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Published: September 7th 2019
I found only two internet sites on Gent, Texas; on Gent Mountain. The Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) was my main source of historic information. TexasEscapes.com was my secondary source. My farmer friend was very important in finding this site. Both of the above internet sites agreed that Gent was also known as Ghent.
On Gent Mountain there was a well hidden Historic Marker, that we could not find cuz of the heavy overgrown brush and thorny vines. The sun was on the other side of the overgrown brush. After a while we found a dark silhouette of a historic marker in the brush. We cleared away the brush to see this historic marker.
In the late 1840s the area was first settled by European Americans and known as Sand Springs. That settlement was not really developed until the late 1870s. In 1879 a post office opened there as Gent or Ghent. In 1890 Gent had a district school, a cotton gin, two general stores, two churches, several grist & saw mills, and a population of about 500 people.
Jacksonville and Rusk, Texas were on the main railroad line to ship out goods to most of East Texas.
Gent Village band
According to Wikipedia (article on the Texas State Railroad) the Texas State Railroad was started in Rusk in 1883. The Railroad was completed to Maydelle in 1906. In 1909 the Railroad was completed to Palestine, where it connected with another railroad. The entire Texas State Railroad was built by inmates of the Rusk Penitentiary; including the trestle over the Neches River.
The businesses and population quickly started to decline cuz of the new railroad station in Maydelle, only about two miles South of Gent. Most of the residents of Gent then started moving to Maydelle. They needed to ship out their produce and timber to the East Texas markets. There were other railroads North or North-East of Gent that may have shipped their products to markets, but I am uncertain if Gent had a railroad access available. Maybe they had to ship their produce to Jacksonville by horse and wagon.
The Gent post office was closed in 1906, and the last of the Gent population (and other defunked towns) moved to Maydelle. By about 1915 Gent was abandoned. Now there are no remaining structures remaining in Gent or Ghent.
My photo of the Maydelle Station shows
Gent Village Historic Marker
guide clearing brush with thorny vines from HM
some of the rail (on bottom right) of the still active Texas State Railroad.
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