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 Josiah Pillow Kent

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Josiah Pillow Kent

  • Birth 1 May 1847 Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois, USA
  • Death 27 Jul 1921 Illiopolis, Sangamon County, Illinois, USA
  • Burial Illiopolis, Sangamon County, Illinois, USA
  • Memorial ID 29729685

Aged: 74 Years, 2 Months, 25 Days, Died in Illiopolis, Funeral July 27, 1921

Josiah was married to:
Louise Rodgers and their only child was Frank Harrison Kent

Victoria Murrell. Their children were:
Lena E Kent
Hallie J Kent
James Murrell Kent

Wallace, M. A., The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co, Chicago, IL, 1904, p. 337

JOSIAH P KENT. - Josiah P Kent, living on section 9, Lanesville township, is 1 of the thrifty farmers and stock-raisers of central Illinois, and his valuable tract of land of 250 acres is an indication of his active career - for he started out in life empty handed. He was born in Springfield 1 May 1847, and is a descendant of an old Maryland family. His great-grandfather was Absalom Kent, of that State, and the grandfather, William Kent, was born at Oldtown, Maryland, October 3, 1763. He became a resident of Ross County, Ohio, settling there at an early day in the development of that locality. He served his country in the Revolutionary war, and at his death his remains were interred at Bainbridge, Ohio. In his family were 11 sons and 5 daughters, the eldest being Captain Perrin Kent, who was a soldier of the war of 1812. A civil engineer by profession, he made the government survey along the eastern boundary of Illinois and also in McLean and other counties of this state.

Jesse Harrison Kent, father of our subject, was born in Bainbridge, Ross County, Ohio, in November, 1809, was there reared, and when a young man came to Sangamon County, Illinois, in 1836. He 1st engaged in farming near Illiopolis, and later removed to Springfield, where he engaged in contracting and building. He was also a wagon maker, and carried on business in Springfield for a number of years. He was married in this county to Miss Lydia Walker, who was born and reared in Virginia, whence she went to Bainbridge, Ohio, where she formed the acquaintance of Mr. Kent. She was a daughter of Daniel Walker, who died in Ohio. Her brother Hiram came to Illinois in 1835, and after residing in Christian County for a time, took up his abode in Springfield. Mr. Kent died 7 September 1886, his wife 16 July 1862. In their family were 4 sons and a daughter: William E, who died at the age of 4 years; John T, who died in 1859; James H, who died in 1887; Josiah P; and Sarah E, the eldest and the wife of G W Constant, a retired farmer of Illiopolis.

Josiah P Kent spent his boyhood days in Springfield and profited by the excellent educational advantages afforded by the common schools. He entered upon his business career in the railroad service, commencing as brakesman and afterward serving as baggageman, trainman and conductor. He was in the railroad employ at intervals for 12 years. At the time of the Civil war, when but a lad of 16 years, he enlisted in 1864, as a member of Company A, 133rd Illinois Infantry. He joined the army for 100 days, but was on duty for 5 months guarding prisoners at Rock Island, after which he was honorably discharged in October 1864.

Mr. Kent later went to San Francisco and was a seaman on the Pacific for a short time. Subsequently he engaged in mining in California, Nevada and Mexico, meeting with fair success, and then returned home over the Union Pacific Railroad. Later he served on the survey of the Northern Pacific Railroad through the summer and fall of 1873, after which he returned to Springfield and again engaged in railroading. In 1880 he began farming, spending 3 years in that way, when he again took up his abode in Springfield and once more entered the employ of the railroad company. In February 1888, he removed to his present farm, purchasing 170 acres and afterward buying 80 acres more, so that he now has a fine farm of 250 acres, the land being rich and under a high state of cultivation. He has built a commodious residence of pleasing appearance and has also erected substantial barns and sheds, has planted fruit and shade trees, has laid many rods of tiling and has carried forward the work of improvement until the Kent farm is today one of the finest in Lanesville township.

Mr. Kent was married in Springfield, in 186? {Small piece of page missing} to Mary Louise Rodgers, a native of Springfield, and there is 1 son of this marriage, Frank Harrison Kent, a printer, now of Kansas City, Missouri. In 1881 Mr. Kent was again married, his 2nd union being with Ann Victoria Murrell, who was born and reared in Kentucky, a daughter of R. Thomas Murrell, who was a minister of the Baptist church of Kentucky, but is now deceased. There are 2 daughters and a son of the 2nd marriage: Lena E., Hallie J. and James M.

Mr. Kent proudly cast his 1st vote for General U. S. Grant and has since supported each presidential nominee of the Republican party. A member of the Masonic fraternity, he is connected with the blue lodge and chapter in Illiopolis and the commander of Springfield. He also belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic of Springfield. Progress and advancement are causes dear to him, and he takes just pride in what has been accomplished in his native county. His own career illustrates the possibilities that are open to young men in central Illinois, for with no adventitious circumstances to aid him at the outset of his career he has made his way to success through the avenue of opportunity, which is the glory of our American life.

Family Members






  • Maintained by: Norma Faller
  • Originally Created by: Charles W Brown
  • Added: 11 Sep 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 29729685
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Josiah Pillow Kent (1 May 1847–27 Jul 1921), Find A Grave Memorial no. 29729685, citing Riverside Cemetery, Illiopolis, Sangamon County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Norma Faller (contributor 46976271) .