Albert B Osborne.

Makers of America; biographies of leading men of thought and action, the men who constitute the bone and sinew of American prosperity and life (Volume 3) online

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was a First Lieutenant under Pierce in 1779.

Besides the service rendered by the Fosters in time of war,
they were prominent in State and county in all matters pertain-
ing to the public good. It is well sometimes to look back to the
founders of America, and to endeavor to measure up their charac-
ter, and to appreciate the country as they handed it down to us,
so that not only may we take pride in being of their lineage, but
seek to honor their memories by perpetuating their work, remem-
bering the commandment, the only one with a promise: "Honor
thy father and thy mother."



STOUTEN HUBERT DENT

THE life of Stouten Hubert Dent is not only interesting
as a biographical narrative, but it is also inspiring in its
lessons. As a student, teacher, lawyer, soldier, banker
and farmer, he has brought to each successive field of
endeavor a lively sense of duty, and a whole-hearted purpose to
give the best of himself to the work that was at hand.

Captain Dent was the eldest child of Doctor Stouten Warren
and Mary Snioot Dent, and was born in Charles County, Mary-
land, October 30, 1833. He attended the public schools of his
home county, and supplemented the knowledge thus obtained by
a course of study at the Charlotte Hall Academy in St. Mary's
County. From 1852 to 1854 he taught school in Maryland. In
the latter year Captain Dent moved to Eufaula, Alabama, where
he has made his residence ever since. He at first taught school,
devoting all his spare time to the study of law, as he had deter-
mined to take up that profession. At the age of twenty-three
he was admitted to the Bar, and began practice in Eufaula. Four
years later, in 1860, he married Anna Beall, the daughter of
Edward B. Young, of Eufaula, and of his wife, whose maiden
name was Ann Fendall Beall, a descendant of the prominent and
well-known Beall family of Georgia, originally of Maryland.

It was to this young man, newly wedded, and newly estab-
lished in the practice of his chosen profession, that, in 1861, the
call of duty came. His sympathies were with his adopted State
and he enlisted in the service of Alabama, February 9, 1861, for
one year, as a member of the First Kegiment of Alabama Volun-
teers. In December, 1861, he re-enlisted as First Lieutenant in
an artillery company for three years. In 1863 he became Cap-
tain of his battery which was thereafter known as "Dent's Bat-
tery." It has an enviable record in the number of the engage-
ments in which it figured and the deeds of heroism performed
by the men who manned it, especially at Shiloh and Chicka-
mauga. Captain Dent and his company were very proud of the
fact that the first cannon made for the Confederacy were assigned
to them. These consisted of six 12-pound "Napoleon Gems," made
of bronze and cast in New Orleans.

Though thrice wounded, at Shiloh, at Atlanta, and at Nash-
ville, Captain Dent was never seriously incapacitated, and at the
end of the Civil War returned to his home with his health unim-
paired but his fortune broken. He, as stated above, enlisted

[442]



STOUTEN HUBERT DENT 445

February 9, 1861, was paroled May 9, 1865, at Meridian, Missis-
sippi, and during that whole period never lost a day from duty
on account of wounds or serious illness, although wounded three
times.

His parting from his men was sad and pathetic. Forming
them into line after delivering their paroles, he spoke as follows :
"Men, we are about to separate. In the fortunes of war our coun-
try has gone down in defeat, and yielding to the inevitable, our
leaders have surrendered. It only remains for us to go to our
homes, obey the laws, and be as good citizens as we have been true
and gallant soldiers. The same devotion and courage you have
shown as soldiers will bring you success in civil life. Now, wish-
ing you abundant success, so that your old age may be spent in
peace and content, I now give you my last command, fare you
well, break ranks, march. "

Upon the site of the battlefield of Chickainauga, among the
other monuments and markers dedicated to the dead and living
patriots of the Civil War, is one erected by the women of Ala-
bama. During the reunion of the United Confederate Veterans
in May 1913, this monument, when unveiled disclosed the in-
scription :

"In tender memory of Alabama's soldiers who
fought and fell on Chickamauga Battlefield.

This shaft shall point
to those exciting scenes that blend

with visions long since flown.

For Memory is the only friend

That Grief can call its own."

Captain James Polk Smartt of Chickamauga accepted this
tribute, and spoke for the National Committee, the Government
and the Secretary of War, under whose jurisdiction are all such
monuments. In connection with this sketch, it seems but meet
and proper that the portion of Captain Sniartt's speech, in which
he eulogizes Captain Dent and his famous battery, should be in-
serted in its entirety.

The speaker, being a survivor of that hard fought battle,
and a Confederate veteran, "knew whereof he spoke," and his elo-
quent tribute deserves to be preserved in durable form.

"The action of Dent's battery on the southern spur of the
west end of Snodgrass ridge during the afternoon of the 20th
was one of the most courageous and persistent of the battles.
Captain Dent was too modest to officially report the conspicuous
action of his battery, but for the truth of history and a record
of unfaltering courage for over four hours I am glad we are not
left in doubt. General Hindman, the ranking officer on this part
of the line; General Bushrod K. Johnson, in immediate charge
of the line and one of the most efficient officers in the service;



446 STOUTEN HUBERT DENT

Colonel Fulton, in command of Johnson's brigade, and Colonel
Snowden, commanding the Twenty-fifth Tennessee Regiment, all
able and accomplished officers, in their official reports speak in
most enthusiastic terms of the heroic and glorious action of the
officers and men of this battery. 1 regret that time and space will
not permit a record of these glowing references. I trust I may
be permitted to express the conviction that for heroic and per-
sistent action for over four hours by the battery and its supports
the record is not surpassed in the battle. I do not believe the
officers and members of this battery and its supports were superior
to many other batteries and troops in the battle, but in the for-
tune of war the gage of battle was offered them by the advance
of Grangers reserve corps; they accepted it with unflinching
courage and achieved victory and immortal renown."

Under the terms of the surrender of his company, Captain
Dent brought with him two horses, his personal property; these
furnished him the means of subsistence for several months, since
everything was under military rule, and civil procedure more or
less disorganized. He earned his first dollar, on beginning civil
life anew, hauling dray loads of cotton for shipment. He con-
tinued in this line of work until it became again practicable to
take up his work before the courts.

From this time on, he acquired ever-increasing influence in
Eufaula; always closely identified with progressive movements
of a sound nature, and serving the interests of his town, county
and State in many important directions.

In 1880 he assumed the Presidency of the Eufaula National
Bank, and successfully managed its affairs for twenty-one years.
In 1901 this institution failed and Captain Dent lost the accumu-
lation of years. He was at this time sixty-eight years of age, a
period of life when most men would hesitate in entering new
fields of endeavor, but aided by his children, Stouten Dent estab-
lished himself on a farm in Eufaula, and proceeded to wrest a
livelihood from the soil. Success attended his efforts and he is
at present (1916) a well-to-do farmer, eighty-three years of age,
and still able to superintend the work upon his farm.

Captain Dent is a Democrat and has been an active worker
in his party all his life. His cool head and his knowledge of
procedure have caused him to be called to the chair in various
party councils, notably at two State Conventions in 1892, and at
the meeting of the Sound Money Democrats of Alabama, in 1896,
when delegates from the whole State met and organized for the
purpose of defeating the free silver movement. In 1901 he was a
member of the Constitutional Convention which framed the pres-
ent constitution of Alabama. In this work he followed in the
steps of John Dent of 1776, who helped to frame the first constitu-
tion of Maryland.



STOUTEN HUBERT DENT 447

Captain Dent is not in favor of the primary system of nomi-
nating candidates for office. He thinks it contrary to the genius
and plan of our fathers, who framed the Constitution, thus form-
ing a representative government, not a pure democracy.

Having been a teacher himself, Captain Dent never ceased to
take a great interest in school problems and was for several years
Superintendent of Education in Barbour County; he also served
on the Board of Trustees of the Girls' Polytechnic Institute at
Montevallo, Alabama.

In religious affiliation Captain Dent is a Methodist, having
been for the past forty years a steward and trustee of the M. E.
Church South, in Eufaula, and three times a member of the Gen-
eral Conference. An old Methodist teacher and pastor, formerly
of Alabama, in a letter of reminiscence once said : "Brother Dent
still lives to bless that town (Eufaula) with his labor of love.
Few such towns as Eufaula are found and few such men as Cap-
tain Dent bless any town in our great country."

Enthusiasm is one of Stouten Hubert Dent's strongest char-
acteristics, and his hearty personality makes him a welcome addi-
tion to social gatherings. He has never missed a general reunion
of the United Confederate Veterans since the organization was
formed. His loyalty to the Masonic order is equally strong.

The death of Mrs. Dent in 1902 was a great blow to her
entire family. Her husband has never remarried, and has found
solace in the companionship of his children who have never failed
in their filial devotion.

The children of Stouten Hubert Dent and Anna Beall Young,
his wife, are six in number, all born in Eufaula, viz. :

Edward Young Dent, born June 25, 1861, lives in Eufaula,
and is engaged in farming and in the insurance business.

Anna Beall Dent, born April 8, 1867, married first, Jackson
E. Long; her second husband was Doctor William W. Mangurn.
She is a widow with three children living in Borne, Georgia.

Stanley Hubert Dent, born August 16, 1869, married in
Louisville, and is living in Montgomery, Alabama. He represents
his district in the Congress of the United States, and is elected
for his fifth term. He is now (December 1916) Chairman of the
Committee on Military Affairs.

Henry Augustus Dent, born August 4, 1872, is Pay Inspector
in the United States Navy, having entered the service in March,
1894. He is unmarried.

Katherine Louise Dent, born July 15, 1875, married George
X. Hurt, and lives with her father in Eufaula.

Caroline Dent, born September 23, 1879, married C. S. Mc-
Dowell, Junior, and lives in Eufaula.

In addition to his other activities, Captain Dent has been a
welcome contributor to the press of his State as a writer of war



448 STOUTEN" HUBERT DENT

reminiscences. His only published book is a brief but valuable
contribution to religious literature, relating principally to the
history of the Methodist Church in Eufaula. In his line of read-
ing he prefers history. The Bible and Shakespeare are the books
which he holds highest in esteem.

Captain Dent belongs to the best type of American citizen,
capable but modest, cool of head, but warm of heart, ready to do
his duty as a citizen but not a seeker for preferment, a faithful
husband and a devoted father.

"So is our nation made;
Of men, whom life finds unafraid,
Ready to do what lies at hand,
As quick to serve as to command.
The humble deed thus glorified,
The prouder task thus sanctified!"

Captain S. H. Dent is of good old English stock, transplanted
to American soil in the seventeenth century.

In 1515 Roger Dent was Mayor of Newcastle-On-Tyne. He
was the founder of the line that later held the seat of Shortflatt
Tower, and bore most elaborate arms. In 1548 he had acquired
monastic possessions, and in 1582, he and his son William (who
in 1562 was Mayor and Sheriff of Newcastle), conveyed the priory
of St. Michael de Wall Knoll to trustees for the corporation of
that town. This progenitor of the Dent family had seven sons
and one daughter. One son, Thomas, settled in London and
became the ancestor of the London branch of the family. Mar-
riages of distinction added titles and in some cases wealth to
the Dent house, and the line has continued in prominence to this
day, with seats in Gloucester, Leicester, London, Surrey, Lincoln
and Northumberland. The family belongs to the Landed Gentry
and is entitled to arms. Many of the name are found in the an-
nals of the learned professions.

John Dent, a London banker, was a man of wealth and a
member of Parliament from Lancaster from 1790 to 1812. He
collected an enormous library of rare and current books and man-

i/

uscripts, which was sold at auction, in London, in 1827, a year
after his death. The Library of Congress, in Washington, con-
tains a valuable copy of the catalogue, with the names of the pur-
chasers of the books and the prices paid by them, inserted in old-
fashioned hand writing. The catalogue calls the collection : "The
splendid, curious and extensive library of the late John Dent,
Esquire, F. R. S. and F. S. A."

The first emigrants to America of the name were Richard
and John Dent who settled in the Barbados in 1635, and Francis
Dent, who in 1634 was a freeman in Lynn.

Stouten Hubert Dent is descended from the Maryland branch
of the family. As tradition has it, two Dent brothers who were

>



STOUTEN HUBERT DENT 449

loyal to Charles I, received from his son grants of land in Mary-
land, the new colony which had been founded in 1632, and named
for Henrietta Maria, the queen of Charles I. It is a strange fact
that Maryland, in which Lord Baltimore had determined to found
an American feudal nobility, with hereditary titles and large
estates to be known as Manors (as in early English times) ac-
tually became the most liberal of the colonies. Old world aristoc-
racy "could not flourish in the healthy and primitive surroundings
of the new world. The sturdy and independent character of the
new settlers, also, made their subjection into vassals impossible
and among these colonists none held a higher place than the
Dents.

Thomas Dent was one of the first residents in what is now
the District of Columbia. He held a grant of land, called Gis-
borough, in 1662, on the east side of the Anacostia River, a tribu-
tary of the Potomac called the Eastern Branch. The present
United States Government Asylum for the insane is near the
tract. He was a prominent citizen of St. Mary's County, Justice
from 1661 to 1668, High Sheriff from 1664 to 1665, and a member
of the House of Burgesses in 1667, 1674, and 1676, in which year
he died.

William Dent, the son of Thomas, was the owner of fifteen
hundred and seventy-one acres of land in Prince George County.
The tract was called "Friendship" and was surveyed in 1694. Its
owner was a man of ability and prominent in the life of his time.
He was one of the three members of the King's Council at Law,
clerk of the lower house in the Assembly and the chairman of a
"Committee for Examination and Inspection of the Body of the
Laws of this Province;" he frequently addressed the upper house
on bills sent from the lower branch, and was a trustee of the first
corporate school board, organized in Maryland. He was a mem-
ber of Rock Creek Church.

John Dent, the brother of Thomas, was the owner of one
hundred and fifty acres in Charles County, the tract being called
in the survey of 1673, "Promise," and also of land in St. Mary's
County. A spring, located on the latter tract, gained so great a
reputation for healing virtues that, in 1698, the Assembly passed
an act authorizing the erection of a hospital near the waters.
Governor Francis Nicholson gave twenty-five pounds toward the
project, this being the first contribution received.

A brick house, still standing on the road from Bryantown to
Newport, Maryland, was built by the Dents, of English-made
bricks. When first erected it stood at the head of navigable
waters, but is now five miles inland.

The descendants of William of "Friendship" have always
been prominent in the public affairs of Maryland. John Dent
was a member of the Provincial Convention in 1775, and in 1776,



450 STOUTEN HUBERT DENT

as has been previously stated, helped frame the first constitution
for Maryland. During the Revolution he rendered great service
to the State in important civil positions.

John F. Dent was much like his grandsire in character and
Trend of thought. He was admitted to the Bar in 1837 and was a
lawyer of standing in St. Mary's County. His public career began
with his election to the Constitutional Convention in 1850, and
from that time on he was a familiar and compelling figure in the
assemblies, conventions and political conferences of his State.
His marriage to Lillia Blackiston gave his children a distin-
guished maternal as well as paternal ancestry. A son of this
couple, John Marshall Dent, added new lustre to the family name
during the Civil War, was editor of the Newnan "Herald" in
Georgia in later years, and on his return to Maryland filled vari-
ous positions of responsibility in his home county of St. Mary's.

Stouten Hubert Dent is descended from two branches of the
Dent family, since his maternal grandmother was Mary Dent, the
sister of Theophilus Dent, and daughter of Gideon Dent, residents
of Charles County in 1790. He is second cousin to Frederich
Levi Dent (the grandson of Theophilus Dent) whose paternal
ancestry reaches back to John who was living in Charles Countv
in 1673.

George Dent, an ancestor, was prominent in both civil and
military circles in Charles County in the eighteenth century. He
w^as Colonel of militia in 1748, a justice of the court in 17G9, First
Lieutenant of the Third Maryland Battalion of the Flying Corps
in the Revolution and represented Maryland in Congress from
1793 to 1801. In 1801 he was appointed by President Jefferson
to the office of United States Marshal for the Potomac District.
His death occurred in 1812.

According to the census of 1790 there were many families of
the name of Dent in Charles and St. Marv's Counties in Maryland

*/ */

who were more or less related through descent or bv the mar-

9s

riages of cousins. The paternal grandfather of Stouten Dent was
Hatch Dent, and two of that name are listed in the 1790 census,
one of them being a clergyman.

Hatch Dent's name also occurs in the Revolutionary War
records. He was an ensign in Smallwood's Regiment in 1776,
was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in the same year, and in
1777 attained the rank of Captain. He was captured by the
enemy and held as prisoner at Long Island for more than a year.

In 1797 the Frederich County School was founded and Hatch
Dent was appointed teacher in the English department.

One branch of the Dent family settled in Missouri. Julia
Dent became the wife of Ulysses S. Grant. Her brother, Fred-
erich Tracy Dent, a classmate of Grant at West Point, achieved



STOUTEN HUBERT DENT 451

many honors during the Civil War, and was later highly esteemed
in the regular army service.

The Smoot family, to which Captain Dent is related through
his mother, who was Mary Catherine Sinoot, is one of the oldest
in Maryland. Its founder was William, who in 1652 held a tract
of land of four hundred acres, called "Smootly" in Charles
County.

A descendant of the same name was a Lieutenant in the
Revolutionary War, and became one of the original members of
the Society of the Cincinnati, formed in 1783.

The men of these two families, Dent and Smoot, being leaders
in their communities were often associates in civil activities; in
1769, George Dent, John Dent and Edward Smoot, served together
as justices of the court in Charles County.

This then is the lineage of Stouten Hubert Dent, an honor
roll of men of high character, industry and devotion to the wel-
fare of their country, worthy progenitors of no less worthy de-
scendants, to whom could be given no nobler title than : "Makers
of America."



THOMAS ALEXANDER HATHCOCK

BORN near Albeinarle, Stanly County, North Carolina, on
October 15, 1865, Doctor Thomas Alexander Hathcock
received his earlier education at the Norwood High School,
and later at Trinity College, going thence to the University
of North Carolina. Following his studies there, he graduated
Doctor of Medicine from the University of Maryland, April 18,
1893.

As is the way with some men whom circumstances have
placed in limited spheres, Doctor Hathcock's heart and mind had
a broader sweep than any one profession could fill in a small
community. Hence he is influential in the political and business
life of Norwood as well as in his own profession.

Doctor Hathcock bears a name which was quite uncommon
in Colonial times and in most of the States there is no trace of it.
In the Virginia Colonial Army there was one Hathcock, but in
North Carolina there was a small band of this family.

f

Unfortunately the records of North Carolina, and indeed,
those of nearly all of the States, are imperfect. It is impossible
to find detailed information of many of the families of the Colo-

/

nial period as, in some cases, records were not kept at all, and
some which did exist, have been destroyed, many of those of Gran-
ville County, where Doctor Hathcock's father's people located
having been burned.

George Bancroft, the historian, was compelled to say that
"So carelessly has the history of North Carolina been written that

/ .'

the name, merits and end of the first Governor are not known."
While much has been done since Bancroft's day in discovering
and presenting North Carolina history, there are events of certain
periods, which are impracticable to record for want of authentic
data.

Granville County but continues the name of Granville dis-
trict, which was a vast territory, the better part of the province
of Carolina, granted by charter to Sir George Carteret, and six
other English noblemen in 1663. Earl Granville, as Sir George
afterwards became, retained his one-seventh interest, when the
balance belonging to the others was surrendered to the Crown.
This district ran from 35 34' south to the Virginia line on the
North, and from the Atlantic westward with no limit. In a very
short time there was no system whatever in its administration,
the Earl being busied with the intrigues of home politics and his
agents doing much as they pleased.

[452]



THOMAS ALEXANDER HATHCOCK 455

The Earl did, however, induce the best immigrants to settle
in his district, and many came from Pennsylvania, Maryland and
Virginia. When his successor John, Lord Carteret, died in 1763,
he was succeeded in his title of Earl Granville by his eldest son
who showed no interest whatever in the Colony. There was talk
of its purchase, but the Revolution came and swept away the
claims to his broad estates.

According to family tradition it was to this district and
subsequently to this County, which was formed as a separate
county in 1746 from Edgecombe that Doctor Hathcock's family
came. In the North Carolina State Records, for 1790, there are
in Chatham County four families of Hathcocks, three in North-
ampton County, and one, that of Thomas, in Richmond County.
Eight members of the family were soldiers in the North Carolina
line at the time of the Revolution. As the list of taxpayers of
Granville County in 1788 does not show any Hathcock, the proba-
bilities are that Thomas Hathcock, of Richmond County, who at
that time had two sons under sixteen, is the forbear of the Hath-
cock branch to which the doctor belongs. Christian names are
often repeated in families, and following reasonable deductions,
it is possible that all these Hathcocks are descendants of Thomas
Hathcock who was an early Virginia (Stone County) immigrant.

In the study of names, many variants are found, and the
American Hathcocks are doubtless of the same stock that has
preserved the name Heathcote in England. Like others that can
be traced to an early period in history, this name is spelled in a
variety of ways. From the Hedcota or Hetcota of Saxon times,



Online LibraryAlbert B OsborneMakers of America; biographies of leading men of thought and action, the men who constitute the bone and sinew of American prosperity and life (Volume 3) → online text (page 34 of 48)