September 21, 1816|
Ravenna, Ohio, US
|Died||December 10, 1908
Kent, Ohio, US
|Known for||Namesake of Kent, Ohio,
Establishment of Atlantic and Great Western Railroad
Marvin Kent (September 21, 1816 – December 10, 1908) was a railroad president, politician, and businessman from Portage County, Ohio, United States, best known as the namesake of the city of Kent, Ohio, which was previously known as Franklin Mills.
Marvin Kent was born in Ravenna, Ohio, and was heavily involved in the business dealings of his father Zenas Kent from a very young age. During the 1860s he was instrumental in establishing the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad and having the railroad shops located in the village of Franklin Mills. The village was named after him shortly thereafter in 1864. Kent also served as a bank president and as an Ohio state senator from the Republican party. He died in Kent, Ohio, in 1908.
Kent's father Zenas had several business ventures during the 1830s-1850s in Franklin Mills and briefly operated a tannery with John Brown. He also had considerable land holdings and built a four-story commercial block in what is now downtown Kent in 1837 that was said to have been the tallest building in Ohio at the time. He eventually would relocate to Franklin Mills in 1851. Marvin Kent's son William Stewart Kent played a key role in the establishment of Kent State University in 1910 by donating the land for the original campus.
- "Kent Family Papers, 1818-2004". Kent State University Special Collections. Kent State University. 2003. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
- Di Paolo, Roger (March 30, 2008). "Portage Pathways: No love lost: Zenas Kent turned his back on Ravenna to build rival town". Record-Courier.
- Caccamo, James F. (2001). "John Brown: A Brief Chronology". John Brown Collection. Hudson Library and Historical Society. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
- "The Kent Family" (PDF). About Kent Files. Kent Historical Society. 2003. Retrieved February 22, 2015.