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Thomas A. Trent (1834 - 1926)


Posted By: Barry Mateer (email)
Date: 2/28/2024 at 18:07:45

April 22, 1926
The Osceola Tribune,
Osceola, Iowa

The death of Thomas A. Trent at his home on South Main St. on last Friday evening at 6:30 brought sadness to the hearts of many. Mr. Trent had only been sick for about ten days suffering from a cold. He had been able to sit up and read his newspaper the day before he passed away.

The funeral services were conducted at the home on Monday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock by Rev. C.S. Burnette. A large number of sorrowing friends and relatives were at the last rites. Burial followed in the Maple Hill cemetery.

The pall bearers were: Chas. Edwards, Harry Talbott, Verne Hicks, Will Temple, Lloyd Simmons and L.W. London. Those who sang at the funereal Mrs. Ed Banta, Miss Tot Scott, Mr. E.W. Paul and William Beard.

At the time of his death, Mr. Trent was 91 years, 5 months and 10 days of age. If he had lived until June 28th, he and his wife would have celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary.

In addition to his wife, Mrs. Mary E. Trent, he is survived by the following children: Chas. W. Trent, Custer, South Dakota; Wm. W. Trent, Denver, Colorado; James L. Trent, San Jose, California; Mrs. C.E. Whitlock, Denver; Mrs. S.H. Lauder and Miss Emily Trent of Osceola. One son, Thomas A. Trent, Jr. died about six years ago.

Thomas A. Trent was born in Owens county, Indiana, on Oct. 6, 1834, his parents being William and Susannah Dyer Trent. He removed to Iowa when he was but 17 years of age and has lived here continually ever since.

He was married to Mary E. Parrish on June 28th, 1857, at the home of the bride, six miles northwest of Osceola. The nuptial rites were performed by Rev. B.C. Johnson of Osceola. When Mr. Trent and his wife first moved to Osceola, the limits of the town were marked by streets one or two blocks distant from the business section. Now the blocks extend many times that distance.

When the Civil War broke out, Mr. Trent joined the Union forces to fight for his country and was assigned to the 39th Iowa Infantry, Company D. under Capt. L. D. Bennett. C.W. Neal and Aaron Lewis of this city were members of the same regiment. The three men saw services together during three years and at the close of the war returned to Osceola where they became members of Post 173, Department of Iowa, Grand Army of the Republic. Mr. Trent remained a member of the G.A.R. to the time of his heath. He was at one time a member of the Blue Lodge of the Masonic order.

Mr. Trent was a good citizen and stood high in the community and the county where he lived so long. His death brings sadness to the many friends who knew and loved him. His passing away takes another member of the “thin and fading line” of old soldiers who risked their lives in their country’s cause. Peace to his ashes.

June 22, 1922
The Osceola Sentinel

On next Wednesday, June 28th, will occur the sixty-fifth anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas A. Trent’s marriage. Resident of Clarke county almost from its inception, a sketch of their lives would but be a recounting of the history of the county.

It is seldom indeed that one is able to tell of a man and woman who have lived and served so many years in one community. Seldom can he find husband and wife who have lived so long and well.

Seated in their easy chairs in their comfortable home on South Main street, they present the appearance of old age well attained and well earned. Sixty-five years ago next Wednesday, which was June 28, 1857, Rev. F. Johnson, a well-known circuit rider of that time, said the simple words that started them on a partnership that has lasted longer than most men live.

Elizabeth Parrish and Thomas Trent came from the same county in Indiana, they grew to manhood and womanhood there but never knew each other until they met in Clarke county. Mr. Trent had worked for a merchant in his home town and when that firm moved to the new west he came along. Here he found a comely young lady and between them developed a friendship that finally culminated in marriage. “We did not have much choice in those day,” one of them said jokingly. “There were just a few young people in the county at that tie and we had to take ones who were there. Neither of us has ever regretted the step we took, however.”

1857, the year of their marriage, was a pleasant year for the settlers in this county. The new land was developing rapidly and the country at large was prosperous. Little did the bride and groom of that June day think of the war clouds then gathering in the south. A few years later and the country as plunged in one of the greatest civil wars of history.

From Iowa, regiment after regiment of young men left for the front. Finally, unable to withstand the call of a nation’s honor any longer, a company of married men was organized from this county. Among them was Thomas leaving his wife and three small children on August 13, 1862, departing with his comrades for Des Moines.

There were no railroads and the men walked to the rendezvous. After several weeks, they finally started for the South. In a short time they reached the battle line and the history of the War in the West is almost a history of the experiences of Mr. Trent and his regiment. They fought down the Mississippi and helped with the siege of Vicksburg. They were a part of Sherman’s great army on its march to the sea. They fought guerillas; in fact, Mr. Trent says they fought nearly all the time.

Eleven months after enlisting, the government rewarded the young soldier by giving a commission as a Captain in the fighting forces of his country. This rank he held until he returned home.

Finally came the surrender of Lee and with it the collapse of the enemy. Then, after long months of waiting, came finally the order to be discharged. On the eighth anniversary of his marriage, he surprised his wife by reaching home. Three long years had passed since she had seen him, three years of work and worry, three years of struggle to keep the little family and home together. Not to the men belong all the medals of war.

Then came the days of reconstruction, the troublesome times when it was doubtful if the country would ever come back to the prosperity that it had known before the war. Mr. and Mrs. Trent struggled through those years. Ever working for the betterment of the community, they managed to live well and enjoy the respect and friendship of their neighbors.

They have lived in the county continuously since they were married save for three years spent in Kansas. Now in the twilight of life, they are resting from their work, still happy and thoughtful. Both have felt the touch of years and they cannot move about as once they could; their minds, however, are as clear and active as ever. Mr. Trent speaks in no uncertain terms of his political convictions. Mrs. Trent in interested in the things of the community that are working for the betterment of her friends. Living much in the past, they are never unmindful of the present.

They expect to spend this anniversary in the quiet of their home. They hope that their children may be able to visit them for the day, but no elaborate arrangements have been made. They have six living children Charley Trent of Highmore, S.D.; James Trent of San Diego, California; William Trent of Denver, Colo.; Mrs. C.E. Whitlock of Des Moines, and Mrs. S.H. Lauder and Miss Emily Trent of Osceola.

It is indeed peasant to spend an hour with this remarkable man and wife. It is enjoyable to hear them tell of their pioneer days together. At one time Mr. Trent cut wild hay for his stock from the prairie that is now the public square. At one time he and his neighbors armed themselves for protection against the Indians who were supposed to have murdered a man near Hopeville. Later it was found that the man had probably been killed by his companion.

Mt. Pleasant was the nearest railroad at one time and all their supplies were hauled by team. They have watched the country and state grow from a border country into the wealthiest and most up-to-date country of this world. The little hamlet they came to live in has become a beautiful town with thriving business houses and modern homes. One cannot estimate the part they have had in making the city and country as it is. For years Mr. Trent was a justice of the peace; he has served as mayor and ever a loyal and energetic citizen, striving for the betterment of man.

The Sentinel extends to this venerable and honored couple the heartiest congratulations on their sixty-fifth wedding anniversary and wish for them many more years of health and happiness.
April 22, 1926,
Osceola Sentinel:

T. A. Trent, pioneer citizen of Clarke county, and who had lived in this county almost continuously for more than seventy years, died at his home on South Main street at 6:00 o'clock Friday afternoon, aged 91 years, 5 months, 10 days. He is survived by his wife and had he lived they would have celebrated their sixty-ninth wedding anniversary on June 28.

Thomas A. Trent and Elizabeth Parrish came from the same county in Indiana but it was not until they came to Iowa in 1854 that they became acquainted. They were married on June 28, 1857, by Rev. B. F. Johnson, a well known circuit rider of the time. To this union were born eleven children, six of whom survive. They are Charley Trent of Custer S.D.; James Trent of San Diego, Calif.; William Trent of Denver, Colo.; Mrs C. E. Whitlock of Denver, and Mrs. S. H. Lauder and Miss Emily Trent of Osceola, who has been the constant companion of her parents in their old age. There are four living grandchildren.

When they started out on the great adventures of life as one, Osceola had scarcely been made a town. A few log huts marked the meager stores and professional houses. Prairie grass grew along the streets, the roads were mere trails across the prairie.
They had been married several years when the great Civil War broke out. The call of his country reached his ears and the ears of the men about him. A company of married men was organized and they left for the south. He returned with a captain's commission a the close of the war.
.....reconstruction, years of toil and after America had regained her footing, years of happiness and prosperity. Mr. Trent took an active part in the civic affairs of the community, serving as mayor of the city and as Justice of the Peace.
As the years passed he retired from active life and for a number of years had lived in the quiet of his home on South Main street, taking no active part but keeping in direct touch with the events of the day.

During the past few years Mr. and Mrs. Trent have not been active but have enjoyed health as good as could be expected for people of their age. Mr. Trent had been in his usual health, but for the past few days a cold had given him some trouble. He had been in his easy chair for several hours during the day and had read his daily papers as was his custom and had conversed with the members of his family as usual. Late in the afternoon he retired to his bed and at about 6:00 o'clock quietly passed away, his mind being clear until the last.

Funeral services were held from the home Monday afternoon at 2:30 and burial was made at Maple Hill cemetery.
"A most remarkable old man has gone to his reward," is a remark that has been heard time and again in the last few days.

Mr. Trent was not disposed to worry about matters that could be bettered in other ways. This cheerful spirit remained with him to the last, and he retained his clearness of intellect up to his closing days. He was invariably a good neighbor, and there was no happier family circle in the land than his. When he died, full of years, and ready to be gathered to his fathers, the grief that was felt over the close of his long career was widespread and sincere. His best monument will be the good report that he has left behind him in the community in which he has lived for more than so many years.
There was a daily beauty about his life which won every heart. In temperament he was mild, conciliatory and candid; and yet remarkable for an uncompromising firmness. He gained confidence when he seemed least to seek it.

He believed that "Men and women, youth and children, seek the friendship of the sunny-faced." That "All doors are open to those with a smile." That "All social circles welcome cheeriness." That "A sunny face is the open sesame to hearts and homes."
He believed in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. He believed that the man who scatters flowers in the pathway of his fellowmen, who lets into the dark places of life the sunshine of human sympathy and human happiness, is following in the footsteps of his master.

* Thomas Trent is in the 1856 census of Clarke County as living in home of his older brother, Josiah, and family. Washington Township. Both were listed as carpenters.

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Clarke Obituaries maintained by Brenda White.
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