleys include:

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