Special Collections and Archives

Kent Family papers

Kent Family Papers, 1818-2004 [bulk 1864-1903]

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.


Biographical Note

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 Press, 1898).
James B. Holm, ed., Portage Heritage (Ravenna: Portage County Historical Society, 1957).
[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

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.


Box 1

Folder -- Contents
    Series 1

  1. 1864, February 7. T. Cobb to William S. Kent
  2. 1864, March 13. H. L. Kent toWilliam S. Kent
  3. 1865, April 7. [Marvin Kent?] to M. L. Clark
  4. 1866, May 17. [Koch Leois?] to "Mr. Kent"
  5. 1866, July 11. A. Kirby to William S. Kent
  6. 1867, [March 26?] [? Kent] to William S. Kent
  7. 1868, March 16 [no signature] to "Aunt Anne"
  8. 1868, July 13. Wilson [B. C.?] toWilliam S. Kent
  9. 1868, August 5. Wilson to "Dear Chum" [William S. Kent]
  10. 1868, November 24. [? Kent] to William S. Kent
  11. 1868, December 12. Marvin Kent to "Dear Sir"
  12. 1869, January 13. "from mother," Maria S. Kent to William S. Kent
  13. 1869, February 13. F. Young to "Friend Kent"
  14. 1869, March 1 [no signature] to "Dear Wilson" [Wilson Chisolm]
  15. 1869, March 1. ["Fellow Jawhawkers"?] to "Dear Chum"
  16. 1869, March 11. M. Kent [mother?] to William S. Kent
  17. 1869, March 25. "from mother," Maria S. Kent to William S. Kent
  18. 1869, April 18. "Mother" M. K. to William S. Kent
  19. 1869, May 16. M. Kent [mother?] to William S. Kent
  20. 1875, October 16. T. [Ewast?] to Mr. and Mrs. W. C. North [parents of Kittie North, first wife of William S. Kent]
  21. 1875, October ?. [no signature] to Mr. and Mrs. W. C. North [writing is very faded]
  22. 1896, March 26. [Kent National Bank letter head] to C. W. Goodsell Esq.
  23. 1898, April 27. B. V. Sommerville to Marvin Kent
  24. 1898, May 4. B. V. Sommerville to Marvin Kent


  25. Series 2

  26. 1900, May 23. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent [includes processor's note about this series]
  27. 1900, May 24. Kate Rhodes Palmer to Marvin Kent
  28. 1901, January 5. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  29. 1901, January 6.[no return address] newspaper clipping to Marvin Kent
  30. 1901, January 7. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  31. 1901, January 18. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  32. 1901, January 27. [no return address] newspaper clipping to Marvin Kent
  33. 1901, February 3. [no return address] newspaper clipping to Marvin Kent
  34. 1901, February 23. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  35. 1901, February 24. [no return address] newspaper clipping to Marvin Kent
  36. 1901, March 14. Taylor and Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  37. 1901, March 20. Joseph Armitage to Marvin Kent
  38. 1901, April 1. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  39. 1901, April 23. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  40. 1901, August 7. Taylor and Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  41. 1902, July 1. Henry Clews and Co. to Marvin Kent
  42. 1902, July 9. Vincent E. Nicholson to Marvin Kent
  43. 1902, August 12. [T. C. M ?] to Marvin Kent
  44. 1902, September 6. J. E Taussig to Marvin Kent
  45. 1902, September 19. Eleanor K. Emerson [cousin] to Marvin Kent
  46. 1902, September 27. The Pickering Manufacturing Company to Marvin Kent
  47. 1902, October 1. Sidney C. Kendall to Marvin Kent
  48. 1902, October 11. Harry E. Weil and Co to Marvin Kent
  49. 1902, October 14. The Evening Post to Marvin Kent
  50. 1902, October 21. William Reynolds to Marvin Kent
  51. 1902, November 8. Alfred Kelley to Marvin Kent
  52. 1902, November 11. T. E. Romig to Marvin Kent
  53. 1902, November 22. [?] to Marvin Kent
  54. 1902, December 2. Fred E. Rockwell to Marvin Kent
  55. 1902, December 2. Terry and Sons to Marvin Kent
  56. 1902, December 10. Elmer Dover to Marvin Kent
  57. 1902, December 10. Geo. W. Hoffman to Marvin Kent
  58. 1902, December 11. Massillon State Hospital [envelope only] to Marvin Kent
  59. 1902, December 15. [W.] Hodgson to Marvin Kent
  60. 1902, December 16. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  61. 1902, December 29. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  62. 1902, [envelope only, no date or return address] to Marvin Kent


  63. Series 3

  64. 1903, January 12. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  65. 1903, January 19. Publishers Advertising League to Marvin Kent
  66. 1903, February 6. Alfred Kelley to Marvin Kent
  67. 1903. February 12. Alfred Kelley to Marvin Kent
  68. 1903, February 25. A. E. Appleyard and Co. to Marvin Kent
  69. 1903, March 2. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  70. 1903, March 12. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  71. 1903, March 13 A. E. Appleyard and Co. to Marvin Kent
  72. 1903, April 13. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  73. 1903, April 16. Publishers Advertising League to Marvin Kent
  74. [1903?], June 11. Marvin Kent to "Messers James & James"
  75. 1903, June 13. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  76. 1903, June 13. Taylor and Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  77. 1903, July 19. Marvin Kent to "Messers James & James"
  78. 1903, July 25. Alfred Kelley to Marvin Kent
  79. 1903, July 31. A. C. Lloyd to Marvin Kent
  80. 1903, August 3. Taylor and Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  81. 1903, August 12. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  82. 1903, August 15. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  83. 1903, September 14. John D. Morris and Co. to Marvin Kent
  84. 1903, September 14. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  85. 1903, September 19. John D. Morris and Co. to Marvin Kent
  86. 1903, October 3. John D. Morris and Co. to Marvin Kent
  87. 1903, October 5. John D. Morris and Co. to Marvin Kent
  88. 1903, October 9. John D. Morris and Co. to Marvin Kent
  89. 1903, October 13. John D. Morris and Co. to Marvin Kent
  90. 1903, October 14. John D. Morris and Co. to Marvin Kent
  91. 1903, October 16. The Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad to Marvin Kent [postal card]
  92. 1903, October 17. John D. Morris and Co. to Marvin Kent
  93. 1903, October 22. The Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad to Marvin Kent [postal card]
  94. 1903, October 22. John D. Morris and Co. to Marvin Kent
  95. 1903, October 28. The Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad to Marvin Kent [postal card]
  96. 1903, December 24. G. W. Coleman to Marvin Kent


  97. Series 4

  98. Miscellaneous business and personal cards, admission tickets, and announcements
  99. Miscellaneous bills and receipts, 1868-1903 [the bulk falls after 1900]
  100. Miscellaneous envelopes, without letters, mostly incoming correspondence of Marvin Kent
  101. Miscellaneous advertisements, handbills, notices, brochures, and programs
  102. Annual Report of the Ohio Board of Public Works for 1872
  103. Newspaper clippings, including several articles on financial matters, advertisements, and a memorial of Marvin Kent, 1932.
  104. Miscellaneous items, including undated correspondence, memos, physics notes, and an essay on "Americans" by William S. Kent.
  105. 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]


  106. Series 5: Dudley Weaver Kent Family Collection

  107. Original inventory about the Weaver collection, includes more information about Weaver and details about this collection
  108. Miscellaneous deeds [1861-1094] and exceprts from an account book, 1818
  109. Excerpt from Geneaologies of the Different Families Bearing the Name of Kent, 1898 on Zenas Kent and his children, includes a page of notes by Weaver
  110. Excerpts from Portage County Atlas, 1874 on Zenas Kent and History of the Western Reserve, 1910 on Zenas and Marvin Kent, also part of a Kent family history written by Weaver
  111. Photocopies of correspondence to W. S. Kent (1864-1869), twelve letters
  112. Newspaper clippings about Zenas Kent, 1843, 1847, 1942, [no date]
  113. Obituaries of Pamelia Kent [Zenas' wife], 1862
  114. Obituary of Harriet (Kent) Clapp, January 15, 1887
  115. Obituaries of Charles H. Kent March 5, 1887 and his wife Mary Elizabeth (Burritt) Kent, 1903
  116. Newspaper articles relating to Charles E. Curtis, Grace Elizabeth (Kent) Curtis and their son Marvin Kent Curtis, 1889, 1918, 1922, 1957
  117. Newspaper articles and obituaries related to Dr. J. W. Shively and his wife, Amelia (Kent) Shively, sister of Marvin, 1890-1912 and the Shively home [formerly Zenas Kent's home], 1927
  118. Wedding announcement John W. Reed and Ella Southwick Kent, 1893 and John W. Reed's obituary, 1922
  119. Obituaries of Edgar M. Kent, 1893 and Henry A. Chapin [Zenas' nephew], 1898
  120. Obituaries of George W. Wells. 1893, his wife Frances E. (Kent) Wells, 1900 and their children
  121. Obituaries of Henry A. Kent, 1893 and his son Sheldon, 1904
  122. Obituary of Edward Kent, 1894
  123. Obituary of Josephine Kent, 1896
  124. Photocopies of correspondence related to Marvin Kent 1899, 1902, 1903, three letters
  125. Newspaper clippings about Marvin Kent, 1875-1942
  126. Obituaries of Marvin Kent 1908 and his wife Maria Stewart Kent, 1900
  127. Newspaper clipping relating to William S. Kent, includes a picture of his house, 1901-1927
  128. Obituaries of Charles B. Kent and his family, 1914-1936
  129. Miscellaneous artciles about the city of Kent related to the Kent family, 1923, 1926, 1934, 1945, 1958, 1976
  130. Obituaries of William S. Kent, 1923 and his wife Mary (Pearson) Kent, 1931
  131. Newspaper clippings about the Charles B. Kent property, 1928
  132. Newspaper clippings [most obituaries] of prominent Kent citizens, 1903-1947
  133. Newspaper clippings and a brochure about the Masonic Temple [the former Kent home], 1923-1974
  134. Newspaper clippings related to Brady Lake, 1912, 1983
  135. Newspaper clippings about Elmer Novotny [painted W. S. Kent portrait and mural at Kent Bank], 1941, 1965
  136. Correspondence to and from Dudley S. Weaver, 1974, 1976
  137. Photographs of Zenas Kent, [no date]
  138. Photograph of Pamelia Kent [no date]
  139. Photograph of Zenas and Pamelia Kent's grave at Woodland Cemetery, [taken in 1960]
  140. Photographs of Marvin Kent, 1899, [no date]
  141. Photograph of Charles Kent [no date]
  142. Photograph of Charles Kent house, 1890
  143. Photograph of William S. Kent [no date]
  144. Photograph of the laying of the corner stone for Kent Normal School, June 18, 1912
  145. Negatives of photographs in folders 125-132, [various dates]
  146. Winter Broadside No. 1, Friends of Kent State University Libraries and Media Services, January 2004 [includes an excerpt from a letter written by Maria Kent to her son William, January 13, 1869]