Archie was raised in Batavia, Illinois. His father, Archie Bentz, having worked at Clark's Pure Oil since 1945, ventured into business in 1959 with his brother, Bernard, as Bentz Bros Pure Oil in Batavia. Moving on to doing business as Standard Oil, their location in Batavia became the nucleus for their rapid expansion and Bentz Bros grew their name into the largest Standard Oil operation in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
Having worked in every aspect of his dad’s businesses while growing up, Archie eventually went to college at Northern Illinois University and pursued a degree in Marketing. His college career was interrupted, however, by a draft notice and Archie was sent to Vietnam. There he was wounded in combat and upon returning home completed his schooling at Waubonsee Community College and Western Illinois University, where he met his wife of almost 50 years.
In 1974 they purchased a home in St. Charles and in 1977 Archie founded Bentz Texaco, a full-service gas station with 3 repair bays. With a solid reputation, repair business grew to a point where a second facility was necessary and he opened Archie’s Arcada Automotive in 1980. In 1986, Texaco and Mobil swapped properties, with Mobil taking over Texaco stations in the Chicago-land area; Bentz Texaco became Bentz Mobil. After experiencing the direct pressure from the oil company to do away with independent dealers and unsuccessfully being able to purchase his station from Mobil, Archie left the service station business in 1990.
In 1991, Archie ventured into a new business and opened Archie’s Sandwiches & Spirits in Oregon, IL. After building up that business, he sold in 1995. He then became trained as a millwork specialist and worked in that field until retiring in 2007.
In 2013, he and his wife, Linda, moved to Fairfield Glade, TN. It was there that Archie started writing a history of his dad’s business ventures only to recognize that he, himself, was one of the last of the era of the full-service station dealers and the family's tenure spanned from 1945-1999. This served as the impetus for him to capture this history before it disappeared.
Former St. Charles History Museum Director, Alison Costanza, and the author in the museum gift shop.