Later development came in the 1830s and 1840s as a result of the settlement's position along the route of the Pennsylvania and Ohio Canal.

As part of the Connecticut Western Reserve, the area was divided into survey townships in 1798 and almost all of what is now Kent was originally part of Town 3 Range 9, which would eventually be known as Franklin Township.

Franklin Township was surveyed in 1803 and settled in November 1805 when John Haymaker and his family moved west from Warren to the banks of the Cuyahoga River.

With the decline of the canal and the emergence of the railroad, the town became the home of the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad maintenance shops through the influence of Marvin Kent.

In 1864 the town was renamed Kent in honor of and in gratitude for Marvin Kent's efforts.

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.

As a result, an industrial and business region was established along the east side of the river in what is now downtown Kent.

Factories and mills were either planned or constructed along the Cuyahoga River, some of which either were never built or ultimately failed, due mostly to effects of the Panic of 1837.

Kent has nearly 20 parks and preserves and hosts a number of annual festivals including ones related to Earth Day, folk music, and the U. Kent is part of the Cleveland-Akron media market and is the city of license for three local radio stations and three television stations and includes the regional affiliates for National Public Radio (NPR) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

Local transportation infrastructure includes a public bus service and hike-and-bike trails.

It is located along the Cuyahoga River in Northeast Ohio on the western edge of the county.