Prominent North Carolina Family House is Left Empty

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
This photo of the Gentry home was taken around 1910. If you look closely, you will see W.R. Gentry, his wife Lena, and their daughters on the porch, along with an unidentified male.

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

Gentry House 1970s


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.

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  1. I love the contry,been in Florida many times.And I have a big wishes to see Gettysburg.I Get a present from my man when i was 60 years old. We went to Gettysburg.It was a big moment for me.We was in Jonestown in one week.Im very intrested in history from the Civil war.I like to se pictures of old house from the contryside.I hope you understand my writing. Regards from Mette L Marcussen Norway.

    1. How fascinating to hear from a Norwegian with an interest in Gettysburg. My grandfather was from Oslo, Norway. I also have a keen interest in the old Southern wooden architecture and the Civil War. And, of course, Norway.

  2. I love your site. I love the South. Thank you so much for adding me to your email list as I enjoy the pictures and stories behind them. Southern history is my favorite thing to learn about because nobody teaches it in school. Alas, only the “winners” get to have their stories told.

    1. The home is not for sale and I am keeping the address private in order to protect its property owners. Thanks for understanding.

  3. Times have changed and we cannot change history. These historic buildings should be salvaged and used for low income and the homeless people, with that they can be used for good. It’s better than living on the streets.
    The same goes for those abandoned up north!

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