Kent Family papers

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Special Collections and Archives

Kent Family papers

The Special Collections & Archives reading room is closed, and all in-person (physical, face-to-face) services are suspended at this time. We are here to help! Please contact us to discuss how we can best serve you during this time.

Special Collections and Archives

Kent Family papers

Portrait of Zenas Kent

Kent Family papers

Inventory prepared by William M. Meloy, June 1996; Revised by Stephanie Wachalec, November 6, 2003; Last Updated: December 2020


Inclusive Dates: 1818-2004
Bulk Dates: 1864-1903
Extent: 1 cubic foot (1 record storage box)
Physical Location: 11th floor


Processing Information: Originally processed under the archives identification D.7.6 and (Dudley Weaver) archives identification D.7.22.1.


Biographical Notes:

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, and  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. 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.


Acquisition Information: The collection was 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.


Box 1
Folder -- Contents

Series 1

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

Series 2

  • 1900, May 23. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent [includes processor's note about this series]
  • 1900, May 24. Kate Rhodes Palmer to Marvin Kent
  • 1901, January 5. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  • 1901, January 6.[no return address] newspaper clipping to Marvin Kent
  • 1901, January 7. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  • 1901, January 18. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  • 1901, January 27. [no return address] newspaper clipping to Marvin Kent
  • 1901, February 3. [no return address] newspaper clipping to Marvin Kent
  • 1901, February 23. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  • 1901, February 24. [no return address] newspaper clipping to Marvin Kent
  • 1901, March 14. Taylor and Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  • 1901, March 20. Joseph Armitage to Marvin Kent
  • 1901, April 1. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  • 1901, April 23. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  • 1901, August 7. Taylor and Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  • 1902, July 1. Henry Clews and Co. to Marvin Kent
  • 1902, July 9. Vincent E. Nicholson to Marvin Kent
  • 1902, August 12. [T. C. M ?] to Marvin Kent
  • 1902, September 6. J. E Taussig to Marvin Kent
  • 1902, September 19. Eleanor K. Emerson [cousin] to Marvin Kent
  • 1902, September 27. The Pickering Manufacturing Company to Marvin Kent
  • 1902, October 1. Sidney C. Kendall to Marvin Kent
  • 1902, October 11. Harry E. Weil and Co to Marvin Kent
  • 1902, October 14. The Evening Post to Marvin Kent
  • 1902, October 21. William Reynolds to Marvin Kent
  • 1902, November 8. Alfred Kelley to Marvin Kent
  • 1902, November 11. T. E. Romig to Marvin Kent
  • 1902, November 22. [?] to Marvin Kent
  • 1902, December 2. Fred E. Rockwell to Marvin Kent
  • 1902, December 2. Terry and Sons to Marvin Kent
  • 1902, December 10. Elmer Dover to Marvin Kent
  • 1902, December 10. Geo. W. Hoffman to Marvin Kent
  • 1902, December 11. Massillon State Hospital [envelope only] to Marvin Kent
  • 1902, December 15. [W.] Hodgson to Marvin Kent
  • 1902, December 16. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  • 1902, December 29. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  • 1902, [envelope only, no date or return address] to Marvin Kent

Series 3

  • 1903, January 12. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  • 1903, January 19. Publishers Advertising League to Marvin Kent
  • 1903, February 6. Alfred Kelley to Marvin Kent
  • 1903. February 12. Alfred Kelley to Marvin Kent
  • 1903, February 25. A. E. Appleyard and Co. to Marvin Kent
  • 1903, March 2. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  • 1903, March 12. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  • 1903, March 13 A. E. Appleyard and Co. to Marvin Kent
  • 1903, April 13. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  • 1903, April 16. Publishers Advertising League to Marvin Kent
  • [1903?], June 11. Marvin Kent to "Messers James & James"
  • 1903, June 13. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  • 1903, June 13. Taylor and Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  • 1903, July 19. Marvin Kent to "Messers James & James"
  • 1903, July 25. Alfred Kelley to Marvin Kent
  • 1903, July 31. A. C. Lloyd to Marvin Kent
  • 1903, August 3. Taylor and Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  • 1903, August 12. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  • 1903, August 15. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  • 1903, September 14. John D. Morris and Co. to Marvin Kent
  • 1903, September 14. Henry C. Hopkins to Marvin Kent
  • 1903, September 19. John D. Morris and Co. to Marvin Kent
  • 1903, October 3. John D. Morris and Co. to Marvin Kent
  • 1903, October 5. John D. Morris and Co. to Marvin Kent
  • 1903, October 9. John D. Morris and Co. to Marvin Kent
  • 1903, October 13. John D. Morris and Co. to Marvin Kent
  • 1903, October 14. John D. Morris and Co. to Marvin Kent
  • 1903, October 16. The Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad to Marvin Kent [postal card]
  • 1903, October 17. John D. Morris and Co. to Marvin Kent
  • 1903, October 22. The Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad to Marvin Kent [postal card]
  • 1903, October 22. John D. Morris and Co. to Marvin Kent
  • 1903, October 28. The Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad to Marvin Kent [postal card]
  • 1903, December 24. G. W. Coleman to Marvin Kent

Series 4

  • 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]

Series 5: Dudley Weaver Kent Family Collection

  • Original inventory about the Weaver collection, includes more information about Weaver and details about this collection
  • Miscellaneous deeds [1861-1094] and exceprts from an account book, 1818
  • 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
  • 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
  • Photocopies of correspondence to W. S. Kent (1864-1869), twelve letters
  • Newspaper clippings about Zenas Kent, 1843, 1847, 1942, undated
  • Obituaries of Pamelia Kent [Zenas' wife], 1862
  • Obituary of Harriet (Kent) Clapp, January 15, 1887
  • Obituaries of Charles H. Kent March 5, 1887 and his wife Mary Elizabeth (Burritt) Kent, 1903
  • Newspaper articles relating to Charles E. Curtis, Grace Elizabeth (Kent) Curtis and their son Marvin Kent Curtis, 1889, 1918, 1922, 1957
  • 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
  • Wedding announcement John W. Reed and Ella Southwick Kent, 1893 and John W. Reed's obituary, 1922
  • Obituaries of Edgar M. Kent, 1893 and Henry A. Chapin [Zenas' nephew], 1898
  • Obituaries of George W. Wells. 1893, his wife Frances E. (Kent) Wells, 1900 and their children
  • Obituaries of Henry A. Kent, 1893 and his son Sheldon, 1904
  • Obituary of Edward Kent, 1894
  • Obituary of Josephine Kent, 1896
  • Photocopies of correspondence related to Marvin Kent 1899, 1902, 1903, three letters
  • Newspaper clippings about Marvin Kent, 1875-1942
  • Obituaries of Marvin Kent 1908 and his wife Maria Stewart Kent, 1900
  • Newspaper clipping relating to William S. Kent, includes a picture of his house, 1901-1927
  • Obituaries of Charles B. Kent and his family, 1914-1936
  • Miscellaneous artciles about the city of Kent related to the Kent family, 1923, 1926, 1934, 1945, 1958, 1976
  • Obituaries of William S. Kent, 1923 and his wife Mary (Pearson) Kent, 1931
  • Newspaper clippings about the Charles B. Kent property, 1928
  • Newspaper clippings [most obituaries] of prominent Kent citizens, 1903-1947
  • Newspaper clippings and a brochure about the Masonic Temple [the former Kent home], 1923-1974
  • Newspaper clippings related to Brady Lake, 1912, 1983
  • Newspaper clippings about Elmer Novotny [painted W. S. Kent portrait and mural at Kent Bank], 1941, 1965
  • Correspondence to and from Dudley S. Weaver, 1974, 1976
  • Photographs of Zenas Kent, undated
  • Photograph of Pamelia Kent, undated
  • Photograph of Zenas and Pamelia Kent's grave at Woodland Cemetery, [taken in 1960]
  • Photographs of Marvin Kent, 1899; undated
  • Photograph of Charles Kent, undated
  • Photograph of Charles Kent house, 1890
  • Photograph of William S. Kent, undated
  • Photograph of the laying of the corner stone for Kent Normal School, June 18, 1912
  • Negatives of photographs in folders 125-132, various dates
  • 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]