Orsemus Hills Bentley, one of the prominent attorneys and public men of Wichita, has attained a position of high standing among the people of that city during a residence there of over thirty years, in which time as a member of one of that city's oldest law firms, and by a close identification with its public affairs, he has gained for himself a name as a progressive, public spirited citizen, one who both as to public official and in private life has labored to secure the progress of his city and his state. Mr. Bentley is a native of New York state, having been born in the village of Favius, Onondaga county, Dec. 19, 1856. He was the son of Gideon Bentley, a farmer and a native of the same New York county, whose wife, also a native of New York state, bore the maiden name of Emma McClenthen. Originally the Bentley family lived in Ireland but was of English descent. The McClenthens were of Scotch lineage. When Mr. Bentley was three years old his parents removed to western New York, near the city of Buffalo, where he was reared on a farm. He completed his education in Arcade Academy at Arcade, Wyoming county, New York, where he was graduated at the age of eighteen. He then engaged in teaching two years, but in the meantime began the study of law. At the age of twenty he became a student in the office of Bowen, Rogers & Locke, one of the leading law firms of Buffalo, N. Y., where for six months he assiduously devoted himself to his legal studies, which he completed in the office of Col. George H. Safford, of Cleveland, Ohio. He was admitted to the bar at Columbus, Ohio. Shortly afterward, or in March, 1880, he came to Kansas and located at Wichita, where he has since practiced his profession very successfully. He is the senior member of the law firm of Bentley & Hatfield, one of the oldest and strongest legal firms in the city, the junior member of the firm being Rodolph Hatfield, whom Mr. Bentley has had as a legal partner for over a quarter of a century.
On Feb. 8, 1879, Mr. Bentley was united in marriage to Miss Flora X. Harris of Cleveland, Ohio.
In politics Mr. Bentley is a Republican and has served as state senator four years, having been first elected to that office in 1889. While in the senate his career was one of great industry and usefulness, he having secured the passage of the Wichita separate school law as well as other important measures conducive to the welfare of his constituency and of the state. His religious faith is indicated by his identification as a communicant of the Episcopal church. Fraternally his name is prominently identified with the Masonic order, having attained to the Thirty-third degree in Scottish Rite Masonry and being a Noble of the Mystic Shrine. He also affiliates as a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and the Fraternal Aid Association. In the direction of his professional interests he sustains membership in the Sedgwick County Bar Association and he keeps in touch with the public and civic affairs of Wichita as a member of that city's Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Bentley is an extensive traveler and during the year 1911 has covered the country from Caracas, Venezuela, to Vancouver, British Columbia, spending seventy days in South America. Mr. Bentley enjoys the tropics very much as he reads, writes, and speaks Spanish fluently. He is a forceful and fluent writer. He was the author and editor-in-chief of a History of Sedgwick County published in 1911 in two volumes, and he is also a frequent contributor to the local Wichita press, his articles covering a wide range of subjects. His aim as a citizen has ever been to make his life count for good in all of its relations and to live up to the full possibility of his powers of accomplishment, which sincerity of purpose has brought its own reward, the universal respect and esteem of his fellow citizens.Pages 1139-1140 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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