About Kent

mill in kent

Kent Then & Now

Nearly 200 years ago, what is now the City of Kent was two villages known as Carthage and Franklin Mills. The town fathers renamed the village "Kent" in 1864 to honor Marvin Kent who, in 1863, was responsible for bringing a railroad through town that played a major role in the village's development. Kent was incorporated as a village in 1867.

Kent became known as the "Tree City" when, in the late 1800s, John Davey, an expert horticulturalist, planted hundreds of trees throughout the City. He also trained people in the caring of the newly planted trees. Mr. Davey later founded the Davey Tree Company which is still in existence today.

Today, Kent is the largest city in Portage County and according to the 1990 census, the population is 28,835.


Kent is the home of Kent State University, which is home to 29,000 seasonal students. Additionally, residents boast Rough Rider pride in the Kent School District with a K-12 public student enrollment of 3,390.

the walkway between kent state university and downtown

City Mission Statement

The City of Kent has been entrusted with, and is committed to, providing vision, leadership, and exemplary urban services, equally and fairly, for the purpose of preserving and enhancing a safe and satisfying quality of life for residents, students, and businesses who have chosen Kent as their home.