Kent: 1859 to 1870
Enter the name for this tabbed section: The Beginning
1859 - John Brown's raid at Harpers Ferry
  • April 1861 - Civil War begins-Franklin Mills Rifle Company forms
  • March 1863 - first passenger train reaches Franklin Mills
  • 1864 - move begins to change name of Franklin Mills to Kent
  • April 4, 1865-huge bonfire and patriotic celebration
  • April 9, 1865 - Lee's surrender, Portage County sent 2,007 men to war, 312 died
  • April 15, 1865 - Franklin Mill's joy turns to deep mourning for their assassinated President, Abraham Lincoln
  • 1865 - Atlantic/Great Western RR shops open bringing in 200 men to work
  • 1867 - first weekly newspaper - “the Commercial bulletin: advertisers include a general store, homeopathic physician, lawyer, druggists, a hardware, grocery, variety store and clothing store. Ads tempted buyers with prices of good brown cotton at $.l5 yd and French bone corsets at $1.50 ea
  • 1867 - Kent National Bank
  • Union School (became Central)
  • Catholic Church on Columbus St. Universalist Church on North River
Enter the name for this tabbed section: A Few Years Later
A few years later

  • May 6, 1867 Franklin Mills officially becomes Kent and an election is called for to deal with the newly formed communities problems.
  • Mayor election-John Thompson/145 to Luther Parmelee/143 to Sylvester Huggins 116 (not exactly a landslide).
  • Newly elected officials began to make some improvement.
  • Two new oil lamps on the covered bridge (eventually replaced by the Main Street Bridge).
  • 13 miles of plank sidewalk
  • Ordinance passes to curb swine and cattle between 8 pm and 5 am (ignored).
  • New jail ordered to be built by Mayor Thompson.
  • Traffic problems include runaway horses.
  • Abandonment of P&O Canal in favor of the railroads and to help eliminate malaria caused by the mosquitoes. Without the canal the Center Flouring Mill is left high and dry.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Kent Grows
1870 - population 2,301
  • Four dry goods stores
  • Six grocery stores
  • Two drug stores
  • Three boot and shoe stores
  • Four clothing stores
  • Two jewelry stores
  • Three livery stables
  • Flour and feed store
  • Furniture store
  • Harness shop
  • Wagon Shop
  • Paint Stores
  • A&GW employing 550 men
  • Day & Williams rock glass factory employing 100
  • And a one story brick Jail to house anyone who needed locking up