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The region was originally inhabited by various tribes of American Indians, including the early Mound Builders.
Around 1780, Captain Samuel Brady achieved notoriety for his activities in the area, including his famous leap of 21 feet (6 m) over the Cuyahoga River to avoid capture by an unknown band of American Indians.
They were joined by John's brother George and their father Jacob Haymaker and their families early the next year, and built a gristmill in 1807.
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.
As the home of the Davey Tree Expert Company, Kent is known as "The Tree City" while residents are referred to as "Kentites".
The city has produced a number of notable individuals, particularly in politics, athletics, and the entertainment industry.
It is located along the Cuyahoga River in Northeast Ohio on the western edge of the county.
In 1864 the town was renamed Kent in honor of and in gratitude for Marvin Kent's efforts.Marvin Kent had started his own railroad company, the Franklin and Warren Railroad, in 1851 after Franklin Mills, already home to several Kent family ventures and properties, was bypassed by the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad that same year.Kent was also successful in getting the village named as the location of the railroad's maintenance yards and shops in 1864.The population was 28,904 in the 2010 Census and was estimated at 29,915 in 2017.The city is counted as part of the Akron Metropolitan Statistical Area and the larger Cleveland–Akron–Canton Combined Statistical Area.