SOURCE: History of Texas, Together with a Biographical History of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson Counties. (Chicago, IL: Lewis, 1893), p. 703 & 704.
W. J. Gentry, of Baileyville, Milam county, is one of Alabama's native sons, being born in Macon county, that State, January 13, 1834. He was schooled most extensively in the pursuits of the farm, to which his education was almost exclusively limited. He is the son of Archie Gentry, who was born in Greene county, Georgia, and who died when young; therefore our subject is without any record as to his father's age, it being known that he was a farmer and blacksmith. For his wife he married Ferah Callahan.
Eleven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Gentry as follows: Asberry Gentry, deceased; Sarah Ann Gentry, wife of William Graves; James Gentry, deceased; Caroline Gentry married Wright Daniel; Maria Gentry, married J. Staples, but is now deceased; Frances Gentry, deceased, became the wife of Wiley Bridgeman; Jack Gentry, died in the Confederate army; Payne Gentry, deceased; Nathaniel Gentry and W. J. Gentry twins, living in Milam county.
At eighteen our subject was thrown upon his own resources, having lost his best friend, his mother, at that age. He then employed himself at overseeing, which occupation he followed for five years, saving enough money from his salary to give himself a small financial start, and purchased 100 acres which he improved and lived on until he came to Texas.
In 1862, our subject enlisted in Company D, Forty-fifth Regiment, Alabama Infantry, under Captain Black and Colonel Gilgrease, and was attached to the army of the Tennessee. He participated in many hard and bloody engagements, among them being Murfreesboro, Chickamauga and the campaign around Atlanta, Georgia, during which last engagement he received a few flesh wounds, which sent him to the hospital at Auburn, Georgia, for a few months. The campaign above mentioned was perhaps one of the most memorable of the war. The army was so hard-pressed for food that it was a difficult matter to keep it even scantily supplied, and many even suffered from hunger. Grains of corn were picked up from the ground where the horses had left them and eagerly devoured. Those were terrible times from 1861 to 1865.
Within three years after peace was declared Mr. Gentry sold out his Atlanta interests and settled in Milam county. He is desirably situated at the junction of the Pond and Hog creeks, owning over 100 acres of fine black soil. He is a good farmer, makes bountiful crops, and comes out ahead every year.
At twenty-five years of age Mr. Gentry married Mary Gassaway, a daughter of Esquire D. W. Gassaway, of Alabama.
Mr. and Mrs. Gentry have three children: Anna Gentry, who married James Simington; Mary L. Gentry and Zera Gentry.
Mr. Gentry is a Democrat, politically, but has never held nor does he desire an office. The family are Baptists, and no man is more substantial and more respected in Baileyville than Mr. Gentry.
We must say a special thank you to Sylvia Thomas of Georgetown, Texas, for typing the above biographical sketch for use on the Milam County TXGenWeb site.
Created on 18 June 2004 and last revised on ____________