From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Bentley, George, Sr.

(born: 1845  -  died: 1923) George Bentley, Sr. was born in Danville, KY. He is listed as Mulatto in the U.S. Census, and according to the Fort Davis Administrative History, Bentley's father was white, his mother was a slave, and he had a brother. Bentley may also have been a slave. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on December 8, 1866, in Louisville, KY [source: Army Enlistment Records]. He was discharged from Company K of the 9th U. S. Cavalry on December 8, 1871. Bentley remained in Texas at Fort Davis, employed as a civilian--he worked as teamster. On September 17, 1879, Bentley purchased 160 acres of land [source: Texas Land Title Abstract]. The infamous story often associated with George Bentley is the curse that was supposedly placed upon his children because Bentley had bayoneted a baby during a military campaign at an Apache village; many of Bentley's and his wife's children died in infancy. The couple had other children who were listed in the 1910 Census: Lucy, Josephine, and George Jr. George Sr.'s wife's name is given as Chana. By 1920, George Bentley, Sr. was a widower and shared his home with his son, George, Jr.; and his daughter, Lucy Bentley Brown, her husband, Jessie, and their three children. George Bentley, Sr. died February 20, 1923 [source: Texas Death Index]. For more see George Bentley in On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II, by I. Schubert and F. N. Schubert; and the Fort Davis History website by the Chamber of Commerce.

Kentucky County & Region

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Kentucky Place (Town or City)

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Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: On the trail of the buffalo soldier II: new and revised biographies of African Americans in the U.S. Army, 1866-1917

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Bentley, George, Sr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed October 29, 2020,

Last modified: 2017-12-07 23:37:19