Wednesday, September 19, 2012

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!)


Bryan Wilson said...

Thank you for adding to this Kara. Especially glad this is from the Bentley side. All the stories I have on hand are from the Wilson's.

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