Bio- Pen Pictures

has been identified with the development of Santa Clara County, and its fruit interests, especially since 1871.  Coming to California primarily for his health, which could withstand no longer the rugged climate of Illinois, he made the trip from San Francisco to Santa Barbara, and thence, with a party of five Illinois friends, made a horseback trip to San Diego, camping out, studying the country as they went.  They passed through Ventura and Los Angeles Counties, but found nothing more attractive than Santa Clara County.  Returning to Illinois to settle his affairs, he, in 1871, brought his family to California.  In the spring of that year he fitted up a two-horse wagon for a camping trip, taking his family, and visited the Yo Semite [sic] and various parts of the State, enjoying all the pleasures of such an outdoor life, returning in September to San Jose, where he settled permanently.  He bought the home place on Willow Street, opposite Cherry Avenue, in the Willows, on which he built his present palatial home.  There were then on the place but a few apple-trees about one year old, which have since been replaced by other fruit.  The place is now set out with cherries, prunes, apricots, and Ickworth plums.  From four acres in full bearing in 1887 he received $2,400.  From one-third of an acre of Napoleon Bigarreau cherries he received that year $690.53.  In 1884 he received from the orchard about $3,000.  In that year, from two cherry trees, he received $62.08.  In 1885 he received but $1,000, having replaced certain trees with others.  In 1886 he received $1,500.  He has ten acres on Curtner Avenue, between Lincoln Avenue and Booksin road, planted in 1883 in French prunes and apricots.  Received $1,000 off that place in 1887.  Has forty-five acres at Saratoga, planted as follows:  2,500 French prunes, 500 apricots, 250 German prunes, 250 egg plums, and the rest in grapes.  From trees four years old, he received in 1887 over fifty tons of fruit, besides grapes, realizing about $2,200.  He also has thirty-two acres at Los Gatos, in five-year-old trees and grapes.

            Mr. Dent was born in Indiana, in 1821.  His parents came from Virginia to Indiana a short time previous to his birth.  Soon after his birth the family returned to Virginia and remained there about three years, thence back to Indiana, and then, in 1832, back again to Illinois, where the father purchased a farm and settled in Marshall County, where the subject of our sketch passed his youth in attending school and working on his father’s farm.  He was later for many years interested in farms and farming until failing health caused him to make a change of occupation.  He removed to Ottawa, Illinois, engaging in the real-estate business, although his home was at Wenona, Illinois.  He was a member of the firm of Dent & Dent, and later of Dent, Moore & Co.

            Mr. Dent was married, in 1844, to Miss Rebecca McCollum, of Pennsylvania, who died in 1864.  There are four living children from that marriage:  Amelia, now the wife of Lyman H. Tower, of Omaha, Nebraska; Frances, now the wife of Aaron Dennis, of the Willows; Rawley E., now living at Friend, Nebraska; Louis D., a promising attorney of Hastings, Nebraska, died there in 1886.  Mr. Dent was again married, in 1867, to Miss Frances Burbank, of Portland, Maine, niece of Thaddeus Fairbanks, of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, the inventor of Fairbanks’ scales.  She died in 1882.  From this marriage were born three children:  Lena B., now attending the Washington College at Irvington, California; W. Evans, and Mabel, both attending school at the Willows.  Mr. Dent married, in 1883, Miss Laura Chandler, of Yuba City, California.  One child, born of this marriage, Ellwood, died in early infancy.  Mr. Dent’s parents were Enoch Dent, a native of Morgantown, Virginia, born in 1796 and died at Wenona, Illinois, in 1872; and Judith (Gapen) Dent, born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, in 1799, and died in Arkansas City, Kansas, in 1876.  John Dent, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was Captain in a Virginia Regiment in the War of 1812.  Mr. Dent is a Democrat in politics, but believes in full protection of American industries.

Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888. p. 514-515

Transcribed by Kathy Sedler


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight