William Reynolds Gentry Home | Alleghany County, NC | c. 1890s
“I shall not entirely die. The better part of me lives on.”~Inscription on Gentry Family headstone
Despite this affluent place where William ended up, his beginnings were much more humble. Born in North Carolina in 1863, in the 1870 census his father was described as “insane, living at home, unoccupied.” Ten years later in the 1880 census, he had been relocated to an insane asylum in Raleigh, NC from where he would never return.
Young William’s mother would have had her work cut out for her with six children and no husband at home to help support them. I can’t say much about this time in William’s life but by the time he reached 27, he had met a young woman named Lena from a prominent local family. In December of 1890, they were married and shortly after, moved into this home.
They would have two daughters that they raised here and you can find all of them pictured on the front porch in 1910 in the photo inset. William passed away here at the age of 70 and according to his death certificate, he was a teacher, farmer, and merchant. His wife Lena died 30 years later and is buried beside him
In April 2023, I was notified that this home had been demolished by its owner and no longer stands here. How grateful I am to have visited in order to continue to share her story with you here.