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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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The Pioneer, a monthly supplement to the Sheboygan Press

Sheboygan Press - November 21, 1925

Sheboygan Pioneer Monthly Supplement

Alban Kent, Pioneer

At 2:15 a.m., Sunday morning, November 18, 1900 - 25 years ago, there passed away in Sheboygan the oldest up to that time living German settler of this city, Alban Kent, at the ripe old age of 92 years.

Mr. Kent immigrated to America back in 1833, and opened a tailor shop in Erie, Pa., which he operated there until he came to Sheboygan, in 1844. Here he opened a bakery and grocery on the shore end of the old North Pier, which he operated successfully for four years, when his place was wrecked during a severe storm and his stock and household goods lost.

Mr. Kent then located on Jefferson avenue, opposite the later location of the first Turner Hall, and here he resumed his tailoring business until 1889, when he retired from active work at the age of 81 years.

In 1837, in Erie, Pa., Mr. Kent took unto himself a wife, Miss Walburga, who passed away in Sheboygan in 1893, the couple having been privileged to celebrate their golden wedding in 1887.

Mr. and Mrs. Kent were blessed with a family of eleven children, seven of whom survived the parents. They were Miss Mary, Messrs. William, Edward, Mrs. G. Otten, Henry and Mrs. Thomas Winship.

The Kent home on Jefferson avenue, though modest in size and pretension, was a bright social center in the early days, when Sheboygan was yet a mere hamlet, just emerging from a primeval wilderness. The family was very sociable and hospitable, and the many young members of it naturally drew others of their own age. The family was one of the first of the Catholic denomination to settle in Sheboygan permanently, and it was in the first Kent home near the North Pier that the first mass was celebrated in Sheboygan, August 25, 1845, Rev. Father Rerl officiating. The table used on that occasion was still in the possession of the family at the time of Alban Kent's death.

Mr. Kent was a man of small stature but well built, friendly and gentle of bearing, unspoiled by the hardships of emigration and of pioneering - first in the east and then in the west. His rectitude and cheerfulness endeared him to all who came in touch with him, and his skill as a saterial craftsman never permitted him to take much rest until at 81 he finally retired from business.

Of such stuff were our pioneers made!

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