Born October 12, 1841 in Lawrence County, Alabama.

Died July 24, 1919 in Jack County, Texas.

Buried in Cottonwood Cemetery in Bryson, Texas.

Married twice.

First wife: Elizabeth Newman of Arkansas, married 15 Nov 1865 in Woodruff Co., AR. They had one child, Ada; Elizabeth died in childbirth.

Ada survived, died in 1937, and was buried in Cottonwood Cemetery.

Second wife: Mattie Bentley, married 18 Dec. 1867 Woodruff Co., AR.

The story of Elizabeth Newman and Ada is recounted in detail in Smith v. Maberry, a 1921 inheritance case that was ruled upon by the Supreme Court of Arkansas.

Source: “Arkansas Reports: Cases Determined in the Supreme Court of Arkansas, Volume 148,” pages 216–222.


Elizabeth Newman married Thos. J. Bentley and died in 1866, leaving surviving her Thos. J. Bentley, her husband, and her infant daughter, who was the issue of said marriage, and who is now Ada Bentley Morrison.


T.J. applied for a Confederate pension from the state of Texas, application #24986. Mattie later applied for same, application #36073.

"By Paula Fields March 18, 2004 at 02:09:32 I am looking for anyone who might connect to members of this family and who might help connect pieces of the puzzle. Thomas Jefferson Bentley b. 12 Oct 1841 in Lawrence County, Alabama(info from civil war pension application) was married to 1. Elizabeth Newman (m. 15 Nov 1865 in Woodruff Co., AR)2.Martha Browning (m. 18 Dec. 1867 Woodruff Co., AR.) I believe he is the son of John H. Bentley and Mary S.Census 1850, Marshall Co. MS shows John born GA, Mary b. VA. John does not appear in a census after 1850 that I have found.Mary does not appear after 1870. Other children of John and Mary seem to be: 1. Francis V. Bentley (m. Davis Newsom 1853 in Marshall Co., Ms.) 2.Virginia F. Bentley 3.Martha Bentley (m. Nathanial Williamson 1855 in Marshall Co., MS) 4.Edward Bentley(may have m. Caroline Smith in Prairie Co. AR.) 5.Mary Bentley (m. Josiah Newman) 6.Arthelia Bentley I have located this family in Lawrence Co., AL 1840 Marshall Co., MS 1850 White River, Prairie Co, AR1860 Woodruff Co., AR1870 After that, I have only located Thomas Jefferson Bentley. Prairie, Newton Co., AR1880 Jack Co, TX1900 and until his death If anyone connects to this family or has any more information, I would appreciate it. Thanks so much, Paula Fields"