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Fayette County, Iowa
Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa
Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of
Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County
Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago
Hon. Curtis R. Bent
Hon. Curtis R. Bent, deceased, one of the prominent and early settlers of this county, was born in Westminster, Windham County, Vt., August 30, 1820. When a small boy he removed to Antwerp, N.Y., with his parents, Dalmanutha and Betsy (Pike) Bent, who were of Scotch descent. His education was acquired in the district schools and when a young man of twenty years he migrated with an uncle to Rock County, Wis., where he opened a farm, which he subsequently sold prior to engaging in merchandising at Evansville in the same county.
It was there on the 25th of May, 1851, that Mr. Bent was united in marriage with Miss Eleanora, daughter of Thomas and Anna (Jones) Robinson, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this volume. The lady was born on the 5th of June, 1831, and the year succeeding her marriage she accompanied her husband to Iowa. Having disposed of his mercantile interests in Wisconsin in 1852, Mr. Bent made a location in this county, where he continued to reside until death. Soon after his arrival he purchased three hundred acres of timber land, building thereon a mill, which was situated two miles above Auburn on the Turkey River. This he operated until 1856. Two years previous he purchased a tract of land of forty acres, a portion of which lies within the corporation limits of West Union and removed to that farm in 1855. In connection with the cultivation of his land he also owned at different times an interest in a drugstore. His last years were devoted to the insurance business and he was quite successful in his undertakings. Politically Mr. Bent was a Republican and took great interest in the affairs of his county and State. In 1868 and 1869 he represented his county in the General Assembly of Iowa. He was a member of the Board of Supervisors, and while serving in that capacity was instrumental in establishing the Poor Farm. He also held the office if Trustee and other minor positions. We find him interested in education work and serving as Trustee of the Upper Iowa University almost from its beginning until his death. He made liberal donations to that school and other enterprises of a worthy character never sought his aid in vain. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church from boyhood and was from the first a zealous worker in church and Sunday-school. For many years he was Steward and Class-Leader and was always giving and in other ways aiding in the advancement and upbuilding of the cause. Socially he was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellow.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Bent were born two children: M. Emma, now wife of J. E. Robinson, a farmer of West Union Township, by whom she has one child, Belle; Carrie A., who is the wife of Sidney B. Carter. He is also engaged in agricultural pursuits in West Union Township and their family numbers four children -- Bruce Bent, Eleanora Jane, Anna Guinn and Laura McCall. Mr. Bent's wife died February 4, 1857. She was a member of the Methodist church. On the 7th of February, 1861, in Chatfield, Minn., he wedded Mrs. Sarah J. Atwood, nee Robinson, a sister of his first wife. She was born in Clark County, Ohio, February 8, 1827, and emigrated Westward with her parents to Evansville, Wis. On the 28th of April 1847, she became the wife of Mr. Atwood, who did an extensive real-estate business in Minnesota. Being afflicted with consumption he traveled a great deal in the hopes of benefiting his health, but at length was forced to succumb to the disease, dying in Evansville, Wis., November 9, 1859. His children all died before him. By the second marriage of our subject two children were born: Thomas E. who died early in life; and Iowa B., who died aged sixteen March 30, 1879. The father passed away March 18, 1884, and his death was mourned by all who knew him. His widow still resides on the old homestead. She is an active worker in the Baptist Church and has many warm friends in the community.
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