Obituary of Revolutionary War Soldier
Gideon Bentley, Constantia, N.Y. 

This was generously donated by Jeff Brodrick, whose ancestor, Gideon Bentley, was born in Exeter, Rhode Island on August 12, 1750, and died in Constantia New York on January 22, 1858.  These dates, of course, prove he was 108 when he died.   He is buried in the West Monroe Cemetery in West Monroe, New York.   I have visited the cemetery twice and taken the picture of his tombstone.  The inscription on the stone reads:

A Revolutionary Soldier
of 76 was in the service of
his country by Land & Sea
Born in Exeter Rhode Island

Aug 12, 1750

Died Jan 22, 1858

Erected by his son 
G. Bentley

Tombstone of Gideon Bentley at W. Monroe Cemetery
Tombstone of Gideon Bentley at
W. Monroe Cemetery

Source:  From the Syracuse Journal January 23, 1858

Another Revolutionary Hero Gone

 The photograph was taken when he was only 105!
Photograph of Gideon Bentley, age 105, Constantia, N.Y.
Gideon Bentley of Constantia, Oswego Co., who died a few days since, was born in the Town of Exeter, August 12, 1750.  Served under Col. Barton in a Rhode Island regiment for one year, and as a minute-man for three years.  Was a volunteer in a company under Capt. Barton, who crossed over to Long Island in boats and captured a body of Tories, killing fifteen and taking seventy-five prisoners, making a narrow escape--getting into boats just as the British came up  and fired a volley at them as they were pulling from
the shore, but doing no damage.  Has voted at every Presidential election from Washington to Buchanan.  Had at the time of his death thirteen children; also, grand-children and great grandchildren numbering 255---all of whom are now living.

The Citizens Corp. under command of Lieut. Col. Walwrath left the city [Syracuse] early yesterday morning in carriages and crossed Onieda Lake in sleighs for the purpose of taking part in burial services of this aged Patriot.  The weather was clear and cold, imparting intensity to the feelings; and the occasion, altogether, will long be remembered by all who participated in it.  After lunch at the Constantia House, the Corps, with Sutherland's full band, marched to the late residence of the deceased, in
the outskirts of the village, where a large concourse of citizens were assembled, and received the remains with military honors.  A procession formed and proceeded on foot to the Episcopol Church, which was already filled to overflowing.   The march of the long procession from the house to the church was a most imposing spectacle.  The village was still as the grave---the people, young and old, fell into line, as if all were desirous of taking part in honoring the memory of their departed friend.  The exercises were conducted by the Rev. F. Hebbard of Cicero, who delivered a most impressive discourse, and closed by alluding eloquently to the eventful life of the deceased.  He was represented as a man above reproach, who gloried in the onward march of freedom which he and his compatriots contended on the field of battle.  Last year the "Corps" paid a visit to the old man, which seemed for the moment to revive the fire of his younger years.  He accepted the appointment of honorary member of the company and parted with them, expressing the wish that at his death they would give him a military burial.  The "Corps" have greatly honored themselves in rendering service to this almost last relic of a memorable and sanguinary struggle.  From the church the body was escorted to the grave, five miles distant, by the company and a long procession of carriages filled with the people of the surrounding country.  At the grave, Col. Walrath remarked as follows:

Comrades---- A solemn call has summoned us together----it is the funeral dirge which announces to us that one of the Veterans, a relic of the Revolution, has gone to the receptacle of the dead.

Gideon Bentley is no more with the living.  On the 15th of last June we beheld him for the first time.  His head was white with the frosts of five score and seven winters.   And who is here, that was present on that occasion, who was not struck with the remarkable preservation of his health and intellect.  Now he "Wraps the drapery of his couch about him, And lies down to pleasant dreams."

It is in obedience to the dictates of our hearts that we are now assembled to perform the rites due the soldier of '76.  Another link which bound us to the past is broken.  An old veteran full of years, and ripe for the celestial harvest, is gathered to his fathers and sleeps in the peaceful stillness of the grave:

"The Veteran died as a Christian dies,
With hope in his Savior, God,
And now on that brave old heart there lies
The heavy and fresh grave sod."
I do not intend to add to the able and eloquent eulogy pronounced today.  Let us now proceed to perform the last duties, and pay the final tribute of respect to the remains of a Revolutionary patriot, a kind neighbor, a true friend and fellow-citizen.

At the close of Col. Walrath's remarks, the surrounding hills echoed with volleys of musketry, and the honored dead rested in his silent grave.

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