Transcription of extract from the Primitive Methodist Leader
But what will interest the older generation of Primitive Methodists the most, and especially in the Midlands, is the announcement of the decease of Rev. Thomas Kent, and its eloquent appreciation of his character, gifts, and life work. It is quite evident that Mr. Kent was a man of good parts, and had he remained in England he must have come to the very front rank as preacher and administrator.
He was born in humble circumstances in a Nottinghamshire village in 1841. At the age of twenty years he was in our ministry and successfully laboured on the following stations Sheffield Second, Ilkeston, Burton-on-Trent, Ashbyy-de-la-Zouch, Church Gresley, Boston, Leicester First, and Grantham—all then in the Nottingham District. Mineral Point was in 1872 our most important station in America, and it needed a strong man.
The Western Conference applied to the English Conference to supply the man, and the lot fell upon Thomas Kent. He readily sacrificed his prospects here for the rough life of a preacher in the West. There he soon won the highest honours in the gift of the American Conference. He became its President, and editor of the denominational paper. For a few years he filled the pastorate of a prosperous Congregational church, but the Mineral Point Rock longed for the return of their former pastor, and at their urgent request, with the sanction of the Conference, he returned to the old sphere of toil and triumph. He quickly regained his ascendency in the Conference, and became again its President in 1900.
On retiring from the active ministry he built a beautiful house in Detroit intending to add a quiet evening to the busy day of his life. But so many pulpits were vacant, and the calls for his services were so many and urgent, that he continued in almost full ministerial work until within a few days of his decease. He has left a widow and six daughters, who mourn his departure and cherish his memory. Mrs. Kent comes of a good Primitive Methodist stock. Her father, Mr. Joseph Bailey of Ilkeston, presided over the English Conference in 1853. That fact bears eloquent testimony to both his character and ability. Such was the grit of Thomas Kent as a young man, and his whole life has accorded with the promise of his youth. At the age of sixty-nine years he passed peacefully beyond the veil in October last. R.W.K.
Thomas was born in 1842 at Radford, Nottinghamshire, to parents Thomas Kent, a framework knitter, and Harriet Procter.
He married Sarah Jane Bailey (1844-1929) in the summer of 1865 at Kedleston Street PM Chapel, Derby. Records identify six children.
- Julia Ada (1866-1950) – married Simon Peter Deahofe, a doctor, in 1898; married James Edwin Kaye, a salesman (1920), in 1910
- James Barr (b1867)
- Alfred Hugh (1871-1909) – a jeweller
- Archibald Bailey (1873-1944) – a book keeper (1900)
- Harriet (b abt1875)
- Allen W (b1877) – a jeweller (1900)
Thomas died on 24 September 1910 at Hennepin County, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
- 1861 Sheffield II
- 1862 Ilkeston
- 1863 Burton on Trent
- 1865 Ashby de la Zouch
- 1866 Church Gresley
- 1867 Boston
- 1869 Leicester I
- 1871 Grantham
- 1873 Mineral Point – USA
- 1875 disappears
Primitive Methodist Leader 1911/100
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers