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Part of the Connecticut Western Reserve, Kent was settled in 1805 and was known for many years as Franklin Mills.
Settlers were attracted to the area due to its location along the Cuyahoga River as a place for water-powered mills.
It was incorporated as a village in 1867 and became a city after the 1920 Census.
Today Kent is a college town best known as the home of the main campus of Kent State University, founded in 1910, and as the site of the 1970 Kent State shootings.
The site, known as Brady's Leap, is now a city park.
Settlement by Europeans began in the late 1790s and early 19th century.
Many of Kent's demographic elements are influenced by the presence of the university, particularly the median age, median income, and those living below the poverty level.
Initial growth in the area was slow, but eventually two small villages would develop due to the potential for power generated by the Cuyahoga River that could be used in gristmills and manufacturing.There were three notable stops in Franklin Mills, one of which still stands as of 2010.