Sanford L. Kent (1844-1914)
Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 11/27/2022 at 14:54:40
Sanford L. Kent
(August 25, 1844 – October 20, 1914)
Sanford L. Kent, who is engaged in general farming and stock raising, is a well known representative of agricultural interests, and steadily has he advanced to a position among the affluent men of the community. He was born in Clinton County, New York, on the Saranac River, August 25, 1844. His father, Helmer B. Kent, was born in the same county in March, 1799 and is a representative of a family of English origin. He married Sarah Moore, who was born near Lake Champlain, in New York, about 1822, the marriage being celebrated about 1839. They became the parents of six children: Marietta, the wife of Alexander J. Buckless, a resident of Lowell,
Massachusetts; Caroline, now deceased, and who was the wife of Wallace McKinny; Sanford L, the subject of this review; Henry, who is living in Lowell, Massachuetts; Susan, who became the wife of John Bigelow, a resident of Ellenberg, Center County, New York; and William N., who resides in Manson, Iowa. The father of this family was a blacksmith by trade, following that pursuit for forty years, he spent his entire life in the county of his nativity, passing away in 1879, while his wife died in March, 1880.
Sanford L. Kent acquired his early education in Clinton County, and in 1861 responded to the call for troops to aid in the
suppression of the rebellious spirit of the south. He joined the Ninth Vermont infantry, but on account of his youth was not sent out of the state. He was at that time hardly seventeen years of age. On the 28th of December, 1863, however, he once more enlisted, becoming a member of Company M, Fifteenth New York Cavalry, under command of Captain Seth J. Stevens and Colonel Root. The regiment was assigned to the army of the Potomac, becoming connected with Sheridan's cavalry in the Fifth Army Corps. Mr. Kent was on detached service most of the time, but participated in the engagements of Fishers Hill, Piedmont and Lynchburg. He acted as mail carrier between Green Spring Run and the camp at Burlington for two months. This was a very dangerous position and attended with many hardships. In the winter of 1864 and 1865 he acted as forage master near Winchester, Virginia. In July, 1864, he was promoted to the rank of corporal and on the 23rd of June, 1865, he was mustered out at Cloud Mills, Virginia. He was a faithful soldier, loyal to the cause which he espoused, and his efforts in behalf of his country were effective and valuable. Returning to New York, Mr. Kent remained in the Empire state until April, 1869, when he removed to Douglas County, Kansas, to spend only a few weeks there, and in May came to Calhoun County, Iowa, securing a homestead in Sherman Township. Here he has been continuously since and is familiar with pioneer history. In the early days he trapped muskrats for their hide and underwent all the hardships and privations of pioneer life. August 2, 1870, the house was entirely destroyed by a tornado. It was night and the family were all in the rooms on the second floor. They sustained a number of bruises, but none of them were seriously injured. During the cyclone of 1893 many trees upon the place were blown down, but very little damage otherwise was done. Mr. Kent owns altogether three hundred and twenty acres of valuable land, including the southeast quarter of section 26, Sherman township, upon which he is now living, and the northeast quarter of section 25. He raises a great deal of stock, having one hundred and twenty-live head of cattle upon his farm at the present time. He breeds Hereford cattle and expects in time to have a herd of full-blooded animals. He also makes a specialty of the raising of Poland China hogs, and the stock from his farm finds a ready sale on the market owing to its high grade. His land is all fenced and tilled and many excellent improvements have been placed upon his property, transforming it into a very desirable tract. For twenty years after he came to the county he conducted a threshing machine, and at one time he engaged in buying and selling cattle for shipment, but now raises all of the stock which he ships. In addition to his farm he owns city property in Manson and is today one of the most progressive and prosperous agriculturists of his community.
On the 27th of March 1867, Mr. Kent was United in marriage to Frances Bishop, who was born April 4, 1848. Her father, Jefferson Bishop, who was a native of Essex county, New York, was born April 9, 1822, and his death occurred in 1879. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Frances Tomlinson, was born in Essex county, New
York, in 1828, and departed this life on the 2nd of August, 1852. They were married in their native county and became the parents of three children, namely: Mrs. Kent; Alice, the wife of Mark Creaser, of Britton, South Dakota; and Mary, the widow of Henry Hyde, of Chicago. Eight children have blessed the marriage of our subject and
his wife: Fred L., who was born June 25, 1868, and is living in Corvallis, Oregon; Will H., who was born September 20, 1872, and is principal of the schools in Millersburg, Illinois: Chauncey, born January 15, 1871, and died April 8, 1875: Ida, who was born August 15, 1874, and passed away on the 4th of April, 1875: Hervia, born January 31, 1877, and whose death occurred September 5, 1877: Leslie, whose birth occurred on the 22nd of August, 1878, and who is now residing in Calhoun County; Victor, born August 25, 1880, also a resident of Calhoun County, and Eugene, born on July 27, 1890, at home with his parents. The parents hold membership in the Methodist church at Manson, and Mr. Kent exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the Republican party. He has been a member of the board of county supervisors for six years and for one year served as its chairman. While serving on the board, he was instrumental in securing the erection of the new county house, the contract price being ninety-one hundred and sixty-one dollars, while the cost was ten thousand dollars. Mr. Kent has also been constable, trustee, road supervisor and school director, and in every position which he has been called upon to fill, he has proved his loyalty to the general good by the faithful performance of duly. He has attended many conventions of his party and is a leading and influential Republican of his community. His wife was the first woman to ride over the Illinois Central railroad from Fort Dodge to Manson, and both Mr. and Mrs. Kent are well known pioneer people, who for many years have witnessed the growth and development of this section of the state. When our subject arrived in Calhoun County his cash capital consisted of only one hundred and twenty-nine dollars in money and in addition he had a few household effects. Today he stands among the prosperous farmers of this portion of the state and a record of the intervening years shows that his life has been one of marked activity, energy and perseverance. Realizing that there is no royal road to wealth, with persistent effort he undertook the task of acquiring a good home and a competence and has succeeded admirably in the work he set himself to do. His sound business judgment, supplementing his unfaltering industry, have enabled him to advance step by step until he occupies a prominent position among the prosperous and honored men of Calhoun County. [Source – Biographical Record of Calhoun County, Iowa, by S.J. Clarke, 1902, p.486]
Calhoun Biographies maintained by Karon S. Valeu.
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