He represented Muskoka and Parry Sound in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as a Liberal member from 1882 to 1883. He was born in Prince Albert, Ontario County, Canada West in 1848, the son of John Bettes. In 1872, Bettes married Martha Maria Crosby, a granddaughter of John Willson.
He served on the council for Uxbridge.
He was elected to the provincial assembly in an 1882 by-election held after John Classon Miller resigned to run unsuccessfully for a seat in the House of Commons. He died in 1925 at Dauphin, Manitoba.