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LaSalle county has had no more useful, patriotic citizens among her inhabitants from the days when it was a wilderness to the present time than the family of which Frank Gentleman is a sterling representative. His paternal grandfather was a native of England, but at an early day in the history of the United States transferred his allegiance to the land of the free, and was thenceforth a resident of the Green Mountain state.

William Gentleman, the father of our subject, was born in Orange county, Vermont, in 1805, and was reared to maturity there, receiving a liberal education for that day and place. In 1833 he determined that he would seek his fortune in the new west, and coming to Illinois located in Fall River township, a portion of which was heavily timbered at that time. Making a careful selection of land, he continued to dwell upon the property thus judiciously chosen until he was summoned to the home beyond, in 1893. He made good improvements upon his farm, and gave much attention to the raising of livestock, in which he was very successful. The unpretentious house which he occupied at first gave place to a substantial one of stone, and few better or more commodious farm houses are to be found in the county to-day than this one, now occupied by the subject of this review. The wife and mother, whose maiden name was Dorinda Harden, also was a native of the Green Mountain state. Daisy, her elder daughter, is the wife of John E. Muir, of Fall River township. Willard, the eldest son, is a prominent attorney at law in Chicago; James, the proprietor of the St. Hubert Chop House in Chicago; Rena, who married C. D. Basore, who owns one of the finest fruit farms in LaSalle county.

Frank Gentleman was born in Fall River township, February 25, 1866, and, being the youngest son, he remained with his parents on the home farm after some of the elder ones had embarked in the battle of life elsewhere. During the winter season he attended the district schools, and later the Ottawa grammar school. More and more he relieved his father of the cares and management of the homestead, until he was the practical head of affairs, and when death claimed his venerable parents he very naturally continued in his accustomed way of doing things. He has known no other home than this, his birthplace, now one of the most desirable farms in the township. Of late years he has given much attention to the raising of Norman horses. Short-horn cattle, and Poland-China hogs, keeping his farm thoroughly stocked with high grades. Business enterprise and well-directed talents are rapidly bringing him to the front ranks of the agriculturists and financiers of LaSalle county, and his future is one of great promise.

In political matters Mr. Gentleman is a stanch Democrat, taking an active interest in local elections and using his influence for the men who in his estimation are best qualified to carry out the wishes of the people. For two years he served as the assessor of this township, and in 1896 was honored by being elected as the supervisor of this district. Upright and just, possessing worthy principles and a genuine desire to see the right triumph, he enjoys the good will and high opinion of every one who has the pleasure of his acquaintance.

Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 186-187.

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