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Kentwood History

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Kentwood is a rural town in Northern Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana near the Mississippi Border. The population is 2,105 at the 2010 Census. It is part of the Hammond Micropolitan Statistical Area, where some of the "Best People", in the world live. It is centrally located and lies conveniently along Interstate I-55, State Highway 38, State Highway 51 and the Railway. It is home for the "Best water" in the World, good food, rich history, beautiful land and plenty of good fresh country air. Spring Water from Kentwood is bottled and popularly marketed all across the state, as in other states too. under the Kentwood Springs label. Kentwood is also known as "The Dairy Capital of the South." Kentwood formerly held a dairy parade each November where people sold crafts and miscellaneous items. The festival has not been held for several years due to the shutdown of the dairy plant in the 1970s. However, Kentwood now host a well celebrated Mardi Gras Parade and other planned activities across the year for Kentwoodians and all surrounding communities.
The area north of the Isle of Orleans, bound on the north by the 31st parallel, on the east by the Pearl River and on the west by the Mississippi River is known as the Florida Parishes of Louisiana. It was captured from the British by the Spanish under Governor Bernardo de Galvez in 1779. The inhabitants of this area fought a successful revolution against Spain in 1810, when they set up the Free State of West Florida which stayed in existence from September 22 to December 10, 1810, represented by a flag consisting of a five-pointed white star on a field of blue that was later used by Texas. The area became part of the United States, and was officially joined to Louisiana by a Congressional act on April 13, 1812.
Louisiana achieved statehood later that month on April 30, 1812. A 17 year old Amos Kent came to Louisiana from Chester, New Hampshire in 1828. While in Greensburg, he operated a small water powered sawmill on Darling’s Creek. Kent heard of plans for a railroad and moved eastward, purchasing the original John Tate headright near what became the town of Kentwood. He settled on Cool Creek, raised a family of twelve children, and spent the balance of his life there. Until the town f Kentwood was developed, settlements in the area were identified on maps as Kent’s Mill, located to the south of Beechwood. Both were designated as flagstops by the railroad. In 1887, William Gramps Hall of Canajoharie, New York, along with his brother-in-law, Fred Woolver and a Mr. Murdock of the Immigration Department of the Illinois Central Railroad began laying out the town. By 1888 the nucleus of the town was built.
A post office was established February 29, 1888 when William G. Hall, postmaster, chose the name of “Kentwood” to honor Amos Kent. Hall estimated the population to be 500 in his February 6, 1888 application. Kentwood was incorporated March 18, 1893 as an entity. Today the town government is composed of a mayor and five councilmen, elected at large every four years. W.E. “Billy” Frazier was the first mayor and N.O. Henderson war recorder. The 1900 census showed 1,212 citizens. Most of the occupations listed at that time were logging or railroad related. Boys, as young as 13, worked as sweepers and boot-blacks. Women worked as washerwomen, seamstresses and hotel keepers in addition to looking after their own families.


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