Among the early pioneers of Shelbyville were the
Rev. E. Kent and his wife, who came here in October, 1829. Shelbyville was then a small village, having been recently incorporated, of perhaps two hundred inhabitants, with the court-house in the center of the public square, the jail on the corner of Broadway and Harrison streets, which was afterwards removed to the rear of the court-house, on the square.
A few straggling houses on the square, a few on Washington, Harrison, Franklin and Broadway, comprised the boundaries of the village.
For a few years the court-house was used by the various denominations in common on the Sabbath for public worship.|
Reverend Kent came under the auspices of the American Board of Missions to the then Far West, uniting soon afterwards with the Indianapolis Presbytery. He was of Puritan ancestry, the first of the Kents landing at Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1634.
The grandfather, Deacon Cephas Kent, was among the first settlers in the new territory afterwards called Vermont, and as a consequence lived in troublous times. He was an active and zealous patriot in the cause of the colonists and independence. Of his six sons, four fought with Stark in the battle of Bennington, and it was at his house that the first General Convention met, September 25, 1776, to declare that district a free and independent state; he was its first Representative in the State Legislature. His son, Cephas Kent, was in the Revolutionary war and was aide on Montgomery's staff in the Canadian war.
His son, E.[Eliphalet] Kent, was born in Dorset, Vermont, March 17, 1800. He graduated at Williams College, Massachusetts, with the class of 1826, took a theological course at Auburn Seminary, New York, and graduated with the class of 1829. He was married the same year to Fannie Capron, of Tinmouth, Vermont, who was also descended from Revolutionary parents. With all the ardor of early youth she left the comforts of a New England home with its hallowed associations to share toil and discomforts of a pioneer life. She was a graduate of Middlebury Academy, Vermont. Soon after their arrival in this place she opened a private school in a one-story brick building on Franklin street, Shelbyville, Indiana, which stood on the lot now occupied by the public school building No. 1.
Picture from Chadwick's book
||Bartholomew and Shelby Counties. In 1835, he was called from Shelbyville, to the church at Greenwood, where he continued five years. He was first married to Miss Fannie Capron, August, 1829, at Tinmouth, Vt., who came with, and assisted, him in his ministerial labors, and for a time she managed the Seminary at Shelbyville. Her children are: Frances, now Mrs. J. Marshall Elliott, George E. and Edward. Father Kent was married a second time to Fannie Henderson, daughter [other biographies state "widow"] of the late Dr. Sylvan Morris, September 19, 1844. To that union these children were born, Joseph H. and Lydia D. (Mrs. Warren Snyder). Joseph H. Kent was born February 4, 1846, graduated at Wabash College in 1868, studying theology at Lane Seminary. He was married to Nettie C. Harter, of Crawfordsville, in 1870, spent two years in study and travel in Europe. He was ordained in 1872, and became pastor of the Presbyterian Church, at Cambridge City, and died July 4, 1876. His career was brief, but his character was singularly deep and his piety was extraordinarily profound. Father Kent's third marriage was with Matilda West on September 20, 1849. Rev. Kent has always taken decided positions on every great question of religion, temperance and politics, and was among the first Abolitionists of this community. In old age he retains remarkable vigor and very few pass through life with so few enemies and so many warm devoted friends.|