Richard was was born 1 October 1820 to Thomas and Ann Bentley (his mother's name at birth is unknown), in Great Aycliff, Durham, England. Richard was a tea merchant, brickmaker, and teacher. He was Orson Hyde's employee and apparently his next door neighbor in Hyde Park/Kanesville.. Orson Hyde was a leader in the early Latter Day Saint movement and an original member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles see Orson Hyde's profile on Wikipedia here.
Richard left Liverpool for the United States on 21 September 1841, on board the 'Tyrian', bound for Nauvoo, Illinois via New Orleans. The Tyrian was the eleventh ship to sail from England with Mormon emigrants aboard. While Richard was not yet a member of the Mormon Church, he traveled with members of the Church, including his sister, Margaret Bentley Sanders, and her husband, John. Also aboard was Richard's future wife Elizabeth Price. The ship carried approximately two hundred people, largely members of the Mormon Church led by Joseph Fielding (see Joseph Fielding's page on Wikipedia). "The voyage was not without difficulty and a few scares. The ship took on water and some thought they would be drowned. To assist in distributing the food ration, Joseph enlisted the help of non-member passenger Richard Bentley, who said that Joseph was "a kind good man, and treated me kindly."
According to the Louisiana Courier, the Tyrian arrived at New Orleans on 9 November, after a voyage of forty-nine days. The December 1841 issue of the Millennial Star published a notice of the arrival:
“Notices: Arrival of the Ship Tyrian at New Orleans. It will be recollected that the above-named ship sailed from Liverpool on the 21st Sept. With 204 passengers of the Saints on board. It will be a great satisfaction to their friends in this country to learn that among the many shipwrecks which have occurred of late, she has arrived safe, as we learn from the Liverpool Mail of the 9th inst. We shall expect letters soon.—Ed.”
After arriving in New Orleans, Richard Bentley and the passengers from the Tyrian chartered a steam boat and spent eight days traveling fifteen hundred miles up the Mississippi River finally settling in Nauvoo, Illinois, in mid November of 1841. In a letter published by the Millennial Star on August 1, 1842,  the trip from New Orleans to the St. Louis area is described as follows:
It is common there to see trees loaded with oranges, which are very cheap. The people are partly white and partly coloured. We took one of the best steam boats (the General Pratt), and for 11s. English each, and luggage, sailed to St. Louis, 800 or 1000 miles. . .There are many slave settlements; these often reminded us of the factory lords in England, in their mansions surrounded with cottages occupied by the poor oppressed labourer: it is much the same with the slaves and their masters, but the slaves pay no rent. We saw, also, many fields of cotton, and many of sugar cane. One of our boat’s crew was shot, while getting some cane, by the owner, while the boat was taking in wood, but it did not prove fatal. A girl of our company, eleven years of age, while playing, fell overboard and could not be saved: this was the only death we had. It is a truly interesting scene to pass up this river; we often thought of the crowded population of England, who cannot get a foot of land in all their lifetime, and here we travel many hundred miles and see little but forests and no one to occupy it, and the best of land.
Richard Bentley, was baptized into the Church at or near Nauvoo on February 1, 1842. He was "baptized by Joseph Fielding, who cut the ice to get into the Mississippi. Joseph and John Sanders then confirmed Richard at the water’s edge." Richard married Elizabeth Price in Nauvoo on September 9, 1843. They moved from Nauvoo to Kanesville, Iowa, sometime between 1843 and 1847. Members of the Church had been leaving Nauvoo beginning in February 1846. Bringham Young directed most of his followers to leave the city, and Illinois was abandoned by the Mormons entirely by September 17, 1846 after a week of artillery shelling called the "Battle of Nauvoo".
Richard and Elizabeth had three children while they were living in Kanesville, Iowa: Emma in May 1847, Mary in July 1849, and William August 1851. One source states Richard and his family crossed the plains in 1852, and settled in Nephi, Juab County, Utah, in fall 1853, where Annie was born in 1854. . Another source however, quotes Richard's own description of his trip to the Carson Valley:
In the spring of 1856 with my family and all I possessed, I started for Carson Valley. I had one wagon drawn by two yoke of oxen and one yoke of cows with several loose cows in the herd. The company was very large numbering over one hundred wagons and a large number of loose cattle. We made the trip in about six weeks. On reaching the Carson River the company was disorganized; the people locating on the river in Carson Valley and in several small valleys adjacent. Washaw Valley was selected by Apostle Orson Hyde, who with his wife Mary Ann (sister to Bentley's only wife, Elizabeth), was with the company as headquarters of the mission.
Richard was called to help settle and be bishop in Carson City, Ormsby County, Nevada. His son Franklin was born there in 1856. The family returned to Utah in 1857, and his son Joseph was born in Salt Lake City in 1859. He served a mission to England, 1860-64, then the Bentleys settled in St. George, Washington County, Utah, where Richard was a merchant and the city's mayor, 1878-82 and 1888-90. Two years after Elizabeth's death in 1882, Richard married Hannah Webster. He died on 24 March 1906, at St. George. 
The following all have more information about Richard's life after arriving in New Orleans. Anyone interested in Mormon immigrants, might enjoy these sources.
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