Veterans and family honor Bentley founder at dedication ceremony

Courtesy of Mark Winslow
A rifle salute is performed during the grave marker ceremony by the American Legion and the Michigan Cavalry Civil War Round Table
Courtesy of Mark Winslow
A re-enactor reads information about Oscar Bentley's life during the grave marker ceremony Oct. 13 at the Bentley Cemetery.
Kevin Bunch
Re-enactors dressed in 1860s Union soldier garb attended the ceremony as well. From left, Dean Lamphere, Badger Phillips, Bob Boquette, Dennis Spiekerman, and Don Londo.
Kevin Bunch
Descendants of Oscar Bentley attended the ceremony. From left, Mitchell Bentley, Kevin Bentley, Judy Bentley, Mark Bentley, Diane Bentley, Chris Bentley, and Tudy Bentley.

By Kevin Bunch
Staff Writer |


BENTLEY — Local veterans and Civil War re-enactors joined descendants and well-wishers for a ceremony Oct. 13 to commemorate a new Civil War veteran marker for Bentley’s founder, Oscar Bentley.

Members of the American Legion Post 104, the VFW Post 3724, the Sons of Union Veterans, and the 7th Michigan Cavalry Civil War Round Table attended the ceremony at the Bentley Cemetery, which also featured the people — Angie Pieniozek and Jim Petrimoulx — who worked tirelessly to get Bentley the marker through the Veterans Administration office.

The new marker was placed on Labor Day, after a lengthy period of filling out paperwork and gathering documents proving Bentley’s military service during the Civil War. Pieniozek told the Independent in September she also needed to track down a member of Bentley’s family who would sign off on the marker request, as VA rules require a living relative’s signature for any such requests.

Bentley joined the Minnesota Volunteer Cavalry 2nd Regiment in 1862, going on to fight in the Dakota War of 1862 before eventually settling in Gibson Township, founding the village of Bentley.

Pieniozek told the Independent anyone who has served in the military in U.S. history is entitled to these free grave markers through the VA, provided there is a living relative who can sign off on the request.


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