Jefferson County Historical Society

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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 to
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 Visitatioin 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 the Democratic party.