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Biography of Allen Gentry

ALLEN GENTRY. This gentleman is one of the oldest and best known pioneers of Stone County, which has been his home since 1836, a period of over fifty-eight years. The founder of the family in this section was Allen Gentry, Sr., father of subject, a native of Tennessee, where the family was an old and prominent one, and a descendant of Revolutionary stock. He was married in his native State to Miss Margaret , and in the spring of 1836 he and wife crossed the Mississippi River and located on James River, near Galena, in Stone County, where the father followed farming. He was a stanch Republican in politics, and in religion he and family held to the Christian faith. He made his home in Stone County until he had paid the last debt of nature, and there reared to honorable maturity a family of eleven children, seven sons and four daughters, leaving them, upon his death, not only a good property to divide among themselves, but what was rather to be desired than great riches-the heritage of an honorable name.

Allen Gentry, Jr., was born in Tennessee June 12, 1814, and was but a boy when the family came with ox-team to Stone County. He received no schooling, and all his leisure time in early life was spent in hunting the wild game, which was plentiful in the county. He has killed many deer, turkeys, etc., and has often run down wild turkeys. When he became old enough to choose his occupation in life, he very naturally selected agricultural pursuits and began improving a piece of land in the woods, the farm where he now lives, and for two years lived in a camp. Industrious and persevering, he improved every spare moment and by diligence and economy, as the years passed away, became the owner of 367 acres, which is in a bend of the James River, about two miles southwest of Galena. He has resided on the farm where he now lives for over fifty years, and is one of the best known men in the county and the oldest pioneer. In politics he is an ardent supporter of Republican principles, and every enterprise of a worthy nature has been sanctioned by him. During the Rebellion he served over two years. He was first in the Home Guards but subsequently enlisted in the Seventh Missouri Cavalry of Valparaiso, Company H, as private. Mr. Gentry was in a number of battles and served principally in southwest Missouri and Arkansas, most of his engagements being with bushwhackers. In one battle he was wounded three times, and after the war was sick for three years from the effects of these wounds. He is now a member of the G. A. R., Galena Post. Our subject was first married to Miss Sarah J. Anderson, daughter of Samuel Anderson, and ten children were given them: Margaret, wife of Henry Baker, of this county; Samuel, married and lives on the old home place (he was a soldier in the Civil War, Company A, Eleventh Missouri Cavalry; served from first to last and was in numerous battles); Allen, who died when about thirty-eight years of age leaving a family, was in the Home Guards during the war; David, deceased, left a family in Texas; Martha, wife of T. J. Darrell, who resides on the old home farm, is the mother of several children (Mr. Darrell was a soldier in the Seventh Missouri Cavalry, Company H, and is a G. A. R. man); Elizabeth, the wife of H. C. Cagle, resides in Stone County; William, who resides on a farm on the James River near the old home, is married; L. C., married and resides in the Lone Star State, and two children died young. The mother of these children, who was a member of the Christian Church and a sincere, earnest worker in the same, died April 22, 1884. Mr. Gentry selected his second wife in the person of Mrs. Martha Moore, sister of his first wife and the widow of Maj. Moore, an old pioneer of this county. Mr. Gentry is now retired from the active duties of life, and is satisfied to pass the closing scenes of a long and useful career in peace and quiet. He served on the first jury in Stone County. He has ever had a strong constitution, but he still suffers from the wounds he received in the war and carries two bullets that he received in one battle. He was also shot in the head and has partly lost his hearing in one ear. He was a good and faithful soldier and fought bravely for the old flag. Mr. Gentry has a large number of grandchildren and a number of great-grandchildren. The family is highly respected in the county.

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