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Full text of "History of Providence County, Rhode Island"

ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY 



3 1833 00084 6383 



Gc 

974.501 
P94b 
v,2 



1134240 



HISTORY 



OK 




ROVIDENCE @)UNTY, 

RHODE ISLAND. 



Edited by 
RICHARD jM. BAYLES, 

Assisted by a corps of writers. 



Ii) bwo voliiD)e^, Ilkisbrated. 



VOLUME II. 



New York: 
W. W. PRESTON & CO. 



1891. 



TABLE OF COiNTENTS. 

CHAPTER I. 1134240 

THE TOWN AND CITY OF PAWTUCKET. 

Incorporation.— Pawtiicket Ceded to Ehode Island.— Consolidation.— Places of Inter- 
est. — Joseph Jenks. — Manufacturing, Past and Present. — The Cotton Centennial. 
— Newspapers 1 

CHAPTER II. 
THE TOWN AND CITY OF PAWTUCKET— (continued). 
Bridges. — Business Blocks. — Trading. — Woodlawn. — Hotels. — Stages.— Banks.— 
Churches. — Public Library. — Post Office. — Fire Department. — Education. — 
Societies 61 

CHAPTER III. 
PAWTUCKET— BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 
John F. Adams.— Arnold Family.— Olney Arnold.— James S. Brown.— Charles E. 
Chickering.— Lucius B. Darling.— Simon W. Dexter.— John D. Earle.— Lewis 
Fairbrotlier.— Squire French.— Darius Goff.— William H. Haskell.— Nathan P. 
Hicks.— Jenks Family.- Edwin Jenckes.— James Mason.— George E. Newell.— 
Jacob N. Polsey.— Payne Family.— John B. Read.— William F. Say les.— Frederic 
C. Sayles.— Albert R. Sherman.— Gideon L. Spencer.— Henry A. Warburton.— 

Joshua S. White..— Benjamin Fessenden.— Clark Sayles 97 

CHAPTER IV. 

THE TOWN OF EAST PROVIDENCE. 

Geographical Description. —Its People and Industries.— Purchase and Settlement of 
the Territory.— First Planting of Roger Williams.— First Permanent Settler.— 
First Compact of Seekonk. — Town Incorporation as Rehoboth. — Highways. 
Common Pastures and Early Customs.— Destruction by King Phihp's War.— 
Early Schools.— The Revolution.— Saltpeti-e Manufacture.— Bridges over the 
Seekonk.— Organization of the Town of East Providence.— Civil List.— Statistics 
of Progress.— Public Schools.— Highway Districts.— Watchemoket Fire District. 
—Police Force.— Street Lighting.— Town Hall.— First Meeting House.— First 
Congregational Church.— Second Congregational, Riverside.— Broadway Chapel. 
— Fii-st Baptist Church.— Second Baptist.— First Uuiversalist.— St. Mary's Epis- 
copal.— St. Mark's Episcopal.— Church of the Sacred Heart, R. C— Haven Metho- 
dist Episcopal. — Union Chapel. — Reliance Lodge. I. O. O. F. — Fraternity 
Env ampmeut.— Bucklin Post, G. A. R.— Farragut Post.— Riverside Cotton Mills. 
— Bu 7-raphical Sketches 143 

CHAPTER V. 

THE TOWN OF NORTH PROVIDENCE. 

General Description.— Settlements and Physical Features.— The Original Town.— 
Its Growtli an 1 Population.— Representatives in the General Assembly.— Organ- 
ization of the Present Town.— Town Officers since that time.— Highways and 
Turnpikes.— Woe dville.— Its Manufactures.— Graystone.—Centredale.— Its Cot- 
ton Factory.— Union Library.— Roger Williams Lodge.— Allendale and its Mills. 
—The Baptist Chu ch.— Zachariah Allen Lodge.— Lymansville and its Mills.— 
Roman Catholic CI urch. — Fruit Hill. —Valuation and Taxes. — Biographical 
Sketches IgQ 



iv TABLE OF CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER VI. PAGE 

THE TOWN OF SMITHFIELD, 

Incoiix>i-atiou.— Description.— Early Records.— Highways.— Defense of the Town 
Autiiorities Against Sundry Persons.— Various Proceedings of the Town Council. 
— The Revolutionary Period. — The Militia Companies. — The Cumberland 
Rangei-s.- Legislation Against Slavery.— Provision for the Poor.— War Exi^enses. 
—Division of the Town.— The Present Town of Smithfield.— Town Officers.— 
Public Schools.— Early Settlers.— Greenville: its Industries, Churches, Banks. 
Libi-ary. etc.— Spragueville.— Stillwater.— Georgiaville, and its Mills, Churches, 
etc.— Enfield.- Biographical Sketches 200 

CHAPTER VII. 

THE TOWN OF CUMBERLAND. 

Description. — Connection With Rehoboth. — Early Town Action. — Town Officers. — 
William Blackstone. — Other Early Settlers. — Transportation. — The Blackstone 
River. — Bridge. — Mills and Manufactories. — Mines and Quarries. — Valley Falls. — 
Manville. — Lonsdale. — Ashton. — East Cumberland. — Diamond Hill.— Hawkins. 
— Berkeley. — Cumberland Hill. — Education. — Churches. — Societies. — Biographi- 
cal Sketches 238 

CHAPTER VIII. 

THE TOWN AND CITY OF WOONSOCKET. 

Description. — Origin of Name. — Early Settlers and their descendants. — Statistics. — 
Civil Organization. — Town Officers. — City of Woonsocket. — Officers in 1889. — 
Fire Department. — Waterworks. — Poor Asylum. — Public Thoroughfares. — Pub- 
lic Houses and Business Places. — Post Office. — Opera House. — Banking Interests. 
— Gas Company. — Electric Machine and Power Company. — Street Railway. — 
Manufacturing Industries 266 

CHAPTER IX. 

THE TOWN AND CITY OF WOONSOCKET— (concluded). 

The Press. — Education. — Public Libraries. — Churches.^Societies and Lodges. — The 
Woonsocket Hospital. — Cemeteries. — Military Affairs. — Bands. — Soldiers' 
Monument. — Grand Army of the Republic. — Sons of Veterans. — Biographical 
Sketches 325 

CHAPTER X. 

THE TOWN OF LINCOLN. 

Division of the Old Town of Smithfield. — Interesting Localities. — First Officers. — 
Town Poor. — Town House. — Internal Improvements. — Town Debt.— Schools. — 
Valley of the Moshassuck. — Police Department.— Societies. — Central Falls. — 
Valley Falls. — Lonsdale. — Manville. — Secret and Social Societies.— Biographical 
Sketches <:^1 

CHAPTER XL 

THE TOWN OF NORTH SMITHFIELD. 

Description.— Division of the Town. — Places of Interest. — Town Meetings.— 'yrdin- 
ances. — Town Officers. — Slatersville.— Stores. — Post Office.— Hotels.— riank. — 
Library.— Slate rsville Cemetery Association. — List of Physicians. — John Slater. 
— Industries.— Union Village. — The Friends. — Forestdale. — Branch Village. — 
Waterford. — Churches. — A Sketch of the Various Denominations ^<fow Extinct. 
—The Congregational Church.— Sabbath School.— The Catho'lc Churches.— 
Schools and Academies. — Biographical Sketches 485 

CHAPTER XII. 

THE TOWN OF GLOCESTER. 

General Description of the Town from 1731 to 1806.— Noted Ph.ces now Comprised 
Within tlie Town.— Town Meetings.— Tlie Military History.— The Town of Bur- 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. V 

PAGE 
lillville Set Otf.— Town Officers.— Early Settlement.— Brief Personal Notices.— 
The Dorr War.— Rivers and Ponds.— Secret Societies.— Banks.— Public Houses. 
—Manufacturers.— Business Men and Farmers.— Chepachet and other Villages. 
— Manton Library Association.— Roads.— Lotteries.— Early Religious Privileges. 
—Baptists.— Baptist Society and Sunday School.— Episcopalians.— Congrega- 
tionalists.— The Union Library. — Friends. — Schools.— Other Societies.— Bio- 
graphical Sketches 513 

CHAPTER XUl. 

THE TOWN OF BURRILLVILLE. 

Description. — Incorporation. —Early Town Action.— Officers.— Town Asylum.— 
Schools. — Early Settlers. — Counterfeiting.— Mills and Manufactories.— Villages. 
— Churches. — Societies. — The Temperance Movement. — Biographical Sketches. . 547 

CHAPTER XIV. 

THE TOWN OF SCITUATE. 

General Description of the Town.— Early Settlers, with Reminiscences. — Town Meet- 
ings. — Town Officers. — Scituate in the Revolution. — Early Mechanics.— Secret 
Societies. — Schools. — Richmond. — The Old Angell Tavern. — Stores. — Churches. 
— Manufacturing. — Village of North Scituate. — Stores. — Bank. — Hotels. — 
Churches.— Saundersville. — Hope Village.— Potterville. — Elmdale.— Kent Cor- 
ners. — Ashland.— Rockland.— Clay ville. — Ponaganset.— Biographical Sketches.. 586 

CHAPTER XV. 

THE TOWN OF FOSTER. 

Description. — Interesting Localities. — Early Town Meetings.— Statistics.— Town 
Asylum.— Town Clerks.— Town Officers in 1890.— Mount Hygeia.— First Church 
in Foster. — Early Business Interests. — Foster Centre.— The Hammond Church. 
— Hopkins Mills. — Union Chapel. — Creameries. — Moosup Valley.— Foster 626 

PCDRTRAITS. 

Adams. John A 446 

Adams, John F 98 

Aldrich. Joseph B 378 

Arnold. Olney 102 

Ballon, Henry L 381 

Ballon, Latimer W 380 

Bass. David 382 

Benedict. Stephen 448 

Brown . James S 34 

Buckland, Alphonzo W 38.") 

Capron, Adin B 220 

Cole, Joseph E 386 

Conant, Hezekiah. . '. . 4")0 

Cook, Davis 258 

Cook. James S 568 

Cook. Willis 388 

Cooke, Reuben O 390 

DarUng. Lucius B 106 

Dexter, Simon W 108 

Earle, JohnD Ill 

Ellis. John W 394 

Fairbrother, Lewis 112 

Fales, David G 432 

Fessenden, Benjamin 142b 

Fiske, John T. 572 

Freeman, Edward L 456 



VI TABLE OF CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

Gotf. Darius ■ 46 

Grant. George H 396 

Hall. Philip D 503 

Harris, Edward 398 

Harris. Frank 400 

Haskell. AVilliani H 118 

Hicks, Nathan P 42 

Holman , Ansel 504 

Holt, John F ... 402 

Jenckes, Edwin 126 

Jenckes, Horace A 404 

Jenks. Alvin 433 

Littletield, Alfred H 461 

LittleHeld. Daniel G 462 

Matiiewson , David 575 

Miller, Edwin B 406 

Mowry. Albert 506 

Mowry, Alonzo P 222 

MoAvry. Arlon 507 

Mowry, David B 508 

Newell, George E 128 

Nichols, Henry S 577 

Nourse. Charles 408 

Olney, Ira 194 

Pease, Le Roy B 412 

Perkins, Fi-ancis M 410 

Perkins, Joshua 578 

Rathbun. Oscar J ... 414 

Razee, Stafford W. 262 

Read, John B 131 

Read. Walter A 542 

Sayles. Albert L 580 

Sayles. Clark 142d 

Sayles, Frederic C 138 

Sayles, WiUiani F 134 

Smith. Henry E 224 

Stafford. Rufus J 472 

Stearns, Henry A 474 

Steere, Alanson 624 

Steere, George W 546 

Thomas, Charles E 416 

Tinkham, William 584 

Vose. Alonzo D 418 

Warburton. Henry A 142 

Whipple, Walter W 197 

Wilcox, Andrew J 198 

Wilson, George F 176 

Winsor, Nicholas S 225 

Winsor. William 226 

Wood, Henry B 483 

VIEWS. 

Bryn Mawr 139 

Granite Mills 581 

Harrisville Woolen and Worsted Mills 585 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY, 



VOLUNIK II. 

CHAPTER I. 

THE TOWN AND CITY OF PAWTUCKET. 

Incorporation.— Pawtucket Ceded to Rhode Island.-ConsoHdation.-Places of Interest.- 
Joseph Jenks.— Manufacturing, Past and Present. -The Cotton Centennial. -News- 
papers. 

THE village of Pawtucket was known formerly as the " Fields of 
Pawtucket," and embraced all those lands west of the river in 
this town, which were for more than a century a part of the 
town of North Providence. The '' Fields of Pawtucket " date back as 
far as 1765. Gradually this territory became settled and was then 
known as the village of Pawtucket. The name Pawtucket is of 
Indian origin and signifies " falls of water." The Pawtucket river is 
called in Indian Pazvtuck, which signifies " a fall." Pawtuxet, or 
Pawtuxent, according to Trumbull, is " a place at a little waterfall." 

The town of Pawtucket on the eastern bank of the river was in- 
corporated by Massachusetts, February 29th, 1828, with territorial 
possessions that before belonged first to Rehoboth (from 1645 to 
1812) and then to Seekonk (from 1812 to 1828). The town was an- 
nexed to Rhode Island upon the settlement of the boundary question 
between the two states March 1st, 1862. Rehoboth embraced at the 
outset the town of Seekonk, the former Pawtucket, and the town 
which bears the original name. It was within the bounds of Reho- 
both that Roger Williams first settled. He fled in haste from Massa- 
chusetts earlv in 1636, and in the summer of that same year to avoid 
displeasing the Massachusetts Bay Company, he crossed the Seekonk 
river and obtained a grant of land from Canonicus and Miantmomi, 
though somewhat indefinite in extent yet sufficient to acknowledge 
"lands without limits up the streams of Pawtucket and Pawtuxet. 
Ousamequin, who is known as Massasoit, also chief of the Pokanoket, 
contracted to sell the lands whereon the eastern division of Paw- 
tucket stands but then refused to sign the deed. 



2 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

About five years after Williams left the eastern side of the 
river the chief of the Wampanoags disposed of Williams' old 
claims to John Brown and Edward Winslow of Plymouth, who 
seem to have been acting as purchasing agents for a company at 
Weymouth and Hingham. In 1644 that company moved to Reho- 
both. Their leader was the learned Reverend Samuel Newman. 
The tract of land purchased was supposed to measure eight miles 
square. By accurate survey it measured nearer ten miles square 
and embraced the three townships of Rehoboth, Seekonk and Paw- 
tucket. The original deed of Massasoit is not extant, but that of 
his son and successor, the famous King Philip, quit-claiming this 
territory to the white settlers, bears date March 30th, 1668. In 1694 
Attleboro was severed from Rehoboth. In 1746, Cumberland was 
taken from Attleboro, but the residue of Rehoboth remained un- 
disturbed until 1812, when the town of wSeekonk was taken from it. 
In 1828 the town of Seekonk was divided, its western portion taking 
the name of Pawtucket on February 29th. 

The act provided that " The Northwest part of the Town of 
Seekonk, within the following lines, namely, beginning at the bend 
of the Seekonk river about forty rods south of the mouth of Bever- 
age brook, so called, thence running a due east course till it 
strikes the ten mile river, so called, thence by said river till it 
comes to the Attleborough line, including the Island on which Kent's 
Factory is situated, also the bridge a few rods north of said Kent's 
Factory. . . . Thence Westerly on the Attleborough line till it 
comes to the Rhode Island line, thence Southerly on said Rhode 
Island line till it comss to the first corner, with all the inhabitants 
living thereon, be incorporated into a town by the name of Paw- 
tucket." 

The first town meeting held in pursuance of the foregoing act, to 
choose officers, and organize the town, was held in Reverend Mr, 
Greene's meeting house, March 17th, 1828. Oliver Starkweather, 
Esq., was chosen moderator, James C. Starkweather, clerk for the en- 
suing year, and William Allen, treasurer. Messrs. David Bucklin, 
Elijah Ingraham and Remember Kent, were elected selectmen. At 
an adjourned town meeting held on May 12th, 1828, the following 
sums were appropriated, in accordance with the recommendation of 
a committee appointed at a previous meeting, viz.: For the support 
of the poor, $300; for the repair of highways, $100; for the support of 
schools, $350; for the other town expenses, $150; total, $900. 

For many years this town remained a part of Massachusetts, the 
business and the population in the meantime increasing on both 
sides of the river. Common interests bound the two villages to- 
gether, but the inhabitants on each side of the stream cherished a 
natural state pride, and the little local jealousies of the two Paw- 
tuckets occasioned some friction until the long standing boundary 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENXE COUNTY. 8 

dispute between Massachusetts and Rhode Island was amicably ad- 
justed in 1861, and the town of Pawtucket was ceded to Rhode 
Island. 

By proclamation of Governor William Sprague under date of 
December 21st, 1861, the decree of the United States Court was an- 
nounced to take effect on the first day of March, 1862. In the course 
of a dozen years public sentiment became ripe for consolidation. 
The town of North Providence was subjected to dismemberment. 
An important part of it was assigned to the city of Providence, and 
the village of Pawtucket was annexed to the town of that name. A 
major vote of the property holders in each town was given for the 
measure. The portion cut off from North Providence and assigned 
to Pawtucket is thus described: 

" Beginning at a point in the centre of the Blackstone river, being 
the southeasterly corner of the town of Lincoln, and the northeast- 
erly corner of the town of North Providence; and running thence 
westerly, on and with the line dividing said towns of Lincoln and 
North Providence to a point on said line, eighteen hundred feet west 
of the east line of the Smithfield turnpike; thence southerly on a 
straight line to a point on the line dividing the city of Providence 
•and the town of North Providence, as hereinbefore provided, 
eighteen hundred feet, measured on said line, westerly of the east 
line of said Smithfield turnpike; thence along said boundary line 
and following the same, to the centre of the Seekonk river; thence 
along the centre of said river, to the place of beginning." 

The act took effect May 1st, 1874. At the election of officers the 
following were chosen members of the town council: Olney Arnold, 
Claudius B. Farnsworth, John F. Adams, William T. Adams, William 
H. Haskell, James L. Pierce and Henry B. Metcalf. General Arnold 
was elected president of the board. Lewis Pearce, Esq., was chosen 
town clerk, and Mr. George W. Newell, treasurer. The same officers 
were reelected in 1875, though Mr. Metcalf resigned his position 
during the year. In 1876 a new town council, with two exceptions, 
was chosen. 

Pawtucket was incorporated as a city March 27th, 1885. The act 
of incorporation was accepted April 1st, 1885, by a vote of 1,450 for, 
to 721 against. The new city government was organized on the first 
Monday of January, 1886. The municipal elections are held on 
Tuesday after the first Monday in November, annually. The first 
mayor was Hon. Frederic C. Sayles. He was succeeded by Major 
A. K. Goodwin, and the latter was followed by Hugh J. Carroll, who 
was mayor in 1890. 

The year after the consolidation of the towns in 1874, the state 
register gave the number of inhabitants at 18,464. The population 
in 1885 was 22,906. 

The following list gives the names of the principal places of in- 



4 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

terest in the town: Districts. — East Side: West Side; North Bend: 
South Bend; Pleasant View; East Pleasant View; The Plains; Leb- 
anon, formerly Kent's Mills; Dolly Sabin; Bunnell's; Ingrahamville; 
Donnybrook; The Landing; Fairmount; Woodlawn; Squatville; The 
Common; Park Place; The Tollgate; The Coal Yard. Rivers.— Vd.\\- 
tucket; Blackstone; Ten Mile. Ponds. — Hammond's; Bailey's; Little 
Pasture. Springs. — Mineral; Cold. Rocks — Lamprey; Seal. Lanes. — 
Baptist; Cape Cod; Hedge; Quaker; Wing. Woods. — Spencer's Grove; 
Darling's Grove; Goff's Lot. Bridges. — Main Street; Division Street; 
Exchange Street; Pleasant View; Central; Tin (or Railroad); Log. 
Old Turnpikes. — Pawtucket and Providence; EavSt; Valley Falls; Lons- 
dale; Smithfield; Mineral Spring; Lindsey; Boston; Taunton Road.. 
Parks. — Wilkinson; Burnside; Riding. Hills. — Bean; Baptist; Broken 
Back; Church; Central. Historic. — Wheaton's Dam; Slater's Mill; 
Snuff Mill; First bridge built across the Pawtucket in 1718, by the 
colonies of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. • 

The old mill in which Samuel Slater began cotton manufacturing- 
near the close of the last century is still standing, and is used for 
various manufacturing purposes. The old house in which Mr. Slater 
lived at that time is also standing on North Main, formerly Mill 
street. In this house Mr. Slater began a Sunday school in September, 
1797, which, if not the first, was one of the first Sunday schools es- 
tablished in this country. 

The civil history of Pawtucket begins with Joseph Jenks. His 
father is supposed to have come from England w4th Governor Endi- 
cott. " Joseph Jenks," says Lewis, in his history of Lynn, " deserves 
to be held in perpetual remembrance in American history as being 
the first founder who worked in brass and iron on the Western Con- 
tinent. By his hands the first models were made and the first cast- 
ings taken of many domestic implements and iron tools." 

On the 6th of May, 1646, the general court of Massachusetts re- 
solved •' that in answer to the peticon of Joseph Jenckes for liberty to 
make experience of his abilityes and Inventions for ye making of 
Engines for mills to go with water for ye more speedy dispatch of 
work than formerly, and mills for ye making of Sithes and other 
Edged tools, with a new invented Sawe-Mill, that things may be 
afforded cheaper than formerly and that for fourteen yeers without 

disturbance by any others setting up the like inventions; 

this peticon is granted." 

In May. 1655, he obtained another patent for an improvement in 
the manufacture of scythes " for the more speedy cutting of grass for 
seven years." The old English scythe previously in use was a very 
clumsy instrument, short and thick, like the bush or stub scythe. His 
invention gave greater length and thinness to the blade, as seen in 
use to-day. 

In the interval between the two dates named the younger Jenks 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 



followed his father to the New World. After becoming acquainted 
wnth the improvements made by his father, his mind became imbued 
with like aspirations, and he chose for himself a site near the lowest 
falls on the river for the purpose of erecting mills on the Pawtucket 
(then dark with a thick forest), such as the elder Jenks had been de- 
vising. Reverend Mr. Goodrich says: 

" The traditions spoken of represent that he came here in the year 
1655. As his eldest son was born in 1657, perhaps he was already 
married, and his house is said to have stood on the spot on East ave- 
nue now occupied by Mr. Joseph T. Greene, who lives in the house 
reared by his grandfather Timothy Greene. It is supposed that his 
first purchase of land was made from a family by the name of Mowry. 
A copy of a deed of land subsequently purchased, however, was found 
by Doctor Benedict in the records of the proprietors of Common 
Lands. That deed was as follows ": 

" Know all men before whom these presents shall come, that I, 
Abel Potter, inhabitant of Moshanticut, in the Colony of Rhode 
Island, and Providence Plantations, have sold unto Mr. Joseph 
Jenckes, inhabitant of the Town of Providence, in the Colony afore- 
said, sixty acres of land, more or less, which was formerly laid out to 
my wife Rachel's grandfather, Mr. Ezekiel Holliman, lying near Paw- 
tucket Falls, together with a commonage, the said threescore lot and 
commonage having been bequeathed to my said wife Rachel Potter; 
formerly called Rachel Warner; I say, I, Abel Potter, aforesaid, have, 
with the consent of my wife Rachel, freely sold the said threescore 
of land, situated and lying in Providence township, bounded near the 
southeast corner by a white oak tree, running westerly and northerly 
by a threescore acre lot formerly laid out to Mr. Stukely Westcot, and 
fronting easterly against the land of Mr. Dexter's against the river, 
and also fronting unto the Falls. I say, I, Abel Potter, aforesaid, 
have freely sold the threescore acres of land, together with a right of 
commonage and such privileges as do appertain thereunto, unto Joseph 
Jenckes for full satisfaction and valuable in hand paid and received; 
and therefore I do by this act, freely pass it from me, and my wife 
Rachel Potter, our heirs, Executors and Administrators, unto Joseph 
Jenckes, his heirs, executors, administrators and assigns forever, 
peacefully to enjov without any lot [let?] or molestation from us, or 
any claiming by, or under Ezekiel Holliman aforesaid, or by or under 
us. As witness my hand and seal the 10th of October, 1671, in War- 
wick, 

- Signed, sealed and delivered, and in the twenty-fifth year of the 
reign of our Sovereign Lord King Charles. 

In presence of us — | his 

John Greene, Assistant, j- ABEL x POTTER, 

I mark 

Anne Greene. J 



6 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

" This is to certify that Rachel Potter aforesaid, as formerly con- 
sented to the sale, so likewise she doth now declare her assent to the 
Deed of sale aforesaid in presence of me. 

John Greene, Assistant. 

" Warwick, this 15th day of April, 1672." 

The following account of the earlier manufacturing interests of 
Pawtucket is quoted from a " Historical Sketch of Pawtucket," writ- 
ten in 1876 by Reverend Massena Goodrich per order of the town 
council. This admirable and valuable work, which is now out of 
print, we have freely used in the compilation of our sketch of Paw- 
tucket. In resuming his account of Mr. Jenks, Reverend Mr. Good- 
rich says: 

" It is known that Mr. Jenks soon erected a forge; perhaps he 
quickly found out that bog iron existed near what has long been 
styled Mineral Springs; for before the revolution a forge stood near 
the Moshassuck, where the ore was converted into blooms. Of course 
he had a market for the products of his skill in Providence and the 
whole neighborhood. The fields of Pawtucket were mowed by the 
new kind of scythes which his father had patented, and hatchets and 
every domestic iron implement, needed for the comfort of the house- 
holds in Providence Plantations, were made at Mr. Jenks's work- 
shop. Blacksmiths and other workers in iron were trained and em- 
ployed by him; wood-cutters settled around to chop down some of 
the majestic oaks and maples that overhung the Pawtucket; charcoal 
burners were busy under the lee of many a hill; a few farmers built 
their log cabins near the river; the Indians still frequented the falls 
for the purpose of fishing; and a little hamlet was thus formed on 
what has since become the site of a growing town. For 20 years 
affairs went on without any serious outbreak. Emigrants were 
frequently arriving; in every direction the virgin forest was becom- 
ing invaded; the smoke rose from cabins in more and more clearings; 
domestic joys were gladdening the humble firesides, and death mak- 
ing its wonted inroads in the little family circles. 

" But about a score of years after Mr. Jenks arrived here a storm 
broke on the young settlement. Its portents had been visible indeed 
for months. The red men began to meet with scowling brows the 
pale faces. Philip of Pokanoket began his machinations. Probably 
he simply guided the passions which had been burning in the hearts 
of his race. They had beheld with jealousy the steady growth of 
the English, and feared for their hunting grounds; and it only needed 
a leader with genius to organize their forces, and combine their 
efforts, to hurl a thunderbolt on the intruders. Could Philip's coun- 
sels have been carried out, the conflict between our fathers and the 
sons of the forest had been more terrible; but the strife began before 
the chieftain's plans were fully ripe for execution. In 1675 the war 
commenced in this neighborhood. 'On the morning of June 24th,' 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 7 

says Hutchinson, ' one of the inhabitants of Rehoboth was fired upon 
by a party of Indians, and the hilt of his sword shot off.' The strife 
being precipitated thus prematurely, Philip was compelled in July 
to flee from his fastnesses toward the Nipmucks. His route lay 
within a few miles of Pawtucket, and, in crossing the great plain of 
Seekonk, he was discovered by some of the people of Rehoboth, and 
pursued by them. Rev. Noah Newman has the credit of leading his 
townsmen in the pursuit. Hubbard gives the following account of 
the matter: ' The Mohegins with the men of Rehoboth, and some 
of Providence, came upon their rear over night, slew about thirty of 
them, took much plunder from them, without any considerable loss 
to the English.' Who w^ere these men of Providence? Very proba- 
bly Mr. Jenks and some of his neighbors by Pawtucket Falls; for 
they would be likely to hear first of the valor of their Rehoboth 
neighbors. 

" For a few months there is a lull. The winter is burdened, how- 
ever, by anxious misgivings. The blacksmiths, the wood-cutters, 
the farmers around the Pawtucket, oft scan the horizon in apprehen- 
sion of the tempest. Many a father commends his household to God 
by prayer at night, not knowing but that the war-whoop will break 
their repose before the morning dawns; many a mother sadly rocks 
her babe to slumber, not knowing but that the tomahawk will hush 
that infant's cries ere another sun shall set. In a few months the 
fierce storm once more howls. Philip returns from his flight, rein- 
forced by stern warriors. He brings death to the very doors of our 
predecessors. One of the most tragical contests of 1676 occurred 
near Pawtucket. All the spring, roaming bands of Indians had dis- 
turbed the security of the settlements in both Massachusetts and 
Rhode Island. Marauding parties had carried ruin to scores of fire- 
sides, and applied the torch to many a home. Something must be 
done to check these forays, and Capt. Pierce of Scituate, with a force 
of 63 Englishmen, and 20 friendly Indians from Cape Cod, was 
ordered to follow the Indians toward Rhode Island. On the 24th of 
March he reached Seekonk. On the second morning after, he 
marched with his little band toward the river, and soon fell into an 
ambush. The thick forests which overhung the Blackstone formed 
a covert for the subtle red men, and they hovered round the doomed 
band like a pack of hungry wolves. P'or hours the contest raged on 
the banks of our stream between Pawtucket and Valley Falls, till, 
when the shadows of that Sabbath evening fell, they enshrouded the 
lifeless forms of almost all of that little force. They had sold their 
lives dearly, however, for 140 of their foes were slain." 

" What effect had such a tragedy on the feeble settlement at Paw- 
tucket? Of course, it would breed the gravest alarm, were the inhab- 
itants still residing there. The probability is, however, that most of 
them had sought refuge on the island of Rhode Island. The general 



8 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

assembly had been appealed to, to furnish garrisons for Providence 
and Warwick, but excused themselves from any such expense on the 
score of inability, and counseled the inhabitants of those towns to 
take shelter at Portsmouth or Newport. Most of the citizens of 
Providence removed their families and effects, therefore; but sturdy 
Roger Williams and about thirty others remaiijed. The smallnessof 
their number, however, invited, rather than repelled attack, and on 
March 3()th, the town was set on fire. At that or some other time 
the forge in this village was given to the flames, and doubtless the 
torch was applied to the deserted cabins. Pawtucket for the hour 
was a lonelier solitude than when Williams 40 years before began 
his first settlement at Seekonk Cove. 

'• A few months rolled away, and a change took place. Philip was 
killed, his warriors were slain, captured, or scattered, and peace and 
security returned to the little colonies. Mr. Jenks undoubtedly 
comes back as soon as possible, and rebuilds his forge. About this 
time Mr. Jenks's eldest son reached manhood; but a large family, — 
four sons and six daughters, — were growing up like blooming olive 
plants about the father's table. Mr. Jenks seems to have been influ- 
ential in political affairs, no less than in business; for the title of 
assistant,- -answering to lieutenant governor or senator, — is always 
added in old writings to his name. His four sons also acquired dis- 
tinction afterward in the Colony. Joseph was governor of Rhode 
Island from 1727 to 1732; Nathaniel bore the title of major; Ebenezer 
was a preacher, and William a judge. 

" It has already been said that the house of the father stood on 
the present East avenue. It had the reputation of being the first 
frame house reared in the town. All of the sons built houses also, 
which were long landmarks here, and three of them are partially 
standing now. One of them stands on Mill street, and is said to have 
been enlarged by the addition of a part of the house wherein the 
elder Joseph Jenks lived. Tradition reports that in his old age his 
house was removed to Mill street, and annexed to the building 
named, and that he spent the evening of his days there. Old citi- 
zens have declared that in their boyhood figures were visible on the 
stone chimney of the edifice on Mill street, and that three of them 
were legible. Some who in their childhood climbed up to decipher 
them, averred that they read the numerals 168^; but the final figure 
was illegible. This was the house of Major Jenks. Dr. C. F. Man- 
chester has long occupied the house which was for years the abode 
of Governor Jenks, though it has been so modernized that the Gov- 
ernor would fail to recognize his old home, could he return to earth. 
A third one of those houses stood till within a few days near the rail- 
road track, between the station and Dexter street. 

" The hamlet near these falls continued to grow for the next 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENXE COUNTY. 9 

quarter of a century. The Jenkses had obtained possession of much 
of the land on the western side of the river in this neighborhood, and 
had extended their operations. Judge Story, in giving his decision 
about half a century ago in an important case before the circuit court, 
rehearsed the following facts as proved in the trial: 

" ' The lower dam was built as early as the year 1718, by the pro- 
prietors on both sides of the river, and is indispensable for the use of 
these mills respectively. There was previously an old dam on the 
western side, extending about three-quarters of the way across the 
river, and a separate dam for a saw mill on the east side. The lower 
dam was a substitute for both. About the 3^ear 1714 a canal was dug, 
or an old channel widened and cleared on the western side of the 
river, beginning at the river above the lower dam, and running around 
the west end thereof, until it emptied into the river, about ten rods 
below the same dam. It has been long known by the name of 
Sergeant's Trench, and was originally built for the passage of fish up 
and down the river. But, having wholly failed for this purpose, about 
the year 1730 an anchor mill and dam were built across it by the then 
proprietors of the land; and between that period and the year 1790 
several other dams and mills were built over the same, and since that 
period more expensive mills have been built there. In 1792 another 
dam was built across the river at a place above the head of the trench, 
and almost twenty rods above the lower dam; and the mills on the 
upper dam, as well as those on Sergeant's Trench, are now supplied 
with water by proper flumes, &c.,from the pond formed by the upper 
dam.' 

" This brief extract shows that early in the last century the buzz of 
machinery and the clangor of hammers prophesied that this would 
be in due time a manufacturing centre. Enterprise and skill were 
converting a wilderness which Williams and Gregory Dexter had so 
disparaged as 'most of it barren and rockie, without meadow,' into a 
thriving village. But the pioneers who had built their cabins higher 
up the Blackstone, and the farmers and fishermen of this neighbor- 
hood, were jealous of the obstructions at the falls. Shad, alewives and 
some other kinds of fish had been wont to spawn near Woonsocket, 
and the general assembly of Rhode Island, in 1761, authorized that 
sovereign helper in all public enterprises in those days, a lottery to 
raise ^1,500, old tenor, for the purpose of making a passage around 
Pawtucket Falls, 'so that fish of almost every kind, who choose fresh 
water at certain seasons of the year, may pass with ease.' This legis- 
lation, however, did not fully secure the end, and about a dozen years 
later the general assembly passed another act, making it lawful for 
any one to break down or blow up the rocks at Pawtucket Falls, to 
' let fish pass up,' and ' the said river ' was ' declared a public river.' 

" But it is time to cross the river and make a little inquiry about 
the eastern part of the town. Traditions are less definite atout the 



10 HISTORY OF PROVIDE^XE COUNTY. 

early inhabitants of this section than those pertaining to the Jenks 
famih^ A few settlers were evidently allured here nearly two 
centuries ago. The navigable stream made journeying easy for the 
pioneer; the abundance of fish near the falls readily supplied an im- 
portant article of food; the iron business afforded employment. On 
what is known as South Bend, not far from Hammond's pond, stands 
an old stone chimney house. The name of its builder has not been 
handed down to posterity, but its style of architecture shows that it 
was reared about the time when the Jenkses reared their ambitious 
edifices. Somebody, therefore, was residing in that part of Pawtucket 
early in the last century. Another stone chimney house of similar 
style was standing near North Bend about three-quarters of a century 
ago, which was probably equally ancient. And the fact that many of 
the old deeds of land lying east of the river refer to a Mr. Smith as a 
former owner of the land, justifies the belief that, as there were men 
bearing that name among the first settlers of Rehoboth, one or more 
of them obtained possession of much of the territory of the eastern 
part of Pawtucket. Thus, in the year 1738, Samuel Smith is repre- 
sented in an old deed to have bought of Henry Smith 48 acres of land 
on the east side of Pawtucket Falls, ' bounded on land where the grist 
mill stands.' Nine years later (in 1747) one or both of the Smiths 
conveyed the grist or ' corn mill ' to James Bucklin. And twenty-nine 
years later James Bucklin conveyed this mill to his son John. In 
fact a still earlier mention is made of a Mr. Smith, in an ancient re- 
port to the legislature of Massachusetts. The first bridge across the 
Pawtucket seems to have been built in 171 8, and in 1716 the following 
document appears in the Massachusetts Colonial Records: 

" ' The report of the committee appointed to consider and compute 
the charge of a highway to Pawtucket bridge, viz.: In pursuance of 
the written vote or order, we, the subscribers, on the 28th of May, 
1716, went to the bridge at Pawtucket, where we met with the per- 
sons that were interested in the lands where the highway should go; 
and, having discoursed with them, and viewed the same, do lepcrt 
that a way of two rods wide be left on the north side of the land 
belonging to Joseph Buckland, Jr., beginning at the foot of the 
bridge, and so to run through the land of Henry Smith, till it comes- 
to said vSmith's house, being in length ninety-two rods, is about two- 
acres and a half, only allowing a turn to be made to the northward^ 
about fifty rods from the bridge, to escape a great rock, which land^ 
we are of opinion, is worth £3 per acre; and the making of a fence 
the length of the said way, if made of stone wall, will be 5s. per rod, 
to be allowed to the owner of said land; which way then to run from 
said Smith's house northward a quarter of a mile, when it will meet 
a way that was formerly laid out by Rehoboth, which leads into the 
country road by the great plain. The land, being two acres and a 
half, we value at 2()s. per acre, without any charge of fence. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 11 

" ' Given under our hands, the 14th of June, 1716. 
" ' Nathaniel Payne, I 
'"Moses Read, |- Committee.' 

" 'John Rogers, j 

" These facts render it very likely that some of the ubiquitous 
family of Smith were the first owners of the eastern district of Paw- 
tucket. And the conjecture maybe hazarded that John Smith reared 
one or both of those ancient houses named. Judge Story's decision 
implies that a saw mill was built on the eastern bank of the Paw- 
tucket early in the eighteenth century. 

" Perhaps an incidental circumstance helped the growth of the vil- 
lage in the earlier part of the eighteenth century. It has already been 
mentioned that the eldest son of the founder of Pawtucket became 
governor of the colony in 1727. The frequency with which his name 
occurs in the colonial records shows that he was eminent for some- 
thing beside his stature. As early as 1705 he was appointed a com- 
missioner in the vexed boundary question, and was reappointed again 
and again to assist in running the line. In 1715 he was chosen deputy 
governor, and re-elected at subsequent times. In 1720 he was sent to 
England to bring the boundary disputes between Rhode Island, on 
the one hand, and Connecticut and Massachusetts, on the other, be- 
fore the king. In all these matters he showed such integrity and 
sagacity that, on the death of Governor Cranston, who had held the 
office of governor for 29 years he was elected chief magistrate of the 
colony. He continued to hold the ofhce till 1732; but as, on his elec- 
tion in the previous year, he had given notice that he should not again 
be a candidate, he retired after five years' service. At the request of 
the general assembly he removed to Newport while he held the gov- 
ernorship; but, doubtless, during those years he was wielding his 
influence to promote improvements in his native village, and secure 
the investment of capital there. And an examination of some of the 
dates given by Judge Story proves that some of the most important 
conveniences secured were attained during Governor Jenks's public 
life. He died on the 15th of June, 1740. 

" It were interesting to recount the successive establishment of 
different forges and mills, but only results are known. Governor 
Jenks and the other descendants of the enterprising man who laid 
the foundations of this town, emulated the energy of their ancestor. 
The frequent wars in which the infant colonies were engaged with 
both the French and the Indians, oft turned the attention of the 
iron-workers in this country to the manufacture of firearms. Doubt- 
less such were made at some of the mills on the Pawtucket, and 
Captain Stephen Jenks is expressly mentioned as having manufac- 
tured muskets here in 1775. It is likely that, through the whole 
period of the revolutionary war, his skill was often laid under requi- 
sition. Hints are found occasionally of the existence of other kinds- 



12 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

of business. Mr. Ephraim Starkweather removed to the hamlet on 
the east of the river in 1770, and in buying a certain tract of land, 
purchased also a potash establishment of certain merchants of Bos- 
ton, who had long carried on the manufacture of potash here. Mr. 
Hugh Kennedy also came to the same hamlet about the middle of 
the last century, and began the manufacture of linseed oil. About 
the same time, Mr. Sylvester Bowers, a ship carpenter by trade, re- 
moved to Pawtucket and set up the business of ship-building at the 
Landing. On the western side of the river also the same business 
was quite extensively carried on. 

" It is probable, however, that the eight weary years of the revo- 
lutionary war retarded the growth of Pawtucket. North Providence 
furnished some of the boldest soldiers of the war, and Captain Olney 
doubtless had in his company recruits from, this village. Some, too, 
of the inhabitants of this place were serving in the little navy which 
our nation had called into existence. The return of peace, however, 
was a signal for new activity. A family, whose energy, talents, and 
skill, were to contribute largely to the prosperity of Pawtucket, 
moved hither from Smithfield. Oziel Wilkinson was the father of 
five sons, all of whom were blacksmiths. For years, though living 
in Smithfield, he had done a great deal of work for the merchants of 
Providence. As he obtained his stock from that town, it had long 
seemed desirable for him to transfer his business to Pawtucket 
Falls, where he could obtain ample water power, but 'prudence for- 
bade the step for a time. The British long held possession of the 
southern part of the state, and might at any time seize Providence. 
In such a case a maurauding party could easily come up the Paw- 
tucket river, and destroy the mills and forges at the falls. His cus- 
tomers, therefore, advised him to delay. But peace released him 
from the peril, and Mr. Wilkinson and his sons removed hither. Al- 
ready the family had given evidence of inventive power. Mr. Wilkin- 
son is said to have made cut nails at an early date, and is supposed 
to have anticipated every manufacturer of these useful articles in the 
world. The father and sons quickly turned some of the unused 
power of the stream to account. Providence long continued, indeed, 
to look to Pawtucket for all the heavier implements of iron. Anchors 
and such articles were manufactured here; screws in abundance were 
made; and the heavy oil presses of Nantucket and New Bedford were 
constructed at the shops in this place. 

" Bishop, in his History of Manufactures, speaks in the following 
strain: ' Manufacturers of iron, including bar and sheet iron, nail-rods 
and nails, farming implements, stoves, pots and other castings, and 
household utensils, iron-works for ship-builders, anchors, and bells, 
formed the largest branch of productive industry in Rhode Island 
toward the close of the eighteenth century. A slittmg-mill was built 
on one of the branches of Providence river. Another slitting- and 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY 



13 



rolling mill, three anchor forges, two nail-cutting machines, and sev- 
eral other mills and factories carried on by water, were soon after 
erected at Pawtucket Falls. A screw-cutting machine, hollow-ware 
furnace, and several forges were also in operation.' Indeed, the iron 
business at this time gave Pawtucket its chief fame. Steam engines 
had not yet made their advent into Providence, and all the heavy 
w^ork for that place which needed water power and trip-hammers, 
must be done here. 

"The Wilkinsons w^ere long household names in Pawtucket. 
Their activity and enterprise expanded the business and increased 
the population of the town. The fame of the father is pleasantly 
preserved in the park which he left unenclosed on the present Park 
place. Cities need lungs, and the town has fitly enclosed that park 
with an iron fence, and adorned it with trees which will in coming 
years fling their cooling shadows abroad. Four of his sons made 
Pawtucket their home for years. They constituted a couple of co- 
partnerships—Abraham and Isaac, David and Daniel. One of these 
sons, however, won more than a local reputation; and Pawtucket may 
justly claim a share in the fame of David Wilkinson. From child- 
hood he possessed a singularly observant mind. What seemed trifles 
to others, were to him the germ of some valuable invention. In 
a letter of his, where he is describing a new screw-machine, which 
he invented as early as 1794, he says, ' the perfection of it consists in 
that most faithful agent, gravity, making the joint, and that almighty 
perfect number, three, which is harmony itself. I was young when I 
learnt that principle. I had never seen my grandmother putting a chip 
under a three-legged milking-stool; but she always had to put a chip 
under a four-legged table to keep it steady. I cut screws of all di- 
mensions by this machine, and did them perfectly.' Thousands of 
other lads had seen their kinswomen sitting on similar stools milk- 
ing, without noticing the consequent steadiness, or dreaming of any 
great mechanical invention based on the firmess of the tripod. 

" Besides the branches of business thus described, farming was car- 
ried on to considerable extent. A large part of the land on the east- 
ern side of the river in what now constitutes Pawtucket was held by 
families bearing the name of Bucklin. The Buckland already men- 
tioned was probably their ancestor. Their farms extended from the 
river to Seekonk Plains; and tradition speaks of an immense corn- 
field that stretched almost from the margin of the stream to Bucklin's 
brook. It is probable, however, that the farms were poorly cultivated. 
Colonel Slack came here about a hundred and ten years ago, and Mr. 
Starkweather just afterward, and found the land in this condition. 

" Up, then, to the close of the last century iron was emphatically 
king in Pawtucket. But ere the 'century closed a rival appeared, 
which was destined to contest the throne. Cotton appeared on the 
stage. An interesting tale might be told of the early attempts to spin 



14 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

cotton by water power in our land. Suffice it to say that, immediately 
after the Revolution, statesmen, capitalists and artisans sought to es- 
tablish new manufactures in the United States. The whole country 
was burdened by debt; importations from foreign lands were impov- 
erishing us still more, and relief was sought from the necessity of de- 
■pending on foreign spindles and looms. In Worcester and Beverly, 
in Massachusetts, in Providence and other towns, in Rhode Island, 
experiments were making previous to 1790 to find out whether the 
cotton needed in our land could not be spun beside our own streams. 
A few spinning frames and various rude machines had been brought 
■from abroad to facilitate the experiment, and Moses Brown, of Provi- 
dence, had purchased some of them and removed them to Pawtucket. 
Vain the attempt, however, to drive them by any of the water-wheels 
here. Why not obtain from England, then, some of the machines that 
-were working so successfully there? Alas! that was interdicted. 
About the time of the unsuccessful attempt of Mr. Brown, however, 
to set his machines in operation in this place, a young man in England 
was meditating emigration to the new republic. He has seen by the 
newspapers of his native land that bounties are offered, encourage- 
ments promised, for establishing the manufacture of cotton goods in 
some of the States in our country. Pennsylvania, in particular, is very 
generous in her proffers. He brooded over the matter for a while, 
till his imagination was fired, and he resolved to cross the ocean. But 
he knows the peril of arousing the jealousy of the authorities, and he 
conceals from even his family the step he is about to take. No 
model, drawing or plan does he dare take with him, lest it reveal his 
purpose and cause his arrest. 

" He makes the weary journey across the ocean, reaches New York 
in due time, and finds employment with a manufacturing company. 
The water power of the neighborhood does not suit him, however. 
The business wherein he is engaged is less agreeable than that to 
which he has been accustomed, and the fond dreams he had cherished 
■seem unlikely to be realized. While thus perplexed, God directs his 
steps hither. Samuel Slater providentially meets the captain of a 
Providence packet, and learns by conversation of the attempts that 
Moses Brown had made to introduce the manufacture of cotton into 
Rhode Island. Without any delay the young Englishman writes to 
Mr. Brown. ' I flatter myself,' says he in his letter, ' that I can give 
■the greatest satisfaction in making machinery, making good yarn, 
■ either for stockings or twist, as anything that is made in England, as 
I have had opportunity and an oversight of Sir Richard Arkwright's 
works and in Mr. Strut's mill for upwards of eight years.' Had Mr. 
Slater simply announced his ability to run machines already erected, 
or to make machines by the help of patterns wherewith he was famil- 
iar, one would not wonder at his confidence; but it manifested no 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENX'E COUNTY. 15 

small amount of assurance to profess to be able to make the requisite 
machinery. And this, when he had neither models nor drawings ! 

" But Mr. Brown, though anxious to succeed in his new under- 
taking, is too candid to foster extravagant hopes. He tells the young- 
man that he has transferred the business to Almy & Brown, and ex- 
presses his fear that those gentlemen can hardly give such encourage- 
ment as the youth can reckon on in his present place of business. 
(Mr. Almy was a son-in-law of Mr. Brown.) This is the strain, there- 
fore, in which Mr. Brown writes: ' As the frame we have is the first 
attempt of the kind that has been made in America, it is too imper- 
fect to afford thee much encouragement; we hardly know what to 
say to thee; but if thou thought thou couldst perfect and conduct them 
to profit, if thou wilt come and do it, thou shalt have all the profits 
made of them, over and above the interest of the money they cost, 
and the wear and tear of them. We will find stock and be repaid in 
yarn, as we may agree, for six months. And this we do for the in- 
formation thou can give, if fully acquainted with the business. . . . 
We have secured only a temporary water convenience, but if we find 
the business profitable, can perpetuate one that is convenient. . . . 
If thy present situation does not come up to what thou wishest, and, 
-from thy knowledge of the business, can be ascertained of the advan- 
tages of the mills, so as to come and work ours, and have the credit a.s 
well as advantage of perfecting the first water-mill in America, we 
should be glad to engage thy care, so long as they can be made profit- 
able to both, and we can agree.' 

" Happily Mr. Slater's gaze continues anxiously turned toward 
Providence rather than toward Philadephia. Mr. Brown's letter bears 
date ' Providence, 10th 12th month, 1789.' The young man promptly 
sets out for Rhode Island, and quickly appears in Pawtucket. A word 
or two on his first host. 

" This was Mr. Sylvanus Brown, the father of Captain James S. 
Brown. He was a good representative of the energetic class of men 
that peopled this place a century ago. During the revolutionary 
contest he served for a time in the navy, and held the office of master- 
of-arms in the ship of Commodore Esek Hopkins. Soon after the re- 
turn of peace Mr. Brown was engaged by the governor of the eastern 
British provinces to go to Halifax, and superintend the erection of 
saw and grist mills in some of those provinces. Such was the fame 
of Rhode Island mechanics, that Mr. Brown was allowed to hire 50 
from this neighborhood to rear the mills desired. And it casts a side 
light on the nature and extent of the iron business carried on here, 
to know that all the iron work required was made in Pawtucket. Mr. 
Brown was occupied in the Provinces nearly two years, and built 
seven saw mills and two grist mills. After his return he built 
Quaker lane, which had been laid out; and, as surveyor of highways, 
• extended it down to the Landing. 



16 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

" Mr. Brown was accustomed to relate to his family the circum- 
stances of his introduction to Mr. Slater. In the latter part of 1789 
Moses Brown came out to Pawtucket, accompanied by a young- Er.g- 
lishman 22 years of age. On approaching his Pawtucket namesake, 
Mr. Brown says, 'Sylvanus, I have brought to thee a young man who 
says he knows how to spin cotton. I want thee to keep him to-night, 
and talk with him, and see what he can do.' Mr. Sylvanus Brown ac- 
cepts the charge. On the next morning Moses Brown make his 
appearance early, in his usual style. He is borne in a carriage drawn 
by two horses, and driven by a colored driver. He quickly accosts 
his old acquaintance. 'Sylvanus, what does thee think? Does the 
young man seem to know anything about spinning cotton ?' Mr. 
Brown replies that he has talked with the young man, and that he 
speaks with great confidence, and really seems to understand about 
matters. 

" But the parties quickly proceed to business. Mr. Slater is taken 
to see the machines, and is not captivated by their appearance. Let 
Moses Brown tell the story: ' When Samuel saw the old machines, 
he felt downhearted with disappointment, and shook his head, and 
said, These will not do; they are good for nothing in their present 
condition, nor can they be made to answer.' Probably there were 
others disappointed too. But is there not an alternative? Yes. 
Moses Brown doubtless quickly recalls the assurance which the 
young Englishman had given of his ability to make the needed ma- 
chinery, as well as good yarn. Since he is here by Pawtucket Falls, 
and no one can question the goodness of the water power, why not 
let him reproduce the series of machines termed the Arkwright pat- 
ents? Mr. Slater is ready for such an undertaking, but imposes cer- 
tain conditions. His trial machines must be constructed of weed; a 
skillful mechanic must therefore be furnished, who shall be put 
under bonds neither to steal the patterns, nor to reveal the nature of 
the works. ' Under my proposals,' says the confident young man, ' if 
I do not make as good yarn as they do in England, I will have 
nothing for my services, but will throw the whole of what I have at- 
tempted over the bridge.' 

" But where can a more skillful wood-worker be found in Paw- 
tucket than the man at whose house Mr. Slater had been a guest? 
Mr. Sylvanus Brown is engaged to assist Mr. Slater in his undertaking. 
A contract is made by careful Moses Brown, to pay Mr. Slater a dollar 
a day for his labor while reproducing the coveted machines. It has 
already been mentioned that Mr. vSylvanus Brown had been occupied 
a short time. before in constructing Quaker Lane. That lane was laid 
out a little more than a century ago by Stephen Hopkins, Richard 
Waterman and a David Wilkinson. Probably there had been an 
older lane running between that and the river, but the new lane 
supersedes it. The land over which it run was originally swampy. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 17 

and, for years afterward, after every storm and in the thaws of 
springtime, the road was a veritable slough of despond. The lane 
was so called from Benjamin Arnold, Oziel Wilkinson and Timothy 
Greene, members of the Society of Friends. It answers to what is 
now the beginning of East avenue. The shop wherein Mr. Slater 
began the manufacture of his machines was on the lane named, and, 
some years ago, was the salesroom of a baker. A few years since, as 
it was to be torn down. Captain Brown caused it to be taken apart, 
and the frame and other parts to be removed to his spacious lot on 
Main street. And it is his intention to have it re-erected in the yard 
of his extensive machine shop."" 

"The greatest secrecy was maintained in all the operations. The 
front windows were shielded by shutters and the back windows cov- 
ered by blinds. Mr. Slater traced his lines on the wood with chalk, 
and Mr. Brown cut out the parts and fabricated the various portions 
of the machines. What power was needed was supplied by a wheel 
propelled by an aged negro of the name of Prime. He boasted a 
fuller name, or a brace of them — Samuel Primus, or Primus Jenks. 
Having once been a slave of some of the Jenkses, he bore that re- 
minder of his former relation to them. Samuel Primus, however, 
was not put under bonds, for he would have scorned to betray any 
secrets. Moses Brown watched the proceedings with eager interest, 
and reckoned it no hardship to come daily from Providence for that 
purpose. Mr. Slater and his helper labored industriously, and, in 
a few months, finished a water-frame of 24 spindles, two carding ma- 
chines, and the drawing and roping frames necessary to prepare 
for the spinning, and soon after added a frame of 48 spindles. The 
time for testing the machines at last comes, and everything works 
satisfactorily but the carder. Instead of the cotton's coming off in 
rolls it clings firmly to the cylinder. Mr. vSlater tries every expedient 
that he can think of to remedy the difficulty, but fails. Hope, which 
had hitherto buoyed him up, gave place to chagrin. He recollects 
the confident assurances he had given, and his boastful words seemed 
to him but swaggering. One thought, indeed, gives poignancy to 
his feelings. It is bad enough to fail when one deemed himself 
on the eve of success, but he feared that he would be counted an 
impostor. Under the revulsion of feeling he almost resolves on 
flight. He tells Mr. Sylvanus Brown that such seems his only re- 
sort. But Mr. Brown gives him wiser counsel, and urges him to keep 
trying. The young man is still baffled, however, and announces his 
design to run away; Mr. Brown expostulates against such rashness, 
but determines on satisfying his own mind of the feasibility of the 
work. He fixes on his companion's countenance a searching gaze, 
and asks, ' Have you ever seen one of these carders work in your 

*The subsequent death of Captain Brown prevented the accomplishment of 
his intention. — Ed. 



18 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

own country? ' ' Vts,^ was the unfaltering reply, and the young man's 
hand was brought down resolutely on his knee to add emphasis to 
the answer. ' Then it can be made to work here,' was his mentor's 
response. While the matter was in abeyance, however, Mr. Brown, 
whose house was also on Quaker lane, was compelled to wait a few 
minutes one day for his dinner. It happened that his wife had been 
using a pair of hand cards, which she laid down as her husband came 
in. Spontaneously he took them up, and discovered, as he examined 
them, that the teeth were bent somewhat differently from those on 
the carder at their shop, and the thought occurs to him that an alter- 
ation in the shape of the teeth may surmount the difficulty. After 
dinner he tries the experiment, and, to his joy and Mr. Slater's relief, 
the carder works. 

" Success is attained. Arkwright's patents are reproduced in 
America, and Pawtucket is to be enriched by a new* branch of in- 
dustry. Mr. Sylvanus Brown converts the parts of the machine which 
need greatest strength into iron. The forges of the Wilkinsons sup- 
ply what is requisite, and the perfected machines are set in operation 
in a small mill that stood, at the close of the last century, on the 
southwest abutment of the bridge which then spanned the Pawtucket. 
But that bridge was long since demolished to make room for a better 
structure, and the mill itself was swept away by the surges of the 
Blackstone in the memorable freshet of 1807. Work was begun in 
earnest with the new machines in the fall of 1790, or the winter fol- 
lowing. And to understand the comparative rudeness of some of the 
machines then employed, an extract from a letter of Mr. Smith 
Wilkinson, written years afterward, may be quoted: ' I was then in 
my tenth year, and went to work with Mr. Slater, and began attend- 
ing the breaker. The mode of laying the cotton was by hand, taking 
up a handful and pulling it apart with both hands, shifting it all into 
the right hand to get the staple of the cotton straight, and fix the 
handful so as to hold it firm, and then applying it to the surface of 
the breaker, moving the hand horizontally across the card to and fro, 
until the cotton was fully prepared.' 

" It is difficult at the present time, abounding as Pawtucket does 
with workshops and skillful artisans of every kind, to realize the 
obstacles that Mr. Slater was obliged to overcome in building even 
such rude machines. Drawings, models and patterns he lacked; from 
the circumstances whereby he was surrounded, he had but a single 
workman to counsel him, and he one who had never seen such ma- 
chines as he was aiming to reproduce; his sole dependence under God 
was therefore on the tenaciousness of his memory, his firm faith and 
a dogged will. One alleviation of his lot, however, there was. He 
boarded in the family of Oziel Wilkinson, and Mrs. Wilkinson, true 
to the instincts of the sect whereto she belonged, extended to the 
lonely stranger the sympathy he so much craved. Here, too, he 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 19 

formed an acquaintance with the maiden who afterward became his 
wife, for, as is well known, he subsequently married a daughter of 
Mr. Wilkinson. But Mr. Slater plied his skill in the narrow quarters 
of the mill mentioned for nearly two years, and found, at the end of 
the period, that several thousand pounds of yarn had accumulated on 
the hands of himself and his partners in spite of their utmost efforts 
to sell it. A small quantity sufficed at that early time to glut the 
market. The prudence of Moses Brown took alarm quite quickly, in- 
deed, at the overstock, for, when 500 pounds had accumulated, he 
wrote to Mr. Slater, ' Thee must shut down thy gates, or thee will spin 
up all my farms into cotton yarn.' 

" The success attained, however, was a matter of gratulation. That 
in spite of the jealous exclusivenessof the British government, cotton 
spinning by water power had been acclimated in America was reason 
for thankfulness. Pawtucket had won* new fame, and is justiJSed in 
claiming to be the parent of scores of flourishing towns and cities that 
have outstripped her in population." 

" After the experiment of Mr. Slater had so far succeeded, a new 
mill was erected. It was the comparatively diminutive building on 
Mill street which now bears the name of the Old Slater Mill. In fact, 
the original edifice was much smaller than the present one. It was 
reared in 1793. And here came into play the inventive genius of Mr. 
Sylvanus Brown. He quickly realized that, if the business of spin- 
ning cotton was to be extended, facilities were needed for speeding 
the manufacture of the requisite machinery. As early as 1791, there- 
fore, he invented a slide lathe for turning rollers, spindles and like 
articles, and followed it with an invention for fluting and planing 
rollers. His lathe was the first invention for turning iron, and he 
subsequently used it, with certain alterations, for cutting wrought 
iron screws for presses to press sperm oil. iVnd other screws still 
were made by the same instrument. But the inventions first named 
were of immense value in hastening the equipping of the new mill. 

" During the year 1793 a slitting mill was built by Oziel Wilkin- 
son and a flouring mill by Thomas Arnold. It is alleged, indeed, 
that Pawtucket can claim that the first flouring mill in the State was 
erected within her borders. 

" The success of Slater's undertaking stimulated others to rear 
mills of a like character. In 1799 the second cotton mill in this town 
was begun. It was erected by Mr. Oziel Wilkinson and his three 
sons-in-law— Samuel Slater, Timothy Greene and William Wilkinson. 
An advertisement from these parties, which has been preserved, has 
a kind of historic interest. It appeared in the United States Chronicle 
(a journal published in Providence), under date of July 30th, 1801. 
It is as follows: 

" ' SAMUEL SLATER & CO. 
" ' The subscribers having erected an extensive Manufactory for 



20 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

spinning Cotton at Rehoboth, Massachusetts, near Pawtucket Falls^ 
four miles from Providence, R. I., have entered into Co-Partnership 
under the above firm, for conducting the same, and now inform the 
Public that they are ready to supply any Quantity of Yarn, of almost 
every Number and Description, as Warp, Filling, 2 and 3 threaded 
Stocking Yarn, suitable for Weaving and Knitting, whitened or 
brown, Wholesale or Retail, at a short Notice. Their Yarn is at least 
equal, if not superior to any manufactured in America. Orders to 
any Amount can speedily be complied with, and shall be carefully 
attended to, by addressing to Samuel Slater & Co., North Providence,, 
or William Wilkinson, Postmaster, Providence. 

OziEL Wilkinson, 
Samuel Slater, 
Timothy Greene, 
William Wilkinson. 
" ' N. Providence, July 16th, 1801.' 

" Tradition represents that the impulse to the erection of the mill 
last mentioned sprung from dissatisfaction on the part of Mr. Slater 
with his former partners. He fancied- — whether justly or not is idle 
to inquire^ — that they were ready to supplant him, now that they had, 
as they supposed, learned the business; and his sturdy father-in-law, 
as well as Mr. Slater himself, resented the injustice. 

" One can easily imagine the alarm which the prospect of another 
rival brings to the proprietors of the old mill. An amusing incident 
illustrates the fact. The expression another rival has been wittingly 
used. The mill built in 1799 was not the second cotton mill reared 
in this neighborhood, for that was erected in what was long called 
Robin Hollow, in the town of Cumberland. It stood on the site of the 
present Cumberland Mills, which may almost be claimed as a Paw- 
tucket enterprise, since the buildings were reared mainly by Paw- 
tucket capital, and the larger part of the capital stock is still held in 
this town. The earlier mill, however, was erected by Elisha Water- 
man, and the story is told that, after it got under way, the workmen 
came one day to Pawtucket, and marched in procession by the old 
mill, every one wearing a bunch of cotton yarn on his hat. 

" The name of Timothy Greene in the above quoted advertise- 
ment is a reminder that, at that period, he was an active business 
man in Pawtucket. His original business was the manufacture of 
shoes, but he enlarged it by engaging in tanning. He purchased a 
somewhat extensive piece of land between Quaker Lane and the 
river. He laid out a tan-yard along the banks of the river, where the 
mill of his grandsons now stands. To the south lay his famous 
meadow. In these later days the most the prognosticator of the 
weather dares do is to speak of probabilities; but three-quarters of a 
century ago the inhabitants of this place reckoned it a certainty that 
the mowing of Uncle Timothy's meadow would bring rain. No mat- 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 21 

ter how severe might have been the drought, the mowing of that 
meadow was a signal for showers. The name by which he was called 
implies that he must have possessed a kindly nature. One of his 
workmen gives the following testimony as to his business: ' We 
ground 200 cords of bark per year while I worked for Mr. Greene. 
We tanned 1,000 hides a year for him, and fulled 1,500 for others.' 
This was before the times, however, of forcing processes. 

" Before the close of the last century David Wilkinson perfected 
one of the important inventions which gave him his renown. It was 
that of the slide lathe. He completed it in 1797, and obtained a 
patent for it in the following year. So slow was the extending of 
the machine business, however, that but little pecuniary profit flowed 
to the inventor. The original patent run out before it came into ex- 
tensive use, and Mr. Wilkinson was too busy with other enterprises, 
too intent on other inventions, to take the trouble to secure a re- 
newal. But fifty years after the original patent was granted, con- 
gress voted him $10,000 as a partial recompense ' for the benefits 
accruing to the public service from the use of the principle of the 
gauge and sliding lathe, of which he was the inventor, now in use in 
the workshops of the government, at the different national arsenals 
and armories.' 

"As early as 1791 Oziel Wilkinson built a small air furnace, or 
reverberatory, for casting iron, in which were cast the first wing- 
gudgeons known in America, which were applied to Slater's old mill. 
And so wide-spread was the fame of Pawtucket for skillful iron- 
workers, that in 1794 Colonel Baldwin came hither from Boston after 
machinery for a canal then building, probably that to Lowell. At 
W^ilkinson's establishment the patterns were made, and the wheels, 
racks, &c., were cast. At the same establishment the iron was cast 
for the draw for the Cambridge bridge about the same time. David 
Wilkinson, in conjunction with other parties here, had set up a fur- 
nace, and, by it, early in the present century, cannon were cast solid. 
They were subsequently bored out by water power. ' It was then 
the current conversation, that to Pawtucket belonged the credit of 
the first cannon cast solid in the world. They were bored by making 
the drill or bore stationary, and having the cannon revolve against 
the drill.' 

" It is to this period of time that the remarks of Dr. Dwight, in his 
travels, in 1810, apply. ' There is probably no spot in New England,' 
he writes, ' of the same extent, in which the same quantity or variety 
of manufacturing business is carried on. In the year 1796, there 
were here three anchor forges, one tanning mill, one flouring mill, 
one slitting mill, three snuff mills, one oil mill, three fulling mills, 
and clothier's works, one cotton factory, two machines for cutting 
nails, one furnace for casting hollow ware, — all moved by water, — 



22 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

one machine for cutting- screws, moved by a horse, and several forges 
for smith's work.' 

" Doctor Benedict made his first visit here in 1804. About 50 years 
after, he gave interesting reminiscences of the condition of the place 
at the earlier date. His account, drawn from a retentive memory, 
refreshed by notes that he had taken, and by conversation with old 
natives and residents, enables one to form a fair idea of the appear- 
ance of the place in the year 1801 or 1802. 

" The only street on the eastern side of the river was the old road 
past the old Slack tavern, and out to what is now called North Bend. 
The southern border of that road run a little further to the south 
than now. Reaching its present extremity to the east, the main road 
ran toward Boston past the Dolly Sabin tavern, while there was a 
branch to the south, which is now known as South Bend. This street 
is of course what is now Main and Walcott streets. On the western 
side of the river, Main street from the bridge upward was several 
feet lower than at present, and at times was one of the muddiest 
holes in the place. Much of the street was a mere ravine, through 
which ran a brook from thte meadow above. The water from this 
source is now greatly lessened, and runs beneath the surface. East 
avenue, from its junction with Main street, till lately for years called 
Pleasant street, was then, as has been already stated, called Quaker 
lane, and extended not much farther than where Pleasant street now 
begins. It was wretchedly miry in both spring and fall. What is 
now Mill street was but a narrow road up to Slater's mill, and ex- 
tended but a little way beyond. Nobody was sanguine enough to 
suppose that a public road would ever pass the stone chimney house, 
through the fields of Ichabod and Stephen Jenks, and over the high 
hill which then stood between Pawtucket and Central Falls. At that 
time, indeed, there were two houses in what is now the flourishing 
village of Central Falls. High street was not laid out at all beyond 
where the high school building now stands, and very imperfectly thus 
far. There was but one meeting house, a very diminutive edifice, 
which stood not far from where the goodly temple of the First Bap- 
tist church now stands. The only other public edifice was known as 
the Red school house, and stood not far from the meeting house. It 
was used for all public gatherings of a secular nature, and frequently 
for religious assemblies, when other denominations wished to hold a 
meeting while the Baptist meeting house was occupied. 

" But how large was the population at that time? No census is 
extant; but the entire number of houses on the east side was 17, and 
on the west, about twice as many. Between 50 and 60 houses then 
afforded shelter to the dwellers on both sides of the river. But such 
figures may perhaps mislead; for it seems to have been common to 
crowd large households into small dwellings; and houses that afforded 
but scanty accommodations to a single family were sometimes made 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 23 

to shelter two or three. The reader must therefore form his own es- 
timate of the number of inhabitants. 

" Of the centres of industry more is known. The first Slater mill 
was running then, and the structure of Samuel Slater & Co. on the 
eastern margin of the river was in operation. The proportions of 
both those structures seemed doubtless huge. Hundreds had been in 
the habit of coming from all the country to gaze at the original mill, 
and wonder at its exploits. But what where its wondrous achieve- 
ments? It spun by water power coarse yarns to be woven by hand in 
the farm-houses of all the surrounding region. Power looms were a 
dream of the future. But the yarns thus spun brought high prices, 
and were for a good while in such demand, that it seemed almost im- 
possible to execute the orders that poured in for them. One circum- 
stance that swelled the demand was that the goods made on the hand 
looms in the country from these yarns, seemed far more durable than 
the old fabrics made from the refuse of flax, or the coarse India 
cotton. 

" Besides the spinning of cotton, however, the bleaching business 
was carried on, but in a manner that would now be deemed quite 
primitive. The ground adjoining the old Slater mill to the north, 
where now stands the works of Messrs. Fairbrother, and many a 
building between Mill street and the Blackstone, was one great 
bleaching meadow. The fame of Mother Cole survives as the man- 
ager of the operations. Stakes were driven into the ground, and 
skeins of cotton were stretched from one to another, and the cloth 
was spread upon the grass. The matron named, with a small corps 
of assistants, sprinkled wath watering pots the fabric thus exposed, 
and plied the drying sticks till the cloth and yarn assumed a whiter 
hue. A long storm, or a protracted period of dull or cloudy weather, 
seriously delayed the completion of the work, and taxed the patience 
of customers. Another bleaching meadow of like character existed 
afterward on the eastern side of the river, to the south of the bridge; 
and both of them were supplied with water brought down Main 
street by aqueducts of wooden logs. One of them started from the 
western side of the ascent of Park place, and the other from near the 
corner where Main street bends to the south just above the Benedict 
House. An outlet of one of these aqueducts was at the head of Water 
street. The water from these fountains was deemed preferable for 
bleaching purposes to that from the river. The well-known citizens 
of Pawtucket, whose bleachery at Moshassuck cannot be spoken of at 
length without trenching on the claims of Lincoln, would hardly fear 
the rivalry of Mother Cole, could she return to earth to resume in her 
old mode her former business. 

" The forges, anchor shops, machine shops, foundries, oil mills, 
grist mills, and similar establishments, were all near the river, or 
along Sargent's Trench. The reader can fill up the outline of this 



24 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

picture by conceiving of the woods which crowned the ridge to the 
west of Broadway, and studded the swampy land that sloped to the 
Blackstone. A dense forest covered the region now occupied by the 
tasty grounds and extensive works of Colonel Dunnell. And between 
that forest and the present thoroughfare from the stone bridge to 
North Bend were three farms, stretching almost from the river to 
Seekonk Plains. These farms belonged to three brothers of the 
name of Bucklin. On the west of North Bend other farms run back 
to the river, save where they were afterward divided by the turnpike. 
A few years before, on that part of Cottage street where Mr. William 
P. Allen now lives, stood a majestic growth of hard wood; but the 
feller had meanwhile come up against it, and leveled the trees, and 
the region was a part of large farms, poorly cultivated. 

" Perhaps the space may be profitably spared to give a livelier idea 
of the section east of the river, as it then existed. Be it recollected, 
therefore, that the house of Ephraim Starkweather stood at the apex 
of the triangle made by Main and Walcott streets. Just below that, 
on the site of the rectory of Trinity church, stood the tavern of 
Colonel Slack. From Mr. Starkweather's to North Bend there was 
no house. The upper part of Walcott street, from above Grove street 
to Otis French's, was open land on the north side, and belonged to 
Col. Slack. Beyond Mr. French's house, on North Bend, stood an old 
stone chimney house, long since torn down. It was then occupied, 
however, by a venerable colored man who bore a couple of names,- — 
Prince Kennedy, or the Black Prince. The old Lyon house, the 
Dolly Sabin tavern, two or three farm houses between or in the 
neighborhood, the stone chimney house on South Bend, and N. Buck- 
lin's house, near Bucklin's brook, complete the list in that part of the 
hamlet. Stretching from North Bend to the Blackstone, a little be- 
yond the land mentioned as belonging to Col. Slack, was a strip of 
territory owned by Abiel Read and his sisters. Next on the north 
was the land of Ephraim Starkweather. Then came the farm of 
Baruch Bucklin. For years afterward it was in the possession of Mr. 
May D. Mason, who married the only daughter of Mr. Bucklin. Still 
north of this lay the farm of Ebenezer Bucklin. North of these were 
a farm of Samuel Slack, since called the Lavery place, and one of 
Ezra Barrows. Most of all of these stretched from the road named 
to the Blackstone, though destined soon to be cut in twain by the 
Norfolk and Bristol turnpike, which was on the eve of being built. 

" This leaves but few of the seventeen buildings unmentioned in 
the east village, and one of them was occupied by a son of Hugh 
Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy's house stood a little to the east of the 
Ellis block, and was joined by a garden which run back to the Black- 
stone. It was then deemed the most attractive garden in the village, 
as it possessed a great many pear trees. To the south of the bridge 
stood his oil mill, and on the other side a blacksmith's and wheel- 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 25 

Wright shop. In the latter shop were manufactured a multitude of 
old-fashioned spinning wheels, both great and small. 

"Of course, on both sides of the stream, in addition to the streets 
named, were a few lanes, which have since grown into streets. One 
ran, for instance, to the ship-yard at the Landing, and others in other 
directions. But most of the houses of the residents in the western 
village of Pawtucket, were upon the streets already named. High 
street, north of the present High School building, was covered by 
pines and scrub oaks. A few roads and thoroughfares, indeed, ex- 
tended toward Providence and Smithfield, but the rest of the land 
away from the river was occupied by farms or pastures, or covered 
with forests. Along the river's side, however, the din of industr}'- 
was heard. What is now Jenks avenue led down to the coal yard, 
and here were stored huge piles of charcoal for the use of forges, fur- 
naces, and anchor shops; and the clangor of trip-hammers and anvils, 
the blows of ship-builders, and the buzz of machinery, told that en- 
terprise and toil were busy by the waters of the Pawtucket. 

" About this time, however, an important convenience for the pub- 
lic was providing. It was the era of turnpikes, and the Norfolk and 
Bristol turnpike was chartered to open a more direct road to Boston. 
It was laid out four rods in width from the bridge at Pawtucket to the 
metropolis of Massachusetts. Oziel Wilkinson was always ready for 
any undertaking that promised to accommodate the public and put 
money into his own pocket, and took a contract for building thirteen 
miles of the road, nearest this place. This was about the year 1804. 
The spades, shovels and picks for the laborers were all furnished 
from his shops m Pawtucket. Greatly to the annoyance of some of 
the residents east of the river, the road, as it approached the bridge, 
was brought very near the stream, and spoiled some pleasant gardens. 
What is now known as Broadway is but the road-bed of the south- 
western part of the old turnpike. For some years, especially after 
steamboats were put on the route between Providence and New York, 
that turnpike was a great highway of travel. Scores of stage coaches, 
crowded with passengers, daily hurried over it, and scores of wagons, 
groaning under their loads, journeyed to and from Boston. But the 
march of improvement in less than two-score years blasted the fond 
hopes of its builders. The steam-car demanded the iron track, and 
turnpikes gave place to railroads. The result is adverted to in the 
account of a special town meeting held in Pawtucket, Mass., on Feb- 
ruary 11th, 1843, to consider whether the town should oppose the 
granting of the petition of the Norfolk and Bristol turnpike for au- 
thority to give up their road to the towns as a common highway. The 
town very sensibly voted to instruct ' their representative in the Gen- 
eral Court to appear before the Committee on the 15th instant, and to 
accept that part of the Norfolk and Bristol turnpike lying within the 



26 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

town of Pawtucket as a public road, provided the Corporation guaran- 
tee the said road to the town free of expense.' 

"Sturdy Oziel found .the turnpike a great convenience while he 
lived, for he could transport his goods by it to a market in Boston. A 
kinsman of his, in describing the rugged independence of the old man, 
remarks, that he was wont to carry his own nails to the city named, 
and sell them in quantities to suit purchasers; and it shows the effect 
of modern inventions in cheapening the cost of articles of daily use, 
to mention that Mr. Wilkinson accommodated both large and small 
purchasers by selling his nails to them at 16 cents per pound. 

"Turning for a moment from details of business, it maybe re- 
marked that an incident happened early in the century, which lived 
in the memory of old citizens, and is so oft referred to in common 
speech that it deserves to be commemorated in history. An almost 
unparalleled freshet occurred on February 15th, 1807. It was a Sab- 
bath, whose quiet was broken by the foaming surges. The Black- 
stone, like most of northern rivers, is liable to be swollen by great 
masses of ice and water when a sudden thaw looses the frozen rivu- 
lets and brooks. The banks of the river at Pawtucket, however, are 
high enough to lift the houses above ordinary floods, but on the day 
preceding the Sabbath named a furious torrent plunging over the 
falls rose to an unwonted height, and reminded the beholders that 
the swollen waves can defy the interdict of any one save Him whose 
awful voice can say: T/ins far, and no farther ! All night the torrent 
rushed and roared, and the trembling bridge warned travelers not to 
attempt to cross the stream. The bed of the river was filled to over- 
flowing; Sargent's Trench became a boiling flood; and the surging 
billows revealed the bed of still another stream which centuries ago 
ran parallel with the main river. Mills and shops were swept away; 
and a few families that had seemed to linger too long in their homes 
were hurried to places of safety by strong men, who were periling 
their own lives to save others. In the gray dawn of the morning a 
loud voice was heard shouting in the streets, 'Turn out, turn out; the 
water is running round Jerahmeel Jenks's stone wall.' In the very 
crisis of the freshet a sick mother, and her infant of a fortnight old, 
were moved in a chair across a ladder reaching from the window of 
an imperiled house to the top of a fence opposite, by men who stood 
in a roaring stream, and feared every instant that they were too late. 
The late Mrs. N. G. B. Dexter, whose parents lived in a house stand- 
ing where the Miller block now is, was accustomed to relate in her 
old age, that tall Colonel Stephen Jenks took both her and her 
younger sister in his arms and bore them away to a secure place. 
Another incident of a dramatic character happened. 

" Mr. John Pitcher occupied a house that stood on a rock which 
forms a part of the foundation of Almy's block. He and his daugh- 
ter and little grandson lingered in the house till the evening of Sun- 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 2T 

day. But the billows were so threatening, the masses of ice were 
crashing so furiously, that the daughter dared not spend another 
night in so lonely a place, especially as connection was cut off with 
the western shore. She therefore besought her father to leave and 
go with her, while the bridge yet stood, to the other side. While he 
hesitated and refused, she took her infant in her arms, waded through 
the water and crossed the bridge. The crazy structure trembled be- 
neath her steps; so, after bearing her boy to a place of safety, she 
took a lantern and returned for her father, to implore him to leave. 
She had scarce stepped on the bridge, when she discerned through 
the blinding spray a lantern. She knew that no one but her father 
could have gained a footing on the bridge, and eagerly hastened to 
him. She found him bewildered by the mist and roar, and hurried 
him across the trembling structure; and they had hardly stepped a 
dozen steps on the shore before the mad billows hurled masses of ice 
against the tottering fabric, and swept it, a heap of ruins, into the 
abyss. 

"Through the mercy of God no lives were lost, but fourteen build- 
ings were swept away. None of them were costly edifices, and yet 
several of them were the seat of locally important industries, that 
were not merely gainful to their proprietors, but of great convenience 
to the public around. No such flood has since occurred; perhaps none 
has approximated it more nearly than one that happened last spring. 
But the buildings which have been reared since the earlier freshet 
have been built so much more firmly, that but little loss was actually 
sustained, though some shops were in peril. The stately stone bridge 
which now spans the Blackstone near the falls is so much stronger 
than the crazy wooden structure that nearly perished in that former 
freshet, that beholders feared not to stand on it and gaze at the 
careering surges that plunged over the rocks. 

" It may not be improper to remark, in illustration of the variety 
of industry that characterized Pawtucket, that an ingenious clock- 
maker, early in the present century, by the name of John Field, in- 
troduced here the casting of brass. He carried on his business in 
the anchor shop of the elder Mr. Wilkinson. And both the Wilkin- 
sons and the various spinners of cotton were extending their opera- 
tions. On the eastern side of the river, to the south of Main street, be- 
tween the bridge and the spacious mill recently erected by the Messrs.. 
Goff, are the sites of old mills. An early manufacturing company 
took the name of the Cotton and Oil Company. They bought and 
carried on the oil mill which had been owned by Hugh Kennedy. 
The company was composed of Nathaniel Croade, Major Ebenezer 
Tyler, Oliver Starkweather, Benjamin W^alcott, Eliphalet vSlack, Dr. 
Billings and others, and built the so-called Yellow mill in 1805 and 
the Stone mill in 1813. The company subsequently divided into two- 
sections, and each of them took control of a mill. 



28 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

" The freshet spoken of above carried away all the buildings in the 
forge lot, from the bridge to what is now called Jenks avenue. The 
grist mill on the grist mill lot was also swept before the billows, but 
the grist mill'house, which stood on the summit of the rock, remained. 
Although none of the buildings were very large, they were yet of such 
vservice to the whole neighborhood, by reason of the kinds of business 
carried on in them, that steps were taken to rebuild some of them 
without any delay. Eleazer Jenks and his sons, Eleazer, Jr., and Ste- 
phen, built the forge shop; Pardon and Jabez Jenks built the carding 
room, and Moses Jenks, the father of the two last named, reared, in 
connection with others, the grist mill, which stood till pulled down 
to build the flouring mill in ]863. The basement of the carding ma- 
chine building was used for a fulling mill and a snuff mill. The first 
floor was used for carding wool. The clothier's shop was on the 
corner of Main street and Jenks avenue, and the basement of the 
building was used for a coloring shop. The first floor was employed 
for dressing cloth. The entire business was carried on by Pardon and 
Jabez Jenks, the latter of whom lived in the tenement above the 
dressing room. This continued the case till 1817, when Jabez Jenks 
died. Subsequently the business was carried on by others till 1821, 
when the shop was resigned to trade. 

" And here it may be remarked that, though these details seem 
somewhat prolix, they are instructive for the present generation, by 
reminding them of the change which has taken place in manufactur- 
ing within 70 years. It was nearly a dozen years after the freshet be- 
fore power looms came into vogue. Before that time the farmers in 
this State and the neighboring part of Massachusetts raised their 
sheep, clipped their own wool, and had their cloth manufactured be- 
neath their own roof. But before their wives, daughters or domes- 
tics spun and wove their wool, it was brought to Pawtucket to be 
carded, and, after it was woven, was returned to the clothier's to be 
dressed and finished. The cloth thus made was very strong, and could 
be made very fine. Indeed, it is mentioned that when President Mon- 
roe was inaugurated in 1817 he wore a suit of clothes made of cloth 
manufactured in Pawtucket. But this means simply that the wool was 
carded here and the cloth finished, for no looms for weaving woolen 
goods by power had then been put in operation. The tenter bars of 
the clothiers were, at the early date named, on the lot whereon the 
stately edifice reared by the Dexter Brothers now stands. 

" The basement of the forge shop was used for a trip-hammer shop 
to do heavy forging and to make mule spindles. This business was 
carried on by Eleazer Jenks, Jr., and others of the family, till his 
death in 1816. The first floor was used for various purposes; quite 
early by Stephen Jenks, who had a machine for cutting large spikes 
of his own device. Subsequently he used it for another purpose, to 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 29 

be mentioned further on. On the second floor Otis and Benjamin 
Walcott had a machine shop prior to 1813. 

" And here may appropriately be quoted an extract of a letter from 
John K. Pitman to Thomas Cole, Esq., under date of November 8th, 
1809, in relation to the cotton manufacturing establishments in the 
neighborhood of Providence. It shows the comparative awkwardness 
of some departments of manufacturing at that time. The extract is 
borrowed from the Providence Journal of June 19th of the present 
year: 

" ' There are in this State sixteen cotton mills in operation, and 
seven more erected which have not yet begun to spin. Also without 
the State, and within about thirty miles of this town, there are ten at 
work and six not yet in operation. . . . The mills within the State 
contain between thirteen and fourteen thousand spindles, and con- 
sume about twelve thousand pounds of cotton weekly; those without 
the State contain upwards of six thousand spindles, and consume 
about five thousand pounds of cotton weekly. The produce of yarn 
is estimated at four-fifths of the raw material. The mills within the 
State employ upwards of one thousand looms, most of which are in 
private families, and wrought by females unoccupied by their domes- 
tic concerns. The cotton is picked by private families in the neigh- 
borhood of the mills, and in this State this branch gives employment 
to more than four hundred families a considerable portion of the year, 
to whom is paid upwards of twenty thousand dollars annually.' 

" The war with Great Britain, which began in 1812, while it nearly 
swept American commerce from the ocean, gave an impetus to cotton 
manufacturing and kindred branches of industry in this neighbor- 
hood. Indeed, the embargo during Jefferson's administration had 
doubtless suggested to the shrewd men who had started cotton mills 
in this neighborhood that the yarns of their manufacture were likely 
to be needed to supply an imperious home demand. Hence in 1810 
Oziel Wilkinson built another mill on Mill street, which still stands. 
It is now known as the Lefavour mill. For several years after it was 
reared the lower story was occupied by David Wilkinson for a ma- 
chine shop and the upper story for cotton spinning. The war, how- 
ever, stimulated manufacturing still more. On passing up Broadway 
one sees on the mill occupied by the Dexter Brothers the figures 1813, 
which indicate the time of the erection of that structure. It was 
reared originally by Wilkinson & Greene. It has been mentioned 
that to the south of the bridge a mill was also erected in the same 
year. About this time, also, Kent's factory was converted into a cot- 
ton mill. In 1813, too, a machine shop was built by Eleazer Jenks 
and family, which extended along the southern part of Main street, 
and to the east of the clothier's shop that stood on the corner of the 
present Jenks avenue. This shop, indeed, reached from Main street 
to the forge shop, and was occupied by David Wilkinson from the 



:30 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

period of its erection till 1829. Subsequently, during the war, the 
Buffington mill, so called at a later date, was erected, and occupied 
the space between the machine shop and the bridge. Its owners were 
Pardon and Jabez Jenks. The first person to occupy it was Major 
Ebenezer Tyler, w^ho was for years one of the most active men of the 
place. For a part of two seasons he carried on the business of spin- 
ning cotton yarns. After him a Mr. Taft occupied it, and was suc- 
ceeded, not far from 1821, by Mr. Buffington. The business of weav- 
ing cloth by power looms, as will be shown, had meanwhile been 
begun, and Mr. Buffington commenced the manufacture of cloth. He 
continued to run the mill till it was burned in 1844. 

" During the war, of course, invention was stimulated, and two 
men, in whose name Pawtucket has an interest, were busied in devis- 
ing valuable contrivances. The slowness of weaving cotton by hand 
had pressed the inquiry on hundreds of minds, Cannot a power loom 
be devised which shall expedite the work and lessen the expense? 
And among those who were haunted by this question was an in- 
genious mechanic in Pawtucket by the name of John Thorp. As 
early as 1814 he invented a power loom. It stood upright, and per- 
formed its work by perpendicular action. Though it was soon super- 
seded by a more skillful instrument, it yet showed the inventor's 
ability. Soon after he invented a machine for winding quills or bob- 
bins. He also invented a very ingenious braiding machine, and fol- 
lowed it by the ring spinning or spinning-ring which is now in gen- 
eral use. 

" The other person referred to was Mr. Asa Arnold, a native of 
Pawtucket. He devised a machine for separating wool in carding 
into slivers, so as to be spun from the cards. This is believed to have 
been done during the war named. Subsequently he displayed his in- 
genuity by introducing compound motion or differential box into the 
Double vSpeeder. For this he obtained a patent in 1821. In the judg- 
ment of competent parties, both of these inventions possess great 
merit. 

" The order of time requires, however, that more be now said of 
the third grand invention pertaining to the manufacture of cotton. 
So far as our own land is concerned, this, like the adoption of Ark- 
wright's patent, was rather a reproduction than an invention. Mr. 
William Gilmore had been working at Slatersville, and sought to in- 
troduce there the vScotch loom. No favor was shown to the proposi- 
tion, however, but Judge Lyman, of the neighboring town of North 
Providence, hears of the matter, and induces Mr. Gilmore to make the 
experiment in his mill. From some defect or derangement of the 
the loom, however, it does not work at first; but Judge Lyman thinks 
of David Wilkinson, and gets him to look at the machine. Mr. 
Wilkinson's keen eye soon discovers the difficulty, and his fertile 
.mind devises a remedy. And it is an interesting fact, that Captain 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 31 

James S. Brown, whose inventive genius and business talent have so 
helped the prosperity of Pawtucket, had just come to work in the 
shop of Mr. Wilkinson; and the first task he performed was to finish 
some patterns of the vScotch loom. This was in 1817, and marks an 
■era in the business of manufacturing cotton in our land. Far and 
wide the news spreads that a power loom is successfully working in 
the neighborhood of Pawtucket, and manufacturers come to inspect 
it. The foundation of many a manufacturing village and city, in- 
deed, almost dates from that epoch. 

" x\nd the period reached requires that another person be now 
mentioned. In 1813 Mr. Larned Pitcher began as a machinist. Sub- 
sequently Mr. P. Hovey and Mr. Arnold became associated with him. 
Their first place of business was at the new mill on the west side of 
the river, but they subsequently moved to the Stone mill, and then 
to the Yellow mill. In 1819 Mr. Gay became a partner, and, the 
others named having retired, the style of the firm became Pitcher & 
Gay. Soon Mr. Gay devised a dresser, which still remains in use. 
He also invented a speeder. In September, 1824, Mr. Gay removed 
to Nashua; and, as Mr. Brown, who had been working for some years 
in the employment of the parties named, had become a partner on 
the previous month, the new firm took the well-known style of 
Pitcher & Brown, and continued in business till 1842. 

" It was mentioned, in speaking of the forge shop, that Mr. Stephen 
Jenks occupied for a time the first floor of that building. One cir- 
cumstance deserves to be named in connection with that shop. 
The extract quoted from the letter of Mr. Pitman tells in how rude 
a way the business of picking cotton was carried on. Mr. Jenks in- 
troduced here a cotton-picker, which was the first started in this 
neighborhood. After that, cotton instead of being sent out to private 
families to be whipped, was brought to the forge shop from all the 
mills for miles around, and returned in bags to the various mills in 
condition to be used. Mr. Jenks continued this business till 1817 or 
1818, when pickers came into general use in the various mills. 
The room occupied by Stephen Jenks was afterwards occupied by 
Abner Tompkins as a machine shop for finishing the iron work for 
looms, till about 1829. 

" Prior to the war with Great Britain, as was intimated above, the 
business of cotton spinning was restricted to a narrow sphere in our 
land. Massachusetts was largely engaged in commerce, and had 
taken but little interest in the business wherein Rhode Island was 
reaping such a harvest. As showing to how small an extent Massa- 
chusetts had entered into rivalry with her diminutive neighbor, it 
may be mentioned that Rehoboth, in 1813, surpassed any other town 
in that state in the number of its cotton mills. Of course, the larger 
part of them where in what is now the eastern district of Pawtucket. 
But the war, by prostrating commerce, caused a diversion of capital. 



32 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

and gave a great stimulus to manufactures. And the introduction of 
the Scotch loom confirmed the tendenc3^ 

" The same copy of the Providence Journal that contains the letter 
from Mr. Pitman, already quoted, contains extracts from the letter of 
another manufacturer, who speaks in the following strain. His letter 
was written in 1820: 

" ' It will be observed that the foregoing estimate was made in the 
year 1809, when it may be considered the cotton manufacture was in 
its infancy. Since that period to the commencement of the year 1816, 
the increase exceeded all calculation. . . . Allured by the previous 
enormous profits, hundreds had rushed into the business, in many 
cases without capital sufficient successfully to conduct such an enter- 
prise, and a general embarrassment resulted [in 1815 and 1816]. The 
distress experienced at this time did not last long, however. Those 
establishments which had been managed prudently continued to 
operate a portion of their machiner5^ and the others gradually com- 
menced operations again, until, in a short time, nearly all the ma- 
chinery was at work. 

" ' The improvements in machinery have been such as to reduce 
the cost of labor to more than one-fourth of what it was in the year 
1809; the weaving, which is a very important branch, is reduced to 
one-half, and the picking of cotton, which it will be observed by Mr. 
Pitman's estimate was at that time very expensive, I may say is al- 
most without labor, it being picked by a machine called the picker, 
which is built at a trifling expense, and is in no way injurious to the 
staple of the cotton.' 

" For the sake of brevity a part of this letter has been omitted. 
The writer states, however, that owing to the great depression in 
business after the close of the war, occasioned in part by an immense 
influx of British manufactures, relief was sought by legislation. A 
list was therefore carefully prepared of the manufacturing establish- 
ments and their number of spindles and forwarded to Congress. The 
writer subjoins a list of the cotton factories within thirty miles of 
Providence in 1820. The number of spindles credited to that part of 
North Providence now included in Pawtucket was about 2,500; to that 
part of vSeekonk now embraced in Pawtucket was 6,400; in all, in 
round numbers, 7,900 spindles. The entire number of mills in the 
State of Rhode Island was 100; the number of spindles almost 76,000. 
At the present time ther^ is a single corporation in Pawtucket which 
has 100,000 spindles. 

" During the half century and upward since the letter just quoted 
from was written, the business of cotton manufacturing has been won- 
derfully extended by reason of the economy secured through the 
various inventions named; but it may well be remembered that when 
Lowell, Lawrence, Manchester and Lewiston, which have outstripped 
this town in population, had no existence, Pawtucket was conducting 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 33 

to success the experiments by which they were to become great and 
rich. 

" A, few years rolled on unmarked by any startling occurrences in 
Pawtucket. In 1824 the old White mill, the second reared in Paw- 
tucket, was burnt down. The energy of its owners, however, speedily 
secured its rebuilding, and the figures chiseled in its walls tell of 
both the year when the old mill was consumed and the new one 
reared. Pawtucket continued meanwhile to show energy and thrift. 
A gazetteer of Rhode Island and Connecticut, published at Hartford 
in 1819, gives a hint as to the appearance of the place at that time: 

" ' The village of Pawtucket is situated in the northeast section of 
the town [North Providence], four miles northeast of Providence, on 
the border of the Seekonk river; its site being principally the declivity 
of a hill, and it is highly romantic and picturesque. The river here 
affords numerous natural sites for manufacturing establishments, mills 
and hydraulic works of almost every description, which are scarcely 
rivalled, and which are occupied to a great extent. The rapid march 
of manufacturing and mechanical industry which the short annals of 
this place disclose has few examples in our country, and has produced 
one of the most considerable and flourishing manufacturing villages 
in the United States. The river here forms the boundary line be- 
tween the two States, and the village is built upon both sides of it, 
being partly in Rhode Island and partly in Massachusetts. That part 
of it which is in Rhode Island is principally built on four streets, and 
comprises eighty-three Dwelling houses, twelve Mercantile stoies, two 
Churches, a Post Office, an incorporated Bank, an Academy, and two 
or three flourishing Schools. Of the ten Cotton mills in the town 
[North Providence], three are at this place, and upon an extensive 
scale. There are six shops engaged in the manufacturing of machin- 
ery, having the advantage of water power, and various other mechani- 
cal establishments, affording extensive employment and supporting a 
dense population. Upon the Massachusetts side of the river there is 
a village of nearly equal size and consequence for its manufacturing 
and other interests.' 

" A paragraph from a letter of Mr. David Wilkinson also tells of 
the activity which marked this place during the first three decades of 
the present century: 

" ' We built machinery to go to almost every part of the country — 
to Pomfret and Killingly, Conn.; to Hartford', Vt.; to Waltham, Rayn- 
ham, Plymouth, Halifax, Plympton, Middleboro' and other places in 
Massachusetts; for Wall and Wells, Trenton, N. J.; for Union and 
Gray, on the Patapsco; for the Warren factories, on the Gunpowder, 
near Baltimore; for Tarboro and Martinburgh, N. C; to two factories 
in Georgia; to Louisiana; to Pittsburg; to Delaware; to Virginia and 
other places. Indeed, Pawtucket was doing something for almost 
every part of the country.' 



34 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

" But a change occurred in 1829. Alany of the most active manu- 
facturers had extended their operations beyond the limits of their 
capital; and, when the strain came, they were compelled to succumb. 
Property seemed to lose all its value, promising enterprises were 
abandoned, and the town was suddenly checked in its career. A saga- 
cious merchant of Providence predicted that this town would not re- 
cover from the calamity for a score of years; and, though many of the 
citizens cherished more sanguine hopes, his prophecy was verified. 
Steam engines were set up in Providence which supplied trip-hammers 
with power, and the manufacture of anchors and similar things was 
transferred from Pawtucket never to return. For years the manu- 
facture of cotton seem'ed almost the sole business, and the fluctuations 
to which it is incident rendered the town peculiarly sensitive to the 
caprices of a single branch of industry." 

In 1846 James S. Brown bought the site of the present " Brown's 
machine shop," three and a half acres in area, and put up a furnace 
and foundry for making his own castings. Mr. Brown was the junior 
member of Pitcher & Brown previously mentioned. After Mr. 
Brown's connection with the firm they did a large business in the 
manufacture of cotton machinery. In 1842 Mr. Brown bought his 
partner out. The building erected in 1846 is a substantial edifice, 
400 by 60 feet, with two furnaces, one for malleable iron, and an en- 
gine of 56 horse power. To man the works fully requires 300 men. 
Captain Brown made many improvements and important inventions 
in machinery. In 1830 he invented a machine for cutting bevel gear- 
ing, in 1838 a machine for boring tubes of speeder flyers of solid 
iron, and obtained a patent for it. He afterward devised a lathe for 
turning irregular forms, for which he obtained a patent in 1842. He 
also invented a fluting machine for fluting sixteen rolls at a time, 
and this machine, though not patented, is in universal use. In 1852 
he invented and patented the American speeder or rolling frame. In 
1874 he invented a machine for grinding spindles, and in 1875-6 he 
devised a new machine for drilling rollers for speeder or spinning 
machines. This was an improvement in spinning mules. The patent 
bears date March 7th, 1876. He also devised machinery now doing 
good service in his shop, among which are three lathes he made him- 
self in 1820. He died in 1879, since which time the business has been 
conducted by his son, James Brown. For a short time previous to his 
death his son, James Brown, and his son-in-law, Charles A. Warland, 
were associated with him under the firm style of James S. Brown & 
Sons. 

In 1865 the machinist business of PaM'tucket was greatly enlarged 
by the removal hither of the firm of Fales, Jenks & Sons. The firm 
was originally Stephen Jenks & Sons, but this firm was carried away 
in the financial panic of 1829. In 1830 David G. Fales and Alvin 
Jenks, of the original firm, formed a co-partnership in Central Falls. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 35 

and began making- cotton machinery. In 1883 they commenced mak- 
ing Hubbard's Patent Rotary Pump, which they so perfected as to 
gain almost a monopoly of the manufacture of such pumps. In 1845 
they began making ring spinning frames, and in 1846 manufactured 
ring twisters, which were among the first of such machines in the 
country. John R. Fales and Alvin F. and Stephen A. Jenks, sons of 
the partners, were afterward admitted to the firm. The elder Jenks 
died in 1856, and a few years later the elder Fales retired from the 
firm. On the removal of the business to Pawtucket in 1865 they 
bought several acres of land, reared extensive machine shops and a 
larg^ foundry, and have since added several other edifices. The es- 
tablishment is situated on Dexter street, and gives employment to 
about 500 hands. The company has always done a large business in 
the manufacture of cotton machinery, and in the past has made large 
quantities of water wheels, combined fly frame and speeders and 
other machines. In 1876 they were incorporated as the Fales & Jenks 
Machine Company. The officers are: Alvin F. Jenks, president; John 
R. Fales, vice-president; Stephen A. Jenks, treasurer. 

The Collyer Machine Company is located on Jenks avenue. Here 
the senior partner, N. S. Collyer, began business with William H. 
Haskell about 1846. A few years later Mr. Haskell retired, and was 
succeeded by Mr. Robert Alexander, and in four or five years Mr. 
Alexander withdrew, and Mr. S. S. Collyer entered the business with 
his uncle, under the present style. In the summer of 1885 Mr. N. S. 
Collyer died, and two years later the company was incorporated, with 
C. H. Bowen president and treasurer, and James H. Clark superinten- 
dent. Mr. Clark has been connected with the shop for 20 years. In 
July, 1888, Mr. S. S. Collyer was killed while on duty as chief engi- 
neer' of the Fire Company. He was thrown from the hose cart, which 
ran over him, which resulted in his death some days afterward. The 
shop is finely equipped with good machines, and some 30 hands are 
employed. 1134240 ^ 

The William H. Haskell Company are manufacturers of bolts and 
nuts. Messrs. Jeremiah O. and Joseph Arnold, in 1834 or 1835, started 
the first press for making iron nuts. It was set up on the Moshas- 
suck river, where now stands the extensive bleachery of Messrs. 
Sayles. After a little time they dissolved, and a new firm was formed, 
consisting of Jeremiah O. Arnold and a Mr. Field, who transferred 
their business to Pawtucket. These gentlemen added to their busi- 
ness the making of bolts. Stephen Jenks soon entered the same 
business, and worked at the old forge shop, whose site is now covered 
by the mill of the Pawtucket Manufacturing Company. In due time, 
Mr. William Field started the tool-making business, manufacturing, 
among other things, augurs, on a novel plan. About the year 1840 
he removed to Providence, and became the founder of the well-known 
Tool Company in that city. 



36 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Besides these parties, Mr. Franklin Rand entered the field. He 
first occupied the old grist mill house, which, perched on the rocks, 
outrode the freshet of "1807. He set up a press there for punching- 
iron, in 1843. The next year he took as a partner Mr. Joseph Arnold, 
and they remained together till 1847. From that .time Mr. Rand was 
alone till 1863. He introduced an innovation in his business. Before 
his experiment it was thought that the maximum was reached, when 
nuts were punched from cold iron 1^ inches broad by f of an inch 
thick; but he soon punched nuts 2i inches broad by an inch thick. 
Mr. Rand built the largest press for this purpose that then existed in 
the country. He was ridiculed in advance for his undertaking; for 
his wheel was deemed too small for the object. But he taxed its full 
power, and showed that, as the business originated in this neighbor- 
hood, it was capable of great perfection here. 

After the death of Colonel Stephen Jenks the business he had es- 
tablished was carried on by his son James and by Joseph T. Sisson. 
About the year 1855, Pinkham, Haskell & Co. succeeded. W. H. Has- 
kell bought the establishment in 1857, and carried it on till 1861. 
Meanwhile he added to his business the manufacture of coach-screws. 
In 1860 he erected the large building now occupied and began work 
in it January 1st, 1861. At that time the new style was assumed from 
the admission of a partner. Since then several additions have been 
made to the building, and other buildings have been erected, prin- 
cipal among which is a blacksmith shop 135 by 80 feet. In 1882 the 
company was incorporated under the name of the William H. Has- 
kell Company. The officers are: W. H. Haskell, president; E. S. 
Mason, treasurer; D. H. Hunt, agent. The selling agents are H. B. 
Newhall & Co., 105 Chambers street. New York. The company em- 
ploy on an average 125 hands, and convert from twelve to fifteen 
hundred tons of iron annually into nuts, bolts and screws. 

The Foundry Business was established in the old coal yard by Oziel 
Wilkinson and his son David. The father died in 1815, and the son 
continued the business till 1829. Zebulon White began casting 
iron in one of the abandoned furnaces in 1832, and for a time Mr. 
Brown was associated with him under the firm name of White & 
Brown. Subsequently Mr. White, in connection with Mr. Clark 
Sayles and ex-Governor Earle, carried on the business under the name 
of the Pawtucket Cupola Furnace Company and continued from 1835 to 
1847, when Mr. White sold out to his partners and bought the lot now 
owned by his successors on Dexter street. After erecting a furnace 
Mr. White continued to carry on the business until his death in 1859, 
when his sons, Zebulon P. and Joshua S., succeeded to the business. 
This firm continued until 1881, when J. S. White succeeded. In 1885 
another building was erected, 150 by 45 feet. Mr. White employs 
about 50 hands. The business consists largely of castings for cotton 
machinery. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 37 

The Pawtucket Steam and Gas Pipe Company established a brass 
foundry in 1887, on East avenue. The company was founded by 
Robert Alexander about 1862. In 1867 Mr. James H. Andrew took 
an interest in the concern, when it was styled Alexander & Co., for 
the manufacture of and trade in steam, gas and water pipes, and 
fittings of every description. In 1871 David L. Fales came into part- 
nership and the present style was adopted. Three years ago the brass 
founding and finishing department was added. The company employ 
from 35 to 60 men. William H. Rawe is overseer. 

Whitaker & Smith are engaged in the building of mills, flumes, 
dams, water wheels, etc., and in times of business activity employ 
300 hands, and do a business to the amount of $350,000 per year. 
This business was established about 50 years ago by Mr. Nathaniel 
Lewin. Partners were afterward taken into the concern and the firm 
became Lewin, Kenyon & Co. Mr. Lewin died in 1870, and the name 
of the firm was changed to Kenyon, Drowne & Co. In 1879 Kenyon, 
Whitaker & Smith became the successors, but in 1882 Mr. Kenyon 
died, since which time the style has been Whitaker & Smith, and the 
proprietors are Stephen Whitaker and Benjamin F. Smith. 

The A. E. Tenney Manufacturing Company, manufacturers of gen- 
eral machinery. Broad street, give employment to 60 hands, manufac- 
turing cloth stretchers, thread dressers, etc. This business was es- 
tablished by William Jeffers & Tenney many years ago, Tenney 
becoming the sole proprietor on the withdrawal of Jeffers in 1881. 
The machine shop was in the Greene's Mill place until burned out 
in July, 1883, when they took up quarters in the Payne Building. In 
1887 the present firm was formed. The articles manufactured by this 
firm are shipped throughout the Eastern and Middle states. 

The Pawtucket Manufacturing Company has its plant on Pine 
street. The buildings here are models of convenience, having all de- 
partments located on one continuous floor, originally occupying 15,400 
square feet of space, and at present 25,400 square feet. The buildings 
are arranged around a hollow square in a way to secure light and 
ventilation. This company was incorporated in May, 1882, for the 
purpose of manufacturing nuts, bolts, and machinery used in the 
manufacture of the same. The bolts and nuts made by this corpora- 
tion are of a superior quality, everything made being tested before 
being put upon the market. The present officers of the company are: 
President, Stephen A. Jenks; agent, George H. Webb; treasurer, 
George H. Fowler. The company employs 100 men, on an average. 

The R. Bliss ManufacturingCompany manufacture wooden screws, 
clamps, lawn tennis, architectural building blocks, and a variety of 
novelties. This business was established years ago by Mr. Rufus 
Bliss, who would manufacture a little stock of goods, mostly screws 
from choice pieces of hickory wood, and then set out for Boston in a 
wagon and sell them along the way. He worked in that way till 1845, 



38 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY, 

when he sold half of his interest to A. N. Bullock, and the firm be- 
came Bliss & Co. Subsequently E. R. Clark and A. C. Bullock became 
associated, and Mr. Bliss withdrew. In 1863 the firm hired one story 
in D. D. Sweet's old building. They built their present shop in 1866,. 
and in 1881 a building 40 by KX) feet, three stories high, was erected, 
and in 1888 a three-story brick building, 40 by 50 feet, with a three- 
story addition of wood, 40 by 60, was added to this. In June, 1874, 
the company was incorporated, with D. W. Bullock, president; A. N,. 
Bullock, treasurer; C. E. Clark, secretary. E. R. Clark died October 
15th, 1882, soon after the death of Rufus Bliss. The company em- 
ploys about 100 hands. 

D. D. Sweet & Co. did a special business some years ago, making 
doors, sashes, blinds, etc. The business was established some 50 
years ago in a small way, and at a later period, when under the man- 
agement of E. W. French, Harrison Howard, Daniel H. Arnold and 
Fred. Sherman employed about 50 workmen, and used from 300,000 
to 350,000 feet of lumber annually. Harrison Howard succeeded to 
the business, but he left no successor. Mr. Frank E.Tingley is using 
the old place of business as warerooms, and is a dealer in builders' 
materials. 

The Potter & Atherton Machine Company are manufacturers of 
cotton openers and lappers. The firm consists of James C. Potter and 
A. T. Atherton, who came here from Lowell, Mass., in 1887. The 
business was founded by Mr. Atherton in 1871 in Lowell. Since start- 
ing in Pawtucket the business has prospered beyond expectations. 
About 120 men are employed. 

The E. Jenckes Manufacturing Company manufacture ring travel- 
ers, bright and mill wire goods, spinning rings, banding, twine, etc., 
also yarns and cotton and wool hosiery. The supply business was es- 
tablished in 1853 by Nathan P. Hicks. In 1871 the firm became E. 
Jenckes & Co., when a successful business was carried on in the man- 
ufacture of Hicks' Improved Ring Travelers. They occupied the 
upper stories of the old Slater mill until about 1883, when Mr. Hicks 
retired. Mr. Jenckes then occupied the old Jenks mill for a short 
time, until his new mill was completed. In 1883 the present company 
was incorporated, with a capital stock of $400,000. Edwin Jenckes is 
president; vStephen A. Jenks, vice-president; Joseph E. Jenckes, treas- 
urer; James D. Carpenter, secretary, and F. W. Gilmore, agent. The 
first building was erected in 1883. It is 214 by 40 feet, three stories 
high. Afterward a four-story building, 144 by 96 feet, with an ell 100 
by 65 feet, was put up. The company employs 600 hands. 

Henry T. Carpenter, manufacturer of reels, rear of 51 North Main 
street, is widely known as the builder of the celebrated Carpenter 
reel, and manufacturer of reels of every description for cotton, woolen, 
zephyr, silk, balling, etc., with all the latest improvements. This 
business was established in 1845 by R. R. Carpenter, the inventor of 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 39 

the Carpenter reel, and has since 1881 been carried on by the present 
proprietor. Mr. Carpenter occupies two large floors, 28 by 40 feet 
each, and has the requisite capacity and facility for prosecuting the 
business. His reel is the first production of the kind ever invented 
to run by power. It is acknowledged to be the easiest to operate, and 
will turn off more work, with less labor, than any other known reel. 

George W. Payne & Co. are engaged in the building of improved 
upright spoolers, to spool from cop, skein or bobbin; doubling spool- 
ers, for doubling two, three or more ends into one; patent cone wind- 
ers, for hosiery manufacturers, a device that winds from cop, skein or 
bobbin, and other devices of a kindred character. The firm was es- 
tablished originally in 1865, and soon afterward was known as Payne 
& Matthewson. The first business done by the originators of this 
well-known company was in a small building owned by the father of 
the senior member of the firm, which was located on Sargent's 
Trench, on the present site of the Littlefield Brothers' mill. As their 
business increased they moved to the Jenks building, rear of Main 
street, which they occupied about 14 years. From there they removed 
to the building of Payne & Taylor on East avenue, and, after a two 
years' sojourn there, located in their present quarters in the large 
three-and-a-half-story brick structure located on Broad street, formerly 
occupied by the Humes Brothers. Mr. Matthew^son died in 1880, and 
George M. Fanning became associated with Mr. Payne, under the 
style of George W. Payne & Co. The spoolers, winders and guiders 
made by Payne & Co. are in use in a large majority of the best mills 
in the country. Special attention is also paid by the firm to the mak- 
ing and repairing of ring, dresser, spooler and reel spindles, cop 
skewers, warp spool, spoolers, guiders, bolsters and steps, and in this 
particular department the firm is said to lead all competitors. The 
firm for the past ten years has been very successful in building 
up a prosperous business. The building above mentioned is now 
owned by George W. Payne & Brothers. It is a hive of industry, and 
is occupied by the following firms: Lebanon Mill Company, Excelsior 
Reed and Loom Works, Campbell Machine Company, A. E. Tenney, 
machinist; Phillips & Co., electrical works; Potter & Atherton, ma- 
chinery builders, and Messrs. George W. Payne & Co. 

. The Excelsior Loom Reed Works are one of the most enterprising 
firms making mill supplies. Their patent elastic reed is acknowledged 
to be the best weaving reed in the market. It differs from the com- 
mon reed, in that the wires of this reed when spread apart spring 
back to their proper position. This keeps the spaces of the reed uni- 
form and avoids streaks in the cloth. These reeds need less repairs 
and are more durable than the common reed. The elasticity of the 
wires allows the lumps and knots in the yarn to pass freely through 
the reed without breaking, and is a great benefit to the weaver on 
this account. This firm uses the bevel wire in their reeds, which re- 



40 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

duces the friction on the warp threads. The superior quality of their 
goods is proven by their rapidly increasing business. Starting in 
1883, to-day they stand second to none in their line, and are now mak- 
ing preparations to double their capacity. They number among their 
customers our leading and most successful cotton and woolen manu- 
facturers, who recognize the value of their reed. Mr. Edward Adam- 
son, the proprietor, is well and favorably known to the trade from his 
long connection with the business, and also for the number of valu- 
able improvements brought out by him. 

Cole Brothers are manufacturers of steam engines and boilers, 17 
Bayley street. This business was established about 18S3 by Dexter 
& Cole. In 1864 Edward R. and H. S. Cole succeeded to the business. 
In 1879 Edward R. Cole died, leaving H. S. Cole the only member of 
the firm, who now owns and controls the business. Mr. Cole occu- 
pies a large shop 40 by 75 feet, and makes a specialty of stationary 
engines and machinery. He gives employment to about 25 men 
constantly. 

Fred. J. Bancroft, pattern, model and cabinet maker, 17 Bayley 
street, established himself in business here in 1878. Mr. Bancroft 
makes a specialty of patterns, and does all kinds of work in wood. He 
has manufactured as high as 10,000 lawn tennis racquet setts in a year, 
besides other business. He employs 20 hands. His shop is 40 by 80 
feet in size. 

Easton & Burnham are manufacturers of cotton, woolen and silk 
spindles, upright spoolers, etc. Nicholas R. Easton and George Hop- 
kins commenced the business of spindle making in Providence in 
1849. Mr. Hopkins was soon succeeded by a Mr. Aldrich, who, in 
1857, was followed by Charles C. Burnham, and the firm became 
Easton & Burnham. In 1860 they removed to Central Falls, and in 
1865 came to Pawtucket, with Fales & Jenks, erecting buildings for 
their use on the grounds of the latter. In 1882 they erected their 
present factory on Weeden street. The firm now consists of Charles 
C. Burnham, Fred. W. Easton, George W. Burnham and N. Howard 
Easton. They employ about 50 hands. 

The Bosworth Machine Company, shop rear of 43 North Main street, 
is among the old established manufacturing establishments in the city 
of Pawtucket. The proprietor is Mr. L. P. Bosworth, who established 
the business here in 1857. He is well known as an extensive manu- 
facturer of jewelers' tools, consisting of drops, presses, lathes, polish- 
ing heads, and other machines for manufacturing jewelry; also 
leather machinery, consisting of scafing, trimming, and cutting ma- 
chines, and other machinery for manufacturing belting. Mr. Bos- 
worth occupies a large and finely equipped shop, 75 by 40 feet in size, 
and pos.sesses all needed facilities for expeditious and satisfactory 
work. 

Charles A. Luther & Co., 14 Leather avenue, are manufacturers of 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 41 

patent cloth stretchers, thread dressers, improved thread and yarn 
reels, starching machines, and general machinery. The business was 
first established in 1834 by Mr. Danforth L. Peck, who was succeeded in 
1858 by Mr. Charles A. Luther, and the present firm name was 
adopted in 1882 on the accession of Mr. W. H. Peck to the firm, Mr. 
E. D. Chaplin coming in as a partner in 1885. Mr. William H. Peck 
is the present proprietor. The firm occupy some 6,000 square feet of 
floor surface, and possess one of the best equipped shops for the pur- 
pose in this section. They have a large and permanent trade estab- 
lished throughout the United States, which is steadily increasing in 
volume. 

The Dexter Yarn Company are yarn and knitting cotton manufac- 
turers. This business was established by Captain N. G. B. Dexter, 
who came to this place from Grafton, Massachusetts, in September, 
1798, and the day he came, as he was wont to say, he " saw the rais- 
ing of the frame of the second cotton mill reared here." He entered 
the employ of Almy, Brown & Slater, and remained with them about 
30 years. In 1820 he began to make knitting cotton on a small scale 
on his own account, and in 1830 left the service of the above-named 
firm and entered more largely into the business. In 1844, Simon W. 
Dexter went into the mill as a hand merely to learn the business, and 
in 1855 he and his brother, Daniel S., succeeded to the business, the 
father retiring from the concern. The business was now conducted 
under the style of Dexter Brothers with great success. In 1858 a 
boiler explosion occurred, killing one man. Their mill then was 
where the post office now stands. In 1859 business became dull 
and the mills were stopped. At this time Mr. S. W. Dexter, the head 
of the firm, went on the road as agent. On his first trip to New 
York, he took one order from John J. Henchman & Co. for 44,000 
pounds of knitting yarn and one order from J. B. Spellman & Sons 
for 20,000 pounds, that resulted afterward in the sale of 80,000 pounds' 
to the same company, and from that time the business became a suc- 
cess. In 1864 the land where the present building now stands, on the 
east side of the river, was purchased. of the heirs of Henry Gerald & 
Son, and the mammoth structure at that place erected. In 1876 the 
company experienced another revulsion, but it recovered and in 1880 
the company was incorporated with H. H. Thomas, treasurer, James 
E. Vail, president, S. F. Dexter secretary and general manager. By 
strict care and fidelity to business this company has gained for its 
cotton yarn such a reputation that it is the standard article in the 
market. 

Greene Brothers' mill occupies the site where Timothy Greene 
originally had a tan and bark mill. After the beginning of .the pres- 
ent century the bark mill was converted into a cotton factory. Samuel 
and Daniel Greene & Co. used this mill for that purpose for years. In 
the crisis of 1829 the property was bought by the New England Pacific 



42 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Bank, with a pledge on their part that it should be restored to the 
Greene family whenever the liabilities were paid. The mill receives 
its supply of water from Sargent's Trench, and the power is 40 or 50 
horse. As the burden of liquidation seemed not overpowering, the 
family gave themselves to the task of lifting it, and succeeded in due 
time. The manufacture of cotton was quickly resumed. Joseph T. 
Greene, in lS3o, began to carry on the business in his name, and com- 
menced making cotton cord in addition to his other business. But he 
did not despise the day of small things, for he began this branch of 
business with twenty dollars' worth of machinery. In 1856 Mr. 
Greene associated his younger brother in business with him. Their 
special business was the manufacture of cotton and shoe laces. To 
man their rooms required twenty operatives. The old mill was burnt, 
but a new edifice was reared in 1861. N. P. Hicks came into posses- 
sion of this property in 1885, and Darius Goff bought it in the spring 
of 1888, of Mr. Hicks' heirs. 

Among those who have done business in the Greene mill should be 
mentioned W. A. Beatty & Co., who began the manufacture of jewel- 
ers' materials in 1865, but abandoned it in 1872. In 1870 they began 
the manufacture of jewelry itself, and that business is now continued 
by W. R. Cobb & Go. C. D. Tuttle manufactured jet jewelry, and at 
one time employed a number of workmen. John J. Kenyon makes 
shoe laces, etc., and occupies an entire story. He has been here ever 
since the mill was rebuilt, and employs at times a large force of hands. 
He is also agent for the Pawtucket Tape Company, No. 8 Jenks ave- 
nue. J. S. Capron, pattern maker and wood turner, has been here 
for years also. 

The Slater Cotton Company manufacture cotton goods. Their 
buildings stand nearly opposite Captain Brown's shop. The larger 
edifice was reared in 1863 for a file manufactory. The Slater Com- 
pany purchased the property in 1868, when it was materially enlarged. 
In 1869 the company was incorporated, with a capital of $400,000, 
which has since been increased to $600,000. They operate 52,000 
spindles. The new mill was erected in 1882. It is 302 by 92 feet and 
five stories in height. The company employ about 750 hands and 
manufacture muslins and cambrics. Nearly 6,000,000 yards of cloth 
are annually produced. The officers of the company are as follows: 
William F. vSayles, president; F. wS. Drowne, secretary and treasurer; 
Alfred P. Sisson, superintendent. 

The Greene & Daniels mill is on the east side of the river, oppo- 
site Central Falls. Thread, yarns and twines of every description are 
made, and bleaching and dyeing for the trade is carried on. The mill 
stretches parallel with the Blackstone for the distance of 407 feet, and 
is 67 feet in breadth and five stories high. Annexed to the mill is an 
engine room, boiler house and cotton room, 42 by 90 feet, two stories 
in height. Besides these buildings there are a mechanical shop, 100 



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'^■"iy F! b-.Ke-yuin-.H'J- 



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HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 43 

by 32 feet, three stories in height, and bleachery and dye works and 
other buildings on the premises. The senior partner of the firm came 
to the adjoining village of Central Falls in 1824, and for 20 years, as 
workman and partner, remained there. In 1844 he removed to Maple- 
ville, and after six years went to Richmond, R. I. In two years after 
that date General Daniels became associated with him, and the firm 
took the style of Greene & Daniels. In 1855 they removed to Central 
Falls and occupied Moies & Jenks' mill, and continued to run it for 
20 years. They also ran the mill of Andrew Jencks in that village for 
five years. In 1860 they commenced the erection of their present 
mill, and enlarged it to its present dimensions in 1866. The com- 
pany was incorporated in 1877, the officers being then: Benjamin F. 
Greene, president; Edward A. Greene, treasurer; George P. Grant, 
agent. The death of the president, B. F. Greene, January 29th, 1886, 
necessitated an official change, and E. A. Greene was elected presi- 
dent and G. P. Grant agent and treasurer. The growth of the busi- 
ness from 1852, when they ran only 2,000 spindles, to the present 
time, when they are running 32,000 spindles, has been great. They 
employ about 400 operatives, and the cotton used by them at the pres- 
ent time amounts to about 2,000,000 pounds of. manufactured yarn. 
The styles of goods at the present time are vastly different from what 
they were formerly, owing to the demands of the trade, and also 
owing to the change of machinery. The company is now reorganiz- 
ing and putting in improved machinery throughout, adding every- 
thing of the latest and best pattern. 

The Bridge Mill Cotton Manufacturing Company occupied the mill 
on the south side of the eastern end of the bridge. This was form- 
erly called the "Yellow Mill." It was originally a bed-ticking mill. 
In 1837 it was occupied by Thayer & Pitcher, who manufactured cot- 
ton goods of a comparatively thick texture. vSubsequently it was 
tenanted by Barrows & Ingraham. The Bridge Mill Cotton Manu- 
facturing Company was incorporated in 1865; A. N. Beckwith, presi- 
dent; F. H. Richmond, treasurer. The property finally passed into 
the hands of F. H. Richmond & Co., who manufacture book and 
lithograph paper. The new firm employ about 30 hands. 

The Littlefield Manufacturing Company manufacture cotton yarns 
and thread. The business was successfully carried on for over 30 
years by George L. and Alfred H. Littlefield under the firm name of 
Littlefield Brothers. The business was established in 1852, by David 
Ryder & Co., the company consisting of George L. and Alfred H. 
Littlefield. Mr. Ryder retired in 1857. On the first of July, 1889, the 
company was incorporated. Alfred H. Littlefield is president, Eben 
N. Littlefield treasurer, and Alfred H. Littlefield, Jr., secretary. The 
old firm had become one of the leading and well-known manufac- 
turing firms of the country. The new company in succeeding to 
the business of the old firm, has fully maintained the standard and 



44 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

quality of the goods put upon the market, having secured a constant 
and steadily increasing trade. Their mill is on the west side of the 
river. The main building is of wood 130 by 48 feet in dimensions, 
four stories, with an ell 105 by 30 feet, three stories. About 135 
hands are employed. 

The senior member of the R. B. Gage Manufacturing Company 
has been a practical manufacturer of cotton yarns for nearly 50 years. 
In 1845 he began manufacturing hosiery yarn at Attleboro, thence 
moved to Central Falls, and to Pawtucket in 1850. In 1868 he reared 
the spacious mill which the company now occupies on Fountain 
street. This mill is 136 by 70 feet. A lapper room 40 by 50 feet, two 
stories high, also other buildings, have since been erected. Mr. 
James O. Starkweather was connected with the business for a number 
of years. The lower story of this mill is now occupied by R. An- 
thony Gage and his brother Benjamin A., sons of R. B. Gage, under 
the firm name of B. A. Gage & Co., for the manufacture of plush 
goods, stockinet, etc. The firm is doing a business of $100,000 per 
year. The R. B. Gage Compan)^ employ 65 men. The new office was 
erected in 1888. 

The Jenks Mill is located on grounds formerly occupied by the 
Buftington Mill, which was burned in 1843 and the present one erected 
in 1844. The Jenks Mill was erected by the Pawtucket Manufactur- 
ing Company, who built the mill on leased land. This company 
manufactured cotton goods. They afterward failed, since which time 
the building has been used for various purposes. The Athol Thread 
Company occupy the two upper stories. This company was incor- 
porated October 19th, 1887, the works being used for glazing thread. 
The officers are: JOvSeph Ham, president; Frederick J. Ham, secretary; 
H. B. Babcock, superintendent. 

The Douglass Braid Works, for the manufacture of shoe and 
corset lacing, fancy cord, etc., were established by George C. Doug- 
lass some twenty years ago in Geneva, North Providence. From 1865 
to 1876 the firm was Douglass & Daniels. During the centennial year 
the business was moved to Providence, and in 1882 it was brought to 
Pawtucket, the old LeFavour Mill again being brought into use. JMr. 
Douglass is gradually extending his business, as trade demands it. 
He employs when running at full capacity 40 hands. This mill was 
formerly the property of the Wilkinsons, and was built about 1808. 
The Bosworth Machine Company, which was originated in 1858 by 
Mr. L. P. Bosworth, occupied this mill. 

The Atwood-Crawford Company manufacture spools for cotton 
and linen thread. They have their works located near Greene & 
Daniels' mill. The originator of this business was Mr. Robert Cush- 
man, who began first in Central Falls, and in 1857 received his brother 
as partner. Mr. Cushman also devised a new series of machines 
which wrought a revolution in the business. The brothers continued 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 45 

in business from 1857 to 1866, when George Cushman died. In 1869 
a new partnership was formed, under the style of Cushman, Phillips 
& Co., which continued till 1875. At that time Mr. Cushman with- 
drew, and the firm of Atwood, Crawford & Co. was formed, consisting 
of Abner Atwood, C. Fred Crawford and John H. Crawford. In June, 
1890, the company was incorporated under the name. The Atwood- 
Crawford Company. The present consumption of wood for the manu- 
facture of goods by this firm is about 800,000 to 1,000,000 feet per 
year. They employ 50 hands or more, and have recently manufac- 
tured large quantities of braid rolls, in connection with their other 
business. 

The Blodgett & Orswell Company are manufacturers and import- 
ers of fine glazed yarns and spool cotton. Broad street. The company 
was incorporated in 1887. • The officers are: E. G. Blodgett, president; 
E. W. Orswell, treasurer. The company employ about 20 hands. The 
business was first established by E. G. Blodgett in 1881, and E. W. 
Orswell was admitted to partnership in January, 1885. Their specialty 
is the manufacture of glazed yarns in all numbers and colors. 

The Lebanon Mill Company did business near the site of an older 
mill mentioned in the act of incorporation of Pawtucket in 1828. The 
earlier mill is styled in that act Kent's factory, and is described as 
being on an island. It was reared probably by Deacon Remember 
Kent. Originally it was a saw and grist mill, but during the war of 
1812 was converted into a cotton mill. Deacon Kent's sons, Welling- 
ton, Remember and Seba, succeeded him, and made yarns which were 
peddled in the country, specially for carpet yarns. Subsequently 
other parties carried on the mill, among whom were Rufus J. Stafford, 
Nathaniel G. Pierce and Thayer & Moies. At a later period the mill 
was burned, and a new mill erected on the mainland in 1859-60. R. 
B. Gage & Co. occupied the new edifice, and were succeeded by Alan- 
son Thayer & Son. On the death of Mr. Thayer, in 1869, his son Ed- 
ward succeeded and adopted the present style. The mill was burned 
February 19th, 1888, the new addition having been completed the 
year before. At the time of the fire the mill had just been refitted 
with new machinery. The loss was about $120,000. The firm then 
began business in the Payne building, manufacturing rubber lining 
and stockinet goods. They employ about 50 hands. 

The Providence Hosiery Company, manufacturers of stockinet, 
Jersey cloth, eider down cloth and rubber lining, was established in 
1879 by Charles F. Easton. The company was incorporated in 1885. 
Charles F. Easton is president, A. O. Bourn treasurer, and Charles H. 
Tolman secretary. The works are located on Leather avenue, and 
give employment to 20 hands. 

The New England Thread Company is located at No. 10 Broad- 
way, in the mill formerly occupied by Messrs. Stafford & Co. The 
business was first established many years ago by the last named 



46 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

firm, and was purchased by the present company in January, 188t). 
James C. Roth, one of the proprietors, died February 14th, 1889, when 
Henry A. Warburton, the present owner, bought up all interests, and 
has since carried on the business. He employs from 75 to 100 hands, 
and manufactur'^^s spool cotton, basting cotton, button-hole cord, whip 
cord, and makes the glazing of twine one of the leading specialties 
of the business. Mr. Warburton has improved facilities for his busi- 
ness, and takes a pride in putting the best goods that can be manu- 
factured on the market. 

The Conant Thread Company erected large mills to manufacture 
the celebrated six-cord thread of J. & P. Coats. An extended de- 
scription of this industry is given in the biographical sketch of its 
founder, Mr. Hezekiah Conant, in another chapter of this volume. 

The Hope Thread Company was incorporated in 1869, with a capi- 
tal of $100,000. Their specialty is the manufacturing of three-cord 
spool thread. They also make hosiery, cop and other yarns. The 
range of yarns spun by them is from five to forty. They use 20 bales 
of cotton per week and employ 75 operatives. The firm of Adams & 
Randall, manufacturers of cotton yarns, formed in 1862, was finally 
merged into the Hope Thread Company. J. F. Adams was treasurer 
of this company for a period of ten years. 

The Union Wadding Company is the largest concern of the kind 
in the world, and is the outcome of an establishment founded in 1836 
by Mr. Darius Goff, in Rehoboth, Mass., where the business, which 
was one of small pretensions, consisted of the manufacture of glazed 
wadding. In 1844 he erected a larger mill, which was destroyed by 
fire. Removing to Pawtucket in 1847, and purchasing the site now 
occupied by this company, Mr, Goff built a stone mill two stories 
high, 200 feet long and 40 feet wide. Subsequently this was destroyed 
by fire, and after being reconstructed was leased to Mr. Henr}^ Tur- 
ner, of Cranston, and a few gentlemen in Pawtucket, but before the 
expiration of the lease Mr. Turner died, and his associates, who were 
not acquainted with the business, surrendered the property to Mr. 
Goff. In 1860 a partnership was formed under the firm name of Goff, 
Cranston & Brownell, carrying on in Providence a general business in 
buying and selling cotton, cotton waste and paper stock. In connec- 
tion with Mr. Henry A. Stearns, this company carried on the business 
of manufacturing wadding in the premises mentioned. In 1870 the 
latter was incorporated, and two years after Mr. Stearns was admitted 
as partner in the Providence firm. In 1871 the mill was again visited 
by fire, which was such a severe one that, instead of repairing the old 
mill, it was decided to build entirely anew. The wadding business 
being to a certain extent limited, it was thought best to engage also 
in the manufacture of cotton batting, and the new mills were built 
with reference to being able to supply any demands that might be 
made upon them. A few years after the two concerns were consoli- 




G:yLytL^>cyf yy 




HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 47 

dated under the name of Union Wadding Company, the stock of 
Messrs. Cranston & Brownell being- purchased by the other stock- 
holders. The batting business increased so rapidly that at sundry 
times additions have been required, and to-day the company have the 
largest and most complete works of this kind in the world. The pro- 
ductions of the company are all grades of white and colored wadding 
and the "patent rolled " cotton bat in all varieties. In addition, they 
do a large business in cotton and cotton waste. Their capital stock 
is $1,000,000. The present officers of the company are: Darius Goff, 
president; Lyman B. Goff, treasurer, and Henry A. Stearns, superin- 
tendent. 

D. Goff & Sons are manufacturers of worsted braid and mohair 
plush. The extensive buildings owned by this firm, the large num- 
ber of workmen employed, and the mammoth product of braids for 
ladies' dresses turned out annually classifies this enterprise as one of 
the foremost in the city. The business was started in 1861 by Darius 
Goff and his eldest son, Darius L., and was the first worsted braid 
mill in this country. The enterprise was at first unprofitable, but 
after the change in the tariff in 1867, became successful. In 1872 
Lyman B. Goff became a partner, and a new brick mill was erected 
the same year. In 1882 the firm began the manufacture of mohair 
plush, which has since been successfully continued. 

It is a tradition that Solomon Smith erected a dam on the land 
bordering on the west side of Bucklin's brook for the manufacture 
grave-stones. In the tedious work of polishing stones Mr. Smith 
substituted water power for manual labor. The remains of this dam 
were noted in 1775. From some cause that business was abandoned, 
and the Bucklin heirs subsequently reared another dam, and built a 
stone building, which was used from 1811 to 1814 or 1815 for the 
manufacture of cotton yarn. The building was burnt out in the latter 
year. The next business done on this site was by John B. Braid. He 
bought, in behalf of Almy, Brown & Slater, the water privilege and 
40 acres of land of Nancy Bucklin. From 1817 to 1825 Mr. Braid 
carried on the bleaching of cotton cloth and yarn at this place. Block 
printing, too, was done here in 1824. Fora few months in the follow- 
ing year printing was carried on by the Hopefield Company. From 
1825 to 1829 the premises were occupied by Shinkwin & Bliss, who 
carried on bleaching and block printing. In 1830 Royal Sibley hired 
the place of Jenkins & Almy, and introduced the business of coloring 
cambric, in addition to bleaching. The business was done under the 
style of Sibley & Kelley, and amounted to $5,000 per week. Subse- 
quently Mr. Sibley gave his main attention for three years to the 
work of dyeing cambric. Printing was begun by Mr. Sibley m 1838, 
and carried on by him under the name of Franklin Print Works till 
1835. He used in the outset a machine of two colors. 

In 1836 Jacob Dunnell, Thomas L. Dunnell and Nathaniel W. 



48 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Brown formed a copartnership under the name of Jacob Diinnell & 
Co.. and the business was carried on under this style until 1853. when 
the present organization, the Dunnell Manufacturing Company, was 
incorporated. At the outset, and for several years following, print- 
ing was done by hand-blocks and machines of two to four colors. But 
skill and energy resulted in bringing into use machines that would 
print six. eight and twelve colors. Since 1884 the company has added 
to its plant a large building, equipped with the best machinery for 
the finishing of fancy bleached goods. They have also erected a 
fancy dye-house and an entire new steam plant, besides replacing old 
machinery with that of the latest design and efBciency: and they can 
now produce the highest class of work in bleaching, dyeing or print- 
ing any kind of fabrics. At the present time they employ over otO 
hands, and produce at the rate of over 45,000.000 yards per annum. 
The value of this work exceeds $600,000. exclusive of the value of 
the fabric treated. 

In 1886 Mr. Jacob Dunnell. the founder of the present interests, 
died. His life work of half a century was characterized by excep- 
tional skill, and controlled by keen integrity and sound business 
principles. The present officers of the company are: Thomas L. Dun- 
nell. president: W. Wanton Dunnell. treasurer. 

The Wheaton dam was built about an eighth of a mile below the 
Dunnell works by Xehemiah Bucklin in 1789. for a snuff mill, which 
ran about five years. 

Robert D. Mason & Co.. bleachers and dyers. Xo. 75 East avenue, 
have one of the oldest established and best known bleacheries and 
dye works in this part of the country. The business was first estab- 
lished here in 1805 by Mr. Barney Merry, whose son, Mr. Samuel 
Merry, succeeded him in 1847. In 1866 Mr. Robert D. Mason, a 
nephew of Samuel Merry, was admitted to partnership, and in 1870 
he assumed control as sole proprietor under the present firm name. 
The business carried on is bleaching and dyeing of spool threads, 
knitting cotton, cords, braids, tapes and all kinds of single and two-ply 
yams, indigo blues, and fast blacks, for milling purposes: also, woolen 
and worsted yarns and braids of every description. The works occu- 
pied for the business are among the largest and most comprehensive 
of the kind in the state. The main building is three stories in height, 
KX^ by 70 feet in dimensions. The principal dye-house is 150 by 70 
feet, and a second dye-house is 105 by 25 feet. The capacity of the 
works is at present four tons per day. Employment is given to 60 
hands. In 1889 Frederic R. Mason, son of the senior member, was 
taken into the firm. 

Dempsey Bleachery and Dye Works are located on North Main 
street, and the business was established in 1882. The company was 
incorporated in 1884: James Dempsey. president: John J. Dempsey, 
treasurer, and William P. Dempsey, secretary and agent, being the 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 49 

officers then elected and now holding those positions. The company 
was incorporated with a capital stock of $10(»,U0(). The first building 
was begun in 1882. ~ When it was completed it was three stories high, 
200 by 60 feet, with two ells, one 80 by 60 feet, the other SO by 40, 
both additions being two stories high. The kier room 140 by 25 feet, 
one story high, also the office 156 by 56 feet, were later erections. 
The office was built in 1887. The works give employment when in 
full operation, to 120 hands. 

Orr Brothers are successful dyers of braids and plush goods for 
D. Goff and Sons, Pawtucket. They established their business in the 
city in 1885. The firm consists of George H. and William T. Orr, 
who came here from Attleboro, where they had become practical ex- 
perts in the business. They employ from 15 to 20 hands, as business 
requires, and have the necessary equipment in all kinds of machinery 
and fixtures to produce any and all shades of colors. 

Richard Harrison, dyer, bleacher and printer of cotton and w^oolen 
yarns, is located on Front street. This business was established in 
1863 by Hayley & Harrison. In 1867 Mr. Hayley retired and a new firm 
was formed, R. Harrison & Co. In 1863 the old firm erected the 
present buildings, and in 1867 enlarged their works. In 1869 Har- 
rison & Co. began to manufacture woolen yarns. The dye works 
building was erected in 1864 and is a three story structure. At 
present Mr. Harrison is carrying on his business without a partner, 
and gives employment to about 60 hands. In 1888 he began the 
manufacture of cotton yarns, having purchased the machinery of E. 
R. Johnson & Co. after their failure. 

John H. Gumming, proprietor of dye works and laundry, estab- 
lished his business in 1873, where Fairbrother's tannery is now. 
The beginning was small, the place of business being in a cellar. 
Gradually, however, the business prospered, and in 1881 the building 
now used was erected. In 1885 the laundry department was annexed, 
and this, with the dyeing establishment, gives employment to about 50 
hands. The dye works and the laundry are both well equipped with 
machinery of modern style for the efficient prosecution of the 
business. 

J. O. Draper & Co. are manufacturers of soap, corner Clay and Front 
streets. The business was started in 1861 by Draper & Atwood. In 
1871 the present firm was organized, consisting of James O. Draper 
and A. W. vStanley. They manufacture every kind of soap, in all 72 
varieties, but give special attention to the making of two kinds of 
soap. One of them is styled the Nottingham Curd Soap, which is 
largely used in print works; the other is called the English Fig 
Soap, deemed very serviceable in washing wools. They occupy a 
factory three stories in height, 50 by 100 feet, and give constant em- 
ployment to twelve or fifteen men. 

Perry Oil Company, Exchange street, are widely known as manu- 
4 



50 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

factiirers of the celebrated Perry's champion harness oil and harness 
oil soap, also of the eagle belt oil, star axle oil, signal oil, and cylin- 
der, engine, machinery, spindle and lubricating oils of all kinds. Mr. 
R. K. Miller founded the business in 186U, and is the present owner. 
The company takes its name from the discoverer of the oil and soap, 
the manufacture of which is the leading business of the concern. 
The works occupy three floors, 38 by 60 feet, and are provided with 
the requisite capacity and all necessary facilities for carrying on the 
manufacture in the most thoroughly successful manner. 

Salisbury & Phillips established the business of manufacturing 
jewelry on River street in 1874. The firm next became Salisbury & 
Chase, then A. F. Chase, and early in the year 1889 W. G. Evans. Mr. 
Evans manufactures goods for gentlemen's use, including studs, col- 
lar buttons, etc. He employs 30 hands. 

William H. Phillips & Co. were many years in the jewelry manu- 
facturing business, and carried on their manufacturing somewhat ex- 
tensively. Mr. Phillips was succeeded by McLaughlin & Phillips in 
1888. 

Orr & Schuyler, on Slater avenue, are also in this business. They 
began here in 1878, and their productions quickly found a market all 
over the country and across the ocean. 

George H. Fuller & Son, manufacturers of jobbing materials for 
jewelers. Exchange street, carry on a special business of making 
jewelers' findings of gold, silver, gold-plate and fire gilt. In this es- 
tablishment chains, rings, pins, buckles, clasps and hundreds of like 
articles are made. The business was established in 1861 in the same 
building with Payne & Taylor, by George H. Fuller. Charles H. 
Fuller, the son, recently became a member of the concern. 

D. F. Read, in J. B. Read's block, is also a manufacturer of 
jewelry. 

B. P. Clapp & Co. occupy an establishment on the eastern side of 
the river, just above Division street bridge. Their special business 
is the manufacture of aqua ammonia from ammoniacal water obtained 
from gas works. Mr. Clapp started this business alone in 1859. 
When he began he used 400 gallons of that refuse water per day. 
Now he and his associates find 2,500 gallons not excessive. The last 
named quantity yields about a ton of aqua ammonia. The article is 
used in calico printing, in the manufacture of wall paper and in dye- 
ing. After a few years Mr. Clapp had as a partner for a time Mr. 
Preserved W. Arnold. His present partners are Messrs. Walter E. 
Colwell and Marvin H. Leavens. A large share of the ammoniacal 
water is obtained in Providence, and brought thence in bulk in a 
steam barge. They make, also, from the same kind of water nitrate 
of ammonia, for the use of dentists in making laughing gas. 

Henry F. Jenks, manufacturer of builders' hardware, is located 
on Bayley .street. The business was established in 1865. The 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 51 

specialty in the outset was the making of window springs. In the 
course of time, however, the inventive genius of the proprietor de- 
vised various articles, since patented, consisting of house trimmings 
and articles for household comfort. Also, drilling and thread ma- 
chines, and drinking fountains, the latter having received the first 
degree of merit at the World's Industrial Exposition and Cotton Ex- 
position at New Orleans in 1884-5. Mr. Jenks is a lineal descendant 
of Joseph Jenks, who emigrated to Salem, Mass., from England in 
1645. 

J. F. Bliss, contractor and builder, occupies buildings on Pleasant 
street. Mr. Bliss is the successor of Bliss & Carpenter, who succeeded 
Slade & Co. He is prepared to rear buildings of any size. The mill 
has facilities for making Gothic, circular and plain window and door 
frames, also for the manufacture of brackets, scroll and fancy work, 
and in times of prosperity gives employment to a large number of 
hands. 

S. S. & J. M. Humes commenced business in 1850. The members 
of the company at that time were S. S. & J. A. Humes. The present 
company was organized in 1876, with a capital stock of $100,000. The 
business to which they give special attention is the manufacture of all 
kinds of wood work, boxes, tanks, scroll work, sashes, doors, etc. The 
establishment is large enough to employ 100 men. 

Willmarth & Mackillop are carpenters and builders and manufac- 
turers of patent conductors bored from solid wood. The business was 
founded in 1879 by John W. Willmarth. About the year 1880 Nelson 
Carpenter came into the concern, Robert Mackillop having taken an 
interest in April, the year previous. Carpenter only remained a short 
time, and the business since then has been conducted by Messrs. Will- 
marth and Mackillop. The building was erected in 1885. The firm 
employ in the busy season of the year over 100 men. They have 
erected many prominent buildings, both in Pawtucket and Providence, 
since their existence as a company. 

F. F. Halliday & Son, pattern and model makers, are successors of 
D. A. Arnold & Son, who some years ago manufactured a great deal of 
wood work for cotton machinery, viz., twisters, spinning frames, etc. 
In 1883 F. F. Halliday, senior, bought Edward Arnold's interest, and the 
firm continued under the style of Arnold & Co. till 1887. Then it be- 
came F. F. Halliday & Son, F. F. Halliday, Jr., becoming an interested 
party. The firm employ nine hands. 

L. Upham & Co. are manufacturers of thread, braid and silk cabi- 
nets and novelty wood workers, corner Cottage and Saunders streets. 
The business of pattern making and designing and building stone 
derricks was started by this firm in a small way in 1857. Since that 
time the business has largely increased, and gives employment to a 
dozen or so of men constantly. The firm consists of Lucian Upham, 
Charles I. Davis and Job L. Grant. 



52 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

J. N. Polsey & Co., manufacturers of boxes, have their works near 
the depot, on the left hand side of the railroad as you go toward 
Providence. The business was established by Mr. Polsey in 1857 on 
a small scale, but it has grown in the course of years to great magni- 
tude. The firm now consists of J. N. Polsey, John P. Hood and Lester 
I. Mathewson. They employ from 40 to 50 workmen constantly and 
work up about 5,000,000 feet of lumber yearly. They manufacture 
every kind of box, from one-eighth of an inch in thickness up to an 
inch, and from one foot, surface measurement, up to one hundred 
feet. They make what are called the "lock-corner" boxes. They 
are also contractors and builders. 

V. P. Westcott manufactures hames and trimmings. The business 
is an exceptional one, there being no other establishment in the state 
like it. It was established about 40 years ago by G. B. Perry & Co., 
Mr. Westcott coming into the proprietorship in 1874. Few workmen 
are employed in this concern, the goods being manufactured princi- 
pally by machinery. The carriage business was added in the fall of 
1875. 

The Jackson Shell Roll Company was formed in 1887. It is a stock 
company, David Jackson being president, and A. T. Atherton treas- 
urer. The company manufacture Jackson's lubricating device, a 
patent applied to all journals for lubricating purposes. The works 
are in Cole's building, and give employment to 12 and 15 men. 

Phillips' Insulated Wire Company was established in 1884 by H. 
O. Phillips. This company is doing business in the Payne Building, 
and employs from 35 to 40 hands. Mr. Phillips established his busi- 
ness some years prior to this in Central Falls. He was located there 
in the old Sprague building. 

Linton Brothers & Co. are manufacturers of card boards. The 
business was established in 1871 by Robert and Hugh Linton, and 
was continued by them till 1881, when Benjamin M.Jackson, of Provi- 
dence, and Edward Jollie, of Pawtucket, bought up all interests of the 
brothers, increased the capacity of the works, and are now employing 
from 40 to 50 hands. They still continue business under the above 
style. The factory is finely equipped with all kinds of machinery neces- 
sary to the business. 

The manufacture of card board has become a somewhat important 
branch of industry in this town. The business was originally started 
by Elder Ray Potter. He began, indeed, with another branch of in- 
dustry. His first attempt was to make lamp-black, in the old steam 
planing mill; from that he proceeded to the manufacture of glazed 
paper for his box manufactory. His experiments in the latter matter 
led him to undertake the manufacture of card board. This was done 
in 1844. His first attempts were on a small scale, but the business 
steadily increased, and even in 1853 was quite large for the times. 
In 1858 Mr. Henry B. Dexter bought out the establishment, just to 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 63 

the west of the present East avenue, and assumed the charge of 
the business. He had as partners Simon W. and Daniel S. Dexter. 
In the following year David Ryder and H.H.Thomas took an in- 
terest in the business, Mr. Thomas taking charge. They afterward 
withdrew, and the business of what is called the Rhode Island Card 
Board Company was carried on by Mr. Henry B. Dexter and Mr. George 
H. Clark. This is supposed to be the first establishment in the country, 
probably in the world, that undertook to make card board by ma- 
chinery. Even now this material is made in Europe mainly by hand. 
The proprietors make every description of card boards, from the most 
delicate to the most substantial; and provide them for the use of sta- 
tioners, photographers and printers. They make their goods, when 
desired, in continuous strips of any thickness, length or width. Ma- 
chinery is extensively employed, and 40 workmen are busied in the 
establishment. They produce about 20,000 sheets per day, but can, 
if need be, increase the product to 40,000. In 1880 the company built 
a large brick mill on Exchange street, and have since introduced a 
number of improved and more powerful machines, more than doub- 
ling their former capacity. In 1886 the company was incorporated 
with the following officers, still acting: President, Henry B. Dexter; 
treasurer, George H. Clark; secretary, Walter H. Stearns. 

The Fairbrother Belting Company was established in 1834 by 
Lewis Fairbrother, and was the first of the kind in Rhode Island, 
and save one in Attleboro, Mass., is tbe oldest in the United States. 
Mr. Fairbrother learned the art of tanning in Attleboro. He was 
then 15 years of age. The first building erected in Pawtucket by Mr. 
Fairbrother was 30 by 15 feet. It had but one vat. Picker and lace 
leathers were made. A few years afterward the manufacture of 
leather belting and all kinds of leather for factory use was added. 
In 1859 Henry L. Fairbrother became a partner, and during the late 
war the firm name was changed to H. L. Fairbrother & Co., which 
title remained unchanged till 1888, when the company was incorpor- 
ated under its present name. The buildings of this company occupy 
.about two acres of ground, and the business of general mill supplies 
has been added. 

The James Davis Belting Company also manufacture leather belt- 
ing, lace leather, etc. This is an old business, the first building hav- 
ing been erected in 1847, and a large addition made in 1853 by James 
Davis, the originator of the concern. The company was incorporated 
in 1885; D. G. Littlefield, president; E. S. Mason, treasurer; Waldo 
Trescott, superintendent; Charles R. Bucklin, bookkeeper. The com- 
pany employ from 40 to 50 hands constantly. 

The Star Tanning Company manufactures improved rawhide lace 
and leather belting. The present company consists of Oscar A. Jillson 
and Robert Bellew. The business was established in Central Falls 
by William Gould and William H. Keach, under the firm name of 



54 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Gould & Keach, in 1874. Shortly after the business was established 
William McKelvey came into parthership, and not long after R. A. 
Butler took an interest. In 1881 Mr. O. A. Jillson bought out Mr. 
Butler's interest, and subsequently Mr. Robert Bellew,in partnership 
with Mr. Jillson, became proprietors of the business. The firm em- 
ploy about 25 hands constantly, and do a business of about $4,000 per 
month. 

George C. Stillman & Co., proprietors of the Pawtucket Ware- 
house, are large commission merchants, who deal in wholesale fruit 
and produce generally. They erected their large warehouse on 
Weeden street in 1887, 200 by 50 feet, two stories in height. The 
firm trades extensively throughout the New England states, especially 
in Massachusetts and Connecticut. It consists of George C. Stillman 
and Allen B. Ralph. They give employment to ten men, and some- 
times more. 

Ellis Thayer & Son, brush manufacturers, are located on Exchange 
street, where their business was established April 1st, 1882. Mr. 
Thayer began the business of manufacturing brushes in the city of 
Worcester some 35 years ago. In 1878 he came to Pawtucket, and, 
in company with his brother, P. E. Thayer, under the firm name of 
Thayer Brothers, operated on North Main street for two years. He 
then went to Attleboro, Mass., but in 1881 P. E. Thayer & Co. bought 
all interests in Thayer Brothers' business, and in 1883 it became 
Ellis Thayer & Son, Mr. Herbert Thayer being the junior member. 
This firm employs 20 hands, and makes carpet sweepers and brushes 
of every description. 

American Hair Cloth Padding Company, East avenue, are manu- 
facturers of tailors' hair-cloth paddings, also ladies' hair-cloth skirt- 
ings. This business was established by Messrs. Payne & Taylor. In 
1854 they bought the site of David Wilkinson and erected the pres- 
ent building, which stands where the old anchor shop did. About 
the time they began their enterprise Messrs. John Hall and James 
Sheldon started business in the same building under the title of the 
Boston Hair Cloth Company. They attempted to make crinoline and 
stuff for ladies' wear, but, after continuing the business for three 
years, abandoned it. In 1858 Payne & Taylor began the manufacture 
of crinoline and like stuff on the machinery left by the Boston Com- 
pany. They had, meanwhile, carried' on their engraving, but in 1860 
gave it up to devote their energies entirely to the production of 
tailors' hair-cloth padding, as well as to ladies' hair-cloth skirtings of 
all kinds. In the same year they disposed of their old looms, and 
soon obtained of the Pawtucket Hair Cloth Company the right to use 
their patent automatic action for feeding the hair. Their present 
looms contain this and other later improvements. About fifteen 
years ago Mr. Payne, one of the founders, died, and his two sons, 
Mes.srs. Charles B. and James R. Payne, succeeded to his interest in 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 55 

the concern and as partners of Mr. Jnde Taylor, who is a native of 
England, the Messrs. Payne being natives of this city. Subsequently 
the business was incorporated under its present title of the Ameri- 
can Hair Cloth Padding Company. The company occupy two floors 
of the building, which covers an area of 40 by 175 feet, and employ- 
ment is provided for about 30 hands. The company have agencies 
in New York and Boston, and their products are in demand in all 
parts of the country. 

The following companies have been but recently incorporated: 
In the year 1889 the Narragansett Machine Company, with a capital 
stock of $100,000, W. L. Cook, president; the Pawtucket Dyeing and 
Bleaching Company, with a capital stock of $15,000, E. G. Blodgett, 
president; Perry Manufacturing Company, with a capital stock of 
$10,000, James A. Perry, president: Royal Weaving Company, with 
$100,000 capital stock, with Daniel G. Littlefield, president. And in 
the year 1890 the Standard Seamless Wire Company, with $200,000 
capital stock, H. T. Smith, president, and the Hope Webbing Com- 
pany, with $30,000, Charles Sissons, president. 

One of the most interesting events in the history of Pawtucket 
was the celebration of the Cotton Centennial during the week be- 
ginning September 28th, 1890. The idea of the public observance 
of the one hundredth anniversary of Samuel Slater's successful 
efforts to spin cotton by power originated with Captain Henry F. 
Jenks several years ago. The arrangements for the celebration were 
conducted and successfully carried into effect by the following com- 
mittee, appointed by the common council: Henry E. Tiepke, chair- 
man; J. Ellis White, secretary; Nathan A. Chatterton, treasurer; Ber- 
nard F. Lennon, auditor; Edward Smith, Philo E. Thayer, Frank 
O'Reilly. General Olney Arnold acted as chief marshal of the entire 
celebration. 

The exercises began with a preliminary meeting in Music Hall 
Sunday afternoon, September 28th, presided over by Hon. Henry B. 
Metcalf. Prayer was offered by Reverend George Bullen, D. D. Ad- 
dresses were made by Reverends Porter M. Vinton and Alexander 
McGregor, Ansel D. Nickerson read a historical Sunday school paper, 
-and Reverend Emery H. Porter pronounced the benediction. Mon- 
day was given to a celebration by the vSunday school children. Several 
thousand of them marched in procession through the streets to Dun- 
nell Park, where special exercises were held, consisting of prayer, 
addresses, songs, etc. In the afternoon the Young Men's Christian 
Association held athletic exercises on the grounds. The industrial 
exhibit in the skating rink was opened at 2 p. m. After the opening 
exercises, consisting of music by the band and addresses by Mr. 
Henry E. Tiepke, chairman of the committee, Governor Davis and 
Mayor Carroll, the machinery was set in motion by Albert R. Sher- 
man, superintendent, and the exhibition was formally in operation- 



56 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

It was a good exhibit of the manufacturing of Pawtucket, including 
nearly every industry in the city. An interesting feature of the exhi- 
bition consisted of the original spinning frame and carder of Samuel 
Slater, many relics from Mr. Slater's mill and other curiosities loaned 
for the occasion. In the evening the Garfield Club held a banquet at 
Music Hall. Tuesday was military day. The entire state militia and 
companies from Massachusetts and Connecticut took part in the 
parade. The weather was bright and beautiful, and the grand and 
imposing pageant was witnessed by thousands of spectators. In the 
evening a huge Grand Army camp fire was held in the large tent on 
Dexter street, attended by about 2,000 people. 

Wednesday was trades and societies' day. The forenoon was de- 
voted to a trades procession, in which many firms from Providence 
took part. The main feature of the afternoon was a large and attrac- 
tive parade by the civic and secret societies. Thursday was fire- 
men's day. The parade was far superior to any firemen's parade 
Pawtucket ever had, and was witnessed by thousands all along the 
line of march. In the afternoon an interesting prize trial of ancient 
hand engines took place at Camp Burnside. In the evening the ex- 
hibitors held a banquet in Infantry Hall. On Friday forenoon an 
amateur rowing regatta was held on the Pawtucket river, under the 
auspices of the Pawtucket Boat Club. In the afternoon horse racing 
and bicycle contests drew many spectators to the driving park. The 
King Cotton Carnival on Friday evening, notwithstanding the some- 
what unpropitious weather, was a highly successful and interesting 
affair, and was witnessed by hosts of spectators. After the parade a 
grand concert and ball were held in the mammoth tent on Dexter 
street. On Saturday afternoon a large crowd assembled at Mineral 
Spring Park to witness the dedication of a monument to the late chief 
engineer, Samuel Smith Collyer, who died in the summer of 1884 
from injuries received while going to a fire. The exercises consisted 
of a parade, headed by the American Band, the Fire Department, the 
Veteran Association, the Providence Veteran Association, and the 
mayor, city council and invited guests. After the dedication cere- 
monies the monument was presented to the city by General Olney 
Arnold, and accepted in behalf of the city by Mayor Carroll. The 
monument was designed by Charles Dowler, of Providence, and cost 
about $2,500, which was raised by subscription. 

Newspapers in Pawtucket.— The first newspaper printed and 
published in Pawtucket was the Pmvtucket Chronicle. Its publication 
was begun November 12th, 1825, by John C. Harwood, a young printer 
from Providence. December 30th, 1826, he sold the paper to Carlile 
& Brown, of Providence. February 10th, 1827, the Chronicle bore the 
name of Randall Meacham as publisher. He was a first-class printer 
for those days, and came to Pawtucket from Lowell, Mass. Two of 
his apprentices soon afterward were Robert Sherman and Shubae 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 57 

Kinnicutt, who in after years started the Pazvtuckct Gazette, and subse- 
quently bought the Chroniele. July 11th, 1829, Samuel M. Fowler, of 
Warren, R. I., became associate publisher of the Chroniele, and on Feb- 
ruary 11th, 1831, he became sole editor and proprietor. He died in 
Pawtucket August 26th, 1832. His wife continued the publication of 
the paper, the editorial work being performed by John H. Weeden, 
one of the leading attorneys of the place. In October, 1832, the Chroni- 
<r/^was purchased by Messrs. Henry and John E. Rousmaniere, of New- 
port, their names appearing as publishers in the number bearing date 
of October 26th. November 4th, 1836, Mr. J. E. Rousmaniere retired 
from the establishment, and the publication of the Chronicle was con- 
tinued by Mr. Henry Rousmaniere until April 19th, 1839, when he 
disposed of the newspaper and its job office to Messrs Sherman and 
Kinnicutt. 

On Friday morning, August 3d, 1838, the first number of the Paiv- 
tneket Ga:;ette made its appearance. It was printed and published by 
Robert Sherman and Shubael Kinnicutt, two young men who had 
learned the printing business in the office of the Pmvtucket Chroniele. 
Their printing and publication office was in the upper story of an 
old wooden building on Main street, owned by Amos M. and John B. 
Read, the site of which is now covered by the brick block owned by 
the widow of the last named. It was issued because the older paper, 
the Chroniele, did not then " fill the bill " as a local paper ought, and 
the young printers were encouraged in their undertaking by the lead- 
ing citizens and the general sentiment of the village. The paper was 
a folio of six columns, and was printed on a sheet of good rag paper 
22x30 inches. The proprietors set the type and '' worked off " their 
limited edition on an old hand press themselves. The Gazette im- 
proved with each issue, and in the latter part of April, 1839, the 
Chroniele establishment passed into the hands of Messrs. Sherman and 
Kinnicutt. The issue for April 26th, 1839, bears the title of Gazette 
and Chronicle, and it has so continued to the present time. It has not 
missed making its appearance regularly every Friday morning during 
the more than fifty years that are now completed. 

The Gazette and Chronicle continued to be published in the old Read 
building until March, 1841, when the office was removed to the upper 
story of the wooden Miller building, corner of Main and Mill streets. 
(This building was nearly destroyed by fire in 1872, and the following 
year the present imposing brick block rose from its ruins.) The ac- 
commodations there were better, but they were not sufficient. In the 
summer of 1849 the late Amos M. Read (father of Mr. A. T. Read, the 
present owner of the block), tore down the old wooden building, or 
the part of it in which the Gazette first saw the light, and put up the 
present brick block at the corner of Main street and Jenks avenue. 
In March, 1850, the Gazette and Chronicle establishment was removed 
into the upper story of this new building, where it remained until 



58 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

March, 1866, when it was removed to its present quarters in Manches- 
ter Hall, on Mill (now North Main) street. 

July 26th, 1850, the paper appeared in a new dress of types through- 
out, and presented a very neat appearance. January 5th, 1855, it was 
enlarged to seven columns to a page, and June 29th, 1860, it was en- 
larged to eight columns to a page. January 2d, 1863, during the dis- 
mal, depressing days of the civil war, the paper was reduced to its 
previous size of seven columns to a page. The publishers promised 
that whenever circumstances would warrant it the paper should ap- 
pear in its former size. On the 6th of January, 1866, it did so appear, 
there being eight columns to a page again. July 1st, 1870, it was en- 
larged to nine columns to a page, and April 18th, 1873, the columns 
were lengthened to their present extent. 

Up to May 4th, 1855, the Gazette and Chroniele was printed on a 
hand press. The paper bearing that date was printed on a " Guern- 
sey Improved Patent Cylinder Press," made by Francis & Clary, of 
Pittsfield, Mass. This was superseded when the paper was enlarged 
July 1st, 1870, by a Potter Country Cylinder Press, made by C. Potter, 
Jr., & Co., of New York. After a faithful service of 16-i- years, the 
Potter cylinder was superseded on December 6th, 1886, by a new 
printing machine, made specially to order by the Babcock Printing 
Press Manufacturing Company, of New London, Conn. The Guern- 
sey press was run by hand, motive power coming from the " twist- 
ings " given the crank on the large driving wheel by Michael Finne- 
gan, a powerful and " fine ould Irish gintleman " of peculiar physique, 
who died in March, 1879, and had a better obituary than oft falls to 
the lot of greater men. On Thanksgiving morning, November 29th, 
1866, the Gazette and CJironicle appeared for the first time printed by 
motive power. The proprietors were the first to introduce a power 
press in Pawtucket, and were the first to introduce power into a print- 
ing office. The power was supplied by a caloric engine, which was 
made in Providence. Subsequently a steam engine took its place, the 
caloric proving a miserable failure. This engine is still in the office, 
and can do duty in an emergency. Since November, 1873, power has 
been transmitted by a " rope pulley " from the old LeFavour mill, now 
the electric light plant of the Pawtucket Gas Company. In 1884, for 
several weeks, the fact was demonstrated that the pressure (100 lbs. 
on office floor) from the water works would operate a small water 
motor that would run all the machinery. The cost of running the 
motor was too great to warrant its continuance, and it is held in re- 
serve in case of accident. 

For many years prior to January 1st, 1866, the imprint on the first 
page stated " The Gazette and CJironicle is published every Friday 
morning by Robert Sherman, simultaneously in Pawtucket, R. I., and 
Pawtucket, Mass." (The east side was in the state of MassachUvSetts 
until March, 1862.) January 1st, 1864, Ansel D. Nickerson, who en- 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE. COUNTY. 59 

tered the oflfice as apprentice in April, 1846, purchased a quarter in- 
terest, and on January 1st, 1866, the firm name was changed to R. 
Sherman & Co., and so remained till January 1st, 1870, when Ansel D. 
Nickerson and John S. Sibley became the proprietors, the latter pur- 
chasing Mr. Sherman's half interest and the former Mr. Kinnicutt's 
quarter interest. The paper was published from that time until April 
1st, 1875, by Nickerson & Sibley, when Charles A. Lee, who began 
work in the oflfice November 30th, 1863, purchased an interest from 
the senior partner, and the firm name was changed to Nickerson, 
Sibley & Co. Three years later, April 1st, 1878, Mr. Nickerson dis- 
posed of his entire interest to Mr. Lee, and January 1st, 1879, the firm 
name was changed to Sibley & Lee, and so remains to the present 
time. Prior to Mr. Sibley's death in September, 1883, he disposed of 
his entire interest in the office and newspaper to his partner, by whom 
the business has since been conducted. In May, 1869, the Gazette and 
CJironicle appeared in the suit of types that it wore until January 1st, 
1891, a fact that speaks volumes in praise of the type founders, Messrs. 
Phelps, Dalton & Co., of the Dickinson Type Foundry of Boston, 
January 2d, 1891, the paper appeared in quarto form, clad in a new 
and handsome dress of types and with a fine engraved heading. 

The semi-centennial of the Chronicle was celebrated November 
12th, 1875, by the issuing of d. fac simile of the first number. The semi- 
centennial of the Gazette was celebrated August 3d, 1888, by the publi- 
cation of a souvenir sheet containing a fac siinile of the first page of 
the initial number, portraits of publishers, editors and correspond- 
ents, pictures of the earlier and later presses, biographical sketches, 
etc. Only two of the ex-publishers of the Gazette and CJironicle are 
living— Messrs. Sherman and Nickerson. The latter, and Mr. Lee, 
the present editor and publisher, both " learned their trade" in the 
office, under Mr. Sherman. The paper has always borne an enviable 
reputation as a family journal, and is quoted to-day as a model in typo- 
graphical appearance and in the vigor and tone of it^ editorial columns. 

During the 65 years since the establishment of the Chronicle, 
numerous weekly sheets came into existence only to pass quickly into 
obscurity. Among these were The White Banner, Truth's Advocate, 
John the Baptist, Pawtucket Herald, Midnight Cry, Rose and Lily, Spark- 
ling Fountain, Battle Axe, Temperance Regulator, Mercantile Reporter, 
Business Directory, Pazvtucket Observer. 

The first mentioned was started in the interest of Free Masonry, 
and was absorbed by the Chronicle establishment in 1827. Many of 
the others, as their names indicate, were temperance publications. 
The Battle Axe was published by Benjamin W. Pearce, who at the 
present time at the age of over 70 years, is editor and publisher of the 
Neivport Enterprise. He gave rumsellers a severe drubbing in each 
issue, and one night some of them went into his office and pitched his 
press and type into the river. The Business Directory was printed and 
published gratuitously by Alfred W. Pearce, a brother of Benjamin's, 



60 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

for several 3'ears, the office finally passing into the hands of the 
proprietors of the Gazette ami CJironielc. 

In June, 1860, George O. Willard, a young printer who had learned 
his trade in the Gazette and Chronicle office, issued the first number of 
the Pawtucket Observer. It was republican in politics, and although 
the party won its first national victory in that year, the paper did not 
receive substantial support, and its publication was abandoned in 
March, 1861. From that date until April, 1885, the Gazette and Chronicle 
held the field without a rival — a period of nearly a quarter of a cen- 
tury — and covered it ably and successfully. 

April 1 0th, I880, the first daily paper ever printed in Pawtucket 
was issued from the Gazette and Chronicle office. It was called the 
Evening Chronicle. Charles A. Lee was the editor and publisher. It 
published news of the United Press Association received by special 
wire, with telegraph operator in its editorial rooms. Its projector did 
not say that it had " come to stay," for the field was nominally pos- 
sessed by another. The experiment as weighed against the old 
established weekly, was too hazardous, and the last number bore date 
of May 2d. It gave Mr. Lee and the office the " honor" of starting the 
first daily newspaper in Pawtucket. 

April 80th, 1885, the first number of the Paivtncket Evcnijig Times, 
George O. Willard, editor and manager, made its appearance. Its 
editor and manager had been connected with the Providence Press for 
a quarter of a century, and on its death came to Pawtucket and secured 
sufficient encouragement to start the Times. For two years Mr. Wil- 
lard had a hard struggle, but he overcame many obstacles, and the 
Times became prosperous. It has a large circulation and a paying 
advertising patronage, and is the largest penny daily in New England. 
Mr. Willard's editorial assistant is Mr. William C. Sheppard. Mr. Sea- 
bury wS. Tompkins, a " Chronicle graduate," is the local editor. Janu- 
ary 31st, 1890, the Times was sold to David O. Black, formerly of the 
Providence Telegram, and since March 26th, 1890, it has been published 
in quarto form by the Times Publishing Company, of which Mr. Black 
is the head and Peter Trumpler the business manager. 

September 15th, 1888, the first number of the Evening Tribune was 
issued by Martin Murray, editor and manager. Mr. Murray had from the 
start been city editor of the Evening Times. The paper is democratic 
in politics. It is also a penny daily, and has a goodly run of patronage. 

In January, 1886, a monthly trades paper called the Pawtucket. and 
Central Falls Real Estate Record was issued from the Gazette and Chroni- 
cle office for Mr. H. H. Sheldon, an enterprising real estate broker. 
Its publication was continued monthly, with several enlargements, 
until January, 1887, when it began to make its appearance weekly, its 
title having been changed to the Paivtucket Record. In November, 

1890, the Record was purchased by David J. White, and January 6th, 

1891, the Central Falls Weekly J'isitor was consolidated with it, under 
he name of Record-Visitor. 



CHAPTER II. 

THE TOWN AND CITY OF PAWTUCKET— (Continued). 

Bridges.— BusinessBlocks.— Trading.— Woodlawn.— Hotels.— Stages.— Banks.— Churches. 
—Public Library.— Post Office.— Fire Department.— Education.— Societies. 

IT was more than half a century after the settlement of the western 
village before a bridge was thrown across the Pawtucket. At 
that time the colony of Rhode Island invited Massachusetts to 
join with her in providing such a convenience. A committee seems 
to have been appointed by the latter colony in 1712 to consider 
whether the bridge should be built. On May 29th they made the fol- 
lowing report: 

" We are humbly of opinion that a place called Pawtucket Falls, 
near the Iron Works on said river, is the most suitable place to erect 
said bridge, and when built (it) may be of benefit to some part of this 
Province. Especially it will be of service for travelling into the Nar- 
ragansett Country, Connecticut and New York at all times of the year, 
particularly in the winter season, when by rising of the water and 
great quantity of ice coming down the river, it is very difficult and 
hazardous, which if there be a bridge will make travelling more easy 

and safe. ^ ^ ^ r^ .. 

" Isaac Winslow and four others. Com. 

Massachusetts Colony records. Vol. IX., pp. 273, 274. 

The first bridge was accordingly built at the expense of the two 
colonies in 1713. Probably it was a fragile structure, for m 16 years 
the general assembly voted to rebuild it, provided Massachusetts 
would pay half the expense. In 1741 it was rebuilt. In 1746 a new 
boundary line, under the royal permission, was run, and from that 
time Massachusetts refused to pay anything for maintaining the 
bridge over the Pawtucket. The first bridge stood a little south of the 
place where the stone bridge now stands, but afterward the present site 
was chosen. Part of this bridge was swept away by the great freshet 
of 1807, but it was speedily rebuilt. In 1817 it was again replaced, 
largely at the expense of North Providence. In 1832 the work was 
done anew. In 1839 it was repaired at the expense of the state. In 
1843 the old bridge was torn down and a new one built. Fourteen 
years afterward this bridge was found needing repairs, and it was re- 
solved to build a stone bridge. On the 6th of July, 1858, travel was 



62 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

suspended. The new bridge now standing there was built and opened 
for travel on the 4th of November. The occasion was fitl}' celebrated 
by a public procession, a dinner at Manchester Hall, and other 
tokens of gladness. 

The bridge across the north end of Mill street was built over 60 
years ago. Mr. John Kennedy, of Central Falls, was the most active 
promoter of it, and he carried around the subscription paper, chiefly 
among the citizens of that village. The bridge was commenced in 
1826 and completed in the following year. In 1871 an iron bridge 
was made to take the place of the old one, built at the expense of 
Pawtucket and Smithfield. 

The next bridge was built from what is now Central avenue, A 
wooden bridge was thrown across the Blackstone at this point in 1853. 
Owing to the increase of population in this neighborhood, and the old 
bridge being deemed unsafe, on September 4th, 1868, it was voted at 
a town meeting in Pawtucket that " A sum of money not to exceed 
$6,000, be appropriated by this town for building one-half of a bridge 
across the Blackstone river at Pleasant View." On April 7th of the 
following year $1,000 more was appropriated. The other part of the 
cost for the iron bridge thus constructed was paid by the town of 
Smithfield. 

!" IV. The growing population demanded more conveniences. The stone 
bridge was often crowded. It was desired on both sides of the Black- 
stone, that a bridge be built opposite Exchange street. North Provi- 
dence and Pawtucket voted to construct such a bridge, and it was 
built during the winter of 1871-2, and the early spring of the latter 
year, and was opened for travel on May 3d, 1872. This is constructed 
of iron also, and cost $30,000. 

At a town meeting held on March 1st, 1875, the town council were 
authorized to build a bridge from the foot of Division street across 
the Pawtucket river, of such materials as they deemed most suitable. 
They accordingly decided to build of stone, and a massive structure 
was erected. 

The following is a list of the principal blocks erected in Paw- 
tucket: The LeFavour Block and the Hotel Block in 1812 or 1813' 
Ellis Block about 1820; the Manchester Block in 1848; the A. M. Read 
Block in 1849; the John B. Read Block in 1850; the Almy Block in 

1854; Dexter Block finished in 1866; the Miller Block in ; the G. 

L. Spencer Block in 1874; Littlefield Block, west side of North Main 
street, 1875; Union Block, by Dexter Brothers, in 1874; Walter Block 
in 1887; Record Building in 1888. There are many other buildings 
also worthy of mention. The lot for the Union Block was appropri- 
ated in 1822. The building was erected by Ebenezer Tyler, David 
Wilkinson and Mr. Slater. Till 1844 it was used for stores and offices, 
when it was bought by Mr. Enoch Adams, and converted into a cot- 
ton mill. *In 1851 it was purchased by Captain Dexter and used by 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY, 63 

him for the same purpose. After his decease his sons continued to 
run the mill. The building of the First National Bank was erected 
in 1875. Tyler & Wilkinson also erected the Pawtucket Hotel 
building in 1826. The stores of Mr. Dana and Mr. Phillips are both 
in this building, and were used first for offices. It was in Mr. Phil- 
lips' room that William Bailey opened the first drug store in Pawtucket. 
Doctor Niles Manchester resided on the grounds now occupied by 
Music Hall building. Moses Jenks, father of Pardon Jenks, was 
living on grounds now occupied by the post office building in 1820. 
It was an old fashioned gambrel roofed house, an elegant structure 
for that day. Seekonk Plains in 1839 contained only three houses. 
A hundred houses are now on that side of Pawtucket. 

The town of Pawtucket contained a population of 27,630 souls in 
1890. The business carried on here is surprisingly great. There are 
•over a hundred large firms and corporations in the place, some of 
which are very extensive. By actual count from the city directory 
there are 134 dressmakers, which exceeds the limit of any other class 
of enterprises. There are 120 grocers, 22 physicians, 12 lawyers, 18 
■clergymen, 23 churches and missions, 12 hotels, 6 banks, 6 news- 
papers and magazines, and other enterprises in proportion. Manu- 
facturing is the chief industry, and not a few of the corporations 
give employment to hundreds of hands each. 

Ebenezer and Otis Tiffany were early residents of the place. 
Ebenezer Tififany, the elder brother, had a store on Main street, front- 
ing North Main, as early as 1802 or 1803. The site is now occupied 
by Amos Read's Block, erected in 1849. Originally a little building 
stood here which was swept away by the freshet, when Mr. Tiffany 
erected the second structure and continued trading until the great 
revulsion of 1829. He carried on business quite extensively, and as 
was customary in those days, kept a good supply of West India goods. 
Mr. Gideon L. Spencer in 1824 set up in the tailoring business, his 
shop being in the second story of Mr. Tiffany's store. After one or 
two years' stay in that place Mr. Spencer went farther up on Main 
street, where Lee's Block is now, and continued his business till 1845. 

Otis Tiffany kept the post office in the building where Mr. Slater 
lived. His room was the one now occupied by Mr. Freeman's book 
store. He afterward moved up Main street one door west of the post 
office, in the building now occupied by Doctor C. E. Davis & Son, 
registered pharmacists, and kept the office there. Jonathan Niles 
Spencer afterward occupied the stand at Freeman's for a shoe store. 
He was an elder brother of Gideon L. Spencer, and began trading 
earlier than he. The sons of Otis Tiffany became wealthy. Their 
names were George and Henry. Ebenezer Tiffany had two sons, both 
now dead. 

In 1829 there were a number of merchants in Pawtucket. Of 
these Josiah W. Miller kept a grocery store for a long time on Main 



64 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

street, near the bridge. It was next west of John Read's block. At 
that time Ebenezer Tyler owned most of the property in this locality, 
and he was in trade also a number of years. 

In 1829 Bennet Whipple had a store where the post office is now, 
in an old building of his own. It was of w^ood, and was later taken 
down and a brick building erected by David Wilkinson and Ebenezer 
Tyler. That building was torn down and the present structure 
erected. The brick was used by the North Providence Bank, by the 
Pacific Bank, by Charles Pierce and others. The second story was 
used for a boarding house, the third as the Masonic Temple. The 
old building was sold m 1829 to Enoch Adams, who used it for a cot- 
ton mill for a number of years. 

In 1829 George Jenckes was doing a trading business on the cor- 
ner of Maple and Main streets. Albert C. Jenckes, his son, suc- 
ceeded, and he is now dead. The building is still used as a store. 

James Weeden at that time owned a bakery on Main street. He 
afterward went down on Pleasant street, where his house is now. 

The business established by these firms was of a general charac- 
ter, carrying groceries, dry goods, etc. About this time, however, a 
division of the trade was made, and special lines only were carried. 

Among the many then engaged in the grocery business may be 
mentioned the firm^of A. & A. Parks, who not only dealt in groceries 
but in hay, grain, straw, etc. They began over 60 years ago, and 
were succeeded by John Crane, and he by Messrs. Long, Pearce & 
Larkin, and in 1879 the style of the house was changed to Ellis, 
Pearce & Co., Mr. Peter Lennon being a member of this firm, who 
succeeded to the business in 1885. 

Mr. Smith Grant established a grocery trade many years ago, 
which subsequently passed into the hands of Messrs. John Tingley, 
Clark & Brown, B. P. White & Co., Moore & Blaisdell, John H. Moore, 
Moore & Carpenter and O. F. Currier, who succeeded to the business 
in March, 1881. The firm of Lemuel Whitney, dealer in meats, 
vegetables and provisions, was established soon after the war, and 
was afterward carried on by: E. Darling & Co., A. H. Ford, Mr. Wood- 
ward, Laban Adams, N. F. Whipple, in 1876, and by the present pro- 
prietor since 1883. The business of Nicholson & Thackray, whole- 
sale and retail grocers, was started by the Nicholson brothers in 
1878, and in 1885 reorganized by the admission of Mr. Thackray. The 
Crawford Brothers founded the business now carried on by George 
Crawford in 1861. In 1866 George Crawford came in possession. In 
1880 J. W. Mooney established the trade now carried on by the 
Mooney Brothers. 

The dry goods trade was opened up in Pawtucket as a separate 
commercial interest of trade by Horace Miller in 1824. He first 
opened where H. N. Wilkinson's book store is now, at 108 Main 
street, but after a few months moved into Union Block with Luke 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 65 

Parmenter. Mr. L. E. Trescott, the only dry goods merchant in 
the place during those earlier years, and now living, was clerk for 
Miller. The revulsion of 1829 played financial havoc with Mr. Miller, 
as it did with many others. In 1825 Samuel Jacobs & Co. opened a 
dry goods store in the Brick Hotel, where Mr. Dana's drug store is, 
and ran it till 1829. 

About this same time, or a little later, Edward Mason & Co. car- 
ried on the dry goods business where the Dexter Block now stands. 
They, too, failed in 1829. Edward Mason, however, contintied till 
about 1847. In 1826 Lowdon & LeFavour kept dry goods where the 
Union Block is now, but in 1827 they gave up the enterprise. About 
this time James Wardlaw began trading, and also the firm of Walcott, 
Parmenter & Co. was formed, and business commenced at the east 
end of the bridge, where N. Bates' shoe store is. Of this firm Parmen- 
ter died, and Wardlaw bought out the stock in 1827, and kept there 
till 1832. Then Alanson Thayer bought him out, and kept there 
till Whitman & Bates began business in 1835. In 1837 N. Bates es- 
tablished his shoe store. In 1867 the firm became N. Bates & Son. 

In 1841 L. E. Trescott began in a store where the Miller 
Block is now, and kept till 1850, and then retired. He was suc- 
ceeded by J. W. Nicholas. Nickerson Nicholas also traded in the 
Old Hotel building on Main street, beginning about 1845. Also 
Daniel Miller, who was a brother of Horace, kept a store next to 
Bates, where Crawford's grocery store is now. Mr. Miller continued 
trading at this stand from 1846 or 1846 till 1856 or 1857, when it was 
turned into a grocery store. 

Richard & Andrew Palmer in 1856 began the business in the Le 
Favour Block, and continued there till about I860. Burton & Horton, 
who succeeded Samuel Jacobs, traded here before 1841. John W. 
Lowdon also traded here. He was succeeded by Frost & Almy in 
1843. This last firm only sold goods two years, and then united with 
the firm of N. Bates & Co. A. Ellis, Job Almy and others were 
identified with the dry goods trade at that time. 

Of those who are trading now in this line may be mentioned the 
names of Deahy Brothers, who began in 1882; J. H. Clark & Co., who 
traded some 16 years ago in Central Falls, but moved here in 1883; 
David Harley & Co., in 1878; F. W. Westcott, and others of later 
date. The new building erected by David Harley & Co. in 1883 has 
a frontage of 148 feet and a floorage of 11,000 square feet. They give 
employment to 75 clerks. 

The shoe trade in Pawtucket had its beginning with the enterpris- 
ing Jonathan Niles Spencer, who drove pegs for custom work as early 
as'l819. Becoming tired of a cobbler's life, he threw down his awl, 
went to Providence, and laid in a stock of boots and shoes to the 
amount of about $100, on credit, and established himself in a little 
store where Freeman's book store now is, and traded there till about 
5 



66 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

the year 1830, when he died. Ira D. Ellis was probably the next con- 
siderable dealer in the village. He began soon after this, and con- 
tinued trading about 40 years where the Pawtucket shoe store is now. 
He was succeeded by Ellis & Read in 1883, who have continued to 
this time. The members of this firm are A. L. Ellis and W. W. Read. 

In 1852 Job L. Spencer bought out the boot and shoe store of S. 
W. Baker, No. 7 North Main street, and traded there 12 years. He 
sold to Stephen A. Cook, who sold to Mr. Winchester, who failed in 
the business. The building was then torn down by Gideon L. 
Spencer, and the Spencer Block erected in 1874. In 1837 N. Bates 
began the business of selling boots and shoes, and, with his son Frank 
M., is still trading. George C. Gates, a native of England, came here 
from that country in 1862, and two years later began a specialty of 
making fine custom made shoes. Later he added to his other busi- 
ness that of dealer in leather and shoe findings. W. H. Taylor es- 
tablished himself here in this business in 1870, and soon after this 
time the Standard Boot and Shoe store was started on Main street. A. 
A. Cohen, an extensive dealer in the place, began here in 1871; and 
many others of more recent date have boot and shoe stores also. 

The drug store now occupied by F. J. Phillips, a registered pharma- 
cist, 99 Main street, was built by Collyer & Wilkinson prior to 1829,- 
and for some years was used for store and office. William Bailey es- 
tablished here the first drug store in Pawtucket. He was succeeded 
by Samuel Greene, who put in the first soda fountain in the village, 
and probably it was one of the first in the state. The old fountain 
slab is still to be seen in this store, and from its construction it evi- 
dently was among the first patterns made. Mr. Greene subsequently 
kept a drug store in Providence for a number of years. He died about 
the time of the late war. Of those who afterward traded here may be 
mentioned: Lyman and Bela P. Clapp, Henry Reed, Byron Johnson, 
John Coe, Dexter Brothers and F. J. Phillips, the present owner, who 
took possession November 10th, 1877. 

The old Pawtucket Hotel was used as a dry goods store last by 
Bates & Leckie. In 1858 it was changed to a drug store, and run by 
John B. Cushman and George E. Newell till 1860, when Newell went 
into the banking business, and the drug business was continued by 
Cushman till 1865, then sold to William A. Turner. The next owner 
was Asa Bosworth, who sold to George T. Dana, the present proprie- 
tor, in July, 1870. 

Of the druggists now living Doctor Charles E. Davis is the oldest 
pharmacist in the place. He has his store in the old building form- 
erly mentioned next to the post office, and is trading in this line 
under the style of C. E. Davis & vSon. He began in 1838. Fisk & Co. 
also represent an old established trade in drugs m Pawtucket. They 
began in 1871. 

There are a number of furniture dealers and repairers in Paw- 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 67 

tucket, of whom E. P. Carpenter was first. This business was estab- 
lished in 1858, across the river, where they occupied grounds now 
owned by the Dexter Yarn Company. In 1863 they moved into the 
present commodious building, three stories in height, occupying one 
acre of floor. This building has a frontage of 175 feet, and the largest 
plate glass of any store of this kind in New England. Carpenter & 
Co. are manufacturers of tin, sheet iron and copper goods, also of 
furniture, and employ, when in full operation, 50 hands. Next to 
Carpenter & Co. came the Pawtucket Furniture Company, and still 
later Bernard McCaughey & Co. and a dozen others who have recently 
entered upon this line of business. 

A. M. Read, John B. Read and George Mumford were among the 
earliest hardware merchants in the place. John B. Read had a tin 
shop in an old wooden building as early as 1821, where he afterward 
(in 1850) erected his block. Amos Read, h'is older brother, was here 
several years before that, and erected his block in 1849. George 
Mumford had a store in the Manchester Block, erected in 1848. He 
was succeeded by his son, George A. Mumford, who was there in 
business before the late war. In 1878 Mr. A. F. Bray took possession 
of the business, and in 1883 the firm became A. F. & F. Bray. Mr. A. 
M. Read was succeeded by his grandson, Charles M. Read, who con- 
tinued the business till 1886, when his stock was sold to A. F. & F. 
Bray. In 1869 Lewis T. Haskell became a dealer in stoves and hard- 
ware and traded until recently. F. Eugene Barker & Co. began where 
they are now in 1884. 

There are a number of enterprising merchants in Pawtucket who 
carry special lines of goods deserving of mention, but owing to want 
of space but little more than the names can be given. George A. 
Jencks carries a stock of kitchen furniture, consisting of stoves and 
tinware. Lyons Delany & Co. opened a tea store in 1877, and after- 
ward added machinery to the floors of the brick building adjoining 
and began the manufacture of spices, cream tartar, etc. They are 
doing an extensive business. In 1878 George C. Peck opened a five- 
cent store on North Main street, and is now carrying a very exten- 
sive variety of goods on North Union street, in Sheldon's building. 
His store is 54 by 54 feet. Shartenberg & Robinson have a store on 
Main street, 60 by 60 feet, three stories in height. 

J. H. Boyle, custom clothier, began business here in 1879; Charles 
W. Clough, watchmaker, in 1876; James Meiklejohn & Son, pianos 
and organs, in 1883; Alice B. Neale, millinery and fancy goods, in 
1877; W. W. Dexter, watches, jewelry and diamonds, about 1858. San- 
ford Almy established trade in crockery, china, glass, etc., on Main 
street, in 1848. This store is one of the oldest in the place. Lynd & 
Murphy, dealers in hats, caps, etc., began business in 1882, and during 
this same year B. H. Lattime opened up a store for hair goods, corner 
of Read and North Main street. The book trade was established by 



68 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Joseph Mclntyre as early as 1830, at the stand now kept by Henry M. 
Wilkinson. After many years Joseph Mclntyre, Jr., came into pos- 
session, and the present owner took charge in 1855. He was clerk for 
Joseph Mclntyre, Jr., from 1848 to 1855. 

There are four mammoth wholesale and retail coal and wood deal- 
ers in Pawtucket. In 1831 Joseph Smith established trade in this 
line. The firm was changed in 1862 to Joseph Smith & Co., and in 
1874 to the Joseph Smith Company. In 1883 this property came into 
the possession of John T. Cottrell, the present owner. The wharf is 
on Water street and covers an area of six acres. George E. Newell 
runs the yard originally owned by S. Grant & Co., established about 
1857, and Olney & Payne Brothers own the yard originally conducted 
by Cushman & Wilcox. They came in 1884. The Pawtucket Coal 
Company, of which E. M. Hunt is treasurer, has also done a large 
business for the past ten or twelve years. The above firms also deal 
largely in lumber, lime, brick, etc. 

Woodlawn is a station on the Providence & Worcester railroad 
three miles from the city of Providence and one from Pawtucket, 
and is included within the city limits of the latter. Business at this 
point necessitated the building of a depot here in 1880. The Old 
Colony line also pass this point, but none of their trains stop here. Forty- 
six passenger trains of the Providence & Worce^ster road stop daily at 
Woodlawn. In 1882 J. M. Carpenter erected his works near the de- 
pot. He manufactures taps and dies, and during the busy season em- 
ploys from 30 to 40 hands. From this point a special track is laid 
connecting the works of the Lorraine Manufacturing Com.pany on 
Mineral Spring avenue, Saylesville, also the glue works and other 
works of L. B. Darling & Co., with Lawndale. 

At Woodlawn there are two chapels. One is Baptist and is under 
the superintendence of the First Baptist church of Pawtucket. The 
other is a French mission under the spiritual directorship of the 
French Roman Catholic church of St. George, Central Falls. The 
Lorraine Manufacturing Company and L. B. Darling & Co.'s works 
are in the town of Lincoln, but the growth of these industries has 
largely increased the prosperity of Woodlawn. The Lorraine Manu- 
facturing Company own very extensive buildings and employ 1,000 
hands. 

Tradition states that 150 years ago an old tavern stood on the 
western side of the Blackstone, but all trace of it has long since 
passed away. There was a public house of a later date built by 
Captain Comstock for his own residence, but which subsequently be- 
came a tavern. It stood on the site now occupied by Brown's ma- 
chine shop. It bore the name of the Martin House. The sign was 
suspended between two posts and bore the likeness of Oliver Crom- 
well. It was kept by Constant Martin. Reverend Mr. Goodrich 
says, " Wags styled this a gallows sign, and were wont to add: 'Mar- 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 69 

tin has hung- the protector.'" Continuing the subject he says: 
" vStill another tavern stood on the corner of Main and the present 
Broad street, opposite the Benedict House. The building still 
stands [1876], and though it has been much razeed or curtailed 
within a few years, it is, as the style of architecture shows, an 
ancient edifice. It was built about the middle of the last century. 
The builder of it was Reverend Maturin Ballon, the father of the 
well-known Reverend Hosea Ballon, long a leader of the Universalist 
denomination. The father was a preacher in the Baptist denomina- 
tion, and was also a house carpenter. The elder Ballou was the 
father of eleven children, most of whom, save Hosea, were born in 
this neighborhood. He removed to Richmond, N. H., about 1770. 
During 'the revolutionary war the house was used as a tavern, and 
was kept by the Mr. Martin already mentioned. At that time it was 
a rival public house to Colonel Slack's, on the opposite side of the 
river. The house, indeed, subsequently went into the possession of 
Colonel Slack — to extinguish the rivalry, perhaps. 

" At a later period a public house stood at the southwest corner of 
the present High street. Built by David Ballou almost a cen- 
tury ago, it was occupied as a tavern for over 30 years. It was 
raised April 8th, 1871. and removed about 1813, when the LeFavour 
Block was reared. In 1812 and 1813 a hotel was reared at the corner 
of Main and Mill streets. The edifice was built at the expense of 
David Wilkinson; and for nearly 40 years was used exclusively as a 
public house. For years afterward, however, it was occupied as a 
bank building and for offices in front, but has remained a boarding 
house in the rear. 

" On the eastern side of the river, as has been more than once 
stated, stood the tavern of Colonel Slack. Its site has been designated. 
Colonel Slack came to Pawtucket in 1776, and speedily occupied the 
building in question. Standing as it did on the sole thoroughfare to 
Boston, it was much frequented. Here Washington and his suite 
stopped on their way to Boston, as he went to take command of the 
army; and here he also called as he went on his way to New York. 
Lafayette more than once found shelter beneath the hospitable roof; 
and the Hon. Oliver Starkweather was wont to tell that he saw him, 
with his national urbanity, in free conversation with the inhabitants 
of the then little hamlet. After the Bristol and Norfolk turnpike 
was built, however, early in the present century. Colonel Slack caused 
the hotel now standing on Broadway to be reared, and occupied it for 
a public house. 

" Beside these taverns there was the Dolly Sabin house on North 
Bend. It is reported that the house had been used as a tavern before 
Miss Sabin purchased it, and a John Bradford kept it. Between 80 
and 90 years ago, however, two sisters, by the name of Dolly and 
Molly Sabin, removed from Providence and bought the stand. The 



70 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

house was small when they purchased it, but they enlarged it, and 
with feminine taste, laid out a spacious garden, and adorned it with 
fruits and flowers. Much company was thereby attracted to the 
house beside travelers. Dolly remained unmarried, and has trans- 
mitted her name, by the house, to later generations. 

"The most prominent hotel of the present day however, is the 
Benedict House. Named though it was from Stephen Benedict, long 
the president of the People's Bank, it would commemorate were it 
needful the fame of Doctor Benedict. For 49 years Doctor Bene- 
dict lived in the house which was removed to make room for the 
hotel named. This edifice was built in 1871." F. Donath is now 
proprietor. 

The present hotels are: The Centennial House, on Mineral Spring 
avenue, kept by Joseph Goyette; Farmers' Hotel, on Broadway, by P. 
T. Tyrrell & Co.; Greene & Daniels' House, on Middle street, by S. R. 
Keenan; Lindsey Place Hotel, Lindsey Pike, corner of Weeden, Mrs. 
Rebecca B. Comstock; Mechanics' House, River street, by John 
Buckley; Park Hotel, on Mineral Spring avenue, by Charles Greene; 
Pawtucket Hotel, Broadway, by D. W. Bucklin; Pleasant View House, 
Broadway, by J. Frank Fuller; RatcHffe House, Railroad avenue, by 
Mrs. Martin Byrne, and the Warren House, on Dexter street. 

" In July, 1767," says Judge Staples," we meet with the first adver- 
tisement of a regular stage running between Boston and Providence. 
At that date Thomas Sabin, the first to set up a stage, advertised that 
' one starts every Tuesday morning from the house of Richard Olney, 
inn-holder, to carry travelers to Boston, on the most expeditious and 
cheap rate.' The coach returned on Thursday mornings. Richard 
Olney's house was nearly opposite the court house parade on North 
Main street. The notice does not state whether the coach went 
through in a day, or stopped the first night at Wrentham, as it did, 
according to tradition, in earlier times. In those times it is said that 
the owner of a stage coach occasionally gave notice a week or ten 
days beforehand that, on a given day, he would start for Boston, if 
sufficient encouragement offered, taking care to give notice so that his 
passengers could settle all their worldly affairs and make their wills 
before commencing such an arduous and dangerous journey. In 1783 
the stage to Boston ran twice a week." 

" In a little more than 40 years after the last-named date public 
sentiment had so ripened as to demand a local carriage between Paw- 
tucket and Providence. Horace Field is supposed to be the first man 
who run a diligence. After a short time he was succeeded by Simon 
H. Arnold. For half a dozen years or more Mr. Arnold seems to have 
run his diligence. At a later period Mr. Abraham H. Adams estab- 
lished a coach between Pawtucket and Providence. This also made 
two trips a day each way. In August, 1836, Messrs. Wetherell & 
Bennett put on a line of omnibuses, which they continued to run 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 71 

nearly 18 years. In June, 1854, however, Mr. Sterry Fry bought the 
line, and continued to run his omnibuses till superseded by the horse 
cars. In May, 1864, Mr. Hiram H. Thomas completed his arrange- 
ments, and set the horse cars in motion. In his calculations he had 
reckoned on 120,000 passengers a year. In a few years the number 
rose to 650,000; but such had been the increase in cost by the rise in 
the prices of horses and iron, that even this number failed to compen- 
sate. The passengers finally increased to a million a year. Of course, 
this included way passengers. 

"•As is well known, however, before the omnibuses were driven 
from the groimd, a new and formidable rival had appeared. The 
Providence & Worcester railroad was built to accommodate travelers 
between those cities. The first locomotive which passed through 
Pawtucket over the track of that road came through on Saturday, 
August 21st, 1847. It bore the name of Lonsdale, and was attached 
to a gravel train. This was simply prophetic, however; the passenger 
train over that road began its regular trips on Monday, October 25th, 
of the same year. 

"The Boston & Providence railroad was constructed as early as 
1835, and the original station in Providence was near India Point. A 
branch road, which afterward became the main trunk, however, was 
built from Pawtucket to East Junction, and trains began to run over 
it on Wednesday, March 15th, 1848. The Stonington steamboat train 
commenced running through Pawtucket on Monday, May 1st, 1848. 
The regular passenger trains between Boston and Providence began 
to run through this town on June 12th, of the same year." 

The banking business in Pawtucket had its beginning in 1814. 
The steady increase of business by that time led to the incorporation 
of the Pawtucket Bank (June 13th, 1814), with a capital of $100,000. 
This bank remained in existence till about 1850. The Manufacturers' 
Bank was chartered by the general assembly of Rhode Island in the 
year 1814, and remained here till the general prostration of business 
in 1829. It suffered heavy loss at that time and was removed to 
Providence. The Farmers' and Mechanics' Bank was chartered in 
1822, or the following year. The same cause that impoverished the 
Manufacturers' Bank nearly ruined this institution. But a new com- 
pany was organized under its forfeited charter, and afterward existed 
in Providence under the name of the Phenix Bank. 

The New England Pacific Bank, now the Pacific National Bank, 
was chartered in 1818. It was organized in Smithfield. It suffered 
various losses there, and was transferred in 1832 to the village of Paw- 
tucket, North Providence, where greater prosperity attended it. It 
was styled the New England Pacific Bank from 1832 to 1865, then the 
New England Pacific Bank of North Providence to 1889, and now the 
Pacific National Bank. It was incorporated June 27th, 1865. The 
capital stock is $200,000; surplus, $83,000. Robert Sherman is presi- 
dent; L. B. Darling, vice-president; Charles L. Knight, cashier. 



72 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

The First National Bank of Pawtucket was organized in 1865, with 
a capital of $100,000. The People's Bank was incorporated in 1846, 
and at the time of the organization of the First National Bank the 
directors decided to wind up its affairs, and transferred its capital to 
that bank. The capital stock is now $300,000, with a surplus of 
$176,000. Olney Arnold is president and William H. Park cashier. 

The Slater Bank was incorporated in 1855 and became a national 
bank in 1865. It has a capital stock of $300,000. William F. Sayles 
is president, N. Bates vice-president, and George W. Newell cashier. 

There are three savings banks in Pawtucket. The eldest is the 
Pawtucket Institution for Savings. It was chartered in 1828, but did 
not begin business till 1836. Its deposits are about $2,000,000. Heze- 
kiah Conant is president, Jude Taylor vice-president, Charles P. Moies 
treasurer and George A Mumford secretary. 

Providence County Savings Bank was chartered in 1853, and holds 
deposits to the amount of $1,000,000. Daniel G. Littlefield is presi- 
dent, Robert Cushman vice-president and Olney Arnold treasurer. 

The Franklin Savings Bank was incorporated by the legislature of 
Massachusetts in 1857. It holds deposits to the amount of $1,500,000. 
Hiram H. Thomas is president, Nahum Bates vice-president and 
George W. Newell treasurer. 

It was more than a century before any church parish was organ- 
ized in Pawtucket. During the century for which the western village 
remained a part of the town of North Providence many of her inhabi- 
tants were connected with the church in that town. On the western 
side of the river some of the citizens in that hamlet were members of 
the church in Rehoboth. Some of the Friends, too, were accustomed 
to go to Smithfield or to Providence to worship with their brethren. 
Near the close of the last century steps were taken for building a 
meeting house. The house was begun in 1793, but it was some years 
before it was completed. In this house Mr. Slater established the 
first Sunday school in the place in 1799. The following is an account 
of the Catholic Baptist Society: 

" At a meeting of the principal Inhabitants of Pawtucket for the 
purpose of meditating on Ways and means for building a Meeting 
House, holden on the 26th Day of November, 1792, at the dwelling 
house of Samuel Healey, Capt. Stephen Jenks is chosen Moderator, 
and Esek Esten chosen Clerk. 

" It is voted that Nathaniel Croade, Esek Esten, and Jerahmeel 
Jenks, be and are hereby appointed to inquire and find out where the 
most suitable Lot of land can be obtained, with ways and avenues 
thereunto, to build a Meeting House on, with the price thereof, and 
also to procure a Subscription paper in the most proper form for the 
purpose; and make Report to our next meeting." 

The meeting adjourned to the 10th of December, and on that day 
convened at the same place. According to vote, the committee ap- 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 73 

pointed at the previous meeting made their report. After mentioning 
that they had taken a general view of the village, they recommend, 
on the score of convenience and capability of ornament, a lot on Mr. 
Samuel Healey's land, adjoining Mr. Sweetland's hoiise lot, " as the 
most eligible." It appears, too, that both Mr. Healey and Mr. Sweet- 
land will give a highway to said lot. Each offers to give ten feet of 
his land, thus making a highway of twenty feet. " We have bounded 
out said lot nine rods square," say the committee, " and the price is 
50 dollars." 

At the time named the only way of reaching the site of the First 
Baptist meeting house was by Hedge lane. That lane started from 
Main street, where Broad street now enters it, and ran in a winding 
course to w^here the Methodist church now stands. Indeed, it was 
what afterward became North Union street. From, near the Metho- 
dist meeting house a lane ran in the direction of the present High 
street to the cemetery on Read street and the contemplated house of 
worship. It was a great convenience, therefore, if the temple was to 
be reared there, to have a direct highway from Main street. That 
highway was accordingly laid out in due time, and long known as 
Baptist lane. Its later designation is Meeting street. 

According to the notice the assembly had gathered to meditate, 
and at that time Mr. Nicholas Brown, who was present, offered to 
pay for the lot himself, which effectually stopped all further medita- 
tion on that subject. Mr. Samuel Healey and Mr. Jerahmeel Jenks 
were chosen a committee to procure subscriptions, receive the money 
subscribed and build the meeting house. The following is also taken 
from the records: 

" Whereas Pawtucket is now become a large, compact village, con- 
taining upwards of fifty families within a quarter of a mile from the 
centre, not having any Meeting House therein, nor any within about 
three miles therefrom; but has within that distance convenient 
highways from more than twelve directions centreing thereto; 
hence it is not only very convenient for said village and the adjacent 
Neighborhoods, but of vast importance that a commodious Meeting 
house should be erected therein: ' For whosoever (saith Paul) shall 
call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they 
call on Him in whom they have not believed ? And how shall they 
believe in Him of whom they have not heard ? And how shall they 
hear without a Preacher ?' and how shall they accommodate a Preacher 
without a Meeting House ? 

" Wherefore we the subscribers do hereby agree with and mutually 
promise each other, to contribute the several sums of money or other 
articles affixed to our respective names, within a reasonable time, for 
the laudable purpose of purchasing a Lot and building a meeting 
house thereon next summer: 



74 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

" Provided that the Amount shall equal or exceed eight hundred 
dollars on or before the first day of February next. 

" And whereas the good people of Pawtucket were not educated 
by one Priest, and hence have imbibed, and adhere to a variety of 
Religious tenets; and whereas said House will be sufficient to receive 
and accommodate them all; and whereas also a fair Discussion upon 
both sides of every question is as necessary in Religion as in Politics 
in the Search after Truth; 

" It is therefore agreed and hereby Declared that said Meeting 
House shall be founded upon the most Liberal Establishment, to the 
end that every Sect and Denomination of Christians, living in or near 
said Pawtucket, may have, hold, use, occupy and possess, said House 
by Rotation or otherwise to suit the time and occasion, for the pur- 
pose of worshipping God agreeable to the Dictates of their own con- 
sciences. Nevertheless, it is hereby agreed that the Baptist Society, 
who are the most numerous and benevolent in their contributions, 
shall have the exclusive right and pre-eminence in and to said House, 
upon every Sunday forever, if they have occasion for the same." 

The size of the house was to be 45 by 36 feet and 22 feet posts. 

A portion of the charter granted reads as follows: 

" Now therefore know ye that we the Governor and Compan3^ Do 
for ourselves and Successors Enact, grant, ordain, constitute and de- 
clare that Samuel Healey, Jerahmeel Jenks, Oliver Bucklin, Nathaniel 
Croade, Benjamin Jencks, James Mason, James Durfee, James 
Weeden, Nathaniel Walker, Jun'r, David Jenks, Thomas Spears, 
vStephen Jenks, Jun'r, Levi Jenks, Moses Jenks, John Pitcher, Moses 
Baker, Daniel Toler, Stephen Jenks, George Jenks, Benjamin Kings- 
ley, John Bucklin, S. Bowers, Jun'r, Comfort Jenks, Samuel Benchley, 
William Bagley, Jun'r, Ezra Barrows, Josiah Armington, D. Walker, 
Ezekiel Carpenter, Samuel Jenks, George Nicholas, Samuel Slack, O. 
Carpenter, Samuel Slater, Jesse Salisbury, Jesse Bushee, Ephraim 
Jenks, Luther Hawkins, Peter Bicknel, Esek Jenks, Ebenezer Tyler, 
Eleazer Jenks, George Benson, John Brown, Nicholas Brown, Thomas 
P. Ives, and Aretas Sweetland, or such and so many of them as shall 
convene on the second Wednesday of May, A.D., 1793, at the house 
of Samuel Healey, in North Providence, on the business of their 
Charter, and their successors, shall be forever hereafter one Body 
corporate and politic in Fact, and remain with perpetual succession, 
to be known in the Law by the name of the Catholic Baptist Society 

at Pawtucket in North Providence; and the said Catholic 

Society is hereby impowered to take, receive and hold all and any 
voluntary subscriptions, contributions, legacies and donations of any 
.sum or sums of money, or of any Real and Personal Estate, etc." 

The officers of this society for some years seem to have been: 
Stephen Jenks, moderator; Jerahmeel Jenks, treasurer, and Stephen 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 75 

Jenks, Jr., clerk. Of course, not all the persons named in the act of 
incorporation were residents of Pawtucket. Nicholas Brown and 
probably the Thomas P. Ives named were citizens of Providence. 
And there were some prominent citizens on both sides of the river 
whose names do not appear in the charter. The Friends stood aloof 
from the enterprise; for Oziel Wilkinson, Timothy Greene and Benja- 
min Arnold were then living on Quaker lane. And on the eastern 
side of the river were the well-known residents, Ephraim Stark- 
weather and Colonel Eliphalet Slack. 

In the closing years of the last century a committee was authorized 
to agree with Reverend Joshua Bradley to supply the pulpit for six 
months. Other supplies also followed for a short time. In 1804 David 
Benedict, just from college, came to Pawtucket and began to preach, 
and gave the society the benefit of his ability for more than a score 
of years. 

Elder Ebenezer Jenks, son of the founder of Pawtucket, born in 
1669, was ordained 50 years afterward pastor of the church in Provi- 
dence, and held the office till his death, in 1726, a period of seven 
years. His personal interest in Pawtucket, and his acquaintance with 
the inhabitants here, would be likely to secure some members for the 
parent church. 

Mr. Benedict saw such an increase of religious interest here, after 
laboring for months, that he was encouraged to organize a church. 
In August, 1805, 39 persons united in church relation. In the follow- 
ing year, on October 16th, Mr. Benedict was ordained, the sermon on 
the occasion being preached by Reverend Dr. Gano, of Providence. 
For years Reverend Mr. Benedict was the sole pastor in Pa^^ tucket. 
In November, 1828, however, he tendered his resignation, to take 
effect in six months. After him came Reverend Mr. Philleo, who ac- 
cepted the pastoral charge in a few months, and remained with the 
parish about three years. In 1834 Reverend John Blain succeeded, 
and remained for but a single year. He was succeeded by Reverend 
Silas Spaulding, who remained about five years. His successor was 
Reverend S. S. Bradford. During his ministry about 40 members of 
his church took letters for the purpose of being organized into the 
Central Falls Baptist Church. This church was publicly recognized 
in October, 1844. Mr. Bradford was a man of varied scholarship and 
earnest devotion, but, from slender health, he withdrew from the 
ministry and engaged in secular affairs. For two years after his 
withdrawal the parish was without a pastor, but, at the expiration of 
that period, called Reverend Edward Savage. He, too, brought many 
desirable gifts and attainments, but came broken in health, and was 
compelled to succumb to his arduous labors. 

After another interval of several months Reverend Joseph Ban- 
vard was invited to this field. He came in 1857, and remained till 
1861. He was a man of great energy and versatility of talent, and. 



76 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

during the period of his residence, there was a season of widespread 
relig-ious interest. 

Reverend Charles Smith, the eighth pastor, was ordained on the 
13th of August, 1863. In two years he was succeeded by Reverend 
George Bullen, the present pastor. 

There is also a flourishing Sabbath school, under the superin- 
tendence of A. D. Nickerson, connected with the church. This so- 
ciety in June, 1841, received authority from the general assembly of 
this state to change its name from the Catholic Baptist Society to 
the First Baptist Society. 

High Street Baptist Church. — The earlier history of this church is 
not known. On the 12th of March, 1838, Reverend Edward K. 
Fuller was invited to become their pastor. The house used was the 
one built by the First Universalist Society in North Providence. Mr. 
Fuller was ordained April 11th, 1838, and held the office of pastor till 
near the close of 1840. After this time there seems to have been no 
regular pastor till 1845, when Reverend Daniel Round assumed 
pastoral control, and held the office for five years. On his departure 
Mr. Warren Randolph, of Brown University, supplied the pulpit, and, 
after finishing his preparatory studies, was ordained in 1852. In the 
meantime Reverend George Peirce, of Lowell, supplied the pulpit 
also. Mr. Randolph was succeeded in 1854 by Reverend Arthur A. 
Ross, and, after a two years' stay, he by Reverend Jonathan Brayton, 
but, from failing health, he soon withdrew. 

From 1857 to 1864 Reverend A. Sherwin was pastor. Mr. Charles 
H. Spaulding, of Brown University, then became the supply for one 
year and a half, and at the end of that time, being invited to take the 
pastoral charge, was ordained to the work of the ministry on July 
26th, 1866. The next event was the burning, of the meeting house, 
January 25th, 1868. The meetings were now held in the neighboring 
halls. The building of a new house proved too much of a burden, 
and the new temple erected on the old site was bought by the town 
for the accommodation of the high school. Mr, Spaulding received a 
call to Pittsfield, Mass., and was succeeded for a short time by Rever- 
end W. C. Wright. After him came Reverend C. C. Williams, at 
which time the house was sold. The society has since then worshipped 
in Railroad Hall and other places. 

The Free Baptist Church. — " In 1820, or soon after, a Baptist 
church was organized on the east side of the river. The leaders in 
the enterprise were Elder Ray Potter and Mr. Daniel Greene. Mr. 
Greene seems to have been subsequently ordained. In 1822 the 
congregation associated with them began to worship in a sanctuary 
on School street, near where the brick school house .^tood, and where 
the town hall now stands. A mental conflict appears to have arisen 
on some point, and Reverend Mr. Greene was confirmed in the 
pastoral care of the parish. In the outset the parish seem to have 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 77 

favored the extreme of independency, but that sympathy which leads 
men to seek one another's cooperation and help led them finally to ask 
fellowship from an organized denomination. 

" In the course of time the parish reared the house which they now 
occupy, close by the town hall. It was about the year 1836 that the 
church was brought into vital connection with the Free Baptist de- 
nomination. In 1850 Reverend A. D. Williams assumed the pastoral 
charge of the parish. He was succeeded in 1856 by Reverend J. 
Erskine, who remained for but a short time. He bore the reputation 
of a conscientious, unassuming man. Mr. E. L. Clark, just from Brown 
University, supplied the pulpit from the close of 1857. He was with 
the parish during the memorable year of 1858, and won many con- 
verts to the church. After him came the Reverend Mr. Dow, who re- 
tained the pastoral charge for a season. To him succeeded Reverend 
Mr. Church, who has left the reputation of an earnest, fervid preacher, 
and an upright man. In 1867 Reverend Mr. Hyatt was engaged as 
pastor, and for the next five years labored in word and deed. In 1872 
Reverend David Boyd took charge of the parish." 

He was succeeded by the present pastor. Reverend Charles S. 
Frost. Edwin N. Chase is superintendent of the Sabbath school. 

The Broadway Christian church is an offspring of the Free 
Baptist church, and was organized in 1879, under the pastorate of 
Reverend David Boyd. Succeeding Elder Boyd came Elder Charles 
H. Burleigh, who continued several years. He was succeeded in June, 
1888, by Reverend Charles P. Smith. Benjamin L. Chase is clerk. 
The society numbers 45 members. 

Pleasant View Baptist church was reared to accommodate a promis- 
ing Sunday school that had been gathered by the missionary- labors 
of the Central Falls Baptist church. The school was established in 
1867. The lot was given by Messrs. Greene and Daniels, and the 
chapel erected at a cost of $2,000, and dedicated on the evening of 
April 5th, 1876, Reverend Doctor Taylor, of Providence, preaching 
the sermon for the occasion. The building stands on Fountain street. 
Reverend Edwin Bromley is pastor. 

The Universalist Parish.— Doctor Goodrich, a former pastor of this 
society, in giving the history of this church, says: " As in the case of 
all the other parishes, much preliminary work was done in Pawtucket 
before a parish of Universalists was organized. Reverends David 
Pickering, Hosea Ballou, Thomas Whittemore and others preached 
from time to time in either the old red school house or the Catholic 
Baptist meeting house. But in 1827 the first Universalist society was 
incorporated by the name of the First Universalist Society in North 
Providence. In due time they reared a spacious meeting house on 
High street, on the site now occupied by the high school building. 
Reverend Mr. Frieze officiated for a year or two as pastor, but the 
severe commercial reverses of 1829 so crippled many of the members 



78 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

that they seemed to lose both heart and hope; and the removal of 
many of the parishioners from town sealed its ruin. The house of 
worship passed into other hands, and the society became extinct. 

" For years no attempt was made to form a new parish; but, where 
a faith is dear to any heart, trial will rather strengthen than extin- 
guish it. The time came at last when those who had seen their first 
temple sacrificed resolved to make another attempt to secure a reli- 
gious home. A new organization was formed, and meetings were 
held in what was called ' Free Hall,' at the junction of what are now 
Pleasant street and East avenue. Reverend John N. Parker supplied 
the new parish. Their meetings began to be held in the winter of 
1840-41. In May of the latter year the erection of a house of worship 
was commenced on Exchange street. It was completed the next 
spring and dedicated to the Invisible God. Meanwhile a society had 
been incorporated under the name of the Mill Street Universalist So- 
ciety. Mr. Parker remained as pastor of the parish till 1844, and was 
succeeded by Reverend J. S. Barry, who held the pastoral office for but 
a single year. In 1845 Reverend Calvin Damon was called to the charge 
of the parish, and remained till July, 1852. Mr. Damon's health be- 
came impaired before he left Pawtucket, but his ministry is recol- 
lected by many of his parish as marked by industry, devotion and 
consistency. He was followed after a few months by Reverend A. R. 
Abbott, who held the pastoral office about two years. Mr. Abbott 
bore a spotless reputation, and wielded, while here, a beneficent influ- 
ence. Shortly after his resignation Reverend J. H. Campbell became 
pastor, and remained in charge of the parish till near the close of 
1856. 

" in 1857 Reverend Massena Goodrich assumed the pastoral charge 
in the month of April. The severe financial embarrassments that 
quickly followed delayed some movements that were contemplated; 
but the following year brought a season of spiritual quickening to 
almost the entire land. When Mr. Goodrich came he found that, 
though a church was organized soon after the formation of the society, 
it had been practically extinct for years. He therefore gathered a 
new church, established conference meetings for prayer and praise, 
and sought to employ some other agencies that are helpful in pro- 
moting Christian growth. In 1860 Mr. Goodrich was summoned to 
what seemed an important field in his denomination, and resigned his 
pastorate to take a professorship in a young theological school in Can- 
ton, New York. 

" His successor was Reverend J. H. Farnsworth, who came here in 
1861, and remained for a single year. The excitements of the war 
then raging tended, of course, to hinder his undertaking any new 
measures for the weal of his parish. In the fall of 1862 Mr. Goodrich 
was invited to return. It was known that the theological school was 
imperfectly endowed, and the demand made by the country on her 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 79 

sons was diverting attention from the ministerial profession; and, as 
it seemed to Mr. Goodrich that he might render as efficient service in 
the position of a pastor as in the place where he was, he decided to 
accept the invitation. He therefore returned in October, 1862, and 
continued to hold the relation of pastor till February, 1875. He thus 
spent nearly 16 years in his two pastorates in Pawtucket. 

" In 1866 the parish bought a more desirable site for a house of 
worship, and proceeded to rear a new temple on High street. It was 
completed early in 1868, and on January 30th was dedicated to the 
service of the God and Father of all by appropriate religious services. 
The sermon on the occasion was preached by Reverend A. A. Miner, 
D.D., of Boston. The edifice was an ornament to the town, and prom- 
ised to be a signal help to the parish; but the fierce tornado of Sep- 
tember, 1869, demolished the steeple, flung down the ponderous bell, 
blew in the windows, seriously shattered the roof, and wrought other 
injury to the temple. The accident came at what seemed an inoppor- 
tune hour, and subjected the parish to an expense of over $7,000 at a 
time when many of its most liberal members were crippled by finan- 
cial embarrassments." 

Reverend H. A. Philbrook succeeded Mr. Goodrich, and he was 
succeeded by Reverend Charles W. Tomlinson, D.D., who had charge 
till April 1st, 1889. 

St. Paul's Church.— In the spring of 1814 Episcopalian services 
began to be held in the Old Meeting house. " Reverend John M. 
Braid," says Doctor Goodrich, "who had removed hither from Massa- 
chusetts, and Mr. William Holmes, from Dublin. Ireland, invited 
Reverend Mr. Crocker, of St. John's church. Providence, to hold an 
evening service in Pawtucket. After that first service other meetings 
were held on Sabbath evenings during the warmer months, but not 
till the following spring were regular services established. Reverend 
J. L. Blake began to pi each in June. As usual in such movements, 
the congregation was small in the outset, but gradually increased 
from twenty to over a hundred. Trusting in the help of God, there- 
fore, the worshippers persevered, and on December 22d,1815,a parish 
was organized, and the needful parish officers were chosen. The 
sons of Oziel Wilkinson gave the lot on which ' a house for the worship 
of God was to be built.' The names of most of those sons appear, in- 
deed, on the records of the Catholic Baptist Society as taking an inter- 
est there in religious institutions. The lot thus given is the spacious 
one now occupied by St. Paul's church, but the edifice itself was not 
completed till nearly two years afterward. 

" During a part of the ministry, therefore, of Reverend Mr. Blake 
the religious services of the parish were held at different places. The 
red school house, the academy and the brick school house on the east 
side of the river were all used as places of worship. In 1817, how- 
ever, St. Paul's church was completed, and on October 17th was conse- 



80 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

crated, the Right Reverend Bishop Griswold conducting the service, 
aided by three other clergymen. In the spring of the following year 
the regular services were begun in this new temple, and Mr. Blake 
remained rector of the church for two years longer. In 1820, how- 
ever, he resigned his charge, and was succeeded by one whose name 
was to become a household one in Pawtucket. In October of that 
year Reverend George Taft assumed the pastoral charge of St. Paul's 
church. For the long period of 44 years Doctor Taft remained the 
sole rector of that parish. Though warmly attached to the rites and 
usages of his own denomination, he was a man of singular catholicity 
of spirit, and, while prompt to labor in every enterprise that promised 
to strengthen his brethren, he proved himself a son of consolation in 
hundreds of households outside of his own sect. But the weight of 
increasing years told on his frame, and induced his flock to seek a 
shepherd who should divide with him the labor." 

In August, 1864, therefore. Reverend James D'Wolf Perry became 
associate rector. In less than two years he removed to Germantown, 
Pa., and was succeeded in July of the following year by Reverend E. 
H. Randall. He died on the 11th of December, 1869, in the 79th year 
of his age and the 45th of his pastorate. He was succeeded by Rev- 
erend Emery H. Porter, the present rector. 

Trinity Church. — On Whitsunday, June 4th, 1843, open-air ser- 
vices, the first ever held by the church in this country, v.^ere begun 
by the Reverend James Cook Richmond, at what has since been 
known as "the Catholic oak," in the town of Cumberland, now Lons- 
dale. " Crowds of people attended," says an eye-witness, " who could 
not then be induced to enter a church, and they hung upon the speak- 
er's words with rapt attention." Mr. Richmond was withal a remark- 
able character. Born in Providence in 1808, educated at Exeter, N. 
H., Harvard College, Gottingen and Halle, he possessed a varied 
learning, grafted upon a strong, original mind, and refined by foreign 
travel. In 1844 he began a course of lectures on the church and her 
usages, in American Hall, on Broadway. This led to the formation, 
in February, 1845, of the " Church of the Holy Trinity," which was 
admitted into the convocation of Massachusetts, June 10th, 1846. 

The spot on which the sacred edifice stands was dedicated in Aug- 
ust, 1847, when Mr. Richmond's official connection with the parish 
terminated. A few months after he was succeeded as rector by Rev- 
erend James Mulcahey, now an assistant minister of Trinity parish, 
New York, who remained till October, 1849. After a varied history 
the parish was reorganized in 1851, and for two years the Reverend 
George F.Cushman,son of Judge Cushman, of Pawtucket, discharged 
the duties of rector. He was largely instrumental in the erection of 
the present beautiful stone church, which was consecrated in July, 
1853. In August, 1877, he was succeeded by the present rector. Rever- 
end William P. Tucker. The parish has now a membership of 180 
communicants and a Sunday school of 150. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 81 

The Church of the Good Shepherd sprung from the missionary 
labors of the rector of Trinity church and a few of his parishioners. 
On Sunday, November 1st, 1868, a Sunday school was started in At- 
lantic Engine Hall. Besides the rector, there were three persons 
present as teachers, and 18 children. Church services were commenced 
on the evening of February 10th in the following year at the above 
named hall. Reverend Mr. Seymour continued his labors in this new 
enterprise from the beginning till Easter Sunday, 1872. After this 
period Reverend G. Coggeshall had charge till Easter Sunday, 
1874, when the present pastor, Reverend Benjamin Eastwood, assumed 
his labors. The corner stone of the house was laid March 7th, 1872, 
by Bishop Clark, assisted by Reverends G. Coggeshall, S. O. Seymour, 
E. H. Porter and S. H. Webb. The opening services were held June 
23d, 1872. 

The Pawtucket Congregational church was organized in the same 
year Pawtucket, Massachusetts, was incorporated as a town. A charter 
was obtained from the state of Massachusetts for this society, and on 
the 3d of March organization took place at the house of Elijah Ingra- 
ham. Ten days afterward the new society passed the following vote: 

" That this society agree to bu}^ the lot of land owned by the Hon. 
Oliver Starkweather at the junction of the turnpike and old road iox 
fifteen hundred dollars, for which sum he has agreed to convey it to 
the society." 

The following is taken from Doctor Goodrich's History of Pawtucket: 

" The society wrought with energy, and having secured the ser- 
vices of Mr. Clark Sayles to rear the house of worship, were gladdened 
by seeing their temple ready for dedication early the next year. It 
was consecrated February 12th, 1829. On that occasion the sermon 
was preached by Reverend Samuel Green, of Boston. In the interval 
between the resolve to build and the completion of a house of prayer, 
one male and eight females brought letters of credit from the church 
in East Attleboro and proceeded to organize a church. And as both 
a meeting house was reared and a church organized, the parish was 
ready for a pastor. The same promptitude that had marked the other 
actions was manifest in this. On April 17th Reverend Asa T. Hop- 
kins was ordained as the first pastor. He is reported to have been 
richly endowed with many of the gifts sought in a pastor, and labored 
with apparent success for three years. The church had grown in 
numbers meanwhile, but he felt constrained to resign. His successor 
was Reverend Barnabas Phinney. Installed as pastor in January, 
1833, he wij;hdrew from the pastorate in January, 1836. The third 
pastor was Reverend Constantine Blodgett. Invited in the month of 
June, 1836, to assume the pastoral charge, he was installed to the 
sacred office on the 28th of the following month. On taking charge 
of the parish Doctor Blodgett found the original nine members of the 
church still living, and associated with them were nearly 120 others. 



82 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

And they were ready to assist their new pastor in Christian work. 
God had put it into the hearts of some of the members of the parish 
to make pecuniary donations, one of which deserves special mention 
from the end to which it was appropriated. Colonel Eliphalet Slack 
has been mentioned more than once. In religion he showed much 
catholicity of spirit. It has been stated that he was one of the earliest 
trustees of the Catholic Baptist Society. Subsequently he aided the 
Episcopalian parish in their earlier struggles. At a later period he 
acted with the Congregationalists, and, on his decease, left the parish 
the sum of two thousand dollars, which was spent for the purchase of 
the house wherein Doctor Blodgett resided. 

" For several years the new pastor labored energetically, not 
merely in Pawtucket, but in the adjoining village of Central Falls; 
and the fruits of his labor in the latter field became manifest in 1845 
by the resolve to establish a Congregational church there. About 40 
members were dismissed from the parent church to plant a new vine. 
With energetic labor, however, on the part of both pastor and people, 
the places of the many families that had thus left the old temple were 
gradually filled, and more room was demanded. In 1854 the house 
was enlarged by an addition of twenty-four pews. For ten years the 
parish was permitted to enjoy their enlarged temple, but on Novem- 
ber 17th, 1864, a burning house in the neighborhood flung its sparks 
against the spire, and in a few hours the sacred edifice was but a heap 
of ashes. 

" The parish sought temporary accommodation in the Masonic 
Temple on Mill street, and in due time began the erection of a new 
house on the site of their former edifice. On July 14th, 1868, they 
began worship in the finished lecture room of the new temple, and 
commenced by dedicating that room. On February 27th, 1868, the 
entire edifice was formally consecrated. The sermon was preached 
on that occasion by the pastor, and the dedicatory prayer offered by 
Reverend Doctor Thayer, of Newport. 

" The close of June, 1871, completed 35 years of continuous pas- 
toral labor on the part of Doctor Blodgett,, and on the 1st of Jul}^ he 
resigned the charge of his parish. By vote of his people he continued 
his pa.storal relation under designation of retired pastor." He was 
succeeded by the Reverend J. J. Wooley in the active pastoral work, 
who continued to 1874. He was succeeded by the present pastor, the 
Reverend Alexander McGregor. 

Park Place Congregational church was erected at a cost of $40,000, 
and dedicated July 1st, 1884. Reverend Joseph J. Wooley has been 
the pastor from the beginnmg. It has a membership of three hun- 
dred persons. Thomas P. Barnfield is Sabbath school superintendent. 

The Methodist Parish.— The pastors in Providence made the first 
movement toward establishing a parish in Pawtucket for their Metho- 
dist brethren here. From 1812 to 1822 they visited the place and 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. ' 83 

preached to such as would give them audience. From 1822 to 1827 
the Mansfield Circuit shared in the labors of its preachers. In 1827 
it was made a station, under the charge of Reverend O. Robbins. 
Services were held in the red school house. In 1828 Reverend Israel 
Washburn preached here, and w^as followed by' Reverend James 
Porter. The latter says: " I spent every other week paying for board 
just all I received, which was $1.50 or $1.75 per week." Doctor Good- 
rich says: 

" In 1830 a meeting house was erected near where the Methodist 
temple now stands. In 1832 Reverend Francis Dane was the preacher; 
after him came Reverends H. Cummings, Reuben Bowen and Samuel 
Beadle. The latter was relieved of his charge in 1840 by reason of 
bereavement and failing health. And a record stands on the books 
of the Methodist church to this effect: ' It may be well to record here 
that the action of other denominations with regard to our church has 
been generally friendly.' 

" For a while the pastorate was vacant, though class meetings were 
kept up. Near the close of 1840 Reverend W. H. Woodbury became 
the preacher, and was succeeded after a time by Reverend R. M. Hat- 
field, This gentleman found the church" few in number, the edifice 
dilapidated and affairs discouraging; but the talents wherewith God 
had endowed him found ample scope here, and his toils were blessed. 
Larger numbers waited on his ministry, a new house of worship was 
reared, and more and more souls were added to the church. There is 
scarce room, however, to mention more than the names of his succes- 
sors. Reverends Mr. Gavitt, Jonathan Cady, Isaac Bonney, H. Bay- 
lies, Mr. Gifford and William Cone were pastors during the next ten 
or dozen years. Reverend Mr. Bonney had so patriarchal an air that 
the community at large called him ' Father Bonney,' and the church 
records eulogize Mr. Cone as a very successful laborer. 

" In 1852 and 1853 Reverend Henry H. Smith was pastor, and then 
Reverend James Dean, as local preacher, and Reverend William 
Cone, as preacher at large, officiated. Following them was Reverend 
James Mather, and then, in 1857, Reverend Mr. Lovejoy; and, in the 
following two years. Reverend S. F. Upham. During Mr. Upham's 
pastorate the house of worship was enlarged at an expense of $7,000. 
In 1860 Reverend S. Dean officiated, and was followed the next year 
by Reverend A. McKeown. During the years 1862 and 1863 Rever- 
end John D. King was the pastor, and gave place for the next two 
years to Reverend D. H. Ela. Reverend J. D. Butler succeeded, and 
held the pastorate for two years. To him succeeded Reverend M. 
J. Talbot, and during his ministry steps were taken for organizing a 
distinct parish at Central Falls." 

Doctor Talbot having received the appointment of presiding elder 
of New Bedford district, gave place to Reverend E. D. Hall. During 
his ministry a new church was organized in ihe more western part 



84 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

of the town, and a meeting house was finally reared near the Mineral 
Springs Cemetery. That church is called the Thomson Methodist 
church, in honor of Bishop Thomson. At the close of Mr. Hall's 
second year he took charge of both the Embury church at Central 
Falls and the Thomson church. In 1871 Reverend S. L. Gracey took 
the charge of the parent church on High street. In 1873 he was suc- 
ceeded by Reverend J. W. Willett, and in 1876 came Reverend Mr. 
Jones. The present pastor of the First Methodist Episcopal church 
is the Reverend A. W. Kingsley. Since the removal of Mr. 
Hall from Pawtucket the Thomson church has been supplied by 
Reverend J. C. Go wan, Robert Clark and others, and now by Rever- 
end John W. Willett. 

The Society of the New Jerusalem church begins its records with 
the following account, under date of April 8th, 1840: " Samuel Lord 
and family moved from Providence to Pawtucket. On the following 
Sabbath, April 12th, Messrs. Charles Pratt, Samuel and James Lord, 
and families, united in worship, and met at the house of James Lord. 
Mr. Pratt read the sermon, and they resolved thus to continue." 

Years rolled away before the little band increased sufficiently in 
numbers and ability to undertake to rear a house of worship. In 1854, 
however, a legal meeting was called, by warrant of Apollos Cushman, 
Esq., to organize the first society of the New Jerusalem church in 
Pawtucket. This meeting was held on April 22d, and organized a 
society of fifteen members. At that meeting they appointed a com- 
mittee of one — Clark Sherman — to build a house of worship. It was 
reared as soon as practicable, and dedicated October 5th of that year. 
The dedicatory services were performed by Reverend Thomas P. 
Rodman. Regular services have been held since that time, but no 
regular pastor was had till October 5th, 1865. Reverend E. C. Mit- 
chell came and he stayed only one year. In the absence of a formal 
preacher a reader is appointed to read the services and sermons. 
Reverend Warren Goddard, Jr., is pastor at this time. The temple is 
on Elm street. 

No formal organization of the denomination of Friends existed in 
Pawtucket till a comparatively recent date. In the latter half of the 
last century Job Scott, who resided not far from where the toll-gate 
more recently stood on the Providence turnpike, was an eminent 
preacher. Beside him, there were in Pawtucket Daniel Antllony, Oziel 
Wilkinson, Benjamin Arnold, and Timothy Greene, who were all men 
of influence, and staunch Friends. There was at the time when they 
were on the stage what was called the Providence Monthly Meeting. 
The name probably dated from a time when Providence was undi- 
vided, for its sessions seemed to have been held alternately at Provi- 
dence and Smithfield. x\nd beside the persons already named, Moses 
Brown, William Almy, and Thomas Arnold, whose names have already 
appeared in this sketch, and Joseph Harris, of Smithfield, were 
members' of this meetino-- 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 85 

But the friends hold meetings more often than monthly. On first 
days and in the middle of the week they gather for worship ; and the 
Friends resident in this neighborhood, from a century ago and up- 
ward down to about 40 years since, were wont to go to Providence or 
Smithfield. To understand the polity of the Friends it may be proper 
to mention that the Rhode Island Yearly Meeting embraces all the 
Friends of New England. Beside this large body, however, there are 
local gatherings and organizations. There are quarterly meetings, 
monthly meetings, and the weekly and semi-weekly gatherings. The 
two last are specially for worship"; the others are both for worship and 
for business. 

The house of worship on Jenks street was erected about five years 
before the late war. The street is now known as East avenue. The 
society now meet at the meeting house on North Main, on Sundays 
and Thursdays at 11 a.m. 

The Roman Catholic community, which forms so large and impor- 
tant a part of the population, has existed in Pawtucket since the year 
1827. Before this date there may have been a few Catholics in the 
town, as there were in Providence even as early as 1813, when it is 
known the celebrated Doctor Chevereaux, as well as his companion. 
Doctor Matignon, visited the latter city and celebrated mass for its 
Catholic inhabitants. If any of the same faith resided then in Paw- 
tucket, they received spiritual ministrations from those missionaries. 
In the year 1828 the Right Reverend Doctor Fenwick, bishop of 
Boston, in whose diocese Rhode Island was then included, appointed 
the Reverend Father Woodley as the first resident priest in this state, 
to minister to the Catholics of Pawtucket and Providence. Whilst at- 
tending to this mission he resided at the old home beyond the toll- 
gate, known as the Carpenter house. 

In the same year, Bishop Fenwick visited Pawtucket, and called 
upon David Wilkinson, Esq., to acknowledge that gentleman's gen- 
erous donation to the Catholics, — a lot of land, 125 feet square, on 
which to build a church. The church, a very small building, was 
erected the following year, and mass was celebrated in it for the first 
time by Father Woodley. This was the second Catholic church 
erected in Rhode Island. That in Newport was the first, being fitted 
out for worship one year earlier. In this charge Father Woodley 
was succeeded by Father Corry in 1830; and he again was replaced 
by Father Conelly in 1833, who attended Providence and Pawtucket 
till the year 1835. Reverend Fathers Lee and McNamee took his 
place up to the year 1844, when the Right Reverend Doctor Tyler was 
consecrated bishop of the new diocese of Hartford, comprising the 
states of Rhode Island and Connecticut. 

Reverend James Fitton was then deputed to Pawtucket, where he 
remained for one year. His place was filled in 1847 by the Reverend 
Joseph McNamee, who took up his residence in Pawtucket and de- 



86 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

voted his whole attention to that town, where the Catholics had con- 
siderably increased in numbers. For six years Father McNamee 
labored with zeal and devotedness for the spiritual good of the Catho- 
lic emigrants, who, in his time, came in great numbers to find a home 
and employment in the various branches of industry then established 
in Pawtucket. He died on the 28th of March, 1853. His successor 
was the Reverend P. G. Delany. 

At this date Valley Falls, Attleboro and Ashton had Catholic 
congregations, all of whom, together with Pawtucket, were under the 
pastoral charge of Father Delany. He commenced his mission with 
a wide field of labor before him. By his exertions the Catholics ac- 
quired valuable tracts of land, where the future churches and schools 
were to be built. For his congregation in Attleboro he projected a 
new church, and made extensive preparations for its erection, when, 
in 1856, at his request, another priest was placed in charge of that 
place. Soon after Valley Falls needed a new church for the increas- 
ing Catholic population of that town, who were then obliged to at- 
tend religious exercises at St. Mary's, Pawtucket. 

With the cooperation of those pious, generous Catholics who sub- 
scribed. Father Delany had the pleasure of seeing that beautiful 
church, St. Patrick's, completed in 1860. In the summer of that year 
it was dedicated by Right Reverend Doctor McFarland, assisted by 
Doctor Conroy, of Albany, and several other clergymen. With very 
little debt remaining, it was then resigned into the hands of a new 
pastor. 

Pawtucket could now receive the undivided attention of Father 
Delany. Here, by the side of the old St. Mary's lot, he purchased 
from the proceeds of a fair all the land extending from the old 
church as far as the convent. The persons from whom the land was 
bought were: Job Bennett, Mrs. Collins, of Albany, and Thomas D. 
Forsyth, of Lowell, Mass. 

The old church was enlarged now for the second time, to accommo- 
date the large congregation that thronged to it, and, after various im- 
provements made in the church and the cemetery annexed to it, the 
next care of the pastor was to build a school where the children of his 
flock might have the benefit of an education from the Sisters of 
Mercy, for whom he had applied to Bishop McFarland. The school 
and convent were completed in a short time according to the plans of 
the pastor, and under his immediate supervision. Six Sisters of Mercy 
were established in the new convent, in which they immediately 
opened a select academy for day pupils. Together with the parish 
schools in which the children are taught free by the Sisters, this insti- 
tution is a great benefit in the midst of the Catholic population of 
Pawtucket. 

Every year saw some new building erected or some improvement 
made around St. Mary's through the exertions of Father Delany and 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 87 

the generosity of his flock. The old residence of the pastor was 
somewhat enlarged, until after a few years it became advisable to re- 
place it by a new and more commodious home. This was finally 
erected on a new lot of land in the rear of the church, purchased 
from Mr. J. Taylor, of Pine street. At this time the pastor was aided 
m his ministrations by two assistant clergymen, who resided with him 
until the year 1872, when Central Falls was given in charge of Rever- 
end J. Smyth. As a resident pastor of that place he erected the new 
Church of the Sacred Heart. 

December lOth, 1879, Father Delany was succeeded by Reverend 
William Halligan, present pastor of St. Mary's. Father Halligan 
soon began preparations looking to the erection of the new church, 
the corporate name being the Church of the Immaculate Conception. 
Ground was broken for the new house on Wednesday, April 22d, 
1885. The ceremonies were brief. Reverend Father Halligan blessed 
the ground in due form, and then the first shovel of earth was thrown 
out by Mr. John Devlin, of Elm street. The new church was erected 
at a cost of $100,000. 

It is located on Pine street, in the rear of the old church on Grace 
street, and is 148 feet long from out to out and 67^- feet wide. It is 
built of Danvers pressed brick, trimmed with granite; the height 
from the ground to the apex is 80 feet, and the tower is 184 feet from 
the ground to the top of the cross, with a minaret at the clear story 
96 feet high, and another at the angle of the church 64 feet high. 

The corner stone of the new building was laid Sunday, August 
23d, 1885, with appropriate ceremonies. Right Reverend Bishop 
Hendricken officiating. The church was dedicated May 8th, 1887, 
Right Reverend Bishop Harkness officiating. The church has a mem- 
bership of 1,200 families. 

Sacred Heart of Jesus was established by Reverend J. C. Smith, 
in 1872. The corner stone was laid in June, 1873, by Right Reverend 
T. F. Hendricken, the sermon for the occasion being preached by 
Doctor Edward McGlyn. February 5th, 1875, Reverend M. Fitzgerald, 
the present pastor, succeeded to the work. 

Father M. Fitzgerald, born in Ireland, county Limerick, September 
11th, 1845, is the son of John and Abigail (Meagher) Fitzgerald. He 
came to this country with his parents at the age of seven years. His 
youth was spent in New Haven, Conn. In 1859 he went to Maryland 
and there attended St. Charles' College, thence to Baltimore to St- 
Mary's Seminary, at which place he completed his studies. July 19th, 
1868, he was ordained in Providence by Bishop McFarland. From 
that time until February 5th, 1875— with the exception of three 
months when he had temporary charge of the Church of Immaculate 
Conception — he was assistant priest at the cathedral. He was then 
appointed to the Church of the Sacred Heart, and he has been largely 
instrumental in building it up to its present standing. Reverend 



S8 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

John A. Hurley is now assistant clergyman. In connection with the 
church there is a splendid school which opened September 14th, 
1890, with an attendance of 454. It is in charge of the Sisters of St. 
Joseph. There is also a large temperance society and several sodalities 
connected. 

St. Joseph's parish was formerly a part of the old church of St. 
Mary's. The latter church in Father Delany's time grew to be so 
large the settlers on the east side of the river decided to erect another, 
and accordingly wSt. Joseph's was set off, the new parish embracing 
territory from Cottage street to East Providence line, comprising in 
all about 2,800 souls. The corner stone of the new church was laid 
in September, 1873. The lot was purchased of the French heirs. On 
January 26th, 1874, Reverend H. F. Kinnerney, of Sandwich, Cape 
Cod, was called to the pastorate, and he began at once by most 
vigorous processes liquidating an already accumulated debt of $52,000. 
On the first Sunday of February at his first service, formal notices 
were given of the separation of the parishes by the new pastor, the 
jurisdiction of St. Mary's formerly including Pawtucket, Central Falls, 
Valley Falls, Lonsdale and one or two places in MassachUvSetts. Ser- 
vices were held first in the town hall on School street. The oppres- 
sive debt, coupled with the stringent money matters of that year, 
together with a laity made up principally of poor people, necessitated 
skillful financial engineering to bridge difficulties, but the pastor was 
equal to the emergency, and through his able and persistent efforts 
money flowed in copiously, and by April 1st mass was celebrated for 
the first time in the basement of the new church, the church having 
been formally opened on Thursday preceding that event. The sermon 
for this occasion was delivered by the Reverend P. A. McKenna, of 
Marlboro, Massachusetts. Father Delany, the retiring pastor, also 
spoke on that occasion. Father Kinnerney continued his labors with 
great success, collecting money and paying off the indebtedness of the 
church, raising the first year $27,000. In 1875 the parochial residence 
was erected at a cost of $7,000. During this same year a church fair 
was held, attended by all the societies, civic and military, of the state, 
on which occasion $10,000 was raised, the Hon. George F. Wilson, of 
Providence, contributing $3,000 of that amount. The piety and 
liberality of the church have become proverbial. In addition outside 
help was solicited and obtained. The pastor is one of the ablest 
speakers of the state, and as president of the Rhode Island Temper- 
ance Union spoke in that capacity from every pulpit and platform in 
Rhode Island to full houses, and by 1878 the financial problem of the 
church was brought within a radius of a solution. Being a public 
spirited citizen, acknowledged by Protestants and Catholics alike for 
the deep interest taken in matters of public moment, Father Kinner- 
ney was at this time elected a member of the public school board, and 
served in that capacity three years. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 89 

On the first Sunday in October, 1878, the new church was dedicated 
with great pomp and splendor. The dedicatory sermon was preached 
by the Reverend James Kent Stone, formerly of the Episcopalian 
church; the choir was led by Professor Jantz, accompanied by 100 
voices. The collection on the occasion amounted to $1,500. In 1884 
Father Kinnerney attended the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore 
as theologian to Bishop Hendricken. In 1885 the G. A. R. society of 
the state held memorial services in St. Joseph's church, the first time in 
the history of the Society where such services were held in a Catholic 
church. On this occasion the pastor delivered the oration, and there 
were present the Pawtucket and Providence Posts, the Ladies' Relief 
Corps, Lieutenant Governor Darling, Judge Tillinghast and many 
other distinguished gentlemen. Memorial orations on both Generals 
Grant and Garfield were delivered by Father Kinnerney also, at the 
instance of the G. A. R. society of the state, and the oration of the 
former published by them in pamphlet form. During all these years 
the church was preserving a steady growth, and in 1886 grounds were 
purchased, and during the year following the convent and school 
buildings were erected at a cost of $15,000. At this time the Old 
French house was bought and transformed into a home for the 
Sisters of Mercy. Sister Mary Gregory has been superioress since 
the establishment of the convent. The school has an attendance of 
325 pupils. Indeed, St. Joseph's has been so flourishing under Father 
Kinnerney's pastorate, that since his coming to the place, and aside 
from the fact that the mission districts of Dodgeville, Hebronville and 
Rumford have been detached from his parish, he still has a member- 
ship of 3,000 souls, and, exclusive of the support of himself, his church 
has raised in his time about $300,000. 

A successful Sabbath school, for a number of years under the 
superintendence of Captain Francis Conlan, is carried on in the 
church, and a goodly number of societies are also in a flourishing 
condition. The aged John Devlin, the oldest Catholic in the state, is 
a member of this church. 

The assistant pastors of the church have been: Fathers Meenan, 
Gleeson, Tennian and the Reverend Charles Burn. There is no 
curate at the present time. 

Charles McNulta and John T. McGuire have been large contribu- 
tors to the society. The music of this church is of the highest order. 
A fine organ of W. K. Adams' make, of 30 stops, costing $3,000, is 
used to accompany one of the best choirs in the state. The church, 
in fact, is noted for its musical talent, its splendid choir, for the piety 
and the regularity of the attendance of its communicants, and for 
having one of the ablest and most eloquent pastors in the New Eng- 
land states. 

A Library Association has existed in Pawtucket for a number of 
years. It was started through an impulse given it by a debating 



90 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

club in 1852. In January of that year a charter was obtained from- 
the general assembly, and the corporation was organized in the next 
month. The funds of the corporation were quite meagre, and were 
mainly derived from the sale of about 200 shares to nearly as many 
different persons. The committee to purchase books had at their dis- 
posal about a thousand dollars, with which they bought the library of 
the Masonic Lodge and the books of a library association at Central 
Falls. The latter organization, indeed, was merged in the new asso- 
ciation. 

A few friends also contributed books. Doctor George Taft gave 
100 volumes, and the association began its operations with about 
1,200 volumes. A cabinet of minerals was also supplied by volun- 
tary bestowal of several members. In subsequent years Doctor C. 
Blodgett, Messrs. D. D. Sweet, Daniel Wilkinson and Jesse vS. Tour- 
tellot, and Hons. Thomas Davis, Charles Sumner and others, aided 
the library by liberal gifts of books. For years the institution con- 
tinued to grow; in 1860 its number of volumes was about 3,000, but 
the steady increase of the population in Pawtucket rendered its con- 
stituency comparatively small. More recently, the fewness of its 
members, and the expense necessarily attendant on the room, pre- 
vented much increase in the library, and for a few years the interest 
has waned. The experience of other towns also seemed to show that,, 
for a library to be a general helper, it must be public. Like the air 
men breathe, it must be free. 

Considerations like these prepared the shareholders to proffer 
their library for the general w^eal, provided the town would accept it 
and make it a public library. After the consolidation, such a proffer 
found more favor. The town accepted the charge, and opened the 
library on liberal terms to all her citizens. 

For twenty years or more the library was kept in Read's block. 
For five years it had commodious rooms in the Spencer block, free of 
charge. Since that time it has been on North Union street, in Shel- 
don's Building, which was erected in 1888. The room used for the 
library is 60 by 90 feet. This is one of the very few libraries in the 
United States where all persons have free access to the alcoves in the 
selection of their own books. During the last quarterly report of the 
librarian it was found that only 40 per cent, of the books taken away 
were fiction. The officers first chosen by the original association 
were: Thomas K. King, president; Jesse S. Thornton, vice-president; 
Claudius B. Farnsworth, secretary; James O. Starkweather, treasurer; 
Jesse S. Tourtellot, Sylvanus Clapp, Cyrus Benson, Jr., John H. Wil- 
lard, Alexander Meggett, trustees. The trustees of the Free Public 
Library consist of the president of the town council, the chairman of 
the school committee and the superintendent of the public schools, 
iw-officio, and of six citizens at large, to be chosen by the town council. 
The present officers are: William F. Sayles, president; William R. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 91 

Sayles, secretary; Almon K. Goodwin, Reverend Benjamin Eastwood, 
Fred. Sherman, William F. Sayles, William R. Sayles, Robert Cush- 
man, George H. Fuller, Darius L. Goff, A. D. Nickerson, trustees. 
Mrs. Minerva A. Sanders is librarian. 

The first post office in Pawtucket was kept by Otis Tiffany, which 
was during the earlier years of the present century. He was a brother 
of Ebenezer Tiffany, who was here in 1801 or 1802. His office was in 
the house in which he lived, formerly owned and occupied by Mr. 
Slater, and now used by Mr. Freeman for a book store. Mr. Tiffany 
was succeeded about the year 1831 or 1832 by the Reverend David 
Benedict, a Baptist minister. Mr. Benedict was an irrepressible office 
holder, and in spite of varied attempts to oust him from the position, 
he kept the place for a long time. It was afterward learned that the 
reverend had a warm personal friend in the post office department at 
Washington, who seems to have been a fixture there because of his 
intrinsic worth, and through his influence Mr. Benedict was enabled 
to retain his office. By influence brought to bear in favor of Freder- 
ick A. Sumner, a gentleman of ability and great respectability, he 
was supplanted for the time being, but after three or four years he 
again came into the office. 

Thomas Le Favour was the next postmaster, and is still living in 
Pawtucket. Following him came Joseph T. Sissons, Charles A. Leon- 
ard, Charles E. Chickering, Edwin Perrin, who held the office about 
20 years, and on May 25th, 1887, Isaac R. Wilkinson, the present post- 
master. The office under Mr. Tiffany's administration distributed 
two mails a day. There are now 30 mails a day and eight letter car- 
riers, who make four trips daily. Mr. Wilkinson came to Pawtucket 
in 1854. He was clerk for a time for Smith Grant, and subsequently 
eleven years for H. L. Fairbrother & Co. 

The act of the Rhode Island general assembly, incorporating the 
fire " District of Pawtucket," in North Providence, was passed on 
February 17th, 1801. The first meeting of the district in compliance 
with their charter, was held on the first Monday in April, 1801, at the 
inn of Otis Tiffany, and the following officers were chosen : Moder- 
ator, Stephen Jenks ; clerk, Jerahmeel Jenks ; collector, Benjamin 
Arnold; treasurer, Otis Tiffany; assessors, James Mason, Samuel 
Slater, Jerahmeel Jenks ; presidents of Fire Wards, Nathaniel Croade, 
Oziel Wilkinson, Stephen Jenks. The first fire engine purchased by 
the district was built by Abraham, Isaac and David Wilkinson, and 
delivered April 25th, 1803. The price paid them was $353.50. This 
engine continued to be used by Engine Company No. 1 until Decem- 
ber, 1844. At that time a new engine was purchased for the company, 
of Joel Bates, of Philadelphia. 

The organization of a fire department on the east side of the river 
occurred at a later date. A meeting of persons styled " the proprie- 
tors of the engine in the village of Pawtucket, in the town of See- 



92 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

konk," was held at Eliphalet Slack's inn, on Friday evening, December 
llth, 1812. Oliver Starkweather, Esq., was chosen moderator, and 
William Allen, clerk. The names of 21 persons were designated for 
Engine Company No. 2, and the following individuals were chosen 
officers of the company, to serve until the annual meeting in the fol- 
lowing May : Director, Joseph Bucklin ; vice-director, Job Wheaton ; 
collector, Benjamin Bowen ; messenger, Addington Davenport ; clerk, 
John French, Jr. By a record on the books of the town, it seems that 
on May 31st, 1838, it was voted to appropriate the interest of the sur- 
plus revenue deposited with the town, to the amount of $750, for the 
purchase of a fire engine. 

These were the beginnings of the fire department for the two 
sections of the present town. For over 70 years the first-named dis- 
trict held its annual meetings, and strove to maintain an efficient 
organization to fight the fiery foe. For 60 years and upward the other 
district vied with them. New and improved fire engines were from 
time to time supplied, and the two villages were preserved from any 
very disastrous conflagrations. An important help in subduing 
flames has been supplied for years by the force pumps connected 
with the various mills. 

Each village, up to the time of consolidation, maintained its own 
organization. For some years a part of the department east of the 
river were paid for their services ; but on the western side a volunteer 
organization was maintained. After the consolidation, the town 
council speedily took steps for reorganizing the department. On the 
15th of June, 1874, an ordinance providing for a fire department was 
adopted, but the actual service did not begin till July 13th. At pres- 
ent the fire department consists of one chief engineer, two assistant 
engineers and five companies, containing in all 64 men. There are 
three steamers, and three hook and ladder trucks. Ten men are per- 
manently employed, and there are 13 horses owned by the town ready 
for immediate service. 

To help the efficiency of the department a fire alarm telegraph has 
been provided. Connected with it are 60 boxes, five bell strikers, and 
the necessary battery to operate the mechanism. This telegraph was 
built in 1874, at an expense to the town of $12,100. Collyer Station 
No. 3, located at the corner of Prospect and Division streets, was com- 
pleted in 1889 at a cost of $30,000. There have been but two chief 
engineers of the fire service. Samuel S. Collyer, a machinist by trade, 
was elected chief engineer at the consolidation of the villages, and 
held the position till his death, on the night of July 7th, 1884, when 
he was thrown from his hose carriage and received injuries that re- 
sulted in his death. Chief Engineer John Brierly succeeded him, in 
which position he is serving to-day. He was hoseman of the old 
Deluge Hand Company No. 3 in 1848, foreman of Hose No. 3 in 1874, 
first assistant in 1880, and now chief. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 93 

Nearly two centuries rolled away after the settlement of the colony 
before the common school system was adopted in this state. Instruc- 
tion was furnished, however, by private schools. As early a3 1793, a 
building, whose fame has come down to the present day, was reared, 
which was known as the " Red School House." It stood not far from 
the present town record building, on what is now High street. It was 
built as a joint stock edifice, and most of the active business men of 
that time contributed to its erection. Here every kind of public 
meeting was held, but its special design, as its name indicated, was 
to furnish a place for schools. The day school was taught, and even- 
ing schools were held here. Such Sunday schools as were maintained, 
after the inception of them, were accommodated in this edifice. A 
convenient arrangement was made soon after its construction, for the 
benefit of the children on both sides of the river. As the youth east 
of the Pawtucket were few in number, it was arranged by their 
parents that they should cross the bridge, and receive instruction at 
the Red School House. The teacher was compensated for his extra 
services by a part of the sum raised by the laws of Massachusetts. 
Subsequently other schools were established west of the river. Doctor 
Taft, during his earlier residence in Pawtucket, taught a school for 
advanced scholars; Joseph and Samuel Healey, Friends, taught a 
school in the Baptist vestry ; and Mr. Edmund Bayley kept a school 
in the basement of his own house, not far from the present school 
house opposite Armory Hall. 

But the time came at last when Rhode Island resolved to rival her 
sister states in providing free instruction for her children. In 1828 
common schools were established by law. That was the year in which 
the legislature of Massachusetts incorporated the town of Pawtucket. 
As has already been stated, that town appropriated in the outset $350 
for the support of schools. From the records of the town, however, it 
seems that that sum was deemed too liberal, for at five subsequent 
annual town meetings the appropriation was $300 for schooling. But 
in 1835 the appropriation was increased to $400, and in 1836 to $500. 
From that time there was a steady advance, till it became customary 
to make an annual appropriation of thousands of dollars. On the 
western side of the river legal appropriations were made for schools, 
for the first time, in 1828, but as the village of Pawtucket was simply 
a district of North Providence, it is less easy to ascertain what portion 
of the money fell to the western district of the present town of Paw- 

tucket. 

The following preamble and vote, however, extracted from the 
records of town meetings in North Providence, may be thought to 
have a historic interest. It was at a town meeting held April 16th, 
1828, that this action was taken: 

"Whereas the General Assembly of this State, at their session in 
January, 1828, enacted that each town might, on complying with the 



94 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

provisions of that act, receive a proportion of $10,000 for the purpose 
of establishing- and paying- the expenses of Public Schools — and 
whereas a warrant was issued and returned which notified the free- 
men that the consideration would be acted on this day. — It is there- 
fore unanimously 

" J^oted, That a tax of double the sum which shall be apportioned 
and receivable by this town from the State Treasurer, for the purpose 
aforesaid, be assessed and collected at the same time that this town 
and road taxes are assessed and collected for the year ensuing — pro- 
vided, however, that the said tax to be so assessed, shall not exceed 
the sum of six hundred dollars." 

At some time previous to 1836 a stock company was formed for the 
purpose of building and maintaining an academy. The edifice reared 
stood on a ledge of rocks near the residence of Hon James C. Stark- 
weather, on what is now called Walcott street. In this institution 
both the higher English branches and the languages were taught. 
Mr. J. Hale, from Cambridge, was the first teacher of the academy, 
and was succeeded in later years by Messrs. Vinton, Spaulding- and 
Robbins, from among the graduates of Amherst College, by Mr. 
Batchelder, from Brown University, and by Messrs. Leland and 
Draper. The school rendered useful service, but, on the building of 
the school houses on Grove and Summit streets, as accommodation 
was provided for the different grades of schools, the academy was dis- 
continued, the building sold and the company dissolved. 

But this simply hastened the establishment of a free high school. 
Population had been steadily increasing, and had reached a number 
which, according to the laws of Massachusetts, demanded such a 
school. A high school was accordingly established in May, 1855, and 
placed under the charge of Mr. William E. Tolman, of Brown Uni- 
versity. 

The western village was less successful in establishing such a 
school. Futile attempts were made from time to time by the two dis- 
tricts of North Providence lying along the Pawtucket river, to estab- 
lish a high school in conjunction with the village of Central Falls, 
but local jealousies thwarted the enterprise. The friends of better 
education, therefore, deemed it wise to wait. Meanwhile a great 
many of the elder children were sent to private schools in Providence, 
or across the river to the high school in the eastern town. On both 
sides of the river, however, even before consolidation, the increasing 
population made clamorous demands for new school houses, and, 
when the two villages melted into one municipality, a good many 
edifices were ready to be entrusted to the new school committee. A 
larger high school building seemed a necessity, and, as the edifice of 
the High Street Baptist church was for sale, it was purchased by the 
town, and is now appropriated to the use of that school. 

At present there are in the town of Pawtucket 23 school houses 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 95 

already reared. The estimated value of the buildings already 
erected, and the land affixed to them, is $340,000. The total expenses 
for the year 1888 were $70,254.45. There are also seven private 
schools in the city. The present superintendent, Fred. Sherman, took 
charge of the schools January 1st, 1888. 

Pawtucket is noted for its societies. Prominent among these is 
the Pawtucket Business Men's Association, of which 220 prominent 
business men of the city are members. The association was estab- 
lished in 1882 by Franklin A. Steere and others. The organization 
took place January 9th, 1882, by the election of F. Clark Sayles, presi- 
dent; Henry A. Stearns, first vice-president; Franklin A. Steere, 
second vice-president, and W. Wanton Bunnell, third vice-president. 
The association has rooms in Music Hall Building. The rooms 
are open every day to the members for social intercourse, and for 
every purpose looking to the weal of the city. Politics excluded. 

Of the Masonic fraternities there are several Lodges in Pawtucket. 
The meetings are held in Masonic Temple, North Main street. The 
original society. Union Lodge, No. 10, was .established April 15th, 
1808. 

The Pawtucket Royal Arch Chapter, No. 4, was established March 
21st, 1820. 

Pawtucket Council, R. & S. M., was constituted March 1st, 1847. 

Holy Sepulchre Commandery, No. 8, Pawtucket, was established 
September 25th, 1849. 

Barney Merry Lodge, No. 29, Pawtucket, was established June 
26th, 1878. 

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows have several branches. 
Canton Pawtucket, No. 7, June 22d, 1886, is now officered by H. M. 
Curtis, for captain; Frank O. Maybury, lieutenant; Tisdale C. Day, 
ensign, and Henry A. Abbott, clerk. There are also: The Blackstone 
Encampment, No. 15, C.P., Charles H. Fuller; the Manchester En- 
campment, No. 4, C.P., Charles H. Bloodgood; Enterprise Lodge, No. 
22, N.G., Louis F. Butler; Good Samaritan Lodge, No. 8, N.G., C. L. 
Barrus, and Superior Lodge, No. 35, N.G., Robert Gilchrist;' Florence 
Lodge, Daughters of Rebekah, No. 2, N.G., Mrs. Lucy Haskell, and 
Leah Lodge, No. 16, N.G., Mrs. Louis F. Butler. 

Of the Knights of Pythias there are two vigorous lodges in Paw- 
tucket. Eureka Lodge, No. 5, was instituted January 30th, 1871. Its 
first chancellor commander was John D. Earle; its second was Charles 
A. Lee; its present one is Edwin A. Eddy. It numbers about 130 
members and has a goodly sum of money in its treasury. In death 
and sick benefits it has paid out large sums of money. It meets in its 
-own leased hall on East avenue, which it dedicated in December, 
1871. Its present keeper of records and seal is John Beachen, who 
lias held the office continuously for many years. 

February 12th, 1874, Ivanhoe Lodge, No. 16, was instituted. Many 



96 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

of the members were " card members " from Eureka Lodge. Its first 
chancellor commander was Charles A. Lee; its second George A. 
Sweet. Its membership having diminished by death and withdrawals, 
it was consolidated with Eureka Lodge July 29th, 1879. 

Charles E. Chickering Lodge, No. 20, named after a prominent 
knight and citizen, was instituted December 26th, 1888, with a list of 
over 200 charter members, mostly young men. Its chancellor com- 
mander is James E. Childs. Its keeper of records and seal is George 
M. Rex. 

The Pawtucket Women's Christian Temperance Union meets 
regularly under the presidency of Mrs. Sarah Phillips, and as an 
organization is doing effective work. It was organized July 21st, 
1882. In addition to the above there are fourteen temperance socie- 
ties in Pawtucket and its auxilliary village. Central Falls. 

' The Order of Foresters are also numerous in the place. Court City 
of Pawtucket, No. 7384, A. O. F., was organized September 29th, 1886. 
Pawtucket Lodge, Ancient Order of United Workmen, was organized 
in Pawtucket in 1882; Samuel Slater Lodge, Sons of St. George, in 
1885; Ossamequin Tribe, Improved Order of Red Men, instituted 
June 21st, 1887; Order of the Iron Hall, May 3d, 1888; Pawtucket 
Commandery, United Order of the Golden Cross, January, 1887. 

The Catholic Knights of America began organizing here in 1882 
and have two societies. They also have total abstinence and benevo- 
lent societies doing efficient work in the place. 

The citizens of Pawtucket, Valley Falls and Central Falls organ- 
ized a society December 8th, 1884, having for its object simple charity, 
and as a benevolent institution it is doing good work. Its present offi- 
cers are: Darius L. Goff, president; Mrs. Dr. James L. Wheaton, treas- 
urer; G. Cowperthwaite, agent and secretary. 

The Rhode Island Loyal Orange Lodge, No. 93, was organized in 
1874. The St. Jean Baptist Society was formed February 1st, 1888. 
T. K. Club (social), was established in 1867. Pawtucket Cricket Club, 
was organized May 20th, 1886. 



CHAPTER III. 

PAWTUCKET— BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 

John F. Adams. — Arnold Family. — Olney Arnold.— James S. Brown. — Charles E.Chick- 
ering. — Lncius B. DarUng. — Simon W. Dexter. — John D. Earle. — Lewis Fairbrother. 
— Squire French. — Darins Goff. — William H. Haskell. — Nathan P. Hicks. — Jenks 
Family. — Edwin Jenckes. — James Mason. — George E. Newell. — Jacob N. Polsey. — 
Payne Family.— John B. Read.— William F. Sayles.— Frederic C. Sayles.— Albert R. 
Sherman. — Gideon L. Spencer. — Henry A. Warburton. — Joshua S. White. 

John Francis Adams, manufacturer, was born in the village of 
Central Falls, December 17th, 1838. He began business for himself 
after graduating from the high school in 1856, by entering the Slater 
National Bank of Pawtucket as clerk. In 1859 he became bookkeeper 
for the Allendale Manufacturing Company of Providence. On De- 
cember 8th, 1862, he married Kate J., daughter of Rufus J. Stafford, 
the well known manufacturer. In 1862 he became a member of the 
firm of Adams & Randall, manufacturers of cotton yarns. This com- 
pany was afterward merged into the Hope Thread Company, of which 
Mr. Adams was treasurer for a period of ten years. In 1864 Mr. 
Adams purchased the Lanesville Manufacturing property, at Lanes- 
ville, Mass. Since 1882 he has confined his business attentions wholly 
to that place. He is a public spirited gentleman, and did much to- 
ward improving the village, and, by a vote of the people, the name of 
the place was changed in honor of him to Adamsdale. He manufac- 
tures a fine grade of cotton yarns, and'does a business of about $75,000 
a year. 

In 1874, under the act of consolidation of the town of North Provi- 
dence and Pawtucket, Mr. Adams became a member of the town 
council, and was reelected in 1875. Previous to 1874 he served the 
old town of Pawtucket as town councilman, and also as auditor. He 
was subsequently a member of the school board for six years. In the 
Masonic fraternity he is a member in high standing, and has held a 
number of prominent positions. He was one of the charter members 
of the Barney Merry Lodge, No. 29, and was its second master. He 
has held various offices in the Royal Arch Chapter, in the Council of 
Royal and Select Masters, and also in the Commandery of Knights 
Templar. He was for three years successively grand master of the 
Grand Council of the State of Rhode Island. When about 18 years 
of age he became a member of the Congregational church, and h^s 
7 



98 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

been one of the trustees of the Pawtucket Congregational church since 
1871. Mr. Adams is passionately fond of music, and is proficient on 
the organ and piano. In early life he began the study of music under 
excellent teachers, but has learned more since by his own study and 
observation. En-rapport with the subject, he has written some music 
and has arranged some, but considers it more profitable to confine his 
attentions to the study of the old masters. For the past twenty years 
he has been organist and musical director for the Pawtucket Congre- 
gational church, and before that time held similar positions in various 
churches in Central Falls, Pawtucket and Providence. Mr. Adams 
resides on Broadway, in an elegant mansion erected by him in 1868. 
He is a highly cultured gentleman, very social in his habits, and en- 
joys the luxuries and hom.e comforts of a Christian life. 

Arnold Family. — The greater number of the families residing in 
the towns of Pawtucket and Lincoln of the above name are descended 
from Thomas Arnold. Two brothers, William and Thomas by name, 
natives of Cheselbourne, Dorset county, England, sailed from Dart- 
mouth, England, in 1635, in the ship "Plain Joan," bringing their 
families with them. The younger, Thomas, was born in 1599, and 
first settled in Watertown, Mass., but came to Providence October 17th, 
1661. His first wife's name is unknown, and of his three children by 
this marriage two died in infancy. The other married John Farnum. 
His second wife was Phebe Parkhurst, and their children were : Icha- 
bod, who died young; Richard; Thomas, who died single; John, 
Eleazer and Elizabeth, married Samuel Comstock. The English 
ancestors of Thomas were as follows : he was the son of Thomas, who 
was the son of Richard, who was the son of Richard, who was the son 
of Thomas, a son of Roger. Thomas died in September, 1674. Rich- 
ard, son of Thomas, was born March 22d, 1642, and died April 22d, 
1710. His first wife was Mary Angell and their children were : Rich- 
ard, John, Thomas and Mary, who married Thomas Steere. Richard's 
second wife was Sarah . John, son of Richard, was born No- 
vember 1st, 1670, and for his first wife married Mary Mowry, and had 
the following family : William, John, Daniel, Mercy (married a Lap- 
ham), Anthony (emigrated to New York state), Seth, Israel, Anna 
(married Benjamin Paine) Susanna (married John Melavory), and 
Abigail (married Abner Bartlett). John married for his second wife 
Hannah Hayward, and died October 27th, 1756. Seth, son of John, 
was born September 6th, 1706. He was identified with Woonsocket, 
and was a miller. He was noted for his height, being 6 feet 4 inches 
tall. His first wife was Hannah Aldrich and their children were : 
Levi, Seth, Hannah, Abigail, all of whom died young ; Nathan, Levi 
and Seth. His second wife was Mary Cargill and her children were : 
George, removed to Vermont ; Phebe, married Luke Arnold ; James, 
left no male issue ; and Anthony, who died leaving no issue. Seth 
died in 180L Nathan, son of Seth, was born October 18th, 1733. He 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 99 

resided in Cumberland, and was captain of a company at the battle 
of Rhode Island. He married Lucy Cargill and his children were 
Samuel, Elisha and Nathan. 

Nathan, son of Nathan, married Esther Darling. He lived in 
Cumberland on what is now the Warren J. Ballou farm. His children 
were : Nathan ; Lucy, married Nathan Ballou ; Esther, Nancy, mar- 
ried Smith Daniels ; Seth and Amos. Seth, son of Nathan, was born 
1799 and died in November, 1883. His first wife was Belinda Streeter 
and their children were : Fannie E., wife of William H. Hathaway ; 
Olney; George, died young; Lucy, a maiden lady, resides m Paw- 
tucket ; William G., Alexander S. and Henry M. Seth's second wife 
was Abbie Tillinghast, by whom he had one child, Seth. William G., 
son of Seth, was born June 11th, 1827, and married Lucy M. Aldrich. 
Their children are : William Henry, Olney, Charles Freemont, died 
young, and Flora Ellis, wife of George H. W^hitman. William G. is 
conveyancer for the First National Bank of Pawtucket. 

Thomas Arnold, son of Richard, son of Thomas, was born March 
24th, 1675, and died February 3d, 1727. He married Elizabeth Burlin- 
game, and their children were: Job, Jonathan, Mary, Thomas, Eliza- 
beth, died single, and Sarah. Job, son of Thomas, was born in the 
year 1707, and had the following sons: Stephen, Oliver, Abraham, 
Job and Isaac. Oliver, son of Job, was born April 12th, 1752, and 
married a Harris. The children of this marriage were : Isaac, who 
emigrated to Marion, N. Y. ; Oliver, died 4 years of age ; Martin, died 
without issue ; Sabra, a maiden lady, and Preserved. Preserved, son 
of Oliver, was born June 10th, 1788, and died July 10th, 1828. His 
wife was Betsey, daughter of Jeremiah Whipple, and their children 
were : Louisa, widow of Emery M. Potter, resides in Lincoln ; Cor- 
nelia, died single; Betsey, deceased, married Emery M. Potter; Ellen 
Maria, died single; Lucy Dexter, died in infancy; Hannah Bowen, 
died 10 years of age, and Preserved Whipple, born June 26th, 1828, 
married Anna Harris, has no children and resides in Lincoln. 

Eleazer Arnold, son of Thomas, was born June 17th, 1651, and 
married Eleanor Smith. Their children were: Phebe, married 
Thomas Smith; Elizabeth, married a Smith; Eleazer, Joseph, John 
died single; Jeremiah, Eleanor, died single; Mary, married George 
Thomas ; Abigail, married John Mann, and Deborah. Eleazer died 
August 29th, 1722. Joseph, son of Eleazer, was born in 1678 and died 
November 4th, 1746. His first wife was Mercy Stafford, and the children 
by this marriage were : Eleazer, Joseph, Benjamin, Amos, Elizabeth, 
Caleb, Eleazer, Deborah, Joshua. Nathan, vStukely and Mercy twins, 
and Samuel; in all thirteen children. Joshua, son of Joseph, was 
born July 14th, 1729, was married to Amy Bensley,and their children 
were : Amy, who married Thomas Bucklin ; Ruth, married Stephen 
Jenks ; Sarah, married Stephen Jenks ; Israel, and George, died aged 
14 years. Israel, son of Joshua, was born November 1st, 1754, and 



100 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

married for his first wife Deborah Olney. The children by this 
marriage were : Ada, who married Benjamin Jenckes ; Amy, married 
first a Sheldon, second a Brown; Olney; Mercy, married Thomas 
Bucklin ; Joshua ; Mary, married Joseph Wilkinson ; George ; Anna, 
married Welcome Comstock ; Israel and Jeremiah. Israel's second 
wife was Catharine Jenckes, by whom he had two sons, Jenckes and 
Joseph. He died June 27th, 1840. 

Olney Arnold, son of Israel, was born October 27th, 1780, and de- 
parted this life May 29th, 1849. His first wife was Eunice, by whom he 
had the following children: Thomas J.; John, died single; Daniel, left 
no male issue; Emeline, married Daniel Hill; Angeline, married twice 
(those two were twins); Eunice, married Varanus Walker ; Sylvan, 
Mahala D., Mary J. and Amy. The last three were triplets, the first 
two died in infancy, the other died a maiden lady. Olney 's second 
wife was the widow Norton. Her maiden name was Susan Lyons. 
Their children were : Jacob ; vSarah', married Andrew Miller ; Mary, 
married George W. Beal ; Rebecca and Susan, both married John B. 
Le Craw ; Elizabeth, died single ; Olney, and Deborah and Pardon, 
both died young. This family consisted of 19 children, the largest, 
it is believed, ever raised in Smithfield. Jacob, son of 01ne3^ was 
born in 1816, and died July 22d, 1872. He married Adaline Pidge. 
Their children are: Albert P., a resident of Vineland, N. J., and Ben- 
jamin O., born February 8th, 1842, married Rhoda Adams, and has 
one child, Harriet Adaline. He is a farmer and resides in Lincoln. 
Olney, son of Olney, born July 31st, 1828, married Eunice M. Skiff, and 
has two sons; Edward M. and Francis S. He resides in Pawtucket. 
Edward M., son of Olney, born July 11th, 1856, married Alma J. 
Heaton and has two children: Chester Edward and Edith Mabel. He 
is proprietor of the Pawtucket Renovating Works. 

Joshua Arnold, son of Israel, was born August 20th, 1784, and mar- 
ried Silence, daughter of Eleazer Whipple, and had the following 
family: Eliza, married first Arthur Whipple, second a Thornton, and 
lives in Lincoln; Horace, deceased; Sylvan, deceased, married George 
O. Smith; Miranda, widow of William Spaulding, of Lincoln; Adam; 
Hannah, widow of Henry Short, of Lincoln; Mary, widow of Ray- 
mond Briggs, of Providence. Joshua died October 14th, 1852. Adam, 
son of Joshua, was born February 14th, 1819, and married for his first 
wife Eliza Vose, by whom he had one child, Mary Adalaide, who mar- 
ried vSamuel Crandall. Adam's second wife was Melissa L. Wads- 
worth. He is a blacksmith by trade and resides in Lincoln. 

George Arnold, son of Israel, was born March 21st, 1788, and died 
February 8th, 1863. He married Lydia Fisher, and their children 
were: Stella Ann, who married Louis Lapham; James A.; Lydia, mar- 
ried George Talbot; Julia Maria; George Taft, deceased; Olney, de- 
ceased, and Waldo Fisher, died in infancy. His second wife was Sarah 
Ann Brown and their children were: Frances Eliza and Louisa Amelia, 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 101 

who died in infancy. James A., son of George, was born September 
1st, 1816, and married Bertha Marchant. Their children are William 
Taft and Sarah Frances, wife of Charles Long. James A. is a resi- 
dent of Pawtucket. 

Israel Arnold, son of Israel, was born in 1792, and departed this life 
November 2d, 1864. He married Abbie Brown and their children were: 
Elizabeth, who died young; Susan, deceased, married David Angell, 
of Cumberland; Abby Elizabeth, married for her first husband George 
Weeden, and is now the wife of Alexander Spence, of Brooklyn, N. Y.; 
Phebe, married first Levi Pitts, second Harvey Anabel, and is now the 
wife of Emor Cole, of East Greenwich, R. L; Louisa, a maiden lady, 
resides in Lincoln; Jane, wife of John Dermot, lives in Oakland, Cal.; 
James, died young; Charlotte, married William F. Bibby, of Lincoln; 
Frederic N., resides in Dayton, Ohio; Albert, a resident of Boston, 
Mass.; Richard, died leaving no issue; Israel, and George Aborn, died 
young. Israel, son of Israel, was born November 22d, 1840, married 
Anna C. Hardenburgh, and has the following children: Chapin T., 
Amy L. and Israel Garfield. He is a resident of Lincoln. 

Jenckes Arnold, son of Israel, was born October 2d, 1803, and mar- 
ried Mary LeCraw. Their children are: Benjamin Harrison, Joseph 
Jenckes and Edmund Bowdoin. Jenckes departed this life October 
11th, 1887. His widow survives him in her 84th year. Benjamin and 
Edmund are bachelors, and reside on the old homestead in Lincoln. 
Joseph Jenckes, son of Jenckes, was born October 14th, 1844, and mar- 
ried Mary Alice Whittle. His children are: William E., Frederic W. 
and Ernest J. He is engaged in the baking business at Saylesville, 
R. I. 

Samuel Arnold, son of Joseph, son of Eleazer, son of Thomas, was 
born July 12th, 1736, and married Elizabeth Arnold. Their children 
were: Benjamin, John, Abigail, Anna, Richard (the three last died 
single), Samuel, Elizabeth, married Christopher Brown; Mercy, mar- 
ried George Smith, and Jonathan. The two last were twins. Jona- 
than, son of Samuel, was born August 16th, 1778, and departed this 
life July loth, 1852. He married Abby Randall and their children 
were: John, died single; Maria, a maiden lady, lives in Lincoln; 
Mercy, married Tillie Raymond, of Worcester, Mass.; Elizabeth, 
widow of Doctor Warren Cooke, resides in Lincoln; Samuel and 
James, both died single; Louisa, married George Green and lives in 
Lincoln, and Christopher, died young. 

There are other families of Arnolds resident of Pawtucket and 
Lincoln who are undoubtedly descended from the two brothers 
William and Thomas, that came from England in 1635. Their 
early ancestors located in other parts of Rhode Island, but their de- 
scendants have returned and become identified with the business 
interests of Providence county. Among these we mention the fol- 
lowing: 



102 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

John A. Arnold was born in Providence January 18th, 1851, and 
was the son of Thomas, who was the son of John. John A. married 
Emily E. Foster and has one child, Fred. A. He is secretary of the 
Conant Thread Compan3\ 

James Arnold, son of Samuel, was born in Attleboro, Mass., Oc- 
tober 12th, 1809. He married Evelyn Marchant and had seven chil- 
dren: Eliza, deceased, married Sanford E. Holmes; Julia, deceased, 
married Daniel W. Ashton; Louisa, deceased, married Albert Bowen; 
William M., died young; William J.; Sarah, wife of Thomas D.Elsbree, 
of Valley Falls, R. I., and Amos D. James died December 31st, 1882. 
William J., son of James, was born in Pawtucket August 12th, 1842, and 
married Mollie M. McQuiston. They had one child, William J., who 
died at the age of 19 years. He is a machinist and resides in Paw- 
tucket, Amos D., son of James, was born in Pawtucket November 
29th, 1855. By his wife, Margaret L., he has three children: May 
Louisa, James Amos and Rose Cleveland. He resides in Pawtucket. 

Samuel W. Arnold was born in Coventry, R. L, August 3d, 1833, 
and married Mary, daughter of Olney Matteson, of Coventry. They 
have no children. He resided in Coventry till 1865, when he came to 
Central Falls, where he is now engaged in the coal and wood business. 
Samuel W.'s father was also Samuel, who was the son of Lowry. 
vSamuel married Juliet, daughter of Doctor Elisha Olney, of Coventry, 
she being a native of Foster, R. L They had five children: Laura, 
married John W. Francis, of Chicago; Erastus, died in Providence; 
George W., lives at Warren, R. L; Samuel W. and Mary E., wife of 
Amos Franklin, of Coventry. 

General Olney Arnold, president of the First National Bank, 
Pawtucket, son of Doctor Seth and Belinda (Streeter) Arnold, was born 
in Newton, Massachusetts, January 17th, 1822. His early life was spent 
in Woonsocket. His parents resided there prior to his birth, which 
event occurred during a brief residence at Newton. His education 
was obtained in the public schools of Woonsocket and at Bushee's 
Academy in Smithfield, On attaining manhood he engaged for a 
while in mercantile pursuits, but in a few years became cashier of a 
bank in Woonsocket. In 1853 he removed to Pawtucket, on being 
elected cashier of the People's Bank of that place, and from that time 
has been prominently identified with many enterprises that have 
made that city what it is to-day. 

At the organization of the Bank of Mutual Redemption, Boston, in 
1855, th'e office of cashier was tendered him, but declined on account of 
his business interests at Pawtucket. Upon the establishment of the 
national banking system, in 1863, General Arnold organized the 
P'irst National Bank of Pawtucket, the first in the town and the sixth 
in the state, and became its cashier. In 1865 the People's Bank was 
merged with it. In 1875 he was elected president, which office he has- 
since retained. He was elected treasurer of the Providence County 




ir^.ff^FGK'^rnayair 








HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 103 

vSavings Bank in 1853, and has continued in that office ever since. In 
1868 he was appointed receiver and agent for closing up the affairs of 
the North Providence Bank, which he successfully accomplished by 
redeeming all its bills, paying its depositors in full and dividing 79.6 
per cent, among the stockholders, with less than $50 expense to the 
bank. The net earnings of the People's Bank, and its successor, the 
First National Bank, have averaged more than 12 per cent, per an- 
num, for nearly 40 years, under Mr. Arnold's management. As finan- 
cier and manager of trusts, the services of Mr. Arnold have been con- 
stantly in requisition. He has served and is still serving a large num- 
ber of corporations and societies as treasurer, director and trustee. 

About this time he engaged with David Ryder and ex-Governor A. 
H. Littlefield and a few others in an attempt to perfect the manufac- 
ture of hair cloth by power, in which he succeeded after numerous 
discouragements, in establishing a large and profitable business in 
that line. He is also managing director in the Cumberland Mills 
Company and Dexter Yarn Company, does an extensive business in set- 
tling estates, and in many ways has been a hard working man. 

As a military man, General Arnold has served in nearly every 
position from private to major general. At the commencement of 
the rebellion he was appointed one of the aides to Governor Sprague, 
and was kept constantly at work organizing companies for active 
service in the field. He was commissioner and superintendent of 
drafts in this state for the United States. On account of his efficiency 
and knowledge of military affairs he was retained in the state, and 
was, during the war, promoted to be major general of the militia. 
The veterans of the war in this state hold General Arnold in the 
highest esteem. He is an honorary member of the First and Second 
Regiment Rhode Island Veteran Associations, also an honorary mem- 
ber of Slocum Post, No. 10, G. A. R. 

General Arnold is an old fashioned Jeftersonian democrat, is pub- 
lic spirited, and has served the town in many official capacities. He 
has been president of the town council, town treasurer, water com- 
missioner, trustee of schools, trustee of public library, moderator, 
auctioneer, etc. In 1846 he was elected a representative to the gen- 
eral assembly from Cumberland, of which the village of Woonsocket 
was then a part, and he represented that town for several years. He 
afterward removed to North Providence, which, for several y'ears, em- 
braced the village of Pawtucket, and was chosen representative from 
that town and subsequently senator. He also held the the office of 
treasurer of North Providence, and was president of the town council. 
He has been the candidate of his party during the past 40 years for 
many prominent positions— for governor, U. S. senator, representative 
in congress, presidential elector, etc.— always in popular elections 
leading his ticket largely. He has received civil or military com- 
missions from nearly every governor of the state for the last 40 years. 



104 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

He has been railroad commissioner, commissioner for the organiza- 
tion of state banks, of the state prison and jail, has served on im- 
portant state committees by appointment of the governor or general 
assembly, and appointed upon the most prominent committees of 
both branches of the legislature. 

In 1853 General Arnold united with the Universalist church in 
Pawtucket, and has been president of its national organization, is 
trustee of its publishing house, treasurer of its state convention, and 
has been treasurer and trustee of the Pawtucket parish. He is a 
]Mason, and a member of many charitable associations, historical so- 
cieties and libraries; a leader in all that concerns the welfare of the 
city. He organized the Pawtucket Electric Lighting Company, and 
was one of the prominent men who secured the introduction of watei 
works and telegraphic fire alarm. He was chief marshal of the recent 
Cotton Centennial in Pawtucket. The personal characteristics of 
General Arnold are a well-balanced, clear and vigorous intellect, de- 
liberately formed and conservative judgment, great firmness, marked 
executive ability, strict adherence to system and method in business, 
and unquestioned honor and integrity. He is a gentleman of wealth, 
and uses his income generously in aid of all benevolent and charitable 
purposes and for the gratification of his strong domestic and literary 
tastes. On the 23d of January, 1844, he married Phebe Dudley, of 
Providence. She is a native of Douglass, Mass. They have no chil- 
dren. 

James S. Brown was born in Pawtucket, December 23d, 1802. His 
paternal ancestor was a Welshman, who, with three other brothers, 
emigrated from Wales and settled in what is now Cumberland. Here 
the brothers engaged in mining coal and iron ore, using both in the 
manufacture of iron. Their furnace was situated at Valley Falls, on 
the Abbot Run. This business was inherited by Philip, the grand- 
father of James S. Brown, and carried on by him till his death. After 
that event one blast was made, and the working of the furnace was 
given up. Philip's son, Sylvanus, father of James S., was only ten 
years old at his father's death, and was placed under the care of his 
great-uncle, a millwright. He worked at this trade till he was 21 
years of age, and then engaged in business on his own account until 
the revolution. He then enlisted in the colonial navy, and served on 
board the " Alfred " as master of arms, the ship being commanded by 
William Jones; Ezekiel Hopkins, of North Providence, R. I., being 
the first commander-in-chief of the colonial navy. Jones was gover- 
nor of the state of Rhode Island from 1810 to 1817. Upon closing his 
naval career vSylvanus Brown went to Providence, and worked at 
stocking guns in a shop operated by the state. He was next engaged 
by the governor of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to superintend 
the making and putting up of sets of machinery for seven saw mills, 
and machinery for two grist mills, and he employed on the iron work 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 105 

all the men connected with Stephen Jenks & Sons' shop. He re- 
mained at St. John, N. B., a year and a half. He then went to Europe, 
but soon returned to Pawtucket, where he built a house aijd shop. In 
1790 he constructed machinery, under Mr. Slater's superintendence, 
for Brown & Almy, and this achievement encouraged the parties to 
build the Old Slater Mill. In 1792 he invented and used the first slide 
lathes for turning rolls, by which they were made straight and of uni- 
form size. He also built machines for fluting rolls, which were of 
great advantage to the business, enabling one man to do the work 
formerly requiring the labor of six. He was next employed by John 
Brown, a manufacturer of cannon, to superintend furnaces and boring 
mills at Scituate, R. I., and Easton, Mass. In 1801 he engaged in his 
own business as a wheelwright, and continued it until his death in 
1824. 

James S. Brown attended school until his 15th year, when he was 
employed by David Wilkinson, manufacturer of cotton machinery at 
Pawtucket, in pattern making, having, during his school vacation of 
the previous year, assisted his father in this department of his busi- 
ness. In 1819 he went to work in the vShop of Pitcher & Gay, which 
was started in 1818 on Main street, and when Mr. Brown entered it, 
was the largest manufactory of machinery in Pawtucket. Mr. Brown 
took Mr. Gay's place in the firm in 1824, and in 1842 purchased his 
partner's interest, and from that time he carried on a large and suc- 
cessful business in the manufacture of cotton machinery. 

In 1820, when he was only 18 years of age, Mr. Brown invented 
the slide rest used in turning lathes, by which the height of the tool 
can be adjusted while the lathe is in motion. In 1830 he invented his 
gear cutter for cutting bevel gears, and in 1838 he patented a ma- 
chine for boring the passage for the roving through the arm of the 
long flyer roving machine, and in 1842 his lathe for longitudinally 
turning bodies of irregular forms. He also devised an improvement 
in planing machines, so that sixteen rolls, instead of four, may be used. 
He applied the turning-lathe to the cutting of large screws, six to 
eight inches long, for clothing, and in 1874 he patented a new ma- 
chine for spindle grinding. He also made improvements in other 
machines not used in his own business. He simplified and perfected 
Sharpe & Roberts' self-acting mule, sent to Pitcher & Brown by Brad- 
ford Durfee,of Fall River, and afterward engaged in the manufacture 
of these mules. In 1857 he took out a patent for his improvements on 
the American Speeder, and also manufactured that machine. The de- 
mand for these machines was so great that he was compelled to de- 
vote the whole force of his shop to them, and to employ for the same 
purpose nearly the whole force of another large machine shop in the 
vicinity. In 1862 he built nine of Bennet's machines, with some 
modifications, for cutting files, for some capitalists of Baltimore, who 
had bought the right of manufacture and use of them. He put these 



106 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

machines into successful operation. He also invented a machine for 
grinding file blanks and a furnace for hardening files. During the 
civil war his improved lathe, originally designed for the turning of 
rolls for cotton machiner}-, was employed in turning gun barrels. 
This, for a time, to a large extent superseded all other work in the 
shops. Mr. Brown engaged in these various enterprises and inven- 
tions for nearly 60 years, and his improvements in machinery have 
been of great value to the industries to which they have been applied. 
He died in 1879, aged 77 years. His son, James Brown, succeeded to 
the business. 

Charles Edwin Chickering, born in Attleboro, Mass., June ]4th, 
1828, was the only son of Charles and Laura (Fitts) Chickering. On 
the death of his father, in 1840, his mother removed to Pawtucket. 
He learned the trade of harness making, and in 1848 commenced to 
drive stage between Pawtucket and Providence, which he continued 
ten years. He then engaged in general teaming business between 
these points, which he followed until his death, November 14th, 1888. 
He married Jane Church. They had four children, two of whom are 
living, viz., Laura and Fannie R., wife of Walter Barney, of East 
Providence. Mr. Chickering was overseer of the poor for a number 
of years, member of legislature several terms, past grand chancellor 
of K. of P., past grand dictator and past supreme representative of 
K. of H., a Knight Templar, past grand of Odd Fellows, and one of 
the organizers of the Royal Order of Good Fellows. 

Lucius B. Darling.— The genealogy of the Darlings shows that 
Dennis Darling came to Mendon, Mass., from Braintree, in the same 
state, about the year 1680. His wife's maiden name was Hannah 
Francis. They had several children, one of whom, John Darling, born 
in 1664, settled in the southern part of Bellingham, Mass., where he 
was known as " Captain John." He was the father of thirteen child- 
ren. From " Captain John " sprang the branch of the Darling family 
to which the subject of this sketch belongs. Samuel seems to have 
been a favorite name with the Darlings, the great-grandfather, the 
grandfather and father of Lucius all bearing that name, as well as a 
brother. His mother's maiden name was Margaret Smith. There 
were eight children, all of them sons, namely: George (deceased), 
Charles (deceased), Gilbert, Samuel, Jr., Lucius B., Ruel S. (deceased), 
Edwin and Lyman M. The latter is treasurer of the L. B. Darling 
Fertilizer Company, at Pawtucket. R. L; Edwin is superintendent of 
the Pawtucket Water Works; Gilbert is a prosperous merchant at 
Woonsocket, R. L, and Samuel, who lives at the Diamond Hill reser- 
voir, in Cumberland, R. I., is a farmer. All of the brothers were fine 
specimens of phy.sical development and good types of the hardy stock 
of the sons of New England yeomanry. 

Lucius was born in Bellingham, Mass., on the 3d of October, 1827, 
and remained on his father's farm until he reached manhood, receiv- 




^n 




HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 107 

ing- his education at the district school during the winter months. In 
1849 he went to Providence, R. I., where he stayed one year, and then 
removed to Pawtucket, which at that time was a village in the town 
of North Providence, where he has since resided. He began business 
in Pawtucket in 1852, and from that time until the present it has 
steadily increased, an extensive branch being located in Chicago, 111. 
In 1883 the business in Pawtucket was incorporated under the name 
of the L. B, Darling Fertilizer Company, Mr. Darling being president, 
and which position he still holds. He has been a director in the 
Pacific National Bank of Pawtucket for 25 years, and its vice-presi- 
dent for a long period. In 1867 he was chosen a director of the Paw- 
tucket Gas Company, and in 1880 its president, which office he still 
holds. Since 1876 he has been a director of the Swan Point Cemetery 
corporation, and president of the board from 1879. He is also a direc- 
tor in the Pawtucket Mutual Fire Insurance Company, the Pawtucket 
Institution for Savings and the Pawtucket Street Railway Company. 
He is a thorough-going business man, and is connected with various 
other institutions and organizations of a practical character. 

Mr. Darling has served his town, city and state in numerous public 
capacities. He represented the old town of North Providence in the 
lower branch of the general assembly in 1861-2-3, and served as a 
member of the town council and school committee for a number of 
years. He is a member of the state board of education. Twice he 
was appointed by the governor one of the harbor commissioners, and 
at the present time he is chairman of the board of water commission- 
ers of Pawtucket and president of the Business Men's Association of 
that city, an organization which embraces in its membership very 
many of the leading citizens of Pawtucket and the adjoinmg village 
of Central Falls. Mr. Darling is also the sole owner of the Music Hall 
building, on Main street, one of the handsomest and most substantial 
business structures in Pawtucket. 

In politics Mr. Darling is a pronounced republican, and for two 
successive years (1885 and 1886) he was elected lieutenant governor of 
Rhode Island, the Hon. George Peabody Wetmore, of Newport, holding 
first position on the ticket. Of Mr. Darling it may be truly said con- 
cerning all the public positions which he has held, that when he has 
consented to be a candidate it has been because he yielded to the per- 
suasions of others, to the disregard of his own personal preferences. 

Mr. Darling has traveled extensively in his own country, as well 
as in Europe, and in his delightful home on Walcott street are many 
works of art, which have been gathered from time to time in the 
various lands which he has visited. Of pleasing address, agreeable in 
manners, courteous in bearing and "given to hospitality," his circle 
of acquaintance is largely extended. He is thoroughly identified with 
the interests of the community in which he has so long resided, and 
where he has reached a high and honorable position by reason of his 



108 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

uprightness of character, his unbounded energy and his sterling com- 
mon sense. 

He married, November 4th, 1847, Angeline H, Armington. They 
have had six children: Mary E., Ada E., Lovinia, Ira C, Lucius B., 
Jr., and Byron (deceased). 

Simon Willard Dexter, manufacturer, and son of Captain N. G. B. 
Dexter, the founder of the Dexter Yarn Company's business, was born 
in Pawtucket July 25th, 1820. He is a descendant of Reverend 
Gregory Dexter, an associate of Roger Williams, and a grandson of 
Nathaniel Balch Dexter, of Grafton, Massachusetts, who was a tailor 
by trade, and who came to Pawtucket in 1798. Nathaniel B. Dexter 
married a daughter of Simon Willard, of Boston, the great clock 
maker. He removed to Providence in 1830, where he died in 1832. 
His brother John settled in the town of Cumberland, was a judge of 
the court many years, and died there at the age of 96 years. Daniel 
S., another brother, commanded a regiment of colored soldiers in the 
war of 1812, and died in his 95th year. Thomas, Horace and Horatio, 
sons of Nathaniel B. Dexter, went to Florida. Nathaniel G. B. came 
to Pawtucket. The Reverend Gregory Dexter was born in Olney, 
England, in the year 1610. He was a Baptist minister at London, was 
a highly cultured gentleman, and the transatlantic correspondent of 
Roger Williams. In 1643, when Williams went to England to procure 
the first charter for the infant colony, he took with him Mr. Dexter's 
manuscript of his " Directory of the Indian Language," and on the 
voyage arranged it for being printed, and in that same year (1643) 
Mr. Dexter printed the first edition of it at London. In 1644 Mr. 
Dexter joined Williams at Providence, where he afterward became a 
distinguished character in the colony. He was one of the parties 
named in the charter of 1663, and for a number of years was one of 
the assistants under the authority granted in that charter. He had 
been well educated, held various offices, and especially many positions 
where, in the general paucity of mental cultivation, he was so much 
needed. He was also the fourth pastor of the First Baptist church in 
Providence, having been called to succeed Reverend Mr. Wickenden 
about 1650. He was the first accomplished printer that cam.e to this 
country, and he printed with his own hand the first almanac for the 
meridian of Rhode Island. This forefather of the Dexter family died 
in the 3'ear 1700. His first house was a log house, which was de- 
stroyed by the Indians in 1676. In this King Philip's war two of his 
grandchildren were rendered orphans. 

Nathaniel G. B. Dexter, commonly known as Captain Dexter, 
the father of the subject of this sketch, was fifth in descent from 
Reverend Gregory Dexter, and was the only one of the six de- 
scendants of that forefather bearing the name of Gregory who ever 
lived to marry. He was born at Grafton, Massachusetts, in 1788, and 
in 1798 removed to Pawtucket with his father's familv. He never 




l--\T L^ Ks-rrza-^-ITl 



v^;^;?;?' ,^>>^ 



/#^^y/^ 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 109 

went to school, but was educated by his parents. He was the especial 
favorite of Samuel Slater, the first manufacturer of cotton yarns by 
machinery in America, and early entered the counting room as his 
clerk, and subsequently became the superintendent of the mills. He 
was strictly temperate from his youth. Using- his own words, he says: 
" Well, mother, I've seen a man trying to walk and couldn't go be- 
cause they said he was drunk; and I have inquired into it and come 
to an agreement with myself to never drink one drop of anything 
that I know has any drunk in it." And he kept that agreement till 
his death, which occurred April 8th, 1866. 

•Captain Dexter opened the first Sunday school in the United 
States, under Samuel Slater's direction, and taught it himself. The 
scholars were the children who worked in the cotton mill. In 1808 he 
was married to Amey, daughter of Jerahmeel Jencks, of Pawtucket, 
Rhode Island. In 1858 he celebrated with his wife the fiftieth anni- 
versary of his wedding, and among the hundreds of his descendants 
and friends present were two other couples giving additional interest 
to the occasion. Reverend David Benedict, D.D., who married Cap- 
tain Dexter 50 years before, was present with his wife; and Captain 
Josiah Jones, Esq., who with his own fingers set the types that an- 
nounced the wedding in a paper, was present also with his wife. The 
parties above mentioned also celebrated their golden wedding in 
the year 1858. Captain Dexter was for many years a manufacturer 
of cotton yarn on an extensive scale. In 1855 this business was given 
up to his two sons, and in 1866 this patriarch of the whole American 
system of Sunday schools passed to his reward. 

Simon W. Dexter received his education from the public schools 
of Pawtucket. When 15 years of age he decided upon learning the 
trade of a jeweler. To this end he entered the shop of Joseph Martin 
of Providence, in 1835, and remained with him till 1841. He worked 
for different firms in Providence and Boston, closing his career in 
this line of business when in the employ of Jonathan Sweet. In 1842 
he left Boston for Pawtucket, going into the shoe business on Main 
street. In 1843 he formed a partnership with F. S. Eddy, under the 
firm name of Dexter & Eddy. In the year following he gave up the 
shoe business and went into his father's mill, and then it was he 
began the career of his life, and one which has distinguished him as a 
manufacturer throughout the whole country. His father's business 
had by this time grown to considerable proportions. It was now ex- 
tended under the Dexter Brothers to meet the exigencies of the trade, 
but in that expansion a great revulsion occurred, and in 1876 a great 
loss was sustained. A mammoth foundation for a great industry, 
however, was laid by Mr. Dexter and his brother, who had done a 
business of from six hundred thousand to a million of dollars annually, 
and in 1880 the Dexter Yarn Company was incorporated, since which 
time the business has gradually expanded, having now an enviable 



110 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

reputation. Mr. Dexter has retired from the more active pursuits of 
a business life, but is still a stockholder of the company. His son, 
Samuel F. Dexter, is secretary and general manager of the company. 

Mr. Dexter is a quiet, unassuming man. He has used his money 
freely for the good of the poor, is known for the probity of his char- 
acter, and for the uprightness of a long and successful business 
•career. He is public spirited, but no politician. He was married in 
1842 to Ann Eliza, daughter of Samuel B. and Hannah Bowen, of 
Attleboro, Massachusetts. She died in 1883. Four children were 
"born to them, two of whom are living: Emma, now the wife of Ed- 
ward Thayer, and Samuel F., above mentioned. August 17th, 1884, 
Mr. Dexter married his present wife. Rose Maria Conley, a most 
estimable lady, and a daughter of Thomas and Catharine (Rush) 
Conley, who came from England in 1853. 

Samuel Francis Dexter, son of Simon W., born in Pawtucket 
September 3d, 1847, married Fannie, daughter of Doctor James L. 
'Wheaton,and has three children: Nathaniel Wheaton, Fannie W.and 
M. Anthony. 

vSamuel Slater Dexter, son of Nathaniel G. B., was born in Paw- 
tucket April 8th, 1827. His first wife was Elvira Crowell, by whom 
he had one child, Sarah Frances, wife of Heber J. Graham, of Central 
Falls. His second wife was Sarah Howland, and the children by this 
marriage are : Nelly, died aged 4 months ; Charles, Nathaniel G. B„ 
and Maud, wife of Duncan A. Cattanach. 

Waterman T. Dexter, son of Nathaniel B., born in Grafton, Mass., 
June 28th, 1790, married Fannie, daughter of James Orne, of Attle- 
boro, Mass. Their children were : Horatio, Ann E. B., wife of Caleb 
Ingraham, resident of East Providence ; George Thomas, Fannie 
Orne, wife of Abner D. Horr, resides in Providence ; Waterman W., 
Henry B., Sarah L., wife of Ray W. Potter, resides in Brooklyn, N. Y., 
and Caroline Reed, a single lady, residing in Providence. He died 
April 9th, 1870. Waterman W., son of Waterman T., was born in 
North Providence, now Pawtucket, August 8th, 1824, and married 
Mary J., daughter of Captain Halsey Baker, of Fall River. His 
children by this marriage were : Grace A., who died young; Clara W., 
wife of George A. Luther, of Pawtucket ; Herbert C, born February 
29th, 1852, married Ida Bishop and has one child ; Florence, resides 
in Chicago, 111. ; Annie G., wife of C. M. Farnum, of Chicago, 111. ; 
Frank Gregory, born December 8th, 1856, married Stella Manning, 
has one child Earl, resides in Brooklyn, N. Y. ; Fred W., born March 
8th, 1859, married Agnes E. Muir, of Providence, is engaged in the 
jewelry business in Pawtucket; and Edgar M., born May 14th 1861, 
married Annie Baker. Waterman W. was for a number of years en- 
gaged in the jewelry business in Pawtucket, but now carries on an in- 
surance business. He married for his second wife Caroline J. Baker. 
Henry Bowers, son of Waterman T., born in Pawtucket, March 27th, 




Eng fbyF.GI&rntui^ 




HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. Ill 

1827, married Emily, daughter of John Campbell. They had but one 
child, Kate Bowers, wife of Albert H. Stearns, of Boston, Mass. 

John D. Earle.— Of those whom we can mention in the highest 
terms, John Dexter Earle is one not to be forgotten. He was born in 
Providence, July Sth, 1837, and was the eldest son of George B. and 
Cornelia A. (Rhodes) Earle. He was a descendant of Ralph Earle, 
who came from Exeter, England, in early colonial days, and settled 
at Portsmouth, R. I. His father was for years engaged in the express 
business, first known as Earle's Express. Mr. Earle's education was 
obtained in the comm.on schools and at Lyon & Tree's Academy. He 
began business life in the employ of his father. Afterward, but be- 
fore the establishment of the national banking system, he acted as 
bank messenger, carrying the exchanges between the Merchants' Bank 
of Providence and the Suffolk Bank of Boston. This position he held 
for a number of years. In 1865 he was offered a position as agent for 
the Adams Express Company at Pawtucket, and took charge of that 
office in October, 1865, increasing the business to such an extent, in a 
few years, as to make himself almost indispensable to the company. 

The firm of Earle & Prew's Express was formed in 1867, and in 
1870 Mr. Ea|-le became a partner of that concern, and shortly after- 
ward assumed the duties of treasurer, besides acting as agent at Paw- 
tucket, holding the treasurership until shortl}" before his death. He 
received a commission from Governor Sprague in 1861 as colonel of 
the National Cadets of Providence, and was a member of the What 
Cheer Lodge of Masons. He was also a member of the Templar 
order, and was connected with the Knights of Pythias and other secret 
organizations, and was one of the members of the Water Witch Sixes 
of Providence, in the volunteer fire department. For years he was 
one of the trustees of the Pawtucket Institution for Savings, president 
of the Heaton Button Fastener and the Standard Button Companies, 
and also a- prominent member of the Business Men's Association and 
the Expressmen's Mutual Benefit Association. 

Mr. Earle resided in Pawtucket a score or more of years, and was 
always very much interested in town affairs, taking a prominent part 
in all important matters that arose, and serving as senator in the gen- 
eral assembly. He was married, December 30th, 1862, at New York 
city, to Emily C, daughter of Joshua and Margaret L. Wilbour, for- 
merly of Pawtucket. They had three children: Emily Wilbour, John 
Dexter and James Lloyd. The latter died while quite young; Emily 
W. is now the wife of Charles H. Porter, of Rockford, 111., and John 
Dexter is employed by the Rockford Cabinet Company. Mr. Earle 
was equable in temperament, and held a high social position. His 
chief pleasure, however, was the enjoyment of his home and family. 
At his death, which occurred February 6th, 1887, he left behind many 
staunch friends, and the associations of which he was a member all 
sent resolutions of sympathy to Mrs. Earle. 



112 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Lewis Fairbrother, son of Jarvis and Betsey (Field) Fairbrother. 
was born in North Providence, now a part of Pawtucket, August 2d, 
1812. His father was a native of Rehoboth, Mass., and was an excel- 
lent machinist. He removed from his native town and prosecuted 
his business in North Providence, and probably assisted in the manu- 
facture, setting up and starting of the first machinery ever placed in 
the Old Slater Mill. His wife was the daughter of Hon. John Field. 
They had seven children: John, Lewis, Betsey, Samuel, Phineas, Na- 
thaniel and Mary (who died young). Lewis received a good educa- 
tion, by spending a few weeks each year in the common schools, and 
subsequently at the Wilbraham Academy, where he studied one year. 
He was also a member of the Sunday school in his early boyhrcd, 
which was instituted by the famous Samuel Slater, who was the first 
to introduce cotton spinning into this country successfully by power, 
which industry was commenced in the town of North Providence in 
the year 1790. When Mr. Fairbrother was a boy he commenced 
work at about eight years of age in Mr. Slater's mill, now called the 
Old Slater Mill. 

In the general assembly of 1888 an act was passed incorporating 
the Fairbrother Belting Company, Lewis Fairbrother, treasurer. The 
house was established in 1834 by the Hon. Lewis Fairbrother, who 
commenced business in a building measuring about 30x15 feet. He 
had learned the art of tanning in Attleboro, Mass., and began busi- 
ness in Pawtucket, R. L, then only a small village, with only one vat, 
making picker and lace leather. A few years later he entered upon 
the manufacture of leather belting and other kinds of leather for fac- 
tory uses. Purchasing the hides, he tanned and finished them for 
various purposes, as stated. He has contributed largely to the de- 
velopment of the city of Pawtucket and the state. 

In 1855 he was elected representative to the general assembly, and 
again in 1856, serving two years as chairman of the house committee 
on corporations. In 1857 he was elected to the state senate, and re- 
elected in 1858, 1859 and 1860, and again in 1864, here, as in the house, 
serving all the time as chairman of the committee on corporations. 
For many years he was agent for the management of the Providence 
and Pawtucket Turnpike, and set many of the trees on that thorough- 
fare, and for one season had the track watered. In the erection of the 
solid stone bridge at Pawtucket Falls, by order of the state of Rhode 
Island and the towns of North Providence and Pawtucket in 1858, he 
was chairman of the commissioners. During the rebellion, besides 
otherwise aiding the Union cause, he was the committee of the town 
for distributing thousands of dollars for the relief and comfort of the 
families of the soldiers, aiding about a hundred and fifty families. He 
was president of the Slater Bank (now the Slater National Bank) at 
its organization and for many years after. In the old North Provi- 
dence Bank he was a director, and is now a director in the Slater Cot- 



f 







HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 113 

ton Company. In 1866 he was appointed by the state an inspector of 
the state prison, and served in that office eleven years. In every 
position in life he has been valued for his talents, stability, judgment 
and faithfulness. His son, Henry L., on reaching maturity, was re- 
ceived by him as partner in business, and remained interested in the 
business until his demise in 1886. Coming as he did from noble an- 
cestors, he was a noble scion of the house of Fairbrother. In politics 
he was conservative; in business, he was honorable and honored; to 
the humble poor he was charitable, as thousands can testify who now 
honor his beloved memory. This is the oldest picker and lace leather 
establishment in Rhode Island, and the oldest in the United States, 
save one in Massachusetts, where Mr. Lewis Fairbrother learned the 
art of tanning. 

Squire French, born in Seekonk, Mass., January 26th, 1781, died 
March 12th, 1869. He was a son of John and Lydia (Allen) French. 
He was engaged in the manufacture of cotton cloth, and was inter- 
ested, under the firm name of French «S: Read, in a mill that used to 
stand where D. Goff & Company's present mill is. He gave up busi- 
ness at the commencement of the war. He married Betsey F. Buck- 
lin, and had four children: George, died, aged 43 years; Martha, wife 
of Charles Barrett, of Taunton; Henry, engaged in mercantile busi- 
ness in Boston, and Ellen, wife of Henry Dana, of Pawtucket. 

Darius Goff. — No face is more familiar upon the streets of Paw- 
tucket than is that of the subject of this sketch, nor has that com- 
munity a citizen more deeply interested in its present and future 
prosperity. Darius Goff was born in Rehoboth, Mass., May 10th, 1809. 
His father, Richard Goff, was a manufacturer, and in 1790 built a 
fulling and cloth-dressing mill, and stocked it with the best of ma- 
chinery of that early day. His mother, Mehitable Goff, was a 
daughter of Hon. Stephen Bullock, of Rehoboth. His grandfather, 
Joseph Goff, and his great-grandfather, Richard Goff, also lived 
in Rehoboth. Darius received his education at home and in 
the common schools. At an early age he went into his father's 
mill to help, and to learn the various processes to which the hand- 
spun and hand-woven cloth was subjected in order to make it 
of sufficient weight or thickness for winter wear. His father 
continued the business until 1821, when so great had been the im- 
provements in machinery by Samuel vSlater and others that the hand- 
loom and all other hand machinery in making woolen goods were 
superseded. Young Goff then left Rehoboth and found employment 
in a woolen mill in Fall River, Mass., and a year or two later he was 
clerk in a grocery store in Providence, he having had some previous 
experience in that business while in Rehoboth. 

Returning to his natife town, in 1836 he and his brother Nelson 
purchased the Union Cotton Mill, a concern which was built in 1808, 
but which had long been idle, and began the manufacture of cotton 
8 



114 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

batting, which business they prosecuted with success. Soon after- 
ward they began making glazed wadding, sizing it by hand, a sheet 
at a time, on a table covered with sheet lead, then hanging it on 
racks with a common lath to dry. Subsequently it occurred to them 
that wadding might be made in an almost endless sheet or roll, and 
after experimenting for nearl}' two years the object which they 
sought was attained. This apron process is now so well nigh uni- 
versal as to render description unnecessary. But to make colored 
wadding the firm was obliged to color and dry the cotton before it 
went to the machine. Mr. Goff determined to devise some means 
whereby the process could be accomplished by the same operation, 
and in this he was successful. He enlarged the mill and procured 
the necessary machinery, but shortly after it was set in operation the 
building was burned. 

As early as 1836 Mr. Goff had given considerable attention to the 
buying and selling of cotton waste, and that year he made a contract 
with the Lonsdale Company for all their refuse cotton material which 
they could not utilize in the manufacture of their goods, and has had 
a written contract with them every year since, being now 54 succes- 
sive years. In some years their bills have amounted to more than 
$100,000. Previous to 1836 the refuse of cotton mills was considered 
useless and thrown away. 

In this new business Mr. Goff formed a copartnership in 1846 with 
George Lawton, of Waltham, Mass., and began dealing in waste paper 
stock on Gray's wharf, in Boston, that being nearer the center of the 
paper manufacturing districts. In 1847 Mr. Goff removed to Paw- 
tucket and purchased the estate on Weeden, Pine and Dexter streets, 
now occupied by the Union Wadding Company, which is the legiti- 
mate successor of the cotton-batting industry started by Mr. Goff in 
Rehoboth in 1836. The mill erected on the aforementioned premises 
by Goff & Lawton was run by a steam engine, the cotton being carded 
in the white state, carried through all the processes of coloring and 
sizing, and brought out in endless sheets. In 1861 the mill was 
burned, but was at once rebuilt on a larger scale. In 1859 the part- 
nership of Goff & Lawton was dissolved, Mr. Lawton taking the paper- 
stock business in Boston and Mr. Goff the wadding mill in Pawtucket. 
Mr. Goff then united with John D. Cranston and Stephen Brownell, 
of Providence, under the firm name of Goff, Cranston & Brownell, and 
carried on a general business in paper-stock and wadding. The en- 
terprise increased very rapidly, and in 1860 the firm engaged Henry 
A. Stearns as superintendent of the mill, a position which he still 
holds. Soon after he became superintendent Mr. Goff sold him an 
interest in the mill and the business. In 1871 the mill was burned, 
and rebuilt in 1872 in larger proportions anft with more perfect ma- 
chinery. 

Since 1880 the business has been carried on under the name of the 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 115 

Union Wadding Company, which is now officered as follows:. Darius 
Go£f, president; Lyman B. Goff (his youngest son), treasurer, and 
Henry A. Stearns, superintendent. Mr. L. B. Goff is also manager. 
The business has grown from an annual sale in 1880 of $700,000 to 
nearly $2,000,000 in 1890. The name of the company gives the im- 
pression that the principal business is the manufacture of cotton wad- 
ding, whereas this branch is only about one-sixth of the product of 
the establishment, the main business being the manufacture of cotton 
batting and the buying and selling of cotton waste, a market for 
which is found not only in the United States, but in England and 
Germany. The works have been enlarged from time to time until 
they now cover between four and five acres, and employment is given 
to 400 persons. The company also own a large plant in Augusta, 
Georgia, and one half of a mill in Montreal, Canada. The capital 
stock of the company, which was originally $200,000, is now $1,000,000. 
A majority of the stock is owned by Mr. Goff and his son Lyman. 

In 1861 Mr. Goff began the manufacture of worsted braids, associ- 
ating with him in business his eldest son, Darius L., who had just 
graduated from college, the firm name being D. Goff & Son. This 
was the first worsted braid mill started in this country, although Mr. 
H. N. Daggett, the manufacturer of the " Gold Medal " braid, com- 
menced operations the same year. Until 1867 the mill was run at a 
loss, when a change in the tariff enabled the concern to manufacture 
goods at a profit and build up the industry. Without the protection 
afforded by the law of 1867, it was impossible to compete even with 
the poorer quality of English and German braids put on the market. 
The change in the tariff made a market for the American manufac- 
ture, and the foreign braids were shortly withdrawn from importa- 
tion. The business prospered, and in 1872 Lyman B. Goff, now treas- 
urer of the Union Wadding Company, was admitted to partnership, 
the firm name being D. Goff & Sons, under which name the business 
is still carried on. The same year the large and handsome brick mill 
on the east side of the river was erected on the site of the old stone 
structure which had been previously occupied by the firm. 

In 1877 an important change was made by the firm in the manner 
of putting up their goods for the retail market. Previous to that time 
the braid had been put up in the familiar stick form. Mr. D. L. Goff 
conceived the idea of rolling the braid and fastening the end with a 
clasp. The experiment was tried, and Mr. Goff applied for a patent, 
which was granted as to the clasp. It was predicted by other manu- 
facturers that this style of putting up braid would not meet with 
favor on the part of consumers; but the new method at once secured 
popular approval, and other makers were not slow in following where 
Mr. Goff had led, although they were unable to use the patented 
clasp, and had to substitute some other device therefor, " Goff's 
Braid " is a name which has become as familiar as household words 



116 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

in all parts of the country, branch houses being established in Phila- 
delphia, Chicago, St. Louis and San Francisco. The firm is the lead- 
ing one of its kind in America. 

In 1882 Goff & Sons begafi a new industry. Previous to that time 
mohair plush had not been made in this country or in England. 
Being a very difficult fabric to produce, the firm deemed it advisable 
.to send a representative to France or Germany to procure machinery 
and informiation rather than attempt to solve the problem themselves. 
Accordingly a gentleman of ability and experience in such matters 
was sent to those countries for the purposes named, and after spend- 
ing considerable time in a fruitless effort to obtain the information 
desired, and being unable to purchase machinery (the business being 
kept so secret by those engaged in it), he returned home. The firm 
at once determined that they would work out the problem themselves, 
and after five years of persistent thought and labor they were enabled 
to turn out goods in every way equal to those of foreign make. Since 
this new industry has been so successfully established, the braid mill 
has been materially enlarged, until it is now about 600 feet in length. 
Employment is furnished a large number of persons in both the braid 
and plush departments. 

Mr. Goff is a staunch republican, but has had very little time in 
his busy life to give to politics, and yet he served in the town council 
of Pawtucket before it became a city, and was at one time state sena- 
tor. For many years he was a director in the Franklin Savings Bank, 
and is now a director in the First National Bank of Pawtucket and in 
the Pawtucket Street Railway from its inception. For twenty years 
or more he has been a director in the Pawtucket Hair Cloth Com- 
pany, and at present is a director in the Royal Weaving Company, of 
which corporation he is the originator. He is one of the original 
stockholders of the Pawtucket Gas Company, and for many years has 
been the only one of its original directors living, having been elected 
to tjiat position in 1853. Quite a number of years ago he bought a 
large tract of land in a central part of Pawtucket, laid out and graded 
wide streets at his own expense, and sold lots at a nominal price, 
which are now covered with factories and dwellings. Recently he 
has made large purchases of land in the eastern part of the city, and, 
with others, has given several acres to the New York, Providence & 
Boston Railroad Company on which to erect passenger and freight 
stations and for other railroad purposes, which must prove of great 
advantage to the city. He has also within a short time bought a 
valuable estate in the compact part of the city with the intention of 
building a fine business block thereon. In 1884 he bought the old 
homestead estate in Rehoboth, where he was born, and erected 
thereon a handsome structure which bears the name of " Goff Memo- 
rial." It was dedicated May 10th, 1886, which was also the 77th anni- 
versary of the birth of Mr. Goff, and the 240th of the handing over of 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 117 

the deeds of the old town to the English by Massasoit. The dedica- 
tory exercises were under the direction of the Rehoboth Antiquarian 
Society. 

Mr. Goff is an influential and much esteemed member of the Paw- 
tucket Congregational church, and one of its most liberal supporters. 
In him every good cause finds a friend and helper. 

He has been twice married ; first, in May, 1839, to Sarah Lee, whose 
only child died : second, to Harriet Lee. They were sisters, and 
daughters of Israel Lee, of Dighton, Mass. The children by the second 
marriage have been Darius L., Lyman B., and Sarah C. His sons, as 
already stated, are now associated with him in business. His daugh- 
ter married Thomas S. Steele, of Hartford, Conn. 

William Henry Haskell, president of the William H. Haskell 
Company, was born in the town of Cumberland September 1st, 1821, 
His grandparents, Samuel and Mary Haskell, were among the pioneer 
settlers of this town, locating near Diamond Hill Plains. He died at 
the age of 95 years, in September, 1849. She died in September, 1849, 
at the age of 91 years. Turner Haskell, their son and father of Wil- 
liam H., lived and died in this town. Turner Haskell was a very 
prominent man^ served many years as a member of the town council, 
was a member of the general assembly for a number of years, and 
when he died was regarded as a very rich man. His wife was Pa- 
tience Smith Haskell. She died in 1883, aged 89 years. He died in 
1863, at the age of 73. They raised a family of eight children, five of 
whom were girls. 

William H, Haskell received his education at a country district 
school, which he attended when a youth about three months each 
year. During the other nine months of the year he worked on the 
farm. When eighteen years of age, being moved by the inclinations 
of an inventive mind, he decided upon becoming a machinist. During 
the first two years he closely applied himself to learning his trade in 
the shop of Ebenezer and Joseph Metcalf, who then operated a ma- 
chine shop at Arnold's Mills in the town of Cumberland. In 1840 he 
went to Woonsocket and in 1841 to Fall River In 1845 he came to 
Pawtucket and began business on his own account. He entered first 
into partnership with Nathaniel S. CoUyer, to do repair work, and re- 
mained in that capacity in a little shop on Mill street for four years, 
at first employing eight or ten hands, but subsequently this number 
was increased to 20, then to 30. In 1850 he purchased an interest in 
the business carried on by Colonel Stephen Jenks, and removed there 
and remained till 1861. In 1860 he purchased grounds for the mam- 
moth structures erected subsequently on his own lands, moved into 
his first building January 1st, 1861, and began business in his own 
name with twenty hands. The first building was 100 by 40 feet, two 
stories high, and was supposed to be commodious enough for all fu- 
ture demands, but business increased, and in 1873 it was enlarged to 



lis HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

350 by 50 feet, while the force has been increased to 125 and to 150 
hands, as occasion requires. At the present time he does a business 
of $200,000 a year. 

Politically, Mr. Haskell is a republican, though he never allowed 
himself to become entangled with official restraints to any great ex- 
tent. On matters of public moment he has cast his lot where public 
spirit demanded. He was town councilman three or four terms in 
the old town of North Providence, and after the division of this town 
he served three years as councilman in Pawtucket. He was also one 
of the commissioners appointed to build the water works, in which 
capacity he served two years. In 1888 he was elected to the state 
senate and served one term in that body. 

Mr, Haskell has been twice married. His first wife was Hannah, 
daughter of Columbia and Lydia (Shaw) Tingley. This marriage oc- 
curred about 1845. She died in November, 1868. Two children were 
the issue of this marriage — a son, now dead, and a daughter, Eunice 
Ednah, now the wife of Thomas Moies. His second marriage took 
place in December, 1869, to Ann Elizabeth, daughter of Hiram and 
Sylvia Carter, of Pawtucket. One daughter, Elizabeth D., was born 
of this union, 

Nathan Place Hicks, deceased, patentee of Hicks' ring travelers,, 
was born in North Providence February 26th, 1824. His father, Ste- 
phen Hicks, died when Nathan P. was quite young. He went to sea 
and fell from a mast and broke his neck. His mother, Mrs. Lydia 
(Albro) Hicks, was a sufferer from dementia during the latter part of 
her long life, making her home during the last 19 years of her sick- 
ness with her son, under the care of his wife, Mrs. Hicks, Mr, Hicks 
of necessity had to work hard from his youth up. His education was- 
scant, but nevertheless the mind of the man was broadened and edu- 
cated by the very constraining circumstances surrounding his life. 
From a common hand in the mill he rose to be overseer for James C. 
vStarkweather, and for eleven years was overseer for the Chase Mill. 

While at work in Valley Falls he began experimenting on the ring 
travelers in his own house, after the day's work was done. He began 
their manufacture in 1853. One defect in former ring travelers was 
a lack of uniformity in numbers in regard to weight. To remedy this 
little defect the little instrument had to be manufactured with greater 
exactness, which from trial he found could be accomplished. He first 
began the manufacture of them in Valley Falls, and with Mrs. Hicks' 
assistance they were hardened at night at the house. He moved to 
Providence in 1860, and came to Pawtucket, locating in the old Slater 
Mill, about 1867. He had various associates and did business under 
different styles, viz.: N. P. Hicks & Co., Hicks & Sprague, N. P. Hicks; 
as agent for Olney Arnold, then of the firm of E. Jenckes & Co. The 
Messrs, Jenckes steadily increased their business, until these goods 
are widely used in our own country and extensively exported to Eu- 



/I 



^ 0^ ,1 




^^^ J^ j^^A 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 119 

rope. Mr. Hicks also devised machinery for making gimlet-pointed 
wire goods for cotton and woolen mecliinery. He finally sold out to 
E. Jenckes & Co. for $75,000. His first connection with Messrs. 
Jenckes was in 1869. In 1885, on September 30th, he died. As a man 
he was self made, and was free-hearted and generous to a fault. He 
was a member in high standing in both the Masonic and Odd Fellows 
orders. 

In 1846 he was married to Sarah, daughter of James and Betsey 
(Butterworth) Lee, of England. Mr. Lee died when Mrs. Hicks was 
a very little girl. Her mother married the second time, and died in 
Wisconsin in 1877. Mr. Hicks purchased his residence property in 
Pawtucket in 1877. He left no children, but raised an adopted daugh- 
ter, now Mrs. Sarah Adaline Howe. 

The Jenks Family is a numerous one in the towns of Pawtucket 
and Lincoln. The name is variously spelled, Jenks, Jencks, or Jenckes. 
The first settler of this family in America was Joseph Jenks, who came 
from Buckingham, England, to Salem, Mass., in 1645. He was the 
first founder that worked in brass and iron on the Western Continent, 
and a large number of his descendants have since that time engaged 
in the same trade. He had a son Joseph, who was born in England in 
1632, and who came to what is now Pawtucket about 1655. He fol- 
lowed his father's trade and was among the first settlers in that 
locality. He married Esther, daughter of William and Elizabeth 
Ballard. In 1676 his forge was destroyed by the Indians during King 
Phillip's war. He held the position of assistant for a number of 
years. His children were : Joseph ; Esther, married Samuel Millard ; 
Elizabeth, married Samuel Tefft ; Sarah, married Nathaniel Brown ; 
Nathaniel; Joanna, married Sylvanus Scott; Ebenezer ; Mary, married 
Daniel Jenckes; Abigail, married Thomas Whipple, and William, 
Joseph died January 4th, 1717. 

Joseph, son of Joseph, was born in 1656, and married for his first 
wife Martha, daughter of John and Mary Brown, by whom he had 
the following children : Joseph, who died without male issue ; Oba- 
diah ; Catherine, married William Turpin ; Nathaniel ; Martha, mar- 
ried John Andrews : Lydia, married Christopher Mason ; John, be- 
came a doctor and died of small pox at London, England, in 1726 ; 
Mary, and Esther, married Benjamin Bucklin. Joseph was in public 
office for the most of the time from 1691 to 1732, and was known 
by the title of " Governor." He held the positions of deputy, speaker 
of deputies, assistant, deputy governor and governor. His second 
wife was Alice, daughter of John and Sarah (Whipple) Smith and 
widow of John Dexter. He died June 15th, 1740. Nathaniel, son of 
Governor Joseph, married Catharine Scott, and had the following 
children : Anna, married Jonathan Foster ; Martha, married David 
Harris; John ; Catharine, married John Olney, and Joseph. He was 
known by the title of captain, having been connected with the 
military. 



120 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

John, son of Captain Nathaniel, had three sons: Esek and Sylva- 
nus, both of whom died single, and George. George, son of John, had 
a large family, among whom were six boys, viz.: Nathaniel Miller, 
Lemuel Holmes, James Varnum, George Foster, William Thomson, 
and Albert Carlile. Nathaniel Miller, son of George, had children : 
Edmund, who died in Lowell, Mass., leaving no family ; Almira, 
married Job Bennett ; Ruth, married Isaiah Barney ; Horace, died 
single, and Lydia, married Willard Follett. Lemuel Holmes, son of 
George, married Nancy Ingalls, and had four children : Sally Miller, 
married John Fairbrother; Ann Eliza, widow of Adin Barber, resides 
in Pawtucket ; Nathaniel M., and George C. died leaving no male 
issue. Nathaniel M., son of Lemuel H., born February 26th, 1818, 
died February 10th, 1872. He married Rebecca Green and their 
children are: Sarah, wife of Augustus Leach, of Providence; John C, 
resides in Barrington, R. L, and Charles Edwin, born in Central Falls, 
May 23d, 1851, married Sarah J. Allen and has two children. Nelson 
L. and Harry E. 

William Thomson, son of George, married Patience Hall and had 
had a family of five children, viz. : George C. resides in New York 
city; Elizabeth K,, resides in Pawtucket; William N., resides in 
Chelsea, Mass. ; Henry F., and Erastus Collins, died aged 15 years. 
William T. died January 7th, 1879. Henry F., son of William T., was 
born in Pawtucket May 12th, 1837, married Mary, adopted daughter 
of Doctor Hiram Cleveland and has three children : Hiram Cleveland, 
Charles Francis, and Dorothy. 

Albert Carlile, son of George, was born August 2d, 1798, and mar- 
ried Minerva Kingsley, by whom he had three children, viz. : Mary 
Frances, widow of Joseph Wheelock, resides in New York city ; 
James Carlile, and Alfred Augusta, both of whom died in infancy. 
His second wife was Mary Pitcher, daughter of Abner Tompkins, and 
they had four children ; Amelia Minerva and Ellen Sophia, twins, the 
former the wife of Gilbert B. Dana, of Providence, the latter died at 
the age of four years ; Delia Eliza, resides in Providence, and Anna 
Maria, wife of James M. Bishop, of Pawtucket. Albert Carlile was 
early in life engaged in the crockery business in Pawtucket, but the 
latter years of his life he was in the drug trade. He died September 
22d, 1872. 

Joseph Jenks, son of Captain Nathaniel and grandson of Governor 
Joseph, had the following family: Nathaniel, Ephraim and Joseph, 
besides daughters. Ephraim, son of Joseph, married Rachel Cole, 
and their children were: Hosea, Sarah, Mary A., Emily, Daniel W. 
and George W. Hosea, son of Ephraim, was born January 26th, 1802, 
and married Annie Barber, of Yarmouth, Mass. Their children were: 
Shubael, died young; James L., John A. and Caroline, widow of Wil- 
liam L. Gray, resides in Baltimore, Md. John A., son of Hosea, was 
born in Valley Falls, October 18th, 1828, and married Martha Connor. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 121 

His children are: James L., born April 15th, 1858, a lawyer, of Paw- 
tucket, and Jennie B. 

• Nathaniel Jenks, son of Joseph, the Pawtucket settler, was born 
January 29th, 1662, and married Hannah Bosworth. He was known 
by the title of Major. His children were: Jonathan, Nathaniel, 
Hannah, married Bonsfield Capron, and Elizabeth, married John 
Owen. He died August 11th, 1723. Nathaniel, son of Major Na- 
thaniel, married Lydia Arnold and had the following family: Martha, 
married Abraham Scott; Stephen; Lydia, married Christopher Brown; 
Joanna, married Daniel Branch; Ichabod, James and Jemima, died 
single. 

Stephen, son of Nathaniel, had six sons: Eleazer, Nathaniel, 
Moses, Stephen, Benjamin (left no male issue) and Jerahmeel, who 
married Rhoda Whipple, and had three daughters: Amy, married 
Nathaniel G. B. Dexter; Polly, married Joseph Ashley; Sarah, mar- 
ried first. Potter, second Samuel Chaffee. Eleazer, son of Stephen, 
had two sons, viz., Eleazer and Stephen, both of whom died without 
leaving male issue. Moses, son of Stephen, married Lois Tingley, of 
Attleboro, Mass., and had four sons: Pardon, Jabez, Moses and 
Charles. The two last died without male issue. Pardon, son of 
Moses, was born in Pawtucket in 1774, and married Freelove, daugh- 
ter of John and Lydia Pitcher and widow of Samuel Rand. Their 
children were: William, Mary, married Joseph Smith, of Pawtucket; 
Lydia, widow of Albert Bliss, a resident of Pawtucket; Pardon, Eliza- 
beth, wife of John C. Dodge, of Dodgeville, Mass. Pardon died 
April 20th, 1861. William, son of Pardon, born June 27th, 1808, mar- 
ried Freelove Douglass, and had three children: Jonathan P., Daniel 
B. and William H. He died January 3d, 1888. 

Jonathan P., son of William, born June 26th, 1831, married 
Hannah Whitman, and has two children, William and Hattie F. He 
is a carpenter by trade. Daniel Browning, son of Williarn, born Feb- 
ruary "7th, 1833, married Sarah E. Ide, and has two children, Daniel 
Sanford and Charles Browning. He is foreman of the pattern depart- 
ment of the Fales & Jenks Machine Company. William Henry, son 
of William, born December 9th, 1835, married Ruth Alexander, and 
has had seven children: Sarah A., William B., Elizabeth S., wife of G. 
B. Allen, of Pawtucket; Frank R., George C, Joseph H., died aged 
seven years, and Ruth D. He is a pattern maker by trade. William 
B., son of William H., married Cora Sherman; has two children, Avis 
and Edith A. 

Pardon, son of Pardon, born in Pawtucket, married Sarepta Tinck- 
ham, of Rochester, Mass. They had three children: Pardon, Henry, 
died young, and Mary E., wife of Adolphus F. Davis, of Pawtucket. 
Pardon died August 20th, 1878. Pardon, son of Pardon, was born in 
Pawtucket, December 9th, 1843, married Eliza Jane Curran; has one 
child, Ida L. 



122 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Jabez Jenks, son of Moses and grandson of Stephen, married 
Patience, daughter of Deacon Ichabod Tabor. Of their family of nine 
children but two lived to maturity, viz., Isaac Tabor and Louisa, 
widow of Edward B. Jenks, who resides in Pawtucket. Jabez died on 
October 22d, 1817, in his 38th year. Isaac Tabor, son of Jabez, was 
born August 23d, 1809, and married Clestina Luther. Of their seven 
children two died in infancy. The others are: Josephine, wife of 
Francis Bishop, of Pawtucket; Frank, a resident of New Haven, Conn.; 
Edmund C, Clestina, wife of George Briggs, of Providence, and 
Louisa. He died February 1st, 1885. Edmund C, son of Isaac T., 
born September 24th, 1845, married Jane* I. Flagg, and has one child, 
George W. F. 

Stephen Jenks, son of Stephen, was twice married. His first wife 
was Sarah Arnold and his second wife Ruth Arnold. His children 
were all by his first wife. His sons were Arnold. David, George, Na- 
than, who died young; Linden, Alvin and Jerathmael. George, son 
of Stephen, was born in Pawtucket October 6th, 1783, and married 
Betsey Miller, a native of Westboro, Mass. He died July 6th, 1825, 
and had but one child, Andrew. He was a blacksmith and forger, en- 
gaged in making anchors for New Bedford whalers; also, in company 
with his father and brothers, in the manufacture of guns. His de- 
scendants spell their name Jencks. Andrew, son of George, born in 
Pawtucket September 2d, 1822, married Almina, daughter of James 
Weatherhead, of Cumberland, R. I. Their children were: Louisa A., 
died seven years of age; George B., died an infant; George Andrew; 
Elizabeth, wife of John F. Clark, of Valley Falls; James W., died in 
infancy. George Andrew, son of Andrew, born in Pawtucket Septem- 
ber 24th, 1847, married Isabella M. Cook, of Cumberland, R. I., and 
has two children, Andrew Edmund and Preserved Arnold. He is en- 
gaged in the stove and hardware business in Pawtucket. 

Ichabod Jenks, son of Nathaniel, Major Nathaniel, Joseph, origi- 
nal settler in Pawtucket, had a large family, among whom were six 
sons: Levi, David, Abner (the two last moved to Massachusetts), Sam^ 
uel, Ichabod and Israel. Levi, son of Ichabod, married a Bowers, and 
had four sons: Thames, Levi, Sylvester and Edward; the two latter 
ones died single. Levi, son of Levi, married Ruth Harding, and their 
children were: David, a bachelor, resides in Pawtucket; Minerva, de- 
ceased, married Henry Childs; Alfred B., Charles, died leaving no 
male issue, and Thomas, single, a resident of Pawtucket. Alfred B., 
son of Levi, born November 11th, 1829. married Hannah Jackson. 
Their children were: John, who died aged 29 years (leaving children, 
Alfred B., Charles H. and Mabel); Melissa, married John P. Ballou,- 
of Attleboro, Mass., died aged 33 years, and Charles H., married 
Emma Baker, and has two children, Gertie and Henry Irving. 

Ichabod, son of Ichabod, had four sons: Slater, Phenuel, Van Eason, 
who died single, and Otis, the only survivor. Phenuel, son of Ichabod^ 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 123: 

married for his first wife Martha Westgate, by whom he had four 
children: William W., Mabel, wife of Edward S. Carr, of Pawtucket;, 
Amelia, wife of E. A. Bosworth, of Pawtucket, and Edward B. His 
second wife was Ann McQuade. The issue of this marriage are Ze- 
lotus W. and Helen M. Phenuel died September 20th, 1888. Edward 
B., son of Phenuel, born July 27th, 1859, married Isabella Barnes, of 
Oxford, Mass., and has two children, Martha Isabella and Eva May. 

Israel, son of Ichabod, married Lydia Handy. Their children 
were: Louisa, who has married twice, and now resides at Maiden, 
Mass.; Sterry, died aged five years; Edward Bucklin, Cordelia, de- 
ceased, married Charles Dunham; Joseph Handy, died in Pittsburg, 
Pa.; Mahala, deceased, married Richard Dexter; George A., died in 
Providence, and Margaret, wife of Granville Williams, of Johnston, 
R. I. Edward Bucklin, son of Israel, born in Pawtucket December 
18th, 1805, married Louisa, daughter of Jabez Jenks. Of their seven 
children, one died in infancy. The others are: Jabez Edward, died 
in service during late war; Theodore Weld, a resident of Attleboro, 
Mass.; Mary Louisa, widow of Lemuel Cummings; Ellen M., Curtis 
Vincent, of Providence, and Lydia A., wife of Frank H. Maynard, of 
Providence. Edward B. died September 2d, 1870. 

Reverend Ebenezer Jenks, son of Joseph, the original settler at 
Pawtucket, was born in 1669 and died August 14th, 1726. He was or- 
dained pastor of the First Baptist church in 1719. He married Mary 
Butterworth, and of a family of 18 children the following are the only 
ones that grew up: Ebenezer, Daniel, Phebe, married Job Comstock; 
Rachel, married Cornelius Esten, and Mercy, married Colonel Philip 
Wheeler. Ebenezer, son of Reverend Ebenezer, born September 
17th, 1699, died November, 1786, married Experience Martin. Their 
children were: Hopestill, married Elijah Norton; Nathan, married 
Sarah Stewart; Phebe, married William Jenckes; Waite, married 
Jabez Palmer; Mary and Freelove, both died single. Daniel, son of 
Reverend Ebenezer, was born October 18th, 1701, and died July 7th, 
1774. He married Joanna Scott, and their children were: Mary, mar- 
ried David Harris; Sarah, married Christopher Hopkins for her first 
husband and for her second Ambrose Page; John, married Freelove 
Crawford; Rhoda, married Nicholas Brown, and Joanna, married 
Nicholas Tillinghast. Daniel was chief justice of Providence court 
for 30 years. These are all the records we have been able to obtain 
of this branch of the family. 

Judge William Jenks, son of Joseph, was born in 1675 and died 
October 2d, 1765. He married Patience, daughter of Jonathan and 
Mehitable (Holbrook) Sprague. He was the first chief justice of the 
Providence court. His children were: Joseph, who died young; Mercy^ 
married Thomas Comstock; Esther, married John Comstock; vSusanna, 
married Joseph Bucklin; William; Patience married John Olney; Jona- 
than, John, and Mehitable, married Thomas Olney. The descendants- 



124 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

of Judge William spell their name Jenckes. William, son of Judge 
William, had several sons, viz.: William, who removed to Brookfield, 
Mass.; Joseph, Christopher, and John. Jonathan, son of Judge Wil- 
liam, had three sons: Gideon, Jonathan, removed to Winchester, 
Mass., and Nicholas, went to North Brookfield, Mass. John, son of 
Judge William, was born in 1732, and being a physician was known 
as Doctor John. He married Rachel Lawrence, and had the fol- 
lowing children: Edmund, Henry, Jesse, John, Thomas, Mary (mar- 
ried David Smith), William, Lawrence, Sarah (married Doctor Ichabod 
Comstock), Caroline (married James Angell), Patience (married Daniel 
Comstock), Rachel, Isaac, Lydia (married David Lapham), and Abigail 
(married Jacob Comstock). Henry, son of Doctor John, was born in 
1733 and married Amity Harris. His children were: John (married 
Sarah Smith and had three daughters and one son, Henry, who emi- 
grated west), Martha (married Joseph Wilkinson), Daniel, Reuben 
(died aged four years), and Amy (married Thomas Arnold). Daniel, 
son of Henry, was born in 1771 and died in 1861. He married Patience 
Bartlett. Their children were: Henry; Mary, living in Lincoln; 
Amelia P., lives in Lincoln; John L., was a physician and died at 
Hazel Green, Wisconsin; Caroline, died young; Sarah A., and George 
Bartlett, the latter two being residents of Lincoln. Thomas, son of 
Doctor John, married Patience Smith. It was an old saying that he 
had sixty feet of daughters, for of his eleven children ten were girls, 
all whom were uncommonly tall. His son's name was Rufus, and he 
married Amy Arnold. Their children were: Jeremiah, who left no 
issue; Pardon; Smith, born March 15th, 1802, married Amy Ballou, 
and died May 22d, 1886, left no children; George; Arnold, has no de- 
cendants living, and Mary, married Jesse Smith, of Lincoln. Pardon, 
son of Rufus, was born in 1800 and died in 1863. He married Lydia 
W. Bolster, and had four children: William, died single; Willard S.; 
Amy, married Charles Bennett, resides in Pawtucket, and Daniel, 
lives in Southern Rhode Island. Willard S., son of Pardon, born 
August 5th, 1827, married Louisa, daughter of George Whipple. 
Their children are: Lydia, wife of William F. Jefferson, of Providence, 
and George W. Willard S. married for his second wife Rosamond 
Smith, and resides in Providence. 

George, son of Rufus, was born in 1798 and died January 18th, 
1885. He married Mary, daughter of Doctor Peter Ballou, and had 
two children: Newton, who died young, and Rufus, born November 
5th 1827, and married for his first wife Martha E. Angell. The 
children by this marriage are: Oliver A. and Ellen Maria, wife of 
Sylvanus I. Peck, of East Providence. His second wife was Mary E. 
Eldridge, and they have six children: Mary Adna, Eliza C, wife of 
Frederic I. Vose, of Cumberland; George T., married Ruth Mabel 
Vose and has one child, Betram Rufus; Martha E., Eva L., wife of 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 125 

Frank E. Vose, of Cumberland, and Smith A. Rufus is a farmer and 
resides in Lincoln. 

The following branch of the Jenckes family we are unable to trace 
further back than Daniel Jenckes, who married first Sarah Croft, and 
had two sons, Daniel and Gideon. His second wife was Rhoda, and 
the children of this marriage were: Bispah, who died young; Jabez, 
Ezra, Samuel, Dinah, who married a Ray; Russell, Lemuel, Sterry, and 
Sarah, who died single. Russell, son of Daniel, was born in Cumber- 
land, October 15th, 1783, and married Hopestill Matthewson, of Smith- 
field, who, in 1818, drowned herself and her children, Betsey, Rhoda, 
Harriet and Louisa, in Scott's pond. The only other child of this mar- 
riage was Liberty, who died young. Russell married for his second 
wife Julia Dexter, and their children were: George, died young; Ruth, 
widow of William H. Drown, resides at Ashton, R. L; Mary Elizabeth, 
wife of Joseph Ashworth, of Putnam, Conn.; Hannah, deceased, mar- 
ried Isaiah Carr of Coventry, R. I.; Horace, died at Yarmouth, Mass., 
but always resided in Providence; Lyman, resides in Providence (the 
two last were twins), and Julia, deceased, married Dennis Higgins. 
Russell died May 8th, 1842. He was a farmer, and resided in Cum- 
berland. Sterry, son of Daniel, was born in February, 1787, married 
Nancy Dexter, and had the following family: Horatio Nelson, died 
aged 19 years; Elsy Ann, deceased, married Stewart Merry; Rhoda, 
deceased, married Levi Carpenter; Jabez Walcott, died in Providence, 
and Diana, widow of Benjamin H. Aldrich, resides in Providence. 
Sterry married for his second wife Abbie Chaney, who in 1889 was liv- 
ing in Lincoln, in her 95th year. The children by this marriage were: 
Albert Chaney, Arabella C, single; Sereno Thayer, lives at Ashton, 
R. I.; Ella Dora, wife of Addison Hawes, of East Providence; Mary 
Humphrey, single, lives in Lincoln; Charles Erastus, resides in Provi- 
dence; Ardelia, Henry Hartwell, Nathaniel Nilso, unmarried, and 
George Frederick. Sterry died November 26th, 1853. Henry Hart- 
well, son of Sterry, is unmarried, and resides at Lime Rock, R. I. He 
has been engaged in teaching for over forty years. He has had em- 
ployment as a teacher at the Plainfield Academy, Plainfield,Conn.; at 
the academy at Chepachet, R. L, also the Spanish College in Chili, 
South America. While a resident of Chepachet he studied law with 
Colonel George Browne, and practiced in Boston, Mass., but re- 
linquished his practice upon receiving the appointment, during 
Grant's first administration, of United States Consul to Buenos Ares, 
South America. He acts as counsel in cases at the present day, and 
is also engaged in teaching. George Frederick, son of Sterry, was 
born May 4th, 1834; married Mary Theresa Scennell, and has three 
children: Sterry, Beta and Flora. Mr. Jenckes went to California in 
1858, and from there to Chili in I860. He afterward went to the 
Argentine Republic, and, during the Patagonian war, was chief engi- 
neer of the Brazillian navy. He returned to his native country in 



126 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

1871, but subsequently went to Peru and engaged in railroad building, 
where he remained till 1878, when he went to Nicaragua, Central 
America, and built for the government the first railroad in that coun- 
try, running from Corinto to Granada, a distance of 96 miles. In 1888 
Mr. Jenckes returned to his native town, and has built the finest 
■house in the township. 

Edwin Jenckes, president of the E. Jenckes Manufacturing Com- 
pany, is one of the leading manufacturers of Pawtucket, and is a 
grandson of Job Jenckes, one of the pioneer manufacturers of cotton 
goods in the state. Job Jenckes, the founder of Jenckesville, was a 
prominent man. He was engaged in the making of cotton goods in 
the old Social Mill before the year 1822. At this time he built the 
Jenckesville Mills in the town of Cumberland, now Woonsocket. His 
son, George Jenckes, the father of Edwin Jenckes, was born in the 
year 1800. He was engaged with his father and brothers in the 
manufacturing business. 

Edwin Jenckes was born in Jenckesville, January 9th, 1826. He 
received his education at the public schools of Woonsocket, complet- 
ing his course at Nichols Academy, Dudley, Mass., in 1842. When 25 
years of age he went to Philadelphia, and became one of the em- 
ployees in a silk manufactory there, but within two years returned to 
Woonsocket and engaged as a manufacturer of sewing silk till the 
breaking out of the civil war. The style of the firm was W. A. & E. 
Jenckes. From 1861 to 1872 he engaged in the manufacture of silks, 
•cotton and bonnet wire in Blackstone and Walpole, Mass., and then 
removed to Pawtucket, where he is at present doing a successful 
business in the manufacture of supplies for cotton and woolen mills, 
•market or bright wire goods, spring cotters and split keys, ring 
travelers, belt hooks, cotton yarns and hosiery goods. 

Mr. Jenckes is a republican. He cares little for political prefer- 
:ment, but, nevertheless, has been sent to the general assembly of 
Rhode Island on five different occasions. He served two terms, just 
before the outbreak of the civil war, representing Woonsocket, and 
three terms after coming to Pawtucket. 

James Mason was a native of Attleboro, Mass., and married La- 
vinia Cartee. He came to what is now Pawtucket about 1800, and was 
a painter by trade. He held during his life a number of town offices, 
and was connected with the military for a number of years, being a 
major. His children were: Sarah, widow of Nathaniel Spaulding, of 
Lincoln; Mary, deceased, married William Brownell, of Providence; 
John, died single, at sea; Martha, died young, and James S., born in 
what is now Pawtucket October 16th, 1812. In 1849 he went to Cali- 
fornia, remaining a year, and on his return he opened in Pawtucket 
the first daily market and introduced early summer vegetables from 
the South to his patrons. He also, like his father, held many public 
offices. He married Arthusa A. Cummings and had two children: Lois 




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(^a^^^ Cf^^^ 




HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 127 

Maria and Lavinia C, wife of Natlian W. Whipple, of Pawtucket. He 
died February 16th, 1889. 

Georc;e Edwin Newell, one of the largest dealers in the country 
in lumber and coal, was born in the town of Cumberland, R. I., Sep- 
tember 19th, 1830. His ancestor, Abraham Newell, sailed from Ips- 
wich, England, to America in 1634, and settled at Roxbury, Mass. He 
died in 1672, at the age of 91 years. The paternal line of the Newell 
family has been as follows: Abraham, Jacob, Jacob 2d, Joseph, Jason, 
John and George Edwin. Some of the most prominent men of the 
country have descended from Abraham Newell. The gifted and elo- 
quent Doctor Jonathan Maxcy was of this family. He was the second 
president of Brown University, succeeding the Reverend Doctor Man- 
ning, when but 23 years of age. He was probably one of the most 
gifted pulpit orators this country has ever raised up. Joseph Newell, 
the great-grandfather of our subject, lived in Attleboro, Mass. Jason 
Newell, his son, was the first to come to the town of Cumberland. He 
was a man of marked prominence, and was a judge of the county 
court at one time. He married Mary Spaulding, of Smithfield. John 
Newell, the father of George Edwin, was a farmer at Four Corners, 
near Diamond Hill Plains. He owned the saw mill there, now in 
possession of his son, Jason Newell. He married three times, but had 
children only by his second wife, Mrs. Polly (Grant) Newell. She 
died in 1833, when George E. was but three years old. Their children 
were Eliza, Jason and George E. 

The subject of this sketch worked on his father's farm and at the 
mill, attending the winter school till 16 years of age. He was then 
permitted to go to school at East Greenwich, R. I. His father gave 
him the privilege of earning money to educate himself. He first 
clerked in a store at Diamond Hill Plains, earning sufficient to attend 
Professor Quimby's Institute at North Scituate one term. In the win- 
ter of 1848-9 he taught school at Cumberland Hill, in the Pound dis- 
trict, attending to a drove of cattle for his father on the Brown farm. 
He proved a successful teacher and disciplinarian, and was urged to 
take the same school the winter following. The next summer he 
worked at home again,, and in the fall of 1850 entered the Merrimack 
Normal Institute, under Professors Russell and Ray, at Reed's Ferry, 
New Hampshire. During the winter of 1850-1 he taught very suc- 
ces.sfully in Smithfield, in the Lewis Dexter district, and again re- 
turned in the spring to work upon the farm. His reputation as a 
teacher began to be noticed, and he was sought for by trustees before 
previous engagements were completed. The expenses of his educa- 
tion thus far were paid by himself, except the first term at East 
Greenwich Academy. In the fall of 1851 he entered Brown Univer- 
sity, taking a special course in mathematics, chemistry and didactics. 
During the following winter he taught school again with great satis- 
faction to the school authorities in the Kings Street district, Franklin, 



128 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Mass., in order to secure funds, but before the close of his term the 
trustees at Franklin Centre sought his services, and he made an en- 
gagement with them for the winter of 1852-3. In the meantime he 
worked for his brother Jason on the home farm. But his success as a 
teacher had arrested the attention of educators, and on May 11th, 
1852, he received the following communication in regard to the school 
at Globe village, Woonsocket Falls, R. I. The letter was from Mr. S. 
Newton, trustee, and was as follows: 

" Dear Sir; I have received your letter of the 8th instant, and has- 
ten to say that although thirty-eight dollars per month is considerably 
more than we have before paid for the same service, yet in considera- 
tion of the high character you sustain as a teacher we have concluded 
to allow it, and I think you will be satisfied with that, even though 
the school should number a few over Fifty Scholars, as we do not con- 
sider it a hard school to manage. We will expect you, then, to com- 
mence Monday morning next, and will not trouble you to come and see 
us before that time unless you prefer to. 

" Respectfully yours, S. Newton." 

This school was taught to the very great satisfaction of the com- 
munity until time to commence the engagement made for Franklin 
Centre school, which began in December, 1852, and ended in the 
spring of 1853. Continued success had followed him as a teacher, and 
his advice was sought by educators in relation to teachers and teach- 
ing, but in that same year he entered into partnership with his 
brother-in-law, J. W. Tingley, and for one year engaged in business 
in a variety store in Central Falls, which they had purchased of N. 
K. Sherman & Co. In September, 1854, he again entered Brown 
University and finished the course of study he had designed to pursue, 
completing his work there in June, 1856. He then taught the Union 
High School at Central Falls, where success crowned his work. Mr. 
Newell is still spoken of as one of the most successful teachers Central 
Falls has ever had. 

Failing health induced him to change his course of life, and in 
1857 he left the school work to enter into business with his uncle 
Smith Grant, then in the grocery business at Pawtucket. At this time 
the wharf property was purchased of S. Budlong in May, 1857, with 
the view of engaging in the wholesale trade in flour and grain, but it 
all soon merged into the lumber and coal business, and the grocery 
business was sold out in 1859. Since that time the firm known as S. 
Grant & Co. have built up an immense trade. They started with one 
horse, but now employ thirty and forty, and as many more are used 
by outsiders who handle wood and coal for their respective patrons. 
About three acres of ground were originally purchased for wharfage, 
but this has been extended to five acres, all now covered with exten- 
sive buildings incident to the business. In July, 1885, Mr. Grant 
died and Mr. Newell, by purchase of all interests of the heirs, became 




Sn^^ly^pffj^mimfrZ 




HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 129 

sole owner. Besides being a dealer in coal, of which he has a storage 
capacity under cover of 15,000 tons (and in all 2o,()00 tons), he also 
handles lumber in great quantities. Of building materials he has a 
great variety, probably more than any other concern in the state. At his 
yard almost everything required to erect a house can be found: brick, 
lime, cement. North River stone, sewer pipe, plastering hair, mortar, 
stains, calcined plaster, lumber in great variety, doors, mouldings, 
sash, blinds, window and door frames, etc. Mr. Newell has superior 
facilities for handling coal in large quantities, and he supplies many 
of the large manufacturing establishments in and around the city of 
Pawtucket. He has revolutionized the handling of coal by his inven- 
tive skill, being the first to apply the dumping gear to heavy carts, 
and obtained a patent for the same. It was by his direction, with the 
assistance of his foreman. Mr. Lorin G. Ladd, that the discharging of 
coal from barges by the self-loading steam shovel was first introduced 
and successfully operated. The patent coal bucket of Newell & Ladd 
is now regarded as a great labor saving machine. From this machine 
have sprung nearly all the devices for handling coal cheaply. As 
many as 600 tons of coal have been discharged from a coal barge in 
four hours time by the use of this machine. 

Mr. Newell always looked after the financial part of the business, 
making collections and paying bills. As business increased greater 
facilities were needed, involving great expense quite as fast as capital 
accumulated, and in the financial crash of 1873 they found themselves 
with a large indebtedriess, but they lived through the embarrassment, 
paying a hundred cents on every dollarthey owed. After Mr Grant's 
death it was supposed the business would go under, but the public 
reckoned without knowledge. The senior member of the firm 
of S. Grant & Co. was very conservative. The business then 
had money and the credit was good. The junior partner was careful, 
was just as cautious, but was far more aggressive. He was an excel- 
lent buyer, probably none more so in his line of business. Gifted 
with a clear view of impending booms and revulsions, he knew when 
to make ventures, how to figure upon margins, and he alone had been 
the conservation of the company in times of depression as well as its 
master element when the financial horoscope was bright and shining. 
Upon taking the business himself he boldly launched forth in specu- 
lative ventures that were truly astounding. During the first year 
under his management he purchased 25,000 tons of coal at a very low 
rate, and much of it was sold for double the purchase money. This 
was but the beginning of a series of successes which have followed 
his management, exceeding even the most sanguine expectations of 
business men. 

Mr. Newell's success in business is largely due to the habits of his 
early life. He has always been strictly temperate, using neither 
tobacco in any form, nor intoxicating liquors of any kind, living to 



130 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

manhood without vitiated tastes or an enervated constitution, and he 
now enjoys excellent health. He has been distinctively a business 
man. He is public spirited but no politician. He was chairman of the 
school committee at one time, was one of the commissioners appointed 
to build the Washington bridge, and was in 1884 a representative to 
the lower house of the state legislature. His great work has been in 
securing the necessary legislation for the improving the river and the 
bridges for navigation. Through his efforts mainly, and at a great 
cost to himself, he has secured a water highway from Pawtucket to 
the sea. When he began the long series of fights for these privileges, 
the city had three drawbridges 25 feet wide, with water but eight and 
a half feet deep. The bridges now have 80 feet draw-way, and the 
river improvements nearly completed give 17 feet of water. Mr. 
Newell is a very charitable man and gives freely of his means for 
the upbuilding of all public institutions. His forefathers have been 
Quakers in their religious beliefs. He himself is a member of the 
First Baptist church, Pawtucket, and now one of its trustees. He re- 
cognizes the church as the chief corner stone of our nation's great- 
ness and warmly responds to all her calls for aid. 

Mr. Newell was married August 3d, 1857, to Ermina A. Pinkham. 
She was a daughter of Joseph and Sarah (Moulton) Pinkham. Their 
children now living are: Lillian A., Carrie P., Ada L., Edwin L., 
Lucius H., and Arthur G. Mr. Newell has arranged to incorporate 
his business under the name of the Newell Coal & Lumber Company, 
with a capital stock of $200,000. 

Jacob Nelson Polsey, of Pawtucket, was born in Ashton, town of 
Cumberland, R. L, August 31st, 1830, being the youngest son of Abner 
and Lydia (Sweetland) Polsey. He attended the local schools of his 
native town, and, his father being a carpenter, he worked at that trade 
a few years. He came to Pawtucket with his father about 1846. At 
the age of 18 he went to work for the Moshassuck Print Works, mak- 
ing their packing cases, where he remained nine years, becoming so 
expert that he made on an average 30 cases daily, all by hand. For 
the next few years he engaged in the manufacture of jewelry with 
the firm of William Hood & Co., of Central Falls. In 1857 he pur- 
chased of Luther & Ashton their packing box manufactory, located 
at Shad Rock, which, in 1872, was removed to its present location. 
He married Elizabeth M., daughter of Joseph Hood. Their children 
are: Mary Elizabeth, wife of Edwin A. Scott, of Pawtucket; Isabella, 
wife of J. W. Dennis; Jennie D., wife of Frank Mossberg, resides in 
Pawtucket; Charles Nelson, and Jacob Everett. He was an active 
member of the First Baptist church of Pawtucket. His death oc- 
curred August 19th, 1887. 

The Payne Family, of Pawtucket, is of English descent, and Wil- 
liam, a native of Warwickshire, was a die-maker by trade. He emi- 
grated from the old country and first settled at Taunton, Mass., but 




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HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 131 

came to Pawtucket about 1827. His wife was Hannah, daughter of 
William Cooper. Their children were: John G., who resides in Provi- 
dence; William, who died in Pawtucket; Hannah, deceased, married 
Oliver Hunt; Charles; Martha and Mary Ann, twins, the latter died 
in infancy, the other died single, and Mary Ann, died aged 21 years. 
Charles, son of William, was born in Warwickshire, England, Decem- 
ber 29th, 1819, and married Keziah, daughter of John and Sarah Bind- 
ley, she being also a native of Warwickshire. He died October 27th, 
1869, and left the following family: George Witheredge, Charles 
Bindley, James Robinson, Amey, wife of Henry A. Smith, resides in 
Pawtucket; William Elijah, Byron Cooper, Annie Naomi, wife of 
Frank Hodge, resides in Troy, N. Y.; Ella Maria, wife of George B. 
Olney, of Pawtucket, and John Milton. 

George Witheredge, son of Charles, was born in Pawtucket June 
30th, 1843. His first wife was Julia McQuiston, and their family 
consisted of four children, two of which died in infancy. The others 
are Charles and Carrie, wife of George Deacon, of Boston, Mass. 
George W.'s second wife was Sarah F. Balcom, and they have three 
children: Jude Taylor, Clinton Fanning and Alice. He is a member 
of the firm of George W. Payne & Co., cotton and woolen machinery 
manufacturers. Charles Bindley, son of Charles, was born in Paw- 
tucket March 26th, 1845, married Charlotte J. Robinson, and has one 
child, George M. Charles B. is connected with the American Hair 
Cloth Padding Company. James Robinson, son of Charles, was born 
in Pawtucket December 27th, 1847, is single, and is connected with 
the company mentioned above. William Elijah, son of Charles, was 
born in Pawtucket September 12th, 1851, married Hannah Godfrey, 
and has two children: James Blaine and Jennie Bindley. Byron 
Cooper, son of Charles, was born in Pawtucket April 24th, 1853, mar- 
ried Carrie Florence Foss, and has no children. He is a member of 
the firm of Olney & Payne Brothers, coal and wood dealers. John 
Milton, son of Charles, was born in Pawtucket September 22d, 1859, 
married Eva L. Spink, and has two children. Bertha S. and Howard 
H. He is a member of the firm of Olney & Payne Brothers. 

Charles, son of George W., was born in Pawtucket August 20th, 
1868, and married Josephine Tennant, of Pawtucket. He is a resident 
of Boston, Mass. 

John Blake Read, one of the prominent hardware merchants of 
Pawtucket, was born in Eastport, Maine, December 2d, 1802, and died 
in Pawtucket February 27th, 1862. He was the son of Jonathan and 
Dorothy (Blake) Read, both of whom lived to a great age. Jonathan 
Rpad was an old soldier and was a prisoner on board the old Jersey 
prison ship. He died when 91 years old. He was the father of 13 
children, 12 of whom grew to maturity. John B. Read was next to 
the youngest child. When five years of age his parents removed to 
Westbrook, where he was sent to a district school until he was 14 



132 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

years of age. At this time he went to work in a tin shop, living with 
his oldest sister while he learned his trade. In 1821 he came to Paw- 
tucket, where he remained during the rest of his life, and for nearly 
a half century was in the hardware trade. His shop was opened on 
Main street, where McGowan's shoe store is now. In 1842 he built 
his residence, where his widow now lives, on Walcott street, and in 
1850 he erected his brick block. The block next to it was built by 
Amos M, Read, his older brother, who was also a hardware merchant. 
The Reads were the oldest and most prominent merchants in their 
line of business for many years. Amos Read came to Pawtucket sev- 
eral years before John. He died in 1880, a very old man. November 
17th, 1828, Mr. Read was married to Jane Thatcher Ingraham, daugh- 
ter of Elias and Phebe (Thatcher) Ingraham, of Attleboro, Mass. Her 
father was a mechanic, and died in 1847. Mrs. Read was their only 
child. Mr. and Mrs. Read also had but one child: Mary Drowne 
Read, afterward the wife of Edward Le Favour. She died in 1858, 
after the birth of John Edward Le Favour, Mrs. Read's grandson and 
her only descendant. 

Mr. John B. Read was distinctively a business man. As a public- 
spirited citizen of the commonwealth, however, he was induced to ac- 
cept various offices, such as town councilman, etc., all of which posi- 
tions he filled with great credit to himself and to the best interests of 
his constituents. Politically he was a whig, and at the formation of 
the new party before the war became a staunch republican. When 
Pawtucket on his side of the river was a part of Massachusetts, he was 
elected to the lower house of the state legislature and served four 
years. He was a very popular man, and was for a long time, under 
the laws of the state of Massachusetts, commanding general of the 
militia of that state. 

William F. Savles. — It may be safely asserted that no citizen of 
Providence county, if, indeed, of the state of Rhode Island, has so 
distinguished himself, by reason of his business capacity and energy, 
as the subject of this sketch. William Francis Sayles, who was born 
in Pawtucket, R. I., September 21st, 1824, is a lineal descendant in 
the sixth generation of Roger Williams. His father, Clark Sayles, 
was a master builder and merchant, and his mother, Mary Ann 
Sayles, was of the Olney family, long and prominently identified with 
the history of the state. Being desirous of acquiring a thorough 
classical and mercantile education, he attended the Fruit Hill Classi- 
cal Institute, Mr. Amos Perry principal; the Seekonk Classical School, 
the late Mr. Stanton Belden principal, and spent about two years in 
Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. Upon the completion of his edu- 
cation at the institutions named, he entered, in 1842, the commercial 
house of vShaw & Earle, in Providence, at first as bookkeeper, then he 
became a salesman, and finally was entrusted with the management 
of the financial affairs of the concern. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 133 

Mr. Sayles is most widely known in connection with the Moshas- 
suck Bleachery, the most complete and best arranged, as well as the 
largest establishment of the kind in the world, its well-known trade- 
mark being as familiar as household words wherever cotton cloth is 
used. It is situated about two miles from Pawtucket, in a westerly 
direction, in the town of Lincoln, and until December, 1847, when the 
estate was purchased at auction by Mr. Sayles, the buildings had for 
some time been used as a print works. Soon after the property came 
into his possession he began the erection of additional buildings and 
converted the establishment into a bleachery of shirtings and sheet- 
ings, with a capacity for turning out about two and a half tons per 
day. Though he had no previous knowledge of the business, and 
labored under serious disadvantages for lack of sufficient capital, at 
times overcoming seemingly unconquerable obstacles, yet, by close 
application to business and an invincible determination to succeed in 
his undertaking, he steadily increased the capacity of the works until 
in the spring of 1854 he bleached daily about four tons of the finest 
grade of cotton goods made in the United States. His reputation for 
producing good work had at that time become so well established 
" throughout the country that about three-fourths of all the fine goods 
manufactured were brought to the Moshassuck Bleachery, the name 
given by him to the establishment at the beginning of his operations. 

The water of the Moshassuck river has long been known to pos- 
sess valuable properties for bleaching purposes, but the works under 
consideration have an additional and extraordinary advantage in a 
fountain of pure water flowing from a hundred or more boiling 
springs, and invaluable in the final processes of finishing cotton 
goods. These springs, which are enclosed by a wall of cut granite 
300 feet in circumference, prove a very attractive feature to visitors. 

In June, 1854, the entire establishment was destroyed by fire, the 
results of the hard work of years being swept away in a few hours. 
But the indomitable perseverance of Mr. Sayles prevented him from 
succumbing to this stroke of misfortune, and the work of rebuilding 
on a larger scale, with more permanent structures, was at once com- 
menced, and in the autumn of that year an establishment capable of 
producing six tons of bleached goods in a day was in successful opera- 
tion. The following year another enlargement of the bleachery was 
found necessary, and the work of extension has been gradually going 
on from year to year until the present time, when the capacity is 60 
tons a day, or 300,000 yards. The buildings, with their surroundings, 
cover an area of 30 acres. They are of brick, and in point of archi- 
tectural beauty are unexcelled by any others used for manufacturing 
purposes in this country. The spacious grounds are tastefully laid 
out and shaded by ornamental trees. The works are lighted by elec- 
tricity, and the arrangements for protection against fire are as nearly 
perfect as they can be made. In the construction of the buildings 



134 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

nothing has been left undone which could in any way promote the 
health and convenience of the very large number of persons to whom 
employment is furnished. vSome of the workmen have been in Mr. 
Sayles' employ almost continuously from his beginning of business, 
and between the employed and the employer the most pleasant and 
harmonious relations exist. One reason for this is that Mr. Sayles has 
always manifested an interest in the moral and educational, as well as 
material welfare of those employed by him. Shortly after he began 
business here he was instrumental in having a district school estab- 
lished, and on the first Sunday in June, 1860, he organized a Sunday 
school, his mind having been turned to the subject of religion by the 
death of a young daughter to whom he was devotedly attached. From 
that time to the present, with a brief interval, he has held the office 
of superintendent of the school, performing its duties with great ac- 
ceptability, notwithstanding the constantly increasing demands made 
upon his time and attention by his large business. 

The handsome village of upwards of two thousand inhabitants 
which has grown up around the works in the delightful Moshassuck 
valley is known as Saylesville, that being the name given to the post 
office when it was established. 

In 1863 Mr. Sayles admitted to partnership his brother, Frederic 
C, a sketch of whose life is elsewhere given in this volume, and the 
Moshassuck Bleachery of to-day stands as a monument to their com- 
bined industry and business energy. Ten years later, in 1873, to 
meet the recognized religious needs of the community, the brothers 
erected on the high grounds overlooking the bleachery a beautiful 
memorial chapel of Westerly granite, to the memory of their deceased 
children, whose names are inscribed on marble tablets upon the in- 
terior walls on either side of the pulpit. The edifice is of the gothic 
style of architecture, has stained glass windows, is tastefully finished 
and furnished, seats 200 persons, and has a fine organ. The vestry is 
well arranged for the use of the Sunday school, which, until the com- 
pletion of the chapel, had held its sessions in the district school house 
from the time of its organization. In 1877 William F. erected a hand- 
some stone tower on the corner of the chapel as a memorial to his es- 
timable son, William Clark Sayles, who died the previous year while 
a student in Brown University. The entire cost of the edifice is 
about $30,000. A few years later the Messrs. Sayles erected a large 
hall for the use of those in their employ, in the basement of which is 
a library and reading-room, and a room for the meetings of the fire- 
men's association connected with the bleachery, and also for social 
purposes. 

The Moshassuck Bleachery, with its numerous substantial build- 
ings, the neat appearance of the tenement houses around it, the ele- 
vated grounds on either side of the winding stream which gives the 
valley its name, the pleasant homes of the permanent residents, the 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 135 

chapel, the school house, the public hall, the absence of the drinking 
saloon and its concomitants, the peaceable and orderly character of 
the people, give to Saylesville its enviable reputation as the model 
manufacturing village of Rhode Island. 

In 1877 the Messrs. Sayles built the Moshassuck Valley railroad, 
which extends from their bleachery to Woodlawn, where connection 
is made with the New York, Providence & Boston and the Old 
Colony roads. The senior member of the firm is president of the 
road, and the junior member is treasurer. Passenger and freight 
trains make several trips daily over the road. As many as 200 tons 
of goods are shipped from the bleachery over this road in a single day. 

About midway between the Moshassuck Bleachery and Woodlawn 
is the village of Lorraine, also the creation of the Messrs. Sayles. 
Here are the extensive Lorraine Mills, where, by means of skillful 
labor and the most improved machinery, the finest ladies' dress goods 
made in this country and known as French cashmeres are produced, 
rivalling those of the best makers in France. At Lorraine the 
Messrs. Sayles have also erected a neat chapel for the benefit of their 
large number of operatives. 

On commencement day of Brown University, 1878, a letter from 
the subject of this sketch was read by President Ezekiel G. Robinson 
to the assembled graduates, in which the writer announced his pur- 
pose to offer to the university the sum of $50,000 for the erection of 
a building as a memorial to his son, William Clark Sayles (born 
October 12th, 1855), who died deeply lamented by a wide circle of 
loving friends, February 13th, 1876, he stating that he had selected 
commencement for making the announcement, because on that day 
his son would have been graduated had it pleased Heaven to spare 
his life. Subsequently the sum was increased to $100,000, and the 
large, elegant stone edifice known as " Sayles Memorial Hall" was 
dedicated with appropriate and impressive ceremonies on the 4th of 
June, 1881. On the front of the building is inscribed Filio Pater Posvit, 
it being a father's memorial of one of the worthiest of sons, a son in 
whom centered high and cherished hopes, and who gave fairest 
promise of their fulfillment. This structure is one of the most touch- 
ing expressions of parental love known in the history of the country. 

Mr. Sayles' acknowledged ability as a financier, as well as his in- 
tegrity, sagacity and accuracy, has led to his appointment to various 
positions of responsibility and trust in moneyed circles, and caused 
his counsel to be often sought in financial matters where good judg- 
ment was necessary to be promptly exercised. He is president of the 
Slater National Bank of Pawtucket, and a director in the Third 
National Bank of Providence. Besides his extensive interests at Mo- 
shassuck and Lorraine, he is a large stockholder in various corpora- 
tions in which he has capital invested. He is president of the 
Slater Cotton Company in Pawtucket, of which he was the originator; 



136 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

a director in the Ponemah Mills, the largest cotton manufacturing 
company in Connecticut and one of the largest in New England, and 
also a stockholder or director in mills in Massachusetts. 

Although always loyal to the principles of the republican party, 
and one of its staunchest supporters, only once has he been prevailed 
upon by his fellow-citizens to enter political life, believing that 
he could best serve the public by promoting and expanding those 
industries which furnish employment to such large numbers of 
people, thereby enabling the wage-earners to become thrifty citizens 
and to provide comfortable homes for themselves and those depend- 
ent upon them. Twice he was chosen state senator in the general 
assembly from Pawtucket, where his manly course and fidelity to his 
duties won for him not only the esteem and respect of his political 
associates, but of his opponents. For a number of years he has been 
president of the Pawtucket Free Public Library. In 1879 he was 
elected a member of the board of trustees of Brown University, which 
position he still holds. For a time he held the position of lieutenant- 
colonel on the staff of the Pawtucket Light Guard, and during the war 
for the suppression of the rebellion he was a constant and liberal 
contributor to all patriotic objects. 

He early evinced a taste for literature and art, and notwithstand- 
ing his busy life he has always found some time for its cultivation. 
His travels in his own country and in foreign lands have been quite 
extensive, and in his elegant mansion on East avenue, overlooking 
Pawtucket and Providence, may be found the productions of the best 
thinkers and writers, and the most famous painters and sculptors. 

iVctive- and public-spirited as a citizen, upright and honorable in 
all his dealings with his fellow-men, he has won and retained the 
respect and confidence of the community in which he has always re- 
sided. From the beginning of his business career he has believed in 
the principle of hard, persistent work and honesty of purpose as the 
only sure ground of success. Acting upon this belief he has suc- 
ceeded by his own unaided exertions in raising himself from the 
position of a clerk in a commercial house to the possessor of an ample 
fortune. Endowed with a sympathetic nature, and bestowing sub- 
stantial aid where deserved, he strives always to make the applicant 
depend upon himself rather than on others. While from his door 
none are turned empty away, his charities are of the practical kind, 
and calculated to confer permanent aid, as well as to relieve present 
necessity. His convictions of right and duty are decided and firm 
and uncompromisingly maintained, and though a positive man, he 
views the faults of others with charity, his creed being, 

' ' That mercy I to others show, 
That mercy show to me." 

He married October 8()th, 1849, Mary Wilkinson Fessenden, 
daughter of the late Hon. Benjamin Fessenden, of Valley Falls, R. L 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 137 

She died September 20th, 1886. Of six children three are now living: 
Mary (Mrs. Roscoe S. Washburn), Martha F. and Frank A. 

The immediate church relations of the family are with the Central 
Congregational church in Providence, of which Mr. Sayles is a 
generous supporter; but, possessing a broad and catholic spirit, his 
benefactions to religious organizations are not restricted by denomi- 
national lines. 

Frederic Clark Sayles is a native of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, 
and has always resided there. He was born July 17th, 1835. His 
father was Clark Sayles, and his mother Mary (Olney) Sayles. His 
ancestors on both sides are easily traced back to the founder of 
Rhode Island, John Sayles having married a daughter of Roger 
Williams. He also traces his ancestry back to Governor Joseph 
Jenks, son of the founder of Pawtucket in 1655. In youth he 
was favored with unusual home advantages, and was notably am- 
bitious in his studies. Beginning with 1840, he spent several" winters 
in Savannah, Georgia, where his father was engaged in the whole- 
sale lumber business. While there he attended its best schools, 
and as a classmate he had Charles H. Olmsted, who subsequently, in 
the war of the rebellion, became famous as colonel of the confederate 
forces in Forts Pulaski and Wagner, and he remembers with a feeling 
of commendable pride that it was the Yankee boy from " Little 
Rhody " who bore off the premium of the school for good scholarship. 
After passing through the schools of Pawtucket he pursued his studies 
in the University Grammar School in Providence, and at the Provi- 
dence Conference Seminary in East Greenwich, where he graduated 
with honor in June, 1853. 

In July of that year he entered the employ of his brother, William 
F., in the Moshassuck Bleachery at Saylesville, which has since be- 
come the largest and best equipped establishment of its kind in the 
world. His work at first consisted of sweeping the rooms, invoicing the 
goods, and performing any other service which was required of him, 
his compensation being five shillings a day. With a firm determina- 
tion to achieve success in business, so far as knowledge and faithful- 
ness might secure it, he made a thorough study of all the mechanism 
and operations of the establishment, diligently engaging in every 
department of the work and acquainting himself with all of its de- 
tails. E'or ten years he thus rigidly and persistently applied himself 
to a thorough understanding of the business, and on January 1st, 
1863, he was admitted to partnership with his brother. Since that 
time the Moshassuck Bleachery has been conducted under the firm 
name of W. F. & F. C. Sayles. Unparalleled success has attended 
their united efforts, and their taste, intelligence, thrift and enterpris- 
ing spirit are everywhere seen in the beautiful village which has 
grown up around their works, and which numbers more than two 
thousand inhabitants. It is an unusually orderly community from 



138 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

the fact that the sale of intoxicating liquors of any description is not 
tolerated by the Messrs. Sayles. The Moshassuck valley, with its 
handsome village and its railroad, bears testimony to their rare saga- 
city, industr}', perseverance and executive ability. On an eminence 
a short distance north of the bleachery and overlooking the charming 
valley of the Moshassuck and the forest-clad hills which skirt it on 
either side, the Messrs. Sayles have erected an elegant stone chapel 
in the gothic style of architecture with windows of stained glass, 
which is capable of seating at least two hundred people. It is called 
"Memorial Chapel," and was erected in memory of their deceased 
children. Here public worship is regularly held, and a flourishing 
Sunday school is kept. 

It was not until the year 1886 that the subject of this sketch, 
although often solicited, could be induced to enter public life, his 
large and constantly increasing business demanding all of his time 
and attention. That year Pawtucket became a city, and in response 
to the persistent solicitations of its citizens, irrespective of party 
lines, he became a candidate for political honors and was chosen its 
first mayor. It was truly a case in which the office sought the man, 
and not the man the office. He brought to the discharge of his new 
duties the same energy and determination which had characterized 
him in his private business, and for two years the young and enter- 
prising city had an administration of its public affairs which was in 
the highest degree creditable to its chief executive officer, and of great 
advantage to itself. While himself an unflinching republican, his 
administration was in no sense partisan, and he secured the respect 
and esteem of all classes of his fellow-citizens. Especially was this 
true of the smaller taxpayers, upon whom the burdens of government 
rest most heavily. In his first inaugural address he said, in address- 
ing the city council : " We are entrusted with the care of the public 
property and finances. Upon us devolves the responsibility of saying 
to every owner of property in our city, bring hither your tithes in 
proportion to your ability and lay them at the feet of justice, to aid in 
bearing your part of the public burden. We have seen what propor- 
tion of the whole number of our taxpayers the burdens rest with 
greatest hardship, therefore it behooves us to exercise the largest 
wisdom and discretion in protecting them from undue oppression." 

At the end of his second term he declined to be a candidate for 
reelection, hfs public duties making too serious encroachments upon 
his private business. During his administration several important 
public improvements were made, and some projected which have 
since been completed, while others, notably that of the city's furnish- 
ing its own electric lights, will undoubtedly result in favorable action 
in the near future. 

Mr. Sayles has made a number of trips to Europe, sometimes for 
health, and at other times for health and pleasure combined. Among 







> o 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 139 

the countries which he has visited are England, Scotland, Ireland, 
France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, Prussia, Switzerland, 
Italy, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Russia. He is fond of travel, 
and his elegant residence on East avenu-e, in the suburbs of Paw- 
tucket, contains many acquisitions from the studios of famous foreign 
artists. He also finds much pleasure among his horses and cattle, 
"Bryn Mawr" having some of the finest blooded stock in the country. 

Besides his interest in the Moshassuck Bleachery and in the 
Moshassuck Valley railroad, of which he is the treasurer, Mr. Sayles 
is connected with various enterprises of a public nature. At one time 
he was major of the Pawtucket Light Guard, an organization which 
sent a large number of men into the field during the war of the re- 
bellion. He is a director in the Slater National Bank of Pawtucket 
and in the Merchants National Bank of Providence. He is also a 
member of the board of trustees of the Franklin Savings Bank of 
Pawtucket, and is identified with other corporations and institutions 
in Pawtucket and Providence. He was not only the first signer of 
the call for a Business Men's Association in Pawtucket, but was its 
first president, holding the position four years in succession. 

In addition to the Moshassuck Bleachery, his brother and himself 
are the owners of the Lorraine Mills, also situated in the Moshassuck 
valley. These mills, with the best of skill and machinery known to 
modern times, have the reputation of producing the finest ladies' 
dress goods, known as French cashmeres, that havvi ever been manu- 
factured in this country, challenging comparison with the best French 
makers. 

Mar. Sayles married, October 16th, 1861, Deborah Cook Wilcox, 
daughter of Robert and Deborah (Cook) Wilcox, of Pawtucket. 
Thomas Wilcox, Mrs. Sayles' grandfather, served in the revolution, 
and was one of the daring party of 41, led by Colonel W^illiam Barton, 
who captured General Richard Prescott on the island of Rhode 
Island, July 10th, 1778. Mr. Sayles has had five children: Carrie 
Minerva (Mrs. Frederick William HoUs), Frederic Clark, Benjamin 
Paris (deceased), Robert Wilcox and Deborah Wilcox. Mr. Sayles 
and his wife are members of the Central Congregational church in 
Providence, and prominently identified with its interests. 

Albert R. Sherman, son of Simon P. and Hannah G. vSherman, 
was born in Providence, January 23d, 1838. There he spent his boy- 
hood days and received a good education. When about 18 years of 
age he went to California, where he remained for several years. 
Returning to Providence he was employed by the A. W. Sprague 
Manufacturing Company in 1860, as master mechanic, and held that 
position for 17 years. During August, 1860, Mr. Sherman was mar- 
ried to Alma W. Tibbitts, daughter of William C, of Warwick. Their 
union was blessed by two children: Charles E., born September 30th, 



140 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

1861, and Albert. The first child died quite young, the other is still 
living. Mrs. Sherman, died November 17th, 1888. In Pawtucket Mr. 
Sherman has been connected with the Fales & Jenks Machine Com- 
pany, United States Cotton Company, and Hope Thread Company. 
He is one of the prominent men of the city and is an inventor of no 
little fame. Since 1889 he has been chosen senator, and at present 
occupies that office. 

Gideon Lawton Spencer. — A history of Pawtucket would be in- 
complete without a sketch of the gentleman whose name appears 
above. Mr. Spencer was born in East Greenwich, R. I., September 
23d, 1803, and is the youngest son in a family of six children of Law- 
ton and Martha Spencer. His mother was a daughter of Jonathan 
Niles, who was for many years high sheriff of Kent county. His 
father removed with his family to what is now Pawtucket in 1810. 
He only attended the common schools three weeks, and at the age of 
ten, his father being overseer in the Slater Mill, he commenced 
work in that mill, receiving one dollar and a quarter a week. This 
he followed until he was over 17 years of age, when he apprenticed 
himself to John Wood, of Pawtucket, to learn the tailoring trade. On 
arriving at manhood he commenced the merchant tailoring business 
himself, and was the second one in Rhode Island to open a custom 
tailor establishment. He followed this business till 1845, and he 
gained such a reputation among the Quakers of New England that 
he made garments for them all over that territory. During the crash 
of 1829-80 in Pawtucket he made his first purchase of real estate, and 
after relinquishing his business, he engaged largely in the purchase 
and sale of real estate and has owned at one time as high as 150 to 
200 acres in the vicinity of Providence and Pawtucket. He owns to- 
day the old Slater Mill where he first worked as a child, besides other 
valuable property in Pawtucket, and is one of the largest tax-payers 
in the city. He was one of the state commissioners on the erection 
of the bridge crossing the Blackstone river, and has been since the 
organization of the Providence & Worcester railroad one of its 
stockholders, also director, and is the only one living of the original 
board. Mr. Spencer is director in the Pawtucket Institution for Sav- 
ings and was president of the North Providence Bank. He was a 
member of the constitutional convention in 1841. When the Paw- 
tucket Free Library was a stock concern he donated to them the rent 
of the hall they occupied, they agreeing to make a free library of it. 
He married Susan, daughter of Job Carpenter, of Providence, and of 
his family of eight children five are living, viz.: Job Lawton, a manu- 
facturer in Pawtucket; Amelia, wife of Erastus Sampson, of Boston; 
Annie, Clara wife of Frederic Burlingame of Pawtucket, and Frank 
Gideon, assistant superintendent of the Providence & Worcester 
railroad. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 141 

Henry Ashton Warburton, manufacturer of cotton thread, was 
born in the town of Hyde, Cheshire county, near Manchester, Eng- 
land, November 2d, 1837. His father, Peter Warburton, was a Quaker, 
and was one of the best managers of cotton spinning— so considered 
—in his day. His wife was Sarah Warburton. They raised a family of 
nine sons and three daughters. The sons were thoroughly drilled in all 
the details of cotton manufacturing, and put to work early in life in the 
mills. At eight years of age Henry Ashton was put to work as a back 
boy, working on cotton mules. One half of the day he spent at work 
and the other half at school. When ten years of age his work in 
school ceased. When fourteen years of age his father set sail with his 
family for America. He died in Lawrence, Mass., in 1879. His wife 
died in England.in 1851. The ship that brought Mr. Warburton to 
America left England May 1st, 1852, and arrived at Boston on the 
13th of June following. Mr. Warburton's first work in America 
was as a piecer on hand mules at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. 
During the time spent there he availed himself of the advantages of 
the evening schools, but in the year 1853 he went to Lawrence, Mass., 
thus cutting short again the opportunities of securing an education. 
At Lawrence he began the work of running a pair of mules on his 
own account. After remaining there seven years he returned to 
Portsmouth again. In 1862 he was married and at once removed to 
Ballard Vale, Mass., where he was employed cutting files by machin- 
ery. In 1863 he removed to Portsmouth again and became assistant 
overseer of cotton spinning for his brother, who was overseer in the 
mill. He had not remained there long before he was transferred to 
the thread department, which was the beginning of his successful 
work in that line. He remained there about two years, then went to 
New Market, then Exeter, and in 1867 became assistant overseer for 
the Hadley Thread Company at Holyoke, Mass., and remained there 
but a few months, when he became overseer for the Warren Thread 
Company at Worcester, where he remained seven years. At this time 
the proprietor of a distillery at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, induced 
him to go there and take charge of his interests. He wanted a man, 
he said, who could keep sober while running the business, and pre- ' 
vailed on him to go. He finally accepted the position, was in charge 
of the distillery three years and three months, tested every barrel of 
liquor in the establishment for that time by taste and smell, but never 
swallowed a mouthful of the beverage while there employed. In 1877 
he became overseer for William Warren, thread manufacturer, of New 
York city, of the thread winding department, and remained there till 
1880, when he accepted a position as overseer and later as superintend- 
ent for Stafford & Co., of Pawtucket. January 1st, 1886, in company 
with James C. Roth, he purchased the spool thread interest of Stafford 
& Co. and started the New England Thread Company. This was the 
beginning of the present successful enterprise of this firm, managed 



142 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

wholly by Mr. Warburton because of his great experience in the cot- 
ton thread industry. Mr. Roth was in charge of the books. February 
14th, 1889, Mr. Roth died, and on the 24th of May following Mr. War- 
burton purchased all interests belonging to his widow, and is now the , 
sole owner of the business. He employs a force at the present time 
of 80 hands, and does a business of $100,000 or more yearly, in the 
manufacture of cotton thread put up on spools, bobbins, paper tubes 
and cones, and various other forms. 

Mr. Warburton is a man of excellent abilities and of indomitable 
energy, and takes a great pride in turning out goods of a quality that 
cannot be surpassed by any other concern in the country. He began 
here under somewhat unfavorable circumstances and against the ad- 
vice of his best friends, but his better judgment prevailed, and in con- 
sequence it is now with difficulty his two large agencies of New York 
city are supplied with his products of manufacture. His goods are 
also called for by parties from different parts of the whole country 
outside of his two established agencies. During the five years just 
past he has quadrupled his business,.and it is still increasing. 

On September 8th, 1862, he was married to Miss Jane E. Critchley, 
daughter of William and Mary Critchley, of Portsmouth, New Hamp- 
shire. They have three children: Franklin E., Florence E. and Harry 
A. Franklin E. was born in Portsmouth, N. H., August 19th, 1863. 
His education was obtained in the public schools of that place. When 
about 14 years of age he went to New York, where he spent three 
years. In 1880 he came to Pawtucket and was employed by his father 
as overseer of his mills. At present he holds the position of superin- 
tendent. Since his arrival in Pawtucket Mr. F. E. Warburton has also 
been overseer for the Hope Thread Company. Florence E. is the 
wife of Frank H. Grover, who is Mr. Warburton's shipping clerk, and 
Harry A. is in school. 

Joshua S. White is a native of Norton, Mass, born November 
13th, 1818. His father was Zebulon, son of Zebulon, who married 
Peggy, daughter of Joel White. Mr. White was educated in the com- 
mon schools and followed farming as an occupation until 1842, when 
he was employed by his father in the iron foundry in Pawtucket. By 
his faithfulness to this business and with the money he had saved he 
was able to commence anew. In 1860, with his brother, Mr. White 
started the business which they continued together for 20 years, when 
he became sole proprietor. His first marriage was to Sarah P. Inman, 
May 17th, 1848, who died April 7th, 1850, leaving him no children. 
By his next wife, Harriet Newell, whom he married May 4th, 1851, he 
had four children: Harriet, born November 9th, 1855; J. Ellis, born 
March 24th, 1858; William Shaw, born February 28th, 1863; and Henry 
T., born August 30th, 1868. Mrs. White died May 13th, 1888. 




^ng^byFajr^rruvyvUY 



-i^-^^^/ 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 142a 

Benjamin Fessenden.— Benjamin Fessenden was born in Sand- 
wich, Barnstable county, Alass., on the 13th of June, 1797. His father, 
William Fessenden, a man of sterling- character, learned the art of 
printing in New York and Philadelphia: subsequently he removed to 
Sandwich, where he married Martha Freeman and engaged in mercan- 
tile business. His grandfather and great-grandfather, of the same 
name with himself, were graduates of Harvard l)niversity, and his great- 
grandfather was a Congregational clergyman. His mother was a 
daughter of General Nathaniel Freeman, a colonel in the revolution, 
and afterward a brigadier-general in the militia. His mother's brother, 
Nathaniel, was a graduate of Harvard University, and became a judge 
of the court of common pleas, and finally a member of congress, hav- 
ing as colleague John Quincy Adams. 

William Fessenden had nine children, six sons and three daugh- 
ters. Benjamin was favored with superior home advantages. He was 
fitted for college at the Barnstable Academy, entered Harvard in 1S18, 
and was graduated with high honor four years later. Among his 
classmates were Honorable George Bancroft, Honorable Caleb Cush- 
ing, and Reverend Stephen H. Tyng, D. D. In scholarship and char- 
acter he was not unworthy of the distinguished class to which he be- 
longed. As a candidate for the ministry in the Unitarian denomina- 
tion he studied three years m the Cambridge Theological vSchool, from 
which he was graduated in 1820. He preached his first sermon in 
Lexington, Mass. For a time he preached in Yarmouth, in the same 
state, for the venerable Timothy Alden. In 1821 he settled with the 
Unitarian church in East Bridgewater, Mass., as successor to Reverend 
James Flint, D. D., and was ordained September 19th, 1821, the sermon 
on the occasion being preached by the gifted Henry Ware. He la- 
bored here with marked success for four years, when impaired health 
compelled him to relinquish his pulpit. 

In 1825 he removed to Pawtucket, R. I., where he engaged in mer- 
cantile affairs. While living in Pawtucket his views in regard to cer- 
tain religious doctrines underwent a radical change, and renouncing 
some of his old beliefs, he became an evangelical Christian; he also 
took decided ground in favor of temperance and in opposition to Ma- 
sonry and slavery. From this time he worshipped with the Baptists, 
but did not become a member of that denomination until a number of 
years afterward. 

In 1833 he settled in Valley Falls, R. I., and connected himself with 
the Abbott Run Company, in the manufacture of cotton goods, and, so 
far as his own immediate exertions controlled the business, he had 
good success. Here he continued for 32 years, retiring from the con- 
cern in 1865. In 1855 and in 1856 he was chosen a member of the 
general assembly of the state of Rhode Island and speaker of the 
house of representatives. In 1869 and 1870 he was elected a member 
of the state senate. Originally a whig, he became a republican on the 



142b HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

formation of the latter party, and always maintained a deep interest 
in public affairs. During the war of the rebellion he was one of the 
committee of the town of Cumberland to provide for the families of 
the Union soldiers. In 1870, at the age of 73 years, he was appointed 
postmaster of Valley Falls, and filled the office for eight years. For 
25 years he was superintendent of the Valley Falls Baptist Sunday 
school. In his SOth year he was baptized and united with the Valley 
Falls Baptist church, to which other members of his family belonged. 

On the 13th of December, 1821, he married Mary Wilkinson, daugh- 
ter of Isaac Wilkinson, of Pawtucket, of the distinguished Wilkinson 
family that gave to Rhode Island so many men of mechanical skill, 
enterprise and staunch virtues. Mrs. Fessenden (born October 11th, 
1804) inherited the strong family traits of intelligence, kindness and de- 
cision of character. She died February 27th, 1888. Mr. Fessenden 
died January 6th, 1881. They had nine children; eight sons and one 
daughter, Mary Wilkinson, who married Honorable William F. Sayles, 
of Pawtucket. Two sons, Russell F.and Robert, are the only children 
now living. Charles H. and Robert were soldiers in the war of the 
rebellion; the latter being an officer. 

Benjamin Fessenden led a pure, blameless life, and was alike be- 
loved and honored in the home circle and by his fellow citizens. His 
attainments, virtues and activities were of a high order. Everywhere 
he was true, gentlemanly, kindly, benevolent and scholarly, ahvays 
delighting in the society of the wise and the good. Comprehending 
the common weal, he counted all public interests as dear as his own. 
While his strength continued, he stood forth manfully and faithfully 
for all good service. As a fitting termination to his worthy life, his 
death was a Christian triumph, full of serene hope, confidence and joy. 

Clark Sayles was born in Glocester (now Burrillville), R. I., on 
the 18th of May, 1797. He was the son of Ahab and Lillis (Steere) 
Sayles. His father was the son of Israel Sayles, who was not only a 
well-to-do farmer, but a man of more than ordinary mechanical genius; 
for a number of years he was president of the town council of Gloces- 
ter, and, during the war of the revolution, served in the patriot army 
under General Sullivan. Clark's mother was the daughter of Samuel 
Steere, a good representative of a worthy Rhode Island family. Mr. 
Ahab Sayles had five brothers: Rufus, Nicholas, Samuel, Joseph, Rob- 
ert, and a sister, Martha, who married, first, Alfred Eddy, and second, 
Augustus Winsor. The Sayles homestead lands were situated between 
Pascoag and Chepachet, on the line that finally, in 1806, divided Bur- 
rillville from Glocester, leaving the family mansion in Burrillville. 
The children of Ahab Sayles were: Azubah, Lusina, Mercy, Nicholas, 
Clark, V/elcome, Lillis and Miranda; only Miranda is now living (1891). 
The ancestors of this very respectable family, on both sides, were in- 
dustrious and honored farmers of the old type, some of them being 
Friends, and others Baptists in their religious convictions. 





..-i 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 142c 

The subject of this sketch was educated at home, on the farm, and 
in the common schools. For many years his teacher was William Col- 
well, afterward cashier of the Glocester Exchange Bank. Both at home 
and in the Chepachet Library he found and eagerly read instructive 
books, not missing a "library day" for many years, as asserted by the 
librarian, Mr. Blackman. When about 18 years of age he engaged 
to work for Mr. Elias Carter, a master builder in Thompson, Conn., 
with whom he labored in Thompson, and subsequently went to the 
state of Georgia and assisted in constructing the court house in Burke 
county. Upon his return he was employed in building the Congrega- 
tional church in Milford, Mass. Finally he entered into business for 
himself as a master builder, erected a residence for his brother Nich- 
olas, and again went to Georgia, where he constructed dwellings for 
planters and completed a large hotel at Waynesboro. Returning from 
the South, he built the meeting house in Greenville, Smithfield, R. I. 

In the spring of 1822 he removed to Pawtucket, R. I., where he 
engaged in the business of a master builder. He erected numerous 
dwellings for David Wilkinson; inserted a middle section in the meet- 
ing house of the First Baptist Society^ planned and built the first 
Congregational church in Pawtucket in 1828; erected a church edifice 
in North Scituate, and also one in North Attleborough, Mass. During 
all this time he was also engaged in the lumber and coal trade, being 
the first man to introduce coal into Pawtucket by vessels. He associ- 
ated with himself in business Mr. Daniel Greene, and in the great 
financial panic of 1829 the firm of Clark Sayles & Co. assumed to a 
great disadvantage, as the result proved, the business interests previ- 
ously carried on by Mr. Greene, who had failed. Mr. Sayles was 
chosen a director of the New England Pacific Bank, of whose board of 
13 directors 11 failed, while Mr. Sayles weathered the storm. Chosen 
president of this bank, as successor of Reverend Asa Messer, D. D., 
president of Brown University, Mr. Sayles stood at the head of the 
institution for 17 years, and, " by most remarkably skillful financier- 
ing," brought the bank safely through all its difficulties. 

In 1837, closing most of his large business relations in Pawtucket, 
Mr. Sayles again went South and engaged in the wholesale lumber 
trade for the firm of which he was the head, and also as agent of 
another company, operating steam saw mills, one on an island at the 
mouth of the Altamaha river, and one on the Savannah river, opposite 
the city of Savannah. After remaining in the South in the lumber 
business for about 20 years (having his family with him during some 
of the winters), he returned to Pawtucket. Not entering again largely 
into business for himself, he assisted his sons, William Francis and 
Frederic Clark (whose sketches appear elsewhere in this volume), in 
purchasing material and in constructing additional buildings to their 
extensive Moshassuck Bleachery, in the town of Lincoln, R. I. He 



142d HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

was also the general superintendent in the erection of the beautiful 
Memorial chapel at Sa3desville, near the bleachery. 

He was a strong, energetic, independent, faithful, incorruptible 
man. In politics he was an "old line whig," and was subsequently 
identified with the republican party, but would only accept town 
offices, his purpose being service to his fellow citizens rather than 
securing political honors. He united with the Congregational church 
in 1832. In every good cause, as that of temperance and anti-slavery, 
education and moral reform, he took an active and efficient part, and 
everywhere proved his great conscientiousness, his discernment, and 
his superior judgment. Few men have been more esteemed, trusted 
and honored than he. Reasonably prospered for all his good work 
and large enterprise, he was still more successful in building a quiet 
but grand moral character. His pleasant, dignified countenance, and 
his erect, noble form indicated the inherent and cultivated nobility of 
his nature and the happy proportions of his cultivated Christian graces. 
He was affable, kind, sympathetic, transparent, decided, firm and 
persevering. Though modest, he was self-poised, self-reliant, and 
serene, the model of a true gentleman. By Christian faith and con- 
sistent service in a long life of private and public rectitude, he was 
prepared for his calm, quiet but triumphant death, which occurred 
February 8th, 1885, in his 88th year. 

He married, December 25th, 1822, Mary Ann Olney, daughter of 
Paris Olney, of Scituate, R. I. She was also a member of the Congre- 
gational church, and esteemed for her strength of mind, gentleness of 
spirit, soundness of judgment, decision of character, and the purity of 
her Christian life. She died September 11th, 1878. Of five children, 
William Francis and Frederic Clark are the only ones living. 



'/ 



^4 




^^y^/c .^^-^7^ 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE TOWN OF EAST PROVIDENCE. 

Oeographical Description. — Its People and Industries. — Purchase and Settlement of the 
Territory. — First Planting of Roger Williams. — First Permanent Settler. — First Com- 
pact of Seekonk. — Town Incorporation as Rehoboth. — Highways, Common Pastures 
and Early Customs. — Destruction by King Philip's War. — Early Schools. — The Revo- 
lution. — Saltjjetre Manufacture. — Bridges over the Seekonk. — Organization of the 
Town of East Providence. — Civil List. — Statistics of Progress. — Public Schools. — 
Highway Districts. — Watcliemoket Fire District. — Police Force. — Street Lighting. — 
Town Hall. — First Meeting House.— First Congregational Church.— Second Congre- 
gational, Riverside. — Broadway Chapel. — First Baptist Cluirch .—Second Baptist. — 
First Universalist.— St. Mary's Episcopal.— St. Mark's Episcopal.— Church of the 
Sacred Heart, R. C. — Haven Methodist Episcopal. — Union Chapel. — Reliance Lodge. 
I. O. O. F.— Fraternity Encampment.— Bucklin Post, G. A. R.— Farragut Post.— 
Riverside Cotton Mills. — Biographical Sketches. 

THE township of East Providence lies on the east side of the See- 
konk, or Providence river. It is embraced in the territory 
which formed the western part of Rehoboth and was consti- 
tuted as the town of Seekonk February 26th, 1812. In the settlement 
of the boundary question the westerly part of Seekonk was annexed 
to Rhode Island from Massachusetts, and incorporated as a town 
March 1st, 1862. This territory is about seven miles long and a little 
more than two miles wide, and contains about 16 square miles. The 
land is rich and the surface rolling. Ten-Mile river, which forms the 
eastern boundary on the north end, when it reaches a point about 
three miles down from the northeast corner, makes an abrupt turn to 
the west and crosses the town to join the Seekonk. The central and 
principal village of the town, locally known as Watchemoket, lies on 
the western border, about midway between the north and south ends. 
The Providence & Worcester railroad runs from this locality north, 
along the west side, and the Providence & Warren railroad from the 
same locality runs south, along the river side. The Boston & Provi- 
dence railroad runs from the same central locality northeasterly, out 
at the northeast corner of the town. Thus it will be seen the town- 
ship is well supplied with railroad facilities. A line of street cars 
also runs through the compact village, making frequent communica- 
tion with the central depot of the Union Railroad Company on Market 
Square, Providence. 

Besides the central village already referred to, the town contains 
other localities, known as Rumford, a manufacturing village of six or 



144 HISTORV OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

seven hundred inhabitants, on Ten-Mile river, in the northern part; 
Riverside, a summer watering place on the Seekonk, in the southern 
part, having about 200 inhabitants; Omega, a village of about the 
same size; Leonard's Corner; Cedar Grove, a post office in the south- 
ern part on the river, and Silver Spring, a watering place on the river 
below Watchemoket. The central village, which has been rapidly 
increasing in population and improvement during the last decade, is 
handsomely laid out, and has graded streets, flagged walks, water, 
gas, electric lights, many handsome buildings, an elegant brick town 
hall, and a population of five or six thousand. The town has three 
public libraries, viz.: the East Providence Free Library, containing 
1,800 volumes; the Riverside Library, of 1,520 volumes, and the 
Watchemoket Library, of ],710 volumes. 

The population of East Providence at different periods since its 
incorporation as a town has been: in 1865, 2,172; in 1870, 2,668; in 
1875, 4,336; in 1880, 5,056, and in 1885, 6,816. Of its population nearly 
one-half are natives of Rhode Island. The population of the town 
are largely engaged in business in the city of Providence. Of the re- 
mainder a considerable number are engaged in manufacturing indus- 
tries, in the shore fishing and oystering, and in agriculture. The town 
contains more than 100 farms, besides numerous garden patches. Over 
500 acres are plowed and about 1,500 acres are kept in meadow, while 
more than 1,000 acres are devoted to pasturage. The cash value of 
farms and buildings amounts to more than a million dollars. Con- 
siderable milk is produced, which finds a convenient market in the 
city, and garden vegetables are cultivated to a considerable extent. 
The potato crop is one of the most important, reaching about 20,000 
bushels a year. About 80,000 heads of cabbage are annually raised, 
and an aggregate of six or seven thousand bushels of carrots, beets 
and turnips. About 40,000 quarts of strawberries are among the 
garden products. The aggregate value of farm products amounts 
annually to about $110,000. About 150,000 -bushels of oysters are 
raised annually along the shore of this town. The value of shell 
fisheries of the town amount to about $150,000 a year. There are in 
the town 18 manufacturing establishments, employing a capital of 
$300,000 or more, and employing some four to five hundred hands. 
The aggregate annual product amounts to about one and a quarter 
million dollars. During recent years the custom of catering to the 
popular demand for breathing places on the water front for the people 
of the city has engrossed considerable attention, the shore in the 
southern part of this town presenting many valuable facilities for 
that purpose, among which may be mentioned convenience of access 
from the city, beautiful views and good bathing places. Silver Spring, 
Golden Spring, Riverside, Cedar Grove, Bullock's Point, Camp White 
and Crescent Park are seaside resorts. 

The territory of this town, since its settlement by white men, has 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 145 

been at different times a part of two different states and of three dif- 
ferent towns. It was originally included in Rehoboth, Mass., whose 
liberal boundaries then comprised the present towns of Rehoboth, 
Seekonk, Attleborough and part of Swansea, in Massachusetts, and 
East Providence, Cumberland and parts of Pawtucketand Barrington, 
in Rhode Island. The first purchase of land in this extensive domain 
was a tract of eight miles square, purchased of Massasoit in 1641, for 
the purpose of beginning a town settlement. This embraced sub- 
stantially the present towns of Rehoboth, Seekonk and Pawtucket. 
A second tract purchased of the Indians was called Wannamoiset, and 
is now occupied by Swansea and Barrington. A third purchase lay 
northward, and included territory now occupied by Attleborough and 
Cumberland. The Wannamoiset purchase was incorporated as the 
town of Swansea in 1667, and the northern purchase as the town of 
Attleborough in 1694. Seekonk became a separate township in 1812, 
taking the name given to the locality by the Indians. This name, 
which means " black goose," was given, as is supposed, in recognition 
of the circumstance that great numbers of wild geese used frequently 
to alight in the Seekonk river and cove, a custom even now not 
obsolete. 

In this territory Roger Williams first pitched his tent and made 
some movement toward establishing a settlement during his w^ander- 
ings from the edict of banishment. About the middle of April, 1636, 
he landed at a place now called Manton's Neck, and planted corn and 
began to prepare for a permanent residence. Being apprised that he 
was within the jurisdiction of Plymouth, he again moved forward, 
and with his associates located the permanent settlement on the other 
side of the Seekonk river. The dividing line between the states of 
Massachusetts and Rhode Island remained in dispute for 226 years, 
when it was finally settled by an adjustment which gave to Rhode 
Island the territory of this town together with that of other towns. 

The first settler of which we have any record as being located in 
Seekonk, after Williams abandoned his first attempt, was one John 
Hazell. He was residing here in 1642, but no general attempt at set- 
tlement was made until the spring of 1644. At that time a colony of 
58 men, with their families, formed a settlement and gave the town 
the name of Rehoboth. This colony was mostly from Weymouth 
and Hingham, Mass., and came here under the leadership of Reverend 
Samuel Newman. The meaning of the name Rehoboth is said to 
have been suggested by the fact asserted by Mr. Newman, "the Lord 
hath opened a way for us." The homes of this colony were built in 
a semi-circle around Seekonk common, opening toward Seekonk river. 
In the center of the semi-circle stood the church and parsonage. This 
circle was called " the Ring of the Town." The first church stood 
very near the spot now occupied by the Congregational church of 
East Providence. 
10 



146 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Among- the first acts of the town of which we have any knowledge, 
it was voted, June 21st, 1644, that a meeting of all the inhabitants 
should be held every fortieth day, to consider affairs that concerned 
the colon}'. On the 3d of July following, a compact was signed as 
follows : 

" We whose names are underwritten, being by the Providence of 
God inhabitants of Seacunck, intending there to settle, do covenant 
and bind ourselves one to another, to subject our persons [and our 
property] to nine persons, any five of the nine which shall be chosen 
by the major part of the inhabitants of this plantation, and we do 
[pledge ourselves] to be subject to all wholesome [laws and orders 
made] by them, and to assist them, according to our ability and estate, 
and to give timely notice unto them of any such thing as in our con- 
science may prove dang-erous unto the plantation, and this combina- 
tion to continue until we shall subject ourselves jointly to some other 
government." 

The following names are appended to the above compact: William 
Cheesborough, Walter Palmer, Edward Smith. Edward Bennett, 
Robert Titus, Abraham Martin, John Matthewes, Edward Sale, Ralph 
Shepherd, Samuel Newman, Richard Wright, Robert Martin, Richard 
Bowen, Joseph Torrey, James Clark, Ephraim Hunt, Peter Hunt, 
William Smith, John Peren, Zachery Rhoodes, Job Lane, Alex. Win- 
chester, Henry Smith, Stephen ?ayne, Ralph Alin, Thomas Bliss, 
George Kendricke, John Allin, William Sabin, and Thomas Cooper. 

The board of townsmen instituted and empowered by the fore- 
going compact, was elected on the 9th day of December 1644, and was 
composed of the following men: Alexander Winchester, Richard 
Wright, Henry Smith, Edward Smfth, Walter Palmer, William Smith, 
Stephen Payne, Richard Bowen, and Robert Martin. The " towns- 
men " were a body ofBcial which stood in a relation to the town some- 
what like the town council of later times, but having larger jurisdic- 
tion. It was a body common in the very early organization of New 
England towns, but soon gave place to other means of administering 
town affairs. In 1646 the people of this town submitted to the juris- 
diction of the Plymouth court, and were incorporated as a part of that 
colony, under the name of Rehoboth. The original 58 settlers, as 
shown by the drawing of land upon the great plain, June 9th, 1646, 
were as follows: Stephen Payne, Widow Walker, Robert Martin, Ed- 
ward Gilman, Ralph Shepherd, Richard Wright, Abraham Martin, 
"The Teacher," Will. Carpenter, Robert Titus, Walter Palmer, James 
Walker, Alexander Winchester, Samuel Butterworth, William Sabin, 
Thomas Hitt, Edward Smith,' Edward Bennett, Thomas Clifton, John 
Cooke, Mr. Browne, William Cheeseborough, Ralph Allin, James 
Browne, "The Governor," William Smith, John Sutton, Job Laine, 
Thomas Cooper, Thomas Bliss, John Peram, Joseph Torrey, John 
Holbrooke, James Clarke, Edward Sale, George Kendricke, Mr. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 147 

Leonard, Richard Bowen, Edward Patteson, John Read, John Mat- 
thews, Matthew Pratt, Robert Sharpe, Ephraim and Peter Hunt, 
Zachary Rhodes, John Meggs, John Miller, Thomas Holbrooke, 
" The Schoolmaster," Mr. Peck, Richard Ingram, Isaac Martin, John 
AUin, Henry Smith, Mr. Newman, " The Pastor," Obadiah Holmes, 
and Robert Morris. The names here given are in the order as they 
drew the lots numbered consecutively, from 1 to 58. 

Edward Smith was the first surveyor of highways, and the first 
order for the establishment of a highway in this town was made in 
December, 1650, and Peter Hunt was the first town clerk, being chosen 
at the same time. The land lying northeast of wSeekonk common, be- 
tween the new road from Seekonk to Pawtucket and the river, extend- 
ing down to the mouth of Ten-Mile river, was by order of the town, 
June 11th, 1652, allowed to lie open and undivided for common pas- 
turage for many years. This tract was called the ox-pasture, and an 
Indian, called Sam, was employed to take charge of the cows and 
other cattle belonging to the townspeople, in a common herd, driving 
them to the pasture every morning and bringing them back at night. 
It is said that he was so faithful in the execution of this trust, and be- 
came so popular after many years service in this capacity, that he was 
admitted to rights in the plantation as an inhabitant, " to buy or hire 
house or lands if he can, in case the Court allow it." The admission 
of an Indian to such rights of citizenship was a thing almost un- 
heard of. 

This locality was the scene of action in the terrible period known 
as King Philip's war. In July, 1675, Philip was discovered crossing 
Seekonk plain, and the Reverend Noah Newman, son of the leader of 
the settlement, led an attack against him with such success as to kill 
a number of the Indians without any loss to the attacking party. The 
number thus killed is variously estimated at from 12 to 30. On Sun- 
day, March 26th, 1676, Captain Michael Pierce, of Scituate, Mass., 
marched from Seekonk common with a force of 63 English and 20 of 
the Cape Indians in search of the enemy. Falling into an ambuscade 
of the Indians near Valley Falls, Captain Pierce formed his men into 
a ring, where they fought thus back to back for about three hours, 
until 55 of the English and 10 Indians had fallen dead upon the field. 
Two days later, that is on March 28th, 1676, the " Ring of the Town " 
was burned by the Indians under the command of King Philip, de- 
stroying 40 houses and 30 barns. Only two houses escaped— the gar- 
rison house, which stood near the place later occupied by the house 
of Phanuel Bishop, and another house on the south side of the com- 
mon. The latter was saved by an arrangement of black posts stand- 
ing around it so as to resemble at a distance a strong guard of men. 
The fire was set early in the evening, and on the morning of next day 
only a few smoking ash-heaps remained to mark the site of the vil- 
lage, with the exceptions already noticed. All the inhabitants of the 



148 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

town except one sought the garrison house for safety. This was a 
strong building, which the Indians were wise enough not to attempt 
to attack. When the attack upon the village was made Robert Beers, 
an Irishman, a brickmaker by trade, refused to flee to the garrison 
house, but sat down in his own house and engaged himself as well 
as he could in reading his Bible, declaring that nothing could 
harm him while he was thus engaged. But he fell a victim to his 
foolhardy faith, for the Indians shot him through the window and he 
fell dead with the Bible in his hands, being the only person slain on 
this occasion. 

We have already seen that the schoolmaster was a recognized fac- 
tor in the early town of Rehoboth. Robert Dickson was engaged in 
1699, to teach reading, writing and arithmetic for six months for ^13, 
one half to be paid in silver and the other half in lumber at current 
prices. The lumber was to be delivered at a landing place at the 
mouth of Ten-Mile river, where Samuel Walker and Sergeant Butter- 
worth had a saw mill. It is said that in the early history of the town 
there were wharves built out into the Seekonk, near the cove which 
is formed by the wide mouth of Ten-Mile river. Stores were erected 
here and considerable trade was carried on, and the people of Provi- 
dence frequently came over here to purchase goods. The pay of the 
schoolmaster gradually rose until in 1709 John Lynn was engaged to 
teach for one year for the sum of i^29, current money. The school 
was kept in different sections of the town for different parts of the 
year, so as to give residents of all parts some convenience in attending 
it. The " Ring of the Town " and the neighborhood on the east of it 
was to have the school 21 weeks; Palmer's River, 14 weeks; Watche- 
moket, 13 weeks, and Captain Enoch Hunt's neighborhood and the 
" mile and a half," 9 weeks. As this amounts to more than the 52 
weeks of the year, we assume that Mr. Lynn had an assistant part of 
the time, or that the school day was shortened so that the teacher 
could keep two schools in operation during the same week for a part 
of the time. 

During the war of the revolution the town was distinguished for a 
faithful and untiring support of the cause of independence. The town 
furnished 310 of its men for the continental army, and of that number 
37 were commissioned officers. Saltpetre was manufactured in a build- 
ing erected for the purpose near the mouth of Ten-Mile river, and fur- 
nished to the government in large quantities, to be used in the com- 
position of gunpowder. Some extracts from a letter of instructions 
from the town to its representative in 1773 will show the spirit of the 
people at that time. They write: " With pleasing hopes and expecta- 
tions we trust you will, in this day of general oppression and invasion 
of our natural and inherent rights and liberties, join in every salutary 
and constitutional measure to remove those constitutional burdens 
and grievances that this Province, and America in general, have long 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 149 

and justly remonstrated against." They then declare substantially 
that the British ministry "have hitherto, with impunity, profanely 
violated the faith and promise of a king, on whose royal word we 
made the most firm and indubitable reliance, and have involved this 
province and continent in the utmost distress and calamity." But not 
having any inclination toward an exhibition of hostility toward the 
constituted authority, they further declare: " And it is now, and 
ever has been, our earnest desire and prayer that there may never be 
wanting one of the illustrious House of Hanover to sway the sceptre 
of Great Britain and America, in righteousness, as long as the sun and 
moon shall endure." 

" We, your constituents, desire and expect that you exert yourself 
to the utmost of your ability, not only to secure our remaining privi- 
leges inviolable, but also to obtain a full redress of all those many 
grievances so justly complained of— a full restoration and confirma- 
tion of all the rights and privileges we are justly entitled to by nature 
and the solemn compact aforesaid; that generations yet unborn may 
know that this town has not been dormant, while the enemies thereof 
have been vigilant and active to wrest from them every privilege and 
blessing that renders life worthy of enjoyment." 

The committee of correspondence at that time was composed of 
Ephraim Starkweather, Nathan Daggett, Thomas Carpenter, 3d, John 
Lyon, Joseph Bridgham, and William Cole. 

The following list of men who served in the company commanded 
by Lieutenant Samuel Brown, in Colonel Nathaniel Carpenter's regi- 
ment, during the time of the war, is preserved: Sergeants — Amos 
Goif, Miles Shorey, Remember Kent, Stephen Burn; corporals— Ezra 
French, Elkanah French, Jacob Allen, William Eddy; alarm men-- 
Amos Handy, Oliver Read, Jabez Carpenter, William Daggett, Jacob 
Shorey, Nathan Ide, Daniel Carpenter, William Titus, Aaron Read, 
Charles Peck, Ephraim Walker, Nathaniel Phillips, Azaheel Carpen- 
ter, William Sabin, John Bowen, John Shorey, Leverrit Gushing, John 
Robinson, Jonathan Carpenter, Training Cand, James French, John 
French, John Brown, Caleb Carpenter, Nathan Read, David Cooper, 
Ephraim Carpenter, Jedediah Carpenter, Job Carpenter, Eliphalet 
Carpenter, Comfort Chaffee, John Barker, Amos Whitaker, Moses 
Walker, Richard Whitaker, Noah Newman, Daniel Perrin, Samuel 
Woodward, Nathan Peckham, Aaron Lyon, James Carpenter, David 
Read, James Bly, Simeon Read, Benjamin Gage, vSamuel Lyon, Eph- 
raim Turner, Thomas Munro, David Hutchins, Penewell Carpenter, 
Samuel B. Chaffee, Samuel Carpenter, Nathan Newman, Simeon Hunt, 
Abraham Ormsbee, Ezekiel Carpenter, Noah Fuller, Benjamin Orm.s- 
bee, Samuel Bowen, Samuel Allen, 2d, John Woodward, Jabez Perry, 
Jonathan French, Seba French, Nathaniel Cooper, Daniel L Perrin, 
Jacob Carpenter, James Read, Ebenezer Short, William Slade, Aza 
Bowen, Abel Medbury, Josiah Gushing, jr. 



150 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

These soldiers were sent under different demands to do military 
duty at different points in service of the continental cause, some at 
Fishkill, N, Y., at Tiverton, at Crown Point, at Cambridge, or wherever 
else the needs of the hour called them. 

Previous to the year 1793 the Seekonk river was crossed by ferries 
at Watchemoket, and at the site of the present Central Bridge. Bridges 
were erected about the year mentioned at both places. The first team 
crossed Central Bridge April 9th, and three days later the first team 
passed over Washington Bridge. Both these bridges were carried 
away by a freshet in 1807, and after being rebuilt, were again destroyed 
by the famous September gale and storm of 1815. A marble slab once 
stood near Washington Bridge, upon which was the inscription: 
" Washington Bridge, built by John Brown, Esq., 1793, this monument 
is erected by the founder and proprietor of India Point as a testimony 
of high respect for the great illustrious Washington." The monu- 
ment referred to was probably intended to mean a wooden statue of 
Washington which once stood near the stone, but which was washed 
away and lost in the gale referred to. In 1829 the woodwork of Wash- 
ington Bridge was rebuilt, under the superintendence of Mr James C. 
Bucklin, architect. In 1875 it was repaired and strengthened to last 
a few years until the construction of the present substantial bridge 
near the same site, which has recently been completed. The con- 
struction of this bridge was authorized by an act of the legislature 
passed March 28th, 1883, and the work was completed in 1885. The 
old Central or Red Bridge remained a toll bridge until 1869, when it 
became impassable by reason of the impact of vessels upon its founda- 
tions in their attempts to pass through its inconvenient draw. The 
present free bridge was opened for travel July 16th, 1872, having been 
built at a cost of $75,000. Of this sum $20,000 was paid by the state, 
$40,000 by the city of Providence, and $15,000 by the town of East 
Providence. The commissioners who acted in directing its erection 
were James C. Bucklin, C. B. Farnsworth and James Y. Smith. 

Let us turn now to notice more particularly the rise and progress 
of the town as a body corporate. We find that a part of the former 
town of Seekonk, in Massachusetts, passed under the jurisdiction of 
Rhode Island on vSaturday, March 1st, 1862, and was at the same time 
constituted as the town of East Providence. At the request of the 
citizens Governor Sprague gave the name, and immediately after 12 
o'clock on the day mentioned, the governor made a brief speech and 
announced the name. Salutes were fired at sunrise, at noon, and at 
sunset, stores were closed, and the town observed it as a holiday and 
an occasion for general congratulation and jubilee. A town meeting 
was held, at which Francis Armington read the proclamation of the 
governor, under which it was held, and Albert K. Gerald was chosen 
moderator. Henry H. Ide was elected town clerk. Resolutions of 
an amicable character were passed addressed to the town of Seekonk, 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 151 

and a committee immediately dispatched to carry them to the town 
meeting of that town, which was then in session. The following 
officers were elected at this first town meeting: Tristam Burges, senator; 
Albert K. Gerald, representative; Francis Armington, Allen J. Brown, 
George O. Carpenter, Daniel vS. Peck, Austin Gurney, town council; 
Francis Armington, treasurer; Timothy A. Leonard, town sergeant; 
Daniel S. Peck, Allen J. Brown, John A. Wood, assessors; Thomas 
B. Bishop, collector; George H. Read, Harvey S. Kent, Nathan M. 
West, constables; Thomas B. Bishop, William S. Munroe, David V. 
Gerald, school committee; Thomas G. Potter, Asa Peck, Robert M. 
Pearce, justices of the peace; and Francis Armington, overseer of the 
poor. 

The legislative officers of the town since its organization have 
been as follows: Senators — Tristam Burges, 1862-3; Francis Arming- 
ton, 1864-6; George O. Carpenter, 1867; Edward D. Pearce, 1868; 
Timothy A. Leonard, 1869 70; Edward D. Pearce, 1871-2; William 
Whitcomb, 1873; Francis Armington, 1874; Timothy O. Leonard, 
1875; Oliver Chaffee, 1876-7; Miles B. Lawson, 1878; Alvord O. 
Miles, 1879-80 ; William Whitcomb, 1881 ; George N. Bliss, 1882 ; Ed- 
ward C. Dubois, 1883-4 ; George N. Bliss, 1885-6 ; Augustus N. Cun- 
ningham, 1887; David S. Ray, 1888; Andrew J. Anthony, 1889. 
Representatives— Albert K. Gerald, 1862; William A. Carpenter, 
1863 ; Henry Ide, 1864; Albert K. Gerald, 1865 ; George O. Carpenter, 
1866-7; George N. Bliss, 1868-72; Albert C. Howard, 1873-4; Alvord 
O. Miles, 1875-8 ; Oliver Chaffee, 1879 ; William Whitcomb, 1880 ; 
Oliver Chaffee, 1881-2 ; Ellery H.Wilson, elected May 23d, 1883, to 
fill vacancy caused by death of Oliver Chaffee, 1883-6 ; Timothy A. 
Leonard, 1887-8; Ellery H. Wilson, 1889. 

The following have been members of the town council for the 
years mentioned: 1862, Allen J. Brown, Francis Armington, Daniel 
S. Peck, George O. Carpenter, Austin Gurney ; 1863, Nathaniel Cole, 
Daniel S. Peck, Timothy A. Leonard; 1864, Cole, Leonard, John A. 
Wood; 1865, Cole, Luther B. Peck, William Daggett; 1866, Cole, Dag- 
gett, Leonard; 1867, the same; 1868, Cole, Rowland G. Bassett, Charles 
A. Cobb; 1869, Oliver Chaffee, Joseph B. Gurney, John A. Wood; 1870, 
Nathaniel Cole, Rowland G. Bassett, William Whitcomb; 1871, Cole, 
Whitcomb, George H. Read; 1872, the same; 1873, Whitcomb, Ed- 
ward D. Pearce, George F. Wilson; 1874, Joseph J. Luther, Galen 
Pierce, Andrew J. Anthony; 1875, Anthony, Oliver Chaffee, William 
A. Carpenter, Samuel S. Barney, Alfred A.White; 1876, Anthony, 
Barney, White, William G. Bliven, James N. Bishop ; 1877, Anthony, 
Bishop, Barney, White, William A. Carpenter; 1878, Benjamin Wil- 
son, Joseph B. Gurney, William G. Bliven, Thomas L Bentley, Jesse 
Medbury; 1879, Wilson, Gurney, Andrew J. Anthony, John Champ- 
lin, Levi S. Winchester; 1880, the same ; 1881, Wilson, Gurney, An- 
thony, Samuel S. Barney, Alfred A. White; 1882, Wilson, Gurney, 



152 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Anthony, V/hite, Alvord O. Miles ; 1883, Wilson, Gurney, Anthony, 
Charles C. Weaver, Levi S. Winchester; 1884, Wilson, Gurney, An- 
thony, John Champlin, Alfred A. White; 1885, Wilson, Anthony, 
Gurney, Champlin, Levi S. Winchester ; 1886, the same ; 1887, Charles 
C. Weaver, Alfred Griswold, George J. Norton, Alfred A. White, 
Joseph B. Fitts; 1888, Griswold, Benjamin Wilson, Andrew J.An- 
thony, Frederick A. Brigham, George W. Whelden ; 1889, Wilson, 
Whelden, Henry F. Anthony, Benjamin Martin, Ira D. Goff. 

Town clerks have been as follows : Henry H. Ide, 1862-70; Charles 
L. Hazard, 1871-4; Ellery H. Wilson {pro tan.), 1875; Charles E. 
Scott, 1876-86 ; William \.. Sunderland, 1887 ; Thomas A. Sweetland, 
1888, to the present time. Town treasurers have been : Francis Arm- 
ington, 1862-4; Thomas Cole, 1865; Francis Armington, 1866-8; Wil- 
liam Armmgton, 1869; Francis Armington, 1870-4; Christopher 
Dexter, 1875-8; Thomas A. Sweetland, 1879-87; William W. Mun- 
roe, 1888, to the present time. Since the town was made a probate 
district in 1867, the following have served as judge of probate : Na- 
thaniel Cole, 1867-81; Oliver Chaffee, 1882; Benjamin Wilson, 1883- 
6; Francis Armington, 1887; Alfred A. White, 1888, to present time. 

The progress of the town in material value is shown by the follow- 
ing figures giving the assessed valuation of real estate in the town 
for each year, followed in each year by the rate of tax per hundred 
dollars:— 1862, $1,122,050, rate 1.12^; 1863, $1,085,650, rate .61; 1864, 
$1,182,075, rate .80; 1865, $1,268,600, rate .68; 1866, 1,336,800, rate .73; 
1867, $1,403,200, rate .75; 1868, $1,538,700, rate .70; 1869, $1,629,700, 
rate .72; 1870, $1,692,900, rate .80; 1871, $1,885,100, rate .80; 1872, 
$2,151,475, rate .80; 1873, $2,644,800, rate .95; 1874, $4,524,400, rate .75; 
1875, $4,565,700, rate .70; 1876, $4,358,200, rate .80; 1877, $4,072,875, 
rate .80; 1878, $3,964,405, rate .78; 1879, $3,991,945, rate .92; 1880, 
$4,006,520, rate .72; 1881, $4,057,060, rate .80; 1882, $4,131,190, rate .84; 
1883, $4,238,975, rate .80; 1884, $4,687,560, rate .80; 1885, $4,984,410, 
rate .80; 1886, $5,167,515, rate .80; 1888, $5,500,643, rate 1.00; 1889, 
$6,097,767, rate 1.00. 

In the war of 1861-5 the people of this town proved themselves 
true to the traditions of New England, ready to sacrifice their prop- 
erty and themselves in the cause of the national welfare. They were 
prompt in sending men to the front, and liberal in providing for the 
wants of those families left in embarrassed circumstances by the en- 
listing of their supporters. 

The public schools of the town have been ably and liberally main- 
tained. In 1862 and 1863 new school houses were built in districts 
Number 3, 4 and 8, and the house in No. 1 was raised up a story, mak- 
ing a total expense of about $6,000. In 1864 and 1865 school houses 
were built in No. 2 and No. 7, the cost of which, with one lot, was 
$3,411.83. An addition to No. 1 was built in 1867-8 at a cost of about 
$4,000. New houses were built in Nos. 5 and 6 in 1869-70 at a cost 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 153 

of $4,661.74. Grammar schools No. 2 and No. 8 were built about 1878 
at a cost of about $5,000, including cost of a lot. The present Grove 
street school house, No. 1, was built in 1875-6 at a cost, including 
the lot, of $16,845.88. A new school house was built in district No. 2, 
in 1879, at a cost of $1,780.02. A new school house was built at Cedar 
Grove in 1881 at a cost of about $4,800. The school house on the corner 
of James street and Russell avenue was built in 1882-3, and cost, includ- 
ing the lot and grading, about $6,500. An addition to the Union 
Grammar school house was made in 1888, which with its furnishings 
cost about $5,000. In the spring of 1888 it was desired to re-arrange 
the school houses so as to use the Grove avenue house for a high 
school and grammar school, and to provide additional buildings for 
the primary departments. In carrying out this design a lot was pur- 
chased of Stephen S. Rich, on Williams avenue, for $800, and a build- 
ing was erected upon it during the year at a cost, including furniture, 
of a little more than $6,000. This was intended to accommodate the 
schools which previously had occupied a leased building on Vine 
street. 

The growth of the schools of the town may be inferred from the 
following figures, showing the annual appropriations for their support 
from year to year: 1862, $500; 1868, $1,000; 1864, $1,200; 1865, $1,200; 
1866, $1,400; 1867, $1,600; 1868, $1,600; 1869, $1,800; 1870, $2,000; 187], 
$2,000; 1872, $2,800; 1878, $5,700; 1874, $5,750; 1875, $8,100; 1876, $9,500; 
1877, $9,500; 1878, $11,106; 1879, $10,804.68; 1880, $10,847; 1881, $10,- 
869.89: 1882, $12,885.60; 1888, $11,684.98; 1884, $18,647.41; 1885, $18,- 
678.85; 1886, $16,124.58; 1887, $19,705.41; 1888, $19,248.86; 1889, $28,- 
624.66. 

From the published report of the school committee for the year 
1889 we learn that there are in the town ] ,734 persons of school age — 
that is, between the ages of five and fifteen years. The largest num- 
ber of pupils registered in the public schools during one term was 
1,507. The number of children reported as not attending any school 
was 278. An evening school was opened in the Potter Street school 
house November 12th, 1888, and ended February 8th, 1889. making a 
term of 18 weeks. It was taught by a principal and an assistant, and 
w^as attended wholly by boys, 85 being enrolled and an average of 25 
attending. The schools of the town employ 'S8 teachers, whose weekly 
salaries range from $15 for principals of grammar schools, down to 
$8 and $7 for assistant primary teachers, the principal of the high 
school receiving $80. The number in attendance in the different 
schools was as follows: High School, 64; Grove Avenue Grammar 
School, 165; Mauran Avenue and Williams Avenue, Grammar, 117; 
Intermediate, 67; Primary, 109; East Providence Centre, Grammar, 
98; Intermediate, 91; Riverside, Grammar, 85; Primary, 175; James 
Street, Intermediate, 94; Primary, 92; Williams Avenue and James 
Street, Primary, 94; Potter Street, Intermediate, 178; Primary, 177; 



154 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Rumford, No. 2, 91; Broadway, No. B, 90; Leonard's Corner, No. 4, 86;- 
Armington's Corner, No. 5, 87; East Providence Centre, No. 8, 91; Near 
Paper Mill, No. 9, 94. The various school buildings of the town are 
estimated in value as follows: District No. 1, house and furnishings, 
$4,188.57; No. 2, house and furnishings, $2,280; No. 3, house and lot, 
$2,200; No. 4, house and lot, $2,217.02; No. 5, house and lot, $2,216.03; 
No. 6, house and lot, $5,209.31; No. 7, house and lot, $1,266.41; No. 8, 
house and lot, $2,200; No. 9, house and lot, $1,780.02; Union Grammar 
School building, $9,932.34; Williams iV venue, house and lot, $6,779.96; 
Mauran Avenue, house and lot, $15,058.62; James Street, house and 
lot, $6,491.72; Grove Avenue, house and lot, $16,195.88. 

The town of East Providence was divided into road districts in ac- 
cordance with a vote at town meeting April 27th, 1863. The division 
was as follows: Highway District No. 1. — Commencing at Barrington 
line at Bullock's point, thence running northeasterly with Barrington 
line to and including the Warren road, thence northerly to a point 10 
rods south of Captain Martin Rogers' house, thence to the river, leav- 
ing Halsey place on the north side of the line. No. 2. — Commencing 
at Barrington line, thence northerly to a corner north of William S- 
Munroe, thence to Runnin's bridge. No. 3.— Commencing at the 
aforesaid corner, thence westerly, including all the public roads to a 
point five rods west of Isaac B. Kent's residence. No. 4. — Commenc- 
ing at the northerly line of District No. 1, thence northerly to Wil- 
liam Ide's stone quarry, and from westerly line of No. 3 westerly to a 
point half way between A. K. Gerald's and John Martin's. No. 5. — 
Commencing at the west line of No. 4, thence westerly and southerly 
as far as the public roads go, thence northerly to Broadway, thence- 
westerly, including the turnpike, to India Point bridge, thence south- 
erly past John T. Ingraham's store to a point 20 rods west of Leon- 
ard's corner. No. 6. — Commencing at the northerly line of No. 4, 
thence north to a point just north of and including Baster's lane from 
Broadway to Perry "Barney's house and at the east line of No. 5, thence 
east to the state line at Luther's corner. No. 7. — Commencing at the 
north line of No. 6 at Baster's lane, thence northerly to a point just 
north of Cole's bridge, and westerly towards the cove to the northeast 
corner of George W. Carpenter's lot, and from Broadway running 
easterly to the state line. No. 8. — Commencing at Broadway Corners, 
thence northerly through Omega village to the corner, including Ben- 
jamin Allen and George Lawton, and from the west line of No. 7 at 
Thomas Cole's westerly to the corner at J. B. Pitts', including all 
public roads between the above named points and Central Bridge and 
District No. 5. No. 9.— Commencing at the northerly point of No. 7 
at Cole's bridge, thence easterly and northerly to a point at the top of 
the hill just north of Phanuel Bishop's, thence easterly in a direct line 
to a point half way between the Bridgham place and Charles Ru- 
dolph's, thence southerly to state line at Hunt's bridge, including all 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 155 

public roads within those limits. No. 10.— Commencino; at the north- 
erly line of No. 8 at Benjamin Allen's, thence northerly to the river 
to Pawtucket line, thence easterly by Pawtucket line to state line, 
thence southerly by state line to Central Factory, continuing south- 
erly to District No. 9, thence westerly to first mentioned corner, in- 
cluding all public roads within thOvSe limits. 

The thickly populated part of the town is incorporated as the 
Watchemoket Fire District, which incorporation was effected in 1880. 
Water is led through the principal streets of the village, there being 
52,898 feet of mains laid, and over 50 hydrants. Water is supplied 
from Pawtucket. The valuation of real estate within the limits of 
the fire district is $2,155,431. The affairs of the district are in the 
hands of seven fire wardens, a clerk, moderator, three assessors, a 
collector of taxes and a treasurer. The district is divided into five 
districts, the boundaries of which are as follows : First district includes 
all that part lying west of Potter and north of Warren avenues, ex- 
tending to the river; Second district, all lying south of Warren and 
west of Lyon avenues; Third district is bounded by Potter street, 
Warren avenue, Broadway and Taunton avenue; Fourth district is 
bounded by Taunton avenue. Walnut street and Waterman avenue; 
Fifth district is North Broadway. The town also has two fire engine 
companies — Watchemoket Fire Co. No. 1, and Narragansett Engine 
Co. No. 2, located at Riverside. Both these are supplied with engines 
and other apparatus; and the first numbers 57 and the other 50 men. 

T*he town maintains a very efficient police force. The total num- 
ber of arrests made by them during the last year reported was 172, 
and for the year before 178. The expense of maintaining the police 
force for several years past has been as follows: 1880, $2,790; 1881, 
$3,404; 1882, $3,356; 1883, $3,314; 1884, $3,756; 1885, $5,165; 1886, 
$5,397; 1887, $4,665; 1888, $5,608; 1889, $5,621. 

Street lights are maintained by the town in populous localities. 
In the Northern district there are in use 25 gasoline and 12 oil lamps 
with posts complete. In the Southern district there are 37 oil lamps 
complete. In the Watchemoket district there are 59 gas posts, 69 
gasoline lamps and 5 oil lights sustained by the town. Street light- 
ing costs the town about $3,000 a year. The expense of maintaining 
and improving the streets and highways of the town is something 
more than $10,000 a year. In 1887 it exceeded $11,000, while during 
the first half of the decade it barely exceeded $7,000 in any year, and 
sometimes fell considerably below it. 

The town has an elegant town hall, erected in 1889, at a cost of 
nearly $50,000. The first appropriation, voted in 1888, was $35,000, 
but that amount did not complete the building. A spacious lot, prev- 
iously purchased at an expense of about $11,500, furnishes an appro- 
priate site for the building. It is constructed of brick, with granite 
plinths, in the first story, and the second story is sided with shingles. 



L 



156 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

the architecture conforming to the modern composite style. The 
front opens toward Taunton avenue, and the recessed entrance is ap- 
proached by a flight of granite steps. The corner stone was laid in 
1888, and the building completed in the latter part of 1889. The 
grounds surrounding it are handsomely laid out. The old town hall, 
a frame building two stories high, stands near. The upper story 
contains a hall which is let for entertainments and other public 
gatherings. The building is estimated in value at $1,000. 

In accordance with the original custom in New England towns a 
tax was made to build the first meeting house. It will be remem- 
bered that the peculiar sentiments of Rhode Island on ecclesiastical 
matters did not prevail on this territory, which was then Massa- 
chusetts ground. The first meeting house was begun in 1646, and so 
far completed in the following year as to be used for religious serv- 
ices. It stood where the tomb now is, south of the present Congre- 
o-ational church. A tax for finishing the house was levied in 1648, 
and in 1659 it was enlarged. It continued in service until 1718, un- 
less it shared the fate of other buildings around it in the time of 
King Philip's war, and was rebuilt immediately after. This would 
seem most probable, but there appears no record of it. The second 
church was erected in the year 1718, on a site about 80 feet eastward 
of the former. The house having been completed the town voted on 
the 23d of December " that the rules to be observed in seating the 
new meeting house for the Sabbath are as followeth : Firstly, to have 
regard to dignity of person, and secondly by age, and thirdly accord- 
ing to the charge they bare in respect to the public charges, and what 
charge they have been at in building the meeting house." A com- 
mittee was charged with the execution of this scheme. That house 
of worship stood for nearly a century. It was torn down in 1814, and 
a part of the lumber was used in the erection of the town hall, which 
from that time to the completion of the new town hall was in use for 
that purpose. The house now used by the Congregational society 
was erected in 1810. In the early history of this church the people 
were called together at the beat of the drum instead of the ringing 
of a bell. The seating of the meeting house, in some such manner 
as we have noticed, was a common thing, and committees were 
yearly appointed to attend to the business. 

The first pastor of this church was Reverend Samuel Newman, a 
man of great literary ability, and the compiler of the first full concord- 
ance of the Bible in the English language. He published the finst 
edition in London, in 1643, but afterward revised it while pastor of 
this church, the last edition being printed in London in 1658. His 
son, Noah Newman, succeeded him as pastor of this church. We 
should not forget to say that the commonly accepted date of the 
formation of this church is 1643. The present pastor. Reverend 
Leonard Z. Ferris, commenced his labors with this church June 1st, 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 157 

1888. The present membership is 169. About 125 families are in- 
cluded in the congregation. The Sunday school numbers 232, and is 
in excellent condition. The membership of the church has been 
depleted within the last year or two by the withdrawal of members 
to form other churches. Such churches were the Union church at 
Luther's Corners, in Seekonk, and the Broadway chapel of this town. 

The Second Congregational church of this town is located at River- 
side, and was organized in 1881. It is in a very hopeful condi- 
tion. A neat church has been built, and in the year 1888 friends of 
the society presented it with a beautiful parsonage. The present 
pastor. Reverend James D. Smiley, commenced his preaching to this 
church April 8th, 1888. The church numbers 42 members, and the 
congregation represents about 80 families. Mr. E. P. Adams is the 
church clerk, and superintendent of the Sunday school, which num- 
bers 160. 

A mission was started by the Congregational church in. a school 
house in the eastern part of the village of East Providence, about 
October of the year 1885. From this Sunday school grew other reli- 
gious efforts, and finally a chapel was built on North Broadway, about 
the year 1887. It was dedicated in May, 1889. During the same year, 
a few months later, a church was organized. This has about 25 mem- 
bers. Reverend L. S. Woodworth supplies the pulpit a considerable 
part of the time. 

Baptists had resided in this town for some time before any church 
organization was matured. From 1732 to 1794, however, the element 
grew strong enough to organize seven churches in the old town of 
Rehoboth. The youngest of these, located on Seekonk plain, about 
three miles from Providence, was the beginning of the First Baptist 
church of East Providence. The first meeting looking toward the 
organization of this church was held December 17th, 1793, but differ- 
ent opinions were entertained in the matter of laying on of hands as 
a vital ordinance. Nine meetings were held before these opinions 
could be reconciled, and on November 11th, 1794, it was agreed that 
" laying on of hands should not be regarded as a term of the com- 
munion." The church was organized at the house of Miles Shorey, 
November 27th, 1794. The 19 constituents members were: Caleb 
Mason, Charles Peck, John Brown, John Medbury, Miles Shorey, Ezra 
Kent, John Perry, Molly Walker, Abigail Winsor, Abigail Wilson, 
Sybel Ingraham, Sarah Shorey, Hannah Hayes, Eunice Harding, 
Rebecca Braly, Susanna Mason, Molly Cole, Silence Carpenter, and 
Johanna Mason. For seven months the church worshipped in private 
houses. The first meeting house was dedicated June 28th, 1795. This 
house was thoroughly renovated in 1837, and stood until 1879, when it 
was torn down to make room for the present edifice. The latter house 
was built at a cost of about $7,000, and was dedicated, free of incum- 
brance, December 30th, 1879. 



k 



158 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

The first pastor of this church was Elder John P. Jones. He 
preached here before the formation of the church, being then a licen- 
tiate of the Second Baptist church of Newport. He was ordained 
March ISth, 1795, and continued here over three years. Failing health 
compelled him to retire, leaving Elder John Pitman, who had for a 
few months been his assistant, in charge of the flock. The latter con- 
tinued for 17 years. He had no stated salary, but depended solely 
upon the free-will offerings of the people. In June, 1814, he was com- 
pelled to resign, because of inadequate support. In June, 1815, Elder 
Jason Livermore, from the First church in Maiden, Mass., came as a 
pastoral supply. His labors were closed by his sudden death in Jan- 
uary following. In March, 1816, Elder Pitman returned, and con- 
tinued until his death, July 24th, 1822. The salary promised him was 
.$300 a year. During the 24 years of his pastorate 124 members were 
received into the church. Elder Ezra Gowen served the church for 
nine months from February, 1823, and 24 were added to the church 
■during this time, as the fruits of a revival. Reverend Bartlett Pease 
was called in October, 1823, and continued four years and five months. 
Reverend Benjamin Grafton was pastor from May, 1829, to June, 1831. 
During his ministry the present parsonage was built. He was fol- 
lowed by Forendo Bestor, a licentiate, from Hartford, Conn., but 
.shortly afterward ordained, and who continued until August, 1833. 
Henry Clarke, a licentiate of Warwick and Coventry church, com- 
menced his labors here October 1st, 1833. He was afterward ordained, 
.and continued three years. During his pastorate 101 were added to 
the membership. Reverend John Allen was the immediate successor, 
beginning August 1st, 1837, and continuing three years. During the 
renovation of the meeting house, in 1837, services were held in the 
town hall. Revered John Welch began his pastorate in November, 
1840, and continued nearly ten years. In the winter and spring of 
1842 the most remarkable revival in the history of the church occurred. 
As the fruits of it 80 members were added to the church. Reverend 
H. G. Stewart was pastor for three years, from x\pril 1st, 1850. 
Reverend Alexander Loiimer followed, for 13 months. He was suc- 
ceeded by Reverend George Matthews for three years, and he by Rev-" 
■erend A. H. Stowell for two years and nine months. Reverend G. P. 
M. King was called to the pastorate in November 1860, and continued 
four years, resigning in December, 1864, and shortly after joining the 
army in connection with the Christian Commission. A vacancy in 
the pastorate occurred for more than a year, the longest period of the 
kind in the history of the church. Reverend I. Chesebrough entered 
the pastorate April 1st, 1866, and continued until September, 1880, a 
term of 14^ years. Reverend Bailey S. Morse succeeded in the 
pastorate, from April, 1881, to April, 1885. Reverend F. J. Jones 
began his service of the church August 1st, 1885, being ordained in 
September, and remained about three years. Reverend William J. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 159 

Reynolds, Jr., of Phenix, the present pastor, commenced his labors in 
June, 1889. The present membership is 115. The Sunday school, 
which was founded by Deacon Viall jSIedbury. in 18] 9, numbers 
152, and has a library of 300 volumes. 

The Second Baptist church of East Providence had its beginning 
about 80 years ago. Reverend Daniel Rounds, a member of the Third 
Baptist church of Providence, held meetings here, in the then town 
of Seekonk. in 1860, and from those meetings 17 converts were re- 
ceived into the Third church. In July, 1860, a church was formed 
here, the constituent members, 18 in number, being dismissed for that 
purpose from the Third church. A Sunday school was also organized 
in the same year. A house of worship was soon after erected. In 
1880 the membership of the church was 70. It now^ numbers 103. 
Reverend William Fitz was pastor from 1882 to the end of 1886; and 
Reverend J. Stewart, the present pastor, followed in May, 1887. The 
Warren Baptist Association, to which this church belongs, held its 
119th annual meeting with this church, in September, 1885. The 
present church clerk is Mr. A. F. Messenger, and the superintendent 
of the Sunday school is Mr. Charles H. Finch. The school numbers 
about 200, with an average attendance of more than 100. It has a 
library of 400 volumes. 

The First Universalist church stands on a spacious lot on Taunton 
avenue and Alice street. The parish society of this church was or- 
ganized in 1881. Religious services were held for a time in Pierce's 
Hall. A handsome church edifice was erected in 1882, at a cost of 
about $8,000. The whole amount was paid so that the church was 
free from debt, and has been so from the start. Among the promi- 
nent original members of the parish were Raymond Burr, Nathaniel 
M. Burr, Philip A. Munroe, David Anthony, Andrew J. Anthony, 
Timothy A. Leonard, Alvord O. Miles, Alfred Griswold and Stephen 
S. Rich. A church organization was effected in 1883. A Sunday 
school had been organized in 1881, which now numbers 70 members. 
The first pastor was the Reverend George R. Spink, under whose pas- 
torate the church was built. He remained until 1885. After a va- 
cancy of about six months Reverend George S. Weaver, D.D., began 
a pastorate October 12th, 1885, which continues at the present time. 
The church now has 29 members and about 53 families are connected 
with the congregation. 

St. Mary's Protestant Episcopal church was started as a mission of 
St. Stephen's church, in Providence, in 1871. A handsome Gothic 
house of worship was erected in 1872 on Warren avenue, at a cost of 
about $5,000. It has recently (1889) been undergoing some change in 
its arrangement. Prominent supporters of the cause, who were active 
in starting the church, were: Mrs. Lydia Pearce, Mrs. John Arm- 
strong, Mr. John Armstrong, Rufus W. Adams, Captain W. Hall and 
Mr. Kilton. The first rector was Reverend Robert Paine, who came 



160 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

as deacon, but was ordained in St. John's church. He remained eight 
or nine years. He was followed by Reverend Lucius Waterman, who 
came as deacon and was ordained here, and remained about six 
months. Reverend Daniel I. Odell followed, coming as a deacon and 
being ordained in Milwaukee, remaining here six or seven years. 
Reverend Wilberforce Wells followed, from December, 1884, to July, 
1885. Reverend George R. Spink began officiating in October, 1885. 
and continues at the present time. The church wardens are William 
T. Kilton and William E. Ripley. The present number of communi- 
cants is 72. The Sunday school has about 150 scholars. 

St. Mark's Protestant Episcopal church at Riverside was organized 
as a distinct parish in 1883. Some time later the erection of a houre 
of worship was begun. This having been completed and paid for, 
was duly consecrated by Bishop Clark October 25th, 1888. In speak- 
ing of it the bishop said: " It was an occasion of great interest to the 
people of this vicinity, and under the active ministry of the present 
rector, the Reverend Otis O. Wright, with a spacious and attractive 
church, free from all incumbrance, and a growing population to draw 
upon, we may look forward to an abundant harvest in the future." 
The present wardens of the church are Amasa Humphrey and James 
Mortin. During the last year of report 20 members were added, mak- 
ing the total number of communicants 78. The Sunday school has 
about 70 members. 

In recent years the Roman Catholic population has increased so 
much that provision for their religious needs seemed necessary, and 
a handsome frame edifice was erected. It stands at the corner of 
Taunton Pike and Anthony street, on a lot of about one acre of 
ground. The lot also has upon it a neat parochial residence. The 
church is capable of seating about 600 persons. This parish was 
under the pastoral care of Reverend F. O'Reilly from 1880 to 1887, 
and since the last date has been in charge of Reverend John Harty. 
It is known as the Church of the Sacred Heart. 

Haven Methodist Episcopal church is a neat edifice occupying a 
commodious lot on Taunton avenue. Its value is estimated at $7,700. 
The Methodist sentiment had been gathering strength for several 
years, and about 1877 the house of worship was erected. For several 
years, from 1876 to 1880, at least, religious services were conducted 
by Reverend Thom.as Ely, a superannuated resident minister. Rever- 
end Benjamin F. Simon was placed in charge by appointment of con- 
ference in 1880, and continued until 1882. He was followed in 1888 by 
Reverend Alexander Anderson, who continued until 1886, when he 
was succeeded by Reverend William H. Starr, the present pastor. 
The number of full members is 161. A flourishing Sunday school is 
connected with it, having over 300 scholars, and an average attend- 
ance of over 200 scholars and teachers. Its library contains nearly 
600 books. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUiNTV. 161 

A Union chapel was erected at Cedar Grove some IT) years ago or 
more. It has been used by different denominations. Reverend A. A. 
Cleaveland conducted services from 1880 to the present time. 

Reliance Lodge, No. 34, I. O. O. F., was instituted April 26th, 1874, 
by Grand Master Gardner T. Swarts. The following were charter 
members: Edward S. Luther, Rufus W. Adams, Clark R. Bugbee, 
Elmer C. Bugbee, John Champlin, Franklin M. Cheney, Thomas 
Eccles, Orland Freeborn, James C. Hunt, John Wilbur, William H. 
Luther, John H. Kenna, Charles E. Pierce, Edwin S. Straight, John 
G. Straight and Martin Hunt. The first officers were: E. S. Luther, 
N. G.; R. W. Adams, V. G.; John Wilbur, R. S.; John Champlin. T.; 
Thomas Eccles, P. S.; C. E. Pierce, M.; E. C. Bugbee, C; J. Straight, 
L G.; J. H. Kenna, O. G.; E. S. Straight, C. The following are past 
grands: Rufus W. Adams, John Bowen. E. C. Bugbee, Cornelius 
Beard, Charles D. E. Briggs, John Champlin, Charles W. Farrington, 
Cyrus E. Goff, Edward J. Luther, Edwin B. Lincoln, Charles E. Pierce, 
Herbert R. Perkins, Charles A. H. Parker, George H. Rounds, John 
Wilbur, Walter E. Townsend and Clarence H. Lovell. The Lodge 
numbers at present 144. It meets every Tuesday evening at Odd 
Fellows Hall on Warren avenue. 

Fraternity Encampment, No. 17, I. O. O. F., was organized April 
3d, 1875. Its charter members were: Rufus W. Adams, William G. 
Bliven, George Dorrance, Arthur E. Hill, Charles A. Ingraham, Ed- 
ward S. Luther, William H. Luther. The first officers were: George 
Dorrance, chief patriarch; Jacob P. Peterson, high priest; Arthur E. 
Hill, senior warden; Charles A. Ingraham, rec. scribe; Edward S. 
Luther, treasurer; George A. Kendall, fin. scribe; Rufus W. Adams, 
junior warden. The leading offices have since been held successively 
by the following: Chief patriarchs, Arthur E. Hill, C. A. Ingraham, 
Rufus W. Adams, John Champlin, J. F. Bowen, C. E. Pierce, Orland 
Freeborn, C. R. Ross, S. J. Dver, J. G. Peck, C. F. Allen, E. J. Luther, 
Joseph Taylor, A. H. Vaughn, Charles A. H. Parker, J. R. Wall, C. 
Beard, H. R. Perkins, E. B. Lincoln; high priests, George A. Kendall, 
C. F. Allen, William H. McTwiggan, C. E. Briggs, Ferdinand Whel- 
den, W. H. McTwiggan, E. J. Luther, W. H. McTwiggan, E. J. 
Luther, Albert Vial, Joseph Taylor, John G. Straight, C. Beard. Pre- 
vious to 1881 the term of service was six months; since that date it 
has been one year. The present membership of the encampment 
is 59. 

The new Odd"Fellows Hall on Warren avenue, a handsome build- 
ing, was commenced April 1st, 1889. It is built of wood, 60 by 47 
feet, two stories high. It cost about $12,000. The upper floor is used 
for a hall, while the lower floor is occupied by stores. The architects 
were Messrs. Gould & Angell, and the contractor was John Champlin. 

Bucklin Post, No. 20, G. A. R., was organized October 26th, 1886. 
Its officers were : David S. Ray, commander; F. B. Butts, senior vice; 
11 



162 HISTORY OF PROVIDENXE COUNTY. 

William F. Comrie. junior vice; A. W. Cunningham, quartermaster; 
Orland Freeborn, adjutant; George E. Kent, chaplain; B. O. Rhodes, 
surgeon; James Mellan, officer of the guard; James A. Sherman, 
officer of the day. The charter members of the Post were the fore- 
going officers and 32 others. David S. Ray was commander from the 
organization to January 1st, 1889. William F. Comrie has held that 
office since the date mentioned. The number of members at the 
present time is 168. The Post holds weekly meetings every Tuesday 
evening in a hall in Chedel Block. The present officers are: William 
F. Comrie, commander; Orland Freeborn, senior vice; Thomas R. 
Salsbury, junior vice; Leander Baker, quartermaster; Fred. A. Burt, 
adjutant; George E. Kent, chaplain; W. G. Bowen, surgeon; David 
H. Oldridge, officer of the guard; James H. Sherman, officer of the 
day. 

Farragut Post, No. 8, was organized May 9th, 1884. The charter 
members were: Fred. F. Wolcott, Benjamin C. Clark, George W. Pay- 
ton, George H. Northup, A. C. Johonnet, Robert Laird, John R. Case, 
George B. Jenks, Franklin Monroe, J. J. Moore, Henry B. Warner, 
Willam S. Brown, Frank B. Butts, George F. Chapman and William 
H. Martin. The location of the Post is at Riverside. The principal 
officers for 1884 were: F. B. Butts, C; George V. Chapman, S. V.; 
George W. Payton, J. V.; Fred. F. Wolcott, Q. M. The officers for 
1885 were: George F. Chapman, C; George W. Payton, S. V.; Albert 
P. Johonnet, J. V.; Frank B. Butts, A.; Fred. F. Wolcott, Q. M. The 
officers for 1886 were: William C. Severance, C; William S. Brown, 
J. v.; F. W. Monroe, A.; Franklin Monroe, Q. M. For 1887: George 
F. Chapman, C; Fred. F. Wolcott, S. V.; William S. Brown, J. V.; E. 
P. Adams, A.; Franklin Monroe, Q. M. For 1888: Franklin Monroe, 
C; Isaac H. Rogers, S. V.; Charles F. Sherman, J. V.; Willard C. Sev- 
erance, A.; George F. Chapman, O. M. For 1889: Franklin Monroe, 
C; Lsaac H. Rogers, S. V.; Charles F. Sherman, J. V.; Benjamin L. 
Penno, A.; George F. Chapman, Q. M. The membership numbers 44. 

Among the institutions of East Providence is a weekly newspaper, 
the East Providence Reeorel, published by Sibley & Johnson. It is 
printed in the city. 

The Riverside Cotton Mills, located here, were established in 1882, 
by J. P. Campbell & Co. They occupy a building about 50 by 200 
feet, two stories high. The mills contain about 10,000 spindles, and 
employ about 200 hands in the manufacture of cotton goods. The 
superintendent is Mr. A. W. Mattison. 

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 

Andrew J. Anthony, son of David and Catharine (Barker) Anthony, 
was born in 1833, in Mendon, Mass., and was educated in the public 
schools. When he was very young his father moved to what is now 
East Providence. He first engaged in the cigar manufacturing busi- 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 163 

ness until 18 years of age, his father being then in that business. He 
afterward learned the mason's trade in Providence, and has followed 
it ever since, and for the past 25 years has had charge of all the Provi- 
dence Gas Company's buildings. He was elected in 1874 to the town 
council, and has been a member each year with the exception of 1878 
and 1886. until elected to the senate in 1889. He was also president 
of the council three years. He married Harriet, daughter of Joseph 
Martin of Seekonk, Mass. 

Henry F. Anthony, son of Andrew J. and Harriet (Martin) An- 
thony, was born in 1855, in what is now East Providence (then See- 
konk, Mass.). He was educated in the public schools, learned the 
mason's trade, and for 10 years worked for his father. In 1881 he be- 
came assistant agent for the P. & W. railroad at East Providence, 
and in 1885 was made agent. He was elected to the town council in 
April, 1889, also elected president of the board. He was three years 
assessor of the fire district. He married Julia O., daughter of Wil- 
liams A. Burt of Fall River. 

Francis Armington, son of Ambrose and Sally (Jencksj Arming- 
ton, was born in 1820 in East Providence (then Seekonk), in the stone 
house on Pawtucket avenue, built by his father about 1810. He was 
educated in the public schools, and followed the business of pile 
driving and wharf building for 80 years. He married Caroline A., 
daughter of Jesse Medbery, Esq., of East Providence (then Seekonk). 
He represented the town of Seekonk in the legislature of Massa- 
chusetts, served as chairman of the boards of selectmen and assessors, 
and was overseer of the poor in that town. In East Providence he 
was president of the first town council, served three years in the sen- 
ate, 12 years as town treasurer, also held the offices of assessor, pro- 
bate judg-e, overseer of the poor and auctioneer. He enlisted the 
town's quota of 80 volunteers for the war. 

Charles C. Balch, son of S. W. and Joanna (Perkins) Balch, was 
born in 1847 in Lyme, N. H., and was educated in the public schools. 
He came to East Providence in 1886. Previous to that he was in the 
produce business in Boston. He married Abby M., daughter of Oliver 
and Abby M. Chaffee, of East Providence. 

Daniel D. Barney, son of John and Ruth (Viall) Barney, was born 
in Seekonk, Mass., now East Providence, R. I., in 1823, and was edu- 
cated in the public schools. He learned the stone mason's trade, fol- 
lowing it with his father until he was 22 years of age. Since 1865 he 
has been with the Rumford Chemical Works as their farmer. His 
first wife was Henrietta A., daughter of Caleb Chaffee, of Seekonk. 
His present wife is Sarah, daughter of Silas Terry, of Fall River. 
• John P. Barney, farmer and manufacturer of cider and vinegar, is 
a son of Perry and Rachel (Peck) Barney. He was born in 1851, in 
East Providence, in the same house where he has always lived and 
which was built by his grandfather, Jonathan Barney. He was edu- 



164 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

cated at Mowry & Goff's and Bryant & Stratton's, Providence. He 
married Sarah E., daughter of James R. Hornby, of Pawtucket, R. I. 
Their children are: Perry James, born 1880, died 1883; Alice Teel, 
born 1884; Bessie E., born 1886; Earl Clifford, born 1888. 

Nathaniel I. Bishop, son of Phanuel and Betsey (Ide) BiwShop, was 
born in 1829, in Seekonk, now East Providence, and was educated at 
the public school. He learned the carpenter's trade and always fol- 
lowed it. He moved to Providence in 1858, where he resided for 
about ten years, and was for 20 years partner with William C. Daven- 
port, in the firm of William C. Davenport & Co., builders. He mar- 
ried Caroline, daughter of Asa Mason, of Seekonk. 

Frederick A. Brigham was born in Shrewsbury, Mass., in 1835, and 
came to East Providence in 1872, where he has since followed the real 
estate business. He was in the council in 1888. He has been treas- 
urer of Riverside Congregational church since its organization, and 
was first treasurer of the Riverside Free Public Library. 

Fred. I. Chaffee, son of Oliver and Abby Maria (Gray) Chaffee, was 
born in 1857, in East Providence, and was educated at public and high 
schools, East Providence, and at Mowry & Goff's, Providence. He 
served as deputy sheriff for two years. He married Inez, daughter of 
Alfred and Frances Griswold, of East Providence. He was employed 
for seven years in the Rumford Chemical Works, and about 1881 
began the manufacture of disinfectants. He was burned out, but im- 
mediately rebuilt and still carries on the business. 

J. Irvin Chaffee, son of Oliver and Abby M. (Gray) Chaffee, was 
born January 3d, 1861, in Seekonk, Mass., and was educated at Mowry 
& Goff's classical school and at Brown University, Providence, gradu- 
ating in 1883. Before graduating he began to teach as principal in 
the Grove Avenue grammar school in the fall of 1882. In the fall of 
1884 he started the East Providence high school, of which he had 
charge till the middle of November, 1889, when he resigned and went 
abroad for two months. After his return he taught until the follow- 
ing summer at Goff, Rice & Smith's school in Providence. In the fall 
of 1890 he entered the Johns Hopkins University to take the course 
in mathematics. In 1885 he married Bessie W., daughter of John 
C. and Frances A. (Peck) Marvel. 

A. N. Cunningham, son of Joseph N. and Sarah A. (Bishop) Cun- 
ningham, was born November 5th, 1841, in Seekonk, Mass., now East 
Providence. He began with his father, who was a civil engineer, and 
who laid out the Boston & Providence road; was foreman on the Bos- 
ton & Providence road, under Isaiah Hoyt, and afterward went on the 
construction of the Boston, Hartford & Erie, under E. B. Crane, for two 
years. He then returned to the Boston & Providence road, and built 
over the road, under Mr. Hoyt; then back to the Boston, Hartford & 
Erie, now known as the New York & New England road, under N. C. 
Munson, for two years. He then went to the Connecticut Valley road 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 165 

and took a contract to build three miles of road from Wethersfield to 
Rocky Hill, then went to work for Dillon & Clyde to finish the road. 
He was afterward made superintendent of the construction, under 
Hiram Fowler, and then appointed roadmaster and superintendent of 
bridges, remaining until the road changed hands. He is now an as- 
sistant roadmaster O. C. R.R. He was educated at Seekonk Academy, 
Opalic Institute, Attleboro; M. & E. Lyon's private school. Providence, 
and at Brown University. He is chess editor on staff of Providence 
Daily Journal, is president of Spring Vale Cemetery, and moderator 
of Watchemoket Fire District, and also a member of the administra- 
tive board of that district. He served two years on school committee 
in Windham, Conn. He was senator from East Providence in 1887. 
He was quartermaster three terms of Bucklin Post, No. 20, G. A. R., 
and is now commander of Farragut Post, No. 8. He served in the 
early part of the rebellion in Company D, 2d R. I. Volunteers, was 
appointed second lieutenant 78th N. Y. Volunteers December 23d, 
1861, and at the time of the consolidation of that regiment with the 
102d N. Y. held by appointment the rank of captain in Company H; 
after the consolidation he returned to the 2d R. I. regiment, and was 
mustered out of service by order of the war department at Camp 
Hawes Hill, Va., July 31st, 1865. He married Hattie B., daughter of 
George W. Frink, of Windham, Conn. 

George S. Dean, son of George B. and Sarah G. (Sisson) Dean, was 
born in 1832 in Providence, was educated in public schools and came 
to East Providence in 1874. He first engaged in the jewelry business 
in Providence, and for the past 23 years has been a repairer and fin- 
isher of pianos, first with Henry E. Barney, then Henry E. Barney & 
Son, then James H. Barney, and now Ira N. Goff. He married Mary 
J., daughter of Henry E. Barney, of Providence. He was elected a 
member of school board in 1889. 

James Dennis, Jr., son of James and Anna T. (Lockwood) Dennis, 
was born in 1842 in Pawtucket, R. I., and was educated at the Friends' 
School, Providence, and at Haverford, Penn. He came to East Provi- 
dence in 1881. He married Laura, daughter of Oliver vS. Curtis, of 
East Providence. He is engaged in the business of raising lettuce for 
the New York market. 

Jared Carrington Dodge, son of Hezekiah and Elizabeth (Dodge) 
Dodge, was born in 1820 on Block Island, was educated in the public 
schools, and learned the carpenter's trade. In 1866 he started in the 
sash, blinds and planing mill business in Providence, which he has 
carried on ever since at the same place. He married Olive Paine, a 
daughter of George Washington and Sarah Salisbury, of Barrington, 
Mass. Their children are: Horace H., born 1844; Francis H., born 
1846, died 1853; Sarah Elizabeth, born 1848; Charlotte vShaw, born 
1850; Frank H., born 1853, and Annie L., born 1859. Mr. Dodge 
served for 24 years in the volunteer fire department. 



166 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

William Wheaton Ellis, son of William and Mary (Wheaton) Ellis, 
was born December 18th, 1838, in Seekonk, Mass., now East Provi- 
dence, R. I., and was educated at the English and Classical school of 
East Providence. He learned the jewelry business and followed it 
three years, then was employed by the Rumford Chemical Works, re- 
maining four years, then worked for the Boston & Providence railroad 
for seven years, and returned to the chemical works. He was elected 
on school board for three years, and was for two years of that time 
chairman of the board. He was elected again in 1889 for three years; 
also elected superintendent. He is treasurer of Newman Congrega- 
tional church, and has been for a number of years, also for 18 years a 
trustee, and is and has been for a number of years clerk of the society. 
He was chosen deacon May 80th, 1872, and has served in that capacity 
for more than 18 years. He married Sarah H., daughter of Hezekiah 
and Avis N. Blaisdell, of Providence. 

Joseph E. C. Farnham, son of William H. and Lydia H. (Parker) 
Farnham, was bdrn January 18th, 1849, in Nantucket, Mass., and is 
one of 12 children on the paternal side, and one of nine on the ma- 
ternal, his father having been twice married. He was educated in the 
public schools, and the Sir Admiral Coffin Academy of his native 
town, his 13th birthday being his last day at school. At that age he 
left home and lived on a farm for one year, then entered the printing 
office of the Nantucket Mirror, remaining one year. He came to Prov- 
idence June 2d, 1864, was with A. Crawford Greene one year, and one 
year with Knowles, Anthony & Co. In March, 1866, he entered the 
employ of the Providence Press Company, continuing until March, 
1869, then went with Millard & Harker for one year, returning in 
March, 1870, to the Providence Press Company. In June, 1883, he 
was appointed foreman of the book composition department, and con- 
tinued with the company until October 1st, 1888, when with Edwin 
H. Snow, under the firm name of Snow & Farnham, he succeeded the 
Providence Press Company. Their printing establishment is one of 
the largest in the state, employing about 40 hands. From 1877 to 
1883 he was a member of the Providence school board, serving on the 
committees on by-laws, music and evening schools. His term would 
not have expired until 1886, but in 1883 he moved to East Providence. 
He was appointed on the school board of East Providence in June, 
1889, by the town council to fill the vacancy caused by the death of 
Miles H. Lawson, and was immediately elected clerk of the board by 
the committee. At the annual town election in April, 1890, he was 
re-elected a member of the school committee for a period of three 
years. At the organization of the school board, immediately follow- 
ing the election, he was re-elected clerk, and was also elected super- 
intendent of schools of the town. He is a member of Franklin Lodge 
of Odd Fellows, No. 23, of Providence, and a past grand of the same, 
has been for a number of years a trustee of his Lodge, and was dis- 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 167 

trict deputy grand master for two years over four of the Lodges of 
the city of Providence. He is also a member of Fraternity Encamp- 
ment, No. 17, of East Providence, and is a past chief patriarch in this 
higher branch of Odd Fellowship. He was in June, 1887, a charter 
member of Providence Council, No. 1096, of the Royal Arcanum, of 
East Providence, and was made the first past regent of that organi- 
zation. He was prominently connected with the Hope Street Meth- 
odist church. Providence, for 16 years, and for nearly eight years was 
Sunday school superintendent. He united with the Haven Methodist 
church. East Providence, the first Sunday in November, 1883, was 
soon after elected a member of the official board, and is now steward, 
class leader, treasurer and president of the board of trustees of that 
church. He was one of the organizers and founders of the Methodist 
Social Union of Providence and vicinity, elected secretary at the or- 
ganization January, 1881, and continued in the office until January, 
1888, when he was elected president, declining a re-election at the fol- 
lowing annual election. He was again elected secretary in Januar}-, 
1891. He has been for some years a member of the executive com- 
mittee of the Providence Branch of the Indian Rights Association, 
which embraces in its membership many of the leading citizens of 
Providence. He joined the Young Men's Christian Association in 
1867, was twice vice-president, and is now, and has been for ten years, 
a member of the board of directors. He is chairman of the member- 
ship committee, and has been a member of the lecture, missionary, 
publication, finance and the library committees. Being deprived of 
those educational privileges enjoyed by most boys, he was led to 
adopt early in his career a system of self improvement, which has al- 
ways been maintained. With a natural thirst for knowledge, he was 
fortunate in the selection of the printing trade — a school in itself — 
added to which an early formed habit of reading and study has 
served to more than make up for the loss of earlier advantages. It 
may be said of him that, so far as the practical uses of education can 
go, he is a well-educated man. Thus has he been able to fill every 
position to which he has been called, with ability, and has added grace 
and dignity to every occasion upon which he has been selected to pre- 
side over and address an audience. As a speaker he has few equals 
among those of his circle, and never fails to entertain and interest his 
hearers. He married, October 11th, 1871, Laura S., daughter of Solo- 
mon and Nancy B. (Manchester) Greene of Providence. Their chil- 
dren are: Emma Ellouise, born August 30th, 187o, died July 10th, 
1876; and William Ellis, born July 5th, 1878. 

Joseph B. Fitts, son of David and Delia (Bucklin) Fitts, was born 
in 1818, in Seekonk, Mass., now East Providence, R. I., and was edu- 
cated at the public schools. He learned the tanning trade which he 
followed in his early days, his father being a tanner and currier. 
About 1847 he began farming and afterward turned his attention to 



168 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

gardening, which he has followed for over 20 years. He served in 
the town council in 1887. He married Elizabeth, daughter of William 
Dennis, of Sandwich, MavSS. 

David Glover, son of Thomas and Sarah (Hughes) Glover, was born 
in 1832, in Prince Edward's Island, and was educated in public 
schools. His father was a native of Scotland and his mother a native 
of Massachusetts. He learned the carpenter trade in 1849, came to 
Providence in 1863, moving to East Providence in August, 1887. He 
has always followed the building business. He was one of the early 
members of the Mechanics' Exchange of Providence. He married 
Catharine, daughter of David Creighton, of Prince Edward's Island. 

David F. Goff, son of David and Clarissa (Stacy) Goff, was born in 
1849, in Taunton, Mass., was educated in the public schools of his 
native town and in Rehoboth, and came to East Providence in 1868. 
He was for a time in the contracting business with George H. Read 
in building bridges and wharves, and started in the real estate busi- 
ness in Providence in 1874. He served on the board of assessors a 
number of years. He married Rachel I., daughter of John Greene, of 
Worcester. 

Ira D. Goff, son of Cyrillus and Mary A. (Monroe) Goft", was born 
in 1852, in Providence, was educated in the public schools of Provi- 
dence, and came to East Providence in 1878. He has always followed 
the jewelry business, and also established a periodical store at River- 
side in 1886. He married Annie L., daughter of Henry S. Pine, of Attle- 
boro, Mass. He was elected a member of the school board in 1888, a 
member of the town council in 1889, and foreman of Narragansett Fire 
Company No. 2, in March, 1889. He was clerk and treasurer of the 
latter for seven years previous. 

Isaac L. Goff, son of David and Clarissa (Stacy) Goff, was born in 
1852 in Taunton, Mass., was educated in the public schools of East 
Providence and Bryant & Stratton's College, Providence, and came to 
East Providence in 1869. He started in the real estate business in 
Providence in 1871, and has also been engaged in the manufacturing 
jewelry business since 1879. He married Ada J., daughter of William 
R. Richards, of Providence. 

Osmond C. Goodell, son of Chester and Betsey (Fuller) Goodell, 
was born in 1835 in Readsboro, Bennington county, Vt.,and was edu- 
cated in the public and select schools of Vermont and Massachusetts. 
He came to East Providence in 1864, for two years was employed in 
a fruit store in Providence, and afterward kept a restaurant on Canal 
street for six years. He was appointed town sergeant and served 
about IS years, and deputy sheriff about 17 years. He was also deputy 
U. vS. manshal under Marshal Coggesall, and was an auctioneer a num- 
ber of years. He married first, Rosa F., daughter of Ansel Hicks of 
Vermont. His present wife is Eliza B., daughter of George and Sarah 
Read of East Providence. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 169 

Joseph B. Gurney, son of Harris and Eliza (Shaw) Gurney, was 
born in 1830 in Dorchester, Mass., came to Providence about 1840, and 
was educated in the public school. He moved to East Providence in 
1865, and about that time established the lumber business. He was 
at one time clerk for his uncle, Austin Gurney, one of the oldest lum- 
ber dealers in the city. He served for nine years as a member of the 
town council, one year on board of assessors, and eight years in the 
volunteer fire department. He married Susan A., daughter of David 
Gale of Providence. 

Charles F. Harris, son of Otis G. and Louise (Bicknell) Harris, was 
born in 1857 in Barrington, R. I., was educated at Barrington high 
school and in Providence, and came to East Providence in 1882. He 
was for nine years bookkeeper for the Union Eyelet Company, Provi- 
dence. Since living in East Providence he has followed farming. He 
married Esther M., daughter of William Whitcomb of Providence. 

Albert Pierce Hoyt, son of D. W. and Mary E. (Pierce) Hoyt, was 
born November 29th, 1857, in Brighton, Mass., came to Providence in 
1864, and was educated in the public grammar and high schools of the 
city. He entered Brown University in 1874, graduated in 1878, and 
from July, 1878, until his death was connected with the First National 
Bank, and teller of the same from December, 1880. He moved to 
East Providence in 1884, was elected a member of school board in 
1885 for two years, and at that time was clerk of committee on schools. 
He was appointed in 1887 to fill an unexpired term, and in 1888 was 
elected for three years as chairman of committee. He married Annie 
L., daughter of J. C. Dodge, of Providence, April 15th, 1884. Jie died 
October 7th, 1890. 

Isaiah Hoyt, son of Benjamin and Sally (Adams) Hoyt, was born 
in 1812, in Bradford, N. H. At the age of 21 he went to Boston and 
was employed as foreman by the Boston & Providence railroad in the 
work of constructing the road. He was soon after made roadmaster 
of Fourth division. He continued with the corporation until Septem- 
ber 1st, 1888, when he resigned. At the close of his 50th year of ser- 
vice the corporation presented him with a check for $500. September 
12th, 1886, he was presented by his employees of the railroad with 
a Waltham gold watch, valued at $100, as a token of their esteem and 
regard. He has always lived in East Providence since he started with 
the railroad company. He married Mary i\nn Janet, daughter of 
Ebenezer Bishop, of Seekonk, Mass. 

Edward S. Judkins, son of Nathaniel T. and Chloe C. (Brown) Jud- 
kins, was born in 1858 in Seekonk, Mass., now East Providence, and 
was educated in the public schools. He began manufacturing show 
cases in East Providence in 1883, and is the only one in that business 
between New York and Boston. He married Corabell, daughter of 
Winslow Hall, of Dover, N. H. His father manufactured carriages. 



170 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

and carried on a blacksmithing business on the same place for over 
20 years. 

Alfred J. Kent, son of Isaac B. and Hannah (Kent) Kent, was born 
in 1849 in Seekonk (now East Providence), and was educated in the 
public schools. He married Ella, daughter of James Turner, of Ports- 
mouth, R. I., and has always followed farming. He was collector of 
taxes in 1873. 

Timothy A. Leonard, son of Carlton R. and Sarah (Cox) Leonard, 
was born in 1822 in what is now East Providence, on the farm where 
he now lives. At the age of 14 he went to Central Falls. He learned 
the house carpenter's trade in Providence, and in 1847 returned to the 
old place, where he has since lived. His business has been carpentry 
and pile driving. He was elected to the senate in 1869, served two 
years, and was again elected in 1875, serving one year. He was also 
representative from 1887 to 1889, served a number of years in the 
town council and as assessor of taxes. He married Martha, daughter 
of William Jones, of Seekonk, now East Providence. 

Joseph J. Luther, son of Joseph and Fidelia (Niles) Luther, was 
born in 1834 in Warren, was educated in the public schools of his 
native town, and came to East Providence about 1859. He has always 
been identified with the jewelry business, and was in business under 
the firm name of J. J. Luther & Co. in Providence for five years. He 
has for the past six years been with Tilden & Thurber. He has served 
on the town council. He married Sarah T., daughter of C. C. God- 
frey, of Providence. His father was a cabinet maker by trade, went 
to California in 1849, and died there in 1850. 

William H. McTwiggan, son of James and Sarah (McGill) McTwig- 
gan, was born in 1841, in Johnston, R. L, and was educated in the 
public schools of Providence. His parents came to this country in 
1841, locating in Providence, where his father followed the mill busi- 
ness. William H. also operated in a cotton mill a few years, after 
ward learned the machinist trade, which he has followed since 1866. 
In 1861 he went West and engaged in the hotel business, remaining 
there until 1865, when he returned to Providence, and in 1867 he 
moved to East Providence. He served first in the Second Nebraska 
Cavalry, and afterward enlisted in the Third Iowa Battery, serving 
most of the time in Arkansas. His father served in the Twelfth R. 
I. regiment. He was elected a member of board of assessors in 1889, 
and re-elected in 1890. He married Ellen M., daughter of Frink L^. 
and Mary Dorrance of East Providence. 

Benjamin Martin, son of George and Maria (Medbery) Martin, was 
born in 1847, in East Providence, then Seekonk, Mass. He was 
brought up on his father's farm, and at the age of 21 learned the car- 
penter's trade, which he has always followed. He married Ella L., 
daughter of John A. Wood of East Providence. He was elected to 
the town council in 1889. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 171' 

Daniel Medbery, son of Arnold Rhodes and Keciah (Peck) Med- 
bery, was born in 1827 in what is now East Providence, and was edu- 
cated in the public schools. He married B. Maria, daughter of Ed- 
mund S. Comstock of East Providence. Mr. Medbery is in the sixth 
generation from Medberys, eighth generation from Pecks, and ninth 
generation from Roger Williams on his father's mother's side. His 
grandfather was Josiah, son of John, son of Thomas, son of John. 

Jesse Medbery, son of Jesse and Elizabeth (Viall) Medbery, was 
born in 1882, in Seekonk, now East Providence, and was educated in 
the public schools. He served as a member of the town council in 
1878. His grandfather was John. His great-grandfather, Samuel, 
was killed in the revolution. 

James P. Millard, son of Nathaniel and Huldah (Peck) Millard, 
was born in 1827, in Rehoboth, Mass., and was educated in the public 
schools. He was brought up on a farm until 15 years of age, then 
learned the mason trade, worked at journey work until 1862, and 
since that time has carried on business for himself. He married first, 
Sarah, daughter of William Foster of Seekonk, and afterward married 
Mrs. Mary A. Dawley of Providence. His third wife was Mrs. Almira 
Lawton of New Bedford, Mass., and his present wife was Mrs. Phebe 
R. Carr of Tiverton, R. I., daughter of Robert and Hannah Tripp. 
His father was a mason by trade, doing his last work on the old Ar- 
cade building. 

William W. Munroe, son of Burden and Lydia (Baker) Munroe. was 
born in 1837, in Rehoboth, Mass., and was educated in the public 
schools. He came to East Providence in 1863 and established him- 
self in the grocery and provision business. In 186;") his brother be- 
came a partner, and the firm has since been known as W. W. Munroe 
& Co. He was elected town treasurer in 1888. He married Ellen M., 
daughter of Deacon Isaac Goddard of Providence. 

George J. Norton, son of George J. and Ann W. (Smith) Norton, 
was born in 1848, in Swansea, Mass., and was brought up on a farm. 
At the age of 16 years he enlisted in the United States service, De- 
cember 12th, 1864, at New Bedford, Mass., in the 26th Massachusetts 
Volunteers, and was discharged May 12th, 1865, at close of war. He 
was educated in the public schools at North Swansea, then learned 
the carpenter's trade in Pawtucket of Lewin & Kenyon, came to 
Providence and entered the employ of Peabody & Wilbur, now Fitz 
Herbert Peabody & Son, where he remained for 15 years. He was 
afterward for a short time with Dexter Gorton, the contractor, and 
since 1886 has been foreman at City planing mill, E. R. Randall, pro- 
prietor. He' came to East Providence in 1870. He has served on 
town council, was elected in 1886 one of the water commissioners, 
and still holds that office. He married Emma C, daughter of Wel- 
come and Abbie W. (Carpenter) Barney of Rehoboth. 



172 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Horace T. Peck, son of Bela and Lemira Ann Wheaton (Peck) 
Peck, was born in 1839, in Seekonk, now East Providence, R. I., was 
educated in public schools, and always followed farming. His father 
bought the place in 1824 and lived there until he died. His grandfa- 
ther was Joel Peck. Mr. Peck married Mary E., daughter of Samuel 
Humphrey of Swansea, Mass 

James G. Peck, son of Samuel C. and Betsey H. (Chidsey) Peck, was 
born June 27th, 1844, in Milford, Conn., was educated in the public 
and private schools of Connecticut, and came to East Providence in 
1871. He first engaged in the boot and shoe business under the firm 
name of Peck & Bartlett, and continued about three years, after which 
he was for two years bookkeeper for Paine & Sacket. He was then 
salesman for F. H. Richmond & Co., wholesale paper dealers, and 
since 1879 has been with C. Sydney Smith, manufacturer of gold 
chains, Eddy street, Providence. He has been postmaster in East 
Providence since January, 1886. East Providence was at that time a 
fourth class office. It was promoted to a third class office August, 
1888. Mr. Peck married Frances H., daughter of Mrs. Susan L. Bart- 
lett, of East Providence. 

Thomas S. Peck., son of Asa and Betsey (Hale) Peck, was born in 
1827 in Providence, was educated in the public schools, learned the 
mason trade with his father and has followed it since he was 15 years 
■old. He came to Seekonk, Mass., now East Providence, when he was 
one year old. He married Jane, daughter of Lloyd Sutton. He served 
in the town council and on the board of assessors. His father also 
followed the mason business. 

Henry J. Pickersgill, son of William C. and Laura L. (Francis) 
Pickersgill, came to America when a child with his parents, who 
located in Lowell, Mass. He was educated in the public schools. He 
is a machinist by trade, but for the past twelve years has followed 
farming. He came to East Providence in 1877. He served in the 
First New York Infantry two years, and one year and six months in 
the 16th Massachusetts Battery. He married Elizabeth P., daughter 
of Joseph Copeland of Bridgewater, Mass. His father was a civil and 
mechanical engineer and moved from Lowell to Manchester, N. H., 
and from there to Providence at the close of the war. He was super- 
intendent of the Providence Tool Company from 1866 to 1874. He 
then returned to England and died there in October, 1887. 

Galen Pierce, son of Jeremiah and Candis (Wheeler) Pierce, was 
born in 1824 in Rehoboth, Mass., and was educated in the district 
schools. He was first employed as clerk in a grocery store for C. C. 
Godfrey in Providence^, where he remained two years, and was for 
four years clerk for I. T. Tillinghast in same business, whom he after- 
ward bought out and carried on the business for himself for 37 years 
at India Point. He came to East Providence about 1878, and was for a 
few years interested in the grocery business under the firm name of 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 173 

Pierce & Rich. After giving up the grocery business he was in the 
dry goods and shoe business tliree years, then retired and gave the 
business to his son, W. B. Pierce, who still carries it on. He has served 
in the town council. He married first Phebe Barney, of Providence. 
His present wife is Emily F., daughter of Samuel Wilmouth, of East 
Providence. His father was a carpenter by trade and carried on a 
large business for a number of years. 

David S. Ray, son of Robert and Mary P. (Graham) Ray, was born 
in 1840 in Gilford, Ireland, came to America with his parents (who 
located in Providence, R. I.) when about six months old, and to East 
Providence about 1860. He was in the First R. I. Cavalry during the 
rebellion, going out as a private and returning as a quartermaster 
sergeant. He was first lieutenant of Company A, of the First Bat- 
talion of Cavalry in 1877, and in 1879-80 succeeded to command as 
captain. He was four years commissary on Major George N. Bliss' 
staff, First Battalion Cavalry, R. I. Militia. He served with rank of 
colonel in the department of Rhode Island G. A. R., and served with 
the same rank on the national commander-in-chief's staff. He was 
the original commander of Bucklin Post, G. A. R., and is now the de- 
partment quartermaster general of the state of Rhode Island for 
the second term. He was three times elected commander of Bucklin 
Post. He was elected to the state senate in 1888, refusing to accept 
the nomination in 1889. He married Mary H., daughter of Miles B. 
Lawson of Providence, formerly of Newport, R. I. 

Thomas H. Ray, son of Robert and Mary P. (Graham) Ray, was 
born in 1842, in Providence. He was educated in the public schools 
of Providence and Swansea, Mass. He was brought up on a farm and 
afterward learned the carpenter trade. He followed the contracting 
business for about six years, but of late years has turned his attention 
more to the real estate business, doing considerable building. He 
came to East Providence about 1866. He has served on the board of 
assessors and is one of the building committee of the new town hall. 
He was delegate to the republican convention in New York in 1887, 
also delegate to the state convention from East Providence in 1888. 
He served in Battery L, Rhode Island Light Artillery. He married 
Jennie, adopted daughter of Abel Sherman, of Middletown, R. I. 

S. S. Rich, son of Thomas and Sarah (Sherman) Rich, was born in 
1846 in Millville, Mass., and came to Providence when two years old. 
He was educated in public and high school, and graduated in the class 
of '66. He was first engaged as clerk m the grocery business for one 
year. He then established for himself under the firm name of Bal- 
com & Rich, continuing for one year, then with his father went into 
the wholesale grain business under the firm name of Thomas Rich & 
Son for one year, and in 1870 came to East Providence, starting in the 
grocery business under the firm name of Pierce & Rich, which con- 
tinued about five vears, and since 1878 he has carried on the business 



174 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

alone. Hemarried Eugenia, daughter of Galen Pierce of East Provi- 
dence. 

William E. Ripley, son of Charles B. and Mary I. (Medbery) Rip- 
ley, was born in 1843 in Pawtucket, and was educated in the public 
schools of Pawtucket and at Bryant & Stratton's commercial college. 
Providence. He left school when 16 years of age, and went into a 
grocery store as clerk, remaining four years. He then entered col- 
lege, and in 1864 entered the employ of the Brown &Sharpe Manufac- 
turing Company of Providence, where he has remained ever since. 
He married Alice S., daughter of Henry T. Cheetham of Providence. 

Edwin S. vStraight, son of William P. and Sarah T. (Gardiner) 
Straight, was born in 1838 in West Greenwich, R. I., and was edu- 
cated in the public schools. He was brought up on a farm, afterward 
worked for about seven years in a mill, and then at the sash and blind 
business, and afterward the carpenter's trade. He has been in the 
■contracting and building business since 1867. He came to East Prov- 
idence in 1862, the year the town was organized. He married Lu- 
cinda, daughter of Benjamin West of Rehoboth, Mass. He was once 
overseer of the poor. 

i\lbert F. Sutton, son of Captain William and Elizabeth (Mathews) 
Sutton, was born in 1839 in Seekonk, now East Providence, and was 
educated at Seekonk academy and Scholfield's commercial school, 
Providence. He built his present house about 1873. He has followed 
the gardening business, and has also turned his attention considerably 
to real estate. He followed the sea about ten years. He married first 
Phebe, daughter of George Rice of North Providence. His present 
wife is Elizabeth, daughter of William L. Williams of Providence. 
His father was a sea captain. His grandfather, Robert Sutton, was 
■one of the twelve men who, disguised as Indians, helped to burn the 
" Gaspee," at Gaspee Point. His grandmother on his mother's side 
was a Lawrence, of a family of tories, located at Rehoboth, Mass. 

Thomas A. Sweetland, son of Daniel and Mary (Arnold) Sweet- 
land, was born in 1829 in Providence, and was educated in the public 
schools. He first engaged in the dry goods business as clerk in Prov- 
idence, and afterward established himself in the retail business, and 
then in the wholesale business under the firm name of Dudley, Park- 
hurst & Co., from 1869 to 1879. He was elected town clerk in April, 
1888, and was for nine years previous town treasurer. He was re- 
■elected town clerk in April, 1889. He married Charlotte C, daughter 
of Elisha C. Wells of Providence. 

George W. Whelden, son of Samuel and Lavina (Burgess) Whel- 
den, was born in 1837 in Providence, was educated in the public 
schools, came to East Providence about 1882 and established himself 
in the general merchandise business. He was previously in the 
business m Providence. His trade was machinist, which he worked 
a± for about six years. He was elected to the town council in 1888 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 175 

and 1889. He served in the Tenth R. I. Infantry. He married Ella 
A., daughter of Amos Clark of Cumberland. 

Benjamin Wilson, son of Benjamin and Elona (Carpenter) Wilson, 
was born in 1833 in East Douglass, Mass., was educated in public and 
high school, came to East Providence in 1864, and since that time has 
been superintendent of the Rumford Chemical Works. 'He has 
served as probate judge, was president of the town council nearly ten 
years, and at present is a member of the board. 

George Francis Wilson, founder of the Rumford Chemical 
Works, was a man whose life proved a blessing to the country in 
which he lived. It was well for the greater prosperity of the country 
that he did live, and no greater eulogy than this can be passed upon 
any man. He was a man of strong physique, tremendous energy 
and inflexible purpose, and not more distinguished as a successful 
manufacturer than for general culture and energetic discharge of 
duty in business and official life. He was born in Uxbridge, Mass., 
December 7th, 1818, and was the oldest son of Benjamin and Mercy 
Wilson, and a lineal descendant of Roger Wilson of vScrooby, England, 
who in 1608 fled with the Puritans from religious persecution, and 
settled in Leyden. Roger Wilson undoubtedly transmitted much of 
his sterling intelligence and force of chara'cter to his descendants, Mr. 
George F. Wilson bearing in his person the evidences of a robust and 
unconquerable stock. Roger Wilson was a silk and linen draper, a 
man of wealth, and was the bondsmati of the only men among the 
Puritans who ever obtained the freedom of the city of Leyden — Gover- 
nor Bradford, Isaac Allerton, and Deggory Priest; and it is recorded 
that the fitting out of the " Mayflower" was greatly due to his liber- 
ality and enterprise. He was one of the joint stock company which 
equipped and started for the new world that famous vessel, though he 
did not make the voyage in her as he intended. His son John came 
to America in 1651, from whom George F. Wilson was descended. 

George lived upon a farm, attending district school winters, until 
at the age of 17, he injured his hip while at the plow so as to affect 
his gait for life, and was apprenticed to Welcome & Darius Farnum, 
of Waterford, Mass., to learn the trade of wool sorting. The reason 
he gave for selecting this trade was characteristic of the man. " That 
kind of work cannot be done in the night, and I shall have all my 
evenings for study." At the end of three years he had mastered his 
trade and also had made drawings of every machine in the mill, and 
fully understood the entire business. Frederick M. Ballou and John 
W. Wheelock were apprentices with Mr. AVilson, and they fitted up a 
room, where they passed their evenings together in study. He re- 
ceived flattering credentials from his employers and a valuable testi- 
monial, but he wished for a better education before commencing in 
earnest the work of his life, and having added to previous savings by 
a year of bookkeeping for Squire Bezaleel Taft, of Uxbridge, he 



176 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

entered the academy, at Shelburne Falls, Mass., as a pupil, and after- 
ward became a teacher there. 

In 1844* he went with his newly-married wife to Chicago, traveling- 
by canal to Buffalo and b}^ schooner through the lakes. Here they 
opened the Chicago Academy, in the Alethodist Episcopal church, at 
the corner of Clark and Washington streets, commencing with three 
scholars, and ending in 1848, when they decided to return East, with 
225 pupils, among whom were many who have largely contributed to 
the wonderful progress of that city. While thus engaged he made 
several important discoveries in illumination, and concerning the 
effect of heat upon oils susceptible of use for that purpose, particu- 
larly as applied to lighthouse illumination, and also patented appara- 
tus in connection therewith, and a lens of refracting power much 
superior to those then in use by the government. He was not un- 
mindful of the probable future of Chicago, and did much by his col- 
lection of statistics, by his writings, and by personal effort toward 
securing the commencement of her first railroad. Considering it time 
to engage in business pursuits he sold out his school and turned his 
face eastward to the field of manufactures. 

From 1848 to 1854, he was successively in the employ of the late 
Governor Jackson at Jackson, the elder Spragues at Quidnick, and 
the Atlantic Delaine Company at Olneyville. In January, 1855, his 
studies having led him to a love for chemistry, he entered into a part- 
nership with Professor E. N. Horsford, of Cambridge, Mass., who then 
held the Rumford professorship at Harvard, for a purpose which is 
best expressed, perhaps, in one clause of their agreement made at 
that time, somewhat quaint for these modern days, and well worthy 
of record. This clause declares their purpose to be that of " building 
up a chemical manufacturing establishment of respectability and per- 
manency, such as shall be an honor to ourselves and our children, and 
a credit to the community in which it is located, and which shall 
afford us a means of reasonable support." 

How well their intentions were realized all know who are familiar 
with the manufacturing interests of this vicinity. In 1856 or '57, the 
business was moved from Providence to what was then Seekonk, but 
which, by change of the state line, has since become East Providence, 
and the firm of George F. Wilson & Co. became, and has since con- 
tinued to be, the Rumford Chemical Works, and the names of its pro- 
ductions are now household words in this country from one ocean to 
the other. Of Professor Horsford 's profound knowledge and research 
as a chemist, were born the preparations which bear his name, while 
to Mr. Wilson's genius and indomitable energy are due the credit of 
inventing the unique apparatus and machinery for their practical 
production, the creation of a demand for articles hitherto unknown, 
and the building up of a successful business in their manufacture. 







^^.^;^^ 




HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 177 

How much this means is comprehended by few. The man who 
decides to enter upon the manufacture of cotton or woolen goods, 
iron or steel, or the countless articles into which the}' are wrought, 
leather goods, or any of the many staples with which our markets 
teem, finds ready to his hand the necessary tools and machinery, and 
has for his product a market among a people already educated to its 
use. With Mr. Wilson none of these conditions existed. He started 
out to make an article hitherto unknown, and every piece of appar- 
atus or machinery necessary for its production, from the furnaces that 
received the raw material, to the machines which filled the finished 
packages, including even the mill that ground the product, were the 
results of his marvelous ingenuity, his intelligent thought and patient 
experiment. And while he struggled with and conquered these 
problems, hampered by insufficient capital, he had to find time to 
make known to consumers a new article, and to create among them a 
demand for it that would warrant the dealer in adding it to his stock. 
One has only to call to mind the countless names of articles and 
preparations, many, if not most, of them of undoubted merit, that 
have from time to time stared from advertising pages and dead walls 
and are now seen no more, to begin to appreciate the effort and out- 
lay necessary to establish public confidence in new goods. Mr. Wil- 
son succeeded where many fail, and lived to see the works which he 
founded give support to more than 1,200 people, and the land in the 
vicinity of their location increase in market value twenty fold in 
consequence thereof. 

In the earlier days of his business career, Mr. Wilson manufactured 
a general line of chemicals for the use of calico printers and paper 
makers, in addition to the specialty for which the works have since 
become famous, but the production of these articles was discontinued 
after a few years, and the business of the works became the manu- 
facture of pulverulent acid phosphate, commonly known as Hors- 
ford's Cream of Tartar. This is sold under that name in bulk in 
large quantities, but the greater portion of this article which the works 
produce is put up by them in the form of Horsford's Baking Powder 
and Rumford Yeast Powder. A little later they commenced the 
manufacture of the medicinal preparation known as Horsford's Acid 
Phosphate, one of the very few proprietary preparations of which the 
formula is published, and which receive the endorsement of physicians, 
and to-day these articles are household necessities throughout this 
country, while the Acid Phosphate is sold all over the civilized world. 

Mr.^Vilson's thorough knowledge of mechanical principles and 
appliances was well known, and was practically exemplified in his 
own business. His opinion was constantly sought upon new inven- 
tions, and his advice by inventors struggling with mechanical diffi- 
culties in their road to success, many of whom left him with substan- 
tial assistance in addition to advice. His own inventions both of 

12 



178 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

processes and appliances were numerous, as the files of the patent 
office will show. Outside of the business of the works, some of the 
most important are an improvement in the manufacture of steel, a 
revolving boiler for paper manufacturers, and important discoveries 
in illuminating apparatus for lighthouse use, before mentioned. Mr. 
Wilson resided in Providence from 1852 to 1861, during which time 
he was for many years a very prominent member of the school com- 
mittee, and for two terms served the city in the house of represent- 
atives, in 1860 and 1861. In 1861 he removed to East Providence, 
where he resided until his death on the 19th of January, 1883. He 
was four times elected a member of the school committee, and was 
also one of the town council of 1873. 

In 1872 the honorary degree of Master of Arts was conferred on 
him by Brown University. He was a member of the R. I. Historical 
Society, the Franklin Lyceum, the Franklin Society and the Rhode 
Island Society for the Encouragement of Domestic Industry, and for 
many years actively participated in the proceedings of all of them. 
His interest in agricultural matters was always great, and the con- 
tributions of the works under his direction, to the fairs of the latter 
society, both of stock and farm products, were remarkable for excel- 
lence and quantity. He was an extensive reader, a deep thinker, pos- 
sessed of a mind and memory of no common order, and his universal 
and thorough acquaintance with all current and scientific subjects and 
with literature, astonished all who knew what a busy life he led. Mr. 
Wilson was married in 1844 to Clarissa Bartlett, daughter of Prescott 
and Narcissa Bartlett of Conway, Mass., a lady of fine culture and in- 
telligence and of lovely character. To her is attributed a large meas- 
ure of the success of the academy at Chicago, in which they were 
both teachers, and she was indeed a helpmeet to him in the days of 
his early struggles as a manufacturer. Her memory is held in loving 
reverence by many of the employees of her husband, among whom 
she went with open hand, and to whose necessities in sickness and 
trouble she so often ministered. Her death occurred in 1880. 

In his will Mr. Wilson bequeathed to Dartmouth College the sum of 
$50,000 for the erection of a library building, and to Brown University 
the sum of $100,000 for the erection and equipment of the Physical 
Laboratory known as Wilson Hall. He left two sons: EUery Hol- 
brook Wilson and George Francis Wilson; and three daughters: Clara 
Frances Penny, Mary Augusta Wilson and Alice Louise Wilson. 

Ellery H. Wilson, son of George F. and Clarissa (Bartlett) 
Wilson, was born in 1848 in New Britain, Conn., and was educated 
in the public schools. He was a delegate to the national republican 
convention of 1880. He was representative from 1883 to 1887, and 
speaker of the house from 1885. He was again elected representative 
in 1889. He is a member of board of state charities and corrections. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 179 

Levi S. Winchester, son of Monroe and Nancy (Flagg) Winches- 
ter, was born in 1847 in Lancaster, Mass. He was educated in public 
school, and was brought up on his father's farm. He came to East 
Providence in 1872, and established himself in the grocery business. 
He was burnt out February 17th, 1877. The building was immediately 
rebuilt, and he continued to carry on the business until he sold out in 
1887. Since that time he has turned his attention to the insurance 
business. He was the first postmaster appointed at Riverside, and 
has continued to serve ever since. He was a member of the town 
council a number of years at different times, and one year assessor. 
He was elected foreman of the Narragansett Fire Company, No. 2, in 
1878, to succeed Samuel English, and served as foreman until March, 
1889. He married Lizzie S. Walcott, of Grafton, Mass. 

John A. Wood, youngest son of Seth and Lois (Luther) Wood, was 
born in 1824, in Swansea, Mass. When he was one year old his father 
moved to Seekonk, Mass., now East Providence. He has served on 
town council, and on board of assessors. He married Cynthia E., 
daughter of Seril Reed, of Seekonk. 

Seth Wood, son of Daniel H. and Martha H. (Bliss) Wood, was born 
in 1859 in Seekonk, Mass., now East Providence, R. L, and was 
educated at public school and University grammar school, Providence. 
He has always followed farming. He married Clara E., daughter of 
William Brown, of Providence. 



CHAPTER V. 

THE TOWN OF NORTH PROVIDENCE. 

General Description. — Settlements and Physical Features. — The Original Town. — Its 
Growth and Population. — Eepresentatives in the General Assembly. — Organization 
of the Present Town. — Town Officers since that time.— Highways and Turnpikes. 
Woodville. — Its Manufactures. — Graystone. — Centredale. — Its Cotton Factory. — 
Union Library. — Roger Williams Lodge.— AUendale and its Mills. — The Baptist 
Cluu-ch. — Zachariah Allen Lodge. — Lymansville and its Mills. — Roman Catholic 
Church. — Fruit HiU. — Valuation and Taxes. — Biographical Sketches. 

THE township of North Providence, the smallest both in territory 
and in population, of all the towns of the county, lies on the 
northern border of the city, within whose expanding limits it 
will doubtless ere long- be included. Its greatest width, at the west 
end is about two and a quarter miles; its narrowest part, near the east 
end, one mile; its mean length, from east to west, three and a half 
miles. It contains a little more than five square miles. This territory 
is occupied by an agricultural and rural community. The ever undu- 
lating hills afford beautiful landscapes. As one wanders over these 
rural roads he is compelled to pause here and there to drink in the 
inspiration of the delightful scenery with which he is surrounded. 
From an elevation amid rocks and brambles which hint the primeval 
condition of the country he looks across a smiling valley that lies 
below, to the opposite hillside, checkered with field walls and dotted 
here and there with farm buildings, while just beyond he catches the 
smoke of a factory, and away in the hazy distance he knows that the 
pulsations of a busy city are filling the surroundings with the life of 
ten thousand activities. 

The principal part of the population is upon the western border, 
where the beautiful and romantic Woonasquatucket gracefully winds 
its way in a hundred curves among the rugged hills, and offers fre- 
quent sites for mills, which have been mainly utilized in the manufac- 
ture of textile fabrics. These industries have furnished the founda- 
tion for four small factory villages^Graystone, Centredale, Allendale 
and Lymansville. In the southwest part of the town, but a mile or 
more from the river, is a small and ancient settlement known as Fruit 
Hill. Another similar hamlet is that of Woodville, in the center of 
the town. At the latter place the two principal thoroughfares inter- 
sect each other. These are the Douglass Turnpike, running from 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 181 

Providence to Douglass, Mass., and the Mineral Spring Turnpike, run- 
ning through the town from east to west. Through this central sec- 
tion a series of ponds and swamps extends across the town, having 
their outlet through West river into the Moshassuck. Wenscott res- 
ervoir is a large body of water, accumulated by a number of small 
feeders, and discharging through the channel indicated. It lies at the 
series referred to, on the northern border of the town. The Geneva 
Mill, belonging to the Narragansett Worsted Company, is located on 
the Providence city line, and receives power from this source. 

The name North Providence has been in use for a long time, but 
its significance has been various, owing to radical changes in its 
boundaries. The town was formed from the original town of Provi- 
dence June 13th, 1765. Owing to dissatisfaction in the boundary line 
a portion was reunited to Providence J une 29th, 1767. Again, another 
part was added to Providence March 28th, 187B. As the town was then 
formed it extended easterly to the Seekonk or Pawtucket river, and 
included so much of the village of Pawtucket as lay on the west side 
of that river. It also extended southwardly from its present limits 
far enough to reach a line following the Woonasquatucket river down 
from Manton to the Upper cove, thence running across northerly to 
the North Burial Ground, which it bisected, and thence, making sev- 
eral angles, along North street and Swan Point road and across Swan 
Point Cemetery to the river. The territory of the township was then 
more than double what it is at present, and the population and busi- 
ness interests, as well as its wealth, many times greater than those of 
the present town. In the course of time the growth of Providence 
continuing to encroach upon North Providence, the population be- 
came so dense on the sides of the town adjoining Providence and 
Pawtucket that a division seemed necessary. Such a division as was 
deemed expedient was made March 27th, 1874. A portion was an- 
nexed to the city, making the Tenth ward, and a portion was annexed 
to Pawtucket, being about two miles of the easterly end of the former 
town. The act went into effect May 1st, 1874. 

The boundaries of the town as it is now constituted are thus de- 
scribed: On the north by Smithfield and Lincoln, on the east by Paw- 
tucket, on the south by Providence and on the west by Johnston. The 
former growth of the town, as well as the effect of this change on its 
population, is shown by the following figures of the population of 
North Providence at different dates: 1774, 830; 1776, 813; 1782, 698; 
1790, 1,071; 1800, 1,067; 1810, 1,758; 1820, 2,420; 1830, 3,503; 1840, 4,207; 
1850, 7,680; 1860, 11,818; 1865, 14,553; 1870, 20,495; 1875, 1,303; 1880, 
1,467; 1885, 1,478. It is thus probable that not more than one- 
twentieth of the population remained after the reorganization in 
1874. The records, as well as the principal part of the town, went 
with the part set off to Pawtucket. Hence the history of North Provi- 
dence as it exists to-day is of recent origin, and may be briefly told. 



182 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

The deputies or representatives from North Providence to the 
general assembly since 1793 have been as follows, without specifying 
the particular term of each year in which the persons named served, 
as in early years different men were elected for the different terms of 
the legislature: 1793, Edward Smith, Jeremiah Sayles; 1794, Smith, 
Sayles, Stephen Jenckes, Jr.; 1795, Smith, Jenckes, Ezekiel Whipple; 
1796, Whipple and Jenckes; 1797, Whipple and Jenckes; 1798, Whip- 
ple and Jenckes; 1799, Whipple, Jenckes, Jonathan Treadwell, Stephen 
Abbott; 1800, Jonathan Treadwell and Stephen Abbott; 1801, Edward 
Smith, Stephen Jenckes, Jonathan Treadwell and Hope Angell; 1802, 
Treadwell and Angell and Stephen Olney; 1803, Treadwell and Olney; 
1804, Treadwell and Olney and Abraham Wilkinson; 1805, Olney and 
Wilkinson; 1806, the same; 1807 to 1815, inclusive, the same; 1816, 
Olney and Wilkinson and Samuel Greene; 1817 and 1818, Olney and 
Greene; 1819, Olney and Greene and Richard Anthony; 1820, Greene 
and Anthony; 1821, the same; 1822, Anthony, Barney Merry, Lemuel 
Angell; 1823, Anthony, Merry, Angell, Lyndon Jenckes; 1824, Cyrus 
Whipple and Edward Randall; 1825, William Chaffee and Edward 
Randall; 1826, the same; 1827, William Chaffee, William Harris, 
Thomas Whipple and Barney Merry; 1828, Merry, Chaffee and Whip- 
ple; 1829, William Chaffee, Benjamin Fessenden Richard Brown and 
Nathan A. Brown; 1830, Richard Brown and Nathan A. Brown; 1831, 
the same and Olney Whipple; 1832, Richard Brown, Olney Whipple, 
William Chaffee and Otis Tiffany; 1833, Richard Brown, Otis Tiffany, 
Stephen Randall, Jr., John H. Weeden, Stephen Whipple and Eph- 
raim Miller; ]834, Stephen Randall, Jr., John H. Weeden and Nathan 

A. Brown; 1835, Randall and Brown; 1836 to 1838, the same; 1839, 
the same, and Edward S. Wilkinson; 1840 and 1841, Stephen Ran- 
dall, Jr., and Edward S. Wilkinson; 1842, the same and Olney Whip- 
ple; 1843, Stephen Randall, Jr., and Olney Whipple; under new 
constitution, which makes the year begin with May session, 1843, 
Joseph T, Sisson, James Angell and Adams Park; 1844, the 
same; 1845, Thomas Davis, Jerome B. Anthony and James Angell: 
1846, Thomas Davis, John H. Weeden, and Enoch Brown; 1847, Lem- 
uel Angell, John S. Despau, and Enoch Brown; 1848, John H. Wee- 
den, Thomas Davis, and Jesse S. Tourtellot; 1849, Joseph T. Sisson, 
Thomas Davis, Jesse S. Tourtellot; 1850, Thomas Davis, Joseph T. 
Sisson, Zelotes Wetherell; 1851, Davis, Wetherell, Edwin Harris, 
Joseph B. Stone; 1852, Davis, Wetherell, John F. Smith, and Joseph 

B. vStone; 1853, John Tucker, William E. Dodge, Enoch Brown; 1854, 
John H. Weeden, vStephen Olney, Gardner Reckard, Jonathan C. 
Kenyon, Lucius Damon; 1855, Lewis Fairbrother, Benjamin T. Whit- 
man, Obadiah Brown: 1856, Fairbrother, Brown, Stephen B. Swan, 
James L. Wheaton; 1857, Obadiah Brown, Philip B. Stiness, Stephen 
B. Swan, James L. Wheaton; 1858, Lemuel M. E. Stone, John B. Hart- 
well, Thomas P. King, Abial Sampson; 1859, the same; 1860, William 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 183 

M. Bailey, Lucius B. Darling, Sumner Fifield, Christopher Holden; 
1861, Jerome B. Anthony, Charles A. Boyd, Lucius B. Darling, Chris- 
topher Holden, Jacob Symonds; 1862, the same; 1863, William M. 
Bailey, James Davis, Joseph Cartland, Hiram H. Thomas, James C. 
Collins; 1864, Lemuel M. E. Stone, Albert W. Carpenter, Herbert E. 
Dodge, Jesse Metcalf, Ralph P. Devereux; 1865, Thomas Davis, Joseph 
E. Despeau, Amasa M. Eaton, Charles E. Hall, Pardon Jenckes; 1866, 
Benjamin F. Carpenter, James Davis, Charles E. Hall, John Morris, 
James Millar; 1867, Benjamin F. Carpenter, James Davis, Joseph F. 
Brown, William T. Adams, James C. Collins; 1868, William T. Adams, 
Olney Arnold, William R. Walker, Joseph F. Brown, James C. Collins; 
1869, William R. Walker, William T. Adams, William W. Blodgett, 
James C. Collins, Joseph F. Brown; 1870, Joseph F. Brown, William 
W. Blodgett, Charles A. Boyd, Benjamin G. Perkins, Charles E. Gor- 
man; 1871, Charles A. Boyd, Ansel D. Nickerson, Herbert E. Dodge, 
Heber LeFavour, Cyril S. Carpenter; 1872, Henry Armington, Mas- 
sena P. Bacon, James C. Collins, Amasa M. Eaton, Jesse Metcalf; 1873, 
William T. Adams, MassenaP. Bacon, Charles E. Chickering, Herbert 
E. Dodge, Amasa M. Eaton, Charles E. Hall, John L. Ross; 1874, Mas- 
sena P. Bacon, Charles E. Chickering, William R. Walker, William 
T. Adams, Charles E. Hall, Herbert E. Dodge, Amasa M. Eaton; 1875, 
Benjamin Sweet; 1876, the same; 1877-8, James C. Collins; 1879, 
Olney W. Randall; 1880, Lemuel M. E. Stone; 1881, the same; 1882, 
Jame's C. Collins; 1883, George A. Fenner; 1884, James C.Collins; 1885, 
Albert L. Andrews; 1886, Charles H. Cozzens; 1887, the same; 1888, 
Gardner G. Clark. 

Under the constitution the following have represented North Pro- 
vidence as senators in the state legislature: Levi C. Eaton, 1843-5; 
John H. Weeden, 1845-6; Pardon P. Jillson, 1846-8; Lemuel Angell, 
1848-50; Stephen Whipple, 1850-1; Caleb V. Waterman, 1851-3; Charles 
S. Bradley, 1853-4; Charles E. Swan, 1854-5; Jonathan C. Kenyon, 
1855-7; Lewis Fairbrother, 1857-61; Andrew Jenckes, 1861-3; William 
Grosvenor, 1863-4; Lewis Fairbrother, 1864-5; Olney Arnold, 1865-6; 
William Grosvenor, 1866-8; George H. Corliss, 1868-71; Olney Arnold, 
1871-2; Charles A. Boyd, 1872-3; Obadiah Brown, 1873-4; Daniel W. 
Lyman, 1875; William H. Angell, 1876-8; Daniel W. Lyman, 1879-80; 
Lewis S. Woodward, 1881-2; Daniel W. Lyman, 1883; Ira Olney, 
1884-7; Andrew J. Wilcox, 1888. 

The first town meeting of North Providence as now constituted 
was held June 1st, 1874. The town council since that time has been 
composed from year to year as follows: 1874, Staunton Belden, Charles 
P. Walker, Edwin S. Thurston, George W. Angell, Henry R. Hill; 
1875, William H. Wright, Philip A. Sweet, 2d, Albert L. Andrews, 
Henry R. Hill, Jeremiah S. Olney; 1876, William W. Wright, Albert 
L. Andrews, Jeremiah S. Olney, Philip A. Sweet, 2d, John H. Hutch- 
inson; 1877, Henry R. Hill, Lemuel M. E. Stone, Albert L. Andrews, 



184 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Henry D. Olney, Frederick M. Aldrich; 1878, Martin K. Cowing, 
Benjamin Sweet, Ira Hawkins, Jr., Philip A. Sweet, William W. Weld; 
1879, William W. Weld, Benjamin Sweet, Ira Olney, Philip A. Sweet, 
Louis B. Olney; 1880, William W. Weld, Benjamin Sweet, Ira Olney, 
Philip A. Sweet, Louis B. Olney; 1881, William W. Weld, Benjamin 
Sweet, Ira Olney, Philip A. Sweet, Olney W. Randall; 1882, William 
W. Weld, Benjamin Sweet, Ira Olney, George A. Fenner, Oren T. An- 
gell; 1883, George A. Fenner, Benjamin Sweet, Ira Olney, Henry R. 
Hill, Martin W. Thurber; 1884, George W. Gould, Benjamin Sweet, 
Emor B. Whipple, Martin W. Thurber, Henry H. Handy; 1885, George 
W. Gould, William A. Sweet, Emor B. Whipple, Martin W. Thurber, 
Henry H. Handy; 1886, Albert L. Andrews, William A. Sweet, Walter 
S. Seamans, Henry Mann, Myron H. Hawkins; 1887, Benjamin Sweet, 
Charles E. Hall, Jonathan G. Boss, Albert T. Mansfield, Andrew J. 
Wilcox; 1888, Benjamin Sweet, Charles E. Hall, Jonathan G. Boss, 
Charles A. Towne, James A. Burns; 1889, Charles A. Towne, Benja- 
min Sweet, Ira Olney, Jonathan G. Boss, James A. Burns. 

The office of town clerk has been held by the following: George 
Eddy, 1874-5; Thomas H. Angell,1880 to the present time. The office 
of treasurer has been held by the following: William H. Angell, 1874- 
84; Frank C. Angell, 1885 to the present time. 

The town hall, a handsome two story frame building, standing in 
Centredale, was built in 1880. It contains four cells for the detention 
of prisoners, in the basement, the town clerk's offices on the main 
floor, and a convenient assembly room on the second floor. 

We have already alluded to the fact that the town is intersected 
by two principal thoroughfares, the Mineral Spring and the Douglass 
Turnpikes. The former runs east and west through the town, and 
was chartered in 1826, as a branch of the Smithfield and Glocester 
Turnpike Company's road. About two years later it was set off as 
the Mineral Spring Turnpike, and owned by Warren Bacheldor. It 
was five miles long, extending from Centredale to Pawtucket. A toll- 
gate was established, on the east side of the Douglass 'Pike, by the 
house of Nicholas White, which was built in 1831. Douglass Turn- 
pike was chartered in 1806, and runs north and south across the town. 
It had a gate upop it at the crossing of the Mineral Spring 'Pike. 
James Smith was keeper of both gates about the year 1830. Edward 
P. Knowles, once mayor of Providence, came into possession of the 
Mineral Spring 'Pike. He sold it to Clark and Gideon Reynolds. 
The town bought it, for four hundred dollars, and it became a public 
highway about 1867. Besides these roads an extension of Lexington 
street, in Providence, has been cut through the neighborhood of 
Woodville in 1888-9. The Louisquisset Turnpike crosses from north 
to south, in the eastern part of the town, taking the name of Charles 
street after it enters the city. 

The settlement at Woodville is quite an ancient one. The Browns 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 185 

and Whipples were prominent old-time families and used to own large 
farms here. The farm of Captain Daniel Smith, who died in 1864, 
consisted of 1,000 to 1,200 acres in this neighborhood. It has since 
been divided among many heirs. The Wanskuck river runs down 
through this hamlet, feeding the Geneva Mills, which are located on 
the line between the town and Providence, the line passing through 
the brick mill. This hamlet contains a blacksmith shop and a school 
house, besides the ruins of a bleachery and dye works, and a silent 
workshop where various business has been done. A farmers' chapel 
in the north part of the settlement was built about 1880. It has no 
regular minister, but is supplied by students from the University. A 
Sunday school was organized in 18S1, which now numbers 53 
members. 

The manufacturing interest of this hamlet was started by John B. 
Wood, in 1846. He established a manufactory of cocoanut dippers. 
The building now stands unoccupied just west of the bridge, and on 
the south side of the Mineral vSpring road. A larger establishment 
was started by Clark and Gideon Reynolds about 1852, as a cotton and 
twine mill. At a later date Richard, James and Michael Parrington, 
three brothers, took possession and ran it as a bleachery. Bridge & 
Parrington then ran it awhile, when the latter withdrew and George 
Bridge ran it alone. He sold out to Dempsey Brothers, who carried 
it on as a bleaching and dyeing establishment until April, 1882, when 
it was burned down. While in operation it employed about 100 hands, 
and used steam power. The ruins still lie unimproved. 

In the northwest corner of the town lies the little factory village 
of Graystone, composed of a single factory, deriving power from the 
Woonasquatucket, and ten or twelve houses. The factory has had a 
varied history, but is now unemployed, though it is supplied with the 
appliances for carrying on appropriate work. The site was once 
occupied by a family of Campbells as a paper mill. A cotton factory 
was started by the Anthony family about 50 years ago. Its business 
life has been fluctuating. About ten years since its energies were 
turned to the manufacture of shoddy, in which line of work it was 
last engaged. It is owned by Messrs. James Campbell & Son, and the 
machinery, with the real estate connected with it, have an assessed 
valuation of $14,000. The capacity of the mill is sufficient to employ 
about 12 or 15 hands. The paper mill was run by another family of 
Campbells, different from the present owners. 

One mile lower down the river we find the more important factory 
village and business center of Centredale. The Angells were a 
prominent family in the settlement of this locality, and still occupy a 
conspicuous position in the society. The first house built here i^ still 
standing, being something more than 100 years old. Nathaniel and 
Halsey Angell are old residents and representatives of the Angell 
family in this locality. Some estimate of the prominence of the 



186 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Angell family in this town may be formed from the fact that in the 
assessment of the town the family name is far ahead of that of any 
other, representing property, mostly real estate, to the aggregate 
value as assessed, amounting to $91 ,340. 

The village of Centredale contains a hotel, one or two stores, a 
public library, the town hall, a handsome public school building, 
several mechanic shops, a factory and a church. The church is not 
now connected with any society. It was once used by Baptists, and 
again by Universalists, and perhaps other denominations have occu- 
pied it at times, but all failing to use it permanently it reverted to the 
former owners and is now owned by James Halsey Angell. It is 
used as a public hall, for the accommodation of occasional gatherings. 
It was at one time called a Free-will Baptist church. It is valued at 
$1,000 on the town assessment, and being private property, is taxed. 
The village school is a handsome modern antique structure, and was 
built in 1886. It occupies a beautiful site, on the crown of a graceful 
elevation, embowered in foliage, and is provided with a rich toned 
bell in its tower. 

The Centredale Mill is an old stone structure, built about 50 years 
ago or more. It was formerly owned by the Anthonys, but for 20 
years back was owned by Amos N. Beckwith, and more recently by 
the Dyerville Manufacturing Company, its present owners. The 
assessed valuation of its real estate, including houses connected with 
it or belonging to the company, was $63,000. The mill is employed 
in the manufacture of cotton goods. The mills were greatly damaged 
by a destructive fire in September, 1889. This caused a suspension 
of operations for the present. The upper floor and roof were burned 
out. The mills comprise two buildings; one about 40 by 125 feet, 
two stories high, and the other 144 by 40 feet, three stories high. 
The capacity of the mills when in operation is sufficient to employ 80 
to 100 hands. They are run in connection with the mxills of the com- 
pany located at Dyerville, a few miles below and within Providence 
city limits. The class of goods made here comprises cotton yarns. 

The Union Library was chartered in January, 1870, as a stock 
company enterprise. The library was opened to the use of the pub- 
lic July 4th of that year. The project had been set on foot during 
the 5'-ear 1869, and money had been raised by subscriptions and by a 
fair. A building was erected in the early part of 1870, costing $800. 
The library was started with 1,000 to 1,200 volumes, and now contains 
over 2,000 volumes. Mr. Frank C. Angell has been its librarian from 
the start to the present time, excepting about a year and a half. The 
library room is handsomely furnished with carpet, chairs, tables and 
pictures. It is open on Tuesday and Friday evenings, and is well 
patronized. From 80 to 100 volumes in an evening is a common 
number to be let out. 

Roger Williams Lodge, No. 32, F. & A. M., began work under a 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 187 

dispensation January 27th, 1876, after a session of the Grand Lodge. 
A charter was granted May 15th, 1876. The following members were 
named in the charter: Thomas Wilmarth, Alexander Wilmarth Har- 
rington, Charles P. Walker, James Halsey Angell, Frank C. Angell, 
James C. Collins, Daniel 6. Angell, Rufns W. Harris, Amasa J. 
Smith, LeRoy Gavit Weston, William Andrews, Ansel S. Angell. Cor- 
nelius M. Capron, George F. Angell, John Reed, Almanzo S. Stone, 
James V. Dawley, Jr., John R. Cozzens, William F. Allison, George 
F. Stollard, George E. Olney, William Rowley, Jr., Oliver P. Sherman, 
Richard W. Greatorex, Charles E. Nichols, George E. Eddy, Charles 
H. Cozzens, George W. Capron, Henry C. Arnold, George W. Stone, 
Henry R. Hill, George W. Dorrance, Lilley B. Mowry and Mial S. Al- 
drich. The first officers under the charter were: Thomas Wilmarth, 
W. M.; Alexander W. Harrington, S. W.; Charles P. Walker, J. W.; 
James Halsey Angell, treasurer ; Frank C. Angell, S. ; Rufus W. 
Harris, S. D.; A. Jarvis, J. D.; George F. Angell, S. S.; William F. 
Allison, J. S.; James V. Dawley, Jr., M.; George E. Olney, C; Daniel 
O. Angell, S.; Ansel S. Angell, T. The Lodge at first occupied a 
room opposite the railroad station, but about 1880 moved into its pres- 
ent very attractive quarters. Here it has a very nicely furnished 
room on the second floor of Angell's Block. The present member- 
ship of the Lodge is 44. A pedestal on the worthy master's plat- 
form was made from a piece of the rock on which Roger Williams 
landed, on the historic occasion of his first arrival on the site of Prov- 
idence. This stone was secured by opportune efforts of Mr. Frank 
C. Angell, and having had it dressed in proper shape he presented it 
to the Lodge. It stands about three feet high. The Lodge also has 
a very fine silk banner, worth about $100, which was presented by 
ladies and other friends of the Lodge. 

Allendale, named in honor of Mr. Zachariah Allen, one of the 
prominent and enterprising men of this part of the town in the early 
years of the century, lies on the river a mile below Centredale. It 
contains a Baptist church and the mills and store of the Allendale 
Manufacturing Company. The village is mainly owned and sup- 
ported by the mill company. Their employees are Italians, Canadi- 
ans and Americans. The mills, houses, and other real estate of the 
Allendale Company are valued by the town officials at $78,000, and 
their machinery in the mills at $85,000. The mill was built by Zach- 
ariah Allen in 1822. It is a substantial stone building. It passed 
into the hands of Mr. William D. Ely, son-in-law of Mr. Allen. He 
associated others with himself as the Allendale Company, of which 
he is yet the treasurer and chief proprietor. The mills employ about 
200 hand^. Important additions have been made to the original mill. 
Both steam and water power are used. The principal work of the 
mill is the manufacture of wide cotton sheetings. About 12,000 spin- 
dles and 300 looms are kept running. Mr. George W. Gould is the 



188 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

agent of the company, at 54 North Main street, Providence. The 
company have a store near the mill, where they supply their employees 
and others with provisions, groceries and general goods. The river 
has a fall of about eight feet at Centredale, about the same or more 
here, and about ten feet at Lymansville. The products of these man- 
ufacturing villages, as well as the general communication of the peo- 
ple, is afforded transportation facilities by means of the Providence 
& Springfield railroad, which runs along the west bank of the river, 
just outside the limits of this town. 

A Baptist church was built at Allendale in 1847. The following 
description of it was given in the report of Reverend Henry Jackson, 
in his account of the churches of Rhode Island to the Baptist State 
Convention November 8th, 1853. " The Allendale Baptist church was 
built in 1847, about three-fourths of a mile southwest from the Fruit 
Hill house. It is situated in the village of Zachariah Allen, Esq., a 
gentleman of high moral feeling, who contributes liberally towards 
the support of the church. The building measures 22 by 40 feet, has 
R tower, bell, vestry, and 27 pews, seats 250, and is estimated at $1,800. 
The church report their congregation at 300, with an average of 150. 
They sustain the ministry by subscription. Julius E. Johnson, an 
unordained minister, has supplied their pulpit on the Sabbath for two 
years. The deacon is Samuel C. Harrington. The population in the 
village is 300. 

If the foregoing report is correct, and we have no means of 
impeaching it, neither the village nor the church would seem to have 
made much progress in the last 40 years. The village population can 
hardly exceed the estimate given then, nor will the average congre- 
gations surpass the numbers represented. The church building is a 
neat Gothic stone structure. The church was constituted in 1850. Its 
existence in recent years has been rather uneventful, no settled pastor 
having been installed for several years, and but little change taking 
place in the membership. The pulpit is supplied by students from 
Brown University. Prayer meetings and Sunday school, however, 
are reported as being well sustained. The present membership is 56. 
Mr. George W. Thorpe is the church clerk. The Sunday school con- 
nected with this church was established in 1847. . It now numbers 97. 
Mr. Charles H. Lawton has been superintendent since 1877. It has 
an average attendance of 54, and its library contains 250 volumes. A 
mission was established by this church in the neighboring town of 
Johnston, in 1877, in vSchool District No. 6, where it was held in the 
school house. A new chapel was built there in 1889. The Sunday 
school organized there in 1878, now numbers 41. Mr. George W. 
Thorpe is its superintendent, having held that office since 1^82. 

Zachariah Allen Lodge, No. 1, I. O. G. T., was organized in June, 
1888. It had 42 charter members. Its first officers were: George W. 
Thorpe, C. T.; Mrs. Thomas P. Bassett, V. T.; Charles H. Lawton, T.; 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 189 

George L. Sutton, C; Charles F. Dawley, S.; Charles S. Cahone, P. C. 
T.; Daniel G. Sunderland, L. D.; Edwin S. Joslin, M.; Miss Mabel 
Olney, D. M.; John Clarke, G.; Thomas P. Bassett, F. S. The office of 
C. T. has been held by George W. Thorpe, June to November, 1888; 
Thomas P. Bassett, to May, 1889; George W. Thorpe, to November, 
1889. The Lodge numbers 66 members. It meets in the Baptist 
church, on Friday evenings. 

The factory village of Lymansville lies in the extreme southwest 
corner of the town. The river here has a fall of about ten feet, and 
affords considerable power. The village presents many homes of 
mill operatives that are models of neatness and examples of thrifty 
appearance worthy of commendation. They are ranged along the 
single main street of the village, which lies parallel with the river, 
and a few are upon side streets newly laid out, A number of houses 
have been recently built. The village has a pleasant and attractive 
appearance. It is almost entirely sustained by the manufacturing 
enterprise of the Lymansville Company. This enterprise was founded 
by the late Daniel W. Lyman, who formerly owned all the land in the 
vicinity, the mills and many houses. His estate also covers property 
at Fruit Hill and elsewhere, and personal property, altogether valued 
at about $50,000, outside of the factory estate. The assessed valuation 
of the factory and its appurtenances is about $80,000. The present 
company assumed control of the mill in 1884. The buildings are in 
the form of a cross, being 80 to 100 feet wide, and having a length of 
370 feet in one direction and 312 feet in the transverse. They are 
three stories high, and mainly built of brick. Mr. A. Albert Sack is 
the agent and treasurer, having an office in the city. The goods 
manufactured are worsteds and yarns, the products amounting to 
$900,000 to $1,000,000 in value per annum. About 400 hands are 
employed. This is said to be the only establishment in the country 
that sells and delivers goods direct from the factory to the consumer. 
They have selling offices where sales by samples are effected, in New 
York, Boston and Chicago. The goods, however, are kept in store at 
the works, and shipped thence direct to purchasers, who are mainly 
manufacturing consumers. Steam power to the extent of about 600 
horse, is used in addition to the water power at hand. Goods are 
manufactured complete, from the raw wool to the cloth, finished and 
dyed. Among the operatives may be found different nationalities, 
Americans, however, predominating. The factory buildings contain 
about 117,000 square feet of floor space. The water privilege owned 
by the company affords about 250 horse power. The stock capital of 
the company is $500,000. George L. Davis is its president. The plant 
covers 160 acres. The dwellings of the operatives are well lighted, 
modern buildings. The company owns some, but they encourage 
the operatives to build for themselves, believing that they thus secure 
a more stable and thrifty class of people. Over 100 houses have been 



190 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

built by operatives within the last four years, while during the same 
time the company has built but two. 

A Roman Catholic church, a low, wooden structure, stands in the 
north part of the settlement. It is connected with the church at 
Manton, within the city limits. It is in size about 54 by 50 feet, with 
posts about 10 feet high. It has afforded a meeting place for the 
members and adherents of that sect for the last quarter of a century, 
but probably on the establishment of religious services in the new 
church at Manton the use of this building will be suspended. 

In regard to Fruit Hill and its church, a writer in 1853 said : " The 
Fruit Hill house measures 30 by 60 feet. It was built in 1819, seats 
300, and is valued at $2,000. It has 60 pews, with a congregation of 
150, averaging 80. Reverend John C. Welch, of Providence, a minister 
long and favorably known in Rhode Island as a pastor, supplies their 
pulpit ; his labor is rewarded with tokens of good. This church 
would probably increase their usefulness by the erection of a new 
house. The lot is large and finely situated, surrounded by the Fruit 
Hill village. A large agricultural district and several manufacturing 
interests furnish them with sufficient encouragement for such an 
enterprise. The Fruit Hill Classical School, taught by Stanton 
Belden, Esq., is also here. Mr. Belden's reputation as a teacher has 
ever stood high, and the institution is worthy of a liberal patronage." 
This house stood about a mile northeast from Allendale. The church 
was constituted in 1818. It was of the Baptist denomination, and in 
1853 had 46 members, and paid its minister a salary of $260. But it 
afterward declined, and its membership was gradually absorbed by 
the Allendale church and by a Union church which later sprung up 
here. The old meeting house was torn down several years ago. 
The Union church has a membership of about 50, but no regular 
preaching services are maintained. A Sunday school is kept up. 

The locality of Fruit Hill has suffered a decline, and is less in 
point of business enterprise and importance than ii was a generation 
past. It is now only a farming neighborhood, having no stores or 
other business. A post office was at one time located there, but it was 
moved to Centredale. The high service reservoir for the water sup- 
ply of the city is located here. It is now being constructed, and 
nearly completed. The city pays this town $400 a year as a rental 
for the use of the reservoir, the rent to begin as soon as the work is 
completed and the water let on. 

The assessed valuation of real estate in the town of North Provi- 
dence amounts to $959,500; the valuation of personal property is 
$221,500. The heaviest tax payers of the town, those whose tax 
amounts to $100 or more, are as follows: The Allendale Company, 
Edwin G. Angell, James Halsey Angell, Byron Angell, James Camp- 
bell & Son, Martin K. Cowing, Mary H. Cushing, Dyerville Manu- 
facturing Company, Geneva Worsted Mills, Stephen M. Greene, by 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 191 

wife, Ara Hawkins, Heaton & Cowing Milling Company, Isaac M. 
Lincoln and wife, Daniel W. Lyman estate, The Lymansville Company, 
Julia A. Miner, Mrs. L. D. Newton, Stephen B. Olney, Robert Pettis! 
and the Sun Bleaching, Dyeing and Calendering Company. 

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 

Byron Angell is a son of William H., he a son of William W., and 
he a son of William Angell. His mother was Orra Ide. He was born 
in North Providence in 1856, and married Emily, daughter of William 
Ide of Glocester, in 1882. They have one son and two daughters. He 
is a farmer and owns and occupies the farm settled by William Angell, 
his great-grandfather. William H. Angell was trial justice for 
North Providence for twenty years, and was in the senate, represent- 
ing North Providence. 

Frank C. Angell, born in 1845 in North Providence, is a son of 
James Halsey Angell, born 1822, and vSarah A. Angell, born 1824. 
His grandfather and great-grandfather were both named James, and 
were descendants of Thomas Angell, who came from England in 
Roger Williams' time. In 1865, Frank C. learned harness making, 
and in 1877 engaged in that business for himself at Centredale, which 
he still continues. In February of 1885 he was appointed town 
treasurer in place of William x\ngell, deceased, and in June of that 
year -\yas elected to that office, and was re-elected in 1886, 1887, 1888 
and 1889. He is librarian of the Union Free Library of Centredale, 
having filled that position, with the exception of one year, since it 
was established. He has also been secretary of Roger Williams 
Lodge, No. 32, F. & A. M., of Centredale, since its organization in 
1876. His father has been the society's treasurer during this time. 

George W. Angell, born in North Providence in 1818, is a son of 
Lemuel, he a son of Benjamin, he a son of Stafford. Lemuel married 
Sally Smith, daughter of Nehemiah Smith. George W. was married 
in 1840 to Emily M. Mann, of New Hampshire. They had two chil- 
dren, one of whom is living, Thomas W. The wife died in 1848. He 
married in 1849 Mary J. Manchester, of Tiverton, who had three chil- 
dren, none living. He has been a member of the town council several 
terms and held other town offices. His father was elected to the as- 
sembly and senate, several terms each. 

Moses Angell, deceased, born in Johnston in 1809, was a son of 
James and grandson of Isaac Angell. He was married in 1886 to 
Mary O. Randall, of North Providence. They had three children; 
one son, Isaac L., who died young, and two daughters, Abbie E. and 
Rebecca F., wife of Henry W. Bradford. The latter's father was 
Henry W. and his grandfather Joseph Bradford. His mother's maiden 
name was Mary Whipple. They have one son, Henry L, and three 
daughters, Carrie A., Helen M. and Abbie A. Mr. Bradford was book- 
keeper in the Merchants National Bank of Providence for several 



192 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

years, but failing eyesight compelled him to give up his situation, and 
he has since been living a retired life. The family, with Mrs. Brad- 
ford's mother, occupy the Angell homestead, which has been in the 
family for three generations. 

Thomas H. Angell, born in 1832 in Providence, is a son of William 
and grandson of Fenner Angell, who was in the revolutionary war. 
His mother was Sydney Smith. He was married in 1852 to Patience 
J., daughter of John Appleby. They had nine children; four are liv- 
ing, one son and three daughters. In earl}'- life he carried on the 
grocery business in Providence. He settled in North Providence in 
1865. He was elected town clerk in 1880, and has held that office con- 
tinuously since, also notary public for same length of time, and collec- 
tor of taxes for nine years. 

George T. Batchelder is a son of Parley Batchelder. His mother 
was Alzada Barnes. Parley Batchelder was born in Barre, Vt., in 
1794, and was a volunteer from that town in the war of 1812. He set- 
tled in Providence county about 1825. George T. was born in North 
Providence in 1886, and was married in 1879 to Lydia A. Fenner. In 
1855 he entered the store of Luther Carpenter at Centredale, and re- 
mained there until 1862, when he enlisted in the 7th Rhode Island In- 
fantry and served three years; then returned to the employ of Mr. 
Carpenter, and in 1886 purchased the business and has carried it on 
since that time. In 1883 he was elected to the assembly from the 
town of Johnston. In 1886 he was appointed postmaster at Centre- 
dale. He is a member of Temple Lodge, F. & A. M., of Greenville. 

Henry Beauregard, born in Canada in 1850, is a son of Francois 
and grandson of Ethiene Beauregard, who came from France and 
settled in Canada. Henry settled in Providence in 1869, and for 16 
years was in the employ of the American Screw Company. In 1886- 
he settled in North Providence, and engaged in the grocery busi- 
ness. He was married in 1867 to a Miss Audet. They have had 12 
children, of whom five sons and three daughters are living. 

Jonathan G. Boss, son of Jonathan and Sally (Austin) Boss, was 
born in Hopkinton, R. I., in 1833. In 1858 he married Mary L. Bates, 
of South Kingstown. They have three daughters living. He has al- 
ways been a farmer. He settled in North Providence in 1875. He 
was elected to the town council in 1887, 1888 and 1889. 

Charles E. Corey, son of Peleg and grandson of Joseph Corey, both 
of North Kingstown, was born in 1819, and married Mary H. Dawley, 
of Exeter, in 1841. They have two children — Mary A. and James V., 
who served three years in the war of the rebellion in the 1st Rhode 
Island Cavalry. Charles E. settled in North Providence in 1840, and, 
with the exception of nine years spent in Woonsocket, has since re- 
sided here. In early life he was employed in a cotton mill, but for 
the past 20 years has been a farmer. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 193 

Martin K. Cowing was born in Warren, R. I., in 1807, came to 
Providence county about 1826 and settled in Providence. His parents 
were John Cowing and Elizabeth Kelley, and his grandfather was also 
named John Cowing. He came to North Providence in 1836 and en- 
gaged in cotton manufacturing. He was married in 1841 to Amey, 
daughter of Solomon and Phebe Olney. They have three sons — Mar- 
cus M., Martin K. and William O.; and three daughters — Susan D., 
Grace A. L. and Lillie M. B. Mr. Cowing retired from business 
several years ago. He has been a member of the town council several 
terms. 

George W. Gould, son of Abraham, and grandson of Ebenezer 
Gould of Vermont, was born in Middletown, N. Y., in 1838. His 
mother's maiden name was Eunice Wakefield. Mr. Gould settled in 
North Providence in 1855, and connected himself with the Allendale 
Manufacturing Company as clerk, and later as agent. He has been 
secretary of the company since 1864, and is at present secretary and 
manager. He w3.s superintendent of schools of North Providence for 
two years, and president of the town council for a like period. Mr. 
Gould was married in 1856 to Sarah J. Sweet. They have one son, 
George A., and a daughter. Bertha Adelle. He is a member of the 
Allendale Baptist church. 

Stephen M. Greene, born in Scituate, R. I., in 1840, is a son of 
Stephen A., he a son of Stephen, he a son of William, and he a son of 
Benjamin Greene of Warwick. He was married in 1866 to vSarah W., 
daughter of Henry D. and Susan (Angell) Olney. He was in the war 
of the rebellion; enlisted June 6th, 1861, and w^as discharged June 18th, 
1864. He was sergeant in Battery A, First Regiment of R. I. Light 
Artillery, and was in all the prominent battles of the Army of the Po- 
tomac. He is past master of Mt. Vernon Lodge, A. F. & A. M., a mem- 
ber of the Providence Royal Arch Chapter, and St. John's Com- 
mandery. No. 1, K. T., Providence, R. L 

Charles E. Hall is a son of George Hall, who came from New 
Hampshire and settled in Warwick. He married Freelove Pendle- 
ton. Charles E. was born in Warwick in 1820, and was married in 
1845 to Amey S., daughter of James Dawley of Exeter, R. I. They 
have one son, Henry J., born in 1846. He settled in North Provi- 
dence about 1840, and has been a farmer and contractor. He has 
been elected to the assembly four terms, and has been a member of 
the town council several years, also assessor of taxes, and overseer of 
the poor one year. They are Baptists. ^ 

Ara Hawkins, born in Glocester in i819, is a son of Ara and Re- 
becca (Owen) Hawkins. He was married in 1849 to Amey Horton of 
Glocester. They had two sons, Everett E. and Myron H.. and one 
daughter. Avis A. The wife died in 1858. He married Mary O. 
Knapp of Greenwich, Conn., in 1860. He has been a member of the 
town council, and assessor of taxes. He is a Congregationalist. 

13 



194 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Rufus W. Harris, born in North Providence in 1843, is a son of 
Smith and Margaret M. Harris, grandson of John Harris, and great- 
grandson of Welcome Harris, all born in Smithfield, R. I. Mr. Rufus 
Harris is engaged in the granite business at GraniteviUe, R. I. He 
has represented the town of Johnston four years as representative. 
He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and past master of Roger 
Williams Lodge. He married in 1862 Julia E., daughter of William 
Carey, of Johnston. They have three children: Fred R., born 1865; 
Dora L., born 1867, and Edwin M., born 1869. 

Henry R. Hill, born in Plainfield, Conn., in 1837, is a son of Shel- 
don and Mercy W. (Randall) Hill of Foster, R. I. His grandfather 
was Jonathan Hill, also of Foster. He was educated at Brown Uni- 
versity, class of 1867. He was married in 1869 to Sarah A., daughter 
of Thomas and Sarah A. Pray of Killingly, Conn., who was an exten- 
sive cotton manufacturer there. They have one daughter, Annie C. 
He has been a member of the town council several years, and has 
been president of same, and overseer of the poor for five years. He 
has been a member and clerk of the school committee of the town of 
North Providence six years. He was appointed by the supreme 
court of Rhode Island receiver on the Vashti W. Angell estate pend- 
ing a settlement with creditors, and had charge of said estate about 
five years. This estate had a valuation of $250,000. He is a member 
of Roger Williams Lodge, No. 32, F. & A. M. 

Joseph W. Naylor is a son of Thomas Naylor. His mother's maiden 
name was Esther Harrington. They came from England and settled 
in Providence. Joseph W. was born in Lonsdale, R. L, in 1839, and 
was married in 1868 to Susan Noonan of Escoheag Hill, R. L They 
have two sons, Joshua J. and Amos A., and one daughter, Mary M. 
At the beginning of the rebellion he enlisted in the 14th U. S. In- 
fantry, Company H, and served two years. He then entered "the 
navy and served over two years. He has aUvays been a farmer. He 
settled in North Providence about 1875. He is moderator, and has 
held other offices in the town, is a member of Eagle Lodge, I. O. O. 
F., of Providence, and member of the State Beneficial Association. 

Edwin B. Olney was born in North Providence in 1812. His father 
was Charles Olney, and his grandfather bore the same name. Charles 
Olney married Robey Briggs of Johnston, daughter of Peter Briggs. 
Edwin B. Olney married Fanny Allen of Woodstock, Conn., daughter of 
Captain Consider Allen in 1833. He married in 1854 Patience Man- 
ton of Kinderhook, N. Y., for his second wife. In his younger days 
he was a carriage manufacturer, and since 1840 has been engaged in 
farming. He resides on the farm owned by his grandfather, Charles 
Olney. 

Ira Olney, a farmer of North Providence, belongs to one of the 
oldest families of the county. His ancestor, Thomas Olney, was con- 
temporary with Roger Williams, and a man of considerable promi- 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 195 

nence in the early history of the state. Ezra Olney, the grandfather 
of the subject of this sketch, was the first to settle in what is now 
known as North Providence. He located upon a tract of land of 
about 600 acres in extent, covering what is now known as Fruit Hill. 
His son, Cyrus Olney, the father of Ira, married Patience Mowry in 
the year 1814. He was the father of the following children: Miranda, 
Sullivan, Pamela, Cyrus, Edward, Ira, Augustus, Jane and Samuel. 

Ira Olney was born on the homestead place in North Providence 
August 6th, 1824. He received a good common school education and 
has remained a farmer on a part of the homestead place, handed down 
to him from his grandfather. In 1861 Mr. Olney was married to Caro- 
line, daughter of Captain Samuel Thurber, of Providence, who was 
formerly a sea captain and subsequently a custom house officer in the 
employ of the government. By this marriage Mr. Olney has but one 
child living. Miss Carrie Olney, who resides at home. In 1861 Mr. 
Olney erected his present handsome residence, and since then has 
built a barn and made many other improvements. The land, con- 
sisting of 80 acres, is very valuable. It is almost within the city 
limits, located in Providence city. North Providence and the town of 
Smithfield. 

Mr. Olnej'- was elected to the town council of North Providence in 
1878 and held that office five consecutive years. In 1884 he was 
elected to the state senate and held that office four years. Upon his 
retirement from the senate in 1887, he was again elected a member of 
the town council, which position he still holds. As a member of the 
state senate, he served on some of the more important committees, 
holding for two years the chairmanship of the committee on elections, 
was a member of the finance committee, and served in other important 
capacities. 

Mr. Olney is engaged in building and renting tenements, of which 
he now owns and controls 25. He is also an administrator of much 
experience, having settled a number of valuable estates. He also bor- 
rows and loans money and acts in various ways as a broker. 

Stephen B. Olney, born in North Providence in 1822, is a son of 
Alfred, and grandson of Stephen, who was a captain in the continental 
army, and a son of Joseph Olney. Stephen B. was married in 1851 to 
Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Harris, of Smithfield. They have two 
children, Stephen H, and Mary E. 

Nicholas Reiner was born in Austria in 1840, and came to this 
country in 1867. He resided at Geneva, North Providence, and in 
1884 settled at Lymansville in the same town, and carries on a large 
boarding house for the Lymansville Manufacturing Company. He 
was married in 1869 to Mary Bergman. They have one son, Nicholas, 
Jr., born June 18th, 1873. Mr. Reiner is a member of Herman Lodge, 
No. 15, Knights of Pythias. 



106 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Thomas H. Simmons, born in Foster, R. I., in 1829, is a son of 
Eseck and Betsey Foster (Tucker), and grandson of Solomon Simmons, 
all residents of Foster. Thomas H. was married in 1869 to Julia A. 
Ford, of Johnston. They have one son and four daughters. Until 
1849, Mr. Simmons lived on a farm. At that time he went to Califor- 
nia, returning in 1856, and about 20 years ago, settled in Centredale, 
North Providence, where he has since resided. 

Daniel Smith, son of Edward, married Abigail, daughter of John 
vSmith. They had eight children. Two sons, John E. and Thomas 
H., and one daughter, Frances W., widow of Reynolds S. Wilcox, are 
living. John E. married Abbie Bullock. They have no children 
living. Thomas is a bachelor. They occupy part of the farm owned 
by their grandfather, Edward vSmith. 

Henry Stone came from Dedham, Mass., and settled in North 
Providence. He married Lucina, daughter of Augustus Winsor, of 
vSmithfield. Lemuel M. E. Stone, his son, was born in North Provi- 
dence in 1820, and in 1845 married Caroline L. Phetteplace, daughter 
of Asa. They have two children: Waterman and Caroline P. Mr. 
Stone is a civil engineer and surveyor. He has been chief engineer 
and builder of several railroads; and was superintendent of the Prov- 
idence, Warren & Bristol for 16 years. He has represented his town 
in the assembly several years, and since 1882 has been commissioner 
of dams and reservoirs for the state. 

Benjamin Sweet, son of Emor and grandson of Philip Sweet, was 
born in Johnston in 1832. His mother was Waity, daughter of Wil- 
liam Manton. He was married in 1857 to Olive, daughter of Nelson 
Gardiner. They have five sons and seven daughters. He was elected 
to the assembly in 1874 and 1875, and was a member of the town 
council from 1877 to 1889, with the exception of two years. He has 
also been assessor and member of school committee. 

Philip A. Sweet, born in Johnston in 1816, is a son of Philip and 
Ruth (Angell) Sweet, and grandson of Philip. He is of English 
descent. He was married in 1838 to Lydia A., daughter of Silas Sweet. 
She died the same year. In 1839 he married Hannah Martin. One 
son, Albert Sweet, by that marriage, is living. She died in 1852, and 
he married Sarah Thurston in 1853. They had one daughter, wife of 
Louis L. Inman, of Burrillville. Sarah Thurston died in 1873, and in 
1874 Mr. Sweet was again married to Mary C, daughter of Erastus 
White. Mr. Sweet is a carpenter by trade, and carried on the building 
business for fifty 3'ears. He has been member of the town council 
several terms, and held other minor offices in the town. He is a 
member of the Free Baptist church, and has been a deacon of the 
same for over thirty years. 

Welcome W. vSweet, brother of Philip A., was born in Johnston in 
1819. He married Martha Irons. They have two sons: Alfred, who 
married Josie King, and Sanford, who married Emeline Salisbury. 




yiGcM^ TT'PXAU-^ 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 197 

Mr. Sweet is a carpenter by trade. He is a member of the Free 
Baptist church of Graniteville. 

Hartford J.Tingley,born in Cumberland, R. I., October 24th, 1814, 
is a son of Lyman and grandson of Benjamin Tingley. He was in 
the revolutionary war, and was a member of Washington's staff. 
Hartford J. Tingley's mother was Ruth A. Harrington. He was mar- 
ried May 15th, 1839, to Selina, daughter of Henry West, of Rehoboth, 
Mass. She was born in Seekonk, Mass., in May, 1815. They have 
three sons: Hartford B., Xenephon D. and Frederick W., and two 
daughters: L. Sophia and Inez T. Mr. Tingley was brought up on a 
farm. At the age of nineteen he began teaching writing, and made 
that his business for twelve years. He afterward learned the trade of 
machinist, and followed it for twenty years. He settled in North 
Providence about 1857, and is at present engaged in farming. 

Charles A. Towne was born in 1848 in Barre, Vt., and is of English 
descent. He is descended from Oel M., born 1816; Thomas, born 
1792; Richard, jr., born 1737; Richard, born 1700; Thomas, born 
1655 ; Edward, born 1628, son of William Towne, who was born in 
England, and was married in the old Church of St. Nicholas, at Yar- 
mouth, England, in December, 1620. He came to Salem, Mass., with 
his family about 1630. Charles A. Towne settled in Providence in 
1879, and in North Providence in 1880. He was elected a member of 
the town council in 1888, and was re-elected in 1889, and was president 
of same both years. He is a republican. Mr. Towne is a watchmaker 
and has carried on the business in Providence since 1886. He is 
captain of the Providence Marine Corps of Artillery, and lieutenant 
in the Light Artillery in the active militia. Mr. Towne was mairied 
in 1875 to Marian A. Perry, who died in 1884. He married again in 
1886 Lillie B. Barker. 

Benjamin Whipple, born in North Providence in 1811, was a son 
of Emor, he a son of Ephriam, and he a son of Benjamin. Emor 
married Abigail Brown. Benjamin Whipple was married in 1834 to 
Mary Allen. They have two sons living, Emor B. and William H. 
William H. was born in 1849 and married in 1869 to Almira Collins. 
They have two daughters and one son. His business is farming. 
The farm they occupy has been in the family for five generations. 

Byron S. Whipple, son of Weston F. and Mary Whipple, was 
born in Smithfield in 1856. In 1879 he engaged in business in Provi- 
dence, dealing in coal, wood, hay, grain and fertilizers. He was 
married in 1877 to Ida E. Farewell. They have two sons and one 
daughter. 

Walter Wilson Whipple, wholesale commission merchant, is 
one of the few young men who has made a fortune for himself in 
early life. Considering his many and varied adversities in starting 
out, his success has been phenomenal. He is the son of Weston F. 
and Mary (Watson) Whipple, and was born in the town of Smithfield 



198 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

April 7th, 1858. He was brought up on the old homestead place in 
North Providence, where he remained, assisting his father on the 
farm and attending the district school until 14 years of age. Having 
a desire to follow the drug business, he entered the employment of 
Butts & Alason, now Mason & Chapin, but the work of compounding 
medicines proved deleterious to his health and after a clerkship of two 
years he was obliged to seek a more sanitary occupation. When 17 
years of age he sought and obtained employment in a grocery store 
owned by Mr. H. S. Sharpe (now bookkeeper for Mr. Whipple), but 
soon afterward became a member of the firm of Brown, Whipple & 
Co., retail grocers. The beginning of this enterprise was propitious 
enough, the firm operating two stores in the commencement, but it 
wound up in a few months in a state of bankruptcy, being able to pay 
60 cents on the dollar only. 

April 8th, 1878, Mr. Whipple married Mary E., daughter of Palmer 
Tanner, of Providence, and located in the city. In the meanwhile, 
having somewhat recovered from his financial surprises, he went on 
the road with a horse and wagon, trading in butter, eggs and poultry. 
This was the beginning of his present mammoth industry. Siiccess 
rapidly followed his efforts in this new undertaking and in due time 
he liquidated all former indebtedness of Brown, Whipple & Co., pay- 
ing off all claims in full. In 1882, when 24 years of age, he found 
himself in a store of his own at 104 Canal street. In 1884 he was 
obliged, for the want of more room, to move to his present quarters, 
since which time his progress in business has been astonishingly 
rapid. In 1888 he established a large packing house in Oskaloosa, 
Iowa, operated under the style of Whipple & Co. In 1884 he estab- 
lished a shipping house in Corinna, in Maine, but recently sold the 
business belonging to this last named enterprise and confined his 
efforts to Providence. Newport, Boston, Fall River, and other towns 
surrounding these larger places. In the year 1889 a business of 
$300,000 was done, and in 1890 one of $400,000. 

In 1885 Mr. Whipple moved to North Providence and located on 
Fruit Hill, where he has continued to reside. He owns a magnificent 
property, which he has improved at great expense, making of it an 
elegant residence and a delightful place. In 1889 Mr. Whipple was 
elected as a representative of his town to the general assembly of 
Rhode Island and re-elected in 1890. He is a member of the 
Fruit Hill Detective Society, and was its president in 1888 and 1889. 
He is a lover of fine horses and owns some valuable stock, but is in no 
sense a sporting man. He is also a member of the Elk Society. The 
names of his children are Mabel, Gertrude and Florence. 

Andrew Jackson Wilcox, state senator from the town of North 
Providence, is a prominent farmer in that part of the county, and a 
son of Reynolds S. and Frances W. (Smith) Wilcox, also of that town. 
His father was formerly of the southern part of the state, but years 



i 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 199 

ago came here and purchased a part of the valuable farm known as 
the old Daniel Smith homestead. It is situated on the old Smithfield 
road, about three miles from the cit}', but now within easy reach of 
the street railway. On this farm Andrew J. Wilcox was born, Janu- 
ary 24th, 1863. His early life was spent on the farm and in attending 
school. Subsequently he completed a course of studies at the Mt. 
Pleasant Academy, and later still at Mowry & Goff's Institute, Provi- 
dence. In 1883 his father died, and on June 27th, 1889, he was 
married to Miss Maude I. Barbour, whose parents were of East 
Greenwich. Mr. Wilcox owns 60 acres of very valuable land, almost 
within the city limits. His farm is stocked with a valuable herd of 
25 milch cows, and also with other cattle, necessitating the renting of 
other lands near by for grazing purposes. 

Mr. Wilcox is a staunch republican, and has been the recipient of 
the popular vote of the citizens of his town for public office for sev- 
eral years past. In 1887 he was elected to the town council of North 
Providence, and in 1888, 1889 and again in 1890 he was elected to the 
state senate. He was not only the nominee of his party in the last 
political canvass, but of the democrats as well, who put up no candi- 
date against him. In the senate he served on the committee on elec- 
tions, and was also a member of the committee on public help, acting 
as chairman of that committee during his second term of office. He 
also served on other committees, and in various capacities. ]\Ir. Wil- 
cox is public spirited, and takes a lively interest in the affairs of his 
town and county. He is a member of several societies, among which 
are the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and the Rhode Island 
Society for the Encouragement of all Domestic Industries, of which 
he is a member of the standing committee. He was chosen commis- 
sary, ranking as first lieutenant, on the staff of the United Train of 
Artillery of the Town of Providence, one of the oldest organizations 
in the state. He served two years in this capacity and declined re- 
election. Mr. Wilcox is the father of one child, Reynolds Baldwin 
Wilcox. 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE TOWN OF SMITHFIELD. 

Incorporation. — Description. — Early Records. — Highways. — Defense of the Town Authori- 
ties Against Sundry Persons. — Various Proceedings of tlie Town Council. — The Eevo- 
lutionary Period. — The Militia Companies. — The Cumberland Rangers. — Legislation 
Against Slavery. — Provision for the Poor. — War Expenses. — Division of the Town. — 
The Present Town of Smithfield.— Town Officers.— Public Schools.— Early Settlers.— 
Greenville: its Industries, Churches, Banks. Library, etc. — Spragueville. — Stillwater. 
— Georgia ville, and its Mills, Churches, etc. — Enfield. — Biographical Sketches. 

THE town of Smithfield was originally a portion of the town of 
Providence. Why it has been called Smithfield has not been 
satisfactorily explained. It was incorporated February 26th, 
1730-1, and was the largest town in the state but one in population. 
The preamble to the act of incorporation is in the following words: 

" Forasmuch as the Out Lands of the Town of Providence are 
large, and replenished with Inhabitants sufficient to make and erect 
three Townships besides the Town of Providence and the Land lies 
convenient for the same; which will be of great Ease and Benefit to 
the Inhabitants of vsaid Land, in transacting and negotiating the pru- 
dential Affairs of their Town, which for some Time past has been 
very heavy and burthensome; " and Smithfield, Scituate and Glocester 
were separated into independent townships. It was provided that the 
towns were to " have each their proportion of the interest of the Bank 
money appropriated to the use of the towns of this colony, according 
to the sums that the lands lying in each town are mortgaged for; and 
that money the town treasurer of Providence has advanced for the 
town before the division thereof, be repaid him out of the whole in- 
terest money, before division thereof be made." 

The territory set off comprised 73 square miles of land. It was 
bounded on the east by the Blackstone river, on the south by Johnston 
and North Providence, on the west by Glocester, and on the north by 
the state of Massachusetts. At the time of the division of the town 
the western boundary was the east line of Glocester and Burrillville, 
the latter town having been set off from Glocester. Bounded on one 
side by the most important river in the state, save Providence river, 
it included within its limits the Branch, Moshassuck, Woonasqua- 
tucket and Crook Fall rivers, besides other smaller streams which 
benefitted and beautified it. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 201 

In its physical features it presented an attractive but diversified 
aspect. Near its northern extremity rose Woonsocket hill, the high- 
est land in the state, towering nearly 600 feet above the level of the 
sea. Oak, walnut, ash, chestnut and birch clothed the hills with a 
luxuriant growth of trees, while the valleys were rich in soil. The 
lime stone quarries, which are still important, were early utilized. 
The town also possesses valuable water power, which later gave con- 
siderable growth to the population and an impetus to the manufactur- 
ing interests. 

The record of the first town meeting is as follows, the orthography 
being conformed to the usage of the present day: " At a town meeting 
called by warrant under the hands and seals of Joseph Arnold and 
Jonathan Sprague, Jr., Esqs., Justices of the Peace, and held at the 
house of Captain Valentine Whitman in Smithfield, in the County of 
Providence, &c., on the 17, day of March, Anno Domini, 1730 or 31; 
whereof Mr. Jonathan Sprague, Jr., was chosen moderator of said 
meeting, and Richard Sayles was chosen town clerk, at said meeting, 
and John Arnold chosen the first town councilman at said meeting, 
and Captain Joseph Mowry chosen the second town councilman, 
Thomas Steere chosen the third town councilman, Samuel Aldrich 
chosen the fourth town councilman, John Mowry chosen the fifth 
town councilman, Benjamin Smith chosen the sixth town councilman; 
John Sayles chosen at said meeting town treasurer; Uriah Mowry 
-chosen town sergeant at aforesaid meeting. Joseph Arnold, Jun., 
chosen sealer and packer at said meeting; David Comstock chosen the 
first constable, Elisha Steere chosen the second constable, and Joseph 
Herendeen, Jr., chosen the third constable. Captain Valentine Whit- 
man and Thomas Smith and Joshua Winsor and Jeremiah Arnold 
were chosen overseers of the poor of the town. Job Arnold and John 
Smith, son of Joseph Smith * Juyner,' chosen surveyors of the high- 
ways. Hezekiah Comstock and Daniel Arnold and John Dexter Jun. 
and Jonathan vSprague minor, chosen fence viewers. Joseph Bagley 
and Daniel Matthewson chosen hemp viewers. John Whitman chosen 
pound keeper. John Wilkinson and Charles Sherlock chosen hog 
constables. Richard Sayles accepted and was engaged according to 
law to the office of town clerk for the ensuing year before Jonathan 
Sprague, Justice, the day and year above said. The town councilmen 
that were chosen did all accept and was engaged according to law to 
the office of town councilman, before Jonathan Sprague, Justice, 
the day and year above said. John Sayles did accept and was 
engaged according to law to the office of town treasurer, before 
Jonathan Sprague, Justice. Uriah Mowry did accept and was 
engaged according to law to the office of town sergeant. David 
Comstock and Elisha Steere and Joseph Herendeen, Jr., did all 
accept and were engaged according to law to the offices of con- 
stables. Hezekiah Comstock and Daniel Arnold and John Dexter, 



202 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Jr., and Jonathan Spragne, minor, did all accept and were engaged 
according to law to the office of fence viewers. Captain Valentine 
Whitman and Thomas Smith and Jeremiah Arnold all accepted and 
were engaged according to law to the office of overseers of the poor. 
Job Arnold and John Smith both accepted and engaged according to 
law to the office of highway surveyors. Joseph Arnold, Jr., accepted 
and was engaged according to law to the office of sealer and packer. 
John Whitman accepted and engaged according to law to the office of 
pound keeper. Daniel Matthewson and Joseph Bagley both accepted 
and were engaged according to law to the office of hemp viewers. It 
was voted at said meeting that the 27, day of April next is the day 
perfixed for the freemen of the town of Smithfield to meet together 
at the house of John Sayles in Smithfield in order to choose Repre- 
sentatives to send to Newport, next May Session, and also to send in 
their proxies for the General Officers of this colony, and also to do 
other business as is necessary for said town." 

On the 23d of March, 1731 (N. S.), the town meeting chose its 
deputies to the general assembly, provided its quota of jurors for a 
settlement with the town of Providence, and voted a bounty for killing 
wild-cats and wolves. In 1738, a pair of stocks were built, and a 
whipping post erected near the house of John Sayles. 

In 1738, the town took a most important step in developing its re- 
sources, and providing for the comfort and convenience of its inhabi- 
tants. This was the passage of a highway act. Before this time 
there had been, in Rhode Island, no other law upon this subject 
than the laws of England, which were of course but ill adapted to the 
circumstances in which the then inhabitants of Smithfield found them- 
selves. The act passed by the town was drawn with great care and 
a precision which is evidence of the capacity of those who adopted it 
for self-government. It provided for the appointment of surveyors, 
and made it their duty to inspect the roads within the limits of their 
jurisdiction, and enough of them w^ere appointed to care for the high- 
ways throughout the town; specific provision was made for the 
amount and character of the work to be done, and every male inhabi- 
tant of the town, 21 years of age, and able-bodied, except apprentices, 
slaves and idiots, was to work on the highway six days in the year, 
and eight hours a day. 

In 1748, the population of Smithfield was 4^50; the town was divided 
into 16 highway districts, the persons hereinafter named in each dis- 
trict being the surveyor for the district described. 

District No. 1, began at Patience Arnold's, so to extend northwest- 
erly over the Branch river, and all the roads west and northwest 
of said river: Daniel Comstock, Jr. 

District No. 2, began at vSamuel Aldrich (near Union village), down 
where the new road turns out of the old, and by the new and the old 
road to where they intersect on the hill, a little southeast from the 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 203 

Little River Bridge— also, the cross road by Benjamin Paine and 
Uriah Mowry (on Sayles Hill): John Sayles. 

District No. 3, began at Locusquesset Brook (near Lime Rock), and 
so up the highway, till it comes to where two roads meet on the hill, 
a little southeast from the Little River Bridge: Peter Bellowe, Jr. 

District No. 4, began at Locusquesset Brook to Providence line, 
also the Cross road by Jonathan Arnold's, beginning at the old high- 
way by the Lime Kiln, to end where said highway intersects with the 
highway that goes by Dr. Jenckes— also the Cross road from Abra- 
ham Scott to Pawtucket river: William Whipple, Jr. 

District No. 5, began at the Old Quaker Meeting House, so north- 
easterly and northerly to Thomas Lapham's (near Albion): John 
Dexter. 

District No. 6, began at Thomas Lapham's, and so north, to Woon- 
socket falls (The River road from Albion up): Joseph Lapham. 

District No. 7, began at Daniel Wilbur's to Providence line — also, 
from the same place to Christopher Brown's: Benjamin Cook. 

District No. 8, began at saw mill by James Appleby, to Thomas 
Sayles, and from Elisha Cook's, toward Providence line, till it comes 
to Ebenezer Herrendeen's: Elisha Cook. 

District No. 9, began at Glocester line, west of John Sayles, Jr., so 
easterly by Othonial Matthewson, thence northeast to Woonsocket 
Falls — also a piece from Thomas Sayles to aforesaid road: Othonial 
Matthewson. 

District No. 10, began at Ebenezer Herrendeen, down to Daniel 
Wilbur: Thomas Herrendeen. 

District No. 11, began at Providence line, near Isaac White's to the 
" Logway," also the Cross Road from Daniel Angell, to the Island 
Road: Thomas Steere. 

District No. 12, began at Abraham Smith's barn, so southeast by 
Smith's house, to Providence line: Leland Smith. 

District No. 13, began at the corner of Abraham Smith's fence, 
near the Baptist Meeting House, thence, northerly by Abraham 
Smith's, so up the " Logway " to Glocester line, also the cross road, 
beginning at the saw mill by his house, thence southerly to aforesaid 
road: James Appleby. 

District No. 14, began at Glocester line, by Widow Steere's, to 
Providence line, all below Joseph Carpenter's; Samuel Aldrich, Jr. 

District No. 15, began at Glocester line, a little west of Benjamin 
Wilkinson, thence down to Providence line— also from Resolved Wa- 
terman's, thence southwesterly to Glocester line, by Snake Hill: Abra- 
ham Winsor. 

District No. 16, began at Glocester line near Daniel Matthewson, 
thence northeasterly by his house to Wainsocket Falls, till it meets 
Cumberland in the middle of the Bridge. Also, beginning at Patience 
Arnold's, thence down to District No. 2. (This was a portion of the 



204 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Great Road to Sayles Hill, and South Main Street, west to Burrill- 
ville): Nathan Staples. 

A committee was appointed at the first town council to arrange 
the monetary affairs between the towns of Smithfield and Providence. 
At this meetingsundry persons were ordered before the town council, 
of whom " some were ordered removed from the town." The person 
cited, if recalcitrant, was forthwith put out of the town by the sergeant; 
if he returned he was ordered to pay a fine within one hour, or be 
stripped naked " from the waist upward " and whipped. It is to the 
credit of the town, however, that when one Phebe Thornton, a tran- 
sient person, was ordered by the council to pay a fine far beyond her 
means, on the instant, or be stripped and whipped, that Thomas Steere, 
a good Quaker who was so many years president of the town council, 
was not present. It is believed also that the wandering Phebe was 
not scourged severely. 

At a special town meeting, held on the 16th of September, 1774, 
Captain Arnold Paine and William Winsor were chosen a committee 
to visit the town of Boston and inquire into the circumstances of the 
poor of that town, and make report on the 10th day of October next. 
Captain William Potter, Peleg Arnold and Stephen Whipple were ap- 
pointed a committee to receive the directions given by the inhabi- 
tants for the relief of the poor of Boston. At a town meeting held on 
the 10th of October, 1774, the committee aforenamed made a verbal 
report, and the town " welcome for the above service, for which the 
town returns them thanks." " Whereupon it is Voted, that subscrip- 
tion papers be drawn up for the purpose of gaining support for the 
poor sufferers of Boston, and delivered into the hands of the committee 
already appointed for that purpose, and that William Potter, Peleg 
Arnold and Stephen Whipple do the service appointed gratis; to 
which they in this meeting agreed in person; and that the subscrip- 
tion papers with receipts be returned to the town clerk's office of this 
town, to the intent that full and ample satisfaction may be made in 
that behalf." The result of this action will be seen by a perusal of 
the following letter directed to Daniel Mowry, Jr., town clerk: 

Boston, November 2d, 1774. 
" Gentlemen: 

" By the hands of Captain Stephen Whipple and Mr. William Pot- 
ter, the Committee of Donations received your very acceptable pres- 
ent of one hundred and fifty sheep. The Committee, in behalf of the 
Town, return our grateful acknowledgments to our kind and gen- 
erous benefactors, the patriotic inhabitants of wSmithfield and John- 
ston. Such bounties greatly refresh our spirits, and encourage us to 
persevere in the glorious cause of true, constitutional freedom and 
liberty. We consider the cause as common, and therefore a cause in 
the defence of which all North America ought to be united; and it af- 
fords us, as it must every true-hearted American, a peculiar pleasure 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 205 

that such union prevails at this day, as bodes well to the rights and 
liberties of North America, civil and religious. 

" What judgment are we to form respecting those who would affect 
to be calm and unconcerned spectators in this day of trouble and dis- 
tress ? But what shall we think and say of those who are constantly 
endeavoring, in a private, and when they dare, more open manner to 
carry into execution a plan the most detestable, and calculated for 
the destruction of everything accountedjvaluable and dear in the eyes 
of Americans. Surely, then, Americans must, they will, exert them- 
selves to their utmost at such a day as this. 

"The inhabitants of this town are called, in providence, to stand, 
as it were, in the front of the battle. We have reason, in the first 
place, to be thankful to God, who hath thus far helped us, and nextly, 
to our generous and kind benefactors, by their affectionate letters, as 
well as their timely donations. May the Lord reward them. We 
greatly need wisdom, direction, prudence, zeal, patience and resolu- 
tion. Our Christian friends may, by their prayers to God, contribute 
much towards a happy issue of these severe trials, and those mercies 
which are the fruit of the prayers of faith will prove mercies indeed. 
But we have not time to enlarge. 

" Inclosed is a printed half sheet respecting the conduct of the Com- 
mittee on the improvement of the charities of our friends, which we 
hope will be to their satisfaction. 

" Gentlemen, your much obliged friends and fellow-countrymen. 

^ ^ P('r order of the 

" David Jeffries. - ^ . ^^ • ,, 

\ Coininittee on Donations. 

At a town meeting held on the 20th day of February, 1775, Stephen 
Arnold, Jr., Andrew Waterman, Thomas Aldrich, Elisha Mowry, Jr., 
and Uriah Alverson were appointed a committee of inspection, agree- 
able to the eleventh article of the continental congress, and Daniel 
Mowry, Jr., and Othniel Matthewson were appointed a committee to 
receive the town's quota of fire-arms, according to act of government, 
and deliver the same to the three present captains of the foot com- 
panies in this town according to the muster rolls in number. In June 
of the same year Stephen Whipple, Joseph Jencks, Daniel Angell, 
Arnold Paine, Peleg Arnold, Andrew Waterman, and Elisha Mowry, 
Jr., were chosen to collect 100 fire-arms, to put them in proper repair 
for battle at the expense of the town, to be then lodged; one-third 
part at the dwelling house of Captain Joseph Jencks; one-third part 
at Colonel Elisha Mowry 's, and the other third part at Peleg Arnold's; 
to be and remain for the use of the town on any invasion that may 
happen; and that William Potter, Joseph Jencks, and Sylvanus Sayles 
be a committee to prize said guns. Immediately thereafter, at an 
adjourned meeting, it was voted that all the fire-arms within the train 
band of the first company in the town, be collected at the dwelling 



206 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

house of Captain Joseph Jencks within the week; those of the second 
and third companies to be also collected, " in order to collect one 
.hundred of the best quality to be equipped for use immediately." 

At the May session of the general assembly, 1776, certain towns 
were supplied with powder and lead; and to Smithfield was appor- 
tioned 200 pounds of powder and 400 pounds of lead. At the June 
session a census of the population was ordered, and Daniel Mowry, 
Jr., was the committee for this town. All the salt in the colony was 
directed to be divided among the several towns at the rate of six 
shillings per bushel, " for cash only," and Smithfield was allowed 15<) 
bushels. A new distribution of salt was ordered, Smithfield being 
allowed 400^ bushels. This year a hospital was provided " to intro- 
duce the small pox by inoculation." 

In May, 1776, John Sayles, Esq., was assistant, and Daniel Mowry, 
Jr., Esq., and Captain Andrew Waterman were deputies. The general 
assembly repealed the "Act of Allegiance," preceding the repeal by 
this preamble: " Whereas in all States existing by Compact, Protection 
and Allegiance are reciprocal, the latter being due only in consequence 
of the former: And whereas GEORGE the Third, King of Great 
Britain, forgetting his Dignity, regardless of the Compact most 
solemnly entered into, ratified and confirmed, to the Inhabitants of 
this Colony, by His illustrious Ancestors, and till of late fully recog- 
nized by Him — and entirely departing from the Duties and Character 
of a good King, instead of protecting, is endeavoring to destroy the 
good People of this Colony, and of all the United Colonies, by send- 
ing Fleets and Armies to America, to Confiscate our Property, and 
.spread Fire, Sword and Desolation, throughout our Country, in order 
to compel us to submit to the most debasing and detestable Tyranny; 
whereby we are obliged by Necessity, and it becomes our highest 
Duty, to use every Means, with which God and Nature have furnished 
us, in support of our invaluable Rights and Privileges; to oppose that 
Power which is exerted only for our Destruction." 

" Be it therefore enacted by this General Assembly, and by the 
Authority thereof it is enacted, that an Act intituled 'An Act for the 
more effectual vSecuring to His Majesty the Allegiance of his Subjects 
in this his Colony and Dominion of Rhode Island and Providence 
Plantations,' be, and the same is hereby, repealed." The act then 
went on to provide for the necessary changes in the terms of the com- 
missions for offices, civil and military; and that in all suits and proces- 
ses in law, reference to the king should be omitted, and they should 
run in the name, and by the authority of " The Governor and Com- 
pany of the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Planta- 
tions.' " 

Stephen Hopkins and William Ellery were appointed delegates to 
the continental congress. A committee, one of whom was Andrew 
Waterman, was appointed to procure, and send immediately to New- 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 207 

port, as many iron, or shod shovels, as could be got, and to procure 
to be made as soon as possible, fifty good spades. Elisha Mowry, Jr., 
Esq., was chosen lieutenant colonel of the vSecond Regiment of Militia, 
in the county of Providence. The following were the officers of the 
three Smithfield Militia companies : First Company. — Captain, Thomas 
Jenckes ; lieutenant, Samuel Day; ensign, George Streeter. Second 
Company.— Ca.pta.in, David Eddy; lieutenant, Ebenezer Trask; ensign, 
Simeon Ballou. Third Company. — Captain Nehemiah Smith; lieutenant, 
James Smith; ensign, Jesse Smith. 

The Smithfield and Cumberland Rangers were incorporated as an 
independent company. The company having chosen, the general 
assembly appointed the following officers: Captain, George Peck; first 
lieutenant, Nedibiah Wilkinson; second lieutenant, Edward Thomp- 
son; ensign, Levi Brown. 

In 1782 the ratable value of Smithfield was put at i;200,00(>. The 
number of acres in the town was estimated to be 35,236. The popula- 
tion of the town was 2,217. 

At a town meeting held June 2d, 1783, the following vote was 
passed: " We, the inhabitants of the town of Smithfield, in town meet- 
ing assembled, being impressed with a sense of the iniquity and inhu- 
manity of the practice of enslaving the human species, and being fully 
convinced of this standing truth that all men are born to an equal 
right of liberty; and while we are contending for the inestimable 
privilege ourselves, to be acting the tyrant over, and bringing others 
into abject slavery is as great an inconsistency as a rational being can 
be guilty of, and sufficiently evinces that such people are only craving 
it for themselves for their own enjoyment without possessing the spirit 
of liberty in their own minds: Therefore we instruct and direct you 
our Representatives to use your endeavors and influence in the General 
Assembly, to procure a law made and passed that no ship or vessel 
shall be fitted out from any part of this State to Africa, unless the 
Master or Captain thereof shall give bonds in such a sum, and be 
under such lawfull restrictions, regulations and obligations as the 
legislative body shall seem suitable, and deem effective to debar him 
from purchasing or bringing away from the country the inhabitants,- 
and making slaves of them, or selling them for slaves in any of the 
West India Islands or elsewhere." 

During the late war much patriotism was exhibited by the citizens 
of Smithfield. A committee was appointed to look after the condition 
of those families whose members volunteered in the service of the 
country, and in January, 1862, $181.43 was appropriated for their 
benefit. In March the sum so applied was $527.32; for April it was 
$475, for May $375. Bounties were also granted, for which the town 
treasurer was authorized to borrow the sum of $27,600. From year 
to year appropriations were made which made the total war expenses 
of the town nearly $40,000. 



208 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

At the June town meeting, 1870, it was voted that "a committee 
consisting of five persons be appointed to confer with the committee 
from the town of Woonsocket in the matter of setting off and annex- 
ing to said town of Woonsocket a portion of the town of Smithfield." 
A vote was taken on this subject, there being 42 in favor, and 193 
opposed. January 21st, 1871, the question of dividing the town of 
Smithfield into three towns was voted for, there being 111 in favor 
and 33 opposed. 

The direct action which resulted in the division of the town of 
Smithfield originated in a petition to the general assembly, at its 
January session, 1867. This petition was continued to the May, and 
again to the January session, 1868. At the May session, 1868, the 
house judiciary committee recommended the continuance of the peti- 
tion, submitting as the opinion of the committee that some action 
should be taken by the town tending to remedy the grievances com- 
plained of growing out of the present organization of the town of 
Smithfield. At the January session, 1869, the majority— four out of 
five— of the joint special committee, to whom this matter of the divi- 
sion of the town had been referred, made a very elaborate report, 
recommending such division. A minority report was also made. The 
act reported by the committee was laid on the table. Another petition, 
being substantially a continuation of the proceedings commenced in 
1867, was preferred to the January session of the general assembly, 
1870. It was continued to the May session and then to the January 
session, 1871. After repeated hearings, the joint special committee, 
upon the open or tacit agreement of the parties concerned, recom- 
mended the passage of the bill which had been drawn, and the town 
was, by the general assembly, divided. By this division the popula- 
tion of the town was decreased from 12,315 to 2,857. The population 
of Smithfield, according to the census of 1885, was 2,338. 

The territory now comprised in the town of Smithfield is bounded 
on the north by North Smithfield, on the east by Lincoln, on the south 
by North Providence and Johnston, and on the west by the town of 
Glocester. Places of interest in the town are — Villages : Georgiaville, 
Greenville, Stillwater, Enfield, Spragueville and Knightsville. Reser. 
voirs : Cedar Swamp, Waterman, Slacks, Georgiaville, Stillwater. 
Rivers: Woonasquatucket and its tributaries. The Harris granite 
ledge is much worked and prized for the building material obtained 
from it. The amount of real estate assessed for the year 1888 was 
$1,233,000. The amount of tax was $12,721.80. 

The town treasurers of Smithfield have been: John Sayles, 1731- 
50; Israel V/ilkinson, 1750; Stephen Whipple, 1755; Captain John 
Angell, 1756-60; Stephen Whipple, 1761-9; William Buffum, 1770-2; 
Arnold Paine, 1773-6; Uriah Alverson, 1777-85; Stephen Brayton, 
1786-91; Robert Harris, 1792-1811: Isaac Wilkinson, 1812-39; Lewis 
Dexter, 1840-2; Stafford Mann, 1843; Samuel Clark, 1844; Stafford 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 2(»9 

Mann, 1845-9: Robert Harris, 1850-4; Henry Gooding, 1855 (3; 
Thomas Moies. 1857; Reuel P. Smith, 1858-71; William Winsor, 1872 
-85; Marshall I. Mowry, 1885-. 

The town clerks have been: Richard Sayles, 1781; Joseph Arnold, 
Jr., 1732; Daniel Jenckes, 1783-42; Joseph Arnold, 1743-5; Thomas 
Sayles, 1746-54; Joseph Sayles, 1755-9; John Sayles, Jr., 1759; Daniel 
Mowry, Jr., 1760-1814; Samuel Mann, 1815-16; Thomas Mann, 1817- 
39; George L. Barnes, 1840-2; Orrin Wright, 1843: George L. Barnes, 
1844; Orrin Wright, 1845-9: Stafford Mann, 1850-4; Samuel Clark, 
1855-71; Oscar A. Tobey, 1872-. 

In the year 1837 the citizens of the town began to interest them- 
selves particularly on the subject of education. At this time the 
representatives were instructed to use their exertions to procure the 
passage of an act authorizing the town to form itself into school dis- 
tricts, and that the districts might tax themselves for the building 
of school houses, and might appoint each for itself a school committee. 
In 1840 it was provided that a committee of three be appointed to 
examine persons proposing to teach in the schools; this committee 
was also to recommend school books and visit the schools. The first 
school committee, chosen in town meeting, consisted of Amos D. 
Lockwood, Nicholas S. Winsor and vSamuel vS. Mallery. The school 
committee was enlarged so as to consist of five persons. James I. 
Harkness was appointed on the school committee in place of Mr. 
Lockwood, who declined to serve, and Thomas D. Holmes and David 
W. Aldrich were added to said committee. In 1845 the school com- 
mittee was reduced to three, and the members were to be paid one 
dollar per day when engaged in their duties. 

In 1846 $2,000 was appropriated for the public schools, and the 
committee allowed incidental expenses in addition to one dollar a 
day. In 1851 $3,000 was appropriated for the public schools; in 1852 
$4,500, and this sum continued to increase till the division of the town, 
just prior to which time $18,000 was appropriated for the public 
schools and $1,000 for evening schools. The appropriation for Smith- 
field in 1888 was $5,341.99. From the school census of 1888 we 
learn there were ten school districts in the town, and the number of 
scholars in attendance was as follows: public schools, 414; Catholic 
schools, 93; select schools, 4; total, 511. 

Joshua Winsor is the parent head of the Winsor family in this 
town. In 1637, we find his name with 12 others in the town of Provi- 
dence, which then included this territory, agreeing to a compact " for 
the public good," and on July 27th, 1640. he and 38 others signed an 
agreement for a form of government. He died in 1679, and on July 
8th of same year the deed of his lands and dwelling house to his son 
Samuel was recorded. Samuel Winsor was born in 1644 and married 
Mercy Waterman (widow of Resolved) January 2d, 1677. Joshua 
Winsor, son of Samuel, born May 25th, 1682, married first Mary Barker, 

14 



210 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

October 18th, 1706. She died December 30th, 1718; and for his second 
wife he married Deborah Harding', December 3d, 1719. Joshua Win- 
sor was pastor of the Baptist church of SmJthfield for some time. His 
children were: Sarah, Joshua, Samuel, Susannah, Mary, Abraham and 
John; the last two by his second wife. 

The Steere family are descended from John Steere and his wife 
Hannah Wickenden, who were married in 1660. They lived in a 
house on the west side of the river of Moshosit near land of Thomas 
Olney, Jr. His children were: John, Sarah, Dinah, Thomas, Jane, 
Ruth, William, Ann and Samuel. Thomas settled in that part of 
Providence then known as Smithfield. He was married twice. His 
first wife was Msltj Arnold; the second was Mehitable Plummer, widow 
of Samuel. His children were: Phebe, Mary, Thomas, Richard, Elisha. 
His second wife had no issue. He died August 27th, 1735. 

The Mowry family are descended from Roger and his wife Mary 
(Johnson), early settlers of Providence. Roger came to Providence 
about 1643. In 1 655 he was appointed by the court of commissioners to 
keep a house of entertainment. He died in 1666. Henry Mowry, son 
of Nathaniel and grandson of Roger, was a settler in this part of 
Providence county. His first wife was Mary Bull, whom he married 
November 27th, 1701. His second wife was Hannah Mowry (widow 
of John), whom he married January 4th, 1734. He died September 
23d, 1759. His children were: Mary, Uriah, Jonathan, Jeremiah, 
Sarah, Elisha and Phebe. Joseph, a brother of Henry Mowry, mar- 
ried Alice Whipple, June 3d, 1695. Their children were: Daniel, 
Joseph, Oliver, Alice and Waite. From the children of these two 
brothers descended most of the families now known by this name. 

Greenville is situated in the southwestern portion of the town and 
contains three churches, two banks, one hotel, a good library and a 
number of stores. The village was named in honor of General Nath- 
aniel Greene. Resolved Waterman settled here in 1689. The descen- 
dants of Joshua Winsor are still living in this part of town. The 
hotel was built by Resolved Waterman in 1733, and 50 years ago it 
was kept by Nicholas S. Winsor, another prominent man of the town. 

In 1822, when the Baptist church was raised, there were but five 
houses in the place. One was standing on the site now occupied by 
William Winsor's residence. It was owned by Smith Jencks and was 
taken down in 1848, at which time the present house was erected. Mr. 
John Seaver lived at that time in a house just back of the hotel, and 
the two houses now owned by Charles P. Allen were then standing. 

As early as the year 1706 a Baptist church was erected here, and 
this with the hotel afterward built established this place as a center. 
It was not, however, until later times that much trading was carried 
on. Joseph Arnold was an early trader in the village and kept one 
of the first stores in the place. The building stood near the site now 
occupied by Mr. Tobey's store. It was erected during the first years 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 211 

■of the present century and was burned down twice and blown down 
in the September gale of 1869. It was burned in July, 1870. William 
Tinkham kept a store where the Library Building now stands as 
early as 1840. He married a sister of Anthony Steere, who afterward 
traded in the same place for 20 years. In 1858 John McLaughlin came 
to the place and established a store under the Greenville Bank. This 
building was erected in 1856. In 1880 he bought out the tin shop of 
Daniel Gorey, and moved where he is now in 1865. At the time Mr. 
McLaughlin came to the place William Allen and wife kept a millinery 
store in the building McLaughlin now occupies. Anthony Steere was 
trading in the building where the library is now, and James Burlin- 
game kept a store at Knightsville. John Harris had a blacksmith 
shop and William Mowrya paint shop. The tin shop was then owned 
by White & Gorey. John Wilkinson built the store now used in part 
by Walker A. Medbury for a post office and school supplies in 1877. 
Joseph Arnold, above mentioned, was succeeded by Barnes & Sprague. 
William Tobey came to the place in 1852 and traded here till 1878, 
when he was succeeded by his son, Oscar A. Tobey, the present mer- 
chant. The new store was built by William Winsor in 1870. 

The hotel previously mentioned, built by Resolved Waterman in 
1738, is now owned by Albert J. Mowry. About the year 1885 Nicholas 
S. Winsor ran the hotel and kept the post office. He left in 1845, 
going to New York, where he remained till 1881, when he returned. 
He was uncle to William Winsor, cashier of the Smithfield National 
Bank. After him came Edward Evans, Darius Hawkins, and Lewis 
Moss, who came when the Maine liquor law went into effect; Sidney 
Paul, Darius Hawkins the second time, William Bishop, Samuel Cros- 
born. Smith Young, then Albert J. Mowry, the present proprietor, 
who purchased the property and moved into the hotel on March 27th, 
1867. The travel has been considerably diverted from this route since 
the building of the Providence & vSpringfield railroad. 

The people in this vicinity have maintained a post office for time 
out of mind. It was kept in the hotel by Nicholas S. Winsor from 
1885 to 1845. After him William Tobey kept it for years, then his son 
Oscar A. Tobey kept it for a number of years. In the meantime 
George A. Smith had it for awhile. The present postmaster, Walker 

A. Medbury, took the office July 8th, 1887. John Wilkinson ran the 
stage and carried the mail 40 years. He was succeeded about the year 
1874 by Charles O. Greene, who carried the m:iil till the present con- 
tractor, Samuel O. Mowry, took the route about the year 1888. There 
is one mail a day. 

The Smithfield Exchange Bank was established here in 1828. 
Daniel Winsor was its first president. He was succeeded by Nathan 

B. Sprague in 1825. His successors were: Joseph Cody, from 1885 to 
1842; Oliver Batty, from 1842 to 1858; Elisha Smith, from 1858 to 1869; 
Benjamin R. Vaughn, from 1869 to 1878; and Henry E.Smith, the 



212 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

present executive. In 1865, the bank was changed to the national 
form. It has a capital stock of $150,000. The cashier was Nicholas 
S. Winsor, from 1823 to 1845, since which time William Winsor has 
held that position. Its deposits are about $581 ,000. 

The Smithfield Savings Bank was organized in 1872. Benjamin 
R. Vaughn was president of this bank from 1872 to 1878, when Simon 
R. Steere succeeded and is still president. William Winsor has been 
treasurer since 1872. 

The carriage business and blacksmithing have been carried on 
here many years. John J. Harris and Pardon Angell had the black- 
smith shop before the war. It passed into the hands of Whipple & 
Co. before the building was burned in 1870, and they erected the 
present building. The firm consisting of Andrew B, and William A. 
Whipple dissolved in 1882, the former going to Providence, but after- 
ward returning. Ethan C. Thornton now owns the woodshop, and 
Horatio N. Walcott the iron shop. The harness business was run by 
M. N. Joslyn, who came here in 1870, and ran it till 1873, when T. F. 
Harris, the present owner, took possession. Pardon Angell, grandson 
of Benjamin Arnold, an early settler in the town of Smithfield, has 
carried on the undertaking business in Greenville for a number of 
years. 

A Baptist church was erected here in 1706. It was of the Six 
Principle persuasion and an offshoot of the old church in Providence 
under the pastoral care of Pardon Tillinghast. A Mr. John Hawkins, 
a member of Elder Tillinghast 's church, held meetings for a consider- 
able length of time in this part of the town of Providence and finally 
became ordained as their minister. His successor was Elder Peter 
Place, who was very successful here in gathering up quite a following 
in the woods of Scituate and Glocester. Samuel Fish was ordained to 
superintend the work in Glocester and Scituate, also in Johnston. 
The successor of Peter Place was Joshua Winsor and Edward Mitchell 
was assistant to Elder Winsor. He lived to be 97 years old. He was 
succeeded by his son, Elder John Winsor, who was first an assistant 
to Elder Mitchell. About the year 1791-2, William Bowen was 
ordained elder. Elder Miller also officiated as pastor about this time. 
Mr. Bowen's society withdrawing from this place. Elder Winsor's 
church gradually diminished in number, and May 10th, 1806, 100 
years after its organization, it had ceased to exist. 

The Free-will Baptist church was erected here in 1822. It stood 
as it was built till 1884, when the old galleries were taken out, and 
other improvements made. The society was organized in 1820 by 
Elders Joseph White, and Daniel Quimby. From the town records 
we find that in June, 1822, Daniel Winsor, Daniel Mathewson, Jesse 
Foster and Stephen W. Smith were incorporated by the name of The 
Baptist Society in the Southwesterly part of vSmithfield. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 213 

Reverend Joseph White, the first pastor, remained in charg-e until 
1827, when he resigned. The services were held in the lower room 
of the old academy until the erection of the church edifice in 1822. 
The building stands on land donated by Major Nathan B. Sprague 
and Welcome Seaver. In 1827 Reverend Reuben Allen became pastor 
and remained in charge of the society till 1839. In 1843 Reverend 
Hosea Quimby followed and remained two years. In 1846 Reverend 
Maxcy Burlingame took charge, but remained only one or two years. 
In 1853 Reverend James A. McKenzie became pastor and remained 
four years. Following him came Reverend Richard Woodworth from 
1857 to 1873, the longest pastorate of any since the organization of the 
society. Reverend Charles S. Perkins served from 1873 to 1875, when 
Reverend Arthur Given succeeded. Reverend G. A. Burgess, the last 
pastor, was here six years. G.P.Grant and Albert Mowry are the 
deacons, Daniel Chandler is clerk, and William Winsor is chairman 
of the board of trustees. The membership numbers about 100. 

St. Thomas Protestant Episcopal church is located in the village 
of Greenville. The first Episcopal service was held in Greenville by 
the Reverend Mr. Richmond, who came to this village by invitation 
of an old resident, a few years before regular services were established. 
In the summer of 1849 the Reverend J. H. Eames, D. D., visited Green- 
ville as a diocesan missionary and preached twice in the First Free- 
will Baptist church. Shortly after regular Episcopal services were 
conducted in the old Green Academy. In 1851 land was given by 
Mr. Resolved Waterman for the erection of a church, which was com- 
pleted the same year, and on the 9th of March it was consecrated by 
the Right Reverend J. P. K. Henshaw, D. D., LL.D. The structure 
is of stone and in the tower is a peal of three bells, a gift of the first 
rector's wife, Mrs. J. A. Eames, who also gave a baptismal font. At 
this time there were but two communicants, Mr. and Mrs. Emery 
Fisk. The same year an organization was effected with the following 
officers: Senior warden, J. P. Leonard; junior warden, Emery Fisk; 
vestrymen, Daniel Evans, Sessions Mowry, Burrill Bartlett, N. B. 
Sprague, J. S. Steere, Anthony Steere, William L. Killey. 

In 1866 extensive repairs were made upon the church edifice and 
among these was the putting in of several memorial windows. In 
1879 another effort was made to beautify the church and grounds; and 
additional repairs were made in 1889. The following rectors and 
ministers have been in charge of the church: Reverends James H. 
Eames, D. D., Benjamin Babitt, Benjamin H. Chase, George A. Cogges- 
hall, Eben Thompson, E. R. Sweetland, Charles H. Baggs, W. Ingram 
Magill, Charles E. Preston. The registered membership of the church 
is 79 and the following organizations are connected with it: St. Thomas 
Guild, St. Margaret's Altar Society, the Young Peoples' Society and 
the Ladies' Sewing Society. The officers of the parish are: Senior 
warden, J. A. Estes; junior warden, N. L.Vaughn: vestrymen, William 



I 



214 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Clegg, Daniel W. Latham, Nathan C. Estes, Joseph A. Estes, Leonard 
C. Lincoln; clerk, L A. Steere; treasurer, J. A. Estes; organist, Miss Z. 
J. Sprague; sexton, Marshall W. Mowry. A monthly paper is pub- 
lished called "St. Thomas' Register." 

The citizens of Smithfield have always taken a lively interest in the 
cause of education. We find the Smithfield Third Library Company 
was chartered by the general assembly in 1797. The Greenville Free 
Public Library was started by subscriptions amounting to $300 and 
by the donations of valuable books by some of the public spirited 
citizens of the place in 1883. During the same year the association 
was incorporated, the officers being then as now: W. I. Magill, presi- 
dent; O. A. Tobey, secretary; William Winsor, treasurer; vice-presi- 
dents, Reverend Henry Lapham, Orra A. Angell,and Josephine Win- 
sor. The association purchased the store property of William Tobey 
in 1888 for their library building. The books number 2,300 volumes. 

Temple Lodge, No. 18, F. & A. M., was established in 1824, under 
a dispensation of the Grand Lodge, and continued many years before 
a charter was granted. Moses Aldrich, Enos Olney, Reuben Mowry, 
Benjamin Belknap, Abraham Winsor, Charles C. Mowry, Zephaniah 
Keech, George C. Winsor and Thomas R. Eddy were the prime 
movers in the organization. In 1826 the society went into a formal 
organization, the officers being: Moses Aldrich, W. M.; Reuben 
Mowry, S. W.; Elmer Olney. J. W.; Thomas R. Eddy, treasurer; 
Zephaniah Keech, secretary; Abraham Winsor, S. D.; George W. 
Winsor, J. D. This organization continued intact till the year 1831, 
when it ceased to exist for the time as an active working body. Nich- 
olas S. Winsor was the last secretary of the Lodge under the dispensa- 
tion. 

In 1866 the new hall was erected, and at that time the society was 
revived and a charter granted. The officers then cho.sen were: John 
M. Eddy, W. M.; George A. Smith, S. W.; Lorenzo M. Bailey, J. W.; 
Joseph C. Medbury, treasurer; Jerome Burlingame, secretary; William 
Blanchard, S. D.; Seth H. Steere, J. D.; Benjamin F. Chase, chaplain; 
Ethan C. Thornton, marshal; Lorenzo Mowry, tyler. The Centre- 
dale Lodge, No. 32, was taken from the Greenville Lodge, which 
greatly weakened the latter in point of number. 

There are three mills in the village of Greenville and its vicinty. 
One of these was built in Knightsville about the year 1845 by a com- 
pany consisting of Stephen and Albert Winsor and William Brown, 
and was run under the name of Winsor & Brown. In 1850 the com- 
pany built the store. In 1857 the property was sold to Jeremiah 
Knight, who operates it now for the manufacture of sheetings. The 
mills employ 50 hands. Stephen H. Brown is superintendent. 

The Winsor Mill was built about the year 1840, by Elisha Steere. 
It afterward passed into the hands of Polk & Steere, Wanton Vaughn 
and others, and in 1888 J. P. &. E. K. Ray, of Woonsocket, took the 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 215 

property. They employ about 50 hands, under the superintendence 
of Daniel F. Chandler, and manufacture plain cotton goods. 

The Greenville Manufacturing Company, successors to the Smith- 
field Woolen Company, make fancy cassimeres. They operate a four 
set mill, and give employment to about 70 hands. The property 
passed into the hands of George Howard and John Maguire in De- 
cember, 1888. 

Spragueville was first settled by Abraham Smith, in 1733, and a 
grist mill was erected some years after and two houses built. About 
1824 Captain Thomas Sprague purchased the privilege and erected a 
mill. This property afterward came into the possession of Wanton 
Vaughn and others. It was then called the Granite Mill Company. 
From Wanton Vaughn it passed to his sons, William and Charles 
Vaughn, in 1871. They operated the store in connection with the mill. 
In 1888 Mrs. Elizabeth Vaughn took possession of the property. In 
1886 the mill was stopped, but was started again in January, 1889. 
There are in operation 108 looms and 6,500 spindles. The mill is 
built of stone, and is 120 by 80 feet. The store was connected with 
the mill till 1884, and since then has been owned by different parties. 
Thomas S. Kielty is the present proprietor. 

Stillwater is located on the Providence & Springfield railroad, 
near the central part of the town, and is the seat of the Stillwater 
Woolen Mill Company, and has a post office. The land here was set- 
tled by David Smith in 1733. In 1824 Israel Arnold and his brother 
Welcome bought the land of Daniel Smith's descendants, and erected 
a small cotton mill. Afterward this property passed into the hands 
of Joseph Clark, of Johnston, who sold it to Robert Joslin. The mill 
was burned down and rebuilt several times. In 1866 Edward W. 
Brown purchased the property, and with others built a fine woolen 
mill and a modern village, the concern being known as the Still- 
water Woolen Company, chartered in 1867. The first mill of this com- 
pany was burned down. The present structure is a ten set mill built 
of brick, 130 by 52 feet, with one ell 40 by 65, and one 45 by 32, and 
is five stories in height. This mill has been idle during the past few 
years, but when last in operation gave employment to 175 hands, and 
manufactured 600,000 pounds of wool annually, making 450,000 yards 
of cloth. When the mills were in operation a store was run in con- 
nection, by the company. Henry L. Dempsey has kept the post office 
for several years. 

A flourishing grist mill located near the depot, on the Woonas- 
quatucket, is owned and operated by A. B. Capron. Originally there 
was a saw mill at this point owned by Nathan Angell, and subse- 
quently a grist mill. It was burned December 19th, 1877. The prop- 
erty passed from Henry Arnold to the present owner by whom the 
present mill was erected. 



216 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Georgiaville contains five stores, three churches and a post office, 
and is the seat of the Bernon Manufacturing- Company. James Angell 
and Elisha Smith built houses in this vicinity in 1700. Thomas Owen 
settled here in 1752. In 1755 John Farnum and two of his sons, Joseph 
and Noah, came from Uxbridge, Mass., and purchased of Thomas 
Owen his house and land and commenced the business of blacksmith- 
ing, having also a forge just below the present mill of the Bernon 
Manufacturing Company. The iron ore was brought from Cranston, 
charcoal being used for smelting it. In 1760 John Farnum added to 
his house, which is still standing in good repair. Joseph Farnum 
built a house here in 1770. 

The village of Georgiaville owes its origin and name to the con- 
struction of a cotton mill in that locality by the " Georgia Cotton 
Manufacturing Company," in the year 1818. The original company, 
composed of Samuel Nightingale, Samuel G. Arnold and Thomas 
Thompson, built a stone mill, 80 by 36 feet, on a fall of 18 feet of the 
waters of the Woonasquatucket river. They placed therein 1,000 
spindles, without looms, the power loom not having been introduced 
into common use in Rhode Island until the year 1817. The yarn was 
spun and dyed at the mill, and made into webs, which were put out to 
be woven by hand in various parts of New England. 

As this was one of the pioneer mills of Rhode Island, a retrospect- 
ive glance at the records of this old establishment will disclose the 
primitive state of the cotton manufacture at its commencement there, 
and serve to show the contrast between the present improved processes 
and those of past days. The cotton -was at first picked by hand, and 
was distributed over the country in small parcels, to be cleaned of 
seeds and motes by industrious housewives and their children gathered 
around the domestic fireside. The loose cotton in their laps sometimes 
took fire, and accounts of burning up parcels of cotton, and also the 
dresses and houses of the industrious cotton pickers, sometimes formed 
a part of the business correspondence. The price paid for the hand- 
picking of the cotton was about as much as a manufacturer now expects 
to obtain as the net profit for the labor of spinning it. Equally remark- 
able was the price once paid for weaving yard -wide sheetings, which, 
as fixed by the tariff rate for No. 20 yarn, as printed on one of the old 
weaver's tickets, appears to have been 13 cents per yard. This is the 
present selling price of similar cloth. For weaving gingham the price 
fixed was one cent additional per yard for every different color. 

Another building of stone, 80 by 40 feet, was built in 1828. and a 
third addition of the same extent in 1846. After the power loom was 
introduced in 1819 the manufacture of ginghams was superseded by 
that of sheetings. The number of spindles was gradually increased 
from 1,000 in the year 1813 to 7,000 in 1853, when the estate passed 
into the hands of Zachariah Allen. 

In 1871 the company was incorporated with Moses B. I. Goddard, 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 217 

president, and Henry Waterman, treasurer. In 1886 the bondholders 
took possession of the property, and in 1889 it became incorporated 
tinder the style of the Bernon Mills Company. The present officers 
are: J. W. Danielson, president; Royal C. Taft, treasurer; J. Herbert 
Wells, secretary. The company make print goods and employ about 
125 hands. 

The first act of incorporation in New England, for the special pur- 
pose of constructing reservoirs for the supply of mills in seasons of 
drought, originated with the mill owners on the Woonasquatucket 
river in the year 1822. The following gives a statement of the several 
reservoirs constructed on the head waters of the Woonasquatucket 
river: 

Average Superficial acres, 
Acres. depth. 1 foot deep. 

The Greenville reservoir, con- 
structed in 1822, contains... 153 10 1.530 
The Waterman reservoir, con- 
structed in 1837, contains... . 318 9 2.862 
The Thomas Sprague reservoir, 

constructed in 1830, contains 95 13 and 7 .815 

Hawkins' reservoir 3(» 10 .300 

Bernon Mill Pond, 1853 133 17 .399 

Other mill ponds about 150 2 .300 

Acres land 879 Water acres .... 6.196 

The capacity of these reservoirs is sufficient for the storage of a 
supply of water for the mills below them during four months, the fall 
being nearly 200 feet of descent to Olneyville. 

The Georgiaville Evangelical Society was incorporated in 1856. 
The following list gives the names of the incorporators: James H. 
Armington, William G. Perry, William Patt, John C. Westcott, John 
R. Perry, AVilliam H. Hastings, Daniel Champlin, Charles Greene, 
Benjamin A, Winsor, Thomas Wood, Ellery Slocum, Ethan Sweet, 
Obed Paine, Mowry Phillips, Henry C. Arnold, Elisha Steere, Zacha- 
riah Allen, Winsor Farnum, Simon B. Mowry, William Steere, Ephraim 
Whipple, Ashel Angell, Daniel Angell, Lyman Arnold, Nathan Angell, 
John A. Mowry, Charles Cozens, Jabez W. Mowry, Ezra Whitford, 
Robert Harris, John S. Appleby, Arnold Smith, Henry A. Smith, Silas 
Smith, John A. Farnum, Thomas Mowry and Hezekiah S. Harris, 
together with others. In 1857 the charter was adopted by the society. 
May 12th, 1856, a meeting was held and it was decided to build a house 
for worship. The .subscription paper was afterward circulated and 
$2,700 raised for that purpose. The building was erected on a lot pur- 
chased of Mr. L. Allen. The society is still active, and of great use 
to the church. 

A religious society of Baptists existed here a number of years 
before a regular organization took place. The house of worship was 



218 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

erected in 1857, and the church from this time, being assisted by a. 
well organized society, prospered. Reverend Mowry Phillips was 
the firat pastor. His successors were George W. Wallace, Mr. Handy, 
M. W. Burlingame, Lewis Dexter, John P. Ward, F. W. George (after- 
ward missionary to India), and the Reverend G. B. Cutler, the pres- 
ent pastor, who took charge of the church m 1885. Samuel W. 
Hubbard is deacon, and J. B. Newell is clerk. The church member- 
ship is about 100. 

St. Michael's church was established here by Reverend W. J.Wise- 
man, who erected the present church edifice in 1876. He was suc- 
ceeded by Reverend James Perkins, he by Reverend Thomas Carroll, 
and he by the present pastor. Reverend James Fogardy, in October, 
1887. The membership numbers about 100 families. 

The Universalist church is of recent origin. It was the result of 
missionary work done for years by Doctor Thomas Nutting, an old 
prominent physician in the place, who utilized every opportunity given 
him for advancing the cause. Doctor Nutting advanced financial aid, 
and through his efforts principally the present church edifice was 
erected. Doctor Nutting died in 1886, aged 76 years, after a practice 
of medicine of over 40 years. His granddaughter, Mrs. Carrie I. 
Waldron, lives on the old homestead. The only pastor the church has 
had is the Reverend Vincent Tomlinson, who came here in 1886. 

H. N. Blanchard is the oldest trader in Georgiaville. He carries a 
full stock of goods and does a lively business. Richard Tobin suc- 
ceeded James White in the grocery business in 1873, and is still trad- 
ing. Patrick Burke runs a store in the old hotel building, used for a 
tavern many years. He succeeded James Barnes in 1874, and run the 
house till 1883, when the business was changed from a hotel to a store. 
J. D. Marston succeeded Philip W. Aldrich in 1874. He took the 
post office July 6th, 1886. James Loomis erected his commodious 
building for the purposes of general trading in 1873. There is also a 
blacksmith and wagon shop in the village, run by W. H. Leete, who 
began here in 1882. 

Enfield is a hamlet on the Providence & Springfield railroad, and 
consists of a few houses, a store and post office, and is the seat of the 
Enfield Mills. Major William Smith was the first settler in this local- 
ity. In 1813 the late Governor Philip Allen purchased land of Eseck 
Smith, a descendant of Major William Smith, and erected a small 
cotton mill, and the place was then called Allenville. It retained 
this name till 1881 , when a post office was established and the name 
changed to Enfield. The store at this place remained the property 
of the company till 1879, when I. B. Sweet took the business, and in 
1882 the post office. 

There is one church building open to all denominations, and in 
which Reverend G. B. Cutler, of the Baptist church of Georgiaville, 
frequently holds services. In 1820 Governor Allen built a house for 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 219' 

the public schools, and for religious worship on Sundays. In 1849 the 
citizens erected a school house, and in 1851 Governor Allen built a 
house for public worship and gave it to the citizens of the village. 
There is a good Sabbath school maintained in the place. 

In 1857 the mill property passed from Governor Allen to Earl P. 
Mason, Henry Lippitt and others; in 1867 into the ownership of the 
Smithfield Manufacturing Corripany, and in 1879 to William H. Pope,, 
who runs the business under the style of the Enfield Mills. This 
company manufacture print goods and employ constantly about 150 
hands. Arnold Knight is superintendent of the works. 

The Central Union church is situated a short distance north of the 
Providence and Douglass turnpike, in the extreme north part of the 
town of Smithfield. The building is a neat structure, erected in 1859,. 
and dedicated September 1st, same year. The society was chartered 
as Smithfield United Society in January, 1862. Preaching is supplied 
by the pastors of the different denominations. A good Sunday school 
is connected with this society, and a valuable library of 500 volumes 
belongs to the church. 

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 

George M. Appleby was born April 21st, 1818, and was married 
twice. His first wife was Phebe Mowry, and his second wife was 
Adah F. Smith, whom he married in 1844. They have one son, born 
in 1850, Jerome H. Appleby, who was married to Emmiezette Smith in 
1875, and they have one son, born in 1879, George H. Appleby. The 
Applebys are one of the oldest families in Smithfield. Mr. George M. 
Appleby has done much for the public library of Greenville. 

Jabe J. Applebey, born in 1837, is the son of James Applebey, born 
in 1798. Jabe J. married Susan W. King of New York in 1860. They 
have two children: James, born 1865, and Leroy J., born 1870. Mr. 
Applebey is a farmer near Spragueville, and holds the ofhce of col- 
lector of taxes. 

John S. Appleby, born in Smithfield in 1830, is a son of John S. 
Appleby, who was born in 1785. Mr. John S. Apple.by, Jr., is a 
bachelor. 

Silas S. Appleby is a retired farmer. He was born in Smithfield in 
1812, was married in 1837 to Julia Ballou, and they had .six children: 
Daniel A., F. Marion, Abby M., Sidney M., Emma A. and Clara A. 
Mr. Appleby's forefathers came from England. 

Orrin Barnes, one of the prominent farmers of the town, is a de- 
scendant of Peter Barnes, who came from England to this country 
about the year 1700. He is the son of Levi Barnes, who occupied the 
old homestead, one of the oldest houses now in the town. Levi 
Barnes was the father of Smith, George W., Orrin and Abby, all resi- 
dents of Smithfield. Orrin Barnes married Estelle, daughter of 
Leonard Allen, in 1865, and they have one daughter, Sarah S. Barnes.. 



220 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Samuel S. Brown was born in North Kingstown, R. I., and owns a 
farm together with his brother, S. D. Brown. They have a valuable 
cranberry marsh, which averages from 25 to 50 bushels annually, and 
raise small fruit with success. Samuel S. Brown married Anna W. 
Thompson, of Boston, in 1870. They have no children. 

George S. Burroughs, son of Samuel N. and Mary (Sherman) Bur- 
roughs, was born in Newport county, R. I., February 22d, 1828, and 
was married October 1st, 1855, to Mary J. Aldrich. They have no 
children. Mr. Burroughs is a farmer. 

Adin Ballou Capron, member of the general assembly of Rhode 
Island, is Jhe son of Carlile W. and Abigail (Bates) Capron, and was 
born in Mendon, Mass., January 9th, 1841. In 1848 his father moved 
to Woonsocket, R. I., to engage in mercantile pursuits, and here the 
subject of this sketch passed his time until the breaking out of the 
late war. He received a good common school education, being a 
graduate of the Woonsocket High School, and subsequently the re- 
cipient of special instruction in Westbrook University, near Fulton, 
Maine. 

In May, 1861, he enlisted in Company I, Second Rhode Island In- 
fantry, and was appointed sergeant of his company. The regiment 
was ordered to Washington, and afterward took part in the second 
Bull Run fight. After this battle, in recognition of gallant service, 
he was appointed sergeant major of the regiment, and soon after was 
commissioned second lieutenant. In December, 1861, he was assigned 
duty as a member of the signal corps. In March, 1862, he was or- 
dered to report to General Butler at Ship Island, but before he arrived, 
the city of New Orleans had surrendered, and having been taken sick 
while on the way, he was ordered back and sent north to join General 
McClellan at Harrison's Landing, immediately after the seven days' 
battles. He had in the meantime been promoted to the rank of first 
lieutenant, and thereafter he was connected with the department 
staff of the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac. After General 
McClellan, he was on the staff of Generals Burnside, Hooker and 
Meade, participating actively in most of the battles till the close of 
the war. In the meantime he had been brevetted captain, and sub- 
sequently major, for gallant and meritorious services. His examina- 
tion by an army board of officers to a position in the regular army 
was in accordance with an act which had passed congress March 3d, 
1863, from which time his service in that capacity was dated. 

After the war Mr. Capron was for a time connected with a publish- 
ing house in Chicago, but in 1866 he returned to Rhode Island and 
entered the service of the Lippitt Woolen Company at Woonsocket, 
where he remained as accountant until April, 1869. He then accepted 
a similar position for the Stillwater Woolen Mill Company, subse- 
quently becoming their superintendent in charge. In 1872 the mills 
at this place were burned, and he was employed to superintend their 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 221 

re-erection. He remained with them until 1875, and then purchased 
the mills where he at present operates. In 1877 the property was 
burned, but was immedietely rebuilt and enlarged, and now gives 
employment to a dozen hands, and grinds from three to four hundred 
car loads of grain annually. 

Mr. Capron was elected a member of the lower house of the Rhode 
Island legislature in 1887 by the republican party, and was re-elected 
in 1888, 1889 and 1800. He was a vigorous advocate of the enforce- 
ment of the prohibitory laws while constitutional prohibition was the 
law of the state. He is a member of the committee on finance. 

Mr. Capron was married in August, 1868, to Irene, daughter of Otis 
D. Ballou, of Woonsocket. She died ten months afterward. His 
second marriage was in April, 1874, to Phebe A., daughter of John A. 
Mowry, of Smithfield. Their children are: Helen M., John M., Adin 
M. and Almira M. 

Mr. Capron is a member of the Georgiaville Universalist church and 
has been superintendent of the Sabbath school at that place ever since 
the organization of the society. 

Mrs. Ellen Colwell is the widow of Harris W. Colwell, son of George 
and grandson of David Colwell. Mrs. Colwell has two children: ISIira 
E., born 1857, and Frank S., born 1866. 

William Gardiner came to Smithfield in 1857 from Cumberland, 
Providence county. He was born in Exeter in 1820 and married in 
1849 Dulcenia B., daughter of William H. Gardiner. They have three 
children: Leander E., born 1851; Ida E., born 1853; and Luella D., 
born 1864. Mr. Gardiner is a successful farmer and has refused the 
ofhce of representative, to which he was once elected. 

Mrs. Ella L. M. Gavitt is an adopted daughter of Thomas J. Mowry, 
who was born September 8th, 1804, in Smithfield, and was a son of 
Aaron Mowry, born March 3d, 1765, in the same town. Aaron Mowry 's 
father, Stephen Mowry, was born in 1731, and his father, Uriah 
Mowry, born 1705, was the son of Henry, and he the son of Nathaniel, 
born 1644. Three brothers of the Mowry family came to this country, 
Nathaniel, Roger and John, and from the three brothers are descended 
the Mowrys of to-day. 

George P. Grant came to Providence county in 1855. He was born 
in England in 1829 and was twice married. By his first wife, Lydia C. 
Peckham. he had seven children. Mrs. Lydia Grant died in 1873. He 
married Mrs. Mira Davis, widow of Edward Davis, in 1881. Mrs. 
Davis had one daughter, Susan Mabel Davis, born in 1866. Mr. George 
P. Grant is a farmer. 

Charles E. Ladoux, born in Vermont in 1854, came to Providence 
county in 1866, was married in 1888, and has one child. He is a fore- 
man in the employ of the P. & S. railroad. 

Almira S. Mowry, widow of John A. Mowry, was married in 1839 
and has two children living: Adelaide R., born in 1841, and Phebe A., 
born in 1850. 



222 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Alonzo Percy Mowry, member of the upper house of the state 
legislature, was born December 20th, 1843. He is a son of George W. 
and Hannah Mowry, she being a daughter of Daniel and Diana 
Aldrich. Mr. Mowry received his education in the common school, 
supplementing his work there with a course of studies in some of the 
best private schools and academies of the county. He attended the 
Greenville Academy, the Jencks Mowry school in Providence, and 
the Lapham Institute, North Scituate. When 22 years of age Mr. 
Mowry became a clerk in a shoe store for his brother-in-law, W. K. 
Atwood, in Providence, and subsequently established himself in that 
same line of business on Main street of that city. He traded there 
and afterward in Olneyville seven or eight years, and then moved on 
the old homestead, where he still resides. The place is one of the old 
landmarks of the county. The farm consists of 200 acres of land 
pleasantly situated and valuable for farming purposes. The house 
was formerly used for a hotel and was once owned by Thomas Paine, 
who kept tavern there a number of years, it being on the old Powder- 
mill turnpike road, where there was much travel until diverted by 
the introduction of railroads. 

Mr. Mowry is a very retiring man, caring little for public notoriety, 
yet the people of his town, when seeking the right man, selected him 
for state senator in 1882, and successively nominated and elected him 
to that office every subsequent year to the present time. He is a 
stockholder and director in the Smithfield National Exchange Bank, 
and trustee in the Baptist church of Greenville, of which he has been 
a member since 187(1. 

In 1869 he was married to Minnie, daughter of Ezekiel and Betsey 
C. Gavitt, then of East Providence. Two children, Mattie A. and 
Bessie M., have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Mowry. 

Harley Mowry was born in 1824 in the town of Smithfield, and 
December 8th, 1851, was married to Lydia W. Brown. They have one 
son, Harley. Mr. Mowry is a descendant of David Mowry. 

Jabez W. Mowry, named for his uncle, Jabez W. Mowry, was born 
July 29th, 1824, and married Susan Mowry. They have two children 
living: Arabella F., and Abraham L., who is postmaster at Smithfield. 
They lost one son, Roger W. Mr. Jabez W. Mowry has represented 
his town 17 years in the legislature. 

Sidney H. Mowry was born in 1848, and was married to Bertha D., 
daughter of James Pratt, in 1808. They have four children: Edna E., 
born in 1870; Mabel S., born in 1872; Leland B., born in 1875; and 
Sara A., born in 1882. 

J. B. Newell was born in Somerset count3^ Maine, in 1885, came to 
this county in 1877, and settled in Georgiaville, where he has charge 
•of the weaving department of the Bernon Mills. He was first married 
to Mary E. Roberts, who was born in the town of Peru, Oxford county, 
Maine, in 1839, and died twelve years later in Lewiston, Androscoggin 





V 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 223 

county, Maine. They had one son, Elmer J., born in Lewiston, m 
1864. Mr. Newell was married to Martha E. Loomis, of Smithfield, in 
1878, and they have one daughter, Eva G., born in 1880. 

Thurston Phetteplace, one of the first residents of Spragueville, 
still resides in that place, and was born there in 1816. He married 
Hannah F. Phetteplace in 1843. 

Charles A. Phillips is a son of Smith Phillips. He was married in 
1883 to Ada Fowler, of Providence. They have two children: 
Charles H. and Jennie M. Mr. Phillips is a prominent farmer near 
Greenville. 

Henry E. Polk, born in 1832 in Smithfield, R. I., is a son of Edward, 
Jr., and grandson of Edward, who came to this country with the British 
army in the days of the revolution, and settled in Smithfield. Edward, 
Jr., m.arried Hannah Smith Slack, daughter of Joseph and Marcy 
(Waterman) Slack. They had five daughters and three sons, Henry 
E. being the youngest son. He is a bachelor. 

Daniel Smith was born in 1832, and married Sabra J. Baker in 
1883. They have one daughter. Mr. Smith is a large land owner in 
Smithfield, and is considered a successful business man. 

Henry Esek Smith, president of the National Exchange Bank, 
Greenville, was born in the town of Smithfield, February 27th, 1829. 
He is the son of Elisha and Melissa Smith, and a descendant of Elisha 
Smith, Sr., who settled at Smith's Mills, now John Applebey's place, 
near what is now known as Stillwater, in the town of Smithfield, in an 
early day. Elisha Smith, Sr., had two sons, Elisha and John. Junia 
was the son of John, and the father of Elisha, who was the father of 
the subject of this sketch. Elisha Smith, the father of Henry E., and 
Melissa Smith were united in marriage on the first day of January, 
1825. He was a man of force and character, and represented his town 
in various capacities as a public official. He was a member of the 
town council for a number of years, a representative in the general 
assembly for a long time, and was director and president of the 
National Exchange Bank, Greenville, for many years also. On his 
mother's side, Henry E. Smith is a descendant of John and Alice 
Smith, who came from England with Roger Williams, the lineage 
being as follows: John', John', William', Daniel', Emor', Esek' and :Slel- 
issa', who was the mother of our subject. John' was the town clerk of 
Providence for many years, and its representative in the general 
assembly from 1712 to 1729. In 1730 he was one of the commissioners 
appointed to build the county court house and jail. William Smith' 
was also a very prominent man. He located in Smithfield in 1713, on 
a thousand acres of land, probably building the old house on the site 
now occupied by the residence of Henry E. Smith. He married Mary 
Sayles, a descendant of Roger Williams, and his son Daniel married 



4' 



224 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Susannah Winsor, another descendant of Roger Williams. Emor, 
son of Daniel, married Sarah Smith, and his son Esek married Desire 
Eddy, whose daughter, Melissa, became the mother of Henry E. 
Smith. 

The subject of this sketch was raised a farmer, and he has devoted 
nearly the whole of his life to agricultural pursuits. He received a 
common district school education, and in addition to this attended the 
Fruit Hill Classical Institute a few terms, supplementing the work 
there with a course of study at East Greenwich, leaving that institution 
of learning with a fair education, in his 17th year. Work was then 
taken up on the farm till 1853, when he bought the store at Enfield 
and ran that till 1856. In 1856 he again renewed his connection with 
the farm, directing his attention principally to the raising and im- 
proving of the finer breeds of stock. In 1857 he erected his barn, and 
since then he has been identified with New England and the country 
generally as a stock raiser. He became a member of the Rhode Island 
Society for the Encouragement of Domestic Industry in 1858, and has 
filled many and important positions; as a member of the standing 
committee; and was for a number of years vice-president of the society. 
During these years he has made frequent exhibits, and has never failed 
to carry off some first premiums. He has been improving largely 
upon the x'Vyrshire breed, and his barn at the present time contains 35 
head of' Ayrshire and Jersey milch cows of his own breeding. For 
the past 35 years Mr. Smith has been supplying milk to the people of 
Providence. In 1887 he was elected treasurer of the Ayrshire Breeders' 
Association for the United States and Canada. Mr. Smith cares little 
for political offices, though he has served his town frequently as a mem- 
ber of the town council; he has refused to run for the general assembly. 
He has been president of the National Exchange Bank at Greenville 
for the past ten or a dozen years, and is president of the parish organi- 
zation of the Universalist church at Georgiaville. December 16th, 
1862, he was married to Miss Mercy J. Steere, daughter of William P. 
and Mary Ann Steere. They have four children: Frederick Elisha, 
born December 18th, 1863; Helen Parker, born June 1st, 1867; Annie 
Melissa, born April 29th, 1877, and Alice Mercy, born July 16th, 
1882. 

William P. Steere was a man of considerable force and character. 
He was in lineal descent a great-grandson of Thomas Steere', as fol- 
lows: Elisha', Stephen', William*. He always lived in the town of 
Smithfield, and was honored frequently with- positions of trust and 
great responsibility. His education was limited, owing to the circum- 
scribed opportunities of his day, although he pursued a course of 
study at Bolton, Mass., in addition to the common district school cur- 
riculum of his times. He was a brother of the well-known Reverend 





^, 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 224a 

Martin J. Steere, formerly of the Baptist but latterly of the Univer- 
salist church. He was born, lived and died on the farm near Still- 
water, where George. Sherman now resides. He was in the town 
council so often as a member, and took such a lively interest in the 
public affairs of the town that but little of moment was done in this 
part of the country, in his day, without counsel from him and his 
sanction. He Served the town long- .and ably, also, in the general 
assembly, and here again his ability as a man was brought into requi- 
sition. He was born July 4th, ISIO, and died July 6th. 1876. In Octo- 
ber, 1833, he was married to Mary Ann Parker. . She was born July 
30th, 1813, and died September 16th, 1800. They had four children, 
three of whom survive them. Mercy J., the wife of Henry E. vSmith, 
is prominently identified with the Universalist society of Georgia- 
ville. 

Henry W. Smith, son of Appleby Smith, was born in 1824, and' 
married Ann E. Farnum in 1848. They have two children: Emma, 
born in 1853, and Henry F. Smith, born in 1862. Mt. Smith is en- 
gaged in business as a butcher at Spragueville. His daughter, Emma, 
married Jerome H. Appleby, and his son, Henry F., married Jessie H. 
Tobey. 

John L. Smith is a son of Brown wSmith, and grandson of Willard 
Smith. Brown Smith was born in 1805, married Merinda Lewis in 
1829, and had eight children: Juni, born in 1830; Crawford, born in 
1831; John L., born in 1832; Elsa Ann, born in 1834; Brown, born in 
1837; Albert L., born in 1839; Sarah A., born in 1841; and Ellen F., 
born in 1843. John L. Smith is a bachelor, and lives on a farm at 
Georgiaville. 

Simon Smith is a son of Mowry Smith, who was born in 1798 in 
Glocester. Mowry Smith's father was Duty, born 1765; his father was 
Daniel, born 1723, and his father was Elisha, born 1680. They were 
all residents of Providence county. Simon is married and has three 
children: Phebe L., Nettie L. and Etta A. Mr. Simon Smith was born 
in 1828, and Mrs. Smith was born in 1830. 

John S. Sprague, born in Smithfield August 13th, 1827, is a son of 
Nathan B. and Sarah Sprague. Nathan B., born x\pril 7th, 1787, in 
Johnston, R. I., was a son of Daniel Sprague, born March 28th, 1713. 
Nathan B. had five children: Esther S., Maria, Hannah B., Daniel and 
John S. Nathan B. Sprague was the first president of the old Smith- 
field Exchange Bank of Greenville, and was a member of the general 
assembly 11 years, and speaker of the house one year. He died on 
the farm now owned by his son, John S., who married a daughter of 
George T. and Alzada Phetteplace. They have two children: Nathan 
B. and Alzada J. Mr. Sprague is engaged in farming and the dairy 
business. 



224b HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Catharine C. Steere is a sister of Stephen Steere and lives with him^ 
Their father was Elisha Steere, who was born in 1783, and their mother 
was Esther Appleby. They were married in 1815, and had six chil- 
dren: Sarah A., born in 1816; Catharine C, born in 1817; Simon S., 
born in 1820; Harriet S., born in 1823; Stephen, born in 1824; and 
Waity, born in 1825. Stephen Steere married Mary E. Arnold, and 
they have had one son, Elisha A., born in 1854. Elisha A. married 
Phebe O. Mathewson in 1879, and has three children: Mary M., Ruth 
E. and Charles A, 

vStafford G. Stra-ight, born in Kent county, R. I., in 1838, is a son 
of Palmer and grandson of Daniel, whose father, Nathan, was a son of 
Henry, who emigrated from Ireland about the year 1690. Stafford 
G. was married to Amanda Green in 1860. They have had seven 
children: Ida A., Mary L., Daniel P., William L., Mehaley P., Eva A. 
and Lilla A. 

Ira B. Sweet, born in 1848, is a son of Loring B. Sweet, and grand- 
son of Brown Sweet, all born in Smithfield. Loring B. was born in 
1829, and married Lucy M. Manchester, of Providence, R. I. They had 
four sons: Ira B., born 1848; Edward E., born 1860; Philip M., born 
1854; and Loring B., born 1856. Ira B. Sweet married Almira T. 
Sweet in 1869. They have had two children: Clara M., born in 
1871, and Carlton B., born in 1880. Mr. Sweet has held the posi- 
tion of postmaster at Enfield since the office was established in 1882, 
and is also engaged in the general merchandise business in that 
place. 

Charles Tucker, son of Jackson and Freelove Tucker, was born m 
1847, and married Ellen C. Jones in 1875. They have two children: 
Cora E., born 1877, and George E., born 1883. 

Thomas Tucker is a son of Jackson and Freelove Tucker, who had 
ten children. ]\Iary E. was born in 1839, Thomas in 1842. William A. 
in 1845, Charles in 1847, Daniel in 1854, and James in 1856. Thomas 
is a bachelor, and lives on the old homestead, near Greenville in the 
town of Smithfield. 

Edmund C. Walling was born vSeptember 18th, 1851, and was mar- 
ried in 1872 to Harriet V. Angell. They have two children: Cora A., 
born July 22d, 1875, and Herbert E., born June 23d, 1878. The father 
of Edmund Walling, Reuben, was born July 23d, 1821; his father, Clark 
Walling, was born in 1803, and his father was Ishmael. They were 
all born in Providence county. 

John E. Whipple is a descendant of Captain John Whipple, who 
was born in England in 1617, and came to Massachusetts in 1630. He 
was married to Sarah, at Dorchester, about 1640, and moved to Provi- 
dence county in 1658. .Mr. John E. Whipple was born in Smithfield 
in 1842, in the house where he now lives. His father's name was 



. HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 225 

Ephraim Whipple, and his mother was Susan Farnum. John E. 
married in 1865, Anna M., daughter of Reuben Arnold. They have 
three sons: John H., William A., and George F. Mr. John E. Whip- 
ple is a prominent republican, and has held several town offices. 

Ezra Whitford, born in 1815, is the son of Joshua, born in 1781. 
Ezra Whitford has lived on the farm he now owns 44 years. He has 
followed blacksmithing and farming all his life. He was married in 
1841 to Lydia, daughter of Ephraim Young. They have two children: 
Dorcas Ann, born 1842, and Amey Josephine, born 1851. Mr. Ezra 
Whitford has a collection of Indian relics he picked up near his farm 
in Smithfield. 

Edwin P. Williams, born in Providence count5^ in 1883, is a son of 
Cyrus Williams, born in 1795. He married, in 1850, Nancy, daughter 
of Thomas vSmith. They have five children: Hannah L., Doxy A., 
Andrew J., Nellie T. and Nannie. Mr. Williams served in the war of 
the rebellion. 

Nicholas Steere Winsor, deceased, father of Josephine E. Winsor 
of Greenville, belonged to one of the oldest families in the state. He 
was a descendant of Joshua Winsor, who came to America either as 
one of Roger Williams' first party or the second, as supposed by 
some. He located at Providence, making a purchase of the Indians 
there in the wilderness about the year 1638, being one of 20 who paid 
the ;^30, the amount of the first purchase of Providence, with Roger 
Williams as the first purchaser. He built his first dwelling house on 
the site of that now occupied by the late Arnold Brown. Samuel 
Winsor, son of Joshiia, married Mere}'' Waterman, widow of Resolved 
Waterman of Warwick, and youngest daughter of Roger Williams. 
He was the first to settle in the town of Smithfield. He was born in 
1644, and died September 19th, 1705. William Winsor, grandfather 
of Nicholas, married Abigail, daughter of Daniel and Lydia Whipple, 
and their son, Duty, was the father of the subject of this sketch. Duty 
Winsor married Abigail, daughter of Jonah Steere of Glocester, R. I., 
a revolutionary soldier. 

Nicholas Steere Winsor was born October 10th, 1797. He was a 
native of the town of Smithfield, and died there February 15th, 1885. 
In common with most farmers' sons, he received as good an education 
as the country district schools afforded, after which he attended the 
Leicester Academy in Massachusetts. Following this he taught 
school, and was at one time principal of the popular academy at 
Greenville. At the age of 25 he became associated with the Green- 
ville Bank, and was its cashier thereafter for a period of 23 years, 
from 1822 to 1845. He was also a director in the bank, and one of its 
stockholders from the time of its organization. He was postmaster 
of the village for 15 years. In 1845 he went to New York and be- 
came bookkeeper and corresponding clerk in the banking office of his 
brother-in-law, Amasa S. Foster, and remained there 15 years. At 
15 



226 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

the expiration of that time he removed to Elmira, N. Y., and re- 
mained there 20 years, from 1861 to 1881, in charge of his father-in- 
law's farm; then he returned to Greenville to pass the few remaining 
years of his life in the quietude of his old home. 

Mr. Winsor was a republican in politics but no politician, and 
cared nothing for political preferment. In 1820, under Governor 
Nehemiah Knight, he was appointed adjutant of the Sixth Regiment 
of the Second Rhode Island Brigade, and held that position still 
when ordered out in the Dorr War. He was a prominent member 
of the Masonic fraternity, but he cared more for the inner circle of 
his own domestic hearth than all these, and was generally found pass- 
ing his evenings quietly at home. 

He married Elizabeth, daughter of William Foster, of Smithfield, 
R. I., November 13th, 1831. She was born December 19th, 1806, and 
died in February, 1842, 43 years before her husband died. Miss 
Josephine Winsor, the only one of the family surviving, was born 
April 17th, 1837. 

William Winsor, son of Asa and Elizabeth (Foster) Winsor, and 
for 45 years cashier of the National Exchange Bank, was born at 
Greenville, R. I., November 12th, 1819. His father died in Septem- 
ber, 1870, aged 82 years. He was the son of Duty and a descendant 
of Joshua Winsor, one of the early purchasers of Providence from the 
Indians with Roger Williams, as before mentioned. The old home- 
stead now occupied by William Winsor was probably erected by the 
father of Duty Winsor. Asa and Elizabeth Winsor had six children: 
Elizabeth, Emily, William, Ethelbert, John and Richmond. 

William Winsor was raised a farmer's boy, receiving his educa- 
tion at the common district school, and at the Smithfield Seminary, 
in 1841-2, after which he taught school one or two terms. In March, 
1845, he entered the Smithfield Exchange Bank, becoming its cashier 
in July of that year as the successor of his uncle, who had held the 
position from 1822 to that time. He has also been treasurer of the 
Smithfield Savings Bank since its organization in 1872. He has been 
for many years the treasurer of the town of Smithfield. Under Mr. 
Winsor's term of official life, the National Exchange Bank has en- 
joyed unprecedented prosperity. The increase in its capital stock 
and the dividends are found to be as great as in other institutions 
similarly circumstanced. 

Mr. Winsor has been for many years a member of the First Free 
Baptist church of Smithfield, having been under the ministerial labors 
of the Reverend Richard Woodward converted to God April 4th, 1858. 
He is an earnest supporter of all gospel institutions, has been trustee 
of his church since 1872, and was a delegate to the general conference 
in 1874. He has always been a liberal man with his means, when 
necessity called. His interest was manifested in the cause of educa- 
tion in purchasing the buildings of the Lapham Institute, and gener- 





W<n<£-^r?^^ 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 227 

ously supporting the institution himself for some time. He has also 
been generous in his gifts to Bates College and to Storer College. 

Mr. Winsor married, April 11th, 1844, Harriet, daughter of Elisha 
and Esther Steere, of Smithfield. Her father was a Quaker and a 
descendant of one of the oldest families in New England. By this 
marriage Mr. Winsor has one son, Nicholas, born May 15th, 1866. 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE TOWN OF CUMBERLAND. 

Description, — Connection With Rehoboth. — Early Town Action. — Town Officers. — 
William Blackstone. — Other Early Settlers. — Transportation. — The Blackstone River. 
— Bridge. — Mills and Manufactories. — Mines and Quarries. — Valley Falls. — Manville. 
— Lonsdale. — Ashton. — East Cvimberland. — Diamond Hill. — Hawkins. — Berkeley. — 
Cumberland Hill. — Education. — Churches. — Societies. — Biographical Sketches. 

CUMBERLAND was one of the five towns received from Massa- 
chusetts and incorporated January 27th, 1746-7. It became a 
part of Providence county February 17th the same year. It 
was called in earlier times Attleborough Gore. It took its present 
name from William, Duke of Cumberland. A part of the town was 
annexed to Woonsocket January 31st, 1867, and the town has since 
then been styled the mineral pocket of New England on account of 
the variety and richness of its minerals. 

The places of note are as follows: Villages. — Valley Falls (Cumber- 
land side); Lonsdale New Village; Berkeley; Ashton (Cumberland 
side); Manville (Cumberland side); Arnold's Mills; Diamond Hill; 
Abbot Run; Cumberland Hill; Robin Hollow; Happy Hollow; East 
Cumberland. Brooks vnd River.— Ahhot Run (Indian name Wawe- 
poonseag); Burnt Wood Swamp; Grant; East Sneech Pond; West 
Sneech Pond; Whipple; Blackstone river. /////j-.— Cumberland; 
Beacon Pole; Granite Quarry; Copper Mine; Iron Rock. Ponds. — 
Sneech (Indian, Senetchenet, and proposed name Echo Lake); Little 
Valley Falls; Manville; Ashton; Abbot Run; Robin; Happy Hollow 
Burnt Wood Swamp; Lonsdale New Reservoir. Szvamps. — Burnt 
Nine Mens' Misery. Historic. — Nine Mens' Misery and Nine Mens'' 
Grave, with notable rocks on Amasa Whipple's farm. Catholic Oak 
at Lonsdale New Village, so named by the late Reverend James C. 
Richmond. Unity Furnace, where Manville now is, was well known 
before the revolutionary war and was removed about 1826. Diamond 
Hill Plains; Old Ballou meeting house, built about 1740, near Iron 
Rock hill; Duel Hollow; Study hill, the site of William Blackstone's 
residence from 1635 till his death 1676, and also the site of his burial. 
The population of the town at various dates since it was set off by 
itself has been as follows: 1782,1,548; 1790, 1,964; 1800,2,056; 1810, 
2,210; 1820, 2,653; 1830, 3,675; 1840, 5,225; 1850, 6,661; 1860, 8,339; 
1865, 8,216; 1870, 3,882; 1875, 5,673; 1880, 6,445; 1885, 7,163. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 229 

The town of Cumberland is situated in the northeast corner of the 
state. It is bounded on the north and east by Massachusetts, on the 
west by Woonsocket and the Blackstone river, which separates it from 
Lincoln, and on the south by the same river. It is irregular in shape, 
resembling a gore. The town has excellent roads and a special 
appropriation is made annually for the purpose of improving the 
highways. Two beautiful structures span the Blackstone, one at 
Manville, the other at Valley Falls. In all there are 12 bridges in the 
town. 

The early history of this town is intimately connected with that of 
Rehoboth, Mass. About the year 1641 a company was formed at Wey- 
mouth, Mass., consisting of the Reverend Samuel Newman and a part 
of his congregation. They purchased a tract of land of Massasoit and 
three or four years afterward removed to this new purchase, which, at 
the time, was called Secuncke. Here around the Great plain (Seekonk 
plain) they erected their dwellings, with their meeting house in the 
center, and named their settlement Rehoboth. Here the first settlers 
pitched their tents on a tract which was afterward found to be a barren 
spot, owing to the fact that the Indians had nearly exhausted the fer- 
tility of the soil. Having need of more fertile fields on which to pas- 
ture their cattle and plant their corn, the town employed Captain 
Thomas Willett to make a new purchase from the natives. This was 
consummated in 1661, and Wamsutta, the son of Massasoit and 
brother of King Philip, yielded the large territory which was after- 
ward known as the " Rehoboth North Purchase," and which, in 1694, 
was incorporated into a township and named Attleborough. 

That portion of this territory which afterward became Cumberland 
was for many years in controversy between Rhode Island and Massa- 
chusetts. To the ignorance and carelessness of English sovereigns 
these troubles were mainly due. Probably supposing that the Narra- 
gansett (Blackstone) river flowed due south, they bounded Plymouth 
colony on the west by the river and Rhode Island on the east by a line 
extending due north from Pawtucket Falls to the southern line of 
Massachusetts. They defined the southern line of Massachusetts to 
be a line from a point three miles south of the southernmost waters 
of the Charles river. 

As might have been anticipated, this carelessness resulted in Mas- 
sachusetts claiming her southern line to be nearly as far south as 
where the village of Manville now is, and in Rhode Island claiming 
her northern line to be even farther north than where it is established. 
The locality, therefore, became famous as disputed territory, and was 
known as the Attleborough Gore. As the inhabitants of the Gore 
were more in sympathy with their neighbors of Rhode Island, the 
officers from Massachusetts were frequently sent away with empty 
hands, and sometimes with sore heads. At the annual Rhode Island 
elections officers were appointed for the territory, which tended to 



230 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

increase the strife, and conveyances of real estate thereon were placed 
upon the records of both Rhode Island and Massachusetts, containing 
the clause: the " Gore of land in controversy between Massachusetts 
Bay and Rhode Island." The northern line of the Rehoboth North 
Purchase has never been definitely settled. The point "three miles 
south from the southernmost waters of the Charles River " could 
never be satisfactorily found. Petitions were frequent and numerous, 
signed by the inhabitants of the Gore, praying to be set off to Rhode 
Island. In 1729 Attleborough herself prayed to become a member of 
our little colony. At last, in 1746, by a decision of George II., in 
council, the Gore was detached from Attleborough, annexed to the 
county of Providence, and named in honor of William, Duke of 
Cumberland. 

The first election of officers for the new town of Cumberland was 
made February 10th, 1746-7, the inhabitants of Woonsocket living 
east of the river participating in its annual elections till they began 
housekeeping for themselves January 31st, 1867. 

The town of Cumberland passed through a period of agricultural 
development after the war of the revolution until, in the course of 
time, the water power of the Blackstone river was devoted to textile 
industries, when the northern portion of it, now known as Woon- 
socket, received an impetus which enabled it to absorb and control 
the political power of the town. But the element of growth for this 
town has been the water power of the Blackstone and its affluents, 
and this growth has been co-extensive with that of Lincoln. These 
towns being so homogeneous, attempts have been made repeatedly ta 
have them, or portions of them, consolidated, but as yet no such 
results have been attained. 

The first officers of the town of Cumberland were: Job Bartlett, 
moderator and town clerk; Job Bartlett, Joseph Brown, David 
Whipple, Jacob Bartlett, Jr., Nathaniel Ballou and William Walcott, 
council; James Bartlett, town treasurer; John Grant and Nathaniel 
Cook, constables; David Jenks and Richard Darling, overseers of the 
poor; Nathaniel vSissons and Jeremiah Whipple, fence viewers; Job 
Bartlett, Israel Whipple and Samuel Peck, deputies; Jeremiah Wilk- 
inson, Ichabod Peck and Solomon Aldrich, surveyors of highways. It 
was voted that the next town meeting be at the house of Joseph 
Brown. 

A List of Town Officers {17Jf,6-18S9).— Tozvn Clerks: Job Bartlett, 1746; 
Daniel Peck, 1748; John Dexter, 1751; David Dexter, 1766; John Dex- 
ter, 1768; John Singer Dexter, 1785; Jonathan Carpenter, 1791; John 
Rogers, 1799; Stephen Joslin, 1804; Pardon Sayles, 1830; Lewis B. 
Arnold, 1842; Pardon Sayles, 1854; William G. Arnold, 1855; F. G. Jill- 
son, 1865; Horace A. Potter, 1865 to 1887; Patrick F. Kinion, to 1888; 
John F. Clark, to 1889; Patrick F. Kinion, 1889. Tozvn Treasurers: 
Samuel Bartlett, 1746; Uriah Jillson, 1755; Abner Lapham, 1764; Isaac 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 231 

Kelley, 1769; Abiel Brown. 1770; Philip Capron, 1775; Nathan Staples, 
1778; Abner Lapham, 1783; Elijah Brown, 1788; Colonel Simon 
Whipple, 1790; Elijah Brown, 1794; John Rogers, 1798; Stephen Joslin, 
1799; Isaac Raze, 1804; Ariel Cook, 1814; Isaac Raze, 1815; Ariel Cook, 
1816; Isaac Raze, 1818; Arnold W. Jenckes, 1821; Barton Cook, 183^; 
G. O. Thompson, 1842; William Whipple, 1852; George Cook, 1855 to 
1885; John F. Clark, to 1887; Conrad Cook, to 1888; Charles O. Flagg, 
to 1889; Cyrus Taft, 1889. Presidents of the Couneil: Job Bartlett, 1746; 
Joseph Brown, 1747; Job Bartlett, 1748; Jeremiah Whipple, 1754; 
Nathaniel Robinson, 1764; Jeremiah Whipple, 1767; Daniel Wilkin- 
son, 1770; James Dexter, 1771; John Lapham, 1779; Levi Balloii, 1789; 
John Lapham, 1790; Levi Bartlett, 1810; Davis Cook, 1816; Levi Bart- 
lett, 1818; William Whipple, 1819; Jabez Armsbury, 1821; Levi Cooke, 
1823; Levi Ballou, 1824; Job Jenckes, 1828; Levi Ballou, 1829; Davis 
Cook, 1835; Joseph A. Scott, 1839; Davis Cook, 1840; Joseph A. Scott, 
1842; Olney Ballou, 1846; Abner Haskill, 1849; Lyman Burlingame, 
1852; Fenner Brown, 1854; W. H. Whiting, 1855; Davis Cook, 1856; 
Turner Haskell, 1861; W. E. Hubbard, 1862; Nathaniel Elliott, 1863; 
James M. Cook, 1864; J. B. Aldrich, 1865; James C. Molten, 1866. After 
the division of the town frequent changes were made in this office, 
Andrew J. Currier probably holding the position a longer time than 
any of the others. 

At the first meeting of the town council it was decided to give 
Daniel Peck a license to keep a tavern for one year. Benjamin Tower 
was given a license for a similar purpose. These applicants for 
licenses were required to pay 40 shillings for the privilege granted. 
The attention of the town council for the first few years was directed 
toward public highways. There are now 22 highway districts in the 
town, and sufficient labor and money are expended annually to keep 
them in the best of repair. 

Cumberland was undoubtedly the first of the towns now in Rhode 
Island where a permanent settlement was made by English white 
men. The particular locality was at Study hill, where William Black- 
stone erected his mansion which he named vStudy Hall. Just when 
he came is unknown, but it was between the years 1634 and 1636. 
For 30 years Blackstone with his family and dependents lived alone 
and in amicable relations with the Indians, his only intercourse with 
white men consisting in occasional trips to Providence or Rehoboth 
and more rare visits to some one of his few friends in Boston. Owing 
to the importance of this character we append some account of the 
events of his life. 

Mr. William Blaxton or Blackstone, sometime a student of Eman- 
uel College, Cambridge, took his bachelor's degree at the Univer- 
sity in 1617, and his master's degree in 1621. When less than 30 
years old he came to America with his friends Maverick and 
Walford, accompanying Robert Gorges in the expedition which 
left Plymouth, England, in the midsummer of 1623. This expedi- 



232 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

tion represented the whole power and dignity of the council of 
New England. In 1624 Blackstone built himself a cottage on the 
peninsula of Shawmut, on the south side of the Charles river, 
called Blackstone Point. He was hated because he was alleged to be 
trying to bring the established church to the new country. He was 
charged with various crimes, his house burned by order of the court, 
and he suffered numberless indignities. In 1838 Maverick, becoming 
discouraged, went back to England. Thomas Walford was settled at 
Wishawamet, now Charlestown. About 1630, a most important event 
for Blackstone happened in the arrival of Governor Winthrop, with 
12 vessels at Salem. The Puritans at that time were divided into 
large classes. In the class of Pilgrim fathers were those who had fled 
from England to Holland, whence they came to the colony. They 
were most bitter against having the Episcopal church brought to the 
new country. The other class were like Blackstone, favorable to the 
church and the Book of Common Prayer. 

To this class Governor Winthrop and his followers joined them- 
selves. In October, 1630, Blackstone was made a freeman, the only 
objection to him being that he wore a canonical coat, as a clergyman 
of the Episcopal church. He was on the best terms with the Indians, 
but after a few years of religious intolerance he was compelled to sell 
his property and move to a new home in the wilderness. In 1634 he 
sold his property and with the proceeds bought a herd of cows and 
went to the south. He resided at Boston about ten years. Then he 
took up his journey southward, taking his beloved books with him 
and driving his herd before him. On he went until he came to what 
is now Lonsdale, where he settled permanently on a place he called 
Study hill. The cottage was placed near the foot of the hill overlook- 
ing the river. Higher up the hill he made a well and planted the 
whole hill over with a famous orchard, which bore the first apples in 
Rhode Island. They were of the kind called Yellow Sweetings. 
Then came Roger Williams and settled Providence. Blackstone 
would at the request of Williams come to Providence and preach. 
His library contained about 200 volumes and six paper covered books, 
and was at that time probably the largest library on the continent. 
It was destroyed by fire with his house in King Philip's war, which 
came after his death. 

In time there gathered around Blackstone a little community to 
hear the words of common prayer and be instructed out of the scrip- 
tures. On July 4th, 1659, he married Mistress Sarah Stephenson, 
Governor Endicott himself performing the ceremony. By her he had 
one son, John. After his marriage he continued to live the life of a 
student till he died. May 26th, 1675. In Blackstone there was the 
highest type of character. He had that perfect combination of gentle- 
ness and bravery which most becomes a Christian man. Blackstone's 
grave was opened May 6th, 1886. The Lonsdale Mills occupy the 
land where he lived so long ago. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 233 

In the contest with Philip's men above referred to, 11 men only, 
out of 69, survived. This, the greatest battle of the war against King 
Philip, was fought in Lincoln, two miles south of Blackstone's former 
home. Of the men above referred to, nine were taken captive by the 
Indians and led to the " Nine Mens' Misery," one mile north of Study 
hill, and there tomahawked. Their lifeless remains were a few days 
afterward found by a searching party of whites and interred upon a 
little knoll north of the " Nine Mens' Misery " rock, and the spot is 
now marked by a rude mound of loose stones. After the war the 
members of the Blackstone family returned with other families and 
settled upon the tract of land known as Attleboro Gore. 

The Ballous settled in the northern portion of the town, adjoining 
Woonsocket. To the south of them a family by the name of Cook 
settled. Around Diamond Hill the Whipples first settled, and their 
descendants are found in this vicinity at the present time. To the 
south of them settled the Rogers, while to the east the Tingleys 
made a settlement. The Metcalfs took up a tract of land lying south 
of the village of East Cumberland. The Wilkinsons and Pecks took 
up a section of land and made permanent settlement also in the town. 
Jeremiah Wilkinson was born July 6th, 1741, and early developed a 
great inventive genuis. He was a worker in iron, silver and gold. 
He made the first silver spoons used in this vicinity. At an early age 
he made hand cards and invented a machine for bending wire and 
cutting it at the same time. He made cards for carding cotton and 
wool and also for carding horses and cattle. He afterward invented 
a machine for punching holes in leather, into which the wires were 
fastened. He also invented a machine for stretching the wire or 
•drawing it, which was the first machine of the kind attempted in 
America. His invention of cold cut nails is of world wide fame. In 
April, 1776, he made tacks with a machine of his own invention. He 
invented a machine to grind stalks, and the pomace was pressed in a 
common cider mill. He made needles and pins, and sold darning 
needles during the revolutionary war for one dollar each. 

The property, which eventually came into possessien of the Ar- 
nold family, east of the river in the northern part of the town, com- 
prises that territory which is an offspring of old Cumberland, and 
was subsequently held under the Mendon instead of the Rehoboth 
proprietary. May 19th, 1669, the general court of Boston granted 200 
acres of land here to Samuel Chapin, of Springfield, for services ren- 
dered, but as he never came here to reside, in 1716 the court granted 
in lieu thereof 200 acres to his son. But on November 15th, 1710, 
Captain Seth Chapin sold about 40 acres of the former grant to John 
Arnold. May 20th, 1711, 25 acres were laid out by the Mendon pro- 
prietors to James Bick. Lands were about this time also laid out to 
Jonathan Sprague and Thomas Sanford. Bick's homestead was a lit- 
tle above Ballou's Bridge. Sprague lived near the mill of the Harris 



234 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUxNTY. 

Woolen Company, at Mill River. William Arnold, the son of John, 
purchased the whole of the Bick and Sanford estates, and a portion of 
Sprague's. In 1719, and again in 1749 lands were laid out to Eben- 
ezer Cook. The greater part of the lands owned by Cook, Royce, 
Sewell, Chace and others eventually became the property of the Al- 
drich family. 

The Dexter family also settled in this town. They were all de- 
scendants of Reverend Gregory Dexter, the transatlantic correspon- 
dent of Roger Williams, and elsewhere mentioned. James Dexter, 
his descendant, was the first to settle in this town. His wife was 
Sarah Messenger. She died about 1860, aged 99 years. James C. 
Dexter, the great grandson, now owns the estate. He is the son of 
Timothy W. Dexter. The descent is as follows: Gregory, John, 
James, James,' Timothy W., James C. Mrs. Sarah Ann Kinsman is a 
granddaughter of James." 

The Ballou family formed what was known for a century as the 
Ballou neighborhood, and the old Ballou church, still in existence, 
was built about 1740, just north of the Iron Mountain, and is in about 
the same condition as when the first settlers gathered there in the 
service of their Creator. The building, with its heavy narrow gal- 
leries, is an interesting object for the visitor of the present day. 
From the Ballou family sprang the mother of the late lamented Presi- 
dent Garfield. 

Fenner Brown was a prominent man in this part of the town. He 
was a seafaring man in his younger days, but settled down at Cum- 
berland Hill, where he became a prominent citizen of the county. 
He was president of the town council and a member of the general 
assembly many years, was nominated for congress, and was once a 
candidate for lieutenant governor, but he belonged to the weaker 
party and was defeated. 

In the days before railroads, stages, chaises and horse-blocks were 
the things talked about instead of depots, express and accommodation 
trains as now. But both the horses and chaises could be enjoyed but 
by the favored few. It is said of the celebrated " Squire " White, the 
eminent lawyer of Woonsocket, known not only for his abilities as a 
lawyer, and his faithful services in the Dorr war, but also as a pedes- 
trian, that he would seldom wait for stage coaches, but with law books 
and briefs under his arm would hasten on foot to Providence and 
beat the coaches every time. 

About the year 1815 Abner Cooper, an enterprising man, started 
a public conveyance from Providence to Worcester, via Woonsocket. 
It was a one horse vehicle, and made weekly trips between these 
two places. About 1820 two coaches were put on, one going down 
the left bank of the river and the other down the right bank, 
i.e., by the Cumberland and Smithfield routes. On the Cumberland 
route the driver went as far as Coverdale place, and another driver 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. '235' 

continued from this point to Providence. Wheeler being the name of 
the former driver, and Aaron White the latter. In 1826 the drivers 
went through from Worcester to Providence. Their names were: John 
Prouty, 1826; Hall Bartlett, 1881; Beriah Curtis, 1838; Samuel Lawton, 
1887; Aaron White, 1889, who drove till the stages were taken off. 

When the Boston and Providence coaches lost their occupation by 
the introduction of railroad facilities, the proprietors thereof put on a 
daily line from Woonsocket to Providence and ran down the Cum- 
berland side of the river. In 1840 Henry Morris was discharged by 
the company and started an opposition line down the Smithfield side, 
which ran for two years, making at this time three lines, viz., the 
Morris line, the Cumberland line and the Smithfield line. The 
drivers on the Cumberland line were: Israel Wheeler, 1840; David 
Briggs, 1842; John Hunting, 1844; Governor Tourtellot, 1845; Charles 
Brown, 1846. The fare from Woonsocket to Providence was at first 
75 cents. It was afterward reduced to 50 cents, and at one time was- 
but 25 cents. 

About 1882 the people began to realize that the splendid coaches 
so loudly boasted of did not always come up to time, and railroad 
projects were talked of. In 1843 the Providence Journal estimated the 
cost of a railroad between Providence and Woonsocket would be not 
over $1,000,000. There was some objection at this time to the iron 
horse, because he would not eat the hay and grain the 200 horses did; 
then what would become of these valuable products of the farm ? 
However, after due consideration the charter for the road was granted 
at the May session of 1844, and on August 9th, 1847, the locomotive 
engine " Lonsdale " arrived at Providence. In the following month 
the transportation of freight began. The road was formally opened 
October 25th, 1847. In 1878 the branch road from Valley Falls 
through the town was opened. The accommodations afforded by 
these railways proved a great blessing to the people of Cumberland. 

Although the Blackstone river is the dividing line between the 
towns of Lincoln and Cumberland, for various reasons we will note 
the history of it here. This stream, which has pursued its crooked 
way for so many ages, has been called the vSeekonk, the Narragansett, 
the Patucket, the Neetpiock, the Nipmuck, the Great, and, finally, the 
Blackstone. In ancient times it was called the Blackstone in honor 
of William Blackstone, but not until the beginning of the present 
century did this name come into general use. Before the construction 
of dams upon this river salmon were very plenty, so much so that 
they formed the chief article in the farmers' bill of fare. In earlier 
times this river had to be crossed by the first settlers of Providence 
emigrating from the Plymouth and Massachusetts colonies. Before 
the time of bridges they had what were known as wading places. The 
first of these was at a point called "Ware," now Central Falls. The 
second was at Blackstone's " Wading place," now Lonsdale; the third 



236 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

was at Pray's, now Ashton; the fourth was at vSenetchonet island, 
now Manville, and the fifth was at Woonsocket. 

The town now has twelve bridges. -The most important are those 
over the Blackstone connecting Cumberland with Lincoln. Of the 
principal ones early built, the first was at the Falls. It was constructed 
in 1736. Toward its erection the legislature appropriated i^l28 and 
an additional sum was raised by subscription. The second bridge 
was raised in 1762, the funds being supplied by a lottery authorized 
by the general assembly. The third bridge was built in 1787, the 
legislature legalizing a lottery for the purpose, by which ^900 was 
raised. The bridge of 1762 was above the grist mill of John Arnold, 
and the one built in 1787 was below it. In 1825 Dexter Ballon and 
David Wilkinson erected a stone arch bridge from the Smithfield 
shore to the island, and in 1833 Aaron Rathbun and Cephas Holbrook 
replaced the middle bridge with a stone arch bridge. In 1861 this 
was replaced by another stone arch bridge. In 1843 Mr. Eugene Mar- 
tin constructed a stone arch bridge from the Cumberland shore to the 
eastern end of the middle arch bridge. This, also, has been replaced. 

Among the early sites of manufacturing in this town was what is 
called Robin Hollow, on the Abbot Run river. The first manufactur- 
ing done here was in the time of Charles II., when a royal license was 
obtained to manufacture tar. At this time there was a dense forest 
of pine in this locality and great quantities of pitch were easily 
obtained for the manufacture of this product. The establishment was 
continued for many years. 

In 1797 Elisha Waterman purchased one-third of the property at 
Robin Hollow, and on the next day Benjamin S. Walcott p'urchased 
the remaining two-thirds. On this land was a two story building used 
as a dwelling house and fulling mill, erected by Samuel Chase. This 
was afterward converted into a mill for sawing marble. Near this 
property was a building where guns were bored, and a blacksmith 
shop. Farther down the stream was a furnace for casting cannon. 
By exchange and purchase Waterman and Walcott became equal 
owners in 1798. They erected a new mill at the easterly end of the 
•dam and engaged in spinning yarn. The cotton was picked by hand, 
then spun and put out to weave. Boys used to whip the cotton as it 
was taken from the bales. This mill was 40 by 60 feet, 2 stories high. 
April 16th, 1813, Bennett Whipple purchased one-fourth of Walcott's 
interest. August 16th, 1816, Walcott sold his remaining interest to 
Elisha Waterman and Knight Whipple. The latter sold May 20th, 
1821, to Palimon Walcott, who formed a partnership with Bennett 
Whipple, and they conducted the mill under the style of Whipple & 
Walcott. In 1824 they erected a new 2 story mill on the site of the 
present mill. In 1829 the firm failed, and March 15th, 1830, Elisha 
Waterman purchased the business at public auction. Squire French 
of Pawtucket bought an interest in the business, the new firm assum- 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 237 

ing the liabilities of the old. The new firm was named Squire French 
& Co., and was composed of Elisha, Richard and Elizabeth Waterman, 
Sally Thompson, Daniel S. Cook and wife and Squire French. In 1850 
the mill was burned. Amasa Whipple soon afterward gained control 
of the business, and a new mill was built, 80 by 40 feet, two stories in 
height, which was operated in the manufacture of thread. In ISoS 
David Ryder became owner of the property. In 1860 the mill was 
destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt in 1865-6, 100 by 40 feet. The mill 
was started in June, 1866, and in the following October, the Cumber- 
land Mill Company was incorporated with a capital of $75,000, George 
L. Littlefield, president, and Olney Arnold, treasurer. The company 
began operations with about 50 hands. In 1882 an addition 94 by 46 
feet, three stories high was built, and the capital stock was increased 
to $100,000. In 1886 the dam and bulkheads were washed away by a 
freshet. In 1887 Daniel G. Littlefield became president. About 175 
operatives are employed, and the goods produced are. thread and warp 
yarns. 

In the reign of Charles II., a license was obtained to make hollow 
ware. Messrs. Hatch and Wilmouth then erected a furnace on the 
west side of Abbot Run river, about midway between Robin Hollow 
and the Abbot Run factory, and called Iron Rust. Cannon were made 
here during the revolution. Nothing has been done here for many 
years. Daniel Mowry took up the foundation walls in 1852 and worked 
the material into a mill dam at Robin Hollow. The old furnace stood 
on Hopkin's lot close to the river. On the south side of Bishop's 
brook at its junction with the Abbot Run river was situated this ancient 
manufactory. A popular name at one time was the " Fog Mill," the 
locality being peculiarly subject to fogs. 

In 1820 the Walcotts built a factory. It was 30 by 40 feet, with an 
ell 16 by 24 feet. They commenced operations with 16 power looms, 
the yarn being spun at Hawkins'. In 1832 Benjamin Crowningshield 
commenced the manufacture of cotton bats and continued till 1836. 
Nails were made here afterward, but subsequently the mills were torn 
down. 

An old foundry and smelting works were erected in 1736, about 
one half mile south of East Cumberland, upon the west side of Abbot 
Run. The ore was carted here from the ore mine a few miles west of 
this place. At that time this was by far the largest foundry in the 
place. It was run under a license from George II. Cannon were 
made here that did good service at Louisburg. After the revolution 
the business was discontinued. 

On the west side of Diamond Hill and on the northern branch of 
the west fork of Abbot Run, is located what is known as Grant's 
Mill. The Tower family had a nail factory and a saw mill which they 
operated before the revolution. The nail business was quite exten- 
sively carried on here, the iron being obtained at Taunton. The mill 



-238 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

was situated a few rods south of the present one. Joseph Brown 
owned and ran the privilege a few years. Joseph Grant built a new 
saw and grist mill about 1818. Fenner Grant purchased it in 1848. 

The Tingley Mills are upon the eastern branch of the Abbot Run 
river. Job Hathaway owned and operated a saw mill many years 
ago. The mill was torn down in 1836, and a carriage shop erected by 
W. S. White, who now owns and runs it. Mr. Hathaway also operated 
a grist mill which he erected near this place. It passed through 
various hands, coming into the possession of John Arnold, who pur- 
chased the property in 1870. 

The Peck Mill was built about a mile above Lonsdale. Levi Peck 
commenced to spin yarn here about 1810, but the water power not 
being sufficient it was abandoned after a time and a saw mill built in 
its place. The place is now owned by the Lonsdale Company. 

Happy Hollow is situated a short distance east of Valley Falls, on 
the Abbot Run river. A small cotton factory was started here in 
1818, by Crawford Titus. It was a wooden structure two stories high 
with basement, and contained about 2,000 spindles. In 1825 a square 
■brick mill was built by Harris & Titus. This firm failed in 1829. In 
1834 the property passed into the possession of the Abbot Run Com- 
pany, Crawford Allen, Milton S. Morse, Benjamin Fessenden and 
George C. Nightingale being the members of the firm. The brick 
mill was a beautiful three story structure with tower, belfry, etc. It 
was all destroyed by the freshet of 1887. The Providence water works 
'has its pumping engine at this place. 

A short distance south of Diamond Hill Jason Newell put up a saw 
mill about the year 1820. It was built on the west fork of Abbot Run. 
A fulling mill was in operation here years before and continued till 
1838, when it was destroyed by fire. Mr. Newell moved a few rods 
■down the stream and then built a new saw mill, and a small factory, 
25 by 40 feet, two stories high. Jesse Whiting leased the building 
first and used it as a machine shop. He made forge machinery and 
operated a trip hammer by water power. Allen Haskell leased the 
building, put in six looms, and commenced the manufacture of negro 
cloth. In 1828 the mill was partially destroyed by fire, but was imme- 
diately rebuilt and leased by Arnold & Sheldon, who occupied it as a 
sash and blind factory. Subsequently Tisdale & Thayer operated it 
in the manufacture of cotton bats. Alfred Peck then leased it and 
occupied it about 14 years for a boat shop. 

The saw mill at this place has been run by the Newell family since 
the year 1838, Mr. Jason Newell owning the property now. Rawson 
& Crowningshield built a factory here, 50 by 30 feet, two stories high 
with basement, in 1840, for the manufacture of yarn. It was operated 
by this firm till 1857, when Mr. Crowningshield died and it passed 
into the hands of the surviving partner. In 1882 the present company 
was organized, consisting of A. M. Cargill, president, and D. O. Car- 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 289 

gill, treasurer, and the factory was changed to a grist mill. This 
small hamlet is upon Abbot Run, about three-quarters of a mile above 
Hawkins, and on the New York & New England railroad. W. M. 
Rawson formerly kept a grocery store at this place for his factory 
help. It is now kept by H. C. Rawson. Willard B. Scott is station 
agent. 

It is generally conceded by geologists that there is no town in New 
England richer in mineral productions than Cumberland. So well 
M'as this fact established that the name bestowed upon the town was 
taken from Cumberland. England, a place which is said to contain 
more traces of the various valuable metals than any other in England. 
In an early day a soapstone mine was opened just back of Mo wry 
vStaples' house, and tons of this product were sent to Providence to be 
used as lining for furnaces. The business has been discontinued since 
the introduction of clay for the same purpose. 

The Blackstone Coal Mining Company, Valley Falls, was originally 
owned and operated by a Boston company. The digging of a well by 
Samuel Chase led to the discovery of coal in that region, but it proved 
comparatively valueless as a product for fuel and the project was aban- 
doned. About 1850 Edmund N. Clark established the present indus- 
try. The coal obtained here is composed of a large percentage of 
plumbago and carbon and makes an excellent article for foundry 
facing. The present building was erected soon after the late war. 
The coal is ground finer than flour and to what is known as 14 bolts, 
and in this shape it is shipped throughout the states. John L. Clark 
was associated with his father prior to his death. The works are now 
owned by Edmund Clark. 

The granite quarry of Diamond Hill has been worked very suc- 
cessfully. The Diamond Hill Granite Company was chartered in 
June, 1877, George F. Wilson, president, and a large amount of money 
has been expended to place the enterprise upon a permanent founda- 
tion. Francis B. Fisher is now proprietor of the quarry, and is oper- 
ating a force of about 20 men. 

A company was formed about 1838, consisting of Benjamin G. and 
Timothy W. Dexter, Elisha Waterman and Benjamin Walcott, to 
operate a coal mine. A shaft was erected about three rods from Mrs. 
Dexter's house, in her front yard, on the north side of the road. A 
second attempt was made on the south side of the road a few rods 
east of the 300 foot shaft. When about 100 feet deep Benjamin Dex- 
ter, a son of Timothy, was killed and the work abandoned. A com- 
pany from Maine took hold of the mine and commenced operations 
on the 300 foot shaft. They continued work on the mine until an- 
other life, that of Joseph Mason, was taken, and the mine was again 
abandoned, and finally the coal was found unprofitable for fuel pur- 
poses. 

General Leach, of Massachusetts, opened the celebrated gold mine 



240 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

on the land owned by Joseph Burlingame, but it proved to be iron 
pyrites. The copper mine was discovered by Mr. Tower, and a tun- 
nel 250 feet long run into the hill, while shafts more than 100 feet 
deep are found here, but it all has proven a monument of disap- 
pointed hopes. 

The celebrated iron mountain is situated about a mile and a half 
north of Cumberland Hill. The ore is quite pure, and considerable 
quantities were dug and used in foundries in years past. General 
Leach used quantities of it in his foundries in Massachusetts, and 
thought favorably of it. The ore bed is said to be the largest in New 
England. 

Lime stone is found here on Copper Mine hill. No experiment 
as yet has been made as to its commercial value. 

Valley Falls (Cumberland side) is the largest village in the town. 
It is the seat of the town house, has four churches, a number of stores, 
and has always been a center for manufacturing purposes since the 
first factory in the place was built by Crawford Titus in 1818. Wil- 
liam Harris was connected with the mill in 1822, and Valley Falls 
was more picturesque at that time than at present. The advance of 
civilization has robbed it of its natural beauties. The alders that 
fringed its glassy pond, and the groves that adorned its hills have 
been ruthlessly swept away. 

There were two roads that passed through this region. One was 
the ancient Rehoboth road, laid out December 10th, 1650, by the 
Rehoboth proprietors, four rods wide. It passed through the village 
of Valley Falls, going up the east side of the river, crossing Abbot 
Run at that place, through the park of Mr. Blackstone at Lonsdale, 
the lands of the Whipples, the Pecks, Bartletts and others over Cum- 
berland Hill, and so on by Crook's to the Mendon line. The other 
road was afterward a turnpike, and is now Broad street. These two 
roads were connected on the Cumberland side of the river by a pri- 
vate way which came out of the last mentioned road near where now 
stands the Baptist meeting house, went over the hill where stood the 
mansion of William Harris, and intersected with the Rehoboth road 
at " Happy Hollow." 

Edward Harris in 1823 entered the ofhce of his Uncle William, and, 
with the snug little capital of 25 cents in his pocket, began his career 
in life, afterward becoming a millionaire of Woonsocket. In the 
summer of 1824 he went to Albion, where he continued his labors. 
He at first received $1.33 a day for his labors, but was afterward pro- 
moted to the superintendency of the works. 

In 1824 Nathaniel Dana came to the place and began work in the 
mills of Mr. William Harris and Crawford Titus. In 1829 came the 
great crash. Mr. Dana afterward ran the mills, leaving there in 1834, 
when Harris bought back the whole concern. At this time the mill 
on the hill was burned, after which Crawford Allen rebuilt the main 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 241 

part and operated it till he made a failure, when vSamuel and Horace 
Chace, in 1880 or 1840, took possession, since which time the pros- 
perity of the undertaking has been marked. Arnold B. Chace now 
owns the mills on both sides of the river, and is doing a thriving 
business. The prosperity of the village has always kept pace with 
that of the mills, but its greatest growth has been within the past 20 
years. 

In common with all manufacturing centers during that earlier 
period, the proprietors of the mill also ran the store. Upon the fail- 
ure of Harris in 1829, Nathaniel Dana went into the store on the hill 
opposite the mill and kept there three years. He then turned his 
attention to the calico printing business, running the works from 1889 
to 1848 successfully and controlling as many as 70 block printers at a 
time. On March 28th, 1848, a boiler explosion occurred that com- 
pletely blew up the works, killing twelve of his men instantly and 
ruining his business. He estimated his loss at $250,000. Mr. Dana 
then went into the store again and traded in goods till 1857, then sold 
his stock to William H. Brown, now of Providence. After him came 
Olney M. Cooke, who was here in 1856. He sold to Mr. Segar, he to 
Jenks Follett. Thomas D. Elsbree was in that store also, and moved 
into a building on the opposite side of the street. He was in business 
from 1866 to 1885 and was succeeded by I. Kibbee. The store is 
now owned by Walter M. Brown. 

A. D. Shaw came to the place in 1858, and began clerking in Mr. 
Cooke's store. He began trading on the 'Lincoln side the day before 
Fort Sumter was fired upon, and continued on that side of the stream 
till February 28d, 1888, when he came over on the Cumberland side, 
and is still trading. The beautiful Valley Falls store structure was 
erected in 1882. Mark A. Burnham is manager for the company's in- 
terest here, also for the one in the Sprague Building, Central Falls. 

John Patterson was the originator of the drug trade in the place. 
He owns a large store and has been in business many years. He began 
first on the hill, but when business was moved on Broad street he left 
there and located where he is now. 

William H. Bolster owns the principal dry goods house in the vil- 
lage. The trade in dry goods naturally all went to Pawtucket and 
Providence until attractions of unusual character drew attention here. 

Nathaniel Dana is now in his 85th year and is the oldest merchant 
in the place. He and his brother, George Dana, built their residences 
in 1845. George Dana was a politician, and held very many of the 
principal offices of the towm and was representative and senator in the 
general assembly many years. 

The Rhode Island Horse Shoe Company, located at Valley Falls, 
commenced business in 1867 under the style of the Union Horse Shoe 
Company. They erected commodious buildings on Dyer street, just 
below the Point Street bridge. The succeeding company, of which 

1(3 



242 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

F. W. Carpenter was elected president, C. H. Perkins, agent, and W. 
R. Comstock, secretary, was organized in 1872, and erected large and 
convenient buildings near the river. They erected the present build- 
ings after the compan}^ was formed. They employ 400 men in the 
manufacture of Perkins' Patent horse shoes, embracing over 160 
styles. 

Boat building has been extensively carried on since it was brought 
into the town by Alexander Thompson in 1790. It is said that in 
1815 there could be counted within a short distance of East Cumber- 
land and Diamond Hill no less than 19 boat shops. 

The Providence & Worcester Railroad Company have their large 
works at this place, and under their master mechanic, Albert Place, 
run a force of about 100 hands. These works were erected in 1882, 
and have been recently leased to the New York & Boston Railroad 
Company, who took possession June 10th, 1889. The new depot at 
Valley Falls is one of the neatest little structures of its kind to be seen 
in this vicinity. It is a handsome brick edifice one story in height, 
and of peculiar shape, with the usual accommodation rooms, and was 
erected in 1883. It'is an ornament to the village. 

Manville is situated on the Blackstone river, near the Woonsocket 
and Lincoln line. Manufacturing was started here at an early date, 
a saw and a grist mill being in operation before the revolutionary 
war. The ore obtained from the iron mountain a few miles distant 
was worked into cannon balls. It was operated by Mr. Lapham and 
stood between mills number 2 and 3. A Mr. Bartlett operated a tan- 
nery here, and before that a grist and saw mill did service for the 
early settlers. It stood on the site just in front of Mill No. 2. The 
tannery was where No. 3 Mill now stands. Some of these old build- 
ings were removed in 1826, others in 1872, to make room for the 
buildings there now. 

David Wilkinson owned the land on which the village now stands 
on both sides of the river, in 1740, and in that year deeded it to Sam- 
uel Wilkinson, who, in 1747, redeeded it to David. In 1759 David 
deeded it to Benjamin Wing, of Dartmouth, Massachusetts. Wing 
conveyed it to Abner Bartlett in 1802, and in the deed the premises 
are for the first time referred to as a water privilege, and mention is 
made of a bridge named Unity Bridge. In 1803 Bartlett sold to Luke 
Jillson, who conveyed it in 1805 to Samuel Hill, Jr., of Smithfield,and 
William Aldrich, of Cumberland. Samuel Hill, Jr., was known as 
Judge Hill. Hill and Aldrich deeded it in 1811 to Thomas Man, 
Stephen Clark, George Hill, David Hill, Jesse Brown, George Aldrich, 
Otis Capron, David Wilkinson, Alpheus Ammidon, Stephen Whipple, 
and Asa Bartlett, reserving an interest to themselves, and the grantees 
were styled the "Unity Manufacturing Company;" 

In 1814, Aaron Man, father of Samuel F. Man, purchased the inter- 
est of Alpheus Ammidon, and allusion is made in the conveyance to 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY, 243 

the Unity Cotton factory, a grist mill, saw mill and fulling mill. In 
1821, the Unity Manufacturing Company sold all their interest in the 
estate to William Jenkins and Samuel F. Man. In 1831, Jenkins and 
J\Ian conveyed one-fourth part of the estate to Arlon Man, brother of 
Samuel F., the estate having been considerably enlarged by purchases 
of adjoining land since the original purchase from Wilkinson. Sept- 
ember 28th, 1854, the heirs of Samuel F. Man, and William and Anna 
Jenkins, conveyed the mill estate and lands to the Valley Falls Com- 
pany. In 1863, the Valley Falls Company deeded to the Manville 
Company, then composed of TuUy D. Bowen, Henry Lippitt, William 
H. Reynolds, Charles H. Merriman, Samuel Chace, and Harvey 
Chace, and the name of the concern was changed to " Manville Com- 
pany." The proprietorship has changed somewhat since this pur- 
chase, but the name is unaltered. Tully D. Bowen has deceased, and 
others have sold out, but the great bulk of the interest remains in the 
same names as in 1863. 

The Manville Company was incorporated in May, 1863. The stock- 
holders were T. D. Benson, John H. Taft, Anthony & Hall, H. B. Ben- 
son, Harvey Chace & Sons, R. Handy; Harvey Chace, president; John 
A. Taft, treasurer and agent. 

At an early day, a furnace was erected here, the iron ore of Cum- 
berland having a recognized value with such men as the Wilkinsons 
and those connected in business with them. Here was cast hollow 
ware of various kinds needed in domestic service. The saw mill, full- 
ing and grist mills stood where the brick mill now stands. Israel and 
David Wilkinson were relatives of Oziel Wilkinson, of Pawtucket, and 
in a very considerable degree partook of his love for, and skill in, 
mechanical pursuits. The late Joseph Wilkinson, of Smithfield, was 
a cousin of the David Wilkinson, of Pawtucket, who invented the slide 
lathe. Joseph Wilkinson was a man of quick intellect and sound 
judgment. He would never engage in any manufacturing business, 
saying that where a difference of a quarter of a cent a yard in cloth 
would make or ruin a man, his capital should not be risked. He 
created the Hamlet meadows out of the original swamp, and arid 
sand. He also directed the reclamation of the land, afterward the 
Manville meadows, and which vSamuel F.Man, in his day, took a great 
deal of pride in keeping up to the extreme point of fertility, which 
could only be done by careful irrigation. 

The " Mott Dam," now a thing of the past, it having been flowed 
out by and for the benefit of the Manville Company, was the subject 
of an eleven years' law suit between Joseph Wilkinson, and Jenkins 
and Man. It was situated about one mile below the Hamlet village, 
and was nearly five feet high. John Whipple and Richard W. Greene 
were of counsel in the case, Whipple being for the complainant, Wilk- 
inson, who owned the adjoining land, and Greene for Jenkins and 
Man. Afterward Thomas A. Jenckes came into the case, with Jndge 



244 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Greene and Thomas Steere as counsel for Wilkinson, and after the 
usual fortunes of a case, where both parties were pertinacious and 
all the counsel able, with judgment for the plaintiff in the common 
pleas, a reversal by the supreme court, a new trial and much expense 
and trouble, the case was finally settled by junior counsel on both 
sides, one at least of them never having been forgiven by his client 
for doing him that good service. Samuel F. Man died in 1847, Joseph 
Wilkinson in 1851; they were neighbors for years, and although oppos- 
ing litigants, were quite capable each of appreciating the abilities of 
the other. The Blackstone flows without a ripple over " Mott Dam," 
and the intellectual vigor and varied information of Samuel F. Man, 
and the keen perceptions and cool understanding of Joseph Wilkinson 
are only occasionally brought to mind in that locality where once they 
swayed an influence respected and acknowledged. 

The first mill was built at Manville in 1812. It was four stories in 
height, counting the attic, 100 by 32, shingled on the sides. The 
present mill was built in 1826, of brick, and was originally 139 by 42, 
five stories high. In 1859, 32 feet were added to the length, and in 
1862, 45 feet more, making it 216 by 42, with an ell, added in 1859, 80 
by 44. At the same time turbine wheels were put in, so that there 
were six stories filled with machinery. The entire machinery has 
been changed since 1847. By purchases of real estate, and improved 
machinery, with other outlays, the value of the Manville property has 
been doubled since 1866. The new dam is one of the best, if not the 
very finest on the river. It is constructed of large hewn granite; is 
246 feet long, 13 feet in width at the bottom, 8 feet on top, with cap; 
18 feet in height on the average, and rests upon solid rock its entire 
length. In some places it is 24 feet in height, and composed of stones 
10 to 14 feet in length, and 2 feet square. It was commenced August 
15th, 1868, and finished in three months and one day. It cost about 
$32,000. The new mill is 350 by 76, with an ell 76 by 36. It is of the most 
solid description. It is built of hewn granite, the stones being from 
six to eight feet in length and 18 inch face by 12 inches in depth. It 
cost about $62,000. The work done on the trenches, bulkheads, etc., 
cost $20,000. The fall of water is 19 feet, and the volume sufficient to 
drive both mills, or rather the three mills. Twelve hundred hands 
are employed. The goods made here now are fine lawns for printing, 
these having taken the place of fine shirtings, which were equal in 
quality to the goods of the New York Mills. A thousand acres of land 
give the Manville Company " ample room and verge enough " for 
agricultural pursuits; and they have on their premises some of the 
finest building sites in the state. The village, which lies on the 
Smithfield side of the river, is well built on wide streets, shaded with 
beautiful maple and elm trees. It is perfectly kept and evinces the 
results of careful oversight. 

For the purposes of a school house and a large hall, there is a fine 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 245 

two Story building, and we have rarely seen better furnished rooms 
than the primary and intermediate school rooms present. Leading- 
up to this building and the church which stands beside it is a wide 
and pleasant avenue having noble trees on either side. Episcopal 
services are conducted in the church regularly, and the edifice, which 
will seat 300 persons, has been cushioned, carpeted and handsomely 
painted by the company. The present officers of the Manville Com- 
pany are: Mr. Hall, president; W. A. Tucker, treasurer; Henry F. Lip- 
pitt, agent; H. B. Bowen, secretary, and John F. Hamlet, superinten- 
dent. 

Samuel Clarke, who died in the year 1817, owned the Albion priv- 
ilege, together with a large tract of iand on the Smithfield side of 
the Blackstone river: and this property descended by will to his two 
sons, Samuel and Mowry Clarke. Samuel sold his interest to Mowry, 
who in 1822 deeded it to Samuel Hill, Jr., of Smithfield, and Abraham 
Wilkinson, of North Providence, who were the first to improve the 
water power, they having purchased land on the Cumberland side of 
the river, of Jotham Carpenter. For several years the place was called 
Monticello. In 1822, Hill and Wilkinson having no more than com- 
menced operations by building a dam, Wilkinson sold to Hill his in- 
terest in the 53 acres of land then comprising the estate, and the water 
power bounding on the Pawtucket river, for the consideration of 
$1,500. March 22d, 1822, Samuel Hill sold to Joseph Harris, Preserved 
Arnold, Daniel G. Harris and William Harris, Abraham and Isaac 
Wilkinson, nine undivided tenth parts of this estate. In March, 1823, 
Mr. Hill sold to the last named parties his remaining tenth part. This 
company erected in 1823 the old stone mill, about 50 by 100, four 
stories high, which contained 108 looms. In 1830, the interest of 
Abraham and Isaac Wilkinson and Samuel B. Harris, who had in the 
meantime become part owner, was sold at sheriff's sale by Mark Aid- 
rich, deputy sheriff, at the suit of the Lime Rock Bank, George Wil- 
kinson, son of Abraham, being the purchaser, the privilege at this 
time being known as Albion. George Wilkinson, in 1833, the Harrises 
and Preserved Arnold having disposed theretofore of their interest, 
for the sum of $90,000, sold to Horace Waldo, Francis Waldo and 
George Trott, Jr., of the city of New York, two undivided thirds of 
the Albion estate. The Waldos and Trott sold in 1834, to William 
and Christopher Rhodes, Orray Taft, Thomas Truesdell and Robert 
Rhodes, who owned the entire estate. 

Afterward Orray Taft sold his interest to William A. Howard, of 
Providence, and Thomas Truesdell sold his to Robert Rhodes. In 
the year 1864, William A. Howard deeded his interest to Harvey and 
Samuel B. Chace. During the few years previous to 1854, General 
Libbeus Tourtellot, later of Woonsocket, was superintendent, and 
made very material improvements in the place, adding not only to 
the value but to the beauty of the village. In 1854, Harvey and 



24:6 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Samuel B. Chace purchased three-eighths of this estate, and in the 
year 1856, the Albion Company was incorporated by act of the 
general assembly. Afterward, Robert Rhodes disposed of his 
interest to H. and S. B. Chace, and Samuel B. Chace of his to Harvey 
Chace, who transferred to the Albion Company, which then first 
organized under the charter. 

In 1832, a wooden mill was erected near where the station of the 
Providence & Worcester railroad now stands, 35 by 60, which was 
burned in 1837. Another wooden mill was built in 1830, by George 
Wilkinson, called the Green mill, about 40 by 120, which has recently 
been dismantled. i\s before stated, the original stone mill is still in 
operation, and on the north is now joined by a picker and carding 
room, built of brick, two stories high, 100 feet in length, while on the 
south is the new mill, built of brick, 120 by 52, with the foundations 
laid, and wheel in for an additional hundred feet. This mill is six 
stories in height, most thoroughly constructed, and has a large and 
commodious tower. The entire mill is 400 feet in length. There is 
also a cloth room and office, constructed of brick, two stories high, 
40 by 60; a blacksmith and machine shop two stories in height, brick, 
and in the upper story of which weaving is performed; a saw mill 
80 by 25; a two story stone store house; and one half of the Green 
mill, 55 by 40, to be used as a store house, the other half having been 
transformed into an imposing tenement house. A new modern dam 
was erected in 1854. J. H. and J. Chace are the present proprietors. 

As is the case with many, if not most of our manufacturing 
villages, Albion presents to the traveller by rail its least attractive 
aspect. Indeed the village is hardly to be seen from the cars. The 
tenements are mostly situated on a high bluff overlooking the river, 
and are very pleasantly and even picturesquely placed. 

In 1856 the Manville Company and the Albion Company gave the 
land, and built a road between Manville and Albion, along the river 
side. In 1868, as a continuation thereof, Messrs. Harvey and Samuel 
B. Chace constructed a bridge across the Blackstone at Albion, and 
a road of a mile in length to the Cumberland Hill road, to Providence. 
W. F. Brown is the superintendent of this concern, and Andrew J. 
Currier is the agent. 

Lonsdale is situated in the south part of the town upon the line 
of the Providence & Worcester railroad. In 1860, the Lonsdale 
Company erected here a large brick mill 250 by 50 feet, four stories 
high with attic. In 1871 they built another beautiful mill 192 by 90 
feet, four stories high. In 1886 they erected the Ann and Hope Mill, 
one of the finest in New England. The mills are lighted with gas 
manufactured by the company's works. 

The new village of Lonsdale is almost entirely owned by the Lons- 
dale Manufacturing Company. With the exception of one block 
owned by Albert M. Whipple, and the residence of Doctor L. F. C. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 247 

Garvin, the entire village belongs to the mills. On the Cumberland 
side the village contains a half dozen stores, a church, a public hall, 
and numerous brick tenements for the employees. Ground for the new- 
large mill on this side was broken June 16th, 1886. The building was 
erected by Cutting & Bishop, formerly two operatives in the mills 
here. The mill was named in memory of the wives of the two chief 
founders of the company. The entire front is 684 feet long. The 
main portion is 498 feet in length, 100 feet in depth and 4 stories in 
height. The product consists of sateens, Hollands, sheetings and 
Lonsdale cambric muslins. The company employ 800 operatives in 
this mill alone. They employ 400 operatives in Mill No. 4, and a large 
number on the Lincoln side of the river besides. 

The mercantile interests here were started by the Lonsdale Com- 
pany, and managed by E. B. Bishop for many years. Mr. Bishop is 
one of the old settlers of the place and is still trading on an extensive 
scale. Joseph Davis has also done business in the place for many 
years. Bishop Brothers have a store that would do credit to a larger 
place. The firm consists of W. and N. S. Bishop. They began Sep- 
tember.lSth, 1876, in the building erected by Albert Whipple in 1875, 
and are still trading there, employing seven clerks. J. Money came 
to the village in 1856. He built his store in 1876, and James Ryan 
his place of business in 1878. James H. Hosier has also an extensive 
trade in dry goods, boots and shoes, etc. The public hall was erected 
by Albert M. Whipple. 

Ashton is on the Blackstone river, tw^o and a half miles above 
Lonsdale. The Lonsdale Company purchased land here in 1863, and 
in 1867 erected a large, fine brick structure, 348 by 90 feet, four stories 
high, surmounted wnth a French roof. A neat and convenient station 
is found here on the Providence & Worcester railroad, similar in 
design to that of Berkeley. The mill company have several beautiful 
brick buildings for the accommodation of their operatives, also a fine 
boarding house with accommodation for 50 boarders. A prominent 
feature of these mills is the excellent arrangement in case of fire. 
Each floor can be deluged at once in case of necessity, and the em- 
ployees are afforded means of escape independent of the towers. They 
manufacture cambric muslin. 

There are several stores in the village of Ashton. Charles A. 
Whipple, one of the pioneer traders, started business many years ago 
and carried it on for nearly a third of a centur}-. John M. Ryan, near 
the Whipple vStand, was the next merchant, and he is still operating. 
Next in order was a Mr. Kief, then John Barnes, William Hartley and 
George D. Follett. Mr. Follett is postmaster. His father, Alfred 
Follett, ran the poor farm for about 20 years. There are two drug 
stores in the village: one kept by Mr. Fletcher, the other by John E. 
Fogarty. 

St. Joseph's Church is located at Berkeley, and was originally one 



248 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

of the mission districts of St. Mary's church, Pawtucket. November 
1st, 1872, Reverend J. A. Fitzsimons, the present pastor, took charge 
of the new field, and during his labors two churches have been erected 
and a congregation of a thousand communicants gathered. The old 
building was torn down and worked into the structure of the present 
beautiful edifice, which cost $40,000. It was dedicated in April, 1890. 
There are several societies connected with this church, viz.: Sons of 
Temperance, Sons of St. Joseph, Altar Society of the Blessed Sacra- 
ment, and the Children of Mary. 

Diamond Hill is situated between the east and west forks of Ab- 
bott Run, in the northern part of the town. Here is found the larg- 
est mass of crystalized quartz in New England. Among its rocks arc 
a great number of metals. Iron ore was dug here a great many years 
ago. A Mr. Lapham, who had a smelting furnace at Manville, tested 
it. and pronounced it of excellent quality, but not of sufficient 
quantity to render it profitable. Mr. John Gould owned the entire 
hill at one time, and spent considerable time and money searching 
for the precious metals. 

The village is situated nearly south of Diamond Hill. It contains 
a hotel and store, in which is located the post office, established here 
in 1852. The Rhode Island & Massachusetts railroad was built 
through here in 1877. Diamond Hill is familiarly known as " the 
Plain." The old tavern is owned by the heirs of Edwin Cook, de- 
ceased, and the store by A. A. Trask. The postmaster is Roscoe D. 
Metcalf. 

The Diamond Hill Quarry is operated by Francis B. Fisher, and 
gives employment to about 15 hands. The water gate for the Paw- 
tucket water works reservoir, begun here in 1884 and recently finished, 
is of granite taken from this quarry, and is one of the finest pieces of 
work of the kind known. The grist mill and saw mill have been in the 
Newell family for many years. Mr. Jason Newell now owns the prop- 
erty. 

A Grange was organized here in 1887, and has a membership of 
about 90 persons. The officers in 1889 were: Charles O. Flagg, W. 
M.; Henry C. Kent, lector; M. Carpenter, overseer; D. O. Cargill, 
chaplain. The society meets in the old Masonic Hall. 

Hawkins is situated on the Abbott Run three miles above Robin 
Hollow. About 1813 John Walcott and Doctor Nathaniel Potter 
built a factory here. It was a wooden building 40 by 30 feet, two 
stories high, with basement, and was operated for the manufacture of 
cotton yarn. Mr. Potter died in 1825, after which the Walcotts ran 
the mill until 1840. John Thorp made four upright looms that were 
placed in the factory in 1818. These looms were run about a year 
when they were cut down to the Scotchman's flat loom. The mill 
was destroyed by fire in 1845. In 1850 William Hawkins purchased 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 249 

the property and erected a saw and grist mill. In 1870 G. W. Haw- 
kins bought the property. 

Arnold's Mills, recently named East Cumberland, is situated a 
short distance from Diamond Hill, and upon the Abbott Run river. 
The Arnold family improved the privilege for several generations, 
and gave their name to the place. Edwin R. and Pardon B. Arnold 
are descendants. In 1784 Richard Atwell sold the privilege to William 
Walcott, Daniel Wilkinson and James Streeter, reserving a quarter 
interest to himself. The parties immediately erected a saw mill. 
Amos Arnold afterward bought it, and it remained in the family sev- 
eral generations. A grist mill was erected opposite. The saw mill 
was operated till 1862. In 1885 Taft & Carpenter started up the 
mill, and are still operating. Joseph and Ebenezer Metcalf built a 
machine shop here in 1825. They made cotton machinery and spin- 
ning frames, which were famous in their day. 

In 1840 Mowry Taft and Charles B. Carpenter purchased the prop- 
erty, but made no improvements. In 1850 these parties sold to 
Charles Metcalf, who made one spinning frame, a very fine one, since 
which time the building has stood idle until quite recently. It is now 
utilized by the Nicholas Brothers, who manufacture straw goods, 
and employ about 20 hands. In 1875 Simeon Derry built a fine new 
dam to take place of the old dilapidated one. Mr. Derry also erected 
a carriage repository at that time, and did a considerable business. 
He was the first postmaster in the place, establishing the ofhce in 1873. 
Fred W. Voelker, the present station agent and tax collector, is post- 
master. Mr. Voelker took the agency of the depot in 1884. He was 
unfortunate when 10 years old to break his leg, and when 18 years of 
age lost his arm in the mill. 

Doctor Metcalf was early settled here as a physician, and left a 
son Draper, who practiced here a life time. Doctor Benjamin Ting- 
ley, of more recent date, has an excellent reputation as a physician. 
A short distance west of this place is the William Bishop house. He 
was one of the first Methodists in America, and here Jesse Lee, Lo- 
renzo Dow and other preachers of note found a friend and a home. 
The first services preached in the town were at this house. Among 
other old residents here were Lewis, John and Jabez Walcott, also 
Lewis Arnold, who operated a trip-hammer by water power. He used 
to work up old iron into picks, chains, bars, etc. The business has 
long been discontinued, 

Berkeley is situated a half mile below Ashton, on the east side of 
the Providence & Worcester railroad, which runs between the village 
and Blackstone river. The name of the place was bestowed upon it 
by R, H. Ives, in honor of Bishop Berkeley. The elegant mill here 
was erected in 1872, and the addition in 1881. The main mill is 300 
by 90 feet, four stories high, with an ell 20 by 90 feet, three stories 
high. The finest class of cotton goods, cambric muslins and fine 



250 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

shirtings are manufactured. The mill is connected by telegraph 
with Ashton and Lonsdale. The title of the company is the Berkeley 
Manufacturing Company. W. H. Magee is superintendent of the 
mills. He succeeded A. P. Sissons January 8th, 1883. The mill 
operates 927 looms and employs 600 hands. 

Cumberland Hill is situated in the northwestern part of the town, 
a mile east of Manville. This village was anciently the seat of the 
town government, and even yet the district election is held here. 
Up to 1808 the town council met here, but since then their meetings 
have been held at Valley Falls. The old Baptist church built in 
1800, and the academy erected the year after, have long since gone 
into disuse. Mrs. Fenner Brown, now 97 years of age, formerly 
attended school in the academy. She is the mother of Mrs. William 
Weeden. In 1843, Fenner Brown built the Highland House. It is 
now the property of Mrs. Weeden, and is rented for a summer board- 
ing house. A store used to be kept on this site oO years ago by Ariel 
Cook. He kept there for 30 years. 

The Cumberland Bank was organized at the house of Captain 
Amos Cook on the First Monday in January, 1823, with a cash capital 
of $50,000, and the charter granted by the Rhode Island legislature 
at the January session of that year. The first board of directors 
embraced the following names: William Jillson, Samuel Weather- 
head, Ariel Cook, Philip Thomas, Smith Arnold, Turner Haskell, 
Samuel Shove, Davis Cook, Dexter Ballon, Joseph Whipple, 3d, 
Abner Ballon, Welcome Farnum and Joseph Underwood. The 
affairs of the bank were first placed in the hands of Aaron White, 
an attorney of Cumberland Hill, who acted as cashier until the 
organization was in working order, when Alexander Ballon was 
chosen cashier and continued to fill that position until 1839. He 
was succeeded by George Cook, who acted in that capacity until the 
charter expired in 1885. On the retirement of Mr. Jillson at the end 
of his first year, Samuel Weatherhead was elected piesident and 
served for 13 years, when he was succeeded by Arnold W. Jenckes, and 
he three years later by Alexander Ballon for the same period. The 
fifth president was Davis Cook, whose term of service embraced 33 
years, when Otis D. Ballou served five years, Davis Cook, Jr., subse- 
quently holding the office until the affairs of the bank were wound 
up by statute limitation in 1885. The Cumberland Bank embraced 
the national system in 1865, and became the Cumberland National 
Bank. Its capital was three times increased during the years 1827, 
1850 and 1853, each time by $25,000. Its board of direction, when 
the national vSystem was adopted, included the names of Davis Cook, 
Otis D. Ballou, Warren J. Ballou, Willard Pierce, Lyman Bur- 
lingame and Albert Cook. The directors elected at the last meeting 
of the board in 1885 were: Davis Cook, Alexander Thompson, 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 251 

Walter S. Cook, Cyrus Cook, vStephen W. Ballou, Edwin R. 
Thomas and Edward W. Aletcalf. 

In 18B9, at the January session of the general assembly a school 
law was passed under which the town of Cumberland elected in June 
following- a school board consisting of 15 members. The board 
organized by electing Olney Ballou president "and Fenner Brown 
secretary. They apportioned $1,052.84 among the districts of the 
town in 1839. In June, 1841, the town was divided into 20 districts. 
In 1877, $10,020 was apportioned for school purposes and payments 
for the year ending April 30th, 1889, were $12,210.19. Evening 
.schools are held in the villages of Ashton, Berkeley, Lonsdale and 
Valley Falls. Reverend B. H. Lane, the superintendent, reports 284 
different scholars enrolled in these schools and the work done as very 
satisfactory. 

Early churches were formed in the town, showing that the people 
entertained very great reverence for the worship of their Creator. 
William Blackstone was not only the first settler of the state but also 
the first minister of the Gospel. After him came the Ballou meeting 
house, previously referred to. The "Catholic Oak," at the junction 
of three roads, and now standing in the village of Lonsdale, shadow- 
ing the locality where Blackstone resided, has a memorable history. 
For 70 years it was the church of the neighborhood, meetings 
being held under its branches. Here Reverend James Cook Rich- 
mond ministered the Episcopal service for many years before sufficient 
encouragement was given to justify the building of the church in 
Lonsdale. Up to 1860 services were habitually held here by some of 
the various religious denominations. 

The Ballou meetinghouse was erected in 1700, and is, without doubt 
the oldest church building in the state. The pews, altar and gallery 
are unique in design. The former members of this congregation lie 
buried in a cemetery of three acres, which borders on the north base 
of the Iron mountain. iV neat wall encircles this hallowed spot. This 
church obtained the deed of this land from James Ballou in 1732. The 
pastor at this time was Josiah Cooke, who had ministerial charge of 
this congregation for 35 years. Nathaniel Cooke was pastor for about 
40 years. There has been no settled pastor since Elder Place was 
here, and at present all denominations are privileged to hold meetings 
here. A Sabbath school is held each .Sunday here. Reverend A. 
Ballou preached his first sermon in this house. 

The Friends meeting house was built in 1809, principally through 
the liberality of vSamuel Hill. The house is located on the west side 
of the Lanesville road, about a half mile south of East Cumberland 
village. The history of this society begins with the early settlement 
of the place. It is one of the largest societies of Friends in the state. 
The building is a two story building about 30 feet square. 

The old Baptist church at Abbott's was situated on the east side of the 



2.")2 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Lanesville road, upon the site since occupied by D. A. Thompson's 
house, and was built about the year 1700. It was a wooden structure 
two stories high, with a large gallery. Its size was 30 by 60 feet. It 
was torn down in 1825. Under an oak tree that stood in front of this 
church the celebrated Jemima Wilkinson made her first speech. 

The Cumberland Catholic Baptist Society was chartered in 1795. 
Abner Bartlett and Whipple Levitt gave an acre of land on the west 
side of the Mendon road, a short distance south of the present church. 
It was built in 1800 from the proceeds of a lottery, and was 36 by 38 
feet. About 1840 the town offered to repair the building, which offer 
was accepted, and in consideration the town meetings were held here 
until the building was destroyed by fire in the year 1858. This 
society formerly held its meetings under the famous oak tree at 
Lonsdale. 

Upon this same lot a school house was erected and chartered as the 
Cumberland school house in 1795. It did not make much progress 
and in 1800 another charter was obtained as the Cumberland Academy 
Company. A building was put up about this time. Later another 
charter was obtained as the Cumberland Union School Company. In 
1819 another charter was obtained for a new society, the Cumberland 
Literary Society. This united with the other societies in maintaining 
a library in connection with the school. After the establishment of 
the public school system in 1839 and the building of district school 
houses the year following, the enterprise went down. The building 
was moved off the land and is now used as a dwelling house. 

The Cumberland Hill Baptist church was formed in July, 1841. 
Reverend Henry G. Stewart was ordained pastor in August, 1841. The 
church had 30 members and the Sabbath school 70. They had a 
library of 225 volumes. Reverend James W. Russell accepted the 
pastoral charge June 2d, 1850. The succeeding pastors have been: 
Reverends Frederick Wiley, J. D. Donovan, J. P. Burbank, Matthew 
Colvin, J. G. Richardson, and C. Pray, who closed his pastorate in 
1870, since which supplies have been made. The building cost about 
$3,000. It was chartered in October, 1844, and is located on the west 
side of Mendon road, opposite the Episcopal church. 

The old Episcopal chapel stands opposite the Episcopal church, 
on the west side of the Mendon road. It is used as a reading room 
by the library association of that place. 

St. John's Episcopal church is a little south of the village of Ash- 
ton. It was erected in 1868, at a cost of $6,000. It is beautifully fin- 
ished on the inside and will seat 300 persons. Reverend D. G. 
Anderson was missionary pastor at first. Reverend R. C. Booth was 
the first settled rector in 1869. He was followed by Reverend N. P. 
Balcom, and he by Reverend Robert Murray in 1874, the present 
rector. 

St. Mary's Episcopal Mission church was opened by the bishop in 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 253 

1878. It was erected the year before at a cost of $4,000 and stands on 
a lot given by Mrs. Fenner Brown. Mrs. William A. Weeden, her 
daughter, has interested herself in the erection of this building, and 
the success of the enterprise is due to her efforts. 

Cumberland Universalist church was erected in May, 1873, at 
Chapel Four Corner^. It is a neat wooden structure 27 by 35 feet. It 
was dedicated in August, 1873, and cost $2,800. The Universalist 
Sabbath School Society was organized in 1866 and was chartered in 
June, 1872. Alexander S. Arnold was the first superintendent. The 
building is 50 by 32 feet, with an ell 16 feet square, and cost $3,000. 

The following sketch of the Valley Falls Baptist church was con- 
tributed by Reverend B. H. Lane, the present pastor: 

Religious services were held in the village for some years before 
a church was formed. The Sunday school was organized in 1823, 
and held its sessions in an old house still standing, used then as a 
school house. Afterward a room was fitted up in the mill and used 
for some years as a place of worship. A meeting was held at the house 
of Benjamin B. Pierce on Monday, August 20th, 1832, to consider the 
propriety of forming a Baptist church in Valley Falls. Twelve men 
were at this meeting, among them two whose names deserve j=pecial 
mention for their faithful services of many years — Benjamin B. Pierce 
and Otis Ingraham. At this meeting it was unanimously resolved to 
attempt the formation of a church. Reverend Amos Lefavor, who 
was present, was appointed to prepare " Articles of Faith and a Cove- 
nant " for the adoption of the proposed church. A second meeting 
was held one week later, when arrangements were made for the call- 
ing of an ecclesiastical council to constitute the church. Eight 
churches were represented in the council, which met September 3d, 
1832, and it was voted to organize the church. The service of recog- 
nition was held the same afternoon. The sermon was preached by 
Reverend R. E. Pattison, of Providence, and the consecrating prayer 
was offered by Reverend Amos Lefavor, who became the first pastor. 
There were 25 constituent members, 11 of them men. Of these none 
are now living. Seven of them remained members of the church 
until their death. Of these Deacon Otis Ingraham walked in fellow- 
ship with the church longer than any other, and died, beloved and 
lamented by all, in 1870. He served as deacon from the first. His 
associate in office was Benjamin B. Pierce, a good man and true, and 
their faithful service greatly aided the church in those early years. 
The first clerk was A. F. Wilcox, who held the office for one year, and 
was succeeded by Joseph L. Bennett. Reverend Amos Lefavor was 
the first pastor, and received a salary of $300, a respectable sum for 
those times. 

There were no baptisms until 1834, when two women, Hannah 
Merry and Laura Barney, were baptized. It was while two students 
from Brown University were supplying the pulpit on alternate Sab- 



'254 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

baths, Haynes and D. L. Brayton,the latter still living and kno^Yn 

as the aged and honored veteran missionary at Rangoon, Burmah. 
During this year 37 were added to the church and the membership 
more than doubled. The first man baptized was Andrew Fairman, 
April 20th, 1834. The first member excluded was a woman "for 
neglecting the church, using profane language and other improper 
conduct.'" Henry Marchant was the third clerk, and held the office 
for ten years. He was an earnest and faithful worker and devoted 
time and money for the good of the church. 

Our honor roll contains the names of those whose service stretches 
over more than 50 years. First, Mrs. Mary Wilkinson Fessenden, 
who united with the church in 1834. For many years she sang in the 
choir, and led the service of song in the devotional meetings. This 
honored name — Fessenden — stands connected with more years of our 
history than any other, and is now represented by Mr. and Mrs. Rus- 
sell Fessenden. Our honored and faithful deacon, Daniel W. Jenks, 
comes next, and he has been an earnest worker more years than any 
other member. Mrs. Lucy Chase has been a member since 1837. Mrs. 
Sally Beal was received by baptism the same year, and has been a 
faithful member ever since. Miss Lucy White, better known as the 
wife of Deacon Jenks, was a member 53 years, till her death. May 5th, 
1890. Another name belonging in this list is Lydia Maria Ingraham, 
the daughter of the first deacon. She was baptized m 1838, and dur- 
ing that year 46 united with the church. It was in this same year 
that Boham P. Byram, a student from Brown University, was called 
to the pastorate. He became acting pastor at once. The most prosper- 
ous and happy days of the church were during his ministry of IS-g- 
years. There were additions to the membership every year; 65 were 
added in 1842, 91 in 1843 and 50 in 1846. 

The present house of worship was dedicated January 14th, 1840, 
and the next day Boham P. Byram was ordained, and set apart by the 
laying on of hands to the work of the Gospel ministry. In April of 
the same year letters of dismission were granted to 37 persons to form 
a Baptist church at Lonsdale. In 1841, the first systematic plan for 
benevolent work and aiding the various societies of the denomination 
was adopted. In 1844, a resolution was passed expressing the sinful- 
ness of American slavery, and that it was opposed to the laws of God 
and the principles of humanity. In 1846, a season of fasting and 
prayer was held, during which the brethren continued all night in 
prayer. The result was that many persons were touched, some even 
who did not attend any meeting. They could not sleep. The power 
of God seemed to rest upon them, and many became members of the 
church. The loyalty of the people at the breaking out of the civil 
war may be seen in the report for 1861. " Out of a population of 1,500 
more than 100 men have enlisted in the army." In 1866, George W. 
Gile, a student of Brown L'^niversity, was called to be pastor. In the 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 255 

freshness and vigor of his young; manhood he entered upon his work. 
During his pastorate the prayer meetings were well sustained and 
very interesting. This unusual thing is reported, '-one half of the 
mcDibcrsJiip is constant in attendance upon the prayer and conference 
meetings." This year three persons were chosen deacons — Daniel W. 
Jenks, who still holds the office; Clark Lawton and Edmund N. Clark, 
both of whom honored the office until their deaths. Reverend C. W. 
Burnham, the tenth regular pastor, was called September, 1871. The 
house of worship was repaired and the debts paid. 

Reverend E. S. Wheeler was the next pastor, and commenced his 
service October 1st, 1874. The congregation increased, and all the 
work moved along pleasantly. The rooms for Sunday school and 
social purposes were greatly improved, and many united with the 
church during his pastorate of four years. The next pastor was the 
Reverend D. C. Easton, who served the church five years. During 
this pastorate a debt of $1,500 was paid, and two men honored and 
respected by all died; Deacon E. N. Clark in November, 1880, who 
had served as deacon for 15 years, and Benjamin Fessenden in Jan- 
uary, 1881. He was a man of broad culture aud earnest piety, a gen- 
tleman in public and private life. Reverend B. H. Lane became 
pastor November 1st, 1884. The house of worship has been trans- 
formed and improved at an expense of more than $3,000, the roll of 
membership has been revised and additions been made every year. 
All the work of the church is moving along pleasantly. He has just 
entered upon his seventh year, the longest pastorate of any except one, 
that of the Reverend Boham P. Byrom, -Which w^as 13^ years. There 
have been additions to the church during the 58 years of its history 
every year except six. The largest membership was in 1849, when 
282 were reported. Five years later it had dropped to 103. The 
present membership is 120. 

There have been ten, or possibly more, deacons during these years. 
The longest period of service was that of Otis Ingraham, who held the 
office from the first organization till his death, 37 years. Our present 
honored deacon, Daniel W. Jenks, comes next in length of service, 
having held the office faithfully for a quarter of a century. 

There have been 13 clerks who have kept the records in a faithful 
manner. Twenty-three years of the records were written by the hand 
of Clark Lawton, who was almost a model church clerk. The finances 
of the church have been wisely managed, and were never in better 
condition than now. Nearly 800 members have been connected with 
the church. 

The Sunday school has had a continuous existence for 67 years, 
and has always been a moral power in the community. It has been 
under the efficient superintendency of Edmund Clark for more than 
25 years, and numbers about 300 members. The history of ^^6 years 
of church life cannot be told in a brief sketch. The roll of member- 



256 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

ship, the names of pastors and their years of service, some of these 
outward things can be told; but then there is another history of toils 
and earnest service, of deep anxieties, of prayers and tears, that can 
never be told. The meetings and the partings, the joys and sorrows, 
are known only to Him who is the great head of the church. He only 
knows thf^ full and complete history of any church. 

The Methodists were very early in their ministerial labors at this 
place. In the days of William Bishop, previously mentioned, the 
worshippers of this faith gathered themselves together here, but no 
house of worship was erected till 1828, when the present two story 
structure was built. It is 36 by 60 feet. The first settled pastor was 
Peter Sabin, in 1833. The church was chartered in 1867. The pas- 
tor, in 1889, Lyman G. Horton, who had acceptably filled the pulpit 
three years. He succeeded W. B. Heath in the pastoral work. The 
church is in a flourishing condition, and maintains a good Sabbath 
school, under the superintendence of Charles O. Flagg. The building 
has recently been repaired, steam heating apparatus being added, and 
other additions made. 

The new Methodist church at Berkeley was erected in 1889. Rev- 
erend Charles Smith is the pastor. Eli Mills, a prominent merchant 
in the place, is Sabbath school superintendent. 

The Presbyterian church was erected in 1886, at a cost of about 
$4,000. It is a neat wooden building that does credit to the place. 
Religious services for this particular denomination were held here at 
the house of Deacon William S. Broadbent occasionally, for years be- 
fore the erection of the house of worship. Deacon Broadbent and 
wife were among the prime movers in securing a religious house at 
Lonsdale for this people, and the erection of this neat edifice stands 
as a monument to their zeal and energy in the cause. Reverend Mr. 
Montgomery is pastor of the church. 

St. Patrick's Catholic church. Valley Falls, was originally in the 
parish of St. Mary's, Pawtucket. The first church was built in 1860, 
and the building dedicated July 4th of that same year. The first 
resident pastor was the Reverend Richard O'Gorman. He left in 
1864, and was succeeded by Daniel Mullen in August of that year. 
From 1868 to 1872 it was under the spiritual direction of Hugh J. 
O'Reilley, when the present pastor, Reverend Thomas Kane, took 
charge. The building was erected by Father Delaney. In 1874 the 
church was enlarged. In 1877 the school was opened, and in 1878 the 
convent was started. 

The Catholic church at Ashton, under the spiritual control of the 
Reverend Father James A. Fitzsimons, was taken from the parish 
of vSt. Patrick in 1872. Father Fitzsimons has been the only pastor. 
Under his guidance a membership of 1,000 souls has been obtained. 
The handsome new edifice was dedicated in 1889. 

A society of Sons of Temperance, No. 30, was organized in 1866, 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 257 

with 30 members, Samuel O. Chace, W. P. The society meets in a 
fine hall erected by the Valley Falls Company. 

St. Joseph's Total Abstinence Society is located at Ashton. It 
was organized in 1873. President, John Murray. 

Sovereig-ns of Industry is an order of a secret nature, and has a 
considerable membership. 

Ashton Lodge, No. 3, I. O. G. T., was instituted or chartered 
August 3d, 1877, with 35 charter members. The Lodge meets every 
Wednesday evening in the chapel at Ashton. 

' BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 

John Barnes, son of George Barnes, was born in Accrington, Lan- 
cashire, England, in 1844. He came to this country in 1865, and to 
Cumberland in 1869, and until 1874 was in the employ of the Lons- 
dale Company at Ashton. At that date he engaged in mercantile 
business, doing a large dry goods and grocery trade. He was elected 
justice of the peace in 1888. He is a member of Mt. Moriah Lodge, 
F. & A. M., of Lime Rock, also a member of Foresters of Ashton. He 
was married in 1872 to Lydia Hirst, and has had three sons and five 
daughters, of whom all but one daughter are living. 

William Bishop, a son of James, was born at Plymouth, England, 
May 9th, 1809, came to Providence in 1856, and a few months later 
settled in Lincoln. He was a ship builder. He married Sarah 
Hooper, and had three sons and five daughters. The sons are: John 
W., born 1847; William, born August 11th, 1850; and Nathaniel S., 
born November 29th, 1854. The daughters living are: Rachel, Annie, 
Sarah and Maria. Eliza is dead. John W. Bishop is a resident of 
Worcester, Mass. He is a contractor and builder, and does an exten- 
sive business. He built the Ann and Hope Mill for the Lonsdale 
Company, the largest and best building of the kind in the country. 
William and Nathaniel engaged in the grocery trade in 1876 at Lons- 
dale, which they conduct at the present date. Nathaniel married 
Annie Tucker of Lincoln. They have no children. William married 
Millie Atkins of Amherst. Mass. They have one daughter. Edith 
Bishop. 

William H. Bolster, born in Scituate in 1847, is a son of Daniel J. 
and grandson of Rufus Bolster. His m.other was Susan E., daughter 
of Captain Lyman Thayer, of Bellingham, Mass. From 1869 to 1877 
Mr. Bolster was employed in stores at Blackstone and Grafton, Mass, 
At the latter date he came to Valley Falls and engaged in the dry 
goods and men's furnishing trade, and still continues in that busi- 
ness. He has one brother, Daniel J., a resident of Millbury, Ma.ss., 
who has been connected with the Worcester Gazette for 15 years. He 
Avas married in 1882 to Esther M., daughter of Joseph F. Esten, of 
Southbridge, Mass. They have two sons, William A. and Herbert 
17 



258 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

R., and one daughter, Marion I. Mr. Bolster is a member of Black- 
stone River Lodge, F. & A. M. 

Fenner Brown was born in Cumberland October 21st, 1791, and 
was descended from one of the oldest families in Rhode Island, being 
a son of Elijah, he a son of Stephen, he a son of Joseph, he a son of 
Henry, and he a son of Henry, who came from England at an early 
date. Fenner Brown was one of Cumberland's prominent citizens in 
his day. Several years of his early life were spent upon the sea, and 
later he engaged in farming. He was a democrat and always took an 
active interest in political affairs. He represented the town of Cum- 
berland in the general assembly for many years, and was several 
times elected to the town council and was president of the same. He 
was also justice of the peace and overseer of the poor for several 
years. He was married in 1817 to Sally FoUett, born 1794. They 
had two daughters: Caroline A., born 1818, and Betsy J., born 1819. 
Only Caroline A. is living. She married William A. Weeden, who 
was born in Jamestown, R. I., in 1819, and died in 1888. Fenner 
Brown became a communicant of the Protestant Episcopal church in 
1868, and died in 1869. His wife still survives him, living with her 
daughter, Mrs. Weeden. 

David O. Cargill, born in Cumberland April 21st, 1850, is a son of 
Olne)'', grandson of David and great-grandson of James Cargill, who 
owned the farm now occupied by David O. His mother's maiden 
name was Rhobe G. Fales. He was married in 1877 to Sarah E. Flagg. 
By that marriage were born one daughter, Edna M., and two sons, 
James E. and John Otis. Mrs. Cargill died January 25th, 1884. May 
18th. 1885, Mr. Cargill was married to Effie L. Tarbox. They have 
two daughters: Alice L. and Rhobie L. Mr. Cargill's farming interests 
are extensive, in addition to which he is engaged in the grain busi- 
ness, having a mill at Abbott Run. 

Edmund Clark, born in Salisbury, Mass., June 11th, 1843, is a son 
of Edmund N. and Sophronia L. Clark (her maiden name was Locke), 
and a grandson of Seth Clark, who was a prominent man in Essex 
county, Mass. Edmund Clark came to Pawtucket in 1856 and in 1858 
removed to Valley Falls (Cumberland), where he has since resided. 
He is one of the stockholders in the Blackstone Coal Mining Com- 
pany, and is treasurer of the same. He was president of the town 
council in 1883-4. He is a member of the Baptist church and has 
been superintendent of the Sabbath school for 25 years. He has 
written several books designed for the Sabbath school and has con- 
tributed to various religious publications. 

Davis Cook. — Ariel Cook, the grandfather of Davis Cook, resided 
in the town of Cumberland. He married Dorcas Whipple in 1772. 
Their son Davis Cook was born in 1788, and married to Abigail Ballou, 
whose birth occurred in 1786. Their children are five daughters: 
Almira (married Lyman Cook), Lucina, Dorcas (married Elias Ballou), 




'-n^'"byjr_ G Kertta'iv~^ ^- 




HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 269 

Abigail, and Sarah (married Isaac C. Ballou); and two sons, Cyrus 
(born in Cumberland 1819, unmarried) and Davis. Davis Cook set- 
tled in Cumberland, where he became a prosperous farmer and an 
influential and respected citizen. He took an active part in the 
affairs of the town, in which he held various offices and represented 
his constituents in the state legislature. He was one of the incorpor- 
ators of the Cumberland Bank and its president at the time of his 
death, which occurred on the 5th of February, 1870. 

His son, Davis Cook, the subject of this biography, was born 
January 29th, 1826, in Cumberland, with which town he has during 
his whole life been identified. His education was obtained in the 
schools at Cumberland Hill, with an additional winter at the Smith- 
field Seminary at Scituate. He first engaged in work on the farm, 
and afterward conducted a grocery store at Cumberland Hill with 
success for 20 or more years. During this time his farming enter- 
prises were continued and still occupy his attention, though the 
necessary labor is performed by others. He was on the 4th of 
December, 1872, married to Frances, daughter of James Thompson of 
Cumberland. Mr. Cook is a republican in politics. He was for five 
years president of the town council, and has held other local offices. 
In 1870-1 he represented the town in the Rhode Island legislature. He 
was for 30 years a director and for ten years president of the Cum- 
berland Bank, now extinct. Mr. Cook's religious faith is that of the 
Universalist church, with which he worships. His services are much 
wsought in the settlement of estates and in kindred trusts, for which 
his long experience, no less than his unquestioned integrity, eminently 
£t him. 

Andrew J. Currier, a native of Massachusetts, was born in Fall 
River in 1850, and is a son of Andrew R. Currier. In 1868 he entered 
the office of the Albion Manufacturing Company, and is at the present 
time agent of the company. He was a member of the town council 
for six years and president of the same for four years; was a member 
of the republican state central committee and chairman of the town 
committee several years. He was married in 1875 to Lucy vS., daughter 
of John L. Clark. They have two children, a son and a daughter. 

James C. Dexter, born in Cumberland in 1836, is a son of James M., 
he a son of Timothy W., he a son of James Dexter, who with two 
brothers, John and Daniel, settled m the town of Cumberland. Timo- 
thy W. married Sarah Messenger. James M. married Phebe Sanborn. 
James C. Dexter removed with his parents to Illinois when he was 
only eight months old and resided there until 1862, when he returned 
to Cumberland, owning and residing on the old Dexter homestead, 
which has been in the Dexter family nearly 150 years. Mr. Dexter 
Avas married in 1859 to Sarah Frances Barrows, a native of Maine. 
They have three daughters: Fannie ()., now Mrs. Bryant; Minerva W., 
now Reverend Mrs. Lane, and Hattie B., now Mrs. England. Mr. 



260 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Dexter represented the town of Cumberland for the years 1871, 1872 
and 1873; was a member of the town council for three years, and has 
held many other offices in the town. He is a member of Unity Lodge, 
No. 34, F. & A. M., of Lonsdale, and a member of the Lonsdale Epis- 
copal church. 

Thomas D. Elsbree, son of James and Amelia (FoUett) Elsbree, 
was born in Lincoln in 1842. He engaged in mercantile trade in 
Valley Falls in 1866, carrying on that business for nearly 20 3^ears, 
retiring in 1885. He was elected to the house of representatives from 
Cumberland in 1887-8, and has been a.ssessor of taxes for three years. 
He is a member of Superior Lodge of Odd Fellows of Central Falls, 
Washington Lodge, No. 4, Knights of Pythias, Union Lodge, No. 10, 
F. & A. M., of Pawtucket, Pawtucket Royal Arch Chapter, Holy Sepul- 
chre Commandery, No. 8, of Pawtucket, and also a member of the 
Ancient Order of Scottish Rites, of Providence. He was married in 
1864 to Sarah E. Arnold, daughter of James Arnold of Pawtucket. 

Edward F. Gurry, born in England in 1846, is a son of Patrick 
Gurry. He came to this country the same year and settled in Cum- 
berland. He is a carpenter by trade, but since 1875 has carried on a 
meat and vegetable market at Valley Falls. He was in the civil war, 
being a member of the 12th Rhode Island Infantry. He was married 
in 1880 to Miss Virginia W. Tinney. They have one son, Edmund 
Gurry. Mr. Gurry is a member of the G.A.R. 

Dutee Johnson, born in North Providence January 17th, 1844, is 
one of a family of 14 children. He is a son of Dutee, grandson of 
Stukley and great-grandson of Benjamin, all of whom were born in 
Warwick, R.I. Benjamin owned at one time a large part of the land 
where the village of Washington now stands. Mr. Johnson removed 
to Bristol, R.I., with his parents when quite young and resided there 
until 1861. He served over three years in the late war; was senior 
lieutenant in the Fifth R. I. Artillery. He is a member of Slocum 
Post, G.A.R. , of Providence. He is a carpenter by trade. He came 
to Cumberland in 1881 and has been in the employ of the Rhode 
Island Horse Shoe Company since that time. He was married in 1867 
to Julia Langley. They had three sons and two daughters. One son 
and the daughters are living. Mr. Johnson was married again in 1884 
to Fannie L. Avery. 

Addison Kinsman, born in Heath, Franklin county, Mass., in 1810, 
is a son of David and Abigail (Putnam) Kinsman. Addison settled in 
Cumberland over 40 years ago. He was married in 1861 to Sarah A. 
Dexter, sister of James M. and daughter of Timothy W. Dexter. Mr. 
Kinsman w^as agent at Lonsdale for the Providence & Worcester rail- 
road for twelve years. He has been twice elected to the town council, 
and has also been a member of the school committee eight years, and 
was trustee for vSchool District No. 12, Lonsdale, 23 years. He is a 
member of Lonsdale Episcopal church. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 261 

Robert G. McMeehan was born in Providence in 186;"), and is a son of 
Robert and Margaret (Mcintosh) McMeehan. He has been a resident 
of Cumberland since 1884, occupying the position of bookkeeper with 
the Lonsdale Company. He is a member of Unity Lodge, No. 84, 
F. & A. M. 

William H. Magee, son of Johnson and Elizabeth Magee, was born 
in Eastport, Me., in 1840, came to Woonsocket in 1871, and until 1881 
was overseer of the spinning department in a cotton factory at that 
place. He came to Cumberland in 1888 as superintendent of the 
Lonsdale Company's Berkeley Mill. He is a member of Solomon 
Temple Lodge, F. & A. M., of Uxbridge, Mass., and of the Chapter 
and Commandery of Woonsocket. He was married in 1870 to Emily 
A., daughter of N. L. Peck, of Woonsocket. He is a Baptist and she a 
Universalist. 

Omar Metcalf is a son of Charles and Lydia B. (Smith) Metcalf and 
grandson of David. Charles Metcalf was engaged in the manufacture 
of cotton machinery at Arnold's Mills. Charles and Lydia Metcalf 
had a family of six children: Horace E., Omar, Henry, Sarah, Mary and 
Eunice. Henry and Omar own and reside upon the Metcalf home- 
stead, formerly owned by their grandfather. 

Thomas Munroe was born in 1842 in Seekonk, Mass., now a part of 
East Providence. He is a son of William S. and Lucy R. (Weber) 
Munroe. From 1869 to 1877 he was in the employ of the Providence 
■& Worcester railroad. He came to Cumberland in 1871 and until 
1877 was station agent at Lonsdale. Since 1878 he has been engaged 
in the coal business at Lonsdale. He was elected to the town 
council in 1885. He is a charter member of Unity Lodge, No. 34, F. 
& A. M., of Lonsdale. He was married in 1874 to Ruth W. Grant. 
They have one daughter, Hattie D. 

Jason Newell, son of John and Polly (Grant) Newell, was born in 
Cumberland in 1827. His grandparents were Jason and Sarah (Spald- 
ing) Newell. Jason Newell was born in Smithfield in 1746 and had a 
family of ten children: Jabe, born 1772; Mary, born 1778; William, 
born 1775; Sarah, born 1777; Amey, born 1780; Jesse, born 1782; Jason, 
born 1784; John, born 1788; Spalding, born 1790, and Nathaniel, born 
1795. Jason Newell was married in 1852 to Mary A., daughter of 
Columbia Tingley. They had three children: Lsabel F., Ellis J. and 
Mary L. Mrs. Newell died in 1874, and in 1881 he was married to 
Jennie E. Holmes. Mr. Newell has always been engaged in farming 
and milling. He was representative from Cumberland for three years 
during Governor Sprague's administration, and he has been member 
of town council several years. 

John A. PoUitt, born March 6th, 1847, in Lincoln, R. L, is a son of 
William and Edna Carter Pollitt, who came from England about 1844. 
He was overseer of the weave room for the Lonsdale Company until 
his death in 1886. He moved to the Cumberland side in 1862 and ever 



262 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

after resided there. He was a member of Christ Episcopal church of 
Lonsdale, also a vestryman for a great number of years, and always 
took an active interest in all the affairs of the society. They had four 
children, John A. being- the only one living. He is a machinist and 
was in the employ of the Lonsdale Company for several years, but for 
the past eight years has been engaged in farm.ing, and also carries on 
a wood yard. He is a member of Unity Lodge, No. 84, F. & A. M., of 
Lonsdale. He was married in 1870 to Margaret J. Simpson. They 
have two sons and five daughters. 

Gilbert Walker Pratt, superintendent of the Lonsdale Company, 
has been employed by the company for 24 years. He is a native of 
Taunton, Mass., and a descendant of the Walkers of the old colony, 
his genealogy tracing to Widow Walker, who settled in Rehoboth, 
Mass., in the year 1632. Mr. Pratt was born in 1833 and resided in 
Taunton until 1866. He was under the mechanical instruction of the 
Mason Machine Works for 14 years, and was called to the service of 
the Lonsdale Company in 1866. He is a strong republican but averse 
to holding any political office. 

Halsey C. Rawson, born in Cumberland in 1847, is a son of William 
M. and Caroline A. (Carpenter) Rawson, and a grandson of Thomas 
Rawson, who was a native of Massachusetts. William M. Rawson re- 
sided in Cumberland, and for over 40 years was engaged in the manu- 
facture of cotton yarn. He represented the town of Cumberland in 
the assembly an.d also in the senate, and was a member of the town 
council several years. Halsey C. engaged in mercantile trade at Abbott 
Run in 1878, and conducted that business until 1884, at which time he 
went into the grain business, which he carried on for two or three 
years. In November of 1888 he resumed the grocery business. He 
is postmaster at Abbott Run. He is a member of Jenks Lodge, No. 
24, of Central Falls, and the Canonchet Tribe of Red Men. He was 
married in 1868 to Esta E. Jencks of Cumberland. They have two 
sons, William H. an.d Elbert L. 

Stafford W. Razee, born in Cumberland, R. I. March 8th, 1827, is 
a son of Whipple and grand.son of Anthony Razee. He engaged in 
mercantile business at Diamond Hill, R. I., in 1849 and in 1851 carried 
on another large store at Attleboro Falls, Mass. In 1854 he sold out 
both stores and engaged in the grain business at 28 and 29 South 
Water street. Providence, which he continued successfully until 1864, 
in the m^eantime leasing a portion of the Perry Wharf, so called, on 
West Water street, and erecting the first steam grain elevator in 
Providence. In 1864 he connected himself with Hon. Edward Harris, 
of Woonsocket, R. I., and was agent of the Harris Woolen Company, 
and a member of that company until 1869. In the latter year he again 
engaged in the wholesale grain business, selling only in car-load lots, 
delivered at any railroad station in New England. He was also a 
large operator in the hazardous trade of Chicago grain " options," and 




5.'^- 




HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 263 

shipped a large amount of grain from the West to New York and Bos- 
ton on consignment. 

In 1863 and 1804 Mr. Razee represented the old town of Smithfield 
in the general assembly. Since his residence in Cumberland he was 
elected state senator for the years 1870, 1880, 1881 and 1882. He was 
also one of the directors and vice-president of the Rhode Island & 
Massachusetts railroad, and it is believed that, had it not been for his 
untiring efforts in its interests, the road would not have been built. 
This road now forms the connecting link in the New York & New 
England system between Providence and Boston. Mr. Razee is a 
prominent member of the Masonic order, was elected eminent com- 
mander of the Woonsocket Commandery in the years 1860 and 1870, 
and has held offices in the Grand Commandery of Massachusetts and 
Rhode Island. He was elected first lieutenant of the Union Guards, 
Central Falls, R. I., in May, 1863, and in October of the same year was 
elected captain of the company. He was elected colonel of the Woon- 
socket Guards in April, 1867, and was re-elected the following year. 
Mr. Razee was married May 12th, 1851, to Eunice P. Metcalf, daughter 
of the late Joseph Metcalf. They have had four children: Arlon ]M., 
Alice A., Abbie H., and Stafford W., Jr. 

John M. Ryan was born in the county of Tipperary, Ireland, in 
1834, came to this country in 1850, and, with the exception of a short 
residence in the state of New York, has resided in Rhode Island. In 
1862 he engaged in the dry goods and grocery trade at Lonsdale. In 
1875 he built a large and commodious store at Ashton, where he does 
an extensive business. He was elected a member of the town council 
in 1887. He was trustee of the Ashton school in 1885 and again in 
1889. He is a large real estate owner. He has been trustee of St. 
Joseph's church at Ashton for 15 years and gave the land upon which 
it stands. He was married in 1852 to Mary Finn. They have six 
children living: Michael, John P., Katie, Elizabeth, Minnie and 
Jessie. 

Cyrus Taft, born in Providence in 1857, is a son of Cyrus Taft. of 
Providence, who was a manufacturer and cotton broker. Mr. Taft 
w^as connected with the Rhode Island Hospital Trust Company as 
bookkeeper for nine years. He settled in Cumberland in 1887 and 
has fitted up one of the finest residences in the town. He was elected 
town treasurer in 1889 and re-elected in 1890. He was married in 1886 
to Harriet A., daughter of John A. Taft, who was formerly president 
of the Manville Company. 

Alexander Thompson, born in Cumberland December 8th, 1834, is 
a son of James and Lucina W. (Sheldon) Thompson, grandson of Alex- 
ander, and great-grandson of Alexander Thompson, who settled in 
Rhode Island. They were of Scotch descent. Mr. Thompson was 
married in 1865 to Sarah A. Grant. He was one of the assessors of 
Cumberland for eight years and has always been engaged in farming. 



264 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

William H. Tobey is a son of William and grandson of Archibald 
Tobey. His mother was Sarah A., daughter of Lemuel Angell of 
North Providence. He was born in Smithfield in 1842. He began 
life as clerk in his father's store at Greenville, R.I., and was afterward 
bookkeeper and paymaster for Pooke & Steere, at that time woolen 
manufacturers at Greenville. In 1869 he entered the employ of the 
Lonsdale Manufacturing Company as bookkeeper and paymaster, and 
ever since has held that position. He was elected to the town council 
of Cumberland in 1886, has also been assessor of taxes, and is chair- 
man of the republican town committee. He was married in 1865 to 
Emma F. Cook. They have two sons and one daughter. 

Ornando R. Vose, born in Lincoln in the year 1835, is a son of Alan- 
son and Abbie Vose, and grandson of Amariah Vose. Alanson 
Vose was a farmer, but during the last years of his life he kept a hotel 
and store at Manville, R.L Ornando R. removed to Cumberland about 
1855, and has been engaged in farming. He was married in 1855 to 
Phebe F. Aldrich. They have four sons living: Fred. I., Frank E., 
Alfred W. and Edgar; and two daughters, Mabel and iVbbie. They 
lost two sons. Mr. Vose has been a member of the town council. In 
1888 he moved to Cumberland Hill and engaged in building houses 
and renting tenements very successfully at Manville. 

Richard Waterman, born in Cumberland in 1834, is a son of 
Amaziah and Hannah (Lee) Waterman, grandson of James, great-grand- 
son of Elisha and great -great-grandson of Amaziah. All were resi- 
dents of Cumberland. Richard Waterman married Rebecca S. Car- 
penter. They have two sons, Elisha A. and Byron L., and one 
daughter, Elsie G. Mr. Waterman has always been a farmer. The 
farm he occupies was settled by Elisha Waterman, his great-grand- 
father. He is a member of the Canonchet Tribe of Red Men, and his 
son Elisha is a member of the same society, and a member of Unity 
Lodge, No. 34, F. & A. M., Pawtucket Chapter No. 4, and Council 
No. 2. 

Joseph D. Weatherhead, born in Cumberland in 1815, is a son of 
James and grandson of Nathan Weatherhead. He was married May 
22d, 1839, to Amy M. Thomas. She was born August 11th, 1818, and 
died January 10th, 1878. They had three children: one son, Charles 
E., born in Franklin, Mass., February 6th, 1844; and two daughters, 
Catherine T., born in Cumberland July 24th, 1840, and Janette E., 
born in Franklin May 8th, 1850. Mr. Weatherhead is a farmer and 
with the exception of a few years residence in Franklin, Mass., and 
several years in Illinois, he has resided in Cumberland. 

Eliab D. Whipple, born in Cumberland in 1831, is a son of Eliab 
and Ardelia C. Whipple, the latter a daughter of Comfort Haskell. 
Eliab Whipple was a son of Daniel and he a son of Simon. Mr. 
Whipple was married in 1862 to Sarah Wheaton, she being descended 
from the Ballous. They have one son, Fenner E., who is a draughts- 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 265 

man in Hartford, Conn.; and two daughters, Cora L. and Inez L.,both 
teachers. Mr. Whipple was elected to the town council in 1873, was 
a member of the school committee for ten years and justice of the 
peace for 15 years. He is a farmer. 

Pardon R. Whipple, born in Cumberland, October 5th, 1828, is a son 
of David and Hannah (Reed) Whipple, grandson of Eleazer, great- 
grandson of Eleazer, and great-great-grandson of William Whipple. 
Eleazer the first was a colonel in the continental army during the 
revolutionary war. He settled upon the land now owned by Pardon 
R. William Whipple had 17 children, and when the youngest son 
reached the age of 21 all of them were living, and at a family gather- 
ing they with their parents all sat down at the same table. Pardon 
R. was a mason for ten years, but since 1858 he has been engaged in 
farming. He was married in 1860 to Emma H. Phillips, of Dartmouth, 
Mass. The}^ have two daughters, Carrie E., now Mrs. Greenleaf, and 
Almira A. 

Josiah Williams, born in Staffordshire, England, in 1842, came to 
this country in 1864, settled in Rhode Island, and came to Cumber- 
land in 1874. He is a contractor in the Rhode Island Horse Shoe 
Works. He is a member of What Cheer Lodge, F. & A. M., of Provi- 
dence, and of Iron Hall. He was married in 1864 to Diana Darby. 
They have five sons and five daughters. 

Thomas C. Wood was born in Glocester, R. I., in 1880, and is a son 
of Luther Wood. He was married in 1859 to Rachel Alexander. 
They have one daughter, Emma F., who married Watson F. Hastings. 
Mr. Wood is a farmer and resides upon and owns the old Razee 
homestead. Near the house stands a gigantic elm tree, the trunk 
measuring nearly 20 feet in circumference. The town of Cumberland 
was incorporated in 1747, and Joseph Razee was the first male child 
born within its limits after said incorporation. That would make 
Joseph Razee born nearly 143 years ago. The elm tree was a sapling 
when Joseph's father built his house, which is the ell still standing, 
therefore it is safe to conclude that the venerable tree is upwards of 
143 years of age. It is said that when Joseph's father was building 
his house, it was broken off, which caused it to branch out nearer the 
ground than other elms ordinarily do. Mrs. Wood is a daughter of 
Ira and Frances C. (Sherman) Alexander. Ira was a son of David, 
and he a son of Roger, all of whom were residents of Cumberland. 
Ira Alexander had a family of five children. One daughter died in 
infancy, and two sons and two daughters are living. The sons are 
David, born 1828, and George S., born 1832. The daughters are 
Rachel F. (Mrs. Wood), born 1834, and Charlotte M., born 1843. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

THE TOWN AND CITY OF WOONSOCKET. 

Description. — Origin of Name. — Early Settlers and their descendants. — Statistics. — Civil 
Organization.— Town Officei-s.— City of Woousocket.— Officers in 1889.— Fire Depart- 
ment. — Water Works. — Poor Asylum. — Public Thoroughfares. — Public Houses and 
Business Places.— Post Office.— Opera House.— Banking Interests.— Gas Company.— 
Electric Machine and Power Company. — Sti-eet Railway.— Manufacturinglndustries., 

The beautiful and enterprising city of Woonsocket is m the Black- 
stone Valley, on the Massachusetts border, and is 16 miles from 
tide water, at Providence. It is an important station of the 
Providence & Worcester railroad, and is also on the Air Line railroad, 
86 miles from Boston. The population has increased rapidly the 
past ten years, and was estimated at 20,000 in the spring of 1889. 
The extensive manufactures of cotton, woolen and rubber goods are 
the chief industries, but there are also the usual minor interests 
found in a prosperous mill city, making this one of the most active 
places in the county. 

The area of the city is 8.4 square miles, irregular in form, and 
while mostly along the river it embraces some well defined eleva- 
tions. These are locally known as Logee, Constitution, Baptist and 
Fairview hills. This diversity of hill and dale produces attractive 
and, in a few places, picturesque surroundings, which are enhanced 
by the tortuous courses of the streams flowing through the city. The 
smaller streams bear the names of Mine Run, Cherry and Crook 
Fall brooks. Mill and Peter's rivers, while having a larger volume 
of water, are really creeks, all draining into the Blackstone. Several 
large reservoirs, constructed on these streams, are objects of note, the 
chief being the Harris, Social and Bernon ponds. 

The Blackstone river at this place is an object of interest and im- 
portance, creating and fostering the business life of the city. Its 
course through this territory is described by a rounded letter W, al- 
most doubling upon itself several times, and passing over ledges of 
rock which produce natural falls and rapids. Its name was given in 
honor of William Blackstone, the first white man living on its banks, 
in the southern part of the county, who was also the pioneer settler 
of the state. It has also borne other appellations, as the Great river, 
the Seekonk, the Nipmuck, the Narragansett and the Pawtucket, 
most of which were suggested by local circumstances. Although 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 267 

serviceable at many points in its course the Blackstone is especially 
valuable here on account of the falls, named by the Indians Woo^/e- 
siickete. This aboriginal title also applied to the entire section of the 
country, and was the source from which the name of the city was 
derived. 

As to the reason for the selection of this name by the Indians 
there is a diversity of opinion, some claiming- that it was on account 
of Woonsocket hill, several miles distant, and nearer which the so- 
called Woonsocket settlement was first made.- Others are equally 
positive that the word had its origin from the naming of the falls. In 
a state of nature, the waters in passing over one of the large rocks in 
the stream had worn holes in the rocks below, and the waters falling 
into these holes produced a deep-toned sound. The primeval sur- 
roundings intensified these noises until they closely resembled thun- 
der. Connected with this descent of the waters was a spray or mist, 
more strongly apparent under certain conditions of the atmosphere. 
These conditions were understood by the untutored sons of the for- 
est, and were used by them in foretelling the weather. The word by 
which they expressed their ideas of thunder was Woonc, and for mist 
or a fine spray they had the word, Siicketc. It will be seen that a 
simple union of the two words and ideas would produce Wooicsuckctc — 
the place of the thunder mists. -f 

However it may have been derived, Wooiicsuckctc as a name became 
widely known among the aborigines, but, like many other words, it 
was easily perverted in writing, and becaine, in the records of the 
olden time, Winsocket^Wauiisauket, Wa2ins2Lcket,2indi\.\iQ present Woon- 
socket. Long before the idea of a city at this point was dreamed of, 
the place was called " Woonsocket Falls," and the place where the 
city had its beginning (now the suburb of Union Village) was known 
as Woonsocket Cross Roads. 

* Woonsocket hill, in North Smithfield, is about two miles southwest from Woon- 
socket. It is conspicuous as the highest elevation in Rhode Island, rising 258 feet above, 
the general level in its locality, and is 570 feet above high tide at Providence. On the 
summit is a ledge of granite quartz rock, rough and angular, and there are also talc and 
mica rocks. Scrub oak trees cover the sides of the hill, near the sumniit of which is a 
large spring, or small pond of water. There are evidences of upheaval and volcanic 
origin, which have not been affected by the glacial period. Tiie view from this hill is 
extended and entrancing. 

J. Hammond Trumbull, the eminent American philologist, in his list of Rhode 
Island Indian names (not yet published) says: 

" Woonsocket Falls,'' on Blackstone river, called *' Woonsaciit" Falls, 1736 (R. I. 
Col. Rec. IX.. p, 514); "Wooiisoket," Lockwood's map, 1819: Woonsocket Hill, in North 
Smithfield, about two miles southwest from the falls, " Woo)isoqiiett,'' Pease & Nile's 
Gazetteer. The name belongs to the falls, and to the place at the falls. It comes from 
the Massachusetts Indian Woovish ( Narragansett, Waumsu) to go downwards, 
(" Waumsu,'" downhill, R. Williams). Compare " Woomsnonk," a steep descent, and 
" Woomsuonganit'' at the cliff (Elliott in 3 Chron. xx., 16). Woomsank-it, easily cor- 
rupted to Woonsocket, denotes the place of steep descent, or down-going. Perhaps the 
hill was named independently of the falls, from a steep descent. 

fS. C. Newman. 



-268 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Aside from the quiet beauty of this section of the country, there 
were fertile little vales, sheltered by the tree-crowned hills, which 
-attracted the Indians, and the}^ doubtless appreciated their advan- 
tages as readily as did the whites in subsequent years. Naturally, 
too, in passing to and from the hills of Cumberland and Smithfield 
they resorted to the rapids below the falls, as they afforded an easy 
^c'rt:*^/;/^ place, and it is believed that near them, on the Smithfield side, 
was an Indian village. The aborigines of this section were a quiet 
people and they lived undisturbed by tribal troubles, being scarcely 
influenced even by the crafty and warlike King Philip. After the occu- 
pancy by the whites a number of Indians lingered, as if loath to leave 
the scenes of their youth, and they did not become wholly extinct 
until about 1820. The last survivors were Isaac Nish Nouman and 
Reuben Purchase, who passed to the spirit land about the period 
named, after having lived among the whites of the Woonsocket sec- 
tion until they were very old men. 

The story of the settlement of the whites must here be briefly 
told, as it is an inseparable part of the pioneer narratives of Cumber- 
land and Smithfield, out of which Woonsocket was formed centuries 
after the first land had been possessed. 

The Smithfield part of Woonsocket was originally a part of Provi- 
dence, one of whose early proprietors was Thomas Arnold, who died 
in September, 1674. His estate was divided by the town council of 
Providence between his widow and the five surviving children. This 
-estate included lands in the northern part of the state, in what be- 
came, the town of Smithfield. Richard Arnold was the oldest of his 
children, and his sister Elizabeth was married to Samuel Comstock. 
To these two were allotted the upper Smithfield lands, and by them 
were the first improvements made. vSubsequently the title to these 
lands was in dispute, the proprietors of Pawtucket also claiming own- 
ership: but this controversy being settled, the town of Providence 
confirmed the title to the lands, which Captain Richard Arnold and 
Ensign Samuel Comstock had occupied in this heated period, the date 
of the new grant being April 14th, 1707. During their lives they held 
their lands in common, and the first division of their estates was 
made many years after their death. This was done by their heirs, March 
26th, 1731. By this division the Arnold family became the propri- 
etors of the greater portion of the lands in what became known as 
the Smithfield part of Woonsocket; and the Comstock heirs lived on 
the lands west and beyond the present Union Village, where Samuel 
Comstock had built his first house. A portion of Captain Richard Ar- 
nold's estate was also included in the present town of North Smith- 
field. 

Captain Richard Arnold probably never lived at Woonsocket, but, 
after the customs of those times, improved his lands, coming from his 
home in the Providence settlement. In this way he had built his saw 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 269 

mill, at the " falls," in 1666, before the death of his father, Thomas Ar- 
nold. In this way, too, he aided his sons, Richard and John, to build 
homes in the Woonsocket section. The former's house was put up 
about 1690, and a portion of it still remains on the farm of Albert 
Mowry, near Union Village. On the death of Captain Richard Ar- 
nold, April 22d, 1710, his Woonsocket estate was divided among 
these two sons, Richard and John, the former's portion beginning at 
Union Village and extending westward; while the latter's extended 
eastward to the " falls." 

As already stated, John Arnold was living upon this estate at that 
time, and, no doubt, was the first permanent settler within the pres- 
ent city of Woonsocket. His place of habitation was long known as 
the Ephraim Coe farm, and was on the present Providence street. 
The first house, built about 1695, was simply a cabin, having a large 
stone chimney and steps leading to the attic on the outside. In 1712 
the second house was built near the old one, and, being allowed to 
stand, became the oldest residence in the city, withstanding the 
storms of more than a century and a half of years in its service as a 
farm house. 

John Arnold was married in the year his first house was built, to 
Mary Mowry, of the town of Smithfield, by whom he had ten children, 
the sons being William, John, Israel, Daniel, Anthony and Seth. The 
daughters married members of the Paine, Lapham, Bartlett and Malav- 
ery families. He was a member of the Society of Friends, and upon 
his land the meeting house was built in 1719. After taking an active 
part in the affairs of that time, he died October 27th, 1756, aged 85 
years, and was buried on his homestead farm, on that part of which, 
in recent times. Willing Vose was the owner. 

Before the death of John Arnold he had sold or given the larger 
part of his lands to his sons, and by the terms of his will, in 1753, his 
grandson, Arnold Paine, became the owner of part of the homestead 
farm. Of his sons, William Arnold, Esq., the oldest, appears to have 
been very prominent. In 1727 his father presented to him a tract of 
land, the northern part of which became known as the " Old Maids* 
Farm." To this he received an addition, on the south, in 1744; and 
as he had previously, in 1729, purchased a tract still farther south, he 
was now the owner of all the land north of the present South Main 
street. Near this thoroughfare he built his new house, which was a 
veritable mansion in those days. It had originally a hip roof, but 
was much altered in appearance by being several times remodeled. 
In 1755 the lands of William Arnold, Esq., on both sides of the river, 
passed to his son Elisha, and from him they descended to his son 
Ezekiel. The latter lived at the " Old Maids' Farm," which received 
its name from the fact that upon the death of their father, Ezekiel, 
two of the daughters, Abagail and Lydia, remained the occupants of 
the place, becoming old maids. Under their management it was a 



■270 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

model farm, and was widely known for its fertility and neatness. In 
1866, this farm of 170 acres was purchased by the Fairmount Farm 
Company for $25,500, and much of it has been subdivided and sold 
for manufacturing and residence purposes. Upon this part of old 
William Arnold's estate is now that part of Woonsocket called " Fair- 
mount;" upon the southern part of it is a portion of that part called 
Olobe. 

John Arnold, the second son of John Arnold, the original settler, 
lived on a farm near " Logee Hill." In 1737 the estate was presented 
to his son, Moses, who afterward purchased a farm of his uncle, Wil- 
liam, on the Cumberland side, on which he lived until his death. 

Israel Arnold, son of John, removed to Burrillville. Daniel, another 
son. owned lands at Union Village and on the Cumberland side. 
Anthony, another son, received 60 acres of land from his father in 
1733. They were at the "falls," and included " the island, with two 
•corn mills and a fulling mill thereon." In 1739 he sold this property 
to his brother, Seth Arnold, and removed to New York. This Seth 
Arnold's father had given him 300 acres at the "falls" at the same 
time that Anthony received his land, which having passed to Seth, 
made him the owner of what has since become the business part of 
the city. He lived in a mansion near where is now the " Globe " store 
building, and near the home of his brother William. From him most 
•of the lands descended to his son James Arnold, who disposed of them 
by sale after 1814"''', and but very little of the original Arnold lands 
here remain in the hands of descendants of the first settler. 

Another settler of that period on the Smithfield side was Philip 
Loja, or Logee, who lived on the summit of the hill which has since 
borne his name. His brother, Abraham, lived on the eastern slope of 
the same hill. They were sons of Abraham Logee, of Mendon, who 
became the owner of the land in 1729. Scarcely a ruin is left of the 
dwelling place of Philip Logee, who was a wealthy and prominent 
citizen. 

On the Cumberland side the grants of lands were made under the 
jurisdiction of the Massachusetts colony, passing from the original 
owners by sale to those who remained to become identified with the 
place. In the business part of Woonsocket these purchasers were also 
members of the Arnold family. One of the first grants in this section 
was made by the general court at Boston, May 19th, 1669, to Samuel 
Chapin, of Springfield. In consideration of services rendered he was 
to receive 200 acres. He never came here to reside. In 1710 Captain 
Seth Chapin conveyed a part of the above grant to John Arnold. 
It embraced 42^ acres, lying in the bend of the river, south and west 
of a line running from where the Clinton Mills now are to near the 
upper railroad bridge. This was part of the 60 acres given by John 
Arnold to his son Anthony, and by him sold, in 1739, to his brother 

*See Manufacturing Interests. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 271 

Seth, from whom they descended to his son James, practically the last 
Arnold proprietor at the " falls." 

May 20th, 1711, the proprietors of Mendon laid out 25 acres to 
James Bick, and about the same time lands were laid out for Jonathan 
Sprague and Thomas Sanford. Bick lived on the river, near the pres- 
ent Doctor Ballou bridge, and the Sprague home was where is now 
the Privilege Mill property. Sanford had the intervening lot. Nearly 
all these lands were purchased by William Arnold, Esq., the oldest son 
of the original settler. The lands granted to various parties, north 
and east of this tract: to Samuel Thayer, 40 acres on Mill river in 
1705; to Jonathan Richards, 55 acres in 1721; to Ebenezer Cook, lands 
connecting these two tracts, in 1719 and again in 1749, became the 
property of Daniel Arnold, a brother of William. The latter sold his 
lands at the present Monument Square and north to his nephew, Moses, 
who came here from Logee hill to become the first settler in that part 
of the city. Daniel Arnold bequeathed his large estate to his grand- 
son, Joseph, who also added to his lands here by purchase from the 
heirs of Moses Arnold. Joseph Arnold later divided his Cumberland 
lands among his sons, Joseph P., vSmith and Benjamin, who made im- 
provements at the Cold Spring grove, at the Harris homestead and at 
other places in the northern part of the city. 

March 19th, 1705, lands were laid out on Peter's river to Nicholas 
Cook, which later passed to the Aldrich family, who also became the 
owners of lands granted to Boyce, Sewell, Chace and others. 

Beyond the range of hills, along this stream, is the East Woon- 
socket section. Its inhabitants are now mainly agriculturists, there 
being no public places, except a few small shops, the school house and 
a fine Grange hall. Some of the original farms have been subdivided, 
and parts remain in the hands of descendants of those who improved 
them. The names of Cook, Bartlett, Darling, Jillson, Gaskill, Whipple, 
Wilcox and Smith are thus honorably perpetuated. 

The Abner Bartlett farm was occupied many years by Levin and 
Joseph Bartlett. Eber, a son of the latter, was the possessor of a keen 
inventive mind, and it is claimed made, in his little farm shop, the first 
horse cultivator in this country. He also invented a stove. Members 
of the Darling family were also gifted with mechanical skill. It is 
claimed that the honor of inventing the revolving pistol, which has 
immortalized Colonel Colt, should belong to Barton Darling, who, with 
his brother Benjamin, had a shop in these parts where he had manu- 
factured that article some time before the Colt revolver was produced. 
It is said of Benjamin Darling that he was an active adherent of 
Thomas W. Dorr, and that his bravery and determination prevented 
bloodshed at the most critical period of those troublous times. After 
the Dorrites had taken the cannon from the state arsenal, those hold- 
ing them threatened to fire upon whoever should attempt to recapture 
them. A party of the " Law and Order" party advanced upon one of 



272 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

the cannons for this purpose, when just as the " Dorrites" were about 
to discharge the gun, Benjamin Darling rushed through the crowd and 
called upon it to desist, saying that such an act would be treason to 
the state, etc. To prevent firing he placed his hand on the vent, and 
kept it there even after the excited cannoneers had passed the heated 
priming rod over it and painfully burned it. His coolness produced 
better counsels and the peace was preserved, but not without leaving 
the stigma of traitor upon the heroic man. The Darlings invented 
other useful articles, but failed to reap pecuniary benefit from them, 
and Benjamin lived to become, in his extreme age, an object of the 
town's charity. 

Descendants of the Jillson family attained distinction in this state 
and Massachusetts. The old farm is now the property of Stephen 
Wilcox. On it has been discovered a spring of remarkably pure water, 
cool and possessed of medicinal properties , which have caused it to be- 
come a place of resort. One of the Jillson daughters was married to 
Paul Smith, who purchased, in 1784, the farm on which now resides 
his grandson, Albert A. Smith. A barn erected on this farm in 1802, 
is still covered with the original shingles, which are in good con- 
dition. 

The census of 1885 places the value of farm lands and buildings 
m the town at $281,302, and gives the following acreage: Under the 
plow, 295 acres; meadows, 900 acres; pastures, 621 acres; woodland, 
423 acres; unimproved, 210 acres, making a total of 2,452 acres of 
lands classed as agricultural. This acreage was embraced in 59 farms, 
of which three consisted of one acre only, and 56 were of more than 
one acre. The average product per acre from all sources was valued 
at $26.36. 

The real growth of Woonsocket began after 1810, when cotton 
manufacturing was here begun, and the increase of population was 
slow but steady until the completion of the first railroad in 1847. 
From that time there have been several periods of more rapid 
growth, brought on mainly by the location and development of some 
large industry. Since being a corporate body the population of 
Woonsocket, at different periods, has been as follows: 1870, 11,527; 
1875, 13,576; 1880, 16,050; 1885, 16,199. By the census of 1885 there 
were 2,678 families with male heads and 538 with female heads, the 
average number belonging to each family being five members. Of 
the population in 1885 there were 7,530 males and 8,660 females. The 
increase of the latter was 2 per cent, greater than the former, com- 
paring 1875 with 1885. The native born were 9,069, and 7,121 were 
foreigners. Nearly 5,000 of the natives were born at Woonsocket; 
60.9 per cent, of the inhabitants were single; 33.4 per cent., married; 
5.6 per cent., widowed, and .1 per cent., divorced. There were 607 
more dwellings in 1885 than 1875, and the increase was 42.2 per cent. 
The material was: wood, 1,809; brick, 106; stone, 34. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 273 

The first residence and business directory of Woonsocket was pre- 
pared in 1875-6 by E. S. Metcalf & Co., wlio tiave since issued one 
biennially. The names contained were: 1875-6, 4,070; 1877-8, 4,499; 
1880-1, 5,057; 1884-5, 5,614; 1886-7. 6,024; ] 888-9, 6,810. 

Although the organization of Woonsocket as a separate town had 
been agitated many years before it was accomplished, it does not ap- 
pear that there was any concerted action until the fall of 1866, when 
it was voted at a town meeting of the citizens of Cumberland to form 
out of that body a new town, with the following bounds: " Begin- 
ning at a point in the middle of the Blackstone river, directly oppo- 
site the center or middle of the Crook Falls brook, thence running 
northeasterly in a direct line to the easterly corner, formed by the 
junction of the new road (so called), leading from the southwestern 
corner of the town of Bellingham, with the old road, leading from 
the Elder Ballou meeting house (so called); thence northerly with the 
east line of said road to the Massachusetts state line; thence along 
said line to the Blackstone river and down said stream to the point of 
beginning." 

An act for the division of the town was prepared by F. G. Jillson; 
and Fenner Brown, E. L. Blake, F. G. Jillson, L. W. Ballou and J. L. 
Brown were chosen a committee to assist in securing the setting off 
and incorporation of the town of Woonsocket, which was to " have and 
enjoy the like benefits, liberties, privileges and immunities as the 
other towns in this state enjoy and are entitled to." The act setting 
off the town was passed January 31st, 1867, and at the March meet- 
ing that year, Lyman Burlingame, John A. Corey and Herbert F. 
Keith were appointed to set up suitable boundary stones between the 
old and the new town. May 6th, 1867, they reported that this work 
had been done by them. 

The area of the new town was increased four years later by the 
annexation of territory from the town of North Smithfield. The 
official action in Woonsocket, leading to this measure was taken May 
6th, 1870, when the town voted that so much of Srnithfield as is in- 
cluded in the villages of Hamlet, Bernon and Globe should be added, 
and Lyman A. Cook, Latimer W. Ballou and Charles Nourse were ap- 
pointed a board of " Commissioners to meet a similar board from 
Smithfield, to arrange a boundary line and other details of such 
annexation." The dismemberment of this territory had been bitterly 
opposed many years by some of the citizens of Smithfield, but it was 
accomplished by the act of March 8th, 1871, since which time it has 
been a corporate part of Woonsocket. As one of the conditions of 
this acquisition, Woonsocket paid into the general treasury, on May 
8th, 1871, the sum of $7,500, being the annexed territory's proportion 
of the old town's debt. The entire area of the town of Woonsocket 
thus became 8.4 square miles. 
18 



274 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

The bounds of the town, before and since its organization as a 
separate body, have been in dispute, and particularly has the Massa- 
chusetts line been the subject of controversy. Several towns in that 
state lay claim to jurisdiction to the old Cumberland section of the 
town, Mendon claiming the western part and Dedham that part east 
of Peter's river. The royal decree of January 27th, 1746, settled the 
matter only in a general way, and for more than a hundred years 
longer citizens along the line were in doubt as to which state they 
owed their allegiance. The joint commissions of the states made, in 
March, 1862, what was believed to be a formal settlement of the dis- 
pute, but it was not until twenty years later that the controversy was 
finally set at rest. In 1883 granite stones, with the letters R. I. cut on 
the south face, and Mass. on the north face, were set up on the desig*- 
nated line, and on the 7th of December, 1883, these were inspected by 
the governors of the two states and their commissioners, who approved 
the same. On their return the party was dined at the Woonsocket 
Hotel, and, since that time, this boundary has no longer been a dis- 
turbing factor. 

On the 20th of May, 1874, a town seal was adopted, the design 
selected being similar to that of the probate court, and lettered: 
" Town of Woonsocket, Incorporated 1867." 

The town councils, from the organization of the town until the 
adoption of the city charter, have been composed of the following 
members: 

1867. Clinton Puffer, president; James C. Molten, Lewis F. Cook, 
Joseph L. Brown, George A. Grant. 

1868-9. George W. Jenckes, president; Allen Thayer, B. S. Bur- 
lingame, Jos. B. Aldrich, Willis Wales. 

1870. Nathaniel Elliott, president; Daniel B. Pond, Edwin B. Mil- 
ler, vSeldon A. Bailey, Alanson Sweet. 

1871. Nathaniel Elliott, president; Daniel B. Pond, John A. Ben- 
nett, Edwin B. Miller, Seldon A. Bailey, Albert J. Elwell, Beth T. 
Aldrich. 

1872-3. Same as 1871, except x\llen Thayer in place of Daniel B. 
Pond. 

1874. A. J. Elwell, president; Nathaniel Elliott, Cyrus Arnold, L. 
C. Tourtellot, Albert P. Holley, Allen Thayer, James M. Cook. 

1875. A. J. Elwell, president; L. C. Tourtellot, Cyrus Arnold, Al- 
bert P. Holley, John H. vSherman, John Currier, John Connolly. 

1876. Francello G. Jillson, president; Moses P. Roberts, John H. 
Sherman, William E. Grant, John A. C. Wightman, Alanson Sweet, 
Henry M. Grout. 

1877. Walter E. Parker, president; John H. vSherman, John A. C. 
Wightman, William E. Grant, Noah L. Peck, George H. Grant, Wil- 
liam H. Goodale. 

1878. Bradbury C. Hill, president; Henry A. Stone, Albert A. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 275 

Smith, John H. Lee, Ara M. Paine, Henry M. Grout, Moses P. Rob- 
erts, 

1879-80. Clinton Puffer, president; John H. Lee, Ara M. Paine, 
Seth S. Getchell, Edwin R. Scott, Charles H. Horton, Nathan B. 
Arnold. 

188L Charles F. Ballou, president; Joseph B. Aldrich, George ^I. 
Welles, Joseph Bouvier, Edward Thurber, Henry M. Darling, John C. 
Darling. 

1882. Charles F. Ballou, president; Cyrus Arnold, George H. 
Grant, George W. Miller, Walter E. Smith, Godfroy Daigneault, 
Edward A. Mungeon. 

1883. George H. Grant, president; Cyrus Arnold, J. A. C. Wight- 
■ man, George W. Miller, Walter E. Smith, Godfroy Daigneault, Ed- 
ward A. Mungeon. 

1884. John A. C. Wightman, president; Cyrus Arnold, John 
Leech, Israel B. Phillips, Charles N. Brown, John R. Waterhouse, 
John B. Fountain. 

1885. Cyrus Arnold, president; John Leech, Gilbert L. Staples, 
John R. Waterhouse, Israel B. Phillips, William L. Whipple, Edouard 
Beaudry. 

1886. Daniel B. Pond, president; Caleb G. Carr, Edwin O. Ronian, 
James Handley, Charles E. Grant, Charles H. McFee, Erastus Rich- 
ardson. 

1887-8. Charles H. McFee, president; Caleb G. Carr, Edwin O. 
Ronian, James Handley, Erastus Richardson, Gilman Brown, Victor 
Allaire. 

In the same period the town clerks have been: 1867-73, Francello 
G. Jillson; 1875-88, Albert E. Greene. For a like period the town 
treasurers were: 1867-8, Herbert F. Keith; 1869-86, Theodore M. 
Cook; 1887-8, Samuel P. Cook. 

The rapid growth of Woonsocket, and the increase of its diverse 
interests created a desire for a better form of municipal government 
than the town afforded. Accordingly, on the 13th of June, 1888, the 
general assembly passed an "Act to Establish the City of Woon- 
socket." This charter was adopted by the citizens of the town No- 
vember 6th, 1888, and under its provisions the first election of city 
officers was held December 3d, the same year. These were qualified 
and assumed the duties of their several offices January 7th, 1889, on 
which day, the wheels of the city government were set in motion. In 
his inaugural address the mayor-elect, George H. Grant, called atten- 
tion to the improvements which had been made under the town rule, 
and hoped that they would augur yet better things under the direc- 
tion and provisions of a more comprehensive system of government. 
He cited as the evidences of what had been gained: " An efficient po- 
lice force; well lighted streets; a good fire department; better schools 
and fine school property; a good system of water works; extended and 



276 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

improved highways, and a greater thrift and enterprise among the 
people." But these valuable legacies were secured not without cost, 
and there was a town debt of $584,058.41, which the city assumed as 
one of its liabilities. The assessors' valuation at this time was 
$9,805,475. 

Under the cit}' charter Woonsocket was divided into five wards, 
each of which was entitled to elect one alderman and three council- 
men. In these and in the mayor is invested the administration of 
the fiscal, prudential and municipal affairs of the city, whose limits 
were made co-extensive with those of the old town. The other 
officers are elective by the city council, and embrace a long list in 
every department of affairs. 

In 1889 the principal city officers were the following: Mayor — 
George H. Grant; aldermen — First ward, George M. Welles; Second 
ward, Richard Barnett: Third ward, John J. Heffernan; Fourth 
ward, James E. Cook; Fifth ward, George H. Miller; councilmen 
— First ward, George Smith, Odilon T. Paradis and John North; 
Second ward, Uriah Salley, Etienne N. Janson and James E. Brad- 
ford; Third ward, Charles H. Horton, William Power and James 
R. Gould; Fourth ward, Darius D. Farnum, James C. Molten and 
Ariel C. Thomas ; Fifth ward, Philippe Boucher, L. Leprelett 
Miller and Frederic Dulude; clerk of the council, Louis W. Cook; 
city clerk, Albert E. Greene; city treasurer, Samuel P. Cook; city 
auditor, Aram J. Pothier; city sergeant, Horace M. Pierce; clerk 
of assessors, William C. Mason; collector of taxes, Alphonse Gaulin; 
judge of probate court, Charles F. Ballou; clerk of probate court, Al- 
bert E. Greene; health officer, Doctor George W. Jenckes; coroner, 
Thomas Z. Lee; chief of police, John G. Currier. 

In 1889 the police force of the city consisted of the chief, a lieuten- 
ant, a sergeant and thirteen men. The department was maintained 
at an expense of more than $13,000 per year. 

The unorganized condition of Woonsocket for so long a period 
made it necessary to secure from the state special authority to organ- 
ize for protection against fires. The need for such a measure had 
been made apparent by the disastrous fires of March 25th, 1829, and 
of April, 1835, which was so far-reaching in its effects that it is still 
called the " Great Fire." Accordingly the " Woonsocket Fire Corpor- 
ation " was organized under a charter granted at the June session of 
the general assembly, in 1836. The first principal officers of the cor- 
poration were the leading business men of the town. The wardens 
were: vSmith Arnold, Willis Cook and Dutee B. Aldrich. George C. 
Ballou, Peter J. Cook and Edward Harris were the assessors of cor- 
poration taxes; Elisha T. Read was the collector; Pardon Sayles, 
treasurer, and O. A. Ballou, secretary. 

The corporation retained this strong moral and financial support, 
and developed with the growth of the town until it was the owner of 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 277 

valuable apparatus, and had a fully equipped force to manage the 
same. The mill corporations were especially active in this support, 
and some of them provided apparatus on their own account, which 
was placed at the disposal of the fire corporation. On the 29th of 
June, 1872, the corporation became the owner of its first steam fire 
engine, which was purchased at a cost of $4,000. It was built by Jef- 
fers, of Pawtucket, and was manned by the Woonsocket Steam Fire 
Engine Company No. 1. This company had previously been organ- 
ized as the Eagle Hose Company. A few years later, another steam 
fire engine, manufactured by Cole Brothers, of Pawtucket, was pur- 
chased by the vSocial Manufacturing Company, and was manned by 
the corporation as Steam Engine No. 2, or Social Steamer. There 
were also a hose company, a hook and ladder company and a company 
to man force pumps. 

The supply of water for use in case of fires was from the mill 
dams direct, and from eight large cisterns and the mains leading to 
them. These cisterns were constructed in various parts of the town, 
and hold from 7,000 to 25,000 gallons of water. The mains laid are 
four miles long, and from four to eight inches in diameter. Properly 
distributed are 75 hydrants. Water was supplied by seven- service- 
able force pumps, which when fully worked gave a direct pressure 
through the hydrants of 120 pounds to the square inch. When all 
the conditions were harmoniously worked the system was quite effec- 
tive, and some of its features are retained by the present department. 
The affairs of the corporation were last managed by Henry T. Wales, 
George Worrall and Charles E. Grant, engineers; Clinton Puffer, sec- 
retary, and George C. Wilder, treasurer. 

In 1885 the property of the corporation passed to the town of 
Woonsocket by purchase, and the present fire department was organ- 
ized. The following year $7,000 was appropriated for its support, and 
in the fall of 1886 the electric fire alarm system was extended. The 
same season a fire tower was erected at Church and Boyden streets 
and provided with a heavy bell. In the spring of 1889 the alarm sys- 
tem consisted of 15 miles of wire, three bells with electric strikers, 
one 15-inch gong, one indicator, three electro-mechanical tappers, 
three diVect-action tappers, 23 public and four private signal boxes. 
George Worrall was the superintendent of the system. 

The extension of the city water works has also made it possible to 
extend the lines of the fire department and thus insure greater pro- 
tection against fires, and the appropriations to this end have been 
liberal. In 1889 $12,000 was set aside for the purpose of maintenance 
and general improvement. In the latter class was included the erec- 
tion of a fine two story frame building on Clinton street, near the 
Nourse Mill, for the use of Social Steamer Company. It is very com- 
plete in all its appliances and was first occupied in January, 1889. The 
old armory or town hall has been fitted up for the use of Steamer No. 



278 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

1, and is well adapted for that purpose. The quarters of the Woon- 
socket Hook and Ladder Company and the Monument Hose Com- 
pany are also comfortably arranged, and the apparatus of the five 
companies is in good condition. There were 7,450 feet of rubber- 
lined hose, nearly new, and attachment was afforded by 849 hydrants, 
supplied with city water. The engineers of the department were Jay 
Xeill, James Farrar and William H. Smith. The enrolled men on 
the force numbered 58. The department owned four horses which 
had been efficiently trained for their work. 

In the period of eight months ending January 1st, 1889, the de- 
partment had given 18 responses to alarms of fires, the aggregate loss 
from which was $41,191.60. Of these the fire at Ray's Cotton mill, at 
Jenckesville, October 31st, 1888, caused a loss of $17,695, and the fire 
in the American Block, originating in the office of the Evening Re- 
porter, December 23d, 1888, entailed a loss of $8,449.60. In the pre- 
ceding year there were 17 fires, with losses aggregating $29,243.76. 
The prompt action of the department in many cases prevented more 
disastrous results, and the efficiency of the service was fully demon- 
strated. 

In this place a brief summary of the most important fires at Woon- 
socket may appropriately be given. In the nature of things they most 
frequently occurred in the mills, although every class of buildings 
has fallen a prey to the devouring element: March 25th, 1829, and in 
April, 1835, the cotton mills of Dexter and Hosea Ballou and business 
houses around Market Square; January 23d, 1846, the cotton mill of 
George C. Ballou; April 12th, 1858, the Baptist church; August 6th, 
1866, Edward Harris Mill No. 4; May 22d, 1868, the old St. Charles 
Catholic church; June 13th, 1872, the Globe planing mill; September 
8th, 1872, the fine residence of the Reverend Ebenezer Douglas; July 
1st, 1874, the extensive Social Mills; October 16th, 1875, the High 
School building; January 25th, 1882, the Providence & Worcester 
railroad station and Edwards Block. 

In 1889 George Batchelor was the marshall of the city fire depart- 
ment, and John B. Fountain, Thomas A. Buell and Jay Neill were the 
firewards. 

The rapid growth of the town, after 1880, awakened a desfre for a 
system of pure water supply, and the construction of works was urged 
upon the council. But before that body acted in the matter, the 
" Woonsocket Water Works Company " was chartered and as a corpor- 
ation endeavored to secure the co-operation of the town in supplying 
water by submitting a propositionto that end. On the 19th of Janu- 
ary, 1882, the town appointed Francis L. O'Reilly, A. J. Elwell, John 
W. Ellis, Charles Nourse and James C. Molten a committee " to con- 
sider the whole subject matter, as presented by that corporation." In 
their report they reccommended that a survey be made to ascertain the 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 279 

cost of such works, etc. But this proposition was rejected by the 
council the same month. 

Thereupon the company determined to erect the works on its own 
account, and in the spring of 1888 it contracted with George H. Nor- 
man to build them. He began operations, but in May, 1883, he aban- 
doned the contract, after having already spent several thousand dollars 
on the work. In July, 1883, H. G. H. Tarr, of New York, became 
interested with the company in this enterprise and under his direction 
work was begun at once, with John W. Ellis as the civil engineer in 
charge of the construction corps. Dams for reservoirs, on Crooks Fall 
brook, and a brick pumping station at that place were built that year. 
A stand pipe on Logee hill was also begun. The laying of mains and 
distributing pipes from the latter place was done on contract by John 
B, Rutherford, of New Jersey, who began that work in April, 1884. 

In June of that year, the town council agreed with Horace A. 
Jenckes, Francis L. O'Reilly and George H. Grant, of the Woonsocket 
Water Works Company, for a supply of water for the use of the town, 
to be properly distributed, and to be available through 300 fire 
hydrants. Operations were now actively pushed and the works were 
practically built in 1884. Since that time the system has been ex- 
tended and the works perfected until they were in first-class condition. 
■ On the 30th of October, 1884, the town voted by 120 yeas and 56 
nays to buy the works from the company at an advance of $50,000 
over the amount expended. Oscar J. Rathbun, Joseph E. Cole, George 
A. Wilbur, Charles F. Ballou and John McDonald were appointed a 
committee on behalf of the town to effect the purchase. The same 
committee also secured the necessary legislation to bond the debt 
which would thus be incurred. The purchase was made April 1st, 
1885, and the price paid was $298,612.62. The extensions and main- 
tenance of the works have since cost nearly $100,000 more. On the 
11th of February, 1886, the dam of the works was damaged $7.0()0, 
100 feet being washed away by the freshet. 

The water supply is from Crooks Fall brook, in North Smithfield 
township, the dams being about two and a half miles from the center 
of the city. There are two reservoirs, about 1,000 feet apart. The 
upper has an area of nearly 11 acres and holds 36,000,000 gallons. The 
area of the lower is 8|- acres and its capacity 15,000,000 gallons. These 
reservoirs have a source of supply from seven square miles of con- 
tiguous country. One half a mile distant, on Logee hill, is a stand 
pipe, holding 339,400 gallons, which receives and stores the surplus 
pumped water forced through the pipes by two Worthington pumping 
engines. This tank is on an elevation 239 feet above ]\Iarket Square, 
and when full gives a pressure of 105 pounds to the square inch, 
enabling a stream of water in a fire hose to be thrown over the highest 
building in the city. On the same hill another stand pipe, to hold 
513,000 gallons has been built. In 1889 there were nearly 25 miles of 



280 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

mains, 374 fire hydrants, nearly 800 meters, and over 900 services, sup- 
plying about 2,400 families and 350 other consumers with nearly 300,- 
000 gallons of water daily. 

The works are profitably maintained and in the past year the 
expenditures have been but two-thirds of the receipts. A pleasing 
feature of the system is the maintenance of a number of attractive 
drinking fountains, for man and beast, which are located at Market 
Square, Monument Square, Greene street and Hamlet avenue, Social 
and Rathbun streets, Blackstone street and Harris avenue. South 
Main and Mason streets, and at the Harris Institute. The water is 
pure and its average temperature is about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Until April 1st, 1889, the superintendent of the works was Willard 
Kent. At the date named he was succeeded by Byron I. Cook. 

The appropriate care of the dependent poor was a matter of con- 
cern to the authorities, soon after the organization of the town. The 
war had impoverished a large number of persons, who needed aid 
until they could adjust themselves to new conditions, and others were 
absolutely homeless. To relieve the former liberal appropriations 
were made, amounting to nearly $9,000 in 1868; to dispose of the lat- 
ter engaged the attention of various town committees in 1867 and 
1S6S, among the persons so serving being Alonzo D. Vose, Peleg J. 
Congdon, John A. Corey, Charles Nourse, D. M. Cook, Edwin B. 
]^Iiller, Albert J. Elwell and Doctor Ariel Ballou. But it appears that 
for many years only temporary provision could be made for securing 
a home for the indigent, but often worthy, poor of the town. The 
present asylum was provided in obedience to a resolution of a meet- 
ing, held June 11th, 1883, which placed the matter in the hands of 
committeemen Spencer Mowry, James C. Molten and Daniel B. Pond. 
They purchased twelve acres of land, on Mason street, on which was 
erected a frame building, 28 by 56 feet, two stories high, with an ell, 
20 by 23 feet, which was fitted up for asylum purposes. It was ready 
for use April 11th, 1884, and was placed in charge of J. M. Wheaton as 
keeper. Other improvements since that time have made the asylum 
a very creditable institution. In December, 1888, the property was 
valued at about $9,000. From ten to fifteen persons find a good home 
in the asylum each year, and are maintained at an expense of about 
$180 per inmate. The entire support of the poor in the city is about 
$6,000 per year, and Edward Thurber was the overseer of the poor in 
1889. 

For many years, even after the settlement of what is now Woon- 
socket, there were no clearly defined or well kept roads in this sec- 
tion, being for a long time merely paths which led over the most 
favorable conditions of ground. Later the roads, on each side of the 
river, leading from Providence to points in Massachusetts, and their 
connecting roads were made the subjects of town records, and their 
courses were restricted to certain limits. One of these north and 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 281 

south roads was long designated as the "Great road," or the " Smith- 
field Mendon road," since it passed through that town. It ran by the 
Quaker meeting house, through Union Village, and thence into Mass- 
achusetts near the house of Jedediah Wilson. In 1841 it was relaid to 
pass around vSayles' hill, instead of over it as before, and was there- 
after improved with greater care. Its companion road, on the east 
side of the river, was located at an earlier period and was long known 
as the " Old Rehoboth road." It was projected as early as 1050 by 
the proprietors of the town for their use, " or for any that shall have 
occasion to pass from town (Seekonk Plain) to Providence." Later 
it became better known as the " Cumberland Mendon road," which 
term, to some extent, still applies; and it has been but little varied 
from its course since it was located. 

Leading from this highwa}^ to the " falls " and beyond were two 
roads, which united at what is now Monument Square, and which 
have developed into Social, North Main and Main streets. They were 
a part of the east and west thoroughfare from Massachusetts to Con- 
necticut and probably were much traveled. In 1735 Ebenezer Cook 
was paid ^40 by the town of Mendon (which claimed jurisdiction at 
that time) to build a bridge across Mill river, on the former road. 
The north part of these roads was less used, but also received atten- 
tion as early 1750. The road where is now Main street proper had 
some sort of existence before 1710, probably being a mere path to 
the crossing places of the river. One of these was at the ford or 
"wading place," below the falls; and the other was the "rafting 
place," near where the Clinton Mills are. Passing from these locali- 
ties were the roads forming the southern or western connections 
between the Mendon roads. The road which has developed into 
South Main street was located about 1731, but in the next hundred 
years had its course much modified. It was one of the arms which 
formed the widely known " Cross Roads " where it intersected the 
" Great road," at what is now Union Village, and which circumstance 
caused that place to become a business point. The old Logee Hill 
and River roads are perpetuated by streets bearing these names, and 
whose course is much the same as when located in 1732. Being al- 
most parallel with the " Great road " and east of it, this highway was 
popularly called the " East road." Intermediate between these a 
road was laid out, May 23d, 1752, which, in a modified form, has be- 
come Providence street. An older road located in 1731, having nearly 
the same course, was abandoned after this had been opened. Traces 
of this highway remained a hundred years after it was abandoned. 

The first account of the building of a bridge at the " falls " was 
in 1736, when the colony appropriated one-half its cost. The other 
;^128 was raised by private subscription. In 1762 a better bridge was 
built in its stead, the funds being secured by a lottery, authorized by 
law, which provided ;^1, 002 for that purpose. Twenty-five years later 



282 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

the legislature legalized another lottery to build a bridge across the 
river, by means of which i^900 was raised. A new site was selected, 
and this bridge of 1787 was several rods below the old one, near 
where the bridges have since been. It was swept away by the great 
freshet of February, 1807, whose magnitude has not been equaled 
since the settlement of the country. In August, 1807, the work of 
rebuilding both bridges was begun by the towns of Smithfield and 
Cumberland, and by them again repaired in 1825. In the latter year 
Dexter Ballou and David Wilkinson, acting for Smithfield, erected 
the stone arch bridge from the side of that town to the island. A 
stone arch bridge was built in 18B3 by Aaron Rathbun and Cephas 
Holbrook, to replace the middle bridge. This was itself replaced in 
1861 by a better bridge of the same nature, built after plans by S. B. 
Cushing, the noted bridge architect. In 1867 the Hamlet avenue 
bridge, below the Groton works, was built. In 1868-9, the Doctor 
Ariel Ballou bridge, so called, was built at an outlay of nearly $4,000. 
All of these bridges have since been kept in repair by liberal appro- 
priations. 

Since the civil organization of Woonsocket large sums of money 
have been expended in the exten-sion and improvement of the streets, 
thousands of dollars being spent in making straight their courses. In 
1869 the lines and grades of the streets were established by a civil 
engineer, and the work of paving and curbing begun. Since 1883 
Main street, from Market Square to Monument Square, has been paved 
with granite blocks. In 1888 more than S3o,000 was expended on the 
streets and bridges of the city. 

While these improved roads and bridges afforded better communi- 
cation at home, the need of superior transportation facilities to points 
abroad was early apparent. The building of factories along the Black- 
stone steadily increased the tonnage of freight. Vast quantities of 
raw material were to be brought in and the manufactured goods taken 
out. The freighter's wagon and the stage coach were becoming in- 
adequate to perform this work. Hence a canal from Providence to 
Worcester was projected, and it was believed that its construction 
would still more fully develop the resources of the Blackstone valley. 
It was intended to utilize the channel of the river as much as possible 
and thus, following the windings of the stream, the improvement 
would be about 45 miles long. From Providence to Woonsocket most 
of the canal was completed in the fall of 1827, after several years had 
been devoted to work on it under the management of General Car- 
rington. Among his laborers on this contract was Michael Reddy, 
whose name has passed into history as the first Irishman to make 
Woonsocket his permanent home. In the progress of the work, from 
Providence up, he reached the town in the fall of 1826 and remained 
here, an honored though humble citizen, until his death, more than 
half a centurv later. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 283 

After 3'ears of trial it was seen that the canal had failed of its 
first purpose. By it transportation was slow and costly, and having 
so many locks the canal was expensively kept in repair for use a few 
months in a year only. The stockholders had received no returns, 
and it only required the agitation of the matter of building a railroad 
along the same route to convince them that their venture would better 
be abandoned. But little was done after 1840, and six years later the 
Massachusetts part of the canal was sold to the Providence & Worces- 
ter Railroad Company for |i22,500, while in Rhode Island the property 
reverted to the former owners of the land. It is said that by the above 
sale the holders of canal stock realized their only dividend, about one 
dollar per share. ^ 

Through the town of Woonsocket the course of this almost-forgot- 
ten thoroughfare was, when not in the channel of the stream, mainly 
on the north side of the river. It thus passed out of the stream, after 
leaving the Massachusetts line, at Buffum's bridge, thence by trench 
to a point above the Doctor Ballou bridge, where it again entered the 
river and remained until a second departure was made above the dam 
at the " falls." From this point it passed down, crossing Main street 
where Greene's Block now is, and thence across the "meadows," in 
the line of the present mill trench, to near the railroad bridge, where 
was a tow-bridge across the river to the Smithfield side. The chan- 
nel of the river was now used until near the Hamlet dam, when a cut 
was again made across the land to a point into the river, near the 
present bridge at Hamlet. Below the "falls" were a series of locks 
and near the Lyman Mill was a basin where boats lay while taking on 
and unloading goods. At its best three canal boats per day are re- 
membered as passing through, and later they were so infrequent that 
there was but one every few days. 

But, if the canal failed as a means of transportation, it proved to 
be the means of more fully developing the water power of the Black- 
stone for manufacturing purposes, and in that sense its projectors 
builded wiser than they knew. iVlong its abandoned course numerous 
mills were erected, and now the demand for speedier and cheaper 
transportation was greater than ever. To the progressive the solution 
of the problem was plain, providing a railroad could be built. In the 
minds of others such an improvement meant the expenditure of vast 
sums of money and disaster to the occupations of the farmer, the mer- 
chant and the hotel keeper. Hence the movement to build a railroad 
was deferred from year to year. As early as 1882 the project of build- 
ing a railroad to Boston had been discussed and various lines were 
proposed and abandoned. Thus a dozen years were spent in discus- 
sion when it became apparent that the railroad was coming, but, alas, 
the spoke did not radiate from the " Hub !" The feasibility of build- 
ing a railroad along the route of the canal was set forth as early as 

*Richardson's History, p. 166. 



^84 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

1843, and later, it was demonstrated that such a road would also pay 
well. Because of this belief the matter was pushed energetically, and 
at the May, 1844, session, the Rhode Island legislature chartered the 
Providence & Worcester Railroad Company. The route was soon 
after located and the work of construction begun. 

In its report on the advantages which would accrue if the railroad 
were built, a committee appointed to investigate the matter said, in 
regard to Woonsocket and vicinity: 

"1. Hamlet — population 250, contains two cotton mills, with 5,832 
spindles, 120 looms, employing 67 females and 74 males, producing 
20,000 yards of cotton cloth per week, and working 650 bales of cotton 
per annum. 

Estimated annual tons of merchandise, 400. 
Estimated sum for passengers, per annum, $400. 
Estimated sum for freight, per annum, $700. 
"2. Bernon — population, 750, contains two cotton mills with 11,000 
spindles, 288 looms, employing 175 females and 75 males, producing 
38,500 yards of cotton cloth per week, and working 1,000 bales of cot- 
ton per annum. 

Estimated annual tons of merchandise, 633. 
Estimated sum for passengers, per annum, $633. 
Estimated sum for freight, per annum, $1,266. 
" 3. Woonsocket — population 4,000, contains 17 cotton mills, with 
34,456 spindles, 812 looms, producing 151,039 yards of cotton cloth per 
week, and working 5,251 bales of cotton per annum; three woolen 
mills, with 10 sets of machinery, producing 4,700 yards of cloth per 
week, and working 281,500 pounds of wool per annum; six machine 
shops, an iron foundry, two grist mills, a saw mill, one spool and bob- 
bin shop, one soap manufactory, two wholesale grocery stores. In the 
mills 413 females and 456 males are employed. 

Estimated annual tons of merchandise, 15,233. 
Estimated sum for passengers, per annum, $10,100. 
Estimated sum for freight, per annum, $30,466. 
" N. B. — It should be stated that the estimation of sums from pas- 
sengers was based on that estimated to be received by stages." 

The railroad was completed for the transportation of freight in 
September, 1847, and was formally opened Monday, October 25th, the 
same year, when stockholders and their invited guests, numbering 
about 1,500 persons, passed over the route to Worcester, where they 
were served with a collation. The passenger station at Woonsocket 
was erected in August, 1847, and, with some repairs, was used until 
the summer of 1872, when it was remodeled at an outlay of $10,000. 
This building and the adjoining Doctor Edwards block were destroyed 
by fire January 25th, 1882. Soon after the erection of the present 
handsome depot building was begun and finished, after plans pre- 
pared by John W. Ellis. It is a brick structure, trimmed with free- 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 285 

Stone, and has a slated Gothic roof. Its dimensions are 47 by 164 
feet, and its front end, on Main street, is two stories high, the lower 
part being adapted for business purposes, and an entrance way from 
the street to the depot. The interior of the depot is finished in fine 
style, having all the modern improvements, and it is claimed that this 
is the finest local station in New England. It was occupied for busi- 
ness March 11th, 1883. P^or many years B. W. Johnson was the sta- 
tion agent, faithfully looking after the interests of the company until 
June, 1879, when he was succeeded by the present efficient agent, Al- 
vertus Dean. 

The shipping business of the station has largely increased in recent 
years and this is one of the best paying points on the road. The pas- 
senger traffic has also proportionately increased. In 1885 there were 
9 passenger trains each way per day; in the same month in 1889 the 
number each way was 13 trains. A station on this road is also main- 
tained at Hamlet. 

But the idea of having a direct railroad to Boston was not given up 
even when the above road was assured. It was deeply rooted in the 
minds of some of the leading business men of the town, and nothing 
short of its realization would content them. Large and spirited meet- 
ings were held in Armory Hall in the fall of 1846 and the spring of 
1847, in which the principal men participated and gave expression to 
their earnestness. Unfortunately for the fruition of their hopes and 
their peace of mind there were bitter feelings and jealousies awak- 
ened which arrayed individuals and corporations of this and neigh- 
boring towns against one another, and what might have been advan- 
tageously adjusted by compromise was made the issue of contention. 
The building of an " Air Line " from Boston westward was charac- 
terized by a fierce rivalry for the position of a station on the line, be- 
tween Waterford and Woonsocket, in which the latter was beaten, 
although being very much superior as a commercial point. " The 
genius, will and money of Welcome Farnum prevailed, and the Air 
Line went to his town — Waterford." 

After the lapse of years the project of an extension or connection 
with existing roads to Boston was revived and prosecuted with better 
results. A branch of the New England railroad was located through 
Woonsocket, and November 16th, 1863, trains began running on 
schedule time from the town to Boston. A direct mail by this route was 
soon after established, and the advantages for which the town had 
longed so many years were in a measure attained. An extension of this 
line westward was begun and carried forward to the grading of the road, 
when work was discontinued. The framework of the bridge across 
the Blackstone was swept away by the great freshet in March, 1876, 
and the stone piers left standing were carried off by the flood of Feb- 
ruary 11th, 1886. It is proposed to use the grading of this line in the 
construction of a branch road, which, being done, Woonsocket will 



•286 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

have at last a western outlet and also become a station on an " Air 
line." 

The traffic of the New England road has steadily increased and is 
much heavier than in former years, and while the passenger patron- 
age is comparatively light, this direct line is a great convenience. In 
1889 there were seven trains to Boston daily. Since March, 1878, 
Thomas B. Holden has been the station agent, succeeding D. Law- 
rence. 

A history of the public houses of Woonsocket would be incomplete 
without an account of the pioneer inns of Union Village, which for 
nearly a hundred years was the real Woonsocket. For that space of 
time nearly all the important business of this section was transacted 
within the narrow limits of that now quiet hamlet. Where are, at 
present, only suburban residences, once were a bank, the post office, 
mechanic shops, two stores and two taverns. The latter, after the 
custom of the times, were the centers of business and social life, and 
their reputation extended to the utmost limits of the lines of travel 
on which they were located, and which carried the name of Woon- 
socket abroad. There courts were held, and those in attendance en- 
tertained; town business transacted and a general interchange made 
of the news of the day with the travelers and the neighbors assem- 
bled from miles around, for to the Woonsocket Cross Roads went all 
classes of people. 

These taverns were kept in the oldest buildings in the place. The 
one first opened, November 26th, 1733, was in the original dwelling 
house of Hezadiah Comstock, which was built about 1703, and was 
the second residence at this point. The license was granted to 
Joseph Arnold, who leased the house from the Comstock family until 
1744, when it passed to him by purchase. It was a long frame build- 
ing with the end standing toward the street, and had a spacious yard. 
In the latter were erected stocks for the punishment of condemned 
prisoners, sentenced by the court, sitting in the tavern. Joseph Ar- 
nold died in 1745, but the tavern continued to be kept by his widow, 
Patience (whose maiden name was Wilkinson), until the fall of 1763. 
The landlord appears to have been a man of great prominence, and 
had many good qualities. He is said to have so thoroughly abhorred 
slavery, that on his yearly visits to the Newport meeting of Friends 
he would not stop at the houses of those who held slaves. One of his 
sons was the esteemed Doctor William Arnold. 

The second tavern was opened September 15th, 1739, by Thomas 
Arnold, a brother of the iirst landlord. He occupied the house on 
the opposite side of the street, which was the first residence in the 
place, having been built in 1690, by James Arnold. This landlord 
was also prominent, and was known in the later years of his life as 
Judge Thomas Arnold. He died in 1765. In 1780 this house was 
■ enlarged by one of his sons, Peleg Arnold, and was kept by him many 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 287 

years. Like his uncle and his father he was a controlling influence 
in public affairs of this section, and was also influential in state mat- 
ters. He was widely known as Judge Peleg Arnold. 

In the present century there were also two inns at this village, 
sustaining the relation of rivals for patronage. The one on the east 
side of the street was built by Marcus Arnold, and Amasa Bagley was 
the first landlord, keeping the house one year. George Aldrich pur- 
chased the property and moved into the house on Christmas Day, 
1807, and kept the tavern until 1832, when it became a private resi- 
dence. The house on the west side of the street was built by Walter Al- 
len, and the tavern keepers in the line of succession were Paul Draper, 
William Ayers, Nathan Mowry, Seth Allen, Walter S. Allen and Otis 
Bartlett. Of these the Aliens are best remembered as landlords. 
This tavern was also devoted to private use after business was trans- 
ferred to the " Falls." 

At the latter place the first record of a public house appears in 
connection with the granting of a license to retail strong liquors, 
March 3d, 1734, to William Arnold, Esq. This house was on the hill 
near the present Globe Mills, and appears to have also been a small 
store. It may be that the entertainment of the public was only an in- 
cidental feature of its business. The dwelling house of James Ar- 
nold, below the " falls," was properly made the first tavern in the 
present city of Woonsocket, and Caleb Adams was the first landlord. 
Cephas Holbrook succeeded him and built a larger house on the same 
site, about 1829. The enterprise proving too great for him, the prop- 
erty passed into the hands of a hotel company, and there were a num- 
ber of landlords, among them being Willard and Luke Whitcomb, 
Charles E. Richards and Reuel Smith. April 14th, 1846, Cook & Bal- 
lou took charge of the hotel as the owners, and not long afterward 
Otis D. Ballou became the sole proprietor. He kept it many years, 
and it was favorably known as " Ballou's Temperance Hotel." The 
business netted him a competency and he retired, selling out to Cook, 
Mason & Co. Under their direction the place again became known 
as the Woonsocket Hotel, and earned a fine reputation, which has 
been retained with increasing favor until this day. In June, 1870, the 
old frame building was removed from its site to a rear lot, and the 
present hotel edifice erected thereon by the proprietors. It is of 
brick, 45 by m feet, with an ell 45 by 58 feet, four stories high, and 
has a mansard roof. More recent refittings have supplied the modern 
appliances, and under the continued management of Cook, Mason & 
Co. it is one of the most popular hostelries in this part of the state. 

In the northern part of the town the " Mechanics Hotel " was 
kept during the late war by Albert C. Jencks, who sold out to Lysander 
W. Elliott April 1st, 1867, after having achieved a fine reputation as 
an exemplary landlord. In 1869 the new proprietor removed the old 
house across the street and erected a new hotel on the site, the origi- 



288 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

nal structure being- a frame 42 by 110 feet, three stories high and sur- 
mounted by a Mansard story. This has since been enlarged by the 
addition of a brick block on the north ; and in 1888 the capacity of 
the hotel was still further increased by the use of several stories in 
the Opera House Block. The modern conveniences have been em- 
bodied in this hotel's arrangements since its completion in July, 1870. 
At that time it received the name of Monument House, from the 
location of the soldiers' monument, near by, and has since been ably 
conducted by the popular landlord and proprietor, L. W. Elliott. 

In addition to these two principal houses there have been other 
inns which, in their day, accommodated the public well. In 1857, 
John Livesy kept a tavern opposite the Harris Block, which he called 
the Central Hotel, but which has long since been given up to other 
uses. On the Globe side was kept a tavern, of some note, in a build- 
ing- which was afterward transformed into a boarding house for the 
mill near which it stands. 

Among the other public buildings in the city the old Rathbun 
Block, erected in 1832, stood a prominent business place more than a 
quarter of a century. In April, 1867, it was sold to Charles H. Fletcher, 
who erected a new block, bearing his name, on this site. In 1886 he 
remodeled his Music Hall at an outlay of $15,000, and opened it to the 
public the following year. It is a fine place of amusement, having a 
stage 60 feet square, which is provided with elegant scenery. 

The old Armory Hall, on Bernon street, was the next place in point 
of age, which was erected for public gatherings. It was built in the 
summer of 1845, at a cost of $3,000, one-third of which was paid by the 
state, in consideration of the fact that part of the building was to be 
used for military purposes. When the hall was dedicated it was made 
the occasion of a grand ball, at which the music was furnished by 
Dod worth's celebrated New York band, and many distinguished people 
from abroad attended. In 1884 the town appropriated $10,000 to pur- 
chase this property and refit it for public uses. In 1889 most of the 
building was occupied by the city fire department, the other city offices 
being in buildings more centrally located. 

In 1846 S. S. Waterman erected a large three-story brick block, 
in what is now the central part of the city, which was for many years 
an attractive public building. In 1865 the property was purchased by 
S. S. Foss and the name changed to Patriot Block, which it still bears. 
This building was the most conspicuous object in that part of the 
town for ten years. 

In 1856 Edward Harris erected the block which bears his name 
south of the above building, and gradually, since that time, this part 
of the town has become the center of trade. The block is 62 by 96 
feet and is three stories high, the material being brick and iron. In 
the lower story are business rooms; the second story is devoted to the 
use of the Free Library; and the third story forms Harris Hall. It is 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 289 

25 feet high, perfectly ventilated and seats 2,000 people. For many 
years it was the finest hall in the stsCte. It was opened to the public 
December 23d, 1857, and the Reverend Doctor Cheever was the first 
speaker, under the auspices of the Lyceum, to occupy the rostrum. 
Wendell Phillips spoke in this hall soon after. On the 8th of 
March, 1860, Abraham Lincoln addressed a large assemblage of people 
here, many being brought from Providence by special train. While 
in Woonsocket he was the guest of Edward Harris. Since that time 
the hall has been used by many of the prominent public men of the 
country, and it is replete with historic associations. In 1868 this 
property, valued at $90,000, was deeded to the trustees of the Harris 
Institute, by whom it has since been controlled so judiciously that it 
has appreciated in value. 

Cook's Block, opposite the above, is a three story brick, with man- 
sard roof, and was built in 1867. It is substantial, containing several 
banks. Greene's Block, on the north, was built in 1873. About the 
same time the Hope Block, a fine three story brick, was built at the 
intersection of Main and Clinton streets. Unity Block, opposite, was 
erected in 1886. Both buildings are largely used for office purposes. 
The Foss Memorial Building is farther south, on Main street, and was 
erected in 1887 to the memory of S. S. Foss, by his estate. Its orna- 
mental front is constructed of pressed brick and tile, and it is very 
attractive. On this site was a building in which was opened the first 
exclusive wholesale store in the city, by D. M. Cook & Co., in April, 
1867. 

On Main street, north, the Lapham and Miller blocks gave charac- 
ter to the business interests of the town before 1875, and the hand- 
some Opera House Block, completed in 1888, is not excelled in the state. 
The Linton Block, near by, built the same year, is also very attrac- 
tive. An earlier fine public building, on North Main, was the Priv- 
ilege Store Block, erected by Edward Harris in 1865. It is of brick. 
60 by 106 feet, and affords the largest business rooms in the city. The 
upper story forms a hall, but as the building is too remote from the 
center of the city, it is but little used. 

Eastward, on Social street, the Social brick block was completed in 
1878, but the fine hall in the third story was not dedicated until May 
15th, 1874. It also affords spacious rooms for stores and offices. 

For many years the principal stores of the town were kept in con- 
nection with the mills, and most generally in their localities. But 
with the growth of the town came a separation of these interests, and 
several good stores were opened by parties not interested in the 
mills. About 1840 Darling & Thayer and the firm of Glackin & 
Mason had stores in the Rathbun Block; and Ballou & Mason were 
also in trade. Near the same time Josiah Perkins was the bookseller, 
and William J. Holder was a dealer in tinware and stoves. The firm 
of Darling & Thayer continued many years, and Gilbert Darling of 
19 



290 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

that firm is still connected with the mercantile interests of the city, 
in another line of trade. After 1850 there were also in trade Michael 
Feeley, John Wales, Jr., George Lapham, Charles W. Filmore, James 
Helme, C. E. Aldrich, F. S. Weeks and the Woonsocket Baking- Com- 
pany, the latter continuing in business until the present time. After 
the war for the Union there was a great expansion of the mercantile 
interests, and since that time hundreds of firms have been engaged 
in business. In 1889 there w^ere 8 apothecaries, 12 dry goods stores, 
3 book stores, 15 boot and shoe stores, 6 clothing stores, 40 groceries, 
3 hardware stores, 6 furniture dealers, a number of furnishing and 
notion stores; and every department of trade was fully represented in 
the business interests of the city. 

The history of the mail service of Woonsocket begins with the 
establishment of the post ofhce at Union Village, where all the people 
in these parts received their mail many years. After the fashion of 
those days, it was first carried on horseback to and from the principal 
points, but about 1815 Abner Cooper put a one-horse vehicle on the 
route from Providence to Worcester, which made the trip weekly. 
This arrangement he continued about five years, and, as he was some- 
what of a poet, his announcements were usually made in rhymes, like 
this couplet: 

" Abner Cooper informs his friends 
That April next his quarter ends."* 

Regular mail coaches began to run between the above cities about 
1820, which made the supply of a daily mail possible, as the routes 
were so arranged that Woonsocket was upon two lines which had tri- 
weekly coaches. Six years later there was a daily stage line from 
Providence to Worcester, and thereafter the service was no less than 
twice per day. Christopher Almy was the postmaster many years at 
the Union Village office, which was discontinued in July, 1844. Mean- 
time the office at Woonsocket proper had been established, in 1830, 
and was kept in a building erected that year by the first postmaster, 
Daniel A. Daniels. This house stood on the corner of Main and Ber- 
non streets, and the post office was kept there until July 1st, 1867, 
when it was transferred to the Harris Institute building. At this 
place rooms were especially fitted up for that purpose, and have since 
been finely maintained for the convenience of the public. In 1889 it 
had 179 lock and 400 call boxes in addition to its general and carrier 
delivery. The latter system was inaugurated July 1st, 1887, with 
three deliveries per day, and Oscar E. Haskell was the first superin- 
tendent of the carriers. In this service he has continued, and there 
were in all seven carriers, one of whom was mounted. For the quar- 
ter ending July 1st, 1889, they delivered 64,648 pieces of mail. 

In 1841 John Burnham, later more familiarly called " Uncle John," 
was appointed postmaster, and by his courtesy and strict attention to 

* Vide Richardson, p. 175. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 291 

his duties had so endeared himself to the community that he was con- 
tinued in service long- after the opposite party came in power, in 1861. 
In the latter year, William Lindsey was appointed his successor, but, 
after serving only a month he died, when Burnham again became the 
postmaster. Thus he continued through the war and until President 
Grant appointed Stephen H. Brown as his successor. After several 
terms of very acceptable service, the latter was succeeded by George 
S. Read, also an excellent postmaster who, in turn, gave place to the 
present efficient incumbent, Frank A. Campbell. At the time of his 
appointment by President Cleveland, January 21st, 1888, the salary of 
the office w^as $2,300. For a number of years Moses R. Newell has 
been the assistant postmaster. 

Since July 1st, 1865, Woonsocket has been a money order office. 
In 1889 there were nine mails in and an equal number of mails out, 
and the business of the office as compared with former years shows a 
steady increase. 

The Woonsocket Opera House Company was organized under a 
charter granted in June, 1887, with an authorized capital of $100,000, 
and was authorized to erect and maintain a place of amusement in the 
city of Woonsocket. Its official members were: President, Edwin B. 
Miller; vice-president, F. L. O'Reilly; secretary, Willard Kent; treas- 
urer, F. G. Gillson; directors, E. B. Miller, H. A. Jenckes, George W. 
Cumnock, F. L. O'Reilly, L. B. Pease, F. S. Weeks, Jr.. and Charles 
W. Talcott. 

In the spring of 1888 the erection of the opera house was begun, 
on an eligible site, on North Main street, adjoining the Monument 
House. Willard Kent was architect and Horace A. Jenckes the 
builder, and the work was so actively pushed that the building was 
ready for occupancy in the fall of the same year. In its general ap- 
-pearance and appointments it is the finest public building in the city, 
and one of the finest in the state. The entire length is 150 feet and 
the front, which is four stories high, is 70 feet wide. This part, ex- 
cept a grand entrance way, 20 feet wide and 38 feet long, is fitted up 
for stores, offices and hotel purposes. The style of architecture is 
Romanesque, with a castellated finish. In the massive front are Gothic 
arches and cathedral windows, which give it an imposing appearance. 
The walls are of brick, very strong, and rest on a granite foundation. 
The trimmings are of brown stone. The interior is finished in the 
best style of modern theater construction, and there are a number of 
easy exits, making it possible to empty an audience of 1,500 people 
into the street in a minute's time. The parquet floor is 56 by 59 feet, 
and there are a balcony and a gallery, each of easy access. The stage 
is 54 feet deep, 65 feet wide and 64 feet high; and it is provided with 
all the most approved means for producing scenic effects. The fres- 
coing and the scene paintings are extremely beautiful, the richness of 
the decoration being excelled by no other theater in the New England 



292 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

states. The opera house cost complete about $80,000, and is not only 
creditable to the good tastes of its builders, but is an honor to the city. 
It was opened to the public September 20th, 1888, the initial perform- 
ance being " Ingomar, the Barbarian," by Miss Maud Banks and her 
company. The receipts were $1,200 and there were 1,700 people 
present. F. S. Weeks, Jr., is the efficient manager. 

The banks of Woonsocket are highly regarded in the city and the 
state for their solidity and the conseryatiye manner of their manage- 
ment. They represent a large amount of capital which is so judi- 
ciously handled that good returns are realized. 

The oldest of these monetary institutions was chartered in Febru- 
ary, 1805, with a capital of $50,000, and was called the Smithfield 
Union Bank. Its place of business was at Union Village, where 
a building, standing on the cross roads, was occupied. The yault for 
the yaluables was in the cellar and was opened to the touch of pond- 
erous keys. Being the only bank at that time in northern Rhode 
Island, a large business was here done, from which circumstance the 
hamlet was often called Bank Village. The directors were represent- 
atiye business men of that period, and the first board was composed 
of Peleg Arnold, Stephen Whipple, Enos Mowry, Baruch Aldrich, 
William Buffum, Duty Winsor, Jesse Brown, Walter Allen, Thomas 
Mann, Simon Whipple, Thomas Aldrich, Elisha Olney and Joel Aid- 
rich. Peleg Arnold was the first president and Eliab Wilkinson was 
the cashier. On the 17th of February, 1852, the bank was moyed to 
the yillage of Woonsocket, to the building since occupied by it, and 
the capital was increased to $100,000. This arrangement conduced to 
the prosperity of the bank. There was a further increase of capital 
to $150,000 when the bank was reorganized July 29th, 1865, as the 
National Union Bank, which name it has since retained. 

In May, 1889, the bank reported a circulation of $89,595, and had 
a surplus fund of $36,000. George S. Read was the president and, 
since March, 1878, James S. Read has been the cashier. In addition 
to the two already named the cashiers haye been, in order indicated, 
John Osborne, Charles Osborne and Elisha Thornton Read. There 
haye been six presidents, yiz.: Peleg Arnold, Walter Allen, John 
Osborne, Willis Cook, Bradbury C. Hill, and, since September 23d, 
1885, George S. Read. The present directors are Peleg W. Lippitt, 
J. S. Read, Arlon Mowry, W. D. Aldrich and G. S. Read. 

The Woonsocket National Bank was incorporated in 1828, as the 
Woonsocket Falls Bank, and its office opened, on the west side of 
Main street, near the Ballou mill. In a few years, room was found in 
the second story of the brick building, on the corner of Main and 
Bernon streets, in the first story of which was the post office. The 
authorized capital was $75,000, which, prior to 1856, was increased to 
$150,000. In 1865 the bank was reorganized with its present name 
and the capital fixed at $200,000. Two years later the location of the 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 293 

bank was changed, the present spacious offices in the new Cook Block 
being occupied. Here it has become one of the most substantial in- 
stitutions in the state. In 1889 its accumulated surplus fund was 
$120,000, and the undivided profits were $12,560. Its bank notes in 
circulation were $176,690. 

Dexter Ballou was the first president, serving until 1849. From 
August, that year, until July, 1868, Ezekiel Fowler held that office. 
Lyman A. Cook succeeded him, being followed by Ira B. Peck, and 
he, in turn, by the present, J. W. Ellis. The first cashier was Hiram 
Allen, but, in 1860, the Hon. L. W. Ballou was elected to that position, 
which he has since most acceptably filled. In recent years he has 

had the assistance of younger men Henry L. Ballou, and, since his 

death, the present, E. C. Francis. The last board of directors con- 
sisted of Albert Jenckes, Latimer W. Ballou, H. L. Ballou, John W. 
Ellis, Cyrus Arnold, W. O. Burdon, Frederick Cook and George 
Reuter, Jr. 

The National Globe Bank was organized as the Providence County 
Bank and its first place of business was near Lime Rock, in the town 
•of Smithfield. At the first meeting of the directors, held at the house 
of Jeremiah Smith, in that locality, August 1st, 1831, Daniel Angell 
was chosen president, and Daniel C. Jenckes, cashier. On the 25th of 
October, 1834, the officers reported a paid up capital of $5,000, circula- 
tion of bank notes to the amount of $500, and the profit out of the 
business was $45.73. In March, 1844, the capital was increased to 
$50,000 and the name changed to the Globe Bank of Smithfield. At 
the same time the bank was moved to the Globe part of the village 
of Woonsocket, occupying a building near the Globe Mills. June 
19th, 1851, the capital was again increased, the amount being fixed at 
$100,000. Six years later, in August 1857, the bank was moved from 
the Smithfield side to Doctor Allen's brick block, opposite the Har- 
rison Mill. It became a national bank June 23d, 1865, when the 
name was adapted to the change, becoming the present title. The 
liandsome building in which the bank is now located was occupied in 
•October, 1874, and is the first building in the city erected by a bank 
for its own use. It stands on the site of the old Cruff house, one of 
the pioneer buildings of Woonsocket, and the building preceding the 
bank was known as the Coe Block. When it was demolished, in 
June, 1873, the walls fell down, killing a boy and John Sheffield, a 
man aged 70 years, who were at that time in a store in the lower part 
of the building. The bank block is three stories high, with a Man- 
sard roof and tower at the south end, and has an attractive and sub- 
stantial appearance. The material is brick, trimmed with marble. 
It is valued at $18,000. 

vSpencer Mowry became president of the bank in 1844, and served 
until his death, in August, 1887, when he was succeeded by Arlon 
Mowry, now the president. There have also been but a few cashiers. 



294 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Renel P. Smith was elected to that position April 4th, 1855, which he 
held until the present cashier, Frank E. Farnum, was appointed July 
1st, 1878. In 1889 the directors were Arlon Mowry, George S. Read, 
D. D. Farnum, F. E. Farnum, George R. Smith and William C. 
Mowry. 

The Citizens' National Bank was established in June, 1851, as the 
Citizens' Bank, with a capital of $57,000. Thomas Steere was the 
president, Olney Arnold, the cashier, and the place of business was in 
the Eli Pond Block. In 1865 the bank was reorganized under the 
national banking laws and the capital increased to $100,000. Later, 
the banking office was removed to the Fletcher Block, where it re- 
mained until the fall of 1885, when a more pleasant place of business 
was secured in the new Archambault Block, where are now the offices. 
Thomas Steere was succeeded as president by John Ellis, but, since 
1860, Oscar J. Bathbun has been president.. There have been four 
cashiers: Olney Arnold, John S. Brown, O. J. Rathbun, and, since 
1860, W. H. Aldrich. In 1889 the directors were: O. J. Rathbun, 
James P. Ray, Edgar K. Ray, John F. Mansfield, John A. Bennett, 
William H. Aldrich, Cyrus Arnold, Oscar J. -Morse and Milton Cook. 
The capital stock remained $100,000 and the accumulated surplus 
was $20,000. 

The First National Bank was originally organized as the Railroad 
Bank, for which a charter was granted in May, 1851, the capital stock 
being $50,000. When reorganized, in 1865, with the present name, 
the capital was fixed at $107,000. The first place of business was in 
the Union Block, the bank moving from there to its present offices in 
the Cook Block in the fall of 1867. Edward Harris, as the first presi- 
dent of the bank, continued until his death, in 1872, when his place 
was filled by Joseph E. Cole, who has since been the president. Wil- 
liam Metcalf , the first cashier, relinquished that position in 1853, when 
he was succeeded by the present cashier, Reuben G. Randall. In 1889 
the bank notes of circulation were $96,300 and the accumulated sur- 
plus was $46,000. The board of directors was composed of Gilbert 
Darling, Leroy L. Chilson, John Currier, Aaron B. Warfield, Joseph E. 
Cole, David Bass, R. G. Randall, Darius D. Farnum and James E. 
Cook. 

The Producers' National Bank, formerly the Producers' Bank, was 
organized under a state charter in May, 1852, with a capital stock of 
$50,000, and a place of business was established on Monument Square. 
In January, 1879, the bank was moved to the Edwards Block, and in 
January, 1888, to its present fine offices in the Foss Memorial Build- 
ing. In August, 1865, the bank was nationalized with a capital stock 
of $160,000, which was subsequently increased to $200,000. Libbeus 
Gaskill was the first president and served until October, 1864, when 
he was succeeded by Charles Nourse. After the death of the latter, 
in March, 1886, Charles E. Thomas was elected president and still 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 295 

serves. The first cashier, Elijah B. Newell, continued until January, 
1864, when Theodore M. Cook was appointed, and he was succeeded 
by the present cashier, Samuel P. Cook, in August, 1885. In 1889 the 
bank's national notes outstanding were $174,700, and the accumulated 
surplus was $75,000. The affairs of the bank were controlled by direc- 
tors: George C. Wilder, Charles E. Thomson, Jervis Cooke, James M. 
Cook, R. O. Cooke, Walter E. Parker, S. P. Cook, J. B. Farnum and S. 
B. Aldrich. 

The savings banks of the city are very important elements in its 
business affairs and have the patronage of thousands of its inhabit- 
ants. In 1885 the total amount on deposit in these institutions was 
$5,351,463.04, and the number of depositors was 10,862. This number 
was 69.1 of the entire population, as reported at that time. The oldest 
of these banks is the Woonsocket Institution for Savings, which was 
incorporated in July, 1845, and had for its officers: John Osborne, presi- 
dent; Aaron Rathbun, secretary, and William Metcalf, treasurer. The 
institution was authorized by its charter to receive deposits to the 
amount of $100,000. In 1851 the charter was amended to make the 
amount $300,000, and again, in 1856, to make it $750,000. Subsequent 
legislation has still further increased the amount. The confidence of 
the public in the bank was early attested. In 1850 the deposits were 
$70,000; 1855, 250,000; 1860, $450,000; 1865, $750,000; 1870, $2,000,000; 
1889, $4,295,926.76. At the latter period there were 8,952 depositors, 
and there had been paid out in dividends since organization, $3,645,- 
359. The lowest rate of dividends has been 5 per cent. John Osborne 
remained president until May 18th, 1857, when Doctor Ezekiel Fowler 
succeeded him. George Law and Willis Cook were also presidents, 
the latter from 1873 until 1882. The president in 1889 was Lyman A. 
Cook. Charles E. Ballou was the secretary, and for many years the 
Hon. Latimer W. Ballou has been treasurer. His ripe experience and 
rare business tact have contributed much to the great success of the 
bank. Its place of business is with the Woonsocket National Bank. 
In 1889 its board of investment was composed of Lyman A. Cook, 
Dexter Clark, James M. Cook, Francello G. Jillson, John W. Ellis and 
Ira B. Cook. 

The Citizens' Savings Bank was the second organization of the 
kind at Woonsocket. It was established in July, 1853, with Ariel 
Ballou president, and John F. Brown treasurer. The place of business 
was with the Citizens' Bank. In 1873 this department was discon- 
tinued. 

The Peoples' Savings Bank began business in September, 1857, in 
the rooms of the Railroad Bank, in the Union Block. John Osborne 
was the president; Edward Harris, vice-president; R. G. Randall, 
secretary and treasurer. On the death of John Osborne, in 1862, 
Edward Harris became president, continuing until his death in 
November, 1872. Bradbury C. Hill succeeded and since July 12th, 



296 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

1886, Joseph E. Cole has been the president. In all this period R. G. 
Randall has discharged the duties of treasurer. Darius D. Farnum 
was the vice-president, and the board of investment consisted of 
Joseph E. Cole, O. J. Rathbun, Darius D. Farnum, David Bass and 
George M. Welles. The deposits in 1889 amounted to more than one 
million of dollars, and there were about 1,600 depositors. 

The Producers' Savings Bank was organized June 22d, 1868, and 
Nathaniel Elliott was the first president; William O. Mason succeeded 
him and, since April 20th, 1885, Reuben O. Cooke has been the presi- 
dent. Theodore M. Cook as treasurer was succeeded by S. P. Cook, 
August 10th, 1885. The place of business has been with the Pro- 
ducers' Bank, and the affairs of the bank have been well managed. 
In 1889 there were 1,070 depositors, who had $615,000 to the credit of 
their accounts; $340,848.67 had been paid out as dividends. The 
board of investment embraced George C. Wilder, William O. Mason, 
Charles E. Thomas, A. D. Vose, James M. Cook, H. Newton Brown 
and Edwin B. Miller. 

The Mechanics' Savings Bank was chartered in 1873, but did not 
begin business until 1875. An office has been maintained with the 
National Globe Bank. R. J. Elwell was the first president and R. P. 
Smith treasurer. Arlon Mowry and F. E. Farnum held those positions 
in 1889. The board of investment was composed of Arlon Mowry, E. 
M. Mason, George S. Read, Andrew Donahoe, Erastus Richardson, A. 
B. Warfield and George R. Smith. The deposits amounted to $330,- 
000, and there were about 800 depositors. 

The Woonsocket Gas Company was organized February 17th, 1852, 
under a charter granted at the May session of the geneial assembly, 
in 1851. The original capital was $25,000, which was soon afterward 
increased to $80,000. George S. Wardwell was the first president and 
held that office until 1857, when he was succeeded by Henry C. Kim- 
ball, who has since been president. Samuel S. Foss was the secretary; 
John B. Walker, treasurer, and Gardiner Warren the first superinten- 
dent. The latter and Emory Warren built the works. The successive 
superintendents after him were Waldo Earle, Silas P. Walker, Benja- 
min G. Raymond, C. F. Smith and the present, Zeuner M. Jenks. 
Since 1857 R. G. Randall has been the treasurer of the company. The 
capital of the company has been increased to $250,000, and, in 1889, 
its affairs were directed by Henry C. Kimball, O. J. Rathbun, John W. 
Ellis, Henry F. Lippitt, George M. Welles, Joseph E. Cole, James P. 
Ray, Frank Harris and Gilbert Darling. 

The works of the company are well appointed for the production 
of gas of a fine quality, which is stored in four gasometers: one at the 
works; one at Harris Privilege; another at Fairmount; and the fourth 
at Blackstone. There are about 30 miles of mains, large and small, 
and the maximum radiation is nearly three miles. On the 29th of 
October, 1866, gas was first used in street lighting in Woonsocket, 17 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 297 

posts with lamps having been erected, on Main street, for that pur- 
pose. It was so satisfactory that the town council appropriated $1,500 
for street lighting in 1867. The product of gas has been increased 
yearly, and was 33,336,000 cubic feet in 1889, supplied to 600 consumers. 
Arrangements have also been made by the company to supply electric 
lighting, and for this purpose a plant was erected at the works in the 
season of 1889. 

The Woonsocket Electric Machine and Power Company was incor- 
porated in 1883 with a capital of $100,000, and began operations in the 
spring of that year, in Q. W. Talcott's shop, on Main street. Fifteen 
arc lights were first burned. The venture being received with favor, 
larger quarters were secured in the American Block, where two 
dynamos were operated on 40 lights. Of these 12 were paid by the 
town council for public lighting, in 1885. The following year a new 
plant, with larger capacity, was established on Bernon street, in which 
were six dynamos. Another move was made in the spring of 1887, 
when the present plant was established in one of the mills of the old 
Woonsocket Company, in Bernon. It is thus provided with facilities 
for having one of the most complete establishments of the kind in 
the state. There is a privilege of 300 horse power which can be sup- 
plemented by steam power from three engines. 

In 1889 there were five dynamos for incandescent lights and six 
dynamos for arc lights, with two alternating dynamos in reserve. The 
system employed was the Thompson-Houston and there was a capacity 
for lighting 3,000 incandescent, 140 commercial arc and 110 full arc 
lamps. In July, that year, the company supplied light for 2,000 
incandescent and 200 arc lights, 70 of which were used in street 
lighting. There were also 20 electric motors in use, varying from one- 
eighth to 15 horse power. The system as employed at Woonsocket is 
eminently successful, and is under the direction of Frank S. Pond, 
superintendent and electrician. In March, 1889, the capital of the 
company was increased to $200,000. Doctor A. W. Buckland was the 
president and Levi C. Lincoln the secretary and treasurer of the 
company. 

The company owning and operating the street railway, was incor- 
porated in May, 1886, with a capital of $100,000. But the first cars were 
not run until August, 1887, when a line was completed from Monument 
Square to Globe village. The trackage was subsequently extended, 
and in 1889 it was six miles in length. The limits of operation were 
from School street, in the eastern part of Social, to the western part of 
Globe; from the upper part of Bernon, via Park avenue and Hamlet 
avenue, to the Mill Privilege, via North Main; and from the latter 
street, at Monument Square, to the village of Blackstone, via Harris 
avenue. A well-ordered central station was maintained in the depot 
of the Providence & Worcester railroad on Main street. There were 
four summer and six winter cars, drawn by horses, but the use of 



298 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

electricity as the motive power will be employed at an early day. In 
October and November, 1887, a part of the line was satisfactorily 
operated b}^ a Thompson-Houston double trolley overhead, but was 
abandoned on the refusal of the necessary franchises. " 

The business of this company shows a paying increase. In the 
four months ending September 1st, 1888, there were 125,735 passengers 
carried, at a profit over operating expenses of $1,767.47. In May, 1888, 
the number of passengers carried was 21,017, and in the same month, 
a year later, the number was 29,917. In 1889 the. officers of the com- 
pany were the following board of directors: Horace A. Jenckes, presi- 
dent; F. L. O'Reilly, vice-president; Willard Kent, secretary and treas- 
urer; J. P. Ray, E. K. Ray, O. J. Rathbun, L. B. Pease, L. L. Chilson 
and F. G. Jillson. 

MANUFACTURING INTERESTS. 

Woonsocket is essentially a manufacturing city and owes its exist- 
ence and much of its prosperity to the improvement of the water 
power in this locality. The natural falls of the Blackstone induced 
the selection of that spot as a mill seat, in the infancy of the settle- 
ments, and its manifest advantages prompted further improvements 
as the country developed, until all the power of the stream here has 
been utilized. The total fall of the river, from the brow of the upper 
dam to the Bernon wheel apron, is given by Erastus Richardson as 
81 feet and yielding 2,000 horse powder. This has been carefully and 
economically divided among the different mill owners, whose sites are 
valuable in proportion to the quantity allotted them by their several 
purchases. Although this power is wonderfully helpful, it has been 
found insufficient to meet the demands made on it by modern machin- 
ery, and in every instance steam has been supplied as an adjunct. 
In 1810, when began the era of development for the manufacture of 
cotton fabrics, all this power was the property of James Arnold. 

The smaller stream, northeast from the "falls," and flowing into 
the Blackstone, has long borne the name of the Mill river. Its total 
fall in Woonsocket is 60 feet, giving about 450 horse power. At the 
period named it was the property of Joseph Arnold. Here are two 
mill seats, and the lower, which has a fall of 20 feet, was first improved 
for the Social Mill. 

Peter's river, almost paralleling the latter stream, half a mile fur- 
ther eastward, gives 110 horse power in its fall of 52 feet. It has two 
sites, which were owned, in 1810, by Stephen Wilcox. 

Small powers were also afforded, before the country was so much 
cleared up, by the little stream in the southeastern part of the towm, 
locally called the Iron Mine brook. At the upper power was, in the 
early part of the century, a corn mill owned by Uriah Jillson, which 
ground as much as 1,600 bushels of corn per year. Burgess Chase was 
the last owner of the mill, which has been removed and a bridge built 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 299* 

across the stream where was the mill pit. Next below, on this brook,. 
David Bartlett had a trip hammer, operated by water power, about 
1820, where Seth Bartlett later had his shop. He was an excellent 
workman and made many scythes, edge tools and fine forgings. This 
site has also been abandoned. Still lower, Stephen Bartlett had a 
small water power wood lathe and made rakes and farm tools. At 
this place is now the wheelwright shop of Benjamin S. Burlingame. 
A power lower down the brook operated an upright saw mill for Seth 
Cook and also turned a lathe. After these were given up a shop for 
making row boats was carried on by a member of the Cass family, but 
this, too, has been abandoned. The next power operated machinery 
for John Cass, more than 50 years ago, to manufacture rakes, scythe 
snaths, etc. At times he employed half a dozen men. In a more lim- 
ited way these shops are still occupied by Jervis J. Cass. On the same 
brook, near the Blackstone, the Cook family had a small warp mill,, 
which has long since been given up, and the mill dam is used as an 
ice pond. 

Cherry brook, a small stream emptying into the Blackstone, on the 
Smithfield side, above the falls, has not for many years been utilized 
for manufacturing purposes and was never much used. 

The water power of the Blackstone, at the " falls," was the first 
improved to operate a mill. In 1666, or thereabouts, the owner of the 
land, Richard Arnold, put up a small saw mill, a short distance below 
the present upper dam, which was rebuilt a number of times, in the 
hundred or more years it was there operated by the Arnold family. 
In 1708 Richard Arnold willed a part of this property to his son, John, 
who made the next improvement a few years later, putting up a corn 
mill, in which wool was also carded. It was below the saw mill and 
nearer the Smithfield shore, having two wheels, one above the other, 
in the stream, to furnish the power. It served its dual purpose many 
years and was swept away by the flood in 1807. The following year 
James Arnold began a series of improvements of putting up six build- 
ings, before 1818, of which the first was a grist mill. The upper part 
of this was also used for carding purposes until its destruction by fire, 
March 25th, 1829. Subsequently the present old grist mill of Albert 
Mowry & Co. was erected on its site. 

The " Winsokett Iron Mill," or the " old forge " or "bloomery," as 
it has been variously called, was the third improvement at the " falls." 
It was erected before 1720 by a number of Quakers, among them being 
the Hopkins, Laphams, Aldriches, Jenckes and Scotts, who were 
associated with members of the Arnold family. But little is known 
of the nature of this establishment, yet from its names it appears that 
they both made and forged iron for use at this place. The ore was- 
obtained chiefly in Glocester, although it is not improbable that some 
may have been procured at " Mine hill," in Cumberland. During the 
revolution it was profitably operated, but later could not compete with 



300 HISTORY OF PROVIDE^XE COUNTY. 

furnaces more favorably located. It appears to have been discontinued 
in the last century. The " Forge " was near the other mills, and the 
tenements for the workmen were on the lot where are now the rubber 
works. One of these small buildings was later removed to what 
became the corner of Main and Arnold streets, where it was known 
as the " Cruff house," and for many years was the oldest residence in 
this part of the town. Others of the " Forge " buildings, were swept 
away in 1807. In the later years of the " Forge," or after it was aban- 
doned, a scythe factory was put up as the fourth industry in the place. 
When this work was suspended the building was converted into a 
blacksmith shop, and as such it was used a long time. 

A short time before the war of 1812 a remarkable interest in cot- 
ton manufacturing had been developed in southern New England by 
the success of those who had made ventures in that direction. In 
northern Rhode Island the mills of Samuel Slater gave sufficient evi- 
dence of the profits in the business, and led many to long to become 
manufacturers. They were afflicted, as Erastus Richardson has so 
aptly expressed it, " with the cotton mania," and looking only upon 
the possible returns which the business might afford them, hastily 
embarked in these new enterprises. Naturally their zeal, inexperi- 
ence and overproduction brought on many failures; and sore disap- 
pointments, if not actual hardships, often followed these ventures. 
Yet this was the very seed which, though so ruthlessly scattered, has 
under more skillful cultivation yielded such bountiful harvests and 
brought plenty where before was scarcely aught else than poverty. 

At Woonsocket the Social Company was the first that was brought 
into existence by this new promise of wealth; and its ability to live 
was all the stimulus that was needed to bring other enterprises into 
life, whose history finds place in the following pages. 

James Arnold, the owner of the lands and water privileges at the 
falls, at this period of development, while not inclined to be a manu- 
facturer himself, fostered these enterprises by giving them room in 
the buildings he had erected, their readiness for occupancy often sug- 
gesting the enterprise itself; and after he had once made disposition 
of his property, the work of improving it was pushed forward with 
great activity. 

These sales were as follows: 1. May 12th, 1814, to Samuel G. Ar- 
nold and Daniel Lyman, half the privileges of the water power, and 
nearly all the real estate from the present Bernon street down the 
river to the Clinton Mills, almost 26 acres. 2. April 25th, 1821, to 
Daniel A. Daniels, all the real estate east and south of the above, ex- 
tending to the river. 3. October 8th, 1821, the building and site 
which became the Lyman Mill. 4. June 1st, 1827, the " Globe es- 
tate," 5. October 2oth, 1827, the " Bernon estate." 6. The "old vSaw 
Mill Lot." 

The second building which James Arnold had put up, in 1810, was 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 301 

a shop 30 by 38 feet, and had many occupants, but was made note- 
worthy from the fact that in it, in 1819, Welcome Farnum began his 
career as a woolen manufacturer, which, at Waterford, Mass., made 
him a millionaire. He was soon joined by his brother, Darius D., 
and in 1822 had larger quarters in the basement of Dexter Ballou's 
mill on the "sawmill lot." Here each of the brothers sat at the 
loom, weaving satinets of such superior quality that a very ready sale 
for them was found, so that when they left, at the end of five years, 
they had cleared $16,000. Others of the pioneer manufacturers were 
less fortunate, and being depressed by the stagnation of 1829, were 
not able to sufficiently recover to realize the fortunes which their 
pluck and enterprise would have brought them under more favorable 
conditions. Among these Woonsocket sufferers were Samuel B. Har- 
ris, Thomas A. Paine, Thomas Arnold, Marvel Shove, Hosea Ballou, 
Daniel A. Daniels and Jonathan Russell, all of whom have passed off 
the stage of action. 

The " hard times " were followed by a period of comparative pros- 
perity. In 1840 there were twenty mills, having 48,750 spindles, in 
which 1,163 persons were employed. In 1855 the mills and their prod- 
ucts were as follows: Ballou, George C. & Son, print goods; Bartlett, 
John, sheeting; Clinton Manufacturing Company, sheetings; Cook's 
Cotton Manufacturing Company, sheetings; Globe Mills, print goods; 
Groton Company, sheetings; Hamlet Manufacturing Company, sheet- 
ings; Harris, Edward, fancy cassimeres; Harrison Mill, sheetings; 
Jenckes, William A. & George, print goods; Lyman, J. W., print 
goods; Paine, Daniel N., satinets; Social Manufacturing Company, 
sheetings; Woonsocket Company, print goods. 

In 1865 there were nineteen cotton mills, of which but seven were 
in operation at the beginning of the year, and the mill owners were 
distressed by labor troubles. Up to this time there were compara- 
tively few foreigners employed in the mills. In 1840, of the nearly 
4,000 inhabitants, but 305 were foreigners. In 1866 the decay of the 
natives began, and the influx of foreigners rapidly increased, an 
especial element being found in the French Canadians, who were now 
added to the population in large numbers. In 1889, of an estimated 
population of 20,000 there were 8,000 of French nativity, nearly all of 
whom derived support from the factories and mills of the city. 

In 1885, of the cotton mill operatives there were: natives, 388 
males, 573 females; Irish, 102 males, 148 females; British, 76 males, 39 
females; Canadians, 467 males, 642 females. Woolen and worsted 
mill operatives: natives, males, 151, females, 224; Irish, males, 58, 
females, 70; British, males, 47, females, 14; Canadians, males, 173, 
females, 127. Rubber workers: natives, 346; Irish, 276; British, 16; 
Canadians, 6. Machinists: American, 106; Irish, 15; British. 7; Cana- 
dian, 23; German, 5. 

The J. P. & J. G. Ray Mills.— This firm owns and operates two of 



302 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

the oldest cotton mills in the city — the Lyman and the Bartlett Mills* 
The first of these is a large frame building, which is the oldest struc- 
ture in these parts used for factory purposes. It was erected in 1814 
by James Arnold and was the fourth of his series of buildings con- 
structed to attract the attention of manufacturers to this point. It was 
occupied in the fall of 1817 by Dexter Ballon, who removed to it the 
machinery he had in use at a place now called Ashton, and much of 
which he had personally constructed. There were five cards and 252 
spindles. But he soon procured a mule of 180 spindles, which Lap- 
ham Jeffreys operated, and another a short time after, which was run 
by Joseph Carroll. The cotton picking was done in the cellar of this 
building by a man named Everett until 1820, when the Ballous pro- 
cured a picking machine. In the same year looms were purchased, 
Patty Ballou operating two of them for $3 per week. About the same 
time a cloth-dressing machine was purchased, which was operated by 
a man named Southwick. William Jenckes was overseer [of carding, 
at five shillings per day, and James Coe kept the store and the factory 
accounts at the same salary. About this time Dexter Ballou occupied 
the first and second stories, and Samuel Shove and Gilbert Brewster 
the upper stories. The latter was a wool spinner and here used a self- 
operating mule which was his own invention, and was the first article 
of its kind so employed. 

October 8th, 1821, the building and the machinery of Dexter Bal- 
lou were conveyed to Daniel Lyman, and that family owned the 
property about half a century. August 6th, 1867, John W. Lyman, of 
Providence, sold the plant to the present owners, who also operate it 
in conjunction with the Bartlett Mill, but the name of Lyman remains 
firmly connected with the mill. The building is ancient in appear- 
ance and needs to be replaced. 

The old Bartlett Mill was erected in 1827 by Daniel A. Daniels and 
is a four story stone building, 40 by 65 feet, having a capacity for 
6,000 spindles. In this mill Daniels was a cotton spinner until the 
stringent times of 1829, when he failed and assigned to Joseph Rock- 
wood, of Bellingham, Mass. In 1831 the property passed to Dorr & 
Allen, and, after being owned by Lemuel May, was conveyed to John 
Bartlett July 3d, 1840. By him the mill was owned and operated 16 
years, from which circumstance his name has been attached to it. 
Since 1863 the mill has belonged to the Ray family. In 1889 in these 
two mills there were, operated 9,000 spindles and 90 looms, and 70 op- 
eratives were employed. These two mills, the Ballou and the Jenckes- 
ville mills, all operated by the Ray family, were superintended by the 
veteran mill man, Colonel L. C. Tourtellot, who, at the age of 83 years, 
was erect, hale and vigorous. Moses P. Roberts was the paymaster 
for the firm, and Charles H. Gorton, clerk. 

The Ballou Mill is on the first manufacturing site below the falls, 
occupying the "old saw mill lot," where was started the first ma- 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 303 

•chinery in the city. The mill is a massive stone structure, erected in 
1846 by George C. Ballou, and fitly perpetuates the name of a family 
which has done so much for the commercial prosperity of Woonsocket. 
In 1889 it was owned by J. P. & E. K. Ray, and was operated on cot- 
ton goods, Holland shade and print cloths. There were 16,000 
spindles, 252 looms and 200 operatives. 

At this place four members of the Ballou family were, at one 
time or other, interested in manufacturing— Oliver Ballou and his 
three sons, Dexter, Hosea and George C. Dexter Ballou has justly 
been called the pioneer of cotton spinning at Woonsocket, the honor 
applying not because he was the first to here engage in that occupa- 
tion, the operations at the Social Mill antedating his own seven years, 
but he was the first to here demonstrate the possibilities of the busi- 
ness by using improved machinery,* and by persevering, in spite of 
■obstacles, until the cotton factory was recognized as the very life of 
Woonsocket. After being in the old frame mill until its sale to Daniel 
Lyman, in 1821, Dexter Ballou and his father leased, May 1st, 1822, 
the "saw mill lot" of James Arnold, on which to build a new mill, 
and the old saw mill was now removed to the west side of the river, 
to the place where the Globe plant was afterward established. On 
this lot they erected a frame mill, 33 by 70 feet, with stone basement 
and two stories. In the basement were W. & D. D. Farnum, Samuel 
Shove was in the second story, and Oliver Ballou & Son (Dexter) oc- 
cupied the rest of the building. In 1827 Oliver Ballou disposed of his 
rights to his sons, HovSea and Dexter, who now occupied the entire 
building, operating as Dexter Ballou & Co. In less than a year Dex- 
ter Ballou purchased the interests of his brother, Hosea, and became 
the sole owner. The latter now began his operations on Lot No. 1, 
on which he erected the first brick mill in Woonsocket. He was a 
manufacturer on that lot until 1835, when he began operations on Lot 
No. 2, where he erected the building which became known as the 
Harris Mill No. 1. In 1846 Hosea Ballou sold this property to Sea- 
grave & Harris and retired from the village. 

March 25th, 1829, the mill of Dexter Ballou on the " saw mill lot " 
was burned down, and with it a number of other buildings in that 
locality; but the brick mill of his brother, Hosea, on Lot No. 1, re- 
mained. In this, Dexter- Ballou, nothing daunted, resumed his cotton 
spinning, and, prospering, erected on that lot what became widely 
known as the Harrison Mill. At the time of his death, July 17th, 
1849, he was also the owner of the vSocial Mill, and was the foremost 
manufacturer in Woonsocket. He was a practical mill man, fearless, 
honest and thoroughly devoted to his chosen occupation. 

Meantime, the ruins of the cotton mill, on the " saw mill lot," were 
being utilized by George C. Ballou. He had learned the carpenter's 
trade, but at the age of 28 years began spinning satinet warps in com- 

*See account of Ray Mills. 



304 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

pany with his brother, Hosea, at Waterford. After the fire in 1829 he 
came to.Woonsocket and carried on the business in part of the ruined 
mill and on Lot No. 1. In 1839 he purchased the old " saw mill lot " 
property and built up the old mill in an enlarged and improved con- 
dition, in which he engaged actively in manufacturing. After six 
years of successful operation this mill was again destroyed by fire 
January 23d, 1846, his loss being $24,000. But not discouraged by 
what seemed a calamitous loss, he at once proceeded to erect the stone 
mill now on that site, and of which he was the owner until it passed 
to the Ballou Manufacturing Campany. Of this corporation he was 
the president at the time of his death, March 25th, 1876, at the age 
of 78 years, fifty of which he had actively spent in the manufactur- 
ing affairs of Woonsocket. Like his brother Dexter he was aggres- 
sive in his operations, becoming interested in other corporations and 
building mills, whose magnitude was a marvel in those days. To his 
will and energy the city is indebted for the fine Globe Mill, which was 
built under his personal supervision and started in August, 1873. 
Unfortunately this enterprise proved too heavy a burden for the 
Ballou Manufacturing Company, and, in April, 1876, it was forced to 
make an assignment to Charles H. Merriman, Addison O. Fisher and 
Josiah Lasell, who sold to the heirs of George C. Ballou the old stone 
mill, where, by his untiring energy, he had won his first fortune. In 
the course of years the mill passed to the present owners. 

The Jenckesville Mills.- -The water privileges of Peter's river, at 
this point, were used, in the latter part of the last century, to oper- 
ate small mills and shops, and were owned in 1810 by Stephen Wil- 
cox. No other improvement was made until the era of cotton manu- 
facturing. In 1822 Job, Luke and Moses Jenckes, who had up to that 
time been connected with the Social Company, purchased this site 
and began the work of establishing cotton mills of their own. That 
year they erected a stone mill at the upper power, which was the first 
stone factory at Woonsocket. For those times it was a large and 
imposing building, and was a substantial beginning of a manufactur- 
ing hamlet, which has from that time been known as Jenckesville, 
but which has become fully included in the bounds of the city by its 
growth in that direction. 

The success of the Messrs. Jenckes led them to erect another 
larger and finer stone mill at the lower power in 1828, and also to 
build, the same year, a large, square three story brick mansion in the 
same locality. Other improvements were made from time to time, 
chief among them being brick additions to the upper mill for spin- 
ning and weaving rooms, and the addition of steam power. The 
property was owned by the Jenckes family more than a quarter of a 
century, but, March 3d, 1860, it was sold by George and William A. 
Jenckes to O. J. Rathbun. Since 1872 it has been owned, and the 
mills have been operated by Ray, Rathbun & Co. In 1889 the mills. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 305 

appeared in good repair, containing 12,000 spindles and 210 looms, 
which were worked on cotton print cloths; and 120 operatives were 
employed, under the superintendency of L. C. Tourtellot. 

The Bernon Mills.— The value of the Cumberland purchase, made 
by Dan. A. Daniels, April 25th, 1821, was greatly increased when, 
October 27th, 1827, he purchased of James Arnold a tract of land op- 
posite, on the Smithfield side, which thus gave him good water power 
privileges at a new point. Here, in company with Jonathan Russell, 
he built a mill the same year, which was operated by these parties as 
the Russell Manufacturing Company. This company succumbed to 
the hard times in 1829, which wrecked Mr. Russell's fortunes as a 
manufacturer, " and he retired to his farm in Mendon, where he died 
in humble circumstances. He was a man of ability and had served 
as one of the commissioners at the Treaty of Ghent.* " The build- 
ings erected by the company, being separate from the other parts of 
the town, formed a little hamlet, which, in compliment to the owner, 
received the name of Danville. March 30th, 1831, the estates of Dan. 
A. Daniels became the property of Sullivan Dorr and Crawford Allen. 
Samuel Greene came from Pawtucket to manage this Woonsocket 
business of Dorr & Allen and until his death, in October, 1868, he 
and his son Paul faithfully performed this trust. Under their intel- 
ligent and judicious direction Bernon became a model manufactur- 
ing plant. 

The firm here transacted business under the name of the Woon- 
socket Company, which was chartered in 1832, and of which Crawford 
Allen was the treasurer. He wisely conceived the idea that beauty, order 
and neatness would elevate the moral tone of his employees and secure 
better service from them; and, seconded by Samuel Greene, they made 
a radical departure from the factory customs of that day. The grounds 
were tastefully laid out with broad avenues and adorned with trees, a 
better class of tenements were erected, and everywhere neatness and 
order prevailed. The place now received the name of Bernon, in 
comipliment to the persecuted French Huguenot, Gabriel Bernon, who 
was an ancestor of Crawford Allen and also of L. C. Tourtellot, the 
master mechanic here until 1849, and as such it has become widely 
known. 

In 1859 the company added to the buildings already in the plant, a 
brick and stone warehouse, 30 by 118 feet, which was the best in the 
town. A nev7 mill, 46 by 80 feet, three stories high, was also built. 
In the fall of 1867 the the new Bernon dam was completed, at a cost 
of $30,000, and was regarded as the best modern structure of the kind 
on the Blackstone. It was 195 feet long. 

After the death of Crawford Allen, in 1871, Moses B. I. Goddard be- 
came the manager of the estate and soon still further enlarged and 
improved the mills. In 1872 he supplied steam power, building a 

* Richardson, p. 170. 
20 



306 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

chimney 100 feet high, and there was now power to operate 15,000 
spindles and 337 looms in the manufacture of 64 by 64 print goods. 
Nearly 300 operatives were employed under the direction of superin- 
tendent R. G. Cornell. 

The later history of the company was not one of prosperity. In 
April, 1883, its fine property was sold for $225,000, the purchasers 
being a board of trustees of the interested parties. Subsequently 
other disposition was made. The Electric Light Company became 
the owner of the mills and water right. Other parts of the estate 
have been sold for building lots which have been well improved, many 
fine residences being erected thereon. The past few years a part of 
the buildings have been occupied by the Valley Falls Mills, as a weav- 
ing department of the home mills. In 1889, 340 looms were thus 
operated on cotton print goods, giving employment to 60 operatives. 
George Smith was the Woonsocket superintendent. 

The Globe Mills.— On the first of June, 1827, James Arnold sold 
six acres of land, on the Smithfield side, near the " falls," and one-fourth 
the water power from that point, for $2,000. The purchasers were 
Thomas Arnold, Thomas A. Paine and Marvel Shove, who constituted 
the first Globe Company. They built a cotton mill, 36 by 72 feet, 
three stories high and attic, in which were 2,000 spindles and 50 looms, 
worked on cotton cloth and warps. A corn mill, storehouse and 
several dwellings, most of them being of stone, were also built. Up 
to this time the locality had only a small saw mill and a few houses. 
In 1829 this Globe Company failed, and Samuel Shove became the 
owner of the property. He erected a machine shop and a dwelling, 
but, in 1834, he was also forced to assign and the property passed to 
Thomas Sprague & Sons. One of these sons, Edward, became the sole 
owner in 1846. Eight years later he deeded that property to B. R. 
Vaughan and George C. Ballou, and in 1864 the latter became the sole 
owner. 

Under the direction of George C. Ballou the Globe property was 
improved until it was one of the finest in the state. In 1867 he erected 
steam saw and planing mills opposite the cotton mill, occupying a 
four story building. In 1872 he began the present fine Globe Mill, 
which was completed August 4th, 1873, when George C. Ballou in per- 
son fed the first cotton upon the moving apron of the lapper in this 
mill. The walls of this building are of stone, five stories high, and 
covered with mastic. The main mill is 72 by 308 feet, with an ell 52 
by 146 feet, making the entire length of the mill 454 feet. The rooms 
are high and well lighted, there being in all 560 windows. In the ell 
of the building an immense Corliss steam engine was placed, which 
became the motor. These mills were now operated in connection 
with the Ballou Mill, on the Cumberland side, by the Ballou Manu- 
facturing Company, of which George C. Ballou was the president, and 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 307 

Stephen Clark superintendent, and about 1,000 operatives were em- 
ployed in all the industries. 

In 1874 a large stone warehouse for the storage of cotton was 
erected, and the property was steadily improved till the death of 
George C. Ballon, March 2otli, 1876. Spencer Mowry was appointed 
administrator of the estate. In April following the Ballon Manufac- 
turing Company failed, and a great depression ensued, hundreds of 
employees being out of work all the season. But October 25th, 1876, 
the Globe estate was purchased by the Social Manufacturing Com- 
pany, and the mills were soon thereafter again put in operation. At 
the time of the purchase, for $363,000, there were in the new mill 
35,392 spindles, and 8,586 in the old. The latter building was re- 
moved in 1877, and since being owned by the Social Company, the 
new mill has had new machinery supplied. In 1889 there were 41,040 
spindles, 933 looms and 500 operatives. The aggregate power was 
1,000 horse, 750 being supplied by steam, and 250 by the three water 
wheels connected with the machinery. When the Social Company 
took possession of this property, W. E. Parker became the superin- 
tendent. Since March, 1887, Charles E. Thomas has served in that 
capacity, and these mills are again enjoying their old-time prosperity. 

The Social Manufacturing Company is the oldest and the most ex- 
tensive corporation in the city. Encouraged by the success of Samuel 
Slater, as a cotton manufacturer, a company was formed at Woon- 
socket, October 24th, 1810, to engage in the operation of mills at this 
point. The associating members Avere Ariel, Abner and Nathan Bal- 
lou, Job and Luke Jenckes, Eber Bartlett, Oliver Leland and Joseph 
Arnold. The latter owned the land on which it was proposed to erect 
the factory, and was the prime mover in this pioneer enterprise. The 
articles of agreement which they signed stated that: " Whereas, a con- 
nection hath this day been formed for the purpose of manufacturing 
cotton yarn and cloth for our common emolument, to be called the 
Social Manufacturing Company^' etc., which title was thus early selected. 
Sixteen shares of $1,000 each constituted the capital stock, and each 
member held two shares. The factory site embraced a little more 
than four acres, and included the privileges of the water power at 
that point, on the Mill river. Here a frame building was erected and 
supplied with carding machinery and 2,000 spindles. On account of 
Its diminutive size it was popularly called the " Pistareen," and as 
such was known as long as it was used as a mill. 

In 1814 Nathan Ballon, Oliver Leland and Eber Bartlett were no 
longer connected with the company, and in 1822 the Jenckes with- 
drew to begin their operations on Peter's river. The following year 
the Social stock was owned by vSmith Arnold, nine parts, and Arnold 
& Earle, seven parts. In 1827 they erected another wooden mill, 
which from its shape was called the " Castle." Both these old mills 



308 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

were subsequently used in the construction of tenements for the com- 
pany. 

In ]March, 1839, Arnold & Earle began operating the mills as ten- 
ants, and in 1841 they were sold to Dexter Ballou for $25,000. He 
enlarged the plant by the purchase of the adjoining lands of James 
Aldrich, and in 1841 began the erection of a large stone mill. To 
this additions were made at different periods, a large brick extension 
being put on the east end in 1872, and on the old part a mansard roof 
was placed the same year. At the time of its destruction by fire, July 
1st, 1874, this was one of the best mills in the country. The conflag- 
ration was caused by the friction of the main belt in the weaving 
room in the central part of the building, and the fire spread so rapidly 
from the time of its occurrence, at 3 p.m., that by 6 p.m. nothing but 
the blackened walls of the main mill remained. At this time the 
building had a front of 600 feet, most of it five stories high, and an 
extension to the rear from the center 245 feet long. All but the west 
end, which was but two stories high, succumbed to the flames; 50,000 
spindles and 1,000 looms were among the machinery destroyed, and 
the entire loss to the company was $500,000. 

The work of rebuilding on the foundations of the old mill was 
immediately begun, the new structure being erected throughout of 
brick. The main building is five stories high, 72 by 451 feet, and has 
a flat roof. Two towers relieve its front, on Social street, where the 
entire length of the building is 601 feet. On the north is a wing, /our 
stories high, 72 by 202 feet. The greater part of the mill was com- 
pleted the year of the fire, but since that time further improvements 
have been made, among the latest being a machine shop in 1889, 
which is 40 by 100 feet. 

The equipments of this establishment are of the best modern make, 
for the manufacture of fine cotton goods, and, like the one destroyed, 
the mill is complete in all its departments. In 1889 there were 55,600 
spindles, 1,380 looms and 650 operatives. The motive power was steam 
from a 1,000 horse power George Corliss engine, in addition to 240 
horse water power. In 1867 the boarding house opposite the mill was 
erected and was, at that time, one of the most imposing edifices of its 
kind in Woonsocket. It is 33 by 93 feet, with an ell 30 by 33, and is 
three stories high, exclusive of the basement. A part of this building 
was set aside as a hospital. 

In 1884 the new Social office, which had been building two years, 
was completed and has remained the finest in the state. It was 
planned and built under the personal direction of the superintendent 
of the company, Charles Nourse, and by an ill fatality hastened his 
death March 1st, 1886. At the hour of 3 a.m. the rear part of the office 
was discovered to be on fire, and as this contained the private rooms 
of Mr. Nourse, he was so active in his efforts to save it that he brought 
on a paralytic shock, which terminated fatally just as he was leaving 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 309 

for his home, and after the fire had been controlled. He was born at 
Keene, New Hampshire, in 1814, and was a thoroughly skilled mill 
•man, clear headed, and possessing- a remarkable amount of energy, 
which he devoted to the extension of the business of the company; 
and under his direction, from 1854 until his death, its finest improve- 
ments were made. When he became superintendent the company 
owned 17,000 spindles, which he increased to 125,000 spindles. He 
had secured an interest in the company and for a number of years 
prior to his death had also been its president. 

The Nourse Mill, erected and owned by the Social Company, on 
Clinton street, is a worthy memorial to the enterprise of the officer 
for whom it was named. The ground for these fine brick buildings 
was broken April 16th, 1882, and five acres were prepared for their 
site. In November, 1883, the mill was put in use and has since been 
successfully operated. The main building is 96 by 474 feet, and has 
three stories, each of which is 16 feet clear in the center. Light is 
afforded by 382 double windows. A cotton house is 80 by 97 feet and 
two stories high. The picker room is 50 by 60 feet. The engine and 
boiler rooms are 49 by 75 feet and 49 by 59 feet. In the former is a 
1,200 horse power George Corliss Tandem engine, which is the only 
motor. The mill has fine machinery, there being 40,000 spindles and 
540 looms. The operatives here number 380. 

Although this mill is already so capacious, an addition is projected, 
150 by 350 feet, and 22 feet clear in its one story, in which will be 
placed 15,000 spindles, when the Nourse Mill will be one of the largest 
and most attractive cotton mills in the state. 

Dexter Ballou was the proprietor of the old Social Mills until his 
death in 1849. Five years later the present Social Manufacturing 
Company was incorporated, and for many years the officers of the 
corporation were: Orin A. Ballou, president; Henry Lippitt, treasurer; 
and Charles Nourse, superintendent. The original capital at the time 
it was chartered was $150,000, which has been several times increased, 
being $1,000,000 in 1889. At this time the affairs of the company were 
managed by Charles H. Merriman, president; Henry Lippitt, treas- 
urer; Henry Lippitt & Co., agents; William D. Martin, clerk at Provi- 
dence; George W. Cumnock, superintendent (since June, 1886); and 
Charles E. Thomas, superintendent of the Globe Mills. The latter 
have been the property of the Social Company since October, 1870, and 
have since that time been operated as a part of its manufacturing 
system. 

The Eagle Cotton Mills, on the Blackstone, south of the P. & W. 
railroad bridge, were established in 1831. That year John W. Buffum 
leased the site of the Arnold heirs and a mill was built 40 by 60 feet. 
Another mill was afterward built and, in 1867, the main mill was 
enlarged to 41 by 198 feet, four stories high, of stone. There were 
also a weaving room 55 by 72 feet, and an engine room 21 by 43 feet. 



310 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

In 1888 another weaving room, one story high and 75 by 100 feet, was 
built and other improvements have been made. The powers are 
water, 175 horse, and steam, 80 horse. In 1889 the mills were oper- 
ated on fancy cotton goods, there being 12,464 spindles and 440 looms, 
and 250 operatives were employed, under the superintendency of 
George H. Grant, who has had charge since August, 1871. 

These mills have had many names, being long called " Buffum's," 
after the builder. Later they became known as "Law's Mills," in 
compliment to George Law, the popular manager many years. The 
Groton Manufacturing Company next owned them, but since May 1st, 
1884, the corporate name has been Eagle Mills. Of this tirm Charles 
M. Smith was president, and George M.Smith secretary and treasurer, 
succeeding J. Y. and A. D. Smith as owners. Previous to these, as 
owners, from August, 1835, on, were Peter J. Cook and Samuel Shove. 

The Clinton Mills, occupying a very fine site on the river 
below the railroad bridge, date their existence from the spring 
of 1827. That year Benjamin and Thomas C. Hoppin began the first 
improvements upon lots which they had purchased of the Lyman 
estate. November ]st, 1830, they conveyed the property to Edward 
Carrington, who, three years later, took in John H. Clark as a partner. 
Subsequently the latter became the sole owner, and in 1845 sold out 
to George C. Ballon, Orin A. Ballon, Samuel P. Rhodes and Peleg A. 
Rhodes. In May, 1854, the mills became the property of the Clinton 
Manufacturing Company and have since been controlled by that cor- 
poration. In 1889 Robert Knight was the treasurer, B. B. & R. Knight 
the New York selling agents, and Ariel C. Thomas superintendent. 
£. R. and Fred. A. Thomas have been former superintendents. 

The Clinton Mills are large, substantial stone buildings, the main 
mill being 50 by 250 feet, and five stories high. A large center tower 
adds to its appearance. A picker room, 50 feet square, is two stories 
high, and there is a cotton house 50 by 125 feet. In 1889 there were 
22,000 spindles and 512 looms, operated on cotton sheetings. The 
motors were water, 250 horse power, and steam, 150 horse power; and 
360 operatives were employed. 

The Hamlet Mills are at the lower water power of the Blackstone, 
at Woonsocket. This old cotton manufacturing plant of Hamlet was 
brought into existence by the building of the Blackstone canal, when 
one of the contractors. General Edward Carrington, of Providence, saw 
the advantages of this place for factory purposes. In 1825 and 1826 
he purchased several tracts of land and began improving them, hav- 
ing Stephen H. Smith as his resident agent. A fall of 9^ feet was se- 
cured by the dam and long raceway they built, yielding nearly 400 
horse power. Spencer Mowry contracted to build the first mill, which 
contained a few thousand spindles. Substantial tenements were built 
and a mansion erected to make this a complete factory hamlet, from 
which arose the name of the works. Stephen H. Smith remained at the 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 311 

head of the concern until 1842, when he was succeeded by George vS. 
Wardwell as the manager of the estate and mills belonging to Gen- 
eral Carrington, who died in 1843. He remained here until March, 
1859, faithfully discharging his duties, and being one of the most pub- 
lic spirited men of his times. In the year last named Isaac M. Bull, 
a nephew of General Carrington, became the owner of this property 
and John A. Bennett took charge of it as manager, and greatly im- 
proved the works. He was succeeded as superintendent by Moses P. 
Roberts and George M. Welles, who remained until the change of own- 
ership. Isaac M. Bull died September 8th, 1884, and a year later the 
mills and the property immediately connected with it were sold to 
Tarbell & Harris, who were the owners until January 1st, 1889, when 
Frank Harris became the sole proprietor. vSince July, 1888, John F. 
Worrall has been the superintendent. 

In 1886 a steam engine of 150 horse power was added to the motive 
power, and since that time new machinery has been supplied. In 
1889 the plant embraced about 45 acres of land, the estate nearer the 
city having been placed in the market for sale as building lots in 
1887-8. The works presented a neat appearance and the mills con- 
sisted of a main establishment 40 by 276 feet, five stories high, one 
mill 50 by 100 feet, two stories high, and another 40 by 40 feet, three 
stories high. There were 18,000 spindles, 387 looms and 225 oper- 
atives. The product was fine cotton shirtings and print goods. 

The Harris Woolen Mills industry, which for more than half a 
century has sustained a most important relation to the affairs of 
Woonsocket, was founded by Edward Harris. As a manufacturer 
of woolen fabrics his fame was more widely and favorably known 
than that of any other American mill man. Naturally endowed with 
many extraordinary qualities, he developed them still more in his 
active, energetic life, until he had so keen a perception that he an- 
ticipated the future in an almost unerring manner, and projected 
enterprises whose wisdom and success many stood ready to doubt, 
but which were usually profitably realized. This perceptive ability 
enabled him to secure men who would heartily co-operate with him 
in carrying out his plans, and to appropriate all useful means to a 
successful end, and which enabled him to attain a distinguished emi- 
nence which is still universally accorded him. Another remarkable 
trait in the life of this man was his philanthropic feelings toward the 
town in which he achieved his success, which led to practical mani- 
festations which will cause his name to be held in grateful remem- 
brance long after the history of his mills shall have been obscured by 
time. When he passed away, November 24th, 1872, he was not only 
the chief woolen manufacturer in the Union, but he was also entitled 
to the distinction of being the foremost citizen of Woonsocket, whose 
public spirit and progressive disposition had given birth to the era in 



312 . HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

which has been so greatly promoted the growth, prosperity and cul- 
ture of the city. 

Edward Harris was born at Lime Rock, this county, October 3d, 
1801. In his childhood he removed with his parents to New York 
state and later to Ohio, spending his youth away from school, and his 
education was, in a large measure, self-obtained. When of age he 
returned to Rhode Island and entered the office of his uncle, William 
Harris, who was a cotton cloth manufacturer, at Valley Falls, his en- 
tire capital, at this time, being a stock of good health and twenty-five 
cents in money. In 1824 he was transferred to the mills of the 
Harris Brothers at Albion, of which Samuel Harris was the agent, 
and soon became superintendent. In November, 1828, he became the 
agent of the Harris Lime Rock Company, continuing in that capacity 
two years. At the age of 29 years his capital had increased to $2,500, 
and borrowing $1,000 more from his father, he set out to do business 
for himself. 

He came to Woonsocket and March 26th, 1831, purchased the first 
of his real estate here, it being a building which has become known 
as " Mill No. 1," and in which he and Edward Seagrave commenced 
the manufacture of satinets. This site had been improved in 1812 
by James Arnold, and the building he then erected was first occupied 
by Daniel Wilkinson, in the manufacture of card clothing. Amos 
Whipple was the next occupant, as a machine builder. Rufus & 
Stephen Thayer, cloth dressers, were the next occupants and owners. 
March 25th, 1829, the original building was burned and the Harris 
Mill was soon after erected. In 1889 it was used only for storage pur- 
poses. 

The satinet business of Seagrave & Harris prospered, and, July 
21st, 1835, they purchased three manufacturing sites, known as Lots 
Nos. 2, 3 and 6. Upon the former Hosea Ballou erected a cotton mill 
upon a leased site in 1836, selling the building ten years later to 
Edward Harris, and in a repaired condition it has since been operated 
as a cotton mill. It is a brick structure and has steam and water 
power. In 1889 there were in use 11,000 spindles and the product 
was satines, employing 125 operatives. Lewis M. Smith was the 
superintendent. 

Upon Lot No. 3 Edward Harris erected in 1840 what has become 
known as Mill No. 2, in which was commenced in 1842 the manufac- 
ture of all wool cassimeres in fancy patterns. These goods proved so 
popular that more room was demanded, and in 1844 he built the stone 
mill on the west side of the street, which is now known as Mill No. 3. 
Still greater capacity being necessary to meet the demands for these 
woolen goods, he completed in 1846 Mill No. 4, and connected the two 
last with a bridge way. In these three mills he achieved his reputa- 
tion as a manufacturer of fancy cassimeres and firmly laid the 
foundation of his subsequent great fortune. He personall}^ inspected 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 313 

every department of his mills, paid particular attention to designs 
and patterns for his goods, and using nothing but the best material, 
produced goods whose beauty and softness of finish was like similar 
foreign fabrics in nearly every respect. 

Several accidents have occurred at mill No. 4. On the 10th of 
January, 1858, the foundation of the northwest corner gave way and 
every part of the five stories fell down with a tremendous crash, but 
fortunately injuring no one. Again, on the 6th of August, 1866, a 
part of this mill was on fire and five girls had narrow escapes with 
their lives from the upper story of the building. 

In 1889 these woolen mills were operated on fine cassimeres with 
Daniel W. Senior, as superintendent, and Jarvis H. Arnold, as book- 
keeper. 

In 1850 Edward Harris bought the Elisha Gaskill farm, and Harris 
avenue was located through the same. On the north side of this, the 
Harris mansion was built soon after. 

In May, 1859, Edward Harris bought the property along Mill river, 
above the estate of the Social Company, on which was a valuable 
water privilege, which up to that time appears to have been over- 
looked by manufacturers. From this originated the name " Harris 
Mill Privilege," and the subsequent title, " Privilege Mill." In the 
fall of 1859 he bought other lands along the stream and constructed 
the large reservoir. In 1860 the foundation of the mill was laid, the 
building being completed during the war. It is a massive structure 
of brick, five stories high and 442 feet long, and when set in operation 
in 1865 was the largest and finest woolen mill in the United States. 
To the water power of this mill steam power was added, which was 
generated in five locomotive boilers, each of 65 horse power. Septem- 
ber 5th, 1873, one of these boilers exploded, wrecking the engine 
house on the south side of the mill and killing the fireman, Patrick 
O'Neil, and a Frenchman. The loss of property was $20,000. 

In 1865-6 most of the other buildings on the Privilege tract were 
erected, and since that time all the buildings have been improved and 
kept in good repair. In 1889 the Privilege Mill was operated on fancy 
cassimeres for men's wear and worsteds, being in every department 
well equipped. James Ashworth was the superintendent. In all the 
woolen mills of the company, there were 74 sets of cards and 312 
looms. When fully running 1,000 operatives were employed. The 
plant of these mills contains more than 300 acres of land, and over 200 
buildings. 

This immense business was carried on personally by Edward Har- 
ris until 1862. when it was assumed by the present Harris Woolen 
Company, which was incorporated that year, with a capital of $800,000. 
Of this company Edward Harris was president until his death in 1872, 
when Oscar J. Rathbun succeeded to that office, which he has since 
ably filled. Darius D. Farnum, who had been the aid of Edward 



314 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY, 

Harris in founding these enterprises, was for many years the treas- 
urer of the corporation; and Joseph E. Cole was the agent. In 1889 
both the latter offices were performed by Joseph E. Cole, who is one 
of the veteran mill men of the city. 

The Lippitt Woolen Mills rank with the Harris Mills as producing 
some of the best woolen fabrics manufactured in America, and as 
early as 1867 the company made an exhibition of fancy cassimeres at 
the American Institute in New York, of which the New York Tribune 
said: " In quality these goods are equal to any ever made in this 
country or to any imported." Since that time the mills have been en- 
larged and the facilities for manufacturing improved until they are 
among the leading establishments in the city, and their products ever 
find a ready sale. There were in 1889 20 sets of cards, 94 broad looms 
and 300 operatives working on fancy cassimeres, worsteds and silk- 
mixed coatings. 

The principal seat of this industry is at the corner of Main and 
Bernon streets, and chiefly on Lot No. 1, of the so called Arnold and 
Lyman purchase, near that corner. On this lot the first improvement 
was made in 1828 by Hosea Ballou, who erected a brick cotton mill, 
which is yet a part of the plant. Soon after he built a frame struc- 
ture for a store house; and on the same lot, in 1828, Willis and Lyman 
A. Cook had a wooden shop. All these buildings stood with their 
ends to Main street. The Hosea Ballou buildings became the prop- 
erty of Dexter Ballou in 1829, and were used by him after that year. 
Immediately on the corner of Main and Bernon streets was a frame 
building in which was the store of Daniel A. Daniels. These three 
frame buildings were destroyed by fire in April, 1835, but the brick 
cotton mill remained. In the summer of 1836 Dexter Ballou erected 
a stone cotton mill upon the site of the Cook machine shop, placing 
its side to Main street, and, later, extended it to join the old Hosea 
Ballou brick mill. These now became known as the Harrison Cotton 
Mills, which name they retained until the property passed to the pres- 
ent management in 1865. That year the Lippitt Woolen Company 
was incorporated, with a capital of $200,000, which has been increased 
to $400,000. Of this corporation Henry Lippitt has for many years 
been the president, and Charles H. Merriman the treasurer. In 1889 
the affairs of the company at Woonsocket were ably carried on by 
vSuperintendents Samuel K. and William H. Bailey, and Erastus 
Richardson, bookkeeper. Jonathan Andrews was a former superin- 
tendent of the mills. 

When the Harrison Mills became the property of the Lippitt Com- 
pany the cotton machinery was removed and the manufacture of 
woolen goods begun, the mills taking the present name. Soon larger 
quarters being needed the corner lot at Main and Bernon streets 
was secured in 1870 for ground on which to build an addition. The 
brick building which had been erected thereon, after the fire of 1835, 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 315- 

was demolished to make way for the five story brick mill, completed 
by the Lippitt Company in 1871. It is 48 by 82 feet and gave room 
for six additional sets of machinery. 

The plant of "the company was again enlarged, when a lot on the 
south side of Bernon street was purchased. May 23d, 1872. This street 
was located September 21st, 1835, the pathway to the river previous to 
to that time being in the rear of the building standing on the lot pur- 
chased. The lot was occupied after 1824 by the machine shop of 
Thomas Arnold, but in 1836 it became the property of Darius Sibley 
and Daniel N. Paine, who enlarged the building and made a cotton 
factory out of it. From this fact it was long known as the Paine Mill, 
although occupied by him but a few years. The old building was torn 
down, and in 1873 the Lippitt Company erected on this lot its fine 
four story office and warehouse. ' The structure is of brick and stone, 
52 by 116 feet, and is very substantial. 

The business of the American Worsted Company was established 
in 1866, by W. H. S. Smith- and R. G. Randall. That year they began 
the manufacture of worsted braids in a frame building on the island,, 
and succeeded so well that larger quarters were demanded. These 
were secured in the stone mill which George C. Ballou erected, in 1868, 
and which was occupied about a dozen years. In June, 1868, the 
present corporation was chartered with a capital of $100,000, George 
C. Ballou, president, and R. G. Randall, treasurer. Subsequently the 
capital stock was increased to $250,000 and the business transferred ta 
the present plant on Main street, on the old site of the Woonsocket 
Machine Company. Here operations are successfully carried on with 
water and steam as the motive powers. In 1889 the products were 
dress braids, cardigan jackets and yarns; 3,000 spindles were used in 
the weaving department. Joseph E. Cole was president and R. G. 
Randall, treasurer. 

The Enterprise Company was organized August 16th, 1870, with 
an authorized capital of $500,000, of which $115,000 was paid in shares 
of a par value of $50. J. D. Nichols was chosen president; Reuel P. 
Smith, treasurer, and S. N Lougee, superintendent. A lot of ground 
on River street on the Fairmount farm (formerly Old Maids' Farm) 
was donated by the proprietors for a site on which were erected build- 
ings of stone, quarried on the farm near by, and thus this became the 
pioneer interest in this locality. The mill is 50 by 100 feet, three 
stories high. A boiler and engine room is 39 by 48 feet and two 
stories high. In this is an engine of 75 horse power, which is the only 
motor, as these sites have no water power privileges. 

In this mill the manufacture of lastings, serges, etc., was begun 
and carried on to the extent of 35,000 yards per month, 180 hands 
being employed, at an outlay of about $50,000 per year, 6,000 pounds 

*Mr. Smith was a skillful, practical workman, who died after the business was 
established on a successful basis. 



316 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

of wool being consumed weekly, besides 1,500 pounds of cotton yarn 
For a long time it was one of three works of the kind in the Union, 
and the business prospered, but meeting heavy competition, after the 
lapse of a dozen years, operations were suspended. In October, 1883, 
the plant was sold to the American Worsted Company for $42,300. 

After standing idle several years the mill was fitted up for the 
Woonsocket Worsted Mills, composed of Edwin Wilcox and William 
R. Cordingley, of Boston, and Edwin Farnell, who established their 
business March 6th, 1887. New and improved machinery for the 
manufacture of worsted yarns was supplied, and the business has 
been placed on a successful basis. Edwin Farnell is the superinten- 
dent of the 100 operatives employed. In 1888, a neat office was erected 
at this mill. 

The second enterprise in this locality was the planing mill and 
packing case factory of Charles B. Aldrich, which was removed to this 
place from Waterford, Mass., in 1872. A three-story building, 120 
feet long, was occupied, and the establishment prospered a number of 
years. 

After standing abandoned somiC time this building was prepared for 
a mill for the Perseverance Worsted Company, which was incorporated 
in May, 1883. George F. S. Singleton was elected president, and J. H. 
Singleton secretary and treasurer. These gentlemen are also the active 
managers of the business, having learned the art of manufacturing 
at Grafton, England. Excellent machinery for the manufacture of 
fine fancy worsted for men's wear has been placed in position^ and is 
used in producing $400,000 worth of goods per year. 

The Glenark Knitting Company became a corporate body in 1882, 
with a capital of $100,000. This was increased in 1888 to $200,000, in 
order to meet the demand of the rapidly growing business of the 
company, which has the following officers: C. B. Fillebrown, president; 
H. A. Follett, treasurer; Frank A. Morrill, superintendent. Work 
was begun in the manufacture of rubber linings in the old 
Sewing Machine building, 45 by 100 feet long and four stories high. 
In 1885 a brick building of like dimensions was erected and the 
capacity of the works doubled. In the spring of 1888 the company 
purchased the property of the owner, Joseph Banigan, and in the fall 
of that year began additional improvements, which were completed 
in January, 1889. A dye house 40 by 215 feet was erected, in which 
were placed two 100 horse power boilers. The smoke-stack from this 
house is 120 feet high and is the most massive in the city. The power 
in the old buildings was also increased. The works contain 41 spoolers, 
170 knitting machines and 250 operatives are employed, making this 
new industry one of the most prosperous in the city. The products 
are rubber linings and Jersey cloth, which are placed on the markets 
by the Boston house. 

The Glasgow Hosiery Mills were owned in 1889 by B. Hawkins, 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 317 

and were employed in the manufacture of cotton, worsted and woolen 
seamless hosiery. A specialty was made of " fast " black wear. Steam 
was used as a motor, operating 21 knitting machines and two loopers. 
W. H. Kelley was the first to carry on this business. 

In 1826 Edmund Bacon built an iron foundry near where Bernon 
street crosses the river, and had in 1827 Rufus Arnold as a partner. 
They soon failed and the business then was discontinued. Upon this 
site in 1865 D. B. Pond erected a large frame building which became 
known as Pond's Warp Mill, and which was operated by the builder 
on cotton until 1873. It was then used for the manufacture of woolen 
goods by various parties, sometimes in connection with other mills. 

In 1885 the Bradford Manufacturing Company, of which L. C. Bass 
was the treasurer, and S. C. Lomas superintendent, used part of this 
building in the manufacture of silk noils and yarns. In 1886 the com- 
pany was incorporated with a capital of $50,000 and the old officers 
continued. The machinery consisted of two sets 60-inch cards and 32 
looms, which were operated by steam and water power. In 1887 W. 
R. Watts, of New York city, succeeded to this business and has since 
carried it on. W. Archer is the superintendent. A specialty is made 
of silk machine cloths for wipes. Ten operatives are employed. 

The Leicester Knitting Mills occupied the principal part of this 
building in 1889. These mills are owned by G. H. Baker and C. E. 
Drew, who established the business in 1883 in Central Block, coming 
to their present quarters in 1884. About 300 dozen cotton, worsted 
and woolen ladies' underwear are manufactured daily by the 65 oper- 
atives employed. The mills are supplied with 6(1 knitting and 15 
sewing machines. 

The business now carried on by the Kendrick Loom Harness Com- 
pany was established in 1846 by John Kendrick, and, after some op- 
position was recognized as a separate industry. In 1851 he removed 
to Providence and established the main factory there, retaining this 
as a branch factory. After being superintended man}'- years by H. C. 
Lazelle, it was purchased by him in 1878, and he has since been the 
proprietor. In 1889 his motor was water and steam, and there were 
twelve employees. The building occupied was erected in 1817, and 
was the fifth of a series of improvements made by James Arnold in 
his efforts to develop the property. Among the earlier occupants 
were Sayles' Thread Mill and the machine shop of Thomas Arnold, a 
pioneer builder of cotton machinery. 

In 1875 Emmons, Arnold & Co. established another loom harness 
and reed manufactory, and were succeeded the same year by H. Jef- 
frey & Co., the proprietors in 1889. A large factory building on Allen 
street is occupied, and 15 operatives are employed. 

A. Rowland was a manufacturer of top roll covers, and was suc- 
ceeded in 1873 by E. F. Taylor, who had the shops several years. 

In 1889 Seth S. Getchel was the owner of a factory on Bernon 



318 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Street for the manufacture of spinning frame and mule cylinders, and 
L. H. Nourse had a jobbing and repairing shop in the same locality, 
'both industries employing about a dozen hands. 

On the " island " a large stone building was erected in 1874 for 
factory purposes, which was occupied the following year by W. H. 
Baxter, with his harness and carriage trimming business, which was 
established in 1858. This and other small industries have found a 
place in the building. The Woonsocket Oilless Saddle Company, 
George A. Metcalf, manager, was on Park avenue in 1889. 

A shop for the manufacture of carriages, built by H. C. Marsh, 
near the " Clinton Flats," was bought by J. C. Fisher, who enlarged it, 
in 1884, and supplied machinery to be operated by steam power. In 
1887 Stewart Smith and Donald Logan became the proprietors, and 
■have extended the works, employing electric power. The shops have 
a working capacity for 25 men. 

In 1874 Charles W. Talcott established his plumbing and steam 
fitting business at Woonsocket, having a small shop under the Provi- 
dence & Worcester railroad depot. Since 1882 he has occupied his 
present spacious shops in the same locality, and has extended his busi- 
ness until 50 men are employed in the different departments of the 
factory. The Woonsocket Brass Furnace Company, James Green- 
halgh, manager, has its shops in the rear of No. 129 Main street. 

The Mason Soap Works date their corporate existence from Aug- 
ust 6th, 1877, when Thomas A. Buell became the proprietor and has 
since carried them on. The business was established in the spring of 
1838 by Stephen N. and William Mason and was owned by them until 
March, 1843, when Stephen N. became the sole owner, and so con- 
tinued many years. He was a prominent, influential citizen, active in 
the affairs of the town, until his removal to Providence in 1876. The 
works have been twice destroyed by fire — in 1842 and in 1888 — but 
have been rebuilt to a better condition than before their destruction. 
Mill and family soaps are manufactured. 

Near this industry are the works of the Woonsocket Brush Com- 
pany, P. E. and W. S. Thayer, proprietors. This business was estab- 
lished on Main street by A. Cook, but since 1880. the shop on Allen 
street has been occupied, John W. Abbott being the first owner there. 
The present firm has been the proprietors since 1884. Mill brushes, 
for cleaning machinery, are made a specialty. Steam power is used 
and 15 hands are employed. 

The Perforated Pad Company was incorporated in November, 1882, 
with a capital of $40,000. Palmer Brown was elected president, and 
C. H. Horton, treasurer. These officers, with the addition of E. C. 
Delabarre, secretary, and C. L. Bailey, superintendent, served in 1889. 
The company carries on the manufacture of harness parts, covered by 
patents granted R. O. Burgess, and its yearly output is about $100,000 
worth of goods. A three story frame building, 40 by 60 feet, on the 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 319 

old furnace lot, is occupied and 60 hands are employed. The motor is 
steam. 

F. A. Colwell's Paper Box Factory is in the same locality. In De- 
cember, 1882, this industry was begun by Palmer Brown, four hands 
only being employed. The present proprietor has extended the busi- 
ness, until, in 1889, there were 60 employees, producing 10,000 boxes 
per day, making this one of the leading minor interests of the city. 

The business of the Woonsocket Baking Company was established 
in Bernon by U. L. Peck & Co. In 1855 A. D. Vose, W. A. Burlingame, 
and E. M. Ballou purchased it and transferred the plant to its present 
site, on Monument Square. Here it became very prosperous, and in 
1867, when A. D. Vose & H. M. Grout were the proprietors, 14 men 
were employed. The present company has greatly extended the busi- 
ness, employing electricity as the motive power. Frank A. Cooke is 
superintendent and R. O. Cooke treasurer of the company. 

In 1865 Edward Harris erected a number of buildings on his 
" Privilege " property, one being intended for saw and grist mills: a 
large two-story brick structure was designed for a machine shop, and 
the connecting wing for a furnace. These have since been occupied 
for various purposes and some of them have frequently been unoccu- 
pied. The same year Nathaniel Elliott put up several manufacturing 
buildings also on North Main street, but nearer the business part of 
the town. One of these was three stories high and 50 by 105 feet. It 
was occupied by J. S. Clark for his bobbin factory; N. Elliott as a 
planing mill, and William E. Coe for a tape and binding factory. He 
employed 13 looms and 20 operatives. The sash and blind factory 
of William E. Hubbard occupied the second building, which was 36 
by 72 feet; and the grist mill of Dexter Clark & Co. the third building. 
In these have occurred many changes of firms, business and owner- 
ship of property. 

In 1868 Chase & Clark began the manufacture of patent power and 
hand loom shuttles and bobbins, continuing until 1870, when A. D. 
Clark became the owner. In June, 1877, he died and the Clark Shuttle 
Works were then carried on half a dozen years more by M. W. A. 
Clark, when the machinery was removed from town. 

The business of the Woonsocket Shuttle Company was established 
in 1879 by David Bass and M. Hawkins. In 1881 they sold out to John 
Johnston and John Shambow, who began operations with the above 
name. They occupy a part of one of the Harris buildings and manu- 
facture all kinds of shuttles, giving employment to 15 men. 

The Woonsocket Spool and Bobbin Company was incorporated in 
May, 1883, with a capital of $100,000 and the following officers: Doctor 
A. W. Buckland, president; David Bass, treasurer; Lewis C. Bass, 
secretary; Benoni Hawkins, superintendent. After operating several 
years in one of the Harris buildings they purchased, in 1885, the 
Nathaniel Elliott property, and erected new buildings in addition to 



320 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

those already there, to adapt them to their business. Here the manu- 
facture of all kinds of spools, bobbins and shuttles has since been 
extensively carried on, employment being given to more than 100 
persons. In 1889 A. W. Buckland was the president; D. M. Edwards,' 
treasurer; and David Bass, superintendent. 

The old Hubbard planing mill, on this property, was occupied by 
A. C. Sibley, who has been the tenant since 1885. His business was 
established in 1879, in the " Privilege " building. All kinds of joiners' 
mill work is made and 24 men are employed. 

On Allen street a planing mill is operated by Daniel S. Fuller, in 
the manufacture of blinds, door and window frames. The business 
was established in 1879. Steam from a 40-horse boiler is the motor 
and four men find occupation. 

Since 1884 A. B. & W. E. Capron have operated the grain mill on 
Arnold street, consuming five car loads of wheat per week. The 
motor is steam. 

Among the industries of a recent period which have been discon- 
tinued was the American Twist Drill Company. The business was 
established in 1865 by John and Thomas Worrall and carried on by 
them until 1874, when the company was organized with Amos Sher- 
man, president; T. H. Worrall, treasurer and agent. The factory was 
last in one of the Harris buildings, but after 1880 the machinery was 
removed out of the state. 

The Woonsocket Horse Nail Company was incorporated in 1875 
with a capital of $100,000. Lyman A. Cook was the president; F. M. 
Perkins, secretary and treasurer; and Joseph Banigan, agent. George 
W. Miller as superintendent took charge of the works in the summer 
of 1877, and for several years the business was successfully carried 
on in a building now forming a part of the Glenark Mills. Here 
also was the Narragansett Horse Nail Company, whose affairs were 
superintended by George L. Hall; but both industries have passed 
away. 

The Hautin Sewing Machine Company, in which Lyman A. Cook 
and Joseph Banigan were also largely interested, had its factory on 
this site until 1886. An unsuccessful effort was made, at a heavy out- 
lay, to manufacture a wax thread sewing machine for leather workers, 
and was not given up until the machine was shown to be impracticable 
in the hands of unskilled operators. January 28th, 1886, the stock 
was sold in the New York market, and a new company was there or- 
ganized, with a capital of $250,000, to be known as the Wardwell Sew- 
ing Machine Company. This name was selected in compliment to 
Simeon W. Wardwell, the superintendent of the old company, who 
had invented an improved sewing machine, which the new company 
purposed to manufacture. The present company was incorporated 
under the laws of New York, and chose as its first officers: Joseph 
Banigan, president; Charles H. Reeves, treasurer; F. M. Wells, secre- 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 321 

tary. Mr. Wardwell continued as superintendent, and the works re- 
mained at Glenark site until September, 1887, when Edwin J. Pierce, 
Jr., became the superintendent, and new factory quarters were se- 
cured in the lower Bernon Mill. In November, 1888, Joseph Banigan 
withdrew from the company, and in January, 1889, Clarence H. 
Scrymser, of New York, succeeded him as president. 

The company has added to the manufacture of the sewing machine, 
models, tools and parts of small patents in which skilled labor is de- 
manded. It has also lately engaged in the manufacture of the Colum- 
bian Bar-Lock Type Writer, with capacity to produce 300 per week, 
and employing 200 men. In August, 1889, a new plant, now the fac- 
tory of the Woonsocket Shuttle Company, was occupied. It is spa- 
cious, well appointed and has a large steam power. 

The Woonsocket Machine and Press Company. — In 1825 Willis 
and Lyman A. Cook, two young men who had learned the machinist's 
trade at Valley Falls, came to Woonsocket and engaged to work in 
the shop of Thomas Arnold, which had been opened two years pre- 
viously in a building which stood near the corner of Main and Bernon 
streets. At the end of three years they associated Willing Vose with 
them, and, forming the firm of Willis Cook & Co., opened a factory of 
their own, in the same locality in which they carried on the machine 
and foundry business, until they were burned out in 1835. A new 
site was now selected, farther north, where is now the property of the 
American Worsted Company, where larger shops were built which be- 
came known as the Woonsocket Furnace. Soon after Willing Vose 
withdrew, and the Cook brothers continued the sole owners until 
January, 1868, when they sold the works to Simeon S. Cook. In Oc- 
tober, 1873, they passed into the hands of a company, organized to 
operate them, under the name of the Woonsocket Machine Company. 
The capital stock of this corporation was $200,000, and as the scope of 
manufacture was extended to embrace a greater variety of machinery, 
its operations soon demanded larger quarters. These were secured in 
the new plant of the company at Fairmount. The first building there 
was completed in the fall of 1879, and the entire works were trans- 
ferred to the new site in the course of a few years. 

In 1865 George W. Miller, a practical machinist, began work at 
Woonsocket, locating on the "island" in 1866, where his shop was 
afterward merged with the rubber works. In 1879 he began buildmg 
rotary cloth presses, which had been perfected by him, occupying 
shops on the machine company's lot. January 1st, 1884, he consoli- 
dated his interests with those of the machine company, and the new 
organization now took the name of the Woonsocket Machine and 
Press Company, of which Stephen N. Mason continued president, and 
George W.Miller became superintendent. William S. Hopkins has 
also served many years as the treasurer. 

The plant, which embraces five acres of land, has been well im- 
21 



322 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

proved to adapt it to the needs of the businevSS. The shops are sub- 
stantial and well appointed, the main building being three stories 
high, 50 by 130 feet, with an annex 60 by 100 feet, one story high. 
The pattern house is 50 by 100 feet, and two stories high. The motive 
power is steam from a powerful engine. In addition to the building 
of presses, machinery of all kinds for cotton and woolen mills is 
manufactured. From 150 to 200 men find profitable employment. 

The Doctor Seth Arnold Medical Corporation was formed August 
13th, 1872, with a capital of $100,000, to succeed to the business of 
Doctor Seth Arnold, as manufacturers of proprietary medicines. The 
corporators were Doctor Seth Arnold, L. W. Ballou, James M. Cook, 
William G. Arnold and William M. Weeks. Doctor Seth Arnold re- 
mained at the head of the corporation until his death, October 31st, 
1883. He was educated as a regular physician, but in 1842 began the 
manufacture of his patent medicines, which he continued alone until 
the date above given. In 1868 he sold the right to his " Balsam " to 
Gillman Brothers of Boston, and since that time the operations have 
been limited to the manufacture of " Arnold's Cough Killer," " Anti- 
Bilious Pills," and "Soothing Cordial." 

The first place of business was on Greene street, but since 1875 the 
fine laboratory on Park avenue has been occupied. The building has 
a fine site and is attractive in its appearance and surroundings. It is 
a frame 40 by 60 feet, and contains fine offices and store rooms, in 
addition to the manufacturing departments. The affairs of the com- 
pany are prosperous, and its products are largely sold in all parts of 
the country. In 1889 the officers were: Olney Arnold, president and 
treasurer; Alexander S. and Seth Arnold, secretaries. 

The Bailey Wringing Machine Company, on Social and Clinton 
streets, was chartered in June, 1865, with a capital of $250,000, in 
shares of $100 each. John Paine Whipple was the first treasurer, but 
died not long after the company was formed. The article which has 
given the corporation its existence and prosperity was the invention 
of Selden A. Bailey, a poor mechanic, in 1859, at New London, Conn. 
The following year he moved to Wrentham, Mass., where the firm of 
Bailey & Sayles was formed and the wringer manufactured on a larger 
scale, continuing until the death of his partner, in 1863. The follow- 
ing spring Mr. Bailey became a resident of Woonsocket and joined 
Simeon S. and B. M. Cook in forming the firm of Bailey, Cook & Co., 
to manufacture the wringer still more extensively. Work was begun 
in a shop on the " island" and the business soon gave evidence of such 
large possibilities that this company was organized and a new factory 
site secured. In the fall of 1865 a part of the present plant was pur- 
chased of Willis and Lyman A. Cook, who became interested in the 
new company, the latter serving as the first president. 

The shops on this property were erected in 1845 by Whipple and 
William Metcalf, skillful builders of cotton machinery, who had pre- 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 323 

viously occupied shops at Globe and near Market Square, and where 
they had prospered beyond the capacity of their quarters. In their 
new place of business they were less successful, and sold the property 
in 1856 to the Messrs. Cook. From that time until the spring of 1866 
the buildings had been occupied by various parties. The expecta- 
tions of the Bailey Company were fully realized and, in 1876, the works 
employed 60 men. At that time the officers were George W. Jenckes. 
president; William H. Bailey, secretary; S. A. Bailey, treasurer, and 
J. R. Bailey, superintendent. Fifty thousand wringers were produced 
annually. 

Here were also, about this time, the works of the Bailey Tool 
Company, which manufactured all kinds of carpenter's tools, and 
operated from 1872 until 1880, when this part of the business was 
sold to the Standard Rule & Level Company, and the interests re- 
moved to New Britain, Conn. 

The Relief Washing Machine Company also had its origin in the 
■enterprise at this place, and was incorporated May 27th, 1875, with 
Doctor Ariel Ballou president; Selden A. Bailey, treasurer, and Daniel 
B. Pond, secretary and managing agent. In subsequent years their 
goods were manufactured out of town. 

The works of the Bailey Wringing Company have been improved 
and extended to give still greater capacity. In 1889 the main build- 
ing, which is 40 by 120 feet and three stories high, was supplied with 
a hydraulic elevator, the first in the city. A well appointed office on 
Social street was erected in 1884, and the equipments have made the 
production of 225,000 wringers per year possible. In 1889 100 men 
were employed, and the affairs of the company were directed by 
Joseph Banigan, who succeeded L. A. Cook in 1885 as president; 
George Renter, Jr., treasurer; Reuel P. Smith, A. B. Warfield, James 
Murray and Henry F. Lippitt. A. F. White was the superintendent, 
and James S. Black, the bookkeeper. 

The manufacture of the Bailey wringers at Woonsocket brought 
into existence another industry whose development and extent has 
done more to spread the name of the city abroad than all the other 
industries combined. The rubber rolls used in the wringers were at 
first made elsewhere, but S. S. Cook determined that they should 
be made here. His success in their manufacture on a small scale in 
the fall of 1864 led to making other mould rubber mork, in which Ly- 
man A. Cook and Joseph Banigan were interested with him. From 
this sprang the Woonsocket Rubber Works. In the course of a few 
years S. S. Cook disposed of his interests to his associates, who placed 
this industry in the care of the Woonsocket Rubber Company, which 
was incorporated in 1867, with a capital of $100,000. Of this company 
Lyman A. Cook was president and Joseph Banigan. general agent, 
and, through their untiring energy, the business was made a success 
from the time the manufacture of rubber boots and shoes was begun. 



324 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Within ten years the works at the " island " covered one and a half 
acres, one of the buildings erected being of brick, four stories high, 
and 50 by 160 feet in dimensions. In 1876 180 cases of work were pro- 
duced daily and the pay roll for labor amounted to $16,000 per month. 
In 1882 it became necessary to enlarge the works, and, as suitable 
ground could not be procured at the old plant, a part of the manufac- 
ture was transferred to Millville, Mass., and, since that time, the rub- 
ber boots of the company have been made at that place. At the time 
this change was effected L. A. Cook disposed of his interest in the 
company to Joseph Banigan, who now became the ruling spirit in this 
enterprise. 

In January, 1889, the works employed 800 hands, mostly males, and 
the pay roll was more than $25,000 per month. The excellence of the 
products of the Woonsocket company caused a demand for still greater 
capacity and the erection of new works was now urged. After some 
agitation of the question of a site, the Buffum Island lot of 20 acres 
was purchased in March, 1889, on which to erect a new plant. In July 
of this year the first buildings were here begun and consist of a main 
structure, 82 by 360 feet, with two wings at the ends of the same, each 
50 by 250 feet. All of them are of brick, resting on granite founda- 
tions, and are four stories high. The twelve acres of floor space will 
be fully occupied, and, when completed, these will be the largest and 
best appointed rubber works in the world. More than 1,500 men will 
be employed, thus largely promoting the growth of Woonsocket. 

To keep pace with the growing demands of the business the cap- 
ital stock of the company has been increased from time to time, being 
$1,200,000 in 1889. At this time the affairs were managed by Joseph 
Banigan, president and general agent; Frederick Cook, treasurer; 
Frederick T. Comee and P. J. Conley, superintendents. In the latter 
capacity John F. Holt has also served. 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE TOWN AND CITY OF WOONSOCKET— (Concluded). 

The Press. — Education. — Public Libraries. — Churches. — Societies and Lodges. — The 
Woonsocket Hospital. — Cemeteries. — Military Affairs. — Bands. — ^Soldiers' Monu- 
ment. — Grand Army of the Republic. — Sons of Veterans. — Biographical Sketches. 

THE periodical press of Woonsocket has been an important factor 
in its social and commercial history ever since the first venture 
was made in 1833. That year the IVcek/j' Patriot was founded 
and it has been continued to the present time as one of the ablest 
rural papers in New England. Its proprietors were Sherman & 
Wilder, who established a publication office in the old Rathbun Block, 
on Main street. In a short time William N. Sherman became the 
sole owner and editor, his associate retiring to form the firm of Hap- 
good & Wilder, who began, in 1835, the publication of the second 
paper in the town, TJic Rhode Island Advocate. This enterprise suc- 
ceeded but nine months, and at the end of that time the Patriot was 
again alone in the journalistic field several years. 

Early in 1836 the publication of the Rainbow was begun by 
I. Robinson, with N. Robinson as editor. It was a four page semi- 
monthly sheet, devoted to " Literary Miscellany and the Arts," and 
was printed in a room over the post office. On the 16th of April, 
1836, it claimed to have 1,000 subscribers at one dollar each, having 
begun five issues before with but one subscriber, but at the end of a 
year it was discontinued. 

The Independent, a paper advocating free suffrage, was the next to 
claim patronage. It was removed here from Providence, during the 
Dorr times, and was published a few months only by Walter Sher- 
man. Its office was in the Union Building. 

Near the same time TJic Woonsocket Sentinel and the Thonipsonian 
Advocate was begun, its first issue being February 16th, 1842. It was 
devoted to the " Reformed practice of Medicine, Health, News, 
Temperance and Miscellany." The paper was issued weekly, by 
Mason & Vose, and was a folio of 20 wide columns, $1.50 per year. 
The editors were Willing Vose and Doctor G. W. Davis. Josiah Per- 
kins had charge of the Washmgtonian Department. In December, 
1842, Doctor J. M. Aldrich was added as another associate editor and 
the columns of the paper now teemed with brilliant and aggressive, 
articles on the Thompsonian system of medicine. In March, 1843, a 



326 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

new set of editors took charge, but in the course of a year the publi- 
cation was suspended for lack of patronage. 

The News-Letter, published by Erastus Fisher in 1850, was the next 
venture, whose existence was not prolonged beyond the year in which 
it began. 

An agricultural semi-monthly, The Farm and Fireside, next entered 
the lists, January 5th, 1867. It was published by S. S. & G. W. Foss, 
from the office of the Patriot, and was an able and enterprising peri- 
odical. Failing to receive proper support it was continued but one 
year. 

Until 1873 the Weekly Patriot had an almost undisputed control of 
the newspaper patronage, having some years as many as 9,000 sub- 
scribers. This success was achieved by the ability and enterprise of 
its editor, Samuel S. Foss. He was born at West Boylston, Mass., 
August 15th, 1821, and after obtaining an academic education entered 
the office of the Patriot as an apprentice, in the spring of 1837. 
Three years later he was an associate editor, and in 1841, purchased 
the paper from William N. Sherman, its founder. At that time it 
had a circulation of 500 and a poorly equipped office. In form it was a 
six column folio and in politics it was whig. He added improvements 
from time to time until it was one of the best offices in the country, 
using in October, 1873, the first folding machine in the state. In 1855 
he removed the Patriot from the Rathbun Building to the Waterman 
Block, which he purchased in 1865, when it became known as the 
Patriot Building. This remained the home of the paper until some 
time after the death of Mr. Foss, August 6th, 1879. He was a man 
of strong and fertile brain, immense industry and so persistent in his 
purposes that he commanded success. Though stern in his principles 
and of unbending integrity, he was warm hearted and steady in his 
friendships, which caused him to be highly esteemed. 

German W. Foss, a twin brother of S. S., now took charge of the 
Patriot and conducted it until his death in 1880. Later, Herbert E. 
Holmes edited the papers for the Foss estate, which sold out to the 
Patriot Printing Company in March, 1881. Of this firm William H. 
Goodale and T. H. Mann were the managers. August 4th, 1886, 
George B. Arnold became the proprietor and the paper was edited 
by L. B. Pease. January 17th, 1889, the latter became the proprietor 
and since that time has issued the paper as the weekly edition of the 
Daily Evening Reporter, though retaining the name of Patriot. It is 
an eight page sheet of 64 long columns, well edited and is independ- 
ent in politics. The paper is well sustained, retaining much of its 
former large rural patronage. 

The Daily Patriot was established in 1876 by S. S. Foss, the first 
issue being on the evening of April 3d, as a four page, 20 column 
sheet, at one cent per copy. This paper at once found a popular 
place in the community, for it was enterprising and attractive. As. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. . 327 

an adjunct of it and to provide still better facilities Mr. Foss con- 
structed, at his own expense, a telegraph line to Providence, opening 
an office in the Patriot Building, June, 1876, for the transmission of 
news direct. April 3d, 1878, the paper was enlarged to six columns 
per page, and was otherwise improved to meet the wants of its in- 
creasing patrons. On the 15th of March, 1881, the Daily Patriot was 
sold to L. B. Pease, who merged it with the F.vening Reporter, of which 
it had been so keen a rival until 1880, that many poignant passages 
appeared in their columns. 

The Evening Reporter was the first daily paper published at Woon- 
socket. Its first issue was October 1st, 1873, as a small four-column 
folio, selling for one cent per copy. L. B. Pease was the editor and 
proprietor, and under his well directed management it has since re- 
mained, becoming one of the best newspaper properties in the state. 
On the 20th of March, 1876, the paper was enlarged to a five-column 
folio, and soon afterward reported a circulation of more than 3,000 
copies. Further enlargements were made October 1st, 1879, to six 
columns; April 2d, 1883, to seven columns; and December 16th, 1884, 
to eight columns. At this time a morning edition was started but dis- 
continued after four days. In 1889 the Reporter had an average daily 
circulation of 5,747 copies. It is printed in a finely equipped office in 
the American Block, receiving its Associate Press dispatches by special 
wire. Its local news corps is well organized and in charge of trained 
men, George A. Smith being managing editor, and Major J. W. Smyth 
and F. W. Thurber associates. Arthur S. Pease is the business 
manager. 

The Valley Repnbliean was begun as a two cent daily April 26th, 
1886, and was a large seven-column folio. At the end of four days 
the price was reduced to one cent, the size being maintained. It was 
published by Goss & Mann, and printed in the Patriot office. When 
that plant was sold to George B. Arnold, August 4th, 1886, the paper 
was discontinued. It had good press privileges and was a fine, well 
edited sheet, but lacked patronage to make it a paying venture. This 
was the last attempt to establish a daily at Woonsocket. 

T\^Q Sunday Journal, issued May 3d, 1885, was the first Sunday 
paper published in the city. Its proprietors were Edward B. Condon 
and Maxime L. Bouret, but at the end of four weeks the former sold 
his interest to his partner, who continued four weeks longer, when 
the publication was suspended. It was an attractive 28 column, four 
page paper, but failed to receive the patronage it claimed. 

Nezvtons Textile Gazette, a paper devoted to the interests of mill 
men, was established in July, 1883, as a monthly of 28 columns. In 
April, 1885, its issue as a semi-monthly was begun and continued until 
October, 1888, since which time it has been a weekly. In connection 
with its book premiums, " Newton's Practical Spinner," " Newton's 
Carder" and " Newton's Weaver," it has attained a large circulation, 



32S HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

its list showing names from 29 states. Charles M. Newton has con- 
tinued the editor and proprietor. 

The High School Record wa.s established by the pupils of the high 
school in September, 1884, and has since been published monthly, 
during the school year, by the pupils of the junior and senior classes. 
It is a neat eight-page journal, of 24 columns, filled with matter per- 
taining to the school interests of the city. 

The Courier Canadicn was the pioneer French paper in the city, 
whose publication was continued about six months in 1880. The pro- 
prietors were Gagnon & Archambault, with C. Tetreault as the busi- 
ness manager. The issue was twice per week and the paper was well 
edited, but was not sufficiently supported to continue at this place. 
It was removed to Worcester and consolidated with a paper of that 
city; and future attempts to establish a French paper at Woonsocket 
have been equally unsuccessful, each of the two subsequent ventures 
being of short duration. 

In 1889, Joseph U. Giguere had a well ordered French and English 
book and job office, which had been established several years; William 
H. Goodale & Co. were the proprietors of a fine, large steam book and 
job printing house; and Carl C. Wheelock had a job office. These 
and the Reporter s establishment afford splendid printing facilities for 
the people at Woonsocket. 

Since the Quakers predominated among the early settlers of this 
section, and they believed that the welfare of the community depended 
upon the education of its citizens, it is but natural to look to them for 
the first efforts to establish and maintain what would readily develop 
into a system of free schools. Accordingly, we find in their records, 
on this matter: " 6th mo., 1771. It is thought necessary yt poor chil- 
dren be schooled." 

"4th mo., 1777, Moses Farnum, Moses Brown, Thomas Lapham, 
Job Scott, Elisha Thornton, vSamuel Aldrich, George Arnold, Ante- 
past Earle and David Steere are appointed to draw up a plan for 
establishing 2. free school diX^on^ Friends." 

This committee reported, two months later, that the donation of 
Rachel Thayer be used toward the support of a school; that subscrip- 
tions for that purpose be received at each preparative meeting; and 
that a teacher be procured at once. It was further recommended that 
proper measures be taken in regard to the places for holding the 
schools, the pupils who should attend, the rules which should govern 
them and the teachers to be employed. The report was given a favor- 
able acceptance and the meeting appointed a school committee, which 
was probably the first in northern Rhode Island. It was composed 
of Thomas vSteere, Moses Farnum, David Steere, Moses Brown, Ezekiel 
Comstock, Benjamin Arnold, Rufus Smith, Daniel Cass, George Smith, 
Samuel Aldrich, Gardner Earle, David Buffum and Thomas Lap- 
ham, Jr. 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. J329 

Under their direction schools for the poor were taught and the way 
was paved for a general free .school system, to be maintained by the 
towns. The time for such a movement seemed to have come in 1800, 
when the town of Smithfield voted an appropriation of $2,200 for the 
maintenance of 24 schools, which should be free to all. This measure 
appears to have met the approval of a majority of the citizens, for a 
similar sum was voted, for the same purpose, in August, 1802. But 
for some reason there was brought about an antagonistic sentiment 
which was so strong that a special meeting was called the following 
month, and the vote was repealed. This action discouraged the 
friends of free schools, and for some time their support, by the town, 
was not attempted. But through the zeal and enterprise of some pub- 
lic-spirited women, a free school was maintained several years more. 
In other localities the more progressive neighbors united and had pri- 
vate schools in their houses, sometimes with success, but at other 
times, with the indifferent teachers in charge, these schools were 
rnere travesties. However, the general effect was good, and when 
the benefits of an education, as revealed in the academies which were 
now maintained, became apparent, there was formed an unchange- 
able purpose that all should enjoy the privilege of attending school. 
This determination became so strong, after 1820, that it forced the 
acceptance of free schools as permanent institutions of the town. 

The first of the academies which helped to create this sentiment 
was located near Slatersville, and the genial and learned Elisha 
Thornton, the Quaker minister of that period, was the principal. For 
30 years prior to 1800 he labored there untiringly to promote the 
cause of education, and succeeded in imparting mental and moral en- 
lightenment to many young men who afterward took up the work in 
other localities as teachers or as active patrons of free schools. 

In its own locality the academy at Cumberland Hill radiated an in- 
fluence which was equally conspicuous. The impress of such teach- 
ers as Doctor Ariel Ballou and Ira B. Peck was potent in developing 
a sentiment favorable for general education; and after these princi- 
pals had retired from the academy and became business men of 
Woonsocket, they were among the most active in promoting free 
schools of the town."-'" 

The old Smithfield Academy at Union Village exerted a more 
direct influence upon Woonsocket than either of the foregoing, and 
was, practically, for many years, the high school of the place. For a 
long time it maintained the distinction of having cabinets of miner- 
als and chemicals equal to those of Brown University, and had also 
fine apparatus. The institution had its origin in an act of the general 
assembly, passed in February, 1810, when Peleg Arnold, Richard 
Steere, Ezekiel Cbmstock, Joel Aldrich, John N. C. Baxter and David 

* Ira B. Peck became distinguished as an avithor of genealogical works, and was 
also a noted antiquarian. 



330 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

Aldrich were incorporated as the trustees of the Smithfield Academy, 
with power to hold property to the amount of $5,000. The act also 
authorized Peleg Arnold, Marcus Arnold and George Aldrich to raise 
by lottery the sum of $1,500 for the erection of buildings. This lot- 
tery was divided into two classes, the first being managed by George 
Aldrich and Arnold Paine. It was not successful, and the receipts 
were not enough to cover their personal expenses. The second class 
was managed by George Aldrich and Marcus Arnold with more fort- 
unate results. They were able to pay all expenses and half the cost 
of building the academy. The other half was paid by Joel Aldrich, 
who subsequently lay claim to the ownership of the building; and 
when it was abandoned for school purposes it was sold by his heirs, 
the purchaser removing it to convert it into a dwelling. 

In 1811 the school was opened with David Aldrich, a son of Joel,, 
as the teacher. He died in 1814, and Josiah Clark was the next 
teacher, remaining but ashort time. John Thornton was the next 
principal, and remained six years. He was a son of Elisha Thornton, 
the former principal of the old Slatersville Academy, and like his fa- 
ther was a learned man. But imlike his father he was severe in his 
manner and methods, which affected his popularity. 

The next principal was George D. Prentice, who afterward became 
so favorably known as the poet-editor of the Louisville Journal. He 
is remembered as a successful teacher and genial companion, who de- 
lighted to ramble over the hills when not in the school room. It is 
said that besides "teaching the young idea how to shoot," he was an 
expert at shooting with the pistol at marks in the woods. Caleb Ward 
Wilson was another esteemed teacher, but soon relinquished the 
place on account of poor health. Christopher Robinson was a suc- 
cessful principal, abandoning the teacher's profession for that of the 
law, which opened for him a wider field for the exercise of his talents. 

The principalship of James Bushee, being so long continued, gave 
the most character to the academy. He took charge of the school in 
1830 and remained until 1853. After his retirement the mission of the 
academy appears to have been ended, and it was soon after perma- 
nently closed. Mr. Bushee was a thorough educator and labored 
effectively in moulding the character and directing the mental train- 
ing of hundreds of youths who attended his school. He removed to a 
neighboring state, but in 1882 returned to Union Village, and for six 
years taught a vSmall private school. Here, near the scenes of his 
former labors, he died December 20th, 1888, aged 83 years. A fine 
row of linden trees, which he had planted, marks the site of the old 
academy. 

Under a condition of things which had limited the attendance at 
school to but a few, there was naturally a preponderance of ignorant 
youth, uncouth if not vulgar in manner, and having but a vague idea 
of the relations which should exist between pupil and teacher. When 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 331' 

the free school syvStem here went into effect the population was in a 
process of development, reaching a point where physical development 
was considered paramount to mental culture, and hence the first 
teachers of these schools were not especially noted for their learning. 
One of the chief requisites which they must possess if they wished to 
be employed was muscular development, so that they could effectually 
control their schools. But, happily, a better state of affairs soon pre- 
vailed, and "book learning" among teachers and pupils was given 
a proper place in the economy of school government. The standard 
for qualification on the part of teachers was elevated, and the com- 
munity learned to esteem those whose skill and not their strength 
enabled them to " keep" school. 

When the free schools were established there were within the 
limits of the present city of Woonsocket eight districts, two on the 
old Smithfield side and six on the old Cumberland side. In the for- 
mer part the schools were taught at Globe and at Bernon. At the 
latter place a building was leased from the old Woonsocket Company 
in 1832, which was used for more than 80 years, and the schools 
taught in it were generally excellent. In 1876, a new site for the 
Bernon school was secured on one of the hills on that side of the 
river, where a very fine brick structure was erected, which was first 
occupied in September, 1876. Seven years later the value of this 
property, on Grove street, was reported as $14,808. The old school 
house site has become the property of the Presbyterian church. 

The fine school house at Globe was built in 1841, and for 17 years 
the schools kept in it were supported chiefly by the state fund, there 
being, consequently, but short terms. Later more interest was mani- 
fested and longer terms were taught by better teachers. In 1874 a 
very fine new school edifice was erected for this part of the town on 
Providence street at a cost of more than $15,000. This house was ap- 
propriately dedicated April 22d, 1875, and the surroundings have 
since been improved. 

On the Cumberland side there were in 1828 three districts, which 
were soon subdivided until there were six districts. Of these, No. 1 
embraced that part around the " falls." Dexter Ballou was the com- 
mittee man and there were 198 pupils. No 2 included first Social and 
Jenckesville, but the latter being set off was called No. 17. There were 
74 pupils and Nelson Arnold had charge of the affairs of this district. 
No. 2 had Smith Arnold as committee man and 70 pupils. No. 3 em- 
braced the country part of the town, with 84 pupils and Reuben Dar- 
ling commmittee man. In 1838 district No. 19 was formed out of No. 
1, there being 145 pupils, and Ariel Ballou was the committee man. 
Two years later the sixth district was formed out of No. 2 (the 
*' Social ") and was called No. 20. Joseph Smith was the first com- 
mittee man. In none of the above districts was there a noteworthy 
school building, and several of them rented houses for school pur- 



332 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTV. 

poses. In 1845 the pupils in the six districts numbered 1,015 and 
$997.95 was used in the support of the schools, 

The following year a movement was set on foot to consolidate dis- 
tricts Nos. 1, 19, 2 and 20, but the end was not accomplished until the 
fall of 1849. November 30th, that year, the organization was fully ef- 
fected, and the first officers chosen were: John Boyden, moderator; 
Olney Arnold, clerk; Elijah B. Newell, treasurer; Christopher Robin- 
son, Bethuel A. vSlocumb, Robert Blake, trustees. Meantime, a high 
school building was being put up for the use of the new district on a 
large lot donated for this purpose by Edward Harris. It was a frame, 
47 by 50 feet, three stories high, and cost, when fully completed, about 
$13,000. The first school in it was taught in the winter of 1849, and it 
was used until its destruction by fire October 16th, 1875. At that time 
the property with its fixtures w^as valued at $25,000. The school was 
then transferred to the brick block of the Social Company until a new 
house could be erected. The present high school is on the old site, 
which has a central location on high ground. It is a stately two story 
edifice, erected in 1876 by Nathaniel Elliott, after plans drawn by 
General William R. Walker, of Providence, and cost to complete nearly 
$40,000. The material is pressed brick and stone, resting on granite 
foundations, forming a most substantial structure, 74 by 78 feet, with 
extending entrance ways, making the entire length 105 feet. The 
interior of the building is divided into eight spacious rooms, which 
are finely finished and well supplied with furniture of modern con- 
struction. 

In other parts of the city school buildings of pleasing architecture 
have in recent years been erected, and in 1889 there were in all 14 
buildings whose aggregate value was about $150,000. These school 
houses were known as the High School, on Boyden street. Grove 
street, Providence street, Hope street. North Main street, Social street, 
Jenckesville, Arnold street. High street, Fairmount, Park avenue, 
Clinton street. Summer street and Union, on Mendon Road; and in 
these buildings 45 teachers were employed. 

The consolidation of part of the districts of the town proved so sat- 
isfactory that efforts were made as early as 1876 to form a complete 
union of all the districts. But that desirable result was not secured 
until half a dozen years later. At the June town meeting in 1882 the 
Reverends Charles J. White, Eugene E. Thomas, Charles Nason, Al- 
exander Anderson and Joseph L. Miller were appointed a committee, 
instructed to report on the feasibility of the consolidation, which was 
strongly recommended by them. An act was passed by the general 
assembly in January, 1883, authorizing the measure, and the consum- 
mation of the union has been attended with the best results. The 
standard of the schools has been elevated, and still greater proficiency 
has been attained. The course of study pursued in these schools is 
very comprehensive, and the graduates from the high school give evi- 



HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 3o3 

dence of a training equal to that of other first-class schools. From 80 
to 90 pupils are enrolled in this school yearly. The principals have 
been men of learning and reputation as teachers, whose services have 
usually been properly recognized. Among them have been Joseph 
Smith, William H. Farrar, H. R. Pierce, Charles A. Chase, Martin A. 
Way, Benjamin Baker, A. J. Eaton, Miles Whittlesey, William F. 
Palmer and J. W. V. Rich, the latter, with three associate teachers, 
having charge of the school in 1889. 

In 1888 the enrollment of pupils in all the schools was 2,697 and 
there was an increase in the percentage of attendance, while the inter- 
est in the cause of education was noticeably greater. This condition 
has, to a considerable extent, been brought about by the systematic 
and well-directed labors of the superintendents of the schools. Those 
who have so served have been the Reverends Ebenezer Douglas, Rob- 
ert Murray, Jr., C. J. White, E. E. Thomas, Mr. Nathan T. Verry and 
the present energetic superintendent, Frank E. McFee. In the dis- 
charge of these duties he has the hearty support of the school com- 
mittee, composed, in 1889, of L. L. Chilson, chairman; George A. 
Smith, clerk; James S. Read, Edgar M. Slocomb, Dr. Robert G. Reed, 
Frank E. Farnum, William L. Whipple, Aram J. Pothier and James 
Murray. 

The appropriations for the support of the schools have been ex- 
ceedingly liberal, in recent years never being less than $20,000, and 
being from all sources available, in 1888, as much as $34,196.33. A 
portion this amount has been set aside for the maintenance of even- 
ing schools free to all who may choose to attend. These schools were 
first opened October 4th, 1885, to continue 50 evenings per year, with 
three sessions per week. More than 300 persons, of ages from 15 to 
50 years, have availed themselves of the advantages of these schools 
by being regular attendants. In many instances the rudiments of a 
common school education have thus been acquired, and the utility of 
the schools has been so fully recognized that they have become a part 
of the educational system of the city. 

The establishment of a manual training school is also projected, 
several funds for that purpose being available. One of these was 
created by the will of Rachel F. Harris, dated January 27th, 1846, in 
which she bequeathed, in trust, to Edward Harris, John Boyden and 
Ariel Ballou, 30 shares of the P. & W. R. R. Company's stock for such 
a school. At a later day Dexter Ballou bequeathed 15 shares of the 
same stock for a similar purpose, and the accrued value of these funds 
was, in 1889, about $20,000. Much of this interest in these matters 
was inspired by the Reverend John Boyden, who is remembered to 
this day as one of the most devoted friends of popular education 
that Woonsocket has ever had. For more than a quarter of a century 
he labored earnestly and wisely, when the system of free schools 
was yet in its infancy. His example has been worthily followed 



334 HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY. 

by many citizens, zealous in every good work, who have here ad- 
vanced the cause of education to its present enviable position. 

At Woonsocket the value of the public library as an adjunct of 
education was early admitted. For 30 years after 1800 a small but 
well selected librarj- was in existence, and near the same time the 
" Social Library " was maintained in northern Cumberland. Both 
served their purposes well, preparing- the way for the more compre- 
hensive libraries which were established as their successors. The first 
of these was the Carrington Library. About 1850 Samuel S. Foss, the 
public spirited editor of the Patriot, began discussing the matter in 
his paper and urged the creation of a fund to be used in founding a 
library, which should embrace the best books of the day, and which 
should be accessible to all upon the payment of a small fee. Public 
interest was awakened, and Edward Harris told the editor that he 
would give $500 toward an enterprise of that character, provided an 
equal amount would be subscribed by the citizens. The proposition 
found an eager acceptance and the fund was soon assured. The an- 
nouncement of this fact prompted George S. Wardwell, the manager 
of the Hamlet Mills of the Carrington estate, to submit another propo- 
sition: That the estate would donate another $1,000 provided that the 
library should bear the name of Carrington. This proposition was 
also accepted by the people of Woonsocket. These $2,000 constituted 
the fund from which arose the Carrington Library Association, of 
which Edward Harris was the first president. He held that position 
several years, and in 1855 his associate officers were Reverend John 
Boyden and George S. Wardwell, vice-presidents; Charles E. Aldrich, 
treasurer; Sullivan Ballou, secretary and librarian. At that time the 
library had 3,000 volumes, which were free to those who had been 
constituted members by the payment of two dollars per year. In 1863 
there were 3,891 volumes in the library and the association had 124 
members. There were also 13 patrons who had paid $100