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In 1863 he married Miss Persis Freeman, of Baldwinsville, N. Y., and in 1866 moved to Clinton, Iowa, where, for twelve years, he was nearly all the time engaged in public service, being City Clerk and Treasurer, and Secretary of the Board of Education. In 1878, he moved to Nebraska and settled on a farm at Surprise, in Butler County. Here his family grew up about him, and received their education, judiciously tempered with farm work. The farm became a model one, and the family grew into importance as leaders of organizers and workers in the cause of education, temperance, Christianity and good morals.
In 1890, Mr. Bentley moved his family to Lincoln, Neb., the better to carry on his own philanthropic work and round out the education of his children. As early as 1884, Mr. Bentley ceased to cooperate with the Republican party, and joined the Prohibition party. He was chairman of the first Prohibition Convention ever held in Nebraska, and has often been similarly honored since. He was often a candidate of his party-twice for the legislature, once for governor, once for congress, and once for the United States Senate—and in every instance led his ticket in the number of votes received ox strength accorded.
Such was his courage, executive ability and popu. larity, that in 1892 he was chosen a member of the National Prohibition Committee. At the State Convention of 1895 and at that of 1896 the delegates to the National Convention were instructed to vote for him for President. With some reluctance he assented to the use of his name at Pittsburgh, where he conspicuously represented the “broad gauge” principles of his party.
Mr. Bentley is and has been a sturdy and determined
advocate of woman suffrage. No party can hold him in political leading that in open opposition or silent, cowardly, evasion, denies to women the right of the ballot. Mr. Bentley retains at Surprise the pastorial charge of the Baptist Church, over which he has presided since he personally led in its organization in 1880. He also preaches as supply for the church at Friend, Neb. The doors of his church have always been opened for every righteous reform. His plain uncompromising declarations of truth as he preaches political righteousness and denounces parties that have made a “Covenant with Death,” are in refreshing contrast to the timid time-serving utterances of the average license party preacher.
In personal appearance Mr. Bentley is a man of more than average attractions, gifted with splendid physique, a genial manner, forcefulness of expression and those rare gifts of oratory which come from a direct statement of the truth. He is a leader by virtue of his natural endowments, coupled with the experience which he has had all these years.
LIFE OF JAMES H. SOUTHGATE.
James H. Southgate, nominee of the National party for Vice President, was born in Norfolk, Va., the 12th of July, 1859, moved to North Carolina in 1861, and has lived in Franklin, Iredell, Orange and Durham counties in said State, the last mentioned for 20 years. Was prepared for College by Maj. D. H. Hamilton, of Hillsboro, and the Horner and Graves Military Academy of
the same place. Was a student at the University of N. C. during the years 1876-79 inclusive, and on leaving College studied the banking business and opened the first set of banking books ever opened in Durham. Went in partnership with his father, J. Southgate, in the general insurance business, in 1882. Was married in that year to Kate Shephard, oldest daughter of B. and M. H. Fuller. Mrs. Southgate died in February, 1893. Two children survive her, Mena, aged 11, and Tom, aged 5.
Is an ex-president of the Y. M. C. A. Convention of N. C., and is now a member of its State Executive Committee, and has been for a number of years. Was Secretary of the first State Convention ever held in the interest of that order iu N. C. in the year 1877. Has been a member of the Executive Committee of the State Sunday School Association for nearly 10 years, and is now the Treasurer of that body and a Trustee and member of the Executive Board of Trinity College, Durham, N. C., and President of the Educator Publishing Co., and Director in the Morehead Banking Co. Has been a member of the State Executive Committee of the Prohibition party for nearly a decade, and was elected Chairman of the State Executive Committee of that party of 1892.
THE PEOPLE'S PARTY.
CANDIDATES AND PLATFORM OF 1896.
The second National Convention of the Peoples' or Populist party met at St. Louis on July 22, 1896. This new party met in first National Convention at Omaha, July 4, 1892, and nominated General Weaver for President, who received over 1,000,000 votes.
The first platform of the People's party was adopted at Cincinnati May 20, 1891, and was based on the Ocala platform, adopted in Florida the year previous.
The St. Louis Convention was composed of 1,322 delegates, divided among the respective States somewhat in proportion to the strength of the vote cast in 1892. It organized temporarily by the election of Senator Butler, of N. Carolina, as chairman, and permanently by the election of Senator William V. Allen, of Nebraska.
Early in the session it was manifest that a powerful sentiment existed in favor of ratifying the Democratic nomination of Bryan and Sewall. This sentiment was greatly encouraged by the presence at the convention of Mr. Bryan's managers, such as Senator Jones, of Arkansas, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and others. It found equal, if not more direct and stronger, encouragement in the members of the Free Silver party, who were also sitting in National Convention, in St. Louis, simultaneously with the Populists, and whose mission there had been foreshadowed as one of alliance with the Democratic Party, with the hope