Bentley’s roots run deep

Published 2:48 pm Friday, July 2, 2010

Dr. Robert Bentley has strong roots to Columbiana.

The Bentley, Joiner and Davis families are related by marriages going back many generations.

Bentley is the son of D. Harford Bentley and Boyd Vick Bentley, the youngest of five siblings: David, Jr., Marjorie, Betty, Myra, and Robert. Bentley was born at home in 1943 in Joinertown, an area past Columbiana Middle School named for the Joiner family who live in this area.

Bentley’s mother had Joiner roots.

When Bentley was a young boy, the family moved to Carter’s Lane next to the Shelby County Reporter while his father built their home in 1948 on North Main Street between the homes of Oliver and Ann Head and Sonya and Norman Lefkovits.

Bentley grew up on North Main, went to Columbiana schools, and graduated from Shelby County High School where he was president of the student council. Peg Hill was his campaign manager.

Bentley’s older brother, David, became a Baptist minister and his first official act as a preacher was to marry his sister Marjorie to Billy Nolen in the family home on North Main in 1949.

Bentley was honored at a reception June 29, 2010 at Bryant Bank in Columbiana.

Many of his relatives still live in the Columbiana area and attended the reception.

Bentley’s father, Harford, had several siblings with Columbiana connections today. Brother Bruton Bentley, who lived near Lester’s Chapel on Highway 47, daughter is Martha Bentley Joiner Ferguson. Bruton’s son Waymon daughter is Diane Bentley Ellis, and son Leroy‘s son is George Bentley, and grandson Rux Bentley, all of Columbiana.

Harford also had brothers, Ed Houston Bentley whose son is James R. Bentley II, and Ellis Bentley whose descendent is Judy DeShazo, all of Columbiana,.

Bentley’s mother Boyd had two sisters who married Joiners.

Homer Joiner is Bentley‘s first cousin and wife Barbara taught Bentley debate at SCHS.

Bentley’s grandmother on his mother’s side was a Davis.

Jonathan Davis married to Kelly Ellis is a descendent.

Bentley was in Columbiana to kick off his primary runoff to Bradley Byrne.

“Half of you are kin to me, and the other half is claiming to be kin to me now,” said Bentley.

Nephew David Nolen is the son of Bentley’s sister Marjorie and Billy Nolen of Columbiana. Nolen commented on his Uncle Robert.

“He is a level headed person,” said Nolen. “He is a person of fine moral character, a man of integrity, and lives his life according to his convictions. He will work to bring people together.”

Columbiana is proud to claim Dr. Robert Bentley as kin.