Oliver Gant was one of five children born of a Dutch mother and English father in America. As soon as he was old enough, he left his family and set out to see the world. Gant finally landed in Baltimore, where he worked as an apprentice to a headston
carver. After apprenticing for five years, he moved South hoping for good opportunities and set up his own shop. He married there, but his wife died before they had been married long. Gant, looking for a better place to work, moved to North Carolina.
he finally settled in a young, bustling town named Altamont. He set up his own shop and once again began working as a carver. He felt he would be very successful in Altamont due to the growth the town was experiencing. He met a woman named Eliza Pent
nd. Eliza had a knack for investing in prosperous real estate and making good trades.
Over the span of a year Gant and Eliza fell in love and married. They were happy at first, but Eliza wanted Gant to change to a more profitable profession. Gant tr
d to work somewhere else, but he was a man of independence. He enjoyed being his own boss, so he went back to carving headstones for a living.
Gant and Eliza had many children together, but three were stillborn. Five sons and two daughters survived. Eugene was the youngest, Helen was the third, and Ben was fourth, born with twin brother Grover. Gant was having one of his drunken fits the d
Eugene was born. Generally when Gant had a fit he directed his ire at Eliza, and he could only be restrained by neighbors or other people. The only person who could occasionally restrain him was his daughter, Helen. Helen was...