Thursday, September 27, 2012 4 comments

Saints amid War: Mormon Colonies during the Mexican Revolution

Bryan Wilson
Rel C393R - Saints at War
March 26, 2008
Saints in Northern Mexican Colonies during the Mexican Revolution

            My great-great grandfather was Joseph C. Bentley (1859-1942).  He was born in Salt Lake City and lived for a time in southern Utah but is known for his love of Mexico where he spent over 50 years of his life.  He resided in Colonial Juarez, situated in the northern state of Chihuahua, and held the office of Bishop for the Juarez Ward and later of Stake and Mission President over the colonies. Grandfather Bentley was known to be a peaceable and pleasant man.  This character proved itself especially important during the Mexican Revolution (1910 – 1920), and in his interactions with the infamous rebel leader/hero Pancho Villa.  This paper addresses a few of the saints’ experiences during the unsettling times of the Mexican Revolution illustrating how obedience to God’s commandments yields protection and peace.
Mexican Artilery.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 1 comments

Richard Bentley Home

This is the Richard Bentley home at 76 West Tabernacle Street.  Today the home has been converted into part of Green Gate Village Bed and Breakfast, so you can actually stay there!

In 1864, Richard Bentley returned to SLC from a 4 year mission in Great Britan.  While he was away, 300 families had been called by President Brigham Young to move to the "Dixie Mission" (first settled three years earlier).   One of those called was William S. Godbe, the husband of Richard's niece.  Godbe was a very successful merchant in SLC and was reluctant to leave his store.  He offered Richard a load of merchandise if he would take his place in St George.  Richard agreed.

Richard and his wife Elizabeth Price moved their family of six children (ages 5 to 17) to St George. (Our great great grandfather, Joseph Charles Bentley, was the 5 year old.) They exchanged their home in SLC for a nearly completed home built by Orson Pratt who was recently released from his Dixie Mission assignment.  Richard finished work on the home and opened the first store in St George in most of the first floor of the home pictured above.  Elizabeth Bentley was called to help develop the silk industry in Dixie.  One upstairs room was dedicated to this effort.

During the succeeding years, Richard Bentley was very active in the St George community, serving on the school board and as Mayor of St George for three terms.  Elizabeth died in December 1882 while Richard was away to assist with court in Beaver.  He later remarried Hannah Webster (a descendant of Daniel Webster).  Grandchildren recall their grandfather hosting a party for all the grandchildren at the long dinning room table with "Auntie Bentley" serving.  Richard Bentley died in March 1906 at nearly 86 years of age.  

(You can read a lot more about his early years, conversion, mission and family here, find interesting details about the house here or find links to Utah historical Society photos of Richard Bentley here. Do a google search, there's lots more!)
Sunday, September 2, 2012 0 comments

The Faith of Great Uncle Irving

Grandma Wilson sent this recount out to family last Christmas. Embarrassingly enough, we didn't open our copy until yesterday. We really missed out though! This talks about Uncle Irving Wilson's conversion and the early growth of the church in the St. Thomas, Ontario, CA.  He is my Grandpa Wilson's brother, and the first to join the church in the family. This is a real faith builder! You'll want to be a better person after reading this.  Don't be overwhelmed just because it's long. It's really worth the read!