Inventory prepared by William M. Meloy, June 1996
Revised by Stephanie Wachalec, November 6, 2003
1 record storage box, 1 cubic foot, 11th floor
Old archives number D.7.6.
Zenas Kent (1786-1865), father of Marvin Kent, was an early settler
of Portage County, an entrepreneur who established Kent's flour mill, a cotton
mill, a tannery and various other business enterprises, the president of the
Kent National Bank, and the treasurer of the Atlantic & Great Western Railroad.
Marvin Kent (1816-1908), the son of Zenas Kent, was a merchant of Kent,
Ohio, the planner, promoter, developer, and first president of the Atlantic
& Great Western Railroad [now a part of the Erie Lackawanna system], president
of the Kent National Bank, Ohio State Senator [Republican], 1876-1878, and a
prominent Portage County citizen.
William Stewart Kent (1847-1923), the son of Marvin Kent, was a merchant
of Kent, Ohio, the president of the Kent National Bank, publisher of the Kent
Courier, and the instrumental figure in bringing Kent Normal School [now
Kent State University] to the city of Kent.
Biographical data obtained from:
L. Vernon Briggs, Genealogies of the Different Families Bearing the
Name of Kent in the United States. . . . (Boston: Rockwell and Churchill
James B. Holm, ed., Portage Heritage (Ravenna: Portage County Historical
[n.a.], History of Portage County, Ohio (Chicago: Warner, Beers,
& Co., 1885).
Scope and Content
This collection contains the papers primarily of Marvin Kent's family, of Kent,
Ohio, which were donated by George B. Towner, Sr., of Brady Lake, Ohio, who
retrieved them from the Kent home prior to its transfer to the Masonic Order.
The collection includes business and personal correspondence, brochures, cards,
receipts and bills, and other miscellaneous papers, covering the years 1864-1903.
The bulk of the correspondence falls into two distinct time periods: the decade
of the 1860s and the decade of the 1900s, and consists primarily of the incoming
business correspondence of Marvin Kent (1900s) and the incoming personal correspondence
of his son William S. Kent (1860s).
Series 5 contains Dudley Weaver's collection of Kent Family papers, [formerly
a separate collection D.7.22.1.]. Weaver, a local historian with a lifelong
interest in Kent and Portage County collected copies of letters, photographs
and newspaper clippings about the various members of the Kent family.
Description of Series
1 consists of 24 items of correspondence, 1864-1898. The bulk is confined
to the 1860s, and much of it is the personal correspondence of William S. Kent. Series
2 consists of 36 items of correspondence, 1900, 1901, and 1902, all to Marvin
Kent. Most letters concern Kent's varied business and financial interests. Two
are personal letters of condolence at the time of the death of Kent's wife,
Maria Stewart Kent. Series
3 consists of 33 items of correspondence, 1903. All but two are
incoming business letters of Marvin Kent. There are two letterpress copies of
outgoing letters of Marvin Kent.
Series 4 consists of miscellaneous items including business
cards, receipts, bills, envelopes, newspaper clippings, and advertisements. Series 5 Dudley Weaver's collection of Kent Family information.
Miscellaneous business and personal cards, admission tickets, and announcements
Miscellaneous bills and receipts, 1868-1903 [the bulk falls after 1900]
Miscellaneous envelopes, without letters, mostly incoming correspondence
of Marvin Kent
Miscellaneous advertisements, handbills, notices, brochures, and programs
Annual Report of the Ohio Board of Public Works for 1872
Newspaper clippings, including several articles on financial matters, advertisements,
and a memorial of Marvin Kent, 1932.
Miscellaneous items, including undated correspondence, memos, physics notes,
and an essay on "Americans" by William S. Kent.
Lists of prices of goods and accounts of prominent early Portage Countians,
1818-1825. [includes: Amzi Atwater, Owen Brown, Jesse Grant, Darius Lyman,
Heman Oviatt, and Joshua Woodard. This material was probably copied in the
late 1890s from original account books of Zenas Kent]
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