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FAYETTE COUNTY, ILLINOIS

Biographies


C. Miller
C. Miller, attorney at law, Dixon, Mo., is a native of Fayette County, born in Vandalia, in the State of Illinois, December 25, 1833. He is the son of John C. Miller and Nancy Dudley Miller. His father was born in Grainger County, Tenn., in the year 1799, and died on his farm on Spring Creek, which was first Pulaski, then Maries, and now Phelps County, Mo., his death occurring June 10, 1867. His mother, Nancy Dudley Miller, was born in the city of Portsmouth, Va., and died June 10, 1872, at Rolla, Mo. Her genealogy dates back to the earliest English settlements in America, whose ancestry were of the Dudley family, of England. The father resided upon and operated a fine farm, taught school, was elected judge of the county court and justice of the peace for many years. He was a participant in the War of 1812, and received a serious wound in the battle at Pensacola, Fla., which made him an invalid throughout life, and finally caused his death. He was the father of ten children, eight of whom are living, and all reside in Phelps County, Mo., with the exception of C. Miller, whose name heads this sketch. The latter spent his early life in Phelps County, and there received a good education in the common schools and at home. He began life for himself at an early age, first engaging in the mercantile business in Maries County, Mo., and in 1859 and 1861 established two stores in Pulaski County. At the latter date he opened a store in Rolla, and in 1862-63 served as sheriff of Phelps County. About this time he assisted in organizing the Thirty-sixth Regiment Missouri Infantry Volunteers, and was in command of Company B of this regiment for some time. At the age of eighteen, while yet residing with his father, he began the study of law, and continued reading for many years, accumulating a large library of law books, which, however, was unfortunately burned in 1869. He was admitted to the Pulaski County bar in 1874, and has since devoted his attention to the practice of his profession in the Eighteenth and Ninth Judicial Circuits. He is the oldest notary public in the county, now holding his sixth commission. He has a fine farm of 400 acres, 150 of which are under good cultivation. All is under fence, and makes one of the best farms in the county. In 1855 he was married to Miss Charlotte B. Love, who died the same year. Afterward he married his second wife, Miss Annie Fleming, who was born in Nashville, Tenn. They have two daughters living, Flossa Dudley and Gertrude May, and one son and one daughter deceased. Mr. Miller is a Republican, and cast his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1860. [Source:  "History of Laclede, Camden, Dallas, Webster, Wright, Texas, Pulaski, Phelps and Dent Counties, Missouri", Chicago: The Goodspeed Publishing Co. 1889; Transcribed by K. Mohler]
 

Isaac Myers Zent
The biographies of enterprising men, especially of good men, are instructive as guides and incentives to others. The examples they furnish of patient purpose and steadfast integrity strongly illustrate what is in the power of each to accomplish. Some men belong to no exclusive class in life; apparently insurmountable obstacles have in many instances awakened their faculties and served as a stimulus to carry them to ultimate renown. The gentleman whose life history is herewith outlined is a man who has lived to good purpose and achieved a splendid success. By a straightforward and commendable course he has made his way to a respectable position in the business world, winning the hearty admiration of the people of his county and earning a reputation as an enterprising, progressive man of affairs which the public has not been slow to recognize and appreciate. Isaac Myers Zent was born near Massillon, Stark county, Ohio, on November 19, 1859, and is the son of Jeremiah and Mary C. (Armstrong) Zent. Jeremiah Zent was a son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Hage) Zent. Samuel Zent was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, December 7, 1790, and died March 2, 1855; the latter¢s wife, Elizabeth Hage, was born July 25, 1792, in the same county, and died August 31, 1874. Samuel Zent was the son of Jacob and Susanna Zent, the former having been born January 30, 1763, and died October 25, 1845, his wife¢s birth occurring April 30, 1765, and her death on March 13, 1841. Jeremiah Zent, who was a farmer, moved, in 1850, to Vandalia, Illinois, where he bought a large tract of land and there carried on agricultural operations during the rest of his life. He was public spirited and took an influential and unselfish interest in the upbuilding and welfare of his community. He was a man of definite convictions on the great questions of the day and, though living in a hotbed of secession, he openly espoused the cause of the Union and during the Civil war he proved such a friend to soldiers and soldiers¢ families that the Grand Army of the Republic afterwards made him an honorary member of that society, though he had seen no military service. He died in 1901 and his widow still resides in Vandalia. Isaac M. Zent lived at Vandalia until he was seventeen years old and received a good practical education in the public schools, He then left home and started out in life on his own account, his first effort being to learn the trade of a telegrapher. Entering the employ of the Wabash railroad, he was assigned to different stations on that system and in June, 1882, was appointed agent at Auburn station. His service were here so faithfully performed that he was retained in the position for twenty-eight years, through several changes of administration and after the Wabash company sold the road to the Vandalia Railroad Company-in fact, up to the time he was appointed postmaster of Auburn, his commission to the office being April 15, 1910. In the latter position he exhibited the same careful attention to the performance of his duties as characterized him when in the employ of a corporation, and his relations with his superiors and the patrons of the office have been mutually satisfactory and pleasant. In the business and commercial life of the community Mr. Zent has long been an active and prominent figure. He was one of the organizers of the Citizens National Bank, of Auburn, and is now the largest individual stockholder of this institution, of which he has been a director ever since its organization. He also assisted in the organization of the Savings Loan and Trust Company and was one of its first directors, but he later sold his holdings in that company to Monte L. Green. He is the only local stockholder, and is a member of the board of directors of the Indiana Fuel and Light Company, the company that furnishes gas to Auburn. Of the Auburn Commercial Club Mr. Zent has been a member since its organization and a director for many years, while in many other ways he has exerted a wholesome and appreciated interest in the advancement of the business interest of Auburn and DeKalb county. Physically, built on the Abe Lincoln or Joe Cannon style, Mr. Zent is, like them a man of strong convictions and earnest purpose, optimistic in his views of life, and affable and agreeable in his relations with his fellow men. These qualities have combined to gain for him a marked degree of popularity in the community in which so many of his active years have been spent. Politically, Mr. Zent has, for many years, been an active and influential member of the Republican party and in local political circles he is a prominent figure, having for a number of years served as treasurer of the county committee. Fraternally, Mr. Zent is a Mason, having attained to the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite, and is also a member of the Mystic Shrine, and the Auburn lodge, Knights of Pythias, having been a charter member of the last-named organization, being a popular member of these several fraternities. On July 25, 1885, Mr. Zent married Laura E. Ensley, who was born and spent her entire life at Auburn. Her parents, George and Lydia (Noel) Ensley, were among the pioneer residents of Auburn, the family being for many years prominent and influential in the affairs of the community. Mr. Zent was called to the higher life on October 5, 1910. All in all, Mr. Zent is a worthy representative of the sturdy, intelligent and progressive class that gives stability to the body politic and character to the community, being broadminded, with wide views of men and affairs, and a true type of the enterprising American of today.
[History of DeKalb County, Indiana; pgs 368-370; B. F. Bowen & Company, Inc., Indianapolis, 1914. Submitted by Ida Maack Recu]



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