WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
H. ROY & NINA BENTLEY HOME
St. George, Utah
LOCATION496 East St. George Blvd. (formerly 496 East 100 North)
St. George, UT 84770
Plat A, Block 66, Lot 6 on the St. George City Survey.
37° 6' xx.xx" North Latitude, 113° 35' xx.xx" West Longitude
2,xxx feet MSL
Tax ID# SG-XXX-x-x-x
DESCRIPTIONThe foundation was made of black lava rock with white mortar between the cut and dressed stone. The lava rock was plentiful and extremely durable. The building was made of adobe bricks faced with fired brick. The outer bricks were soft shades of ochre and rose, and were fired at nearby Marshalltown. This combination was much used at the time, the Old Gymnasium and the Washington County Library to name a few. Marshalltown was located in the Washington Fields and made the brick available without long hauling.
The original house consisted of a kitchen and pantry, a dining room and parlor, and two bedrooms.
To make sleeping more pleasant on hot summer nights, Roy soon built a screened-in sleeping room. This was a small one-room building built of lumber half way up with screen above, with canvas to cover the screen which could be rolled down on cooler nights and up on hot summer nights in the hope of catching a stray breeze and which always let in lots of fresh air. This little building was later taken down and with the materials plus others, a sleeping porch and bathroom built into the south end of the house leading out from the kitchen door.
An upper floor apartment was added about 1930 with a large front room, a big kitchen, and a bedroom.
The rooms of the original house were lovely with much good trim. The doors were all solid wood, beautifully finished and are of the style with four panels, two top and two bottom. There was an outside door for every room in the house. The casings around the doors and windows were wide of natural finished grained wood. The lintels over the windows were cast with a decorative pattern. The windows were large to let in much light and air. The loveliest feature of all was the two front doors which ... and parlor off the front porch on the north side of the house. The doors were made of solid finished and varnished wood with trim around a central panel of glass which was oval in shape and and of a great thickness (at least 3/4 inch) and had a beautiful beveled edge.
Another beautiful feature of the house was the two Ionic type wood pillars set in large square cement bases which graced the cement front porch.
The house was rectangular in shape with a straight roof in contrast to the "bungalows" which were popular about that time.
HISTORYThe H. Roy & Nina Bentley home was completed in 1914, before they were married on September 15, 1914. Roy had not had good health throughout his life and felt the weight of responsibility of a wife and a family and so determined to have his home built and paid for before marrying.
He did a great deal of the work himself from hauling the black lava rock he used for the foundation to much of the finish work. He hired Chester A. "Check" Kemp as architect. "Check" was less than three years older than Roy and both were relatively young men, Roy being 25 years old and Cheser 28. The boys were second cousins, having the same grandfather, William Carter, who was the father of irrigation in Utah, but different grandmothers.
Roy made all of the adobe brick with which the home was built out at the "dobie" yard which was located out below where Dixie College now stands on a block which would include the north end of the the college football field and above. He mixed the mud and made all the dobies in that old yard. The lava rock was gathered mostly from the area along the old road to Pine Valley. It made an excellent, attractive, and inexpensive foundation. The fired brick with which the adobe structure was faced, of course, they purchased.
A sleeping building was constructed, but later taken down to build a sleeping porch and bathroom.
In about 1930, the upstairs was finished with and groove head by Roy and son-in-law Frank Holland. This provided an apartment with a large front room, a big kitchen, and a bedroom.
Six children were born in this home to Roy & Nora Bentley. One grandson was also born there. It also housed, at different times, several of Nora's brothers, sisters, and cousins from Pine Valley while they attended Dixie College.
The house, however, belonged only to Roy & Nora until a year or two before Nora's death in 1978, when it was sold to Houston Realty.
H. Roy & Nina Bentley