George Whitefield Wheelock Bentley

George Whitefield Wheelock Bentley

Served during the following dates: 1879-00-00;1882-00-00;1886-00-00;1890-00-00

BENTLEY, GEORGE WHITEFIELD WHEELOCK, merchant and farmer; b. 1 December 1842 in Margate, son of Thomas Bentley and Hannah Smith; m. 9 February 1870 Emma Jane Dennis, and they had 11 children, Annie Ermina (died at one year and four months), George Harwood (died at five years and four months), Lorena Maude (died at 24), William, Mary E., Lorena, James A., Georgeanna, Thomas Whitefield*, Charles W., and one other child; Methodist; d. 8 April 1909.
Bentley, a Conservative, was first elected to the House of Assembly in the general election of 1879 for 4th Prince. He was re-elected in the general elections of 1882, 1886, and 1890. He was defeated in the general election of 1893. In 1887 he was appointed to Executive Council as Commissioner of Public Works. The appointment necessitated a by-election and Bentley was returned despite determined opposition. The debate over the need for legal control of alcohol consumption was one of the most significant issues of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the province. Bentley's position on the issue was clear as he was a lifelong advocate of temperance.
Bentley was educated in Margate, and lived either there or in Kensington throughout his life. He owned a general store and was a farmer. For a number of years, Bentley was involved with the temperance movement, and eventually served in the office of Grandworthy Patriarch of the Grand Division of Prince Edward Island. He was also a Member of the National Division of the Sons of Temperance of North America and travelled throughout eastern Canada and the United States, participating in the activities of this organization. George Bentley died 8 April 1909.
Bentley's father emigrated from Yorkshire in 1817, while his mother, Hannah Smith, was born during passage to the Island in 1800. Emma Bentley, the daughter of William Dennis of Margate, was born 15 February 1849 and died 21 May 1910. Thomas Whitefield Bentley*, George Bentley's son, was elected to the Legislative Assembly for 4th Prince in 1923.

References: CCB 188S, pp. 259-60; CPG 1891, 1897; Elections PEI; Meacham's Atlas; PARO: MNI-Mercantile Agency Reference Book September 1876; MNI-Cemetery Transcripts; MNI-Census 1881, 1891; Marriage Book 11 p. 297. Guide to abbreviations

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