Elbert Franklin Bentley was the son of John Martin Bentley and Malinda Addington. He was born May 5th, 1880. A month later, when the census was taken, the family was shown as:
Bentley, John M 25
William A 3
John V. 3
Nancy A. 2
Elbert F. 1 month.
On August 11, 1899 when Elbert was 19 he married Sabrina Craft who was 15. She was the daughter of Enoch A. "Chunk" and Polly Ann Caudill Craft.
In the 1900 census Elbert is 20. He and Sabrina now have one son, Martin, who was born in March.
By 1910, Elbert and Sabrina have four more children. Elbert is 29, Sabrina 26, Martin 9, Bennie 8, Lettia 6, Polly A. 4 and Calla 2.
In the picture it is Elbert, Callie, Polly Ann and Sabrina. In the second row is Martin, Ben and Tishie.
On September 12 1918 when Elbert is 38 he registers for the draft of World War I. He was described as medium height, medium build with gray eyes and dark hair.
On January 26th of 1920 Elbert and Sabrina's son, Joseph, is born and dies.
Later that year when the census is taken Elbert is living between A C & Pricy Adkins Craft and Otho and Nancy Hall Bentley just a house or two from Chunk & Polly Craft on the right fork of Millstone. Now he is 39, Sabrina is 36. Martin is in his own household. At home are Ben, 18 who is working in the mines, Latitia (Tishie) 15, Pollie A 14, Caldona (Callie) 12, Linda (Malinda) 8, Enoch A. 6 and Persie 2.
This is the whole family group.
Daughter, Rachel Bentley Justice, told me that when they were going somewhere that they would always hear their father talking to someone. On one trip her sister, Callie, asked, "Daddy, who are you talking to?" to which Elbert replied, "I am talking to God."
Rachel also said that at one point they had no food to eat. The family had a pet sheep. Elbert could not bring himself to kill the sheep, but he knew he had to have it to feed the family. He told his wife, Sabrina, that he would go pray about it. He went out to where the sheep was and began talking to God abut his family, needing food and not wanting to kill the sheep because it was a pet. The sheep went over, put his head down on the chopping block and died. Elbert did not have to kill his pet, and the family had food.
This is Otho Bentley with his brother Elbert after a Sunday dinner.
In 1930 the census show Bentley, E. F. 49, owned his farm and first married at 18. Sabrina was 4 and married at 15. The children were Malinda 19, Enoch O. 17, Rachel 15, Persie 13, Ellis 9 and Viola 6.
He married again to Mary "Polly" Wright. This picture of Elbert & Polly was taken in front of Otho & Nancy Alice Hall Bentley's home on the left fork of Millstone.
Elbert died on July 24, 1962.