"History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Wisconsin"

Compiled by George O.Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others. Printed in 1924 by H.C.Cooper. Jr. & Co., Minneapoli-Winona MN. ill. 787 pages. The first two hundred pages are history of the three counties, the remainder of the book is biographies.


Bent, Charles A. a pioneer of Vilas County and proprietor of Bent's Camp, on Lake Mamie in the town of State Line, that county, was born in the state of Maine July 18, 1857, son of William E. and Lucy (KNOWLES) BENT. The parents were natives of Maine; the family came west in 1865 and settled in Oconto County, Wisconsin, where the father was a farmer and lumberman until a few years before his death; he made his home with his son, Charles A., during the closing period of his life. Six children, as follows, were born to Mr. and Mrs. William E. Bent: Charles A., subject of his sketch; Ella, now the wife of Dr. Arthur RADCLIFF of Waukegan, Mich.; George, who is a resident of Corona, Calif.; Horace, now deceased; Edward, who operates the old homestead in Oconto County; and Walter, of Eagle River, Wis. Charles A. BENT was reared and educated in Oconto County and remained at home until he was 21 years old. He then went into lumber and logging contracting on his own account, and he followed this until 1893, with the exception of several years he spent in construction work with the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad. In the fall of 1893 he came to Vilas County and took a homestead of 67 acres of virgin timber land on Lake Mamie, establishing his present resort at that time. At first, however, his camp bore little resemblance to the splendid resort property he is conducting today; it consisted of only a few log buildings. The nature attractions of its location, couples with Mr. BENT'S ability as a manager and his popularity as a host, marked it out for success from the very first, however; Mr. BENT has carried on its development from year to year, and it is now an extensive and finely appointed watering place. There are 12 cottages besides the main lodge, the family residence, guides' quarters, stables, ice and boat houses, and the lake fleet consists of 30 row boats and canoes and three launches. An excellent table is set, and the service and appointments in every detail are those of a first-class hostelry. The buildings are electric lighted; the room are attractively furnished and scrupulously neat and clean, and the beds are large and comfortable. The region surrounding the resort is a dense, almost unexplored, virgin forest, and no more ideal place for a summer outing could be selected. Lake Mamie, on which the place is located, is very picturesque, and there are a number of other lakes within easy distance. A branch camp was maintained for several years at Lake McCullough, 12 miles away, and there is a road to Lake Merrill, about six miles away, which Mr. BENT cut through the virgin forest during the early period of his residence here. All these lakes are teeming with every variety of fish common to this region; bathing, boating, hiking, and everything to delight the heart of the nature lover and sportsman, are at their best here. Mr. BENT was married at Somerville, Mass., April 30, 1884, to Elizabeth TWOMBLEY; three children, was follows, have been born to Mr. and Mrs. BENT: Austin T., now engaged in farming on Black Oak Lake in the town of State Line, Vilas County; Elsie, who is now Mrs. HOY of State Line, Wis.; and Mamie O, who is Mrs. FISHER of the town of State Line, her husband operating a fox farm there. Throughout all his long career here Mr. BENT has had the progress and development of his community ever foremost in his mind, and he has performed exceedingly valuable work in this cause; his ability and qualities of leadership have made his influence particularly marked. He served as chairman of the board of supervisors of his town for 12 years, serving by virtue of this office as representative on the county board, and he was for some time a member of the important road and bridge committee of latter body.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 430-431; History of Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties Wisconsin; Compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others; H.C. Cooper Jr. & Co, 1924

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