JAMES M. LENTZ was born in Bedford County February 15, 1828. His father, Benjamin Lentz, was born in 1800 in North Carolina, and immigrated to Tennessee in 1818, settling five and a half miles southwest of Shelbyville, and lived there to the date of his death, which occurred in 1878. Our subject’s mother, Penelope (Bussy) Lentz, was born about 1808, and is still living.
Our subject grew to manhood on the farm and received his education in the common district schools. At the age of twenty-one he went to New Orleans, and engaged in the lumber business, remaining there about six or seven years. He then engaged in the carpenter’s trade, and continued this business about six or seven years, after which he began farming, and has successfully continued this occupation up to the present time.
He was married, February 14, 1861, to Elizabeth Lawell, a native of Tennessee, born April 15, 1837, and to them were born nine children: John H., Samuel J., Robert M., Ethan A., Babe, Mary L. A., Necy, Eddie E., and one died unnamed. Mr. Lentz is politically a Democrat. He is a self-made man, having accumulated his wealth by his own unaided efforts.
Transcribed by Kathryn Hopkins
Goodspeed Publishing Co. History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Maury, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Bedford & Marshall Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Reminescences [Sic], Observations, Etc., Etc. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1988.