The Bent Brothers
Benjamin, Arthur, Fred and Tom
Well known Cornet and Trumpet Soloists
The following research is taken from the work of Douglas Bent the Great Grandson of Thomas C Bent. Some of the research material is taken from “*Pioneers in Brass” and Richard I Schwartz
“The Cornet Compendium”. We gratefully acknowledge their work on the Bent Brothers
Fred Bent circa 1881, possibly with the Dodsworth band
Taking his first lessons on the cornet from his father, a fine cornetist himself, Benjamin ran away with a circus band at ten years of age. This must have been a difficult job for such a young man. The music is always fast, loud, and unpredictable in terms of starts, stops, and cuts. Often, the performer is lucky, a circus conductor will have time to give some indication of a preparatory beat. It may have been different in Bent’s time, but the odds are certainly against it. He was an extremely talented and hard working young musician, having become cornet soloist at twenty years of age with the Royal Artillery Band and special soloist in 1871 with Howe’s Great London Circus Band. In 1872, Bent joined Harvey Dodworth’s Thirteenth Regiment Band of New York and Dodworth’s Ninth Regiment Band. He performed with Gilmore’s New York Twenty-Second Regiment Band from 1875 to 1891 (Bridges , 5). He was the consummate loyal musician, having stayed with Gilmore for almost two decades and survived the many personnel changes and professional disagreements. Herbert L. Clarke was extremely impressed by Bent’s artistic playing, singing tone, clean technique, and serious attitude (Noble 1964, 19).
Benjamin C Bent taken while a member of the 22nd Regiment Band-”Gilmore’s Band” circa 1874. Note the wide bore cornet and piston valves which allowed for more sonorous playing rather than the pea shooter cornets of the period. This cornet was no doubt a Besson especially crafted for Ben.
At a concert given by Gilmore’s Band in St. Louis, prior to 1878, Charles Seymour, a famed conductor of bands in St. Louis, asked Bent why he sat with his comet on his lap during the entire concert. He responded that he was hired to play only when Arbuckle took a rest, and there was nothing else for him to do. Arbuckle apparently had some resentment against Bent for preparing for his position. It has been said that Bent did not play one note during his entire first season with Gilmore (Schwartz 1957, 90). In 1878, three years after he joined Gilmore’s Band, Bent was promoted to section leader to the certain dismay of Matthew Arbuckle. In the same year, Ben married Louise Linden (a fine saxophone soloist), and they gave concert tours whenever they could. Bent and Arbuckle could not make Gilmore’s trip to London in 1878 and were replaced on tour by Ezra Bagley on first chair, and by Walter Emerson on solo comet. After the tour, Bent returned to first chair and remained there until either 1890 (Schwartz 1957, 1 16) or 1891 (Bridges [ 1972] 5). Bent may have resigned because Gilmore refused to give him a raise to $350.00 a week, since his salary was already at $300.00 a week. Bent then accepted the position of first chair and cornet soloist with Innes Band. It is interesting to note that Bent played with false teeth for years, and was still one of the best soloists ever heard by Herbert L. Clarke (Clarke 1934-5).
Benjamin Bent retired from public performance in 1894 and primarily continued to teach. He formed the Bent Brothers military Band with his three brothers Arthur, Fred, and Tom, all cornetists. The band was a popular attraction with circuses. Ben and Arthur had performed together in Gilmore’s Band and were frequently featured in comet duets, one of them being Variations on a Swiss Boy by Benjamin Bent. Both Fred and Tom were quite active as cornetists and conductors for many years. Fred became a cornet soloist and the conductor of the Twelfth Regiment Band and Tom became assistant to Herbert L. Clarke with Innes’ Band in 1894 and later conductor of the Old Guard Regiment Band of New York. Benjamin was a good investor and died a wealthy man. Sources of information are listed throughout this entry.
Doug Bent’s research reveals:
Here are a few paragraphs from Herbert L. Clarke’s autobiography contributions relating to Ben Bent:
‘I remember a date when the famous Gilmore’s Band was booked for a concert, and on the morning it arrived in town I was at the depot to have a look at these wonderful musicians who were supposed to be the greatest instrumental performers in the world. When the train pulled in and the men left the cars, I stood back in awe as they passed me, although I gladly would have helped “tote” grip or instrument to the hotel if I had had the nerve to approach any of them. I wanted to speak with the celebrated Ben Bent, solo cornetist, and question him as to the correct way of practicing so that I might become a good player myself. but I could not muster enough courage to brazen it out and approach him, and so he too walked off with the rest of the bandsmen. I realized that with his going I had let an opportunity slip by, and for so doing never really quite forgave myself, as perhaps I might have learned more in a few minutes’ conversation with this solo comet player, than so far, I had from all my studying. Anyway, I attended the concert and was enthralled beyond words by the playing of this magnificent aggregation, which then was the only traveling band in the United States. Oh, how tame our own town band sounded at our next rehearsal! For the first time I began to notice the mistakes we all made that were allowed to pass by the leader, and to observe how little he made of dynamic and expression marks, carrying everything through without trying to produce contrasts, and without paying any attention whatever to proper interpretation. Right then and there I made up my mind that If I became a good comet player I would make every endeavor to become a member of Gilmore’s great band, which was the best in the world; and well it might be as it was made up of picked men from all countries and comprised the best players that could be procured.
I PLAY UNDER A FAMOUS MAN.
Prior to the band contest, our band was engaged as escort for a Knights Templar Commandery bound for the Triennial Conclave held at St. Louis, Missouri. We were in fine condition when we arrived, and made a very good appearance. The band received congratulations from all over the country from citizens and bandsmen alike, when it wheeled about in its different formations while playing on parade. The engagement lasted a week and there was plenty of playing to be done; it seemed these Knights Templar never went to bed, because we were kept up all night, serenading other Commanderies. There were at least a hundred bands in the city that week. Hearing the different groups play and mixing with their members, I learned much. It was here I first met Fred Weldon, who came down from Chicago with the Second Regiment Band, at the head of the Chicago Commandery.
Gilmore’s famous band was then playing at the Exposition, and all my spare time was spent listening to his wonderful concerts, which were an education for me. I heard Ben Bent play several solos, which also gave me more food for thought. He was an excellent cornetist, with the most natural and musical tone I had ever heard. One morning Mister Gilmore invited every band in town to report at the fair grounds for a massed band concert, and there must have been a thousand or more musicians playing under the direction of the great bandmaster. It was a wonderful experience, and my enthusiasm for band music mounted higher and higher. “My, but I was proud to play under him!” Perhaps some of my readers were present at this massed band concert, and remember the occasion. This engagement was a great experience for us all, and we returned to Indianapolis with a wider scope of knowledge, and a much better band in every respect.’
Herbert’s brother gets a job in Gilmore’s band and he reflects.
I might mention here that brothers Ed and Ern had followed me from Indianapolis to Rochester, and we were all together once more. Ed secured a position as first violin at the theatre with me, but Ern’s ambition quite outshone mine, for he had developed into a splendid trombone player, playing on his slide trombone all the comet solos I had practiced. I used to marvel at how he could execute so rapidly on that instrument, and with as much perfection as a cornetist on his. He had the nerve to make a trip to New York and apply to the great Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore for a job in his famous band, and, fortunately for him he secured it, all through his perseverance and ability to satisfy this wonderful bandmaster. Naturally, I was proud of him, and once more my aspirations turned towards this famous organization. I thought that if my brother should succeed and make a hit, in time his influence might help me to get in Gilmore’s Band. Ern was only twenty one years of age at that time, and it seemed remarkable to me that he had already climbed so high in the performers world as to be associated with the very best players in the country, for Gilmore was noted for engaging the greatest artists in the world, and naturally I classed Ern amongst them. His success encouraged me doubly, and I worked harder than ever.
“Both my brothers, Edwin and Ernest, were then living in New York, and I was Pleased to meet them again after having been separated for three years. Ernest went with me to Mr. Gilmore’s home, to introduce me. I did not go home with my brother, but walked around in Central Park for several hours all alone for Mr. Gilmore’s home was close to the Park, on the West Side. During this time I nearly lost courage and was going to back out and return to Toronto. When I thought of all the great comet players, then in New York, who had played with Gilmore, such as Jules Levy, Walter Emerson, Ben Bent, Liberati, and of a host of very fine cornetists there without a national reputation who Gilmore would need for his great project touring the country with the largest band in the world composed of the very best musicians that could be mustered from all countries, is it any wonder that I felt afraid to play before him for a position such as my brother Ernest had written me about?”
Another Para: from Pioneers in brass
During the winter of 1890-1891, Herbert L. Clarke was also engaged as conductor of the Heintzman Piano Company Band in Toronto; a position he held until his departure for his tryout with Gilmore’s band in the spring of 1892. Pat Gilmore was searching for a cornetist to fill the chair left vacant by Ben Bent, when he accepted an offer to play with Innes Band. Ernest Clarke who was already with Gilmore’s band, had been insisting that Herbert should come to New Your for a tryout with the band.
Another Para: Herbert win’s approval of his present employer (Heintzman band) in joining Gilmore’s band.
Upon reaching Toronto, I explained my good fortune to my employers, who in the most encouraging terms congratulated me upon my securing the desired position, and were perfectly willing to release me from my obligations saying that while they were sorry to lose me, they were proud that a Toronto boy had won the highest position within the grasp of a cornetist. I wired Mr. Gilmore in regard to this release so that he would be sure of me for his tour.
Another paragraph: Herbert explains his position that was vacant from Ben Bent leaving Gilmore to Innes Band.
My practice during these few weeks was done with more thought and carefulness than ever, especially on the point of endurance, a thing very necessary with Gilmore; for I would have to play first comet in the band and solos at every concert, the whole requiring more energy than any one realizes until one has done this kind of work.
From Pioneers in Brass: explains Tom Bent joining Ernest Clarke (trombonist) and Herbert Clarke (cornet) in Innes Band.
Once more the Clarke brothers joined the reorganized Gilmore band, as Mr. Victor Herbert had lined up a six weeks tour of eastern cities; after which both Herbert and his brother Ernest Clarke joined Innes Band for a four weeks engagement at the Pittsburgh Exposition. On this engagement Mr. Tom Bent was assistant to Mr. Clarke. The year was 1894.
Herbert L. Clarke writes of Sousa: Mr. Sousa and the late Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore (the pioneer of the concert band in America 75 years ago), were very close friends, and Mr. Sousa wrote quite a few characteristic numbers for Gilmore’s Famous Band of 100 players, realizing that Gilmore excelled in directing dramatic works of a sensational character. I played these numbers when a member of this famous band.
The Swiss Boy (song written by Ben Bent) was recorded by Clarke Herbert L. Clarke with John Hazel & Edison Band (cylinder). Herbert L. Clarke with Emil Keneke & Victor Orchestra (Arthur Pryor, and brass trombone player was usually a current member of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra according to Mr. Clarke).
Herbert L. Clarke with Ross Millhouse & the Sousa Band.
A Bent Family portrait taken about 1881. Ben is seated (wearing straw hat) next to Fred. Arthur is seated to the left near the porch railing. Tom is on the far right. Their mother and a sister also appear in this photo. (the Doug Bent collection)
Ben left Gilmore’s band in 1893 to join Innes Festival Band joined with younger brother Tom (Doug’s Great grandfather) and played several famous events that occurred in the US during that year.
Another reference: Pioneers in brass, referring to Fred Innes band leader:
Many of the finest musicians in the band business played at one time or another with Innes Band, between 1887 and 1920, namely, Ben Bent, Herbert Clarke, Bert Brown, Bohumir Kryl, T. V. Short, Richard Shuebruk, Pechin, Keneke on cornet: Mantia and Manzia, euphonium; Leo Zimmerman, Chas. Randall and Ernest Clarke trombone; Alexander Selmer, Norrito and Schreuers clarinet. The personnel changing from year to year.
Another reference: Pioneers in brass, referring to Bert Brown cornetist:
Here is a musician who made a national reputation, as a great first chair cornetist, very much in the manner of the celebrated cornetist Ben Bent, with Gilmore’s Band. While both Bent and Brown were both excellent soloists and did take their turn in their respective organizations, their forte was as first class business musicians of the highest caliber.
Another reference: Pioneers in brass, referring to Herman Bellstedt:
In 1889, Gilmore engaged Bellstedt as assistant to the famed Ben Bent.
Frederick W. Bent obituary from the NY Times reads:
FAMOUS BANDMASTER DIES.
F. W. Bent, Old Guard Leader, Succumbs to a Heart Attack.
Frederick W. Bent, proprietor of Bent Brothers Band, was found dead in bed last night at his home, 2266 Amsterdam Avenue.
Mr. Bent was a native of England and came to this country in 1872.
He played in various musical organizations, among which were Harvey C. Dodworths Band, well known during the eighties in this city. In 1890, with his brother, he organized Bent Brothers’ Band, and while continuing with it became bandmaster of the Ninth Regiment in 1898 and three years later bandmaster of the Old Guard Band.
obituary from the NY Times:
I believe the Ninth Regiment band was Dodworths Ninth Regiment. The Old Guard Band is NY’s 69th Regiment Band, the famous “fighting 69th”. Tom Bent took over the position of bandmaster from Fred upon his death.
This program was by the New York marine band conducted by Arthur Bent from Saturday June 14th 1878 and included all three brothers (Arthur, Ben and Fred in a cornet Trio “Leviathon”. The concert was at the famous New York Landmark the Palace Pier. (The Doug Bent Collection)
Arthur Bent was a famous cornetist and closest to Ben’s age out of the brothers, he played in several well known bands, he was assistant to Ben in Gilmore’s band, and some of NY’s famous bands, he played in Dodsworth band, and Innes. He directed the “Marine Band” in NY, his music along with brother Ben is cataloged in the Library of Congress “American Music of the 1880′s”.
Gilmore’s band was the only National Act of the United States until his death of which time Sousa, Innes, and others rose to the distinction of being a “National Act”. Gilmore’s band was so well received that the hippodrome in NYC changed its name to “Gilmore’s Garden” because of its association with the bands regular performances from May to Oct. Upon Gilmore’s death Gilmore’s garden’s name was changed to Madison Square Garden. Gilmore’s band was so well received in the United States that in Utah they were offered to perform at the Mormon Tabernacle. Ben Bent was considered by Herbert L. Clarke to be the best of the early band cornetist, Clarke is known as America’s foremost Cornetist, Clarke was Sousa’s finest cornetist. Ben Bent’s music “the Swiss boy” was recorded by Sousa’s band on three different occasion’s during the early recording years on Victor, Edison along with Clarke and other selected soloists for the duet of Bent’s music.
The world famous Brothers are laid to rest in Woodlawn cemetery in Brooklyn NY. Here are some excerpt’s from Bands in America by H. W. Schwartz, Doubleday 1955 in reference to Ben Bent, pgs 89, 90,91.
It must have been on this visit to St. Louis by Gilmore’s Band that Charles Seymour, a local budding cornetist, went to see Ben Bent, the celebrated cornet soloist of the band. Years afterward, when he had become a well-known performer on the comet and director of bands in St. Louis, Charles Seymour related the incident. He had heard about Bent and his prowess with the cornet; in fact, being a youth and of susceptible age, he had developed a strong case of hero worship for the man. He attended a concert, taking a front-row seat so he could observe the great soloist and learn, if possible, some pointers that would help him in his own struggle for mastery of the instrument. What a disappointment, then, to watch the great Bent sit through the whole concert with his comet across his lap! After the concert Seymour screwed up his courage to the utmost and introduced himself to Bent “I was greatly relieved,” related Seymour, “to find Bent friendly and affable. During the conversation I made bold to ask him why he had not played at all during the concert. Bent replied that he had been engaged by Gilmore to play only when Arbuckle, who sat in the first chair solo comet position, chanced to rest. Arbuckle, however, did not rest, and there was nothing for Bent to do but sit it out.
‘Much later I learned of the jealous disposition of Arbuckle and his resentment against Bent as an understudy for his position. The story goes that Bent did not play a single note during the entire season. The following season, however, Arbuckle was paid back in kind, for the great Jules Levy was added to the band, and Levy made life so miserable for Arbuckle that Arbuckle forgot all about Bent.”
Three months after returning to NY, Gilmore took his band into its new home, called Gilmore’s Garden. Such concert gardens were more or less common in Europe, and in NY Theodore Thomas had been conducting his orchestra for several years in the Terrace Garden and in the Central Park Garden. Refreshments of various kinds were served at tables while the customers listened to the music, conversed with companions, and enjoyed the cool breeze of the summer evening. Everything was very informal and relaxed, and somewhat bohemian in character. Gilmore had taken over the old Metrodrome which P. T. Barnum had built two years before to house his “Greatest Show on Earth.” This was a huge wooden structure occupying a square block bounded by Madison and Fourth, Twenty-Sixth and Twenty-Seventh streets, with entrances on Madison and on Fourth. Gilmore had transformed the vast area into a quiet, green, cool garden, with broad gravel walks, growing plants, blooming flowers, and spouting fountains. Except on Saturday there were no concerts in the afternoon, but the garden was such an inviting place that it attracted many people even then. On Saturday afternoon and every evening, when Gilmore and his band appeared, the place was packed. From May 29 until October 28 Gilmore and his band played one hundred and fifty consecutive concerts to overflow audiences. Gilmore considered this some kind of record, and he celebrated the final concert with a special gala program. Never a man to pass up an opportunity to toot his own horn, he reveled in the questionable distinction of having presented such a long series of concerts. Theodore Thomas and his orchestra had been doing it for several years at the Central Park Garden. In fact, during his first season there Thomas performed one hundred and eighty concerts, and the second season one hundred and sixty. In order to help Gilmore celebrate his achievement it is said that ten thousand persons pushed their way into the garden, each paying the regular fifty cents for admission. Gilmore saw to it that they received their money’s worth. After an otherwise thrill-packed program of special music Pat Gilmore sent them away with a final number that was the talk of the town for days afterward. This was performed by four of the greatest comet players of that time-Matthew Arbuckle, Jules Levy, Ben Bent, and Pat Gilmore. They played a quartet and band arrangement of “Echo du Mont” by Suck, which gave scope to their individual and combined virtuosity. After a farewell concert on April 1, 1876, at the 22nd Regiment Armory, Gilmore and his band left New York for a five-week tour, which took them to San Francisco. Concerts were given on the way in Buffalo, Detroit, Chicago, Omaha, and Salt Lake City. Utah was still a territory and was not to be admitted to the Union for another twenty years. Only five years before Gilmore and his Band visited Salt Lake City, Brigham Young, leader of the Mormons, had been arrested for polygamy. In 1869 the city listened to its first opera: Offenbach’s La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein. In the same year the nation’s attention had been focused on Ogden, Utah, about forty miles to the north, when former Governor Leland Stanford of California drove the famous gold spike uniting the Union Pacific and Central Pacific systems and establishing the first transcontinental railway. Regardless of its frontier status Salt Lake city gave the band a tumultuous welcome. When Gilmore’s troupe reached the city late in the evening of April 12, they were met at the station by a local band and half the people of the city, all cheering wildly. A torchlight parade escorted them to the theater where the band was to play. At the head of the procession pranced four beautifully matched horses, pulling an elegant barouche, in which were seated in regal style Gilmore and Emma Thursby, Arbuckle and Levy, the last two scowling at each other because of having to share the spotlight equally. The next day merchants closed their stores during the matinee performance, which was given in the Mormon Tabernacle by special consent from Brigham Young.
A copy of the April 12 program shows the names of the soloists and principal musicians in the band, headed by Emma Thursby as featured soprano. Then follow:
Jules Levy, The greatest comet player living
M. Arbuckle, The great favorite American comet player
E. A. Lefebve, Saxophone
Carl Kegel, Clarinet
De Carlo, Piccolo
F. Bracht, Flute
F. Letsch, Trombone
B. C. Bent, Comet
It is extremely amusing and a pointed example of the tact and diplomacy of Gilmore to read the words of appraisal following the names of Levy and Arbuckle. Levy comes off better, it must be admitted, because of top billing if nothing else. Arbuckle, however, is called the “great favorite” and it is brought out that he is an “American.” Coming from Gilmore, these honeyed words sounded both to Arbuckle and to Levy as if Gilmore had given each top billing. Arbuckle (pg 108) was a deserter from the British army and feared he would be detained in England if he risked putting in an appearance there. Jules Levy did not make the trip either, but the reason is not known. The solo-comet duties therefore fell on Ben Bent, and a young cornetist name Bagley, and a new star whom Gilmore engaged just before the tour began: Walter Emerson of Boston, only twenty-four years old but a finished artist. The time frame mentioned is 1880.
Doug Bent writes:
It is confusing as to exactly what years are being related to in this section of Bands in America as it relates to Gilmore’s band however it does make mention that Arbuckle and Levy left and Ben Bent did fill in as soloist when these times occurred. It has been mentioned in “Pioneers in Brass” that Ben Bent and Arbuckle were deserter’s from the British Army. This information is pure fiction because American Immigration laws prohibited deserters from entering the USA following the end of the civil war in 1865. Ben Bent did not proceed to Britain with Gilmore’s band because he had a full schedule of engagements in both Canada and the USA. (ed’s note)
Benjamin C. Bent (1848-1897)
Another Review of his Life and Times
Although some seventy years have passed, since the subject of this sketch was delighting his audiences with his fine comet playing, he will never be forgotten by the historians who write about the prominent musicians of band history. Many including the late Herbert Clarke, called him the greatest of all first cornetists in the early band business. For over fifteen years he was first chair cornetist in Gilmore’s band, and on numerous occasions the comet soloist. Benjamin C. Bent was born in the city of Barnesley, Yorkshire, England, on August 31, 1847, not far from Sheffield, in the district where such an interest was taken in band contests, which turned out the best cornetists in England. Ben received his first instruction on the cornet from his father who was himself known as a fine cornetist. At ten years of age he ran away with a circus company, the management putting the young boy before the public as a phenomenal performer on the comet. At twenty years of age he was engaged as solo cornetist with the Royal Artillery Band, stationed in Woolwich, England. In 1871, Bent accepted an offer from Mr. Howes, the celebrated circus manager, to come to America with “Howes Great London Circus,” as a special comet soloist; after remaining one season with the circus, he accepted the position as soloist with Dodworth’s Band of New York, and later with Dodworth’s Ninth Regiment Band. Pat Gilmore engaged Bent in 1875, as assistant to Arbuckle who was then both first chair cornetist and soloist. When Arbuckle later withdrew from the band as a regular member, Bent became first chair cornetist. When Gilmore took his band to Europe in 1878, neither Arbuckle nor Bent could make the tour, as they were both previously committed, Ezra Bagley being engaged as first chair man, and Walter Emerson as the special comet soloist. On the return of Gilmore’s band to America, Bent again took over the first chair in Gilmore’s band, continuing in this capacity until the latter part of 1891, when he accepted a good offer to become first chair man and soloist with the Innes Band.
Ben Bent became a great attraction of Gilmore’s band, for his rendition of the many solo parts in the Operatic selections played by the band; he was always ready to play a solo, when any one of the famous soloists was not available, namely Levy, Arbuckle, Liberati. It was said of him “the soloists come and go, but Bent goes on forever. ‘The story has often been repeated that, both Arbuckle and Levy a bit jealous of the first chair cornetist, who could stand and play his own solos, and still take care of his first chair assignment; it was not often that Bent got a chance to program a solo. It was an established fact that Gilmore paid him a good salary in order to keep him in his band.
The old timers in Gilmore’s band claimed that Bent was a superman, when it came to endurance, having a fine embouchure, but few knew that he had been playing with false teeth, for a number of years, made by the old vulcanized process.
Old Gilmore band members, who were living in St. Louis after World War 1, said this of Bent.
“Bent would receive a prolonged applause from the audience when he played “the Last Rose of Summer”, which was a solo part in the Opera Martha, playing while seated; and after the selection was finished, Mr. Gilmore would signal him to rise and take his bow. Ben was a reserved person, not being a fellow easy to become acquainted with”.
There were four Bent brothers, all cornetists. For a number of years, Arthur Bent was his brother’s assistant in Gilmore’s band. On many occasions these two cornetists were featured in the ‘Swiss Boy’ duet, a Swiss theme with variations written and arranged for band by Ben Bent and later published. This duet was first recorded by Herbert Clarke and John Hazel on a two minute cylinder, however it was recorded later by Messrs. Clarke and Millhouse with Sousa’s band.
An early photograph of Fred Bent, most likely a publicity picture circa 1885. What is interesting is the Cornet he is holding which is a handmade Besson instrument which is burnished in silver and contains the elaborate tubing of handmade instruments of the period.
Fred Bent was also a fine cornetist who had settled in New York city, where for a number of years he was bandmaster of the Twelfth Regiment Band. In 1894, Tom Bent was assistant to Herbert Clarke with the Innes’ Band. Tom later became bandmaster of the Old Guard Regiment of New York, and incidentally living the longest of the four brothers. He died in 1931.
In 1878, Ben Bent married Miss Louise Linden, a prominent lady saxophonist; between tours with Gilmore’s band, Ben and his wife made a number of cross-country concert tours, playing solos, and being featured in duets together. Ben Bent retired from public playing in 1894, although he and his brothers had a band which played a few engagements in the eastern part of the country, but in the main he confined himself to teaching, and to certain business interests in which he had invested, being considered a wealthy man when he died in New York City, on December 8, 1898.
We are not aware of any phonograph records made by Ben Bent. However, the national Library in Ottawa have several very old recordings (circa 1901) of Herbert L Clarke playing cornet solos which are not itemized and there is a good chance he did include one or more of the Arthur Bent trumpet solos.
The following are the notes to this paper by Doug Bent . Doug Bent lives in Stuart, Florida and is employed as a Pilot. If you have any further information regarding the Bent Brothers he would be very happy to hear from you his e mail address is : firstname.lastname@example.org
* Family Tree Information: Moses Bent marries Elizabeth Crawshaw they have four son’s, all cornetists Arthur, Benjamin C., Frederick W., Thomas C. Arthur had a son that died at an early age, they also had a daughter Marion who married vaudeville actor Pat Rooney II and were a team and a top draw on Broadway, they had a son Pat III also an actor, Benjamin C. married Louise Linden, she is mentioned in the program document taken from the “Journal of the Floating Palace” Marine band under the direction of “Arthur Bent”:. They had Benjamin and Marion (whom became Marion Taylor ?) Frederick W. married twice, he had three children from the first wife, Ralph H., Frederick, Adele (which became Adele Bunting?). Thomas C. married three times, his first wife Elizabeth Nixon, they had Sidney G. (first wife died in childbirth). Sidney G. Bent was a trumpet player in “Yerke’s Novelty Players”, he married Eileen Templeton, (she graduated from University of Denver music major), went to what is now Julliard, taught concert Piano and voice. She was friends with Paul Whiteman from Denver also and they later used to have social gatherings along with the Rooney’s at Thomas C. Bent’s Southold Long Island NY home (I have pictures of Whiteman sitting with friends, also autographed photo of Whiteman; “from the fat fiddler” to Pat Rooney III) Eileen and Sidney had two children, Eilanna E., and Sidney Thomas. Sidney Thomas married Jacquline E. Ormond and they had two son’s,, David T., and Douglas G. (Doug Bent)
*Arthur Bent wrote several works for cornet. Two of which are The Clipper Polka, published circa 1890 by Lee and Walker in Philadelphia and Mollie Mavorneen march published by Frederick Blume of New York City registered on June 9th 1900.
The Frederick Bent Obituary in the NY Times stated
Famous bandmaster Dies
Frederick W bent proprietor of Bent Brothers Band
Mr. Bent was a native of England and came to this country in 1872. He played in various musical organizations, among which were Harvey C. Dodsworth band, well known during the 80′s in NY City. In 1890, with his brothers, Thomas, Benjamin he organized Bent Brothers band, and while continuing with it became bandmaster of the 9th Regiment in 1898, and three years later bandmaster of the Old Guard. The previous director of the 9th Regiment band was Downing. The Old Guard band of NY is the 69th Regiment band of which both Fred and Thomas were bandmasters.
The march noted in the photograph of the program by the Marine band of New York City lists the march the Plymouth Rock. Doug Bent comments that this was probably written by Arthur Bent. Louise Linden who was Ben’s wife was a saxophone soloist . They often appeared in concerts across the USA. Frederick Bent who died in New York City in 1915 is mentioned in the Heritage Encyclopedia of band Music. He is credited with composing the Durland March published by Witmark in 1902. Benjamin Bent is also listed as having composed the Swiss Boy Cornet solo or duet, published by Cundy Bettony
These are the correct gravesite dates for each of the Bent Brothers
born Aug 31,1847,died Dec 30 1898
born January 23,1852, died April 27th 1885
born 1857, died April 15th 1915
Thomas C born May 1,1864, died march 23, 1931