GENT, TEXAS. Gent (Ghent) was on Gent Mountain, nine miles northwest of Rusk in northwestern Cherokee County. The area was first settled in the late 1840s and early 1850s by pioneers from Alabama and Tennessee. A church and a school, known as Sand Springs, were established there as early as 1854, but a settlement did not develop until the late 1870s. In 1879 a local post office opened under the name Gent or Ghent. The origin of the name is uncertain. Some sources suggest that the community was named after Ghent, Belgium; others claim that its name derived from "Howdy Gent," a supposed common greeting of the time. By 1890 Gent had grown to include a district school, a cotton gin, two general stores, two churches, several grist and saw mills, and an estimated population of 500. When the Texas State Railroad was built from Rusk to Palestine after 1900, Gent began to decline. Its post office was closed in 1906, and by 1913 most of its merchants and residents had moved to the newly founded town of Maydelle, on the railroad. Within a few years Gent was abandoned. In the late 1980s a Texas Historical Commission marker was placed at the site. During the early 1990s only scattered dwellings remained in the area.
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Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.