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Below is a family biography included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Thomas G. Brent, of Selma Hall or Kennett’s Castle, on the banks of the Mississippi River, in Plattin Township, Jefferson Co., Mo., was born at Bayou Grost Tete, Louisiana, February 6, 1846, and is, therefore, but little past the age of forty-two years. While quite young he lost his parents by death, after which he accompanied his grandmother to Florissant Valley, St. Louis Co., Mo., where he grew to manhood, enjoying the privileges of a good education. This was principally obtained at the University of the Jesuit Fathers, at St. Louis. Subsequently he became engaged in lead mining in Washington County, where he had moved, as a member of the firm of Murphy, Shocker, Tyler & Co., continuing this business from 1869 to 1871. June 5, 1872, he was united in marriage with Miss Agnes L. Kennett, eldest daughter of the late Col. Ferdinand and Julia (Deaderick) Kennett. Mrs. Kennett’s father was John Smith T., an early pioneer in Missouri, and a noted character of the State. Reference is made elsewhere to his settlement in this vicinity. Col. Kennett was born in Falmouth, Pendleton Co., Ky., and when a young man came to Missouri with his brothers, Mortimer and Luther M., the latter of whom served a term as mayor of St. Louis. They located and operated the Granby Lead Mines, and also had large interests in the Washington County lead mines, besides which they were engaged in merchandising. Col. Kennett was one of the principal stockholders and promoters of the St. Louis shot tower. He was a man of more than ordinary ability and intelligence, generous and kind to those needing aid, ever ready to assist in any good work, and, as a consequence, had hosts of friends. In 1854 he began the construction of his magnificent home, known as “Kennett’s Castle,” which he named “Selma Hall.” Four years were occupied in its completion. By his marriage to Miss Deaderick, five children were born: James W., engaged in mining out West; Mrs. Agnes L. Brent; Ferdinand B., journalist, and occupied in mining, residing at San Francisco, Cal.; the late Dr. Pres. G., of De Soto; and Lotta G., wife of Hon. R. G. Frost, late congressman from the Eighth District of Missouri. Thomas G. Brent, the subject of this sketch, was the son of Dr. John Carroll and Ann Grace Brent, both Kentuckians by birth. The former was a prominent physician and surgeon, and long resided at Bayou Grost Tete, near Baton Rouge, La., where he and his wife died. They were members of the Catholic Church. In their family were three sons and five daughters, of whom two sons and two daughters survive: Robert, clerk of Judge Dillon’s court, at St. Louis; Annie, Mother Superior of the Visitation Convent, St. Paul Minn.; Eliza, wife of Judge William S. Murphy, residing on their farm at the “Big Bend” on the Meramec River; and Thomas G. Mrs. Brent was born in Washington County, Mo., and was educated at home. She and her husband are faithful members of the Catholic Church. Mr. Brent is now engaged actively and successfully in farming and stock-raising. In the estimation of all with whom he comes in contact he stands high, both for his personal worth and the recognized influence he bears in the community. He has always voted with the Democratic party.

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This family biography is one of 224 biographies included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Jefferson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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