John Gentle was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, September 14, 1846. He was reared to the occupation of farming and at the age of twelve years, removed to Hancock county, Illinois, with his parents, William and Jerusha Gentle. William Gentle died in that county, June 6, 1868. His widow now lives at Bowen, Illinois. They had a family of ten children, four sons and six daughters. John, the subject of this sketch, is the only one of the sons now living. One son, George W., was killed at the battle of Antietam. Two of the daughters, Mrs. Mary E. Wood and Mrs. Martha A. Matchin, reside in this State, the former in Poweshiek county, and the latter, in Van Buren county. John Gentle was married to Elizabeth E. Howard, of Hancock county, Illinois. They have three children--Carrie I., Willis G. and Ralph Waldo, all of whom were born in Franklin township. Mr. Gentle's farm consists of the east half of the northwest quarter, and the west half of the northeast quarter of section 36, Franklin township. He purchased the first described land of John Connor, October 18, 1875, and the last described, of John Herbert, in March, 1882. Of the first, sixty acres were broken at the same time of his purchase. The latter, was mostly broken but not fenced. The farm is now all fenced and under good cultivation, with the exception of eight acres of slough. He built his residence and other buildings in 1875. He has upon his farm, the present year, (1884) seventy-five acres of corn, twenty acres of flax, and eighteen acres of oats and twelve acres of wheat. Mr. Gentle is a thorough going and prosperous farmer.
Contributed by Lisa Varnes-Rex from "History of Cass County, Iowa. Together With Sketches of its Towns, Villages and Townships, Educational, Civil, Military and Political History: Portraits of Prominent Persons, and Biographies of Old Settlers and Representative Citizens." Springfield, Ill.: Continental Historical Company, 1884, pg. 799-800.