Biography of John Warren Kent


Kent, John Warren, now of North Tonawauda, is the oldest living pioneer settler of Grand Island. He was born at Rome, Oneida county, N. Y., October 17, 1818, one of six Sons and ten daughters born to Warren Kent by two wives. Warren was a grandson of Warren Kent, a native of England, who migrated with his brother to America and subsequently became patriots in the cause of American freedom. He had the proud distinction of being a participant in the throwing overboard of the historical cargo of tea in Boston harbor just previous to the war of the Revolution. Warren, the father, was a grocery and hotelkeeper at Sackett's Harbor during the war of 1812; later he moved to Rome and engaged as boatman on the Mohawk River for a number of years. In 1832 he came to Erie county and settled on Grand Island as a squatter and engaged in getting out timbers for the Black Rock pier; later he cleared a tract of land in the town of Tonawanda and farmed. In 1829 he located on Buck Island and engaged in the stave business. After several years he settled down to farming on Grand Island where he spent his remaining days. He died on February 22, 1838, aged sixty-two years. In politics he was a Democrat. John W. Kent grew to manhood on the Island and his school education was very limited. He spent two winters in Canada, where he tended locks on the Welland Canal and attended school. His early life was attended with many hardships, assisting his father in the woods and farming. In 1838 he purchased sixty acres which he cleared, converting the timber into spiles and cord wood and disposing of it on the river bank; he later bought sixty acres more and for many years made apple culture a specialty; on this farm he lived and prospered and reared his family. In politics he is a Democrat, but since 1882 has affiliated with the Prohibition party. He was elected to fill the offices of justice, collector and other minor offices. In 1893 he sold his farm and retired to the city of North Ton awanda, where he resides with his chilthen. In 1839 he married Mary Ellen Wintermoot of Canada, and their children are John W., Imogene Grauger, Charity, James Randolph, Morris, George, Joseph, Frank and Charles. His wife died in December, 1884. James Randolph Kent was born on Grand Island, January 25, 1849. When eighteen he left home and went to Tonawanda, where he engaged as raftsman for his uncle, which he followed for many years, and in 1891 received his appointment as patrolman in North Tonawanda, which postion he still holds. In politics he is a Republican; is a charter member of the A. O. U. W. and Select Knights, being treasurer of the latter lodge. In 1876 he married Maria N. Carroll, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Fayles) Carroll, and they have four children: Alexander R., John W., Elizabeth and Harold E. Mrs. Kent is a member of the Auxiliary Select Knights and the L. O. T. M. Mrs. Kent's mother, Elizabeth Carroll, was born in Buffalo in 1819, and moved to Grand Island with her parents, Henry and Maria (Undrwood) Fales, in 1831, soon returning to Buffalo to reside with an uncle and was a resident there when Buffalo was incorporated as a city. Most of her life was spent on Gr4nd Island, where she now owns a farm; èhe later became a resident of North Tonawanda and saw it incorporated as a city. She was present when the first train of cars pulled out of Buffalo. She is now an active old lady enjoying life among her children, being the mother of eleven, seven of whom are now living.

Our County and it's people
a descriptive work on Erie County, New York
Edited by: Trumen C. White
The Boston History Company, Publishes 1898


Erie County Biographies

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