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Gentryville

Gentryville, Indiana, USA

Gentryville is located about six miles north of Chrisney on Highway 231 and is intersected by County Road 1500 North.

James Gentry will forever be remembered in Spencer County. Not only did he and his family pioneer an unsettled wooded area of southern Indiana, but his name forever will be attached to the village he settled -- Gentryville.

Gentry settled down in west-central Spencer County in 1818. The site of his home is commemorated by a historical marker just east of present day Gentryville.

Gentryville is ideally situated between three nationally known historical sites -- Lincoln State Park and Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial to the east and Col. William Jones House to the west.

About a half-mile west of the town, Jones opened a trading post in the early 1800's. In 1844, the future president Abraham Lincoln gave a campaign speech at the Jones house. In recent years, the Jones House was completely restored and is now open for tours.

The site was selected as one of only seven statewide tourism hidden treasures in May 1993. Previously, the Jones property was listed on the National Register of Historical Places by the U. S. Department of Natural Resources.

Gentryville experienced industrial growth after the Civil War with stores, blacksmith shops, tobacco warehouses, a cigar factory and a grist mill opening to maintain a lively business district.

Commerce in Gentryville today is limited to a convenience store, a used car lot, antique shops and other small family businesses.

However, the town of about 300 could be poised for new growth in coming years. The town announced earlier in the summer of 1998 that it had received state grant money to plan, develop and implement a citywide sewer system.

In 1987, the state widened Highway 231 through the town, but when the new highway is constructed over the next few years, it will bypass Gentryville to the east in favor of Santa Claus.