John L. Kent, of Verona township, has gained a place among the efficient and well to do farmers and stock raisers
of the county and is also entitled to recognition as a veteran of the Civil war. His birth occurred in Kendall
county, Illinois, on the 26th of November, 1842, and he is a son of James M. and Mary (Ferguson) Kent. His paternal
grandfather, James Pierce Kent, was born in Virginia in 1785, and his wife was also a native of that state. James
M. Kent was born in Rockbridge county, Virginia, but in young manhood removed to Ohio, where he was united in marriage
to Miss Mary Ferguson, a native of that state. In October, 1842, they removed to Kendall county, Illinois, and
ten years later went to Cedar county, Iowa. They squatted on land which they subsequently purchased for a dollar
and a quarter per acre and resided upon their farm until called by death. In early manhood the father followed
the tailor's trade but when thirty years of age turned his attention to farming, to which he devoted the remainder
of his life. He was very active in public affairs and served for three terms as a member of the Iowa state senate.
His death occurred on the 20th of August, 1896, and that of his wife on the 28th of February, 1888. To them were
born nine children, as follows: Keziah F., the wife of C. G. Brink, of Crawford county, Iowa; Laura, deceased;
John L.; James M., of Kenesaw, Nebraska; W. O., who is living in Oakwood, Oklahoma; T. B., of Oxford Junction,
Iowa; N. H., of Clarence, Cedar county, Iowa; Mary E., who is the wife of Edwin Elijah, of Clarence; and Charles
H., who is living in Marion, Linn county, Iowa.
John L. Kent received a good common school education in Illinois and also gained much valuable training in agriculture
during his boyhood and youth. On the 5th of August, 1862, he answered his country's call for volunteers, enlisting
in Company B, Twenty fourth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, for three years, or during the war, but was discharged on
the 31st of July, 1864, on account of wounds received in the service. At the battle of Port Gibson he was wounded
in the ankle and at the battle of Mansfield his arm was shattered above the elbow. It was two years before he was
able to use it at all and as a result of the wound it is four inches shorter than the other. He participated in
the battles of Port Gibson, Raymond and Champion's Hill, was in the siege of Vicksburg and in the battle at Jackson,
Mississippi. He then returned to Vicksburg and from that point went down the Mississippi to New Orleans and up
the Red river, taking part in the engagement at Carrion Crow bayou. He then returned to New Orleans but subsequently
again went up the Red river and fought in the battle of Mansfield, where he was wounded. He held the rank of a
non commissioned officer, and his coolness and gallantry gained him the commendation of his superiors.
After receiving his discharge from the army on account of disability Mr. Kent returned to Cedar county, Iowa, and
remained there until June, 1873, when he came to Adams county, Nebraska, and homesteaded land on section 30, Verona
township. He brought his place to a high state of cultivation and made many excellent improvements thereon but
in 1890 sold out and purchased his present farm on section 28, Verona township. The farm comprises a quarter section
of productive land and its value has been enhanced by the erection of commodious and substantial buildings. Mr.
Kent breeds pure bloodea Poland China hogs and shorthorn cattle and also engages in raising full blooded Plymouth
Rock chickens. His labors have been rewarded by a substantial income and he is now in very comfortable circumstances
In 1867 occurred the marriage of Mr. Kent and Miss Maggie E. Kemp, who passed away in 1879. To them were born seven
children, namely: John G., a resident of Nampa, Idaho; Alice, the wife of L. M. Hayes, of Nampa; Laura C., who
married D. W. Miles, of Cherry county, Nebraska; Edward L., who is farming near the home place; J. D., of Lake
Mills, Iowa; O. C., who is farming near our subject; and Keziah M., the wife of T. W. Mays, of Kenesaw. In 1881
Mr. Kent was again married, Miss Sara A. Trueman becoming his wife. Their four children are: Amelia L., the wife
of G. H. Teeple, of Floyd county, Iowa; Ella L., who married Harry Graham, of Hastings, Nebraska; George Arthur,
of Grant county, Nebraska; and Minnie K., the wife of William Geddes, of Prosser, Nebraska.
Mr. Kent has supported the republican party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise and does all in
his power to secure its victory at the polls. For forty years he has acceptably filled the office of school director
and for seven years he was assessor. He was reared in the Methodist Episcopal church, which he still attends and
supports. He is identified with the Grand Army post at Juniata and thus keeps in touch with his comrades in blue.
In all the relations of life he has measured up to high standards and enjoys the confidence and warm regard of
his fellow citizens.
Past and Present of
Adams County, Nebraska
Supervisong Editor: Judge William R. Burton
Assistant Editor: David J. Lewis
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Adams County, NE
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