This section contains articles of genealogical and historic interest on Rhode Island in general, from old Rhode Island books and newspapers.
Biographical sketches, "City of Providence"
p. 677-679: Albert Lee ANTHONY, vice-president and treasurer of the J. B. Barnaby Company of Providence, R.I., is the son of Jonathan C. and Submit A. (Lee) Anthony, and was born at Somerset, Bristol county, Mass., April 26th, 1847. The public schools of his native town and a three months' course at a business college afforded him his only academic opportunities, and at 16 years of age, reliant and reliable, with a firm purpose to deserve success whether he won it or not, and without other capital than the forces abiding in his own character, he left the paternal roof to shift for himself. For more than four years, with true Yankee versatility, he turned his hand to whatever offered. Farming in summer, book canvassing and teaching a country school in winter, first engaged his attention. He naturally drifted to Providence, the principal city in the neighborhood, where, in the summer of 1868, he made a short-lived venture in the grocery business, and the next summer essayed the intelligence line, with disastrous results, for in it this precocious business man of 22 exchanged his money for experience, and with less than nine dollars in his pocket again launched upon the world in search of a fortune.
After various experiences he entered the employ of the great manufacturing house of A. & W. Sprague, as a clerk in one of their mill stores, and with them he remained for three years, and until their failure, at which time he had risen to be assistant agent, in charge of all their seven stores. This proved to be the turning point in his fortunes, for here he attracted the attention of the great clothing firm of J. B. Barnaby & Co., with whom he had been brought into business relations, and when he found himself without a situation, early in 1874, he was promptly taken into the employ of this latter firm as a bookkeeper. In January, 1884, he was admitted a partner in the concern, and in June, 1889, when it was incorporated under the name of the J. B. Barnaby Company, Mr. Anthony was elected secretary and treasurer, and a few months later, upon Mr. Barnaby's death, he also became vice-president.
The confidence reposed in Mr. Anthony's integrity and ability was well
illustrated by Mr. Barnaby making him, by will, one of the trustees of
his estate, which approximated a million dollars. The J. B. Barnaby
Company is one of the most extensive ready-made clothing concerns in New
England, having large establishments at Providence, Boston, New Haven,
Bridgeport, Kansas City and Fall River; and Mr. Anthony has charge of the
financial department of all these. He is also one of the directors
of the Barnaby Manufacturing Company of Fall River, one of the largest
manufactories of ginghams in the United States, auditor of the Roger Williams
Loan and Savings Association of Providence, and one of the appraisers of
the Providence branch of the National Mutual Building and Loan Association
Mr. Anthony is a thoroughly self-made man; possessing a calm, equable temperament, acquired by self-mastery rather than by natural endowment, a cheerful, genial disposition, industrious, methodical habits, and a patient, persistent perseverance that will overcome every obstacle, as continual dropping of water will wear away a stone; he is an admirable representative of New England character. He possesses the characteristic Yankee taste for societies, and belongs to the Odd Fellows, Knights of Honor, Royal Society of Good Fellows, and the Order of the Iron Hall, in some of which he has attained prominence. He has taken an active interest in the Royal Arcanum for many years; was the first regent of Unity Council, one of the largest Councils in Rhode Island, and has held some office in this Council each year since it was formed in 1879. At the formation of the Grand Council of the state in 1890 he was chosen to be the first grand regent by acclamation, and is filling the office with signal ability. He is prominent in the Masonic fraternity, having attained the 32d degree in the Rhode Island Consitory and been at the head of his Council, Chapter and Commandery. He is now deputy grand master of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Rhode Island and representative of the Grand Council of Pennsylvania. He is grand scribe of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons in Rhode Island and representative of the Grand Chapter of Illinois. He has been auditor for several years of the Freemasons Hall Company, which owns the Masonic building in Providence.
September 9th, 1874, he married Anna Elizabeth, only daughter of James W. and Sarah J. (Amsbury) Bullock, by whom he has two children, a son and a daughter, altogether composing an intelligent, happy and loving family. He is now in the prime of manhood, and successful in business. His relations with friends and companions are pleasant, and life opens before him with bright prospects of winning weath and honors.*
*Saturday afternoon, December 13th, 1890, about 2:30 p.m., a destructive fire broke out in the store of the J. B. Barnaby Company, which burned the building to the ground. The corporation, nothing daunted, secured temporary quarters, and ere the ruins had fairly cooled off were on deck again with a full assortment of goods and ready to attend to the wants of their numerous customers.
p. 679- 682: Eli AYLSWORTH furnishes a notable example of men, who, by diligence, economy and integrity, have risen from poverty to honor and wealth. He loves to relate to his children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren the story of his early years. He was born in Foster, R.I., June 6th, 1802, in an un-clapboarded house of two unplastered rooms, with two windows, no cellar, and a chimney of stones and clay. A married uncle and aunt - his father's sister and his mother's brother - lived in the same house. The father possessed a small piece of land, enough to make him and his oldest son voters under the old charter by which the state was then governed. Only by unremitting toil and constant frugality was he able to meet the wants of a family which finally numbered 12 children.
The boy Eli did not enjoy the advantage of schools until he was nine years of age. They were then few and from one to four miles away. He went to school one summer, and afterward for three of four months in the winter. Whatever other education he obtained was gained in practical life. When ten years old he earned his first money, except perhaps a few cents occasionally for an odd job. He found employment for the month of July in a hay field, and in payment received four silver dollars. In the autumn following he found a job digging potatoes, his compensation being every tenth bushel. His share, 16 bushels, he sold for two dollars. These six dollars he handed to his mother, requesting her to keep them for him, playfully adding: 'I always intend to have money.' He has them still, and frequently boasts of his promise to him mother. After the age of eleven years Eli never lived at home. He was hired at farm work in the summer, giving the proceeds to his father to aid in the maintenance of the family. Three years, barefooted and coarsely clad, he worked eight months at one place, and in the winter went to school, doing chores for his board, and paying his own tuition bills. Rising at midnight to chop wood as he sometimes did, that he might get to school, was no easy way to get an education. When 17 he was allowed to reserve one-half of his wages, and out of the summer earnings he clothed himself and loaned ten dollars to his grandfather. The note then given repeatedly renewed, and after the death of the maker, in 1843, he recieved twelve and a half cents on the dollar. 'I felt well paid', he says; 'I took care of them.'
The love and sympathy shown the struggling boy were repaid in the care of the aged pair by the prosperous man. He also took care of his father and mother when sickness and age came upon them, and sided in the support of the younger children. At 18 he obtained a clerkship in a store for a year, retaining his entire wages, when another was obtained in a store where jobs of weaving by hand were given out to the people in the vicinity. The failure of this trader gave him the opportunity of entering business for himself. He was 20 years old, and just married to Miss Martha Bennett, a lady of admirable character, and a member of the Christian denomination.
He had a capital of $149. He purhased a building, and with the help of neighbors, in country fashion, moved it to the desired location, where it was literally placed "on a rock." When completeed it had cost $108, to be paid "in goods". He then went to Providence and sought the counsel of Mr. Randolph Chandler, an old merchant of the city, whose wise advice he implicitly followed, and returned home with a thousand dollars' worth of goods, mostly bought on credit. He worked hard, sometimes starting at two o'clock in the morning with butter, eggs and other produce for Providence, returning at night with a load of new goods. The business was so well managed that the first year's profits amounted to $900. For four years his house rent cost him six dollars per annum. Mrs. Aylsworth was a most efficient helper, even bringing her cradle to the store that she might the readily serve as clerk. For 11 years his stock of goods embraced a supply of liquors, as was at that time the prevalent custom of country merchants. But he noticed the mischievous effects of drinking habits upon the community. His children were growing up around him, and he determined that they should not be drunkards. So he sold out the business, and soon afterward opened a strictly "temperance store", which at that time was a novelty in trade. From that time he has been an uncompromising foe of intemperance.
Mr. Aylsworth thus became one of the substantial men of the town. He did some farming and also something in buying and selling real estate. His neighbors and townsmen trusted him. He was made a justice of the peace, and deputy sheriff, and held other offices. In 1838 he was made judge of the court of common pleas of Providence county, being associated with Hon. Thomas Burgess and Judges Daniels, Potter and Armstrong. Meanwhile, as wealth was increasing and the honors were falling upon him, he was called in 1837 to bear the loss of the wife of his youth and the mother of his nine children. Three years later he married Maria Fairman, a lovely and excellent woman, and a member of the Baptist church.
In 1841 Judge Aylsworth sold his store and removed to North Foster and settled on a farm. But he soon found it expedient, in order to save a debt of $700, to purchase three lines of stages running between Providence and Danielsonville, Conn., which rendered necessary his removal to the latter place. After six months he removed again to Brooklyn, just across the river. There was then but one church in Danielsonville, the Congregational. The place was growing and there was ample room for another. It so chanced that a Methodist local preacher, by the name of Wheeler, came into town and opened a series of meetings in the conference room of the church, which resulted in about 200 professed confessions. It soon became manifest that a large number of converts desired to be organized into a Methodist society, and another place of worship must be found. The judge, though not a Methodist, promptly gave them sympathy and help. He at once hired for their use the ballroom of the hotel, the only available room in the town that was of suitable size, stipulating for the closing of the bar on Sundays and at all times of service. But the room proved not large enough, and for a time the depot freight house was secured. He resolved on the erection of a Methodist church. He found four men of like spirit with himself, who joined him in the work. A lot was bought, the lot on which the present church stands, and a contract was made by which the edifice was to be erected and when completed, to the turning of the key, the price agreed upon was to be paid. This was done.
The pews were then sold, and the proceeds were enough to reimburse the projectors of the enterprise and leave a surplus, which was turned over to the young society. It in only just to say that for this fine success the Methodists of Danielsonville are chiefly indebted to Judge Aylsworth. He was made one of the first board of trustees, and was kept in that position for some years after he left the state. In July, 1842, he was called to mourn th loss, by consumption, of his devoted wife, and remained 14 months in lonely widowhood. He then married Miss Eliza Angell, of Scituate, R.I., a lady of beautiful character and well fitted for her new position. She has been for many years a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and still lives to bless his home.
In 1850 Judge Aylsworth removed to Providence, where he was well known
and had many friends. His excellent judgment and judicious management
of the interests intrusted to him soon brought him plenty of business.
He was for a year director of the Atlantic Bank and was the first president
of the Jackson Bank. In the same year, 1854, he became a member of
the first board of directors of the Mechanics' Savings Bank and of the
loaning committee, and for nearly 20 years was its vice-president.
His directorship continued until 1878, when he declined a reelection.
During this entire period, in full compliance with the spirit of the law
of the state, forbidding officers of savings banks becoming indebted to
the bank, he would allow no paper bearing his name, even as an endorser,
to be accepted. In three years the bank was flourishing and successful,
standing in the first rank of such institutions. In 1856 he was elected
president of the Westminster Bank, which position he still holds.
He has been engaged in many real estate transactions, owning at different
times property in six states -- Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts,
Maine, Iowa, and Pennsylvania-- it being distributed in 14 towns and three
cities. Judge Aylsworth has for the past 50 years carried insurance
on all his property, the policies sometimes amounting to as much as $100,000,
yet strange to say he has not sustained a
In political life Judge Aylsworth has had few ambitions, yet in 1854, 1866 and 1867 he was honored with a seat in the general assembly of Rhode Island, and in the last two years was a member of the important committee on finance. He has always been on the side of liberty and right. In the presidential election of 1824, the first after he attained his majority, he cast his vote for John Quincy Adams. He affiliated with the whig party, as in his judgment the most in accordance with human freedom and the best interests of the country. He was always an anti-slavery man, and when pro-slaveryism entered on its struggle for the control of the nation, his whole soul revolted and he heartily joined the republican party at its organization in 1856. He has been all his life an habitual abstainer from intoxicants. He is an intense hater of tobacco in all its forms. He has been a member of the Mathewson Street Methodist Episcopal congregation since his removal to Providence, and is a contributor to every good movement.
The Judge, although in his 89th year, is a remarkably well preserved man. His faculties are as keen as they were 50 years ago, and he still personally superintends all his many business affairs. His descendants are quite numerous, there having been in all 68. He had born to him 13 children, six of whom are now living. The living grandchildren number 24, and the great-grandchildren 20.
p. 682-684: Joseph BANIGAN.-- The subject of this sketch was born in County Monaghan, Ireland, June 7th, 1839, his parents being Bernard and Alice Banigan. It may be mentioned as a coincidence that his mother bore the same name before her marriage.. When but six years of age his family found it necessary to leave Ireland, and taking him with them, settled in the city of Dundee, Scotland. Here they remained for two years, and soon after embarked for America, making the city of Providence their home, where they have since resided. The lad spent one year at the public schools, and when but nine years of age sought and obtained employment in the factory of the New England Screw Company. Later he served three years as an apprentice to the jeweler's trade, and until the age of 21 worked as a journeyman. On attaining his majority Mr. Banigan engaged with John Haskins in the manufacture of rubber bottle stoppers, and soon after removed to Boston as superintendent of the works located at that point. The business was afterward organized as the Goodyear India Rubber Bottle Stopper Company, with Joseph Banigan as manager, in which capacity he continued until 1866, in the meantime erecting a new factory for the company at Jamaica Plains. Even at this early age he gave ample evidence of the executive ability subsequently developed to such a degree as to place him at the head of the rubber manufacturing business of the world. He is acknowledged not only by the manufacturers of rubber goods, but also by the dealers in crude rubber to be a master in every branch of the business.
In 1866 he organized the Woonsocket Rubber Company as a copartnership, consisting of Lyman A. Cook, Simeon S. Cook and Joseph Banigan. A small, two story stone mill was leased for the manufacture of mechanical articles, with Mr. Banigan as buyer, superintendent and salesman. The following year the company was reorganized as a stock company, and under his management the business progressed even beyond the anticipation of those who already recognized his executive ability. Year after year additions were made to the original building, until it was finally deemed advisable to erect a mill embodying in its structure all that was possible in the way of economical and labor-saving appliances. It is conceded that the mill at Millville, Mass., is the model rubber factory of the country, but even this has proved inadequate to the requirements of the business and another factory is in progress of erection at Woonsocket, which when completed will be the largest rubber shoe factory in the world.
It may be of interest to mention that of all those engaged in the manufacture of rubber goods, Mr. Banigan is the only one who has thus far realized the importance of dealing directly with the rubber gatherers of Brazil for the supply of crude rubber, which he did by going to Brazil and establishing a house in Para. He is at present the largest individual importer of rubber to the United States. His mastery of detail and far reaching comprehension may be understood when it is mentioned that he is obliged to carefully follow the fluctuations in exchange in Brazil and the causes which affect it, in order to buy a block of rubber to advantage or to refrain from buying as the case may be. He also finds it necessary to follow the exports from and imports to this country to accurately determine the balance of trade and thus regulate his purchases of exchange on London, to meet the drafts of his agents in Para.
Mr. Banigan has also various other business interests. He is the president of the Bailey Wringing Machine Company, of the American Hand Sewed Shoe Company, of Toledo, Ohio, of the Providence Evening Telegram Publishing Company, and director in the Seamless Rubber Company of New Haven, the Providence Cable Tramway Company, the Glenark Knitting Company and the Providence Board of Trade. Apart from those he is actively engaged in the woolen business, being seven-eighths owner of the Lawrence Felting Company, Millville, Mass.
While achieving success in his business enterprises he has not been unmindful of the claims of charity, as a liberal contributor to benevolent institutions of every denomination. In May, 1884, he completed the erection of a Home for Aged Poor, at Pawtucket, which was on its dedication placed in charge of the Little Sisters of the Poor. In his generosity Mr. Banigan knows no race or sect. His mind and heart are broad enough to take in all of God's unfortunates. As a recognition of his philanthropic impulses he was especially honored by Pope Leo XII, who created him a Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great, the members of which form the immediate body guard of his Holiness. That this honor was worthily conferred those who have enjoyed his munificence will gratefully attest.
In 1860 Mr. Banigan was married to Margaret, daughter of John F. Holt of Woonsocket, by whom he had four children: Mary A., wife of W. B. McElroy, John J., William B., and Alice, wife of Doctor James E. Sullivan. He was a second time married November 4th, 1873, to Maria T. Conway of New York city.
[overlay: portrait of Joseph Banigan]
p. 689 - 692: Henry R. BARKER, mayor of Providence city, is in every respect a representative man. He comes of an old and honorable family who were connected with the settlement of the Rhode Island colony and have always held positions of trust and importance in their respective communities. The first American ancestor was James Barker. He and his father sailed from England (1634) in company with Nicholas Easton. His father died during the voyage, and James, a boy 11 years of age, was cared for by Nicholas Easton, and subsequently removed to Newport, R.I. James' mother was Barbara Dungan, granddaughter of Lewis Latham, falconer to King Charles I. He died in 1702, after having served in public office many years. The genealogical table prepared by John Austin enumerates the offices held as: corporal, ensign, member of the general court of elections, commissioner, assistant (member of upper house) for nine years, deputy (member of lower house) for twelve years, and deputy governor. We have not space to trace the line to Mayor Barker's parents. His father, William C. Barker, was a native of Newport, and came to Providence when 12 years of age. He was a member of the common council from the organization of the city government in 1832, to 1836, when he was elected one of the board of aldermen and remained in that body two years. At the time of his death (1859) he held a government office under the administration of President Buchanan. His mother's name was Sarah A. (Jencks) Barker, of Smithfield, R.I.
Mayor Barker was educated in the public schools of his native city, passing through every grade from primary, and graduated from the high school in 1859 with creditable rank in his class. The following year he was engaged as clerk for the Providence Mutual Fire Insurance Company (organized in 1800), and soon won the favor and esteem of his employers. When President Lincoln summoned the North to rally in defense of the capital, Mr. Barker, though still under age, enlisted as sergeant of Company 1, of the Tenth Rhode Island Regiment. Having been honorably discharged at the expiration of the regiment's term of service, he returned to Providence intending to reenlist. As he entered the office of the Providence Mutual Insurance Company Mr. Joseph T. Snow, the secretary, greeted him as follows: 'You must not go back to the army, Mr. Barker. One of us must remain to take care of the business, and as I have enlisted you are the man'. He was accordingly installed as assistant secretary, and for upward of a year had full charge of the affairs of the company, then carrying insurance to the amount of about $12,000,000 in Providence and throughout Rhode Island. Mr. Barker was afterward elected secretary and subsequently president of the corporation, which office he still holds. The amount of business done by the company has doubled in the past 20 years, and much of the prosperity is due to Mr. Barker's careful management. It is now in a very flouishing condition.
With the Grand Army of the Republic Mr. Barker has always been an interested and active member. He is a charter member of the Slocum Post, No. 10, and is still in active membership. In this Post he held the office of first adjunct, and served five successive terms as commander, and upon retiring from the command was elected quartermaster, which position he still holds. He was elected commander of the Department of Rhode Island in 1879, and has represented the Grand Army of the state in several national encampments. He took a prominent part in the national encampment in Boston in 1871, when General Burnside was elected commander-in-chief. When upon the death of General Burnside it was determined to erect a monument to his memory, Mr. Barker was appointed on the committee and rendered valuable and efficient service in securing the necessary funds for its erection. At the dedication of the statue he was the chairman of the committee of arrangements and presided at the dedicatory exercises.
Mayor Barker's municipal service began in 1873, by representing the Ninth ward in the common council. He remained in the council seven years, the last one of which he was unanimously elected president of that body. He served on several important committees, and was chairman of the committee on education from 1875 to 1878, inclusive. In the latter year he was appointed chairman of the committee on the dedication of the city hall, and also rendered valuable service as chairman of the committee on the erection of a new high school. In this position he devoted a great deal of time, closely following the work of the erection of the building from the day of its inception to its completion. In 1879 Mr. Barker was promoted to the board of aldermen. He brought into that body the influence which his long and efficient service in the common council merited. He was appointed to the joint committees on police and railroads, and was chairman of the aldermanic committee on police. The election of Mr. Barker as chairman of the committee on police was a tribute to his discretion and energy at a period which called alike for rare tact, prudence and firmness in the direction of affairs pertaining to that department, as may be seen by reference to the history of the Providence police. Mr. Barker amply justified the confidence exhibited in his judgment and abilities, and the following year continued on the same committees. He was unanimously elected president of the board of aldermen in 1882, and was a member of the joint committee on the city debt and the city engineer's department, and also the aldermanic committee on streets.
At the close of 1882 Mr. Barker retired from public life in order that he might give more attention to the growing business with which he had been connected since youth. The public eyes were more than once turned toward him as a fitting candidate for mayor but Mr. Barker was not a man to strive for elevation. He did not affect to despise public office or to hold in light esteem those trusts which are in Rhode Island certainly the evidence of honorable repute and of standing in the community. But he felt that the people had his record to judge from, and that upon their judgment it was his duty to wait. His nomination and election by a decided majority proved that faithful service had not been forgotten, and that his fellow citizens believed him to be the right man to whom to trust the leadership of the municipality. Their trust was not misplaced, as in January, 1891, Mayor Barker finished a term of office which has been as highly satisfactory and efficiently filled as any in the annals of mayorality.
Space forbids a complete account of the measures proposed and carried through by him, but a few of the more important may be noted. In his first inaugural address he called attention to the pressing need of some method of public industrial instruction by which young men, in connection with other studies, should learn the general principles of the mechanical arts and trades. This recommendation he kept before the attention of the council so vigorously, and he was so aided by the consensus of opinion among the broadest minded educators of the city, that an appropriation of $70,000 was made to carry out his suggestion. In connection with this educational work, Mr. Barker called attention to the need of an appropriation for the public library of the city. Hitherto this most useful of public institutions had been carried on by private contributions. Now $7,500 is annually devoted to its maintenance. He proposed the reduction of the number of the members of the school committee, and that body is now composed of 33 instead of 63 members as formerly, and business is greatly facilitated by this concentration. His most important service to the city's interest, aside from his strenuous efforts as well as success in securing rights of way for the development of a plan for comprehensive sewerage system whereby many thousands of dollars were saved to the city, lay in the direction of more improved terminal facilities for railroads. From the day of his inauguration he was in complete accord with the railroad managers, and by his conciliating measures, with a due regard for the rights of the people, the interests of the city were strictly guarded and those of the railroads promoted as well. Plans were soon adopted and work is well under way which will give Providence railroad facilities unsurpassed by any city in the country.
The aggressive and business like methods used by Mr. Barker have made him and his work appreciated, his characteristics being uniform courtesy, unfailing generosity, intense local pride, unswerving justice. He is president of the Boston Investment Company, a corporation with assets of more than two and a half millions of dollars; is also president of the Rhode Island Investment Company; has been for nearly ten years vice-president of the Roger Williams Savings Fund and Loan Association of Providence, and is a director in the Industrial Trust Company of Providence. He is a prominent member of the Masonic brotherhood. In 1862 he became a Mason, and was an officer in St. John's Lodge during the same year. He is a charter member and past master of Corinthian Lodge, and is a member of the Providence Royal Arch Chapter, and of Calvary Commandery, Knights Templar. In the latter body he has recently declined a reelection as commander.
Mayor Barker's marriage relations have been most pleasant. He married in October, 1864, Annie C., daughter of Stephen A. Tripp, of New Bedford, Mass. Their union has resulted in two children: Henry A., who is at present with his father in business, and Jessie L., who is attending school."
[overlay: portrait of Henry R. Barker]
p. 684 - 685: Jerothmul Bowers BARNABY, the founder of the J. B. Barnaby Company, was one of 14 children of Stephen B. and Lucy H. (Hathaway) Barnaby, and was born at the Barnaby homestead October 27th, 1830. The family is descended from James Barnaby, who was at Plymouth as early as 1660. In 1725 Ambrose Barnaby moved to Freetown, Mass., near Fall River, where he purchased a portion of the estate now known as the Barnaby homestead, which at present is owned by the heirs of Stephen Barnaby, the father of the subject of this sketch.
Mr. Barnaby was educated in the country schools at first, supplementing this work with a course of instruction at Pete's Academy, an institution then in existence near Fall River. He was 16 years old when he left school and became a clerk in the employ of his brother-in-law, William H. Ashley, at Steep Brook, near Fall River. When 20 years old he entered the clothing store of Andrew N. Dix, at Fall River, where he remained about two years. October 27th, 1852, he came to Providence and opened a store at 15 South Main street, where he continued in business very successfully for 17 years. Then he removed to larger and more commodious quarters, which had been specially fitted up for his business, in the new Woods Building, corner of College and South Main street, in 1869. During this year also the firm of J. B. Barnaby & Company was formed, Mr. Henry B. Winship becoming a member of the copartnership. Success followed the new firm, as it had followed its senior member, and they were compelled to remove again in 1876 to still larger and more eligible quarters, which they secured in the new Dorrance Building, located on Dorrance, Westminster and Middle streets. From that time to the present the firm has not only popularized itself by certain unique and attractive devices for drawing public attention, but in the legitimate expansion of its business it has stretched forth to several other cities, where large stores under the firm's management are also operated. In 1884 the firm was enlarged by the addition of three members -- Messrs. Walter A. Scott, George H. Grant and Albert L. Anthony, who had been clerks under the old management. On January 1st, 1889, Mr. Barnaby retired from the business, with which his name had been honorably connected for over a generation, leaving the large clothing concern that he had established in the hands of his late partners.
Mr. Barnaby also engaged in enterprises outside of Rhode Island, among them the Barnaby Manufacturing Company of Fall River, which is engaged in the manufacture of ginghams, and in which he was a director and one of the largest owners. He erected the first iron front building in the state. It was located at the corner of Westminster and Union streets, and was built in 1870. In 1872 he built the Bowers Block, and subsequently the Conrad Building, one of the finest edifices devoted to business in the city.
In politics Mr. Barnaby was a democrat. In former years he paid more attention to politics than during the latter period of his life, owing to the multitude of business affairs. In the first place he was a member of the city council from the old Seventh ward from 1870 to 1879, and for several of the latter years of this period he was successfully selected for chairman of the joint committee on finance of the city government. In 1875 he was elected to the general assembly from this city, and served for one year. The year 1877 saw him nominated as the democratic candidate for governor. His opponent was ex-Governor Van Zandt, republican and prohibitionist. A highly exciting campaign resulted in Mr. Barnaby's defeat by 454 votes out of a total of 24,456. The next year he was made the democratic candidate for congress in the Second district, though his residence was in the First district. Honorable Latimer W. Ballou, the republican candidate, out of a total vote of 10, 427, defeated Mr. Barnaby by 717 votes. On the death of his brother, Mr. Abner J. Barnaby, in 1882, who was a member of the democratic national committee from Rhode Island, Mr. Barnaby was elected to that position, and he was twice reelected, the second time in the spring of 1888.
Mr. Barnaby was married September 15th, 1857, to Josephine A. Reynolds, daughter of Joseph and Rebecca (Anthony) Reynolds, of this city. They had three children; Mabel, wife of John Howard Conrad, of Chicago, Ill.; Hattie A., who died in 1879; and Josephine Maud. After an illness of several years, Mr. Barnaby died on the morning of September 19th, 1889. The flag on the Board of Trade Building was placed at half-mast on the day of his death in tribute to his memory. Mr. Barnaby became a member of the Board of Trade February 26th, 1887. He was a regular attendant and a large contributor to Grace church. He was buried September 25th, 1889.
p. 685 - 687: William B. BLANDING. -- In reviewing the names of those who have been, and are prominent, enterprising, respected citizens of Providence, that of Blanding is one not to be last mentioned. The subject of this sketch, William B. Blanding, has in every way upheld the honored name of his ancestors, who settled in this country at an early date. The first trace we find of them is at Plymouth, but subsequently they removed to Rehoboth, Mass., having been among its earliest settlers. Colonel Christopher Blanding was an officer of the revolutionary army, and his son William, until his death at Providence in 1845, enjoyed the companionship of Mary R. (Bullock) Blanding. To them, August 2d, 1826, was born William Bullock Blanding.
The public and private schools afforded Mr. Blanding a good education. When 18 years of age he entered, as a subordinate, the drug store of Edward T. Clark, at 59 North Main street, Providence, and soon attained a proprietary interest, succeeding to the business in 1849. To-day this is the oldest drug store in Providence. His increasing trade necessitated the establishment of a branch house, and in 1873 he bought the stock of Dyer Brothers, on Weybosset street, where he has since carried on an extensive business, and he also manufactures medical preparations. In 1882 he became proprietor of the drug store of 375 High street, and July 1st, 1890, associated with his only son, William O. Blanding, the firm syle becoming Blanding & Blanding.
Mr. Blanding's business career has been attended with success, and he is recognized as one of the oldest and most prosperous merchants of the state. Since the organization of the State Board of Pharmacy in 1870, he has been one of its members, and for the past six years has held the office of president. Of other associations in which he has held important offices, we may mention the Rhode Island Pharmaceutical, having been its president; vice-president of the American Pharmaceutical Association, and first vice-president of the National Whole-sale Drug Association. In 1853 Mr. Blanding became a member of the United Train of Artillery, for ten years held a lieutenant's commission, and is now a member of the Veteran Association connected with that organization.
He has long been identified with the Masonic order, having joined Mt. Vernon Lodge, No. 4, of Providence, in 1854. He was one of the organizers of What Cheer Lodge, No. 21, in 1857, being its first master, and serving two years in that office. He also held various positions in the Providence Royal Arch Chapter. In 1855, the order of Knighthood was conferred upon him by St. John's Commandery, and he was generalissimo of the same from 1858 to 1861. In 1860 he was one of the founders of Calvary Commandery, and was its commander in 1865-6. He has been senior grand warden and deputy grand master in the Grand Lodge of Masons, and generalissimo of the Grand Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He has taken all the degrees in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, including the 33d, which was conferred May 6th, 1863.
In politics, Mr. Blanding is a democrat, and has always taken an active and prominent part in matters relating to the interests of the party, but never accepted any public offices until he was elected a member of the city council for the years 1885, '86 and '87. He was a representative in the general assembly in 1887-8, which position he filled with dignity and efficiency.
November 13th, 1851, Mr. Blanding united in marriage with Mary A., daughter of Oliver and Electa A. (Bosworth) Remington, of Providence. Once son, William O., has been the fruit of their union.
p. 687 - 689: Obadiah BROWN, a well known farmer throughout New England and a member of the state board of agriculture, was born in the town of North Providence, November 30th, 1823. He is a descendant of Chad Brown, who came from Salem to Providence in 1637 (the year after Roger Williams) with his wife Elizabeth and his son John. Chad Brown was contemporary with Roger Williams and whether he was the first pastor of the church, as Moses Brown says, or the first after Roger Williams, has been a disputed point. He was a man of excellent character, and held various appointments in the community. On May 14th, 1770, John Brown, great-great-grandson of Chad Brown, laid the corner stone of University Hall, the name of which was changed to Brown University in 1804. Governor Elisha Brown, son of James, was a great-grandson of Chad Brown. James Brown, grandson of Chad Brown, was one of the founders of the commercial house of the Browns, and his son Joseph Brown, the great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch (born May 5th, 1701), lived in North Providence on lands now owned by Obadiah Brown. The lineal descent is as follows: Chad 1, John 2, James 3, Joseph 4, Andrew 5, Richard 6, Obadiah 7. Andrew Brown had three wives, but there was issue only by the first, Dorcas Knight, whom he married June 27th, 1773. His son, Richard, was born June 17th, 1789. Richard married Penelope, daughter of Joseph and Hannah Farnum, February 23d, 1812. Their children were: Sarah Ann, Martha Ann, Dorcas K., Mary Jane, Obadiah and Joseph Farnum. Richard Brown was a well-to-do farmer, and a man of force and character. He held various offices of honor and trust, among which was that of representative of his town to the general assembly of Rhode Island. He died in 1840, at the age of 51, leaving Obadiah, then a youth of 17 years, in charge of the farm. Penelope was born April 12th, 1793, and died July 24th, 1869. Her father was a Quaker. He owned the grist mill and forge at Georgiaville, also extensive tracts of land in that vicinity.
Obadiah Brown was raised a farmer. His educational advantages were limited to the common district school, and even those were terminated, in early life, by the death of his father. From necessity he had been in management of the interests of the homestead from his youth, and to his share of this property he has added other possessions, comprising the beautiful site upon which he built his handsome residence in 1849. The house stands on Chalkstone avenue, on an elevated piece of land, commanding in extent one of the most delightful views of the county.
Mr. Brown is distinctively a farmer in the best and broadest sense of that term, and as a leader in agricultural pursuits, his career emphasizes the greater possibilities of those more intelligent husbandmen, who supply the world with the substantial products of life. As a farmer, he has secured prominence throughout New England because of his eminent services rendered to stock raisers, and to the producing class, and also because of the high positions held in both state and county agricultural societies. Almost from his youth he has been identified prominently with the Rhode Island Society for the Encouragement of Domestic Industry, as also was his brother, Joseph Brown, who succeeded him in the vice-presidency and in the presidency of the society, both of which offices were held by each of the brothers for several years. In 1863 Joseph Brown entered into co-partnership with Mr. Andrew Winsor, under the style of Winsor & Brown, well known and extensive lumber dealers in Providence.
In 1884 Mr. Obadiah Brown became a member of the state board of agriculture, and still holds that position, his efficiency being recognized by every one. He has devoted much time to raising and improving fine stock. His barn, a model of convenience, built in 1851 and adapted for housing cattle, is at the present time full of some of the finest Ayrshires, of his own breeding, found in New England, and the many gold medals and first premiums received in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and other states bear testimony to his good judgment in this matter. At the Dairy Show, Madison Square Garden, New York , in 1888, first prizes were awarded him on some stock now in his barn.
Politically Mr. Brown is a republican, and socially he is a very popular man, and has held his share of public offices. In 1855, 1856, and again in 1857, he was representative from the town of North Providence to the general assembly of Rhode Island, under the gubernatorial administrations of Governors W. W. Hoppin and Elisha Dyer. In 1873, before the town was divided, he was elected state senator from North Providence, and reelected in 1874, being the last senator of the old town before his part of the town was annexed to the city. In 1884 the city elected him representative to the general assembly again, and he served on some of the more important committees of the house. During this official career, the public spirit of the man was manifest when the city of Providence made him commissioner of public highways. Subsequently he was appointed a member of the public board, and in these capacities his broad views have crystalized and become a part of our magnificent institutions, and are monuments in themselves of his fitness for holding offices of trust and responsibility.
September 18th, 1849, he married Amey R. Angell, daughter of Nathaniel and Asha (Smith) Angell, who is a descendant of Thomas Angell, the ancestor of one of the most influential families in the state. She was born August 8th, 1827. They have had six children, of whom the following are living: Anna M., Mabel, Adelaide V. and Florence.
[overlay: portrait of Obadiah Brown]
p. 692 - 694: John Park CAMPBELL, one of the four Campbell brothers engaged in business in Rhode Island, sons of Winthrop and Susan Dorrance (Gordon) Campbell, was born December 28th, 1822, in Voluntown, Conn. The history of this branch of the Campbell family runs back to Scotland, and counts many highly worthy names in the various professions and all the walks of life. Robert Campbell, born in Scotland in 1673, with his wife Janet and children: Charles, John, Sarah, Mary, James and Robert, emigrated to New England, and settled first, in 1719, at New London, Conn., and shortly afterward at Voluntown, being among the first settlers in this last region, then a wilderness, where he and his family were the chief actors in founding the Presbyterian church, organized in October, 1723. This worthy planter, the father of a very worthy family, died February 14th, 1725, in his fifty-second year.
Robert's son, John, known in history as Doctor John, on account of his professional skill, born in 1698, married Agnes Allen and had children; Jean, Sarah, James, Agnes, John, Moses, Martha and Moses.
This second John, well known as Deacon John, born September 23d, 1728, married Mary Ferguson, June 2d, 1748, and died December 4th, 1808, having children: George, Ann, Janet, Alexander, John and Rebecca.
This third John, who became a captain, born in 1758, married Jean Campbell and had children: Daniel (a doctor), Rebecca, Winthrop, Olive, Lydia and James. He was a solid farmer and of a stalwart type of character. He was a soldier in the revolution and shared the bitter winter at Valley Forge. He died in 1840.
Winthrop, a son of this last John, born December 16th, 1786, married Susan Dorrance Gordon, March 6th, 1814, and had children: Horatio Nelson, Daniel Gordon, Mary Gordon, Rosanna Stewart, John Park and Jane Ann (twins), James Monroe, Rowena and Emma Dorrance. He was a devoted, enterprising, successful farmer. He and his family were in high repute for intelligence and virtue, and all his children rose to usefulness and honor. He died February 25th, 1867.
John Park, after a course of education in his excellent home and in the public schools, chose to enter upon a business career, and first and last, was associated with his enterprising brothers, Horatio N., Daniel G., and James M. His training in industry, economy and integrity in his pure New England home, that had withal a genuine Scotch air, prepared him for fidelity and success in whatever he might undertake.
He first removed in June, 1840, to Westerly, R.I., and engaged as a clerk in the mercantile house conducted by Mr. Rowse Babcock, Jr., who was also a large and distinguished manufacturer, in which store his brother, Horatio N., had been for four years. In October of the same year Mr. Babcock removed his business to the corner of Broad and Main streets, into a new and larger building, and received as a business partner, Horatio N., forming the firm of H. N. Campbell & Co. John P. entered as clerk in the new house, and so continued till 1850, when he became a member of the firm. The house dealt in merchandise, manufacturers' supplies and wool. He rose to prominence in business by his activity, tact and good judgment.
In the spring of 1855 he retired from the firm of H. N. Campbell & Co., and forming a co-partnership with his brother James M., removed to Providence, where, under the firm name of J. P. & J. M. Campbell, was established a wholesale house, dealing in wool and cotton. The ability of the partners built up a sound and prosperous business. This firm continued till 1865, when James M. withdrew to enter upon other engagements, and a new firm was formed including Daniel G., bearing the name of J. P. Campbell & Co. At this point the tide of business was somewhat changed, adding to the trade in wool that of manufacturing woolen goods. First the firm took the well-known Belleville Mill in North Kingstown on lease. This mill was improved and run to good advantage.
Later, in 1876, the firm bought the mill property at Potter Hill, in the northern part of Westerly, ever after known as the Campbell Mills, one of the best woolen factories in Rhode Island. Here the firm doubled the size and capacity of the mill, and did a profitable business. In 1887 John P. bought out the interest of his brother Daniel G. in the Belleville Mill, and enlarged the mill, adding new machinery, making a first-class fancy cassimere mill. Of this mill James R. Wilson, a capable young man, being brought up in the mill, is now the agent, and owns in it a small interest. The Campbell Mills at Potter Hill are now incorporated, John P. being president, and Daniel G. being treasurer; Daniel A. Taylor being the agent or manager at the mills. John P. and Daniel G. also bought in 1884 the Riverside Mill in East Providence, a new plant which they have equipped with 10,000 spindles for working cotton.
In 1888 John P., in connection with B. B. & R. Knight, bought the Cranston Print Works property, in Cranston, once owned by the Spragues, and organized the business under the name of the Cranston Print Works Company, the business being that of bleaching, printing and finishing cotton goods. Mr. Campbell was chosen president.
Thus his hands as a manufacturer are very full, but all his interests, on account of his ability, reliability and fidelity, are prospered. Through all monetary crises he has steered his affairs wisely and safely, his word being equal to gold. Interested in all religious affairs, he still keeps up his regard for the church of his ancestors in Connecticut by annually contributing to its support, as do also his three brothers.
Mr. Campbell is a member of the Providence Board of Trade, having been one of the first to organize and establish that body. For about twenty years he has been a director in the Second National Bank, Providence. He became a director in the Industrial Trust Company of Providence soon after its formation, and is a director in two insurance companies.
He was married February 25th, 1873, to Jessie H. Babcock, of Liverpool, England. She was born in Glasgow, Scotland, while her father, Benjamin F. Babcock, of Stonington, Conn.., was engaged there in a branch of a banking house with his brother Samuel D., then in New York.
Politically, John P. began life with the old whig party, but on the formation of the republican party hastened to its banner, under which he has bravely stood in peace and in war, never, however, seeking or accepting office. With voice and hand and purse he has upheld all public interests and kept in view the common welfare. Associated with the leading men in the state, he has justly been accounted a man of deep principle, sagacity and strength. Reared in the pure air of a Presbyterian home, he soon became a decided Episcopalian, uniting with Christ church in Westerly, and afterward with Grace Church in Providence. In this last he is esteemed both as a supporter and an ornament. Here, too, his wife is very active. In short, his career has been one of large honor to himself and his family, and of special credit to the state of Rhode Island. He is still in the full tide of business.
[overlay: portrait of J. P. Campbell]
p. 694 - 695: Henry C. CLARK was born November 28th, 1822, in Providence, where he has since resided, with the exception of a few years spent in California and abroad. During his travels he sailed around Cape Horn to the gold regions in 1849, where he adapted himself to the situation, following the occupations of a laundryman, boatman, boatbuilder, miner and merchant. After receiving his education in the public schools of his native city, in 1841 he was employed in the coal business of Jackson & Clark. His merit was soon made manifest, and later he became a partner, the firm becoming Jackson, Clark & Co. Continuing in this line of the name of the firm has been S. Clark & Co., Clark & Coggshall, Henry C. Clark, Clark & Webb, Tucker, Swan & Co., and at present the Providence Coal Company, which is the largest in the city, if not in the United States. From the small sale of 1,000 tons annually, under Jackson & Clark, the business has grown to its present vast proportions, the Providence Coal Company selling more than 275,000 tons in a single year.
Mr. Clark has invented many devices for handling and storing coal, which are universally adopted. He was first to plan and erect large pockets for the rapid discharging, storing, and cheapening the handling of coal, their present capacity being 40,000 tons. He invented and put into use a tub, which under the direction of one man, fills itself in the vessel with coal, and distributes its contents over an inclined railway into the pockets. It is then drawn from the bottom through a trap into carts, ready for delivery, completely doing away with cars, barrows, and the labor and other unneccessary expenditures attending the old way. He invented and patented a device for the easy dumping of loaded carts by means of a screw, also a latch to keep the tail-boards of carts in place. His many inventions being very valuable, several enterprising individuals have patented portions of his work as their own designs. The yards and apparatus of the Providence Coal Company are of the most approved style. The pockets and mill are fitted with water pipes and sprinklers for protection against a repetition of the disastrous fires which twice destroyed the pockets. Mr. Clark has also been largely interested in the salt, grain and hay business, being the owner and operator of a large mill establishment in that line.
With strong anti-slavery and temperance proclivities, he took an early and active part in legislation, having been a member of the city common council, board of aldermen, state legislature, and was the prohibition party's candidate for mayor. He is firm in his convictions of right and wrong, outspoken in their defense, and persevering in maintaining them, having repeatedly, before the inter-state commerce commission and courts, defeated large corporations in their claims.
[facing page: portrait of Henry C. Clark]
p. 695 - 698: William CORLISS, the inventor and manufacturer of the famous burglar-proof known as the Corliss Safe, was born in the town of Greenwich, Washington county, N.Y., November 5th, 1835. His father, Doctor Hiram Corliss, was an eminent physician and surgeon, who remained active in his profession to the age of four score years. The oldest of his four sons was George H. Corliss, the renowned inventor and manufacturer of the Corliss Engine, the subject of this sketch, William Corliss, being the youngest. Mr. Corliss received his education at the Greenwich Academy and at Fort Edward Institute, Fort Edward, N.Y. Upon invitation of his brother, George H. Corliss, he came to Providence in 1856 and began his business education under the direct and personal tuition of his brother, who was 16 years his senior. Becoming a member of his brother's household, and entering the draughting room at the engine works, they wre almost continuously in each other's company. So close a relationship with such a person as George H. Corliss -- a man of untiring energy, indomitable will and of rare genius -- could not fail to be of great and lasting benefit to the younger brother - nor did it. In 1858 the engine building firm of Corliss & Nightingale was changed to the Corliss Steam Engine Company. In 1862 William Corliss was made vice-president, and from 1863 to 1871 was treasurer, being entrusted by his brother, who was president, with the general management of the vast business of that company.
In 1862 the city council elected Mr. Corliss water commissioner to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Moses B. Lockwood. The other members of the board were Joseph J. Cooke and Charles E. Carpenter. These commissioners were charged with the duty of constructing water works and introducing water into the city of Providence. The labors of this commission were completed in 1876, and the works, costing something over four and one-half millions of dollars, were turned over to the city. Mayor Doyle in his annual message, 1877, closes his reference to the work of this commission in the following language: 'The work thus planned and executed in the two departments' (water and sewage) ' under the supervision of Moses B. Lockwood, Joseph J. Cooke and Charles E. Carpenter, and by William Corliss as a successor of Mr. Lockwood, has already received the highest encomiums, from the most eminent talent engaged in the construction of water works and sewers, both in this country and Europe; and its great excellence will be more and more apparent as it is tested by use. These gentlemen retired from office, Messrs. Cooke and Carpenter after a service of more than seven years, and Mr. Corliss of four and one-half years, with a record for unimpeachable integrity and faithfulness to duty too rarely found in public servants of the present time, and for which the generations to some will hold them in grateful recollection.'
The life work of Mr. Corliss is to provide means by which portable property may be made absolutely secure from fire and burglary. His attention was first directed to this subject by circumstances that would seem trivial, but which ultimately changed his whole course of life. While treasurer of the Corliss Steam Engine Company, and acting as a director in a national bank, Mr. Corliss first discovered and recognized the utter inability of all known safes to withstand the attack of burglars, and he easily made plain that fact to his associates and others. Having made this discovery and fully realizing the vast importance of the subject, as strikingly illustrated by the imperative needs of the bank for which he was making the investigation, the question naturally arose -- 'Is it not possible to make a burglar-proof?' The answer to this question is written in the years of study and toil devoted to this subject by Mr. Corliss. It is written in the thousands and tens of thousands of dollars that have been expended by him in various experiments; it is emphasized by Mr. Corliss' abandonment of the steam engine business, in order to follow out and accomplish this great work; and it is finally answered affirmatively by the production of that unique and wonderful structure known as the Corliss Burglar-proof. Very rarely do we see anything that so little resembles all else that has preceded it. Very seldom do we find such a radical departure from established methods and practice.
The difficulties that confronted Mr. Corliss in the production of his safe were not such as could be easily surmounted. Some years were spent by him in experimental research before he was able to determine upon the material best adapted to its construction. After this point was settled, it was found that there was no machinery known by which this material could be successfully worked, therefore it devolved upon Mr. Corliss to work out this problem also; to this end he was obliged to invent special machinery and devise means by which his safe could be manufactured. His familiarity with machine shop practice and his engineering experience were excellent qualifications for such an undertaking. His general knowledge of mechanics, together with his instinctive inventive faculties and a determination that could not be dismayed by any obstacle, finally resulted in the desired consummation, and the Corliss Safe stands to-day a perfected structure, affording absolute security against all practical methods of assault by either mobs or burglars.
Corliss Burglar-proofs are now being built of various sizes, from safes having an available capacity of 6 cubic feet, weighing 8,500 pounds and costing $2,000, to those having a capacity of 50 cubic feet, weighing 32,000 pounds and costing $8,000; and when it is stated that plans are already matured for making safe deposit vaults upon this system of construction, that will weigh from 75 tons to 300 tons each, some idea may be formed of the magnitude of the enterprise.
p. 698 - 700: Perry DAVIS, widely known as the author of the renowned 'Pain Killer' medicine, was born in the town of Dartmouth, Bristol county, Mass., July 7th, 1791. He was the son of Edmund and Sarah Davis, being the eldest of three children by this marriage. Four years after his birth his parents moved to Westport, in the same county, where they resided during the period of his youth. His early educational advantages were meagre. When he was 14 years of age he seriously injured one of his hips by falling through a raft upon which he was at work, and by this accident was not only made a cripple for life but rendered peculiarly liable to colds, followed by fevers and kindred diseases, to many of which he became a prey in succeeding years. From sickness he suffered greatly and was brought down with fevers, which had their regular run on 24 different occasions. 'With physicians, however,' says a contemporary writer, 'he was abundantly blessed of the regular scientific stamp, and by them has submitted 64 times to the use of the lancet, not to mention other accompanying remedies administered for his diseases.' In 1838 he removed to Pawtucket, R.I., and during this year invented a mill for grinding grain; and the next year removed to Taunton, Mass., for the purpose of enlarging and facilitating the business of putting up these mills. While in Taunton he studied the effects of certain drugs upon the human system, and experimented in their uses until he had compounded a medicine capable of curing his own maladies. In 1841 he removed to Fall River, Mass., where on July 3d, 1843, he was burned out, and then located in Providence, among strangers and in poverty stricken circumstances.
He opened his Pain Killer manufactory in his own residence, being assisted by his wife and daughter in the work. Everything seemed to be against wind and tide, but Mr. Davis was not a timorous man, and he persevered faithfully. One sad event brought the stranger to the city into sudden notoriety. One day while at work, a large can of alcohol in use caught fire, and the sudden flame of the burning liquid in its rapid ascent to the ceiling enveloped Mr. Davis, burning his body to the bone. Mrs. Davis and his daughter, Mrs. S. Dennis were left powerless in their attempts to rescue the sufferer, and rushed to the street for aid. When help arrived the flesh on his arms hung in shreds, the thick fleshy portions on his hands falling off. His face was one solid burnt sore, and his kidneys were so injured that he passed nothing but blood for nearly two days. The family pleaded for a physician, but Mr. Davis was inexorable and said if his medicine could not save him he would go with it. The Pain Killer was used as directed. The sufferings of the patient were terrible. No one thought he could survive, and the second night following it was supposed he was dying, but he finally passed off into a quiet sleep, and from that time began to gain. In four weeks from that time he drove a wagon to Apponaug. The first Pain Killer taken to Boston Mr. Davis carried in a basket on his arm, walking there and back. He called on the druggists, but they shrugged their shoulders and said they could not sell it without the assistance of advertising and that they made mixtures equally as good themselves. After canvassing the city with but little success, and at last discouraged, he went among the crowd upon the street and to each poor, sick, lame person he met handed a bottle of Pain Killer. This done he returned home more discouraged than ever.
In the meantime his medicine at home grew more popular every day and soon afterward the cholera made its appearance in the United States and Pain Killer was suddenly brought into general notice by the astonishing cures of this dreadful disease which it effected. Orders now began to come in to such an extent that Mr. Davis had to cast aside his pestle and mortar and commence the manufacture of Pain Killer upon a larger scale. It was now found that each bottle given away in Boston and elsewhere, had created a demand for many more; the sale increased from day to day, while everybody who used this wonderful compound was either writing or telling his friends of its powers in relieving pain and suffering. It was soon after its discovery that Perry Davis' Pain Killer was introduced into a factory at Providence, and the employees there found a cure for all those little ills and numberless hurts of accidents which factory hands are constantly subject to.
In various ways the medicine became advertised until now it is used by every people on the Globe and known elsewhere. The North American Indians prize it above gold. The miners of South Africa and Brazil have christened it the 'Miner's Friend', while the natives of India and other warm climates find it a sure antidote against the bite of the most poisonous reptiles. The Hudson Bay Company, whose business reaches out through all the vast territory between Alaska and the coast of Labrador, are among the largest dealers of this article. In 1866 Perry Davis & Son opened in London, England, a branch depot for the exclusive sale of their Pain Killer in Great Britain. Extensive agencies also have been opened up in China, India, Japan, Turkey, Australia, Africa, New Zealand and other countries both in the new and old world, until now the manufacture and sale of this medicine exceeds that of any other. Mr. Davis' liberality has also contributed largely to the advertisement of this medicine. Missionaries to heathen lands, especially those of the Baptist church, have been furnished medicine free of charge to take with them. This alone has brought the remedy into great notoriety with the natives of heathen lands.
When a young man Mr. Davis became converted to God, and from that time till his death lived a consistent Christian life. He was baptized by Elder Job Borden of the First Baptist church in Tiverton, R.I. In church work Mr. Davis was also active. He was very liberal with his money to all classes of society, and was a generous, kind hearted man to the needy and distressed. On the day of his burial the streets about his door were lined with the poor and the needy of the city, who loved him for the many benevolent acts of his life. Although almost in poverty himself till after 50 years of age, he always gave freely and sometimes of all he had to others in distress. His donations to the church were extensive. He first built a chapel on Broad street, used for several years; then the little chapel on Stewart court, then called High Street church; then the Stewart Street church, which cost him $36,000. He himself was an earnest preacher and was ordained to the ministry November 9th, 1853.
October 8th, 1813, he married Ruth, daughter of Pardon and Priscilla Davol, a member of the same church with himself, and kindred in spirit, as may be inferred from the fact, that on the evening of their wedding day, both bride and groom attended and actively participated in the exercises of a meeting for prayer and conference, held at the residence of one of the deacons of the church. Together they not only traveled the path of 'the life which now is,' but that 'also of the life which is to come,' along which, as the sequel shows, 'the happiest of their kind whom gentle stars unite,' they pleasantly journeyed, hearers in each others' sorrow, and mutual helpers of each others' joy. For a period of nearly thirty years their course of life seemed, in one view, to flow in rugged channels, with whirls and eddies. Clouds of sorrow thickened around them. Adverse winds impeded their progress. The multiplied anxieties of sickness, destitution and pinching want, at times legion-like darkened their pathway; and 'bowed down by weight of woe,' with the man of ancient times, they could look up to the eternal throne, and cry out to Him who sits thereon, 'All thy waves and thy billows have gone over us.'
Mr. Davis died May 12th, 1862, and Mrs. Davis died October 31st, 1872. Edmund, their only son who grew to manhood, died in 1880 in the 57th year of his age. He was a splendid business man, one of the best financiers in the state. Mrs. Sarah Dennis is the only one of his children now living.
p. 700 - 702: Daniel Eugene DAY, merchant, son of Deacon Harvey and Olive (Dorrance) Day, was born in Killingly, Conn., on May 28th, 1820. His grandfather was the Reverend Israel Day, 40 years a settled pastor in South Killingly, Conn., who was a descendant, in the fifth generation of Anthony Day, who came from England and settled in Gloucester, Mass., in 1645. He is also a descendant of the Reverend Samuel Dorrance, the first settled pastor in Sterling, now Voluntown, Conn.
Mr. Day pursued the ordinary course of study in the common schools and academy of his native town until he was 18 years of age, when he became a teacher, and taught successfully for eight years. He then entered into business in Danielsonville, Conn., with W. C. Bacon, and in a few years opened a flour, grain and provision store. In 1852 he removed to Providence, R.I., and began business in flour and grain on Peck's wharf, on Dyer street. In the same year, Mr. S. S. Sprague entered into partnership with Mr. Day, and by their energy, practical methods and careful management, a large and prosperous business was established, the firm name being Day & Sprague. In 1856 they removed to South Water street, and the sons of both members of the firm became partners, and the firm name was changed to Day, Sprague & Co. In 1866, to accommodate the increase of business, the wharf property occupied by Spellman & Metcalf, on Dyer street, was purchased. In 1876 the firm was dissolved, Mr. Day purchasing the entire property, and, with his sons, Henry G. and Charles R., under the firm name of Day, Sons & Co., continued the business at the old location. Extensive improvements have been made to the original plant, and to-day the house is the oldest and largest in its line of business in the city and state. The business is supplemented by warehouses and elevators in Macon county, Ill., where purchases of grain are made direct from the farmers and shipped to different parts of the county.
In the interest of good government, Mr. Day was nominated and elected by the republican party as state representative, and served his constituents faithfully for six years, during five of which he was chairman of the important committee on finance. In 1875 Mr. Day was nominated for the office of lieutenant governor by the independent republican party, in recognition of his personal worth, his experience in public affairs and his firm adherence to temperance principles. In the exciting election which followed Mr. Day received a plurality of votes, running ahead of the nominee of the regular republican convention by about 1,200 votes. As there was no election by the people, and as the issue was decided by the house of representatives, Mr. Day was not elected. From this time Mr. Day was an honored and useful member of the city council of Providence until the year 1880, when he declined a reelection. During this time he was an active member of the joint standing committee on finance and water. Important acts were introduced and supported by Mr. Day in relation to the introduction of water and sewers into the city of Providence, and for the establishment of a sinking fund for the state of Rhode Island. He was one of the original commissioners of the sinking fund for the city of Providence. He was elected in 1873, and retains this responsible position.
In his business career Mr. Day has become widely known for his capacity as a merchant, and for his honesty and uprightness of character. These characteristics have made his services valuable, and he has been called upon to fill important positions connected with banking and financial institutions. Only two positions of this kind has he accepted. In 1870 he became associated with the Commercial National Bank as director. In 1855 he was elected president, which office he holds at the present time. In 1877 he was elected a director of the People's Savings Bank, and in 1888 was chosen to be one of the vice-presidents of the institution, and is still in this office.
Mr. Day united with the Congregational church in West Killingly in 1843. In 1852 he became a member of the Richmond Street Congregational church of Providence, then under the pastorate of the Reverend Jonathan Leavitt, D. D., and when this organization was merged into the Union Congregational church, he became a member of this body. He was elected deacon in 1889 to fill the unexpired term of the late Theophilis Salisbury, and was reelected in 1890 for the full term of six years.
In social life Mr. Day's genial and hospitable disposition has wide recognition and appreciation. Although he had few early advantages, in youth being dependent upon his own exertions, yet by industry, perseverance and natural force of character, he has earned an honorable position in the community, and is held in high esteem as a citizen, and as a stable member of his church, of which he has been a faithful and liberal supporter, and of gospel institutions of every kind, of education and of charity.
Mr. Day was married in 1844 to Lydia Read Wilbur, daughter of Enoch Wilbur, of Raynham, Mass., who died in 1886, leaving four children: Sarah Adelaid, married to Edward W. Eames, of Buffalo, N.Y.; Henry Gould, married to Mary H. Love, of Providence; Charles Read, married to Emma J. Braman, of Cambridge, Mass.; and Olive Dorrance.
City of Providence Continued
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