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Rev. Brent Harding (1843-??)
Former minister of the Second Baptist Church of Bay City.

Biography 1892 - Added July, 2010.

Portrait and Biographical Record of Saginaw and Bay Counties, MI
Chicago Biographical Publishing Co. - 1892


Rev. Brent Harding, Pastor of the Second Baptist Church of Bay City, is an efficient and high esteemed church worker. For some time he was engaged exclusively as decorator and painter, but his devotion to the progress of the Redeemer's kingdom and his enthusiasm in mission work finally led him to take charge of church work and he is now carrying on his double vocation with remarkable success. He has the unfailing respect of all who know him and is esteemed both in his work and in his character. He is a fine decorator and does contract and job work at the same time is forwarding the highest and truest interests of the church.

Mr. Harding was born in Chesham, Bucks County, England, February 10, 1843. His father and grandfather, both of whom bore the name of Thomas, were natives of the same place, where the latter was a large landed proprietor and the village squire. The father was a gentleman of leisure in his early days and afterwards became principal of schools and died at the age of forty-eight in 1844. They were Quakers in their religious belief and people of more than ordinary culture and charcter.

The mother, Elizabeth De Brent, was the daughter of a General in the French army, who fled to England during troublous times. His wife had been imprisoned in the Bastile at Paris and became blind from weeping while in that terrible dungeon, but finally escaped and spent her remaining days in England. The mother of our subject died in 1850. Her parents were Catholics but she became a member of the Baptist Church. The father was twice married and had three children by his first union and five by his second, our subject being the youngest. His sister, Mrs. Sarah Young, resides in London, England.

Chesham was the early home of our subject until he became an orphan at the age of seven and then he spent three years at school. When eleven years old he was apprenticed to the trade of house painting and remained with his employer until he was nineteen. After that he worked for one year in Chesham and then entered a large establishment in London. There he became job foreman for Thomas Kershaw, who was considered the finest grainer in the world, having medals at the World's Exposition. He continued there until 1866, passing his examination as a mechanic and then joined the English navy and spent two years and thirteen days on a man-of war, during which time he almost circumnavigated the globe and visited many of the principal ports. He left the service in 1868, returning to Chesham and then going to Brighton, where he remained until 1869. After spending a year in London he came to America in June, 1870.

Mr. Harding settled in Chatham, Canada, and engaged in his trade, devoting himself largely to contracting, and decorating some of the best buildings in that city. He was an active worker there both in the Baptist Church and in the order of Good Templars, which he had joined while at Honolulu, Sandwich Islands. In 1873 he came to Bay City, where he has since carried on contracting, decorating, and painting. During the season he employs a large force of men and has decorated some of the finest buildings in the city.

Mr. Harding was for two years Secretary of the Bay County Bible Association and is one of the most prominent workers among the Good Templars in Michigan. Five times he has been elected to represent the State Lodge in the Right Worthy Grand Lodge of the World and was able to attend those gathering which were held in Detroit, Chicago and Toronto. During the years 1877-78 he was Grand Worthy Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Michigan, I. O. G. T., being one of the three persons who had held that position in the history of the order in Michigan. He is also one of the oldest members of the Knights of Pythias in the State.

The marriage of Mr. Harding and Miss Mary Ann Polleycutt took place in Amersham, Bucks County, in November, 1861. This lady was born at Hollyhead, Wales, August 25, 1844, and her father, John Polleycutt, was a paper manufacturer and furniture dealer. The children of our subject are as follows: Emma, a teacher; Thomas, who died in Bay City when twelve years of age; John Brent, a lumber inspector; Ida C. and Bertha M.

Mr. Harding became Superintendent of the Patterson Baptist Mission July 10, 1887, and soon increased the attendance from seventeen to one hundred and seventy-five, thoroughly re-organizing the school and erecting a new building for it. After superintending that mission for three and one-half years he became in June, 1890, the

Pastor of the Second Baptist Church, having been a licentiate under the care of the First Baptist Church since 1886.

Our subject has been an active member of the State Sunday-School Board. He is State Secretary of the Prohibition party of Michigan and was nominated by that party for State and also for Representative and County Judge. He is a member of the State Board of Suffrages and for two years was State Lecturer for the Independent Order of Good Templars, in which capacity he traveled extensively with J. B. Finch.

Additional Notes.

    1880 Census: Merritt Twp., Bay, Mich.

  • Harding Brent b. Feb., 1843, England
  • Mary A., wife - b. 1843, Wales
  • Anna E., dau. - b. 1866, England
  • Thomas H.son - b. 1870 England
  • John B.Son - b. 1872 Canada (subject)
  • Ida C., dau. - b. 1875 Michigan

    1890/91 - Directory: Bay City, Mich.

  • Bay County Bible Society - Meets monthly at Y.M.C.A. rooms. A.C. Haven, president; Brent Harding, secretary; R.E. Gedney, treasurer.
  • Harding, Brent - painter 109 N. Jefferson, res. same.
  • Harding, John - painter, bds. 109 N. Jefferson.

    1893 Directory: Bay City, Mich.

  • Patterson Mission of First Baptist Church s.s. Barney , bet. N. Johnson and Sherman. Brent Harding, superintendent. Sunday services, 7:30 p.m. Sunday school, 3:30 p.m. in summer and 3 p.m. in winter. Prayer meeting, Friday evening at 7:30 p.m.

    1893 - Michigan Marriages: Bay City.

  • Date: Oct., 8, 1893, Ida C. Harding, daughter of Brent Harding and Polleycult, marriage to David C. Bruce, son of Robert Bruce and Harriet E. Carley.
Related Note & Pages

Rev. Brent Harding

Related Pages:
Campbell, Daniel
Harding, John B son
People Referenced
Bruce, David C.
Bruce, Robert
Carley, Harriet E.
De Brent, Elizabeth (mother)
Finch, J.B.
Gedney, R.E.
Harding, Anna E. (dau)
Harding, Betha M. (dau)
Harding, Brent Rev. (subject)
Harding, Emma (dau)
Harding, John B. (son)
Harding, Ida C. (dau)
Harding, Thomas I (g-father)
Harding, Thomas II (father)
Harding, Thomas III (son)
Haven, A.C.
Kershaw, Thomas
Polleycutt, John
Polleycutt, Mary A. (wife)
Young, Sarah Mrs.
Subjects Referenced
Bay City, MI
Bay City YMCA
Bay Co. Bible Assoc.
Brighton, England
Bucks Co., England
Chatham, Canada
Chesham, England
Chicago, IL
Detroit, MI
English navy
First Baptist Ch.
French army
Hollyhead, England
London, England
Patterson Baptist Mission
Second Baptist Ch.
Toronto, Ont.
Wales, England
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.