On hundred years ago today, Edwin Austin Kent was among the more than 1,500 people who lost their lives in the sinking of the Titanic. A successful architect, Kent had studied at Yale University and Paris’ L’Ecole de Beaux Arts. After working as an architect in Syracuse, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, he returned to his hometown of Buffalo, New York, to open his own firm. Kent designed or collaborated on a number of significant Buffalo buildings and was a leader in the local architectural organizations. Kent was 58 when he boarded the Titanic, completing a European holiday and planning something of a retirement on his return to the states. He soon found companionship in the writers group on the ship and was with them on the night of the disaster. He assisted one of their number, Helen Churchill Candee from Washington, D.C., onto a lifeboat, and she insisted that he hold for her an ivory miniature of her mother. By the accounts of those who survived, Kent passed his remaining hours of life helping others into lifeboats. His body was recovered from the ocean, the miniature of Mrs. Candee’s mother still in his pocket. His brother William collected his body and had it interred at Forest Lawn – Kent was unmarried and from the lack of mention of his parents in the reporting of the event, they seem to have predeceased him. He was the only Buffalo resident to perish in the maritime disaster.
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A Grave Concern by Ashley D. Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.