Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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HISTORY of CERRO GORDO COUNTY, IOWA
WHEELER, J.H. Vol. II. Pp. 729-30. Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago. 1910

BIOGRAPHY ~ THOMAS WILLIS DENT

Distinguished not only for his good citizenship, but for his honorable record as a soldier in the Civil war, T. W. Dent, of Mason township, is numbered among the enterprising and prosperous agriculturists of Cerro Gordo county. A son of Joseph Dent, he was born October 8. 1846, at Beaver Dam, Dodge county, Wisconsin. Born in the Empire state, Joseph Dent accompanied his parents to Wisconsin when he was a boy, passing enroute through Chicago, which was then a small hamlet, while Milwaukee had but thirteen houses within its limits. He began working for himself as soon as old enough, continuing his residence in Wisconsin until his death, in 1857, at the early age of thirty-five years. He married Elizabeth Emerson, who was also born in New York state, and was brought up in Wisconsin. After the death of her husband she lived for a number of years in Faribault county, Minnesota, from there coming to Cerro Gordo county, Iowa, and making her home with her son T. W. Dent until her death, at the age of seventy-one years, in 1892. She reared four children of whom but two are living, T. W. and Wilson M., the latter of Chamberlain, South Dakota.

In February, 1864, at the age of seventeen years, T. W. Dent enlisted in Company I, Thirty-first Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and being assigned to the Western Army served until the close of the conflict. He saw duty in Kentucky and Tennessee, was with Sherman in the Atlanta campaign and marched with him to the "Sea." At the last engagement, in Bentonville, North Carolina, March 18, 1865, he received his first serious wound, although he had many close calls in other battles, and at the time of the Grand Review in Washington was in the hospital. His record as a soldier shows that during the entire campaign Mr. Dent was never sick and never off duty. In 1866 he came with his mother to Minnesota and immediately commenced his career as a farmer. In 1873 he came to Cerro Gordo county, and subsequently purchased eighty acres of land in section six, Mason township, and in the improvement of the farm has been very successful. Coming here with limited meaas. he has made the most of his opportunities, by means of industry, perseverance and judicious management acquiring a competency.

Mr. Dent married, in Cerro Gordo county, Iowa, in 1868, Emeline Cannon, who was born in Chautauqua, county. New York, in 1848. Her parents, Amaziah and Cornelia (Wait) Cannon, natives of Chautauqua county, New York, migrated with their family to Wisconsin in 1855, and for eleven years resided in Columbia county. Coming from there to Iowa in the spring of 1866, they located in the north half of the northwest quarter of section six, Mason township. Mr. Cannon having paid $3.00 an acre for the land the previous fall. He subsequently bought eighty acres of land in Lake township, giving six dollars an acre. The land in both townships was in its original wildness, he and his descendants having made all the improvements on the property. Mr. Cannon died on the home farm February 9, 1881, aged sixty-one years, and Mrs. Cannon, now a venerable woman of eighty-seven years, still resides on the old homestead. Three children blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Cannon, as follows: Sidney, a prosperous young agriculturist, who died in 1891, leaving a widow; Emeline, now Mrs. Dent; and Etta, widow of Andrew W. Storer, of whom a brief personal sketch may be found elsewhere in this volume.

Mr. and Mrs. Dent are the parents of four children, namely: Elmer Joseph, a telegraph operator at St. Paul, Minnesota; Sidney A., of Mason City, an electrician employed in the electric plant; Louis W.; and Jesse Grant. Politically Mr. Dent is an uncompromising Republican. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and of the C. H. Huntley Post, No. 42, G. A. R., of Mason City. Mrs. Dent is a member of the Women's Relief Corps.

NOTE: Thomas Willis Dent died on January 26, 1932, Mason City IA. Emeline (Cannon) Dent was born on January 31, 1848, and died on October 7, 1944. They were interred at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City IA.

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2014

 

 

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