La Salle County IL Towns and Villages
Oglesby IL


Thatcher Tucker Bent and the Oglesby Coal Company
--Photos Contributed by Dave Del Mar
Dave writes " T. T Bent ( 1833 - 1908) was the owner and President of the Oglesby Coal Company, circa 1900. The Bent family was very prominent in Oglesby in the early 1900's." 

Thatcher T. Bent.

Thatcher Tucker Bent, well known as a pioneer coal operator in Illinois, died at his home in Oglesby, 111., Saturday, November 28th, aged 75 years. He had served longer with a single company than any other man connected with the Illinois coal industry, having been with the Oglesby Coal Company since 1867. He was born at Weymouth Landing, Mass.. September 4, 1833, and came west in the 50s, locating at Kenosha, Wis. After a time spent in a mercantile establishment, he and a brother entered business as civil engineers and surveyed and had charge of the Western Union Railroad, afterwards absorbed by the Chicago & Northwestern. He then became a pioneer in the match business in the West, and had a factory at Kenosha, which burned, was rebuilt and then sold. In October, 1867, he came to Oglesby, where things were then in a bad way, and, though he owned no stock and this was the first coal mine he had ever seen, assumed charge. His first experience was a strike lasting nine months, but it ended in the company managing its own property in its own way, that and not wages being the question at issue. As he prospered and the business grew, he became financially interested and now the mine is owned by his three sons, E. T. Bent, general manager; H. A. Bent, secretary, and J. R. Bent, superintendent. To almost the very last Mr. Bent kept in close touch with the mine, not a day passing without his knowing the details of what was going on. He practically lost his health over thirty years ago, but despite his feeble condition preserved an amiable disposition and a lively interest in business. About ten days ago, Mr. Bent took a severe cold which developed into pneumonia, of which he died. The funeral services will be held at Oglesby, 111., Wednesday, and the remains will be taken to Springfield, Mass., for interment. A delegation from the Illinois coal operators will attend the funeral. A handsome floral design has also been sent by the association. (Source: Fuel Magazine: The Coal Operators National Weekly, Volume 12, Chicago IL, November 3, 1908, Prominent Western Operator Dead, Thatcher T. Bent, Page 125)

Thatcher Tucker Bent, who died in Oglesby, Ill., Nov. 28, was born in Massachusetts in 1833, and went West in 1853. After working as a civil engineer for 12 years, chiefly on railroad work, he settled in Oglesby in 1867 and took charge of a coal mine there. Later he took part in the organization of the Oglesby Coal Company, subsequently becoming the chief owner. He was the oldest coal operator in Illinois. (Source: Engineering and Mining Journal, Volume 86 July to December 1908, page 1174)

Home of Thatcher Tucker Bent
Oglesby, IL

Oglesby Coal Company
Owned by Thatcher Tucker Bent

Thacher Tucker Bent had five children, which I am trying to locate photos of. They all lived in Oglesby at one time, and the men were all involved with the Oglesby Coal Company at one time.

1. Edward Thacher Bent
2. Henry Albert Bent
3. Florence Dana Bent
4. Josiah "Raymond" Bent
5. Alice Pauline Bent (my grandmother)
-- Dave Del Mar

Attached is a photo of Josiah Raymond" Bent ( 1877 - 1943) and his family. Ray was listed as the superintendent of the Oglesby Coal Mine in 1910, and a son of Thacher Tucker Bent. Left to right wife Minerva (Minnie), Dorothy, Marjorie, and Helen Rae.


 Back To LaSalle County Illinois History and Genealogy