Charles Francis Kent Family Outline

This family information was sent to us by John Hanrahan ( John also has a website .

Charles Francis8 Kent was born 05 July 1863 in Charles Francis Kent FamilyDavenport, Scott, Iowa, and died 21 June 1944 in DeWitt, Clinton, Iowa.  He married Elizabeth Anderson 09 May 1893 in Davenport, Scott, Iowa, daughter of Cornelius Anderson and Jane Davidson.  She was born 26 September 1865 in Brooklyn, New York, New York, and died 03 January 1951 in DeWitt, Clinton, Iowa. (The photo is of Charles and his family, taken about 1912.  The people, from left to right, are Charles, Elizabeth, Frederick, Maude,
Gordon, Donald, Helen, Marjorie)

Notes for Charles Francis Kent:

Charles Francis Kent graduated from Davenport High School in 1879.  He worked in Davenport for H.A. Emeis, druggist, and for Frank Nadler, druggist, and then attended North Western University, Department of Pharmacy, graduating in July 1888.  He also worked in a drug store in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  In April 1892 the Kent & Co. partnership of C.F. Kent, E.S. Ballard and J.W. Ballard bought from C.V. Baxter a drug store in De Witt, Iowa.  C.F. Kent was proprietor and Harry Ballard and Abner Beard were clerks.  He continued in the drug business in the same location until his retirement in 1939, working from early morning until 9 or 10 evenings and on Sunday mornings.  In 1939 after 47 years, the store was sold to Paul Ginther. (The photo is a postcard scan of the store on DeWitt Main Street.  Note on card states, Date Unknown.  Five people seen:  left to right: Unknown, Ray McDevitt, J. Alex Smith, C.F. Kent, Unknown)

C.F. Kent married Elizabeth Anderson of Davenport on May 9, 1893.  They lived at three locations in De Witt before acquiring the Crimp property in West De Witt, which remained in the family until the 1990s.  The property was turned over by Thomas Crimp to Mr. Mrs. C.F. Kent in 1907. (The photo is of their home located at 922 8th Street, and as far as I know, is still there.  Photo around 1950s)  Their six children were educated at De Witt public schools.  Mr. Kent was active in civic affairs, serving on the school board, city council, library board and other civic interests.  On May 9, 1943, Mr. and Mrs. Kent celebrated their 50th (golden) wedding anniversary, sharing it with their many friends and acquaintenances in DeWitt.  He died June 21, 1944.

Mr. Kent’s ancestry is traced back to a John Kent of Dedham, Massachusetts arriving from England in 1635 with his two brothers, Joshua and Joseph Kent.  His ancestors are traced to families living in Nova Scotia, Canada; New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.

More About Charles Francis Kent:

Burial: Elmwood Cemetery, DeWitt, Clinton, Iowa 

More About Elizabeth Anderson:

Burial: Elmwood Cemetery, DeWitt, Clinton, Iowa

Known as Libbie

Children of Charles Kent and Elizabeth Anderson are: 

1.      Frederick Wallace Kent, born 03 February 1894 in DeWitt, Clinton, Iowa; died July 1984 in Iowa City, Johnson, Iowa.  He married Clara Rebecca HARTMAN 16 June 1917 in Davenport, Scott, Iowa; born 23 April 1895 in Union Grove (Morrison), Whiteside, Illinois; died 14 August 1972 in Iowa City, Johnson, Iowa. 

Notes for Frederick Wallace Kent:

Many know him as Fred and he was a photographer.  Entering the University of Iowa at Iowa City, Johnson County, Iowa in 1911, Fred had begun a hobby of taking photographs.  Photography was still a new profession and Fred began his career as a Photographer and it became his trademark signature in the Iowa City town.  Family, friends and the University were all champions of his talents, entrepreneurship and his passion for photography.  His smiley face and friendly personality were his gift of a well-known face about town.  Fred began and ended his life and career behind a camera.

Fred earned his first camera working in his father's drug store.  He purchased one of those early "brownie box cameras".  Shooting pictures of family and the scenery about his DeWitt, Iowa hometown, Fred began his quest as a young photographer in his early years in high school.  Fred apprenticed himself to a local photographer who made up post cards of all the small towns in the area to sell as souvenirs, a common practice for photographers of that era.

Attending school at the University of Iowa, Fred decided to earn his own money to help pay his way through school.  He began a service for the University shooting pictures.  He shot pictures of the sports events, made photos of medical procedures and freelanced on campus that provided income to support his education.  Graduating in 1915, Fred had made an impression on the folks he provided service too and after talking with the school administration, he convinced them to let him have a room in the Physics Building in 1916 and named him the University Photographer.  His career was launched.

Beginning the University Photographic Service, Fred hired his brother Gordon and together began a long career for both.  However, in order to help earn money to sustain his efforts, the enterprising Fred secured an account with the local Whetstone's Drug Store.  Every Monday morning, the store would provide Fred with almost a 100 rolls of film for processing.  Fred and Gordon would pickup the rolls, then at night mix all the chemicals, process and print the images returning them the next day to the drug store.  Depending on the size of the enlargements, they charged 2, 3 and 5 cents with one-third of the charges returned to the drug store for handling the films.  From here the business grew.  First, the photo finishing grew, then Fred did photo work for industry and real estate, he became the official photographer for the University Sports Department, moved into Medical photos for the University Medical department.  Fred's photo shop was becoming large enough; he hired students to come in to work in the late night hours to mix chemicals and process films.  From here throughout the decades and for over 50 years, Fred's University photo business grew into an enterprising business and supported not only the University photographic needs, but was a community business known around town.

Over the years Fred has taken photos with almost every type of camera manufactured on the market, he also learned aerial photography.  The business became his life's work and a major community and University standard for Photography in the town.  Some of his career highlights include portrait, architectural, macrohotography microphotography, sports and his great passion of nature and bird photography.  He bird watching and photographs are well known for his professional photos of nature and birds.  His photos fill the University archives and library of his many photos and books with his pictures including many with bird photographs.  Life began in a tiny farm town of horse and buggy, then onto the University town with bicycles and automobiles.  Fred made a life of photos and his legacy still is known throughout the Iowa City community.  A park was named in his honor and is a major nature preserve and place where his passion for nature, birds and photography is honored in his memory as its namesake, "The Fredrick Kent Park"

At the age of 80, before his death, Fred continued to take photos and walk the aisles of the University Photo Operations he began.

Photographic Service, the University of Iowa, 7 East Market Street, Iowa City, Iowa 52240

Many of his photos are with the Iowa City Historical Society and in the Archives of the University of Iowa at Iowa City.

More About Clara Rebecca HARTMAN:

Burial: 15 August 1972, Iowa City, Johnson, Iowa 

2.      Maud Jeanette Kent, born 23 April 1895 in Dewitt, Clinton, Iowa; died 13 March 1987 in Williamsburg, Iowa, Iowa.  She married John Ward Warner 23 December 1914 in Dewitt, Clinton, Iowa; born 15 July 1893 in Fairfield, Jefferson, Iowa; died 01 November 1982 in Davenport, Scott,  IA. 

More About Frederick Wallace Kent:

Lived in Davenport, Iowa.  

More About John Ward Warner:

Occupation: Perma-Stone, Tri-City, Davenport, Iowa: Owner 

3. Gordon LeRoy Kent, born 18 October 1896 in DeWitt, Clinton, Iowa; died 17 July 1973 in Iowa City, Johnson, Iowa. 

Notes for Gordon LeRoy Kent:

Gordon was in the Navy.  He joined his brother Frederick as an employee at the University of Iowa Photographic Center and remained there until retirement.  He was an avid traveler and photographer having taken many photos in his travels.  He was a long-standing member of the National Geographic Society and supported their cause along with being a member of a local mountain climbing club in Iowa City.

Gordon enjoyed his many relatives and being with his many nieces and nephews.  He was always at family events and traveled many weekends to spend with his younger sister Helen and her family.  When Helen and her family were not home, Gordon made himself at home with the many animals being entertained by them in the yard until the family returned.  He was noted for sharing with the dogs, one bite of ice cream for him, then one bite for the closest dog actively seeking his attention.  Gordon made his home sharing a room with a local college professor and keeping in touch with his siblings and their families.  He also could be found attending local events and being in the accompaniment of his friends.  His photographic collection can be found on file at the Iowa City historical society.

Never married

Burial: Elmwood Cemetery, DeWitt, Clinton, Iowa 

4. Donald Anderson Kent, born 23 September 1901 in DeWitt, Clinton, Iowa; died June 1982 in DeWitt, Clinton, Iowa.  He married Bernice Clausen 24 December 1924 in Iowa; born 16 December 1903 in DeWitt, Clinton, Iowa; died 1950 in Cedar Rapids, Linn, Iowa. 

Notes for Donald Anderson Kent:

Lived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and worked in the Electronics Industry.  Upon Retirement, moved to DeWitt, Iowa.

Burial: Elmwood Cemetery, DeWitt, Clinton, Iowa 

More About Bernice Clausen:

Burial: Elmwood Cemetery, DeWitt, Clinton, Iowa 

5. Helen Frances Kent, born 22 June 1903 in DeWitt, Clinton, Iowa; died 03 October 1988 in San Jose, Santa Clara, California.  She married William Francis Hanrahan 10 June 1925 in DeWitt, Clinton, Iowa; born 21 January 1902 in Wisner, Cummings, Nebraska; died 24 June 1988 in San Jose, Santa Clara, California. 

Notes for Helen Frances Kent:

Md. William Francis Hanrahan, 6 Oct 1925.Lived in DeWitt, Iowa, Davenport and then moved to California in 1953 were they operated a small country grocery store.

Burial: Elmwood Cemetery, DeWitt, Clinton, Iowa 

Notes for William Francis Hanrahan:

Occupation:  Painter & Decorator

Burial: Elmwood Cemetery, DeWitt, Clinton, Iowa 

6. Marjorie Kent, born 19 April 1905 in DeWitt, Clinton, Iowa; died 19 January 2001 in DeWitt, Clinton, Iowa.  She married Ralph Henderson 14 September 1937 in DeWitt, Clinton, Iowa; born 21 January in DeWitt, Clinton, Iowa; died 28 March 1955 in DeWitt, Clinton, Iowa. 

Notes for Marjorie Kent:

After her marriage, she was a devote housewife and mother.  When her father died and her mother became ill, Majorie and family moved in to the Kent home to help with care and house work.  After her mother's death, Majorie became the owner of the home till it was passed onto to her Daughter Jean.  Majorie lived most of her life in the Kent home until her daughter’s marriage, and then she lived in other places with occasional return to live in the upstairs area.  She worked for Dr. Elders as a secretary until her retirement.  Her last home was a unit above the building owned by her daughter on mainstreet in DeWitt, Iowa.  During that time she was employed and helped with the craft store her daughter owned.  Majorie enjoyed the crafts and was especially skillful with cross-stitching and needlework.

Her death was while she was a resident at the Westwing Place in DeWitt, Iowa 

More About Marjorie Kent:

Burial: Elmwood Cemetery, DeWitt, Clinton, Iowa 

Notes for Ralph Henderson:

Worked for a period of time as a report for the DeWitt Newspaper, The Observer.

Burial: Elmwood Cemetery, DeWitt, Clinton, Iowa


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