For several years, Scott Bentley was superintendent at the George Washington Carver Museum near Diamond. During those years, he met many people, but he never met local artist Doug Hall.

For several years, Scott Bentley was superintendent at the George Washington Carver Museum near Diamond. During those years, he met many people, but he never met local artist Doug Hall.
But that has all changed now.
Bentley left Carver about 15 years ago to serve as superintendent in such places as Texas, Maryland, Indiana, and Michigan. Over his career, he served in Yellowstone National Park and in Oklahoma City at the National Memorial where 168 people died in a terrorist attack in 1995.
Now he has returned to his roots in Michigan where he was born and raised.
Bentley is superintendent of River Raisin National Battlefield, which commemorates the January 13 battles that were fought in the War of 1812. The Battle of River Raisin was a major defeat for the United States, and the greatest victory for Tecumseh, a Shawnee Indian who lead the fight against federal troops.
Although the battle cost Tecumseh his life, it made him a legend.
This battlefield, near Monroe, Michigan, was added to the National Park Service in 2010 and officially opened in 2011. Scott Bentley was named the first superintendent.
Because the park is so new, there is only one building on the entire site. The building was a private home which now serves as the headquarters for Bentley and his four staff members.
But Bentley and his staff have big dreams for their park. Along with the Friends of River Raisin Battlefield, they already have a preliminary sketch of a 30,000 square foot building which will house offices and a museum.
And that is where Doug Hall comes into the picture.
Several years ago, Hall began painting scenes from the War of 1812, and scenes of the Shawnee Indians in war, at work, and at play. He developed a closeness with the woodland Indians and became quite a student of them.
Along the way, he sold several of his woodland Indian paintings and prints, including some to the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. Eastern Shawnee Chief Glenna Wallace became a big supporter of Hall and his work.
About a year ago, Wallace attended a conference in Michigan where she met Scott Bentley and renewed an old acquaintance. Wallace told Bentley about Doug Hall and his art, and her words fell on receptive ears. Bentley began to envision how this art could become the centerpiece of the proposed museum.
A year ago, Bentley came to Missouri to meet with Chief Wallace and with Hall. He was very impressed with what he saw. Bentley returned to Michigan and talked with his staff and his Friends group and the decision was made purchase some of Hall's large prints.
On Friday, September 7, Bentley and two staffers, along with some of his Friends, met at Hall's log cabin gallery. south of Neosho, to collect the artwork. The Michigan group purchased seven large painting and received another one as a gift from the artist.
The artwork was carefully packed for shipping, and placed in a government van to be transported to Michigan. Asked where it would be stored, one of the staffers laughed and said, "Probably, in one of Scott's closets in his home. We don't even have enough wall space in our little house to hold it all."
Although it is somewhat unusual for someone to purchase art before he even has a gallery or museum to display it, the people from Michigan were thrilled to be taking it home—museum or not.
"I have looked in a lot of places but I have never seen art to match what we have here. There is not a lot of Shawnee art, but this is really great. The painting of three men playing Lacrosse is the best picture I have seen anywhere of this game. We are thrilled with all of these," Bentley said, as he packed another painting in the shipping carton.
So after being "neighbors" for several years, Scott Bentley had to move almost a 1,000 miles away to find Doug Hall and his artwork.