The first town site of Kent was on the Canyon City road. The Columbia Southern rail branch line reached Kent and Shaniko in 1900 and the town and post office were moved to meet the new traffic. A church was built in 1903 and by 1905 the population was 250. Surveyed in 1899, the town was platted by Sarah Trotter, assisted by Ben Peetz in 1910.
Trotter named the streets and sold lots. Her cabin was the first house in Kent. Milton Bennett’s grain warehouse was the first large building. E.H. Brown published The Kent Recorder 1904-1906. Unconfirmed reports suggested that Kent was the setting for Zane Gray’s novel, The Desert of Wheat. ~French; Belshe; W.P.A. Writers’ Project 1940; Oregon State Gazetteer, 1906; Illustrated History of Central Oregon, 1905; J.E. Norton; McArthur, OGN; SC: FTR 2-1, 2-2, 3-2, 16-2; USGS Kent Quadrangle; Wasco and Sherman County Directory 1898; Verne & Margie Mobley.
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