Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
KENT, William (1864-1928)

KENT, WILLIAM, a Representative from California; born in Chicago, Ill., March 29, 1864; moved to California in 1871 with his parents, who settled in Marin County; attended private schools in California and Hopkins Grammar School, New Haven, Conn., 1881-1883; was graduated from Yale University in 1887; returned to Chicago, Ill., in 1887 and engaged in the real estate and livestock business; member of the city council 1895-1897; president of the Municipal Voters' League of Chicago in 1899 and 1900; returned to Marin County, Calif., in 1907; elected as a Progressive Republican to the Sixty-second Congress; reelected as an Independent to the Sixty-third and Sixty-fourth Congresses and served from March 4, 1911, to March 3, 1917; was not a candidate for renomination in 1916; appointed a member of the United States Tariff Commission March 21, 1917, and served until his resignation March 31, 1920; writer on political subjects and natural science; died in Kentfield, Calif., March 13, 1928; remains were cremated in Oakland, Calif., and the ashes returned to the family.

University of California, Berkeley
The Bancroft Library
Berkeley, CA
Papers: 1911, 2 pages.
A letter on letterhead stationery of William Kent written on August 25, 1911, to the Secretary of the Treasury reporting the results of his mission to evaluate the state of banking in Sacramento, California and the parties interested in starting another national bank. Kent reports that the state of banking in Sacramento is adequate, the reputation of a W. W. Basset is "not of the best," and "those owning the California National Bank" are behind the push to starting another national bank "so that the same persons would monopolize the National Banking field and would doubtless protest the establishment by others of another national institution. Kent ends the letter by asserting that his lack of personal knowledge of any of the involved parties means that "Needless to say therefore I am not subject to any bias on the subject whatever.".

Papers: In the papers of Roger Kent, ca. 1908-1977, 1.35 linear feet.
Collection includes correspondence between Roger Kent and his father William Kent.

Papers: In the records of the Commonwealth Club of California, City Planning Section, 1923-1927, 0.4 linear foot.
Correspondents include William Kent.

Phonotapes: In the oral history of Roger Kent, Building the Democratic Party in California, 1954-1966.
Collection includes 476 page transcript and 23 reel to reel tapes. Subjects include William Kent.

Papers: In the papers of Anne Henrietta Martin, 1892-1951, 16 boxes, 8 cartons, 17 volumes.
Correspondents include William Kent.

Papers: In the papers of James H. Barry, 1889-1957, 8.95 linear feet.
Correspondents include William Kent.

Photographs: In the photographs from the Kent family papers, ca. 1885-1950, 51 photos.
Persons represented include William Kent.


Yale University Library
New Haven, CT
Papers: In the family papers of William Kent, 1801-1961, approximately 75,000 items.
Correspondence, scrapbooks, clippings, memorabilia, and printed matter chiefly relating to his activities as a reformer, Congressman, political figure, and member of the first Tariff Commission. Finding aid is available online and in the repository.

Papers: In the papers of Franklin MacVeagh, 1861-1934, 0.25 linear foot.
Correspondents include William Kent. Correspondence is largely related to alumni activities of the Yale class of 1862.

  • Kent, Anne Thompson, comp. Index to the Biography of William Kent by Elizabeth Thacher Kent. N.p.: Privately printed, 1978.
  • Kent, Elizabeth Thacher. William Kent, Independent. N.p.: Privately printed, 1950.
  • Nash, Roderick. "John Muir, William Kent, and the Conservation Schism." Pacific Historical Review 36 (November 1967): 423-33.
  • Woodbury, Robert L. "William Kent: Progressive Gadfly, 1864-1928." Ph.D. diss., Yale University, 1967.