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Almon Lent 
pages 233-234

THE true measure of individual success is determined by what one has accomplished. An enumeration of those men of a past generation in Ohio, who succeeded in their special vocations and at the same time left the lasting imprint of their strong personalities upon the community, men who won honor and public recognition for themselves, and at the same time conferred an incalculable degree of good upon the locality in which they resided, would be incomplete were there failure to make specific reference to the gentleman whose name initiates this paragraph, for when we learn that the late Almon Lent rose by his own efforts from bookkeeper to president of one of the great powder firms of the United States, and from an humble beginning to a secure position among the wealthy men of affairs of the city of Cleveland, we instinctively accord him just praise. Having thus for many years been an important factor in the industrial history of the Middle West, his name is deeply engraved on the pages of history in this favored section of the Union. The splendid success which came to him was the direct result of the salient points in his character. With a mind capable of laying judicious plans and a will strong enough to bring them into execution at the proper moment, his great energy, keen foresight, and indomitable perseverance resulted in the accumulation of a handsome competence. He carried forward to successful completion whatever he undertook, and his business methods were ever in strict conformity with the standard ethics of commercial life.
Mr. Lent was born in Ridgeville, Ohio, July 31, 1854. He was a son of Peter and Sophronia (Case) Lent, the father, a native of the State of New York, and the mother, of Connecticut. They grew up in the East, attended the early-day schools there, and in an early day emigrated to Ohio, where they established their permanent home, and here spent the rest of their lives. Both have been deceased many years. To them three children were born, of whom, Mrs. Adelaide S. Bond, of Buffalo, New York, is the only survivor.
Mr. Lent attended the district schools at Ridgeville until he was nine years of age, when his parents removed with him to Cleveland, in which city he grew to manhood and continued his education, which included a business training. His first work was as bookkeeper for the Austin Powder Company, of Cleveland, which position he took in 1874, and, taking readily to this line of endeavor and proving to be an alert, trustworthy, and capable employee, his promotion was rapid and he remained with the firm the rest of his life, or during a period of forty years, during which time he became one of the best known manufacturers of powder in America. In later years he became one of the heavy stockholders of the firm, and in 1900 was elected president of the concern, the duties of which responsible position he continued to discharge in a manner that reflected much credit upon himself, and to the eminent satisfaction of all concerned, until his death. As president, he did much to increase the prestige of the company and extend its business over a vast stretch of territory, made many important changes in the factory, and advocated the adoption of modern equipment and methods in all its departments. He impressed upon the scores of employees of the plant the value of honest and high-grade workmanship, as well as promptness, and, therefore, owing to the superior quality of the powder produced at the Austin Powder Plant, it found a very ready market. Mr. Lent was also a stockholder in the Western Cartridge Company, at Alton, Illinois; also was heavily interested, financially, in the Western Powder Company, at Peoria, Illinois, and his influence and keen business discernment did much in making these two concerns highly successful. Toward the latter part of his life, he built a beautiful home at 2441 Euclid Boulevard, Cleveland, where his widow still resides.
Mrs. Lent was known in her maidenhood as Frances E. Billings, and they were married in Cleveland on August 8, 1877. She is a daughter of Martin S. and Mary N. (Payne) Billings. The father was a native of Ohio and the mother was born in Connecticut. They were among the influential families of Cleveland in an earlier day, being highly respected by all who knew them. They are both now deceased. Their family consisted of three children, Mrs. Lent being the only survivor. She had the advantages of a good education and is a lady of culture, affable manners, and other attributes which have long made her a social favorite. To Mr. and Mrs. Lent one child was born, Harold Almon Lent, who died in infancy.
Mr. Lent was a Republican in politics, but never a public man, not caring to leave his happy hearthstone for the exactions of a public life. He was a member of the Euclid, Union, and Athletic clubs. Liberal in his religious views, he was not a member of any church, although he attended church with his wife, who belongs to the Euclid Avenue Disciple Church, and he was liberal in his support of churches and such movements as made for the general good. He was always charitably inclined, but few knew of his splendid gifts, for he gave purely from a sense of duty and not for display. He was summoned to his reward on October 4, 1914, at the age of sixty years. He will long be greatly missed from the circles in which he moved, having been a man of high social standing. His is the record of a well-balanced mental and moral constitution, strongly influenced by those traits of character which are ever of especial value in a progressive state of society.


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