Front Page News – February 5, 1894

Mrs. KentThis story appeared on the front page of the February 5, 1894 issue of the Chicago Daily News:

“Death of Mrs. Kent, Aged 94. Her Great-Great-Grandson Born Last Year – Her Active Life

After 94 years of exceptionally active life, Mrs. Louise Restieaux-Kent died at the home of her granddaughter, Mrs. John Keating, 412 Winchester street yesterday.

Mrs. Kent lived to see the birth of her great-grandson over a year ago. She was the daughter of a French nobleman, who lost his lands and fortune during the French revolution. After being banished Restieaux started for Holland, but was shipwrecked and found his way to America. Mrs. Kent was the widow of Col. Henry S. Kent, a union soldier in the war of 1812.

In spite of her age, Mrs. Kent was a great reader, almost up to the time of her death and was an apt Shakespearian student and elocutionist. She had three great-granddaughters, who were teachers in the Chicago public schools, and a host of other relatives throughout the country. For the last thirty years Mrs. Kent has lived in Chicago and she was widely known.

The funeral services will be held tomorrow at the home of her daughter, Mrs. D. A. Starrett, 578 West Congress street.”

Intrigued by the reference to a “French nobleman” and the War of 1812, I did a little research on this family:

Didn’t see Louise in the 1880 census, but here is her husband Henry:

1880UnitedStatesFederalCensus_281363610

Later that same year, Henry died in Massachusetts:

MassachusettsDeathRecords18411915_525702788

Louise applied for Henry’s war pension:

Warof1812PensionApplicationFilesIndex18121815_62715473

The couple had married in March of 1819:

MassachusettsTownandVitalRecords16201988_473331239

I wasn’t able to find Henry or Louise in 1820, but this may be them in 1830:

1830UnitedStatesFederalCensus_312783757

Here’s a strong possibility for them in 1840:

1840UnitedStatesFederalCensus_312529196

Finally in the 1850 census Louise’s name is linked with Henry’s:

1850UnitedStatesFederalCensus_312099789

Here’s a map of the land they were farming. (See the letters that spell out Beverly? Follow a straight line up from the B to find H. Kent.)

USIndexedCountyLandOwnershipMaps18601918_62393450

The couple is still farming in 1860. Notice daughter Kate and three of her children live there as well.

1860UnitedStatesFederalCensus_300428612

By 1870, Kate and the rest of the Starretts have been reunited. Mrs. Kent is part of the family living in Chicago:

1870UnitedStatesFederalCensus_287145230

Mrs. Kent’s husband appears to have remained in Massachusetts:

1880UnitedStatesFederalCensus_281363610

Mrs. Kent seems to have had a long and interesting life.

Are any of the people in this front page story part of your family history? If you know what became of the Kents, Starretts, or the Keatings, please share their stories with my readers and me.

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