This section contains articles of genealogical and historic interest on Rhode Island in general, from old Rhode Island books and newspapers.
Biographical sketches, "Town of Lincoln"
p. 446: JOHN A ADAMS.-- Among those whose success and social standing are the result of unaided labor and self-reliance through life, we class Honorable John A. Adams, a self-made man in every respect. He was born at North Kingstown, RI, June 20th, 1815. His father, Ezra Adams, died on the island of Trinidad, while following the occupation of seaman, leaving behind, almost destitute, his wife, Susan (Ailsworth) Adams, and son John, then a lad of seven years of age. At the age of 12 Mr. Adams commenced working on a farm, pursuing, meanwhile, his studies. Five years later he removed to Franklin, Mass., and was employed in a factory store as clerk. When 18 years of age he obtained a situation as a laborer in a factory, and subsequently as overseer, being employed upward of eight years. In 1837 he removed to Central Falls, where he exhibited such sagacity and skill that he attracted the attention of a capitalist, who proposed to accept him as partner in a business venture. Accordingly, in 1842, a firm was organized under the name of Willard & Adams, manufacturers of yarns and thread. Continuing in this business for three years, the partnership was then dissolved, and Mr. Adams became associated with Mr. Joseph Wood and others, in the manufacture of cotton goods. This partnership lasted until 1848, when two of the firm died, and the business was continued under the firm style of Wood and Adams. In 1863 these gentlemen sold their mill and privilege to the Pawtucket Hair Cloth Company. They afterward succeeded to the business previously carried on by Rufus J. Stafford, and in conjunction with new partners, took the name of the Stafford Manufacturing Company. During Mr. Wood's life Mr. Adams acted as agent for the corporation and part of the time as president. On Mr. Wood's death, in 1873, Mr. Adams being the only active partner, assumed with his other duties that of treasurer, and has since held the offices named.
Mr. Adams has also been interested in other establishments, and intimately associated in the business undertakings with prominent merchants and manufacturers of Providence. For many years he has been a trustee of the Franklin Savings Bank, and a director of the Slater National Bank. He served six years as a member of the town council of Lincoln, and has been its representative, in both branches of the general assembly, at numerous times he has also filled the position of school trustee.
Mr. Adams has done much to promote the public improvements which have benefitted and beautified Central Falls. Since 1848 he has been a member of the Congregational Church, and has given liberally for the furtherance of the enterprises of that denomination, and for the general good of society.
He married, in 1836, Sally M. Crowell, daughter of Nathan and Annie Crowell. They have had eight children, only two of whom (John F. and Stephen L.) are living. Their son, Albert E., was in the Union army during the late war, and after escaping its perils, came home to die from disease contracted in the service.
p. 447-8: STEPHEN BENEDICT was born in Milton, Saratoga County, N. Y., January 15th, 1801. He was the son of Thomas and Zelota (Sprague) Benedict, and a descendant of Thomas Benedict, who came to this country in 1638. He settled first in Massachusetts, then removed to Long Island, and subsequently in Connecticut, where he became a man of influence. Stephen's father, Thomas Benedict, was a soldier in the revolution and was an enterprising farmer. In 1833 he removed from Otsego County, N.Y., to Central Falls, where he died. Stephen was employed on his father's farm, attending school in the winter until near his majority, receiving the best of home training and religious instruction. In 1821, as his half brother, Reverend David Benedict, D.D., the Baptist historian, had settled as pastor of the First Baptist Church in Pawtucket, he went to that place and engaged to work in a machine shop and afterward in a cotton mill. In 1828 he formed a co-partnership with Honorable Joseph Wood and removed to Bellingham, Mass., where they operated a cotton mill for Jabal Ingraham. In 1829 they removed to Albion Village, R.I., where they operated the mills belonging to Mr. George Wilkinson. In 1831 they removed to Central Falls and purchased of Dwight Ingraham an interest in the mills of the thread company and commenced the manufacture of cotton print cloths, their mill being known as the Benedict & Wood Mill. Their business was managed with remarkable regularity and conscientiousness for 37 years, during which time they were greatly prospered. In 1865 the firm was dissolved and Deacon Benedict succeeded to the entire charge of the old business, which he conducted with his usual ability and success till his death.
He early united with the First Baptist Church in Pawtucket, and filled the office of deacon for about 25 years. He was a quiet, thoughtful, prudent man, faithful and thorough in the discharge of all the duties required of him. He was president of the People's Bank and also of the First National Bank of Pawtucket and director in different institutions. In the anti-slavery movement he was a pioneer, and during the civil war, though exempt from service by age, he was particularly active by counsel and contributions in sustaining the nation. Industrious and far seeing, he acquired a handsome estate, while his kindness, benevolence and integrity gained for him the highest regard of his fellow citizens.
He married August 9th, 1830, Bathsheba A. Barber, of Bellingham, Mass., who since his death has brought special honor upon the Benedict name by her benefactions. The Benedict Institute, of Columbia, S.C., is really all her own work. It has become virtually a college, and its influence for good among the colored people of the country generally is already recognized. At the commencement exercises of the year 1889 23 more students of the institute graduated, with the various degrees of classical honors conferred on such occasions, and the numbers from year to year are increasing. Mr. Benedict died December 25th, 1868. In his will he left $2,000 to the American Baptist Home Mission Society for general purposes. Mrs. Benedict added to this contribution $1,000, and when the educational needs of the freedmen were laid before her added to the above sum $10,000, making $13,000 in all, which sum was used in purchasing this school property. Since the first purchase Mrs. Benedict added at one time $10,000 more, and since then has made yearly donations of about $1,000, until she has now given about $35,000 in all. Various buildings have been erected from time to time until now the Institute has assumed proportions commendable in size, and worthy of the rank and name of a college. The buildings are located in a beautiful park of 80 acres, and number some half dozen in all. The number of students is now about 200.
p. 448: HERBERT T. BLACKINGTON was born in Wrentham, Mass., November 1st, 1850, and has no children. He has resided in Lincoln since 1866 and is a farmer by occupation.
p. 448: WILLIAM BOOTH, born in Bury, England, September 2nd, 1830, is the second son of Thomas and Mary (Collins) Booth. He learned the trade of weaving in his native country and emigrated to America in 1866, locating at Fall River, Mass. He came to Lonsdale, R.I., in 1878 and moved to his present residence in Lincoln in 1885 and engaged in farming. He married Mary Whitaker and had seven children: John, who married Alice Marsden, has three children, Agnes, William and Frederick, and resides at Ashton, RI; Lucy, deceased, married James Fielding; Thomas and Benjamin, both single, reside at Ashton, R. I.; Clara, wife of James Cooper, resides in New Jersey; Rosa, wife of William F. Potter, of Aquidneck, R.I., an d Robert Lincoln, lives at Ashton, R. I.
p. 449: Doctor ICHABOD COMSTOCK practiced medicine in Providence County. He married Sarah Jenckes and had the following sons: Ichabod, Ephraim, who emigrated to New York state, and George W. He also had several daughters. George W. was born in Smithfield in March, 1788, and died in 1858. He married Comfort Joslin, of Thompson, Conn. Of their six children three died in infancy. The others were: Benjamin, Nancy (deceased) married Benjamin S. Olney, and Sarah, resides in Providence. Benjamin, son of George W., born May 3rd, 1818, married for his first wife Mary Randall, by whom he had six children. Benjamin married for his second wife Amanda G. Harris. He is engaged in farming and resides in Lincoln.
p. 96, Vol I: WARREN COOKE, MD, of Lincoln, was at the time of his death one of the oldest and most prominent physicians in the town. He was the son of Jesse and Lydia (Thayer) Cooke, and was born in Uxbridge, Massachusetts, August 10th, 1809. He studied medicine with Doctor Hiram Cleveland of Pawtucket, and subsequently took a course of lectures in the Columbian Medical College, Washington, D.C., taking his degree of M.D. from that institution, then under the presidency of Doctor Stephen Chapen, in the year 1834. He practiced his profession first in the state of Maryland. In 1836, under the advice of Doctor Cleveland he came to this place and for 30 years thereafter was located at Lonsdale, where he pursued a large and lucrative practice. He was always in feeble health, yet with few interruptions from sickness he labored faithfully until 1867, when his health became so much impaired that he was compelled to give up the greater part of his active business. About this time he moved a short distance from Lonsdale to what is known as the Smith place, one of the oldest landmarks in the country. It was his object in moving here to retire to a more quiet life, but he kept actively engaged in his professional pursuits until the day of his decease in 1873, when he dropped dead from heart disease while in conversation with a youthful friend then on a visit to the family. He was very attentive to the wants and needs of others in his profession, but was quiet, reserved and much opposed to ostentation or great show.
While in Lonsdale he filled several positions of trust, honor, and responsibility. He was selected at one time by his fellow townsmen for representative to the state legislature, but he felt the duties of his profession were such that he should not accept. He always took a deep interest in the affairs of the village. He delivered lectures before the Young Men's Lyceum. He was elected vestryman in Christ's Church, October 23d, 1835. He declined but was elected again April 18th, 1836, and continued to serve until 1848, when he was elected treasurer. He was sent to the Diocesan Convention several times. He was one of the school committee for eight or ten years. In all the various duties in life he acted conscientiously and from a high sense of integrity. " In the sick chamber he was kind and gentle" says a leading publication, "never precipitate or rash. In cases of doubt or perplexity he always sought counsel. For double dealing and quackery he had the utmost contempt. Principle was always paramount to self interest. He died May 15th, 1873."
In November, 1845, he married Elizabeth Arnold, of Smithfield, R.I. One daughter, Mrs.Harriet Elizabeth Thornton, survives him. Mrs. Cooke was the daughter of Jonathan and Abigail Arnold. Her mother was the daughter of John Randall of North Providence, of one of the oldest representative families in the county.
p.449-52: HEZEKIAH CONANT,- The subject of this sketch is a lineal descendant of Roger Conant, who came to this country from England in 1623. He was born in Dudley, Mass, July 28th, 1827, being the second son of Hervey and Dolly (Healy) Conant. His ancestors were among the earliest settlers of that town, his great-grandfather on both sides being residents of Dudley as early as 1737. Hervey Conant, his father, was one of the incorporators and partners of the Tufts Woolen Manufacturing Company, which at one time was a very prosperous concern. At the age of six years young Conant attended school in the old stone school house which stood on the road leading from Tufts Village to Dudley Centre. Having a quick and retentive memory, he easily mastered the various branches which he pursued.
His father having disposed of his business interests at Tufts Village, he removed to Webster, Mass., in 1835, but in the fall of 1839 he returned to Dudley and occupied the farm formerly owned by his maternal grandfather, Major Lemuel Healy. Hezekiah having now reached an age when he was able to do light work about the farm, he rendered such service in the summer as did not overtax his strength, and in the winter months he attended the common school. Subsequently he had the benefit of several terms at the Nichols Academy in Dudley. His devotion to his alma mater has been strikingly shown in his later life.
His mother being dead, and having become weary of the monotony of farm life, in the spring of 1845 he obtained permission from his father to accept a position as roller boy in the printing office of the Worcester County Gazette. Here he remained for about two years, when the owners of the establishment failed, and he found employment in other newspaper offices in Worcester until 1848, when he left the printing business and went to learn the trade of a machinist. This he found more to his liking, as it made the hours of his work more regular, and the calculation of gears and screws had a fascination for him which he did not find in farming or printing. he had saved enough of his earnings in 1850 to enable him to give himself a full year's tuition at Nichols Academy, and the following year he went into the locomotive shop of the Union Works at South Boston. In the fall of 1852 he went to Hartford, Conn., where he made the acquaintance of the inventor of the celebrated "Sharp's Rifle" known as the "gascheck," which was considered so important by the United States and British governments that they immediately ordered its application to all firearms manufactured for them by the Sharp's Rifle Company. While in Hartford he entered Colt's firearms manufactory as a tool maker, where he remained about a year, and then began drawing and constructing machinery as parties requested his services.
In 1856 he went to Webster, Mass., and constructed a machine for sewing
the selvage on the woolen goods made by the Slaters. He was next employed
by them to construct a thread-dressing machine which should dress the thread
in the skein; but, although the machine proved to be all that was required,
the later style of dressing the thread from the bobbin in a single web
the skein process.
About the year 1857 he began the construction of a machine to automatically wind sewing thread of 200 yards length upon spools. This invention proved very successful. so well pleased with the machine were the Willimantic Linen Company that they purchased one half of the patent right, and made arrangements with Mr. Conant to enter their service as a mechanical expert, giving his entire time to them for three years. He entered upon this engagement February 1st, 1859. The contract was twice renewed for three years, his salary being increased the last time to double what it was at first.
During this time he made several new inventions, the most important being the "ticketing machine," which is now used to affix the small labels on each end of the spools of thread, which it accomplishes at the rate of 100 spools per minute. The last three years of his stay at Willimantic, Mr. Conant was superintendent of the establishment. In 1864 he went to Europe to visit the manufacturing districts of England and Scotland, in the interest of the Willimantic Linen Company, they bearing all the expense of the trip. He gained admission to very many of the best spinning establishments, and also the spool thread establishments of Paisley and Glasgow. At the expiration of his last contract in Willimantic, he tendered his resignation, which was accepted, thus terminating nine years of continuous service, during which the company had more than doubled its capital and its production.
Immediately on the termination of his connection at Willimantic, Mr. Conant removed to Pawtucket, and in the fall of 1868 interested himself in the organization of a new thread company. Capital to the amount of $30,000 was at once subscribed, a charter was obtained from the general assembly, and the Conant Thread Company was formed, with Mr. Conant as treasurer and manager, the purpose of the company being to manufacture six-cord cotton. A small factory was built of wood, 96 feet long by 41 feet wide, and two stories high, in which twisting and winding machinery was forthwith put in motion, the supplies of yarn being imported from England. This was the Number 1 mill of the Conant Thread Company. Soon after this small factory was set in operation, Mr. Conant opened negotiations with the firm of J. & P. Coats, of Paisley, Scotland, for the manufacture of their thread in this country. The result of the negotiations and a second trip to paisley was that the capital stock of the Conant Thread Company was gradually raised to a large amount, and one mill after another of colossal size was erected till the plant now consists of four mammoth brick structures, fitted with the most improved machinery, and operated by corliss engines amounting to more than 4,000 horse power, and representing an outlay of upward of four million dollars, and giving employment to nearly 3,000 workers. Besides being the chief industrial establishment in the city where it is located, it is without doubt the best arranged, best equipped and best organized manufacturing establishment of its kind in the world. Mr. Conant is still the treasurer and manager of this great corporation, and devotes his entire time to its interests. He has never accepted any political office, or engaged in the performance of any public duties that would in any way interfere with his efficiency as the head of this model establishment. Nevertheless, the financial transactions of the concern are on such a large scale that he sits at the board of direction of the three national banks in Pawtucket, and is president of the Pawtucket Institution for Savings, one of the oldest organizations of its kind in the state. In politics Mr. Conant is a republican, and a firm believer in the American policy of protections. Having been a workingman himself, he advocates that condition of political economy which rewards the worker with good wages. His religious views are in accord with those held by the congregationalists, of which denomination he is an esteemed member; and yet what a man believes does not have so much weight with him as what he practices.
Mr. Conant has visited Europe several times, and on his last trip he was accompanied by his family, consisting of his wife and son and daughter, and together they made the tour of the Continent. The summers are spent by the family in Mr. Conant's native down of Dudley, where he has recently erected a beautiful and costly residence of wood and rubble work, to which he has given the name of "Budleigh Hall" , in honor of Roger Conant, of East Budleigh, Devonshire, England, "who was practically agent or governor of the colony at Cape Ann, Mass." Mr. Conant has done much for his native town and Nichols Academy. He has erected new school and dormitory buildings of ample proportions, and also an observatory equipped with two good telescopes and a full set of meteorological instruments from the celebrated house of Cassella & Co., of London, England. Combined with this is a fine library and reading room for the use of the students of the academy. He has enlarged the common and regraded it and laid walks, and assisted the people in various ways in improving the appearance of the old town. He has been greatly prospered in business, and experiences much satisfaction in helping those less fortunate.
Additional evidence of the abiding interest which Mr. Conant has in his native town is shown by the following incident: In the latter part of June, 1890, the Congregational Church in Dudley, over one hundred years old, was burned to the ground. Before the ruins had ceased to smolder, Mr. Conant sent word to the church committee that, as a memorial to his ancestors, he would build and present to the society a new brick house of worship. The corner stone was laid with appropriate ceremonies, October 16th, 1890. In the course of some remarks which Mr. Conant made on the occasion, he said:" All that the minister can do, it seems to me, is to present new forms of truth to his congregation on the Sabbath; earnestly study to be able to present new ideas to the people; subjects of thought for them mentally to digest and assimilate, and thus promote mental and spiritual growth. He should be a man of education, and of a character that will command the respect of the community; and he should consider that the higher type of Christianity cannot flourish where ignorance prevails. Science and Christianity should go hand in hand. the day for dogmatic teaching has passed, I trust, and so far as an intelligent congregation is concerned, has no more effect that the sound of the whistling wind of the howling storm."
One of the latest of Mr.Conant's numerous inventions , and one which has received no small amount of attention from astronomers and others, is what is termed a "right ascension clock." By the peculiar arrangement of its mechanism it illustrates solar and siderial time, and also the mean right ascension of the sun and moon. This clock, which is a masterpiece of invention, has been in operation long enough to show itself to be certain to perform its requirements, and reflects great credit upon the mechanical skill of the inventor, a well as his thorough knowledge of the celestial bodies. One has been placed in the rooms of the Pawtucket Business Men's Association and another in the Nichols Academy.
p. 452: JOHN CULLEN was born in Ireland May 18th, 1837, came to America with his uncle in 1853, and took up his residence for one year at Provincetown, Mass. In 1854 he came to Lonsdale and commenced work for the Lonsdale Company. He was in their employ most of the time till 1883 in various capacities, having at one time charge of their farm. He also was in charge of the Berkeley Company farms. He now resides on a farm purchased by him in 1878 in Lincoln. He married Mary Powers and has eleven children: John, William, Margaret, Johanna, Mary, Patrick, Bridget, Stacy, Katie, Thomas and James.
p. 453: ALPHA A. DRAPER was born in what is now Lincoln, March 29th, 1823 and was the only child of Alpha and Ruth (Angell) Draper. He married Lydia H. Hawkins and has three children: Lucy, wife of George H. Winsor, of Lincoln; Frank S., who married Freelove Manton and has three children: Bertha, Clara, and Esther; and Emma, wife of Crawford Manton, Jr., of Lincoln. Mr. Draper has been street commissioner of Lincoln for 15 years.
p. 453: The Fales Family - The families of this name residing in Central Falls are descended from James F. Fales, who was born in 1610, and who married Anna Brock. They had a son, Peter, who was born in 1668, and his son, Peter F., resided in Dedham, Mass., and was born April 13th, 1690. Peter F. had a son, Peter, born December 16th, 1732, who married Avis Bicknell. The children by this marriage were: Turpin and Allen, twins (the former was drowned in the Ohio River and was unmarried. The latter died at the age of five years.); Olive, married Elliken Miller, of Franklin, Mass.; John; Sally, married Shubael Gilmore, of Franklin, Mass.; Nancy, married William Gilmore, of Franklin, Mass.; Peter, emigrated to Ohio; James, died in New Bedford; Samuel, died at the age of 4 years; and Turner, died in childhood. John, son of Peter, was born September 10th, 1768, and married Roby Gilmore. Their children were: Avis, married George Bacon, of Attleboro, Mass.; John Turpin; Johanna, married Hiram Pond, of Franklin, Mass.; Sally, married Alvin Jenks of Pawtucket; David Gilmore; Roby, married Owen Cargill, of Attleboro, Mass.; and James G.
Of this family all are dead excepting the youngest. John died October 24th, 1847. John Turpin, son of John, born in Attleboro, Mass., March 17th, 1797, married Catharine Day. They had children: Samuel Day; Emily Caroline, died age of 2 and a half years; Emeline, widow of Roswell B. Worden, resides at Northampton, Mass.; and George Augustus. John Turpin died March 5th, 1855. Samuel Day, son of John T., born in Pawtucket February 1st, 1827, married Louisa A., daughter of Ambrose Clark of Cumberland, and had two children-Laura E. and Byron D., died age 14 months. Samuel D. died March 16th, 1887. George Augustus, son of John T., born at Pawtucket August 7th, 1841, married Lovinia, daughter of Hon. Lucius B. Darling. David Gilmore, son of John, married Parthana C. Sprague and had three children. John R., son of David G., born in Central Falls, RI, March 5th, 1833, married Harriet B. Lee, of Rehoboth, Mass., and has two children, LeRoy and Warren R. John R. is vice-president of the Fales & Jenks Machine Company. George S., son of David G., born in Central Falls, R.I., December 25th, 1836, married Frances Henderson, daughter of Philander and Frances Baker, a native of Pawtucket. They had four children: Robert Baker, died aged 28 years; David Gilmore, died at Deadwood, Dakota, aged 17 years; Elizabeth K., wife of Joseph W. Freeman, of Central Falls; and Martha A. LeRoy, son of John R., born in Central Falls August 30th, 1859, married Emma J. Taylor. Warren R., son of John R., born in Central Falls November 23d, 1862, married Carrie Hopkins, and has two children, Harry Lee and LeRoy Atherton.
p. 454: JAMES G. FALES, son of John, born in Attleboro, Mass., March 17th, 1814, married Maria E. Aldrich, and of their family six are living: Roby Ann, wife of James H. Andrews, of Central Falls; David L., Joseph E., J. Henry, Ellen, wife of Charles Parker of Central Falls; and Alice, wife of Horace Fletcher, of Central Falls. James G. came to Cental Falls in the spring of 1831, where he learned the trade of machinist, which he followed mainly till 1847, when he opened a grocery store in Pawtucket, and in 1852 he removed the business to Central Falls. He relinquished the business to his sons, Joseph E. and J. Henry, in 1873, and they still carry it on under the firm name of Fales Brothers. David L., son of James G., was born in Attleboro, December 22d, 1839. He married Melissa C., daughter of Isaac Gage, and by her he had two children one of whom died in infancy. The other is Edward L. His second wife was Cordelia, daughter of William Fales, by whom he has two children, William C. and Edith M. Since 1871 he has been interested in the Pawtucket Steam & Gas Pipe Company. Joseph E., son of James G., born in Attleboro, Mass., November 12, 1841, married Sarah E. Dunham and has three children: Bertha D., Lester P. and Flossie L. James Henry, son of James G., born in Pawtucket July 30th, 1843, married Cornelia, daughter of William Fales, and has two children, Gertrude and Ruth
p. 454: PETER FALES, son of Peter, emigrated to Ohio and had a family of fifteen children, eight of whom were by his second wife, Patty Cole, a native of Bristol, RI. Their names were Heny, Turpin, Orange, Shephard, Thomas, Harlow, William and Mary. Of this family William married Ann Proctor and resides in Farmington, Ohio, and of their family of eight children the following are residents of Ohio: Loren, Dora, William J., Mary and Ruby. Cordelia is the wife of David L. Fales, and Cornelia married J. Henry Fales. These last two were twins, and the latter is dead. The other member of the family, George Harlow, was born in Nelson, Portage County, Ohio, January 1st, 1855. He is married to Nina E. Harrison and has four children: Kenneth, Paul, Forrest and Elsie. He came to Central Falls in 1874, and since that time has been engaged in the grocery trade. He is now a member of the firm of Fales & Beattie, which partnership dates from 1881.
p. 455: DAVID GILMORE FALES, manufacturer, was born in Attleboro, Massachusetts, June 4th, 1806. His father was a farmer, which occupation he followed himself till 18 years of age. At that time he came to Central Falls and learned the machinist's trade in the shop of David Jenks & Co. He was a natural mechanic, and his whole life was devoted to his special calling. In some other respects he was remarkable also. He was a natural bone-setter and could set a limb with as much readiness as a skilled physician. David G. Fales began the manufacturing of cotton machinery with Alvin Jenks in 1830 and continued operations at Central Falls till 1866, and then in Pawtucket until succeeded by the firm of Fales & Jenks, an establishment that gives employment now to a force of some 500 hands. Mr. David G. Fales, the original proprietor of the firm, began business in Central Falls first in a hired shop. The first piece of work was a spooler, made for a firm in Richmond, Virginia, for which they received $60. In 1833 the firm began the manufacture of Hubbard's patent pump. In 1845 this firm began to manufacture ring spinning frames, and in 1846 they began the manufacture of ring twisters, being among the first to manufacture these machines in this country, for thread, worsted, and silk. The machines were made for Benjamin Greene. The firm afterward manufactured twisters, dressers, and winders for J. & P. Coats, the celebrated manufacturers of sewing thread at Paisley, Scotland. Business was so successful that in 1860 a furnace was built for castings, and the year after it was considerably enlarged. In 1862 and 1863 their brick shop, three stories high, 300 by 63 feet, with an ell 70 by 60 feet (afterward sold to the American Linen Company) , was erected, and in 1866 the removal to Pawtucket was made, soon after which Mr. Fales retired from business. Mr. Fales was married, May 3rd, 1829, to Miss Parthana Sprague, and died in 1875.
p. 455: EDWARD LIVINGSTON FREEMAN was born in Waterville, Maine, September 10th, 1835, and is the oldest of the ten children of Reverend Edward and Harriet (Colburn) Freeman. His father was a native of Mendon, Mass., born in April 1806. He graduated from Brown University, Providence, RI, in the class of 1833, and soon after entered the ministry of the Baptist Church, removing to Waterville, Maine. He was afterward pastor of the Baptist church at Oldtown, Me., from which place he removed to Camden, Me., where he resided with the exception of one year at Bristol, R.I., until his death in 1883. He taught school for many years and is said to have prepared more young men for college that any teacher in Maine. The mother of Edward L. was born in West Dedham, Mass., in 1815. She graduated from the Medfield High School and afterward engaged in teaching French and Latin, in which she was specially proficient. She died in June, 1852, at the early age of 37.
Edward L. was instructed by his father and fitted for college at an early age, instead of pursuing a college course he chose to apprentice himself to A. W. Pearce, of Pawtucket, R.I., for the purpose of learning the printer's art. After serving his time and acquiring a good knowledge of the trade, he entered the employ of Hammond, Angell & Co., of Providence, and worked for them as a journeyman for eight years, with the exception of one winter spent in a printing office in Washington. He became a partner in the firm, and in 1863 sold his interest, removed to Central Falls, RI, and commenced business for himself. He began in a small room in the large three-story brick block which he now owns, and which, with a large addition, is fast becoming too small for its uses. At this time he employed two men and a boy. In 1869 Mr. Freeman began the publication of The Weekly Visitor, a 36-column folio, which is still issued, and which has been a potent factor in the growth of the town. In 1873 Mr. J. E. Goldsworthy became a partner, and the business was carried on under the name of E. L. Freeman & Co., until 1885, when, by the withdrawal of Mr. Goldsworthy and the admission of Mr. Freeman's eldest son, William C., the firm name became E.L. Freeman & Son.
The business embraces book and job printing, also lithograph and gelatine printing. The last named branch is carried on under the name of the Artogravure Company, which, while it does considerable commercial work, is mainly devoted to art reproductions of paintings and engravings. Since 1877 the firm have been printers to the state of Rhode Island. In the same year they bought a large book and stationery store in Providence, which has been successfully conducted in connection with the printing business. A similar store has been carried on in Pawtucket, RI, since 1888.
But it is not as a business man, merely, that Mr. Freeman has been prominent and influential. He early showed a deep interest in political matters and has held many places of public trust and honor. Since attaining his majority he has been a republican. He was the last senator to the general assembly from the old town of Smithfield and the first from the new town of Lincoln, so named at his suggestion. He has been a representative in the general assembly for 15 years, and in 1874 and again in 1875 was speaker of the house. During his legislative career he was one of the leaders of the house and exerted a great influence upon legislation, drafting and advocating many important measures which are now on the statute books of the state. A ready speaker, with a retentive memory and a remarkable capacity for getting at the essence of a subject, he has been an able legislator and materially advanced the interests of his constituents, as well as those of the state at large. He was an earnest advocate of measures brought forward in the interests of the working people and the extension of the suffrage, and it was owing in a great degree to his exertions that those measures became laws. He retired from the general assembly in 1888 and was appointed a railroad commissioner by Governor Taft. This position he still holds and has already done much to increase its importance and usefulness.
Mr. Freeman also took a great interest in military affairs in his younger days and worked his way up from the ranks to be colonel of the Union Guard, one of the oldest and best of the chartered companies of the state, which disbanded upon the enactment of the present militia law.
In educational matters, also, he has been active, and served for several years as school trustee. For 19 years he was a member of the board of firewards of the Central Falls fire district, a body having entire charge of the police, water works, fire department, street lights, and public library, and the results of his labors may be seen in the present condition of these important departments.
Mr. Freeman joined the Congregational Church in 1855 and has ever since been an earnest and helpful member. In the Sunday school he has been active and faithful, teaching for many years a large class of boys and young men, until 1883, when he was chosen superintendent, a position which he still holds.
Mr. Freeman has always been greatly devoted to Masonry and has received at the hands of the craft the highest honors in their gift to bestow. He was initiated in 1864, in 1868 was made worshipful master of his Lodge - Union No. 10, of Pawtucket- and in 1879 was made grand master of Masons in Rhode Island and was reelected the following year. In 1885 he was elected grand high priest of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Rhode Island. In Templar masonry, also, Mr. Freeman has been deservedly prominent. In 1870 he was chosen eminent commander of the Holy Sepulchre Commandery of Pawtucket and was twice reelected. After holding various positions in the Grand Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the oldest in the country and having in its allegiance 8,000 Templars, in 1888 he was chosen grand commander. In all these positions, but one of which is rarely held by one man, Mr. Freeman has done excellent work for the institution. He has always been ready to render his best service, and his knowledge of Masonric Work, history, and law has given him deserved rank among the best informed of the order. He is also a member of several other secret societies.
November 10, 1858, Mr.Freeman was married to Emma Elliott Brown, of Central Falls. They have had seven children, three sons and four daughters, five of whom are living. The eldest son, William C., is a member of the firm of E.L.Freeman & Son; the second, Joseph W., a graduate of Brown University, is editor of The Weekly Visitor, and the third, Edward, is a Methodist clergyman.
Mr. Freeman has been emphatically a busy man, active and interested in many lines of human effort and association. In them all he has been influential, because of his warm heart and generous sympathies, which, united to quick perceptions and large executive ability, have enabled him to command the respect and confidence of his companions and the public. Of him it may be truly said, in the words of Terence, "humani nihil alieni".
p. 444: LOUIS GIROUARD is a native of the Province of Quebec, and was born May 2nd, 1844. In 1869 he came to Woonsocket and engaged in the mercantile business. Removing in 1873 to Manville, he opened a general store at the same location where he now carries on business. He married Hermoine Cormier and has a family of six boys and six girls: F. Louis, Joseph A., Mary, Hermoine, Isabella, Arthur, Angelina, Adaline, Bernadette, Napoleon, Leonidas, and Rudolph.
p. 67, Vol I: JOHN P. GREGORY, of Lincoln, was born in Central Falls, then a part of the town of Smithfield, March 3rd, 1840. He was educated in the public schools and at the State Normal School, and was a teacher in the public schools for several years. He was admitted to the bar February 17th, 1866, and has since practiced law. He was one of the justices of the court of magistrates of Pawtucket from 1865 to 1871, and in 1886 he was town solicitor of Lincoln. He was representative from that town from 1878 to 1884, and senator from 1884 to 1886. In politics he is a republican.
p. 444: HANDY: The Contrexeville Manufacturing Company is located at Manville and was incorporated in 1887, under the state laws of Rhode Island. They manufacture cotton, jute and flax plushes by a process on which they hold the patents, and they are the only manufacturers of the kind in the United States. Their driving power is steam, but they have a water dam for their bleaching and dyeing. Employment is given to about 50 hands, and their factory is run night and day, the products being in such great demand. The officers of the company are: E.K. Handy, president; T.H. Handy, treasurer; Edwin R. Handy, agent. Russell Handy, the originator and patentee of the process and machinery used by the above company, was the son of Stephen and Deborah (Ballou) Handy and was born in Burrillville, RI., February 25th, 1830. At the age of nine years he entered the Manville Company Mills and learned the trade of weaving. He commenced business for himself at Lyman, RI, but owing to the financial depression of 1857 was forced to give it up. He again was engaged by the Manville Company and occupied the position of superintendent of their works for about 30 years. He married Euphemia Ketchum and their children were: Edwin K., Thomas H., Russell, died 11 years, and Ruth Louisa, died aged 4 years. Mr. Handy died November 22nd, 1887.
p. 458: The Harris Family - The ancestor of this family was Thomas Harris, who came to America from Bristol, England, in the ship "Lyon" in December 1630. On the same ship was his brother William, and Roger Williams. He came to Providence in 1637 and died June 7th, 1686. His wife's name was Elizabeth, and they had three children: Thomas, Mary, married Samuel Whipple, and Martha, married Thomas Field. Thomas, son of Thomas, died February 27th, 1711. He married Elnathan Tew and had the following children: Thomas, Richard, Nicholas, Henry, Amity married a Morse; Job, died single; Elnathan, married Nathaniel Brown; William, who has no descendants living, and Mary, married Gabriel Bernon. Richard, son of Thomas, was born in 1668, and died in 1756. His first wife was a King, and their children were: Uriah, Richard, Jonathan, Amaziah, Preserved, Elnathan, married Joseph Guile; Amity and Dinah, both of whom married Smiths. Richard married for his second wife the Widow Susannah Gorton. Richard, son of Richard, married for his first wife Martha Foster. His second wife was Mary Colwell. His children were: Richard, Jeremiah, Anthony, David, Jabez and Abner. David, son of Richard, married Abigail Farnum. She lived to be 93 years of age. They had two sons, besides daughters. The sons were Farnum, and Welcome who married a Sayles and their children were: John, who died in Johnston, George, left no male issue; David; Edwin, left no male issue; Anna (deceased) married Simon Aldrich; Rachel, wife of Albert Keene, of Woodstock, Conn.; and Amanda (deceased) married Stephen Barnes. David, son of Welcome, married Amy, daughter of Bial Mowry, and their children were: Manton, Crawford, a bachelor residing in Lincoln; Abby, wife of Nathan Foster of Charlestown, RI; Emily, married James Greene, and resides in Brooklyn, NY; and Susan (deceased) married Thomas Maine. Manton, son of David, was born April 8th, 1824. His present wife is Margaret McQuestion. They have no children. he resides in Lincoln on part of the original land once owned by his ancestor, Thomas Harris. Robert Harris, another descendant of Thomas, had the following children: Amy, married Daniel Angell; Robert; Phebe, married Caleb Farnum; Jenckes, William, Thomas and Ethan. Robert, son of Robert, married Martha Smith and had four children: Raymond P., died single in Provodence; Elizabeth, wife of Stephen Olney of North Providnece; Benjamin F., has no children, resides in Lincoln, and Elisha S., resides in Smithfield.
p. 458-60: ALVIN JENKS. -- Some surnames are synonyms. They suggest genius, skill, capability, or integrity. The original holders of them were men of mark, and have transmitted names that enrich our vocabulary. Of the workers in iron who have won renown in our land not a few have born the name of Jenks. Among the earliest settlers of the Bay State was Joseph Jenks, who received the first patent that was granted in this country. His son, bearing the same name, came to Providence Plantations in 1655, and founded the hamlet of Pawtucket. By a kind of heredity, skill in iron working seemed to mark his descendants. One of them, a kinsman of the illustrious Governor Jenks, was born about 13 years before the death of that official, and was marked by a patriotism and capability for public affairs like his relatives. He bore the name of Stephen, and usually presided in the public meetings of the town. In the revolution he was specially active, and manufactured muskets for several of the companies of the colony. Though residing in the village of Pawtucket, in North Providence, he built and operated a trip hammer and blacksmith shop in Central Falls. Dying in the last year of the 18th century, he bequeathed his business to his son, who bore the same Christian name. He also won fame as a contractor with the government in 1811 to furnish 10,000 muskets at $11.50 apiece. The building reared for the manufacture of those guns was afterward used by Stephen Jenks & Sons for a machine shop and for the manufacture of cotton cloth. It stood on the site of what was afterward the Duck Mill, and burned in 1829.
One of these sons, whose name is still a household word in Central Falls, bore the name of Alvin, and was born in the village of Pawtucket, July 24th, 1798, and died in Central Falls, January 15th, 1856. In 1830, in company with David G. Fales, his brother in law, he began the manufacture of cotton machinery in Central Falls. They adopted the style of Fales & Jenks, which has given a name to one of the most flourishing corporations of Pawtucket. They commenced business in a hired shop, and made as their first piece of work a spooler for a firm in Richmond, Va. In 1833 they began the manufacture of Hubbard's patent rotary pump. Of course the patent long since expired, but they added so many improvements to the original design, and so perfected the machine as to gain almost a monopoly of the manufacture of such pumps. In 1845 they began to make ring spinning frames, and in 1846 made ring twisters, which were among the first of such machines in the country.
In process of time Mr. John R. Fales, son of the elder Mr. Fales, and Messrs. Alvin Jenks and Stephen A. Jenks, sons of Alvin Jenks, were admitted to the firm; and as death removed the elder Mr. Jenks and Mr. David Fales retired, they constituted the company and retained the old name. In 1859 they built a furnace for castings and two years afterward they enlarged their operations to a considerable extent. In 1865 they bought several acres of land in Pawtucket, and reared their extensive machine shops and large foundry on Dexter Street in that city. In 1876 they obtained an act of incorporation under the name of Fales & Jenks Machine Company. They manufacture cotton machinery, many kinds of which are of their own device. Five hundred workmen are in their employ. The officers of the corporation are: Alvin F. Jenks, president; John R. Fales, vice-president, and Stephen A. Jenks, treasurer. The officers of this company hold the same offices in the United States Cotton Company and in the Lilly Pond Land Company.
Mr. Alvin Jenks married for his first wife Abigail Comstock, who bore to him two children. One of them, Nathan Comstock, is still living. He married subsequently Elsie Briggs, who bore to him one child that died in infancy. His third wife was Sallie Fales, who was spared to him several years, and became the mother of eight children. She outlived him by 30 years or more. Four of their children died young, but four still survive. Two of them, Alvin F. and Stephen A., are officers in the energetic corporation which perpetuates their father's fame, and the other two, Sarah A., wife of John R. Jerauld, and Mrs. Ida E. Beede, hold their parent's memory in affectionate remembrance.
p. 460: HENRY JOLLIE was born in England, in June 1806, and emigrated to America about 1823, locating at New York City. He was till 1840 engaged in the grocery business. His brother-in-law, Joseph Pimbley, having started at what is now Saylesville, R.I., a bleachery, in 1840 Mr. Jollie joined him. Subsequently a print works was added, but the latter adventure proved a failure, and the plant was disposed of to William F. Sayles, in whose employ Mr. Jollie continued till his death, July 17th, 1853. He left a widow and three children. Thomas L. married Laura Whipple, and has a family of six, viz.: Mary E., Nellie A., Isabella D., Thomas L., Ettie E. and Eva M. James Henry married Harriet B. Short and has two children, Arthur W. and William Henry. The two brothers are engaged in the mercantile business at Saylesville under firm name of T.L. & J. H. Jollie. Martha A. married William W. Spaulding, of Central Falls.
p. 460-61: The Keene Family.- The first member of this family we are able to give any account of is John Keene, who married Sally Potter, and lived in Providence. He owned at one time a large tract of land on the west side of the river. On the part of this land the Arcade, in the city of Providence, is now located. He had a family of eleven children, among whom were the following: Robert, John, Lydia, who married Philip Tillinghast; Sally, married Edward Arnold; Betsey, married Joseph Randall; Marian, married William Weaver and emigrated to Illinois, and Aldrich and William, who were lost at sea. John, son of John, was born in Providence, February 19th, 1776, and died July 15th, 1869. His wife was Lavinia Williams, and they had twelve children: Sally, died aged 12 years; Philip, lives in Lincoln; Mary, died age 10 years; William, died in Providence; George H.; Daniel, went West; Albert, lives in Woodstock, Conn.; Ann, widow of Burnham Parrish of Lincoln; Rebecca, died young; John, died in the West; Charlotte (deceased) married Mason Whipple, and Lavinia, wife of Henry Studley of South Providence. George H., son of John, born in Cumberland, November 14th, 1813, married a Lapham. They had seven children: Olive, wife of Daniel Bennett, of Woodstock, Conn.; Rebecca, wife of Ira Mallocks, of Woodstock, Conn.; Ada, wife of Joseph Wilbur, of Lincoln; Elizabeth, wife of Herbert T. Blackington, of Lincoln; George Henry, Jr.; Walter, died age 19 years, and Samuel, a resident of Milford, Mass. Mr. Keene is a farmer, and has resided in Lincoln since 1834. George Henry, Jr., son of George H., was born February 15th, 1854, and has two children, Walter B. and Chloe V. He is a farmer, and resides in Lincoln.
p. 444: FERNANDO J. LANDRY was born in Joliette, Province of Quebec, November 1st, 1854. He engaged in the mercantile business, but on coming to Manville in 1876 learned the trade of weaving and worked in the mills till 1887 when he opened a bakery. He married Donaldo B. Berard and has had seven children, of whom but two are living: Zulema and Romero.
p. 461-62: ALFRED H. LITTLEFIELD was born in Scituate, RI, April 2nd, 1829. He is the son of John and Deborah (Himes) Littlefield, and one of the descendants of Edmund Littlefield, who came from England to Boston in 1637. Caleb and Nathaniel Littlefield settled at Block Island in 1721, but the family was obliged to flee from there during the revolution. Governor Littlefield's father was born in South Kingston, RI, July 15th, 1798, and his mother was born at North Kingston March 30th, 1798. The former died June 23rd, 1847, and the latter is still living. They were married March 11th, 1816, and removed to Scituate a short time before the birth of Alfred H. In 1831 they removed to Warwick, where Alfred was educated in the public schools at Natick. In 1845 he began his business career as a clerk for Joseph M. Davis, a dealer in dry goods at Central Falls. In 1851 he became one of the partners of Littlefield Brothers. The style of this firm was changed in July, 1889, to the Littlefield Manufacturing Company, of which corporation he is president. The company manufacture cotton yarns and thread. Governor Littlefield was one of the incorporators of the Pawtucket Hair Cloth Company, of which he has been a director since its organization. He is also a director of the First National Bank of Pawtucket, and the Pawtucket Gas Company. During the rebellion he was very active in aiding the Union troops, and in 1864 was appointed division inspector of the Rhode Island Militia, with the rank of colonel, which position he held for five years.
In politics Governor Littlefield was a whig until the formation of the republican party, with which he has since been identified. He belongs to a family of political distinction. Nathaniel Littlefield was a member of the general assembly from New Shoreham in 1738,1740,1746,1748 and 1754; Nathaniel, Jr., in 1758 and 1762; John, from 1747 to the revolution; Caleb, Jr., was a member of that body, and was on the committee to oppose the tea tax. William Littlefield was the father-in-law of General Nathaniel Greene. He was captain of the Rhode Island Battery. Others of the family have also become distinguished. Governor Littlefield's public career began in 1873, after the town of Lincoln had been set off from Smithfield, when he was elected a member of the town council, and subsequently re-elected four times, thereafter declining all further nominations.
In 1876 he was elected to represent the town of Lincoln in the general assembly, and was re-elected in 1877. In 1878 he was elected to the state senate, and was re-elected in 1879. In March, 1880, he received the republican nomination for governor, and at the election in April received 10,224 votes, while Horace Kimball, the democratic nominee received 7,440 votes. There being no choice by the people, as the law required a majority instead of a plurality vote, the election of governor and lieutenant governor devolved upon the general assembly, and Mr. Littlefield was chosen governor by a vote of 82 out of a membership of 109.
In 1881 the republicans and democrats again chose the same nominees as before. At this election Governor Littlefield received 10,849 votes and Mr. Kimball 4,756 votes, the republican candidate being elected. In the gubernatorial election of 1882 the two parties again for the third time pitted their favorite candidates, at which election Governor Littlefield received 10,056 votes, and Mr. Kimball 5,311, giving the former 4,589 votes for a majority over all the competing candidates in the race. The three terms of service as the chief executive of the state were acceptably rendered by Governor Littlefield, and he has become one of the most popular ex-governors the little state has ever had. In recognition of his services the Grand Army elected him an honorary member of a number of the veteran organizations of the state. Governor Littlefield is regarded as an able financier, as a man of sound judgment and great executive ability, all of which eminently qualified him for the duties of high office.
February 9th, 1853, he married Miss Rebecca Jane Northup, of Central Falls. They have had four children: Ebenezer N., Minnie J.(deceased), George H.(deceased), and Alfred H.,Jr. Ebenezer N. is now treasurer of the Littlefield Manufacturing Company, and Alfred H., Jr. is secretary
p. 462-64: DANIEL GREENE LITTLEFIELD, lieutenant governor of Rhode Island, is a manufacturer, and is distinctively a self-made man. The Littlefields of Rhode Island are supposed to be descendants of Edmund Littlefield, who came from England and landed at Boston in 1637. The family has always been conspicuous in Rhode Island history. In colonial and revolutionary times, and even to the present day, they have been repeatedly elected to the general assembly, and to other prominent positions in the state and nation. The wife of General Nathaniel Greene was a descendant of Caleb Littlefield. Governor Alfred H. Littlefield is a brother to the subject of this sketch.
DANIEL G. LITTLEFIELD was born in the town of North Kingstown, November 23rd, 1822. He is the third and oldest living son of the family of eleven children of John and Deborah (Himes) Littlefield. His mother, an active and vigorous woman, is still living at the age of 92 years. Left to the sole care of his mother, Mr. Littlefield was brought up according to the accepted New England idea of youthful training. His early advantages for obtaining an education were very limited. In reality he had none of the advantages accorded the youth in our public schools of the present day, and from necessity was put to work in the mills when but eight years of age. Yet notwithstanding, this is the man who has been devoted to the upbuilding and managing of various manufacturing corporations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island for the past 30 years and more, and whose success in life has been such that at the present time he holds the presidency of a number of prosperous concerns.The great success of Mr. Littlefield's life seems to have been due largely to those sterling qualities that have been characteristic of him throughout his whole business career. From the time he first went to work as a bobbin boy in the Jackson Mill in the town of Scituate, where his parents then resided, he gave such evidence of fidelity in the mastery of every detail of the business, as to lead to rapid and continued promotion. For over 20 years he labored in cotton and woolen mills and machine shops, and made himself thoroughly acquainted with whatever business he was engaged in, and whatever machine he operated. Naturally of a mechanical and inventive turn of mind, his early training and experience proved of great value to him over the years. In 1846 he went to Florence, Mass., and assisted in starting a cotton mill, and from this little village he went to Northampton Centre and engaged in the dry goods business, and subsequently engaged in a country variety store in Haydenville, where he had a large trade for those days. He then became agent for the cotton mill of Hayden & Sanders, selling their goods in New York and other cities. In 1856 he returned to Florence and engaged in the manufacture of daguerreotype cases, sewing machines, etc., and became president of the Florence Sewing Machine Company. In 1863 he came to Pawtucket, at the repeated solicitation of gentlemen representing the Pawtucket Hair Cloth Company, to undertake the work of perfecting the complex machinery of that company. He made arrangements to stay but one year, but his success in putting the machinery in running order was so marked the plant had soon to be expanded, and through his foresight and energy the fine large brick factory was projected and built, the charge of erection and the arranging of all the machinery being left to him. Since that period his life has been identified chiefly with this corporation, of which he is now president. In this work he has met with great success, and he has continued to reside here, having become identified with a number of industries of the city, which he has been the means of putting on a permanent and paying basis. From an editorial in one of the leading papers of the state we copy the following:
" In 1865 Mr. Littlefield visited Europe in the interests of the Hair Cloth Co., and repeated the trip in the years 1866,1868,1871 and 1872, visiting all the principal countries of Europe, and tarrying in Southern Russia, at the great horsehair mart of the world. Each time he returned with valuable information for his company, the result being an increase of business, and making the concern the only complete plant of its kind in the world ........... Mr. Littlefield's last journey across the Atlantic was in the year 1878, when he went to France as Honorary Commissioner from this state to the Paris Exposition, under appointment of the Untied States Government on the nomination of Gov. Van Zandt. Here his reputation as a mechanical expert had preceded him, and immediately upon his arrival Commissioner-General McCormick appointed him as an American Juror of Class 58, small and fine machinery and mechanism for all nations. He devoted eight busy weeks to such investigations as exhibitors craved, and successful work was done in the interests of American inventors and manufacturers, some of whom secured valuable awards, favorable notices, medals and diplomas. His travels in European countries enlarged his knowledge of the world's various industries, of machinery and raw materials and new processes in the arts and manufactures, in the application of which to practical uses he is unexcelled."Mr. Littlefield's journeys for business and recuperation have extended through many states and as far west as Montana, where he studied the processes of mining and manufacture. In 1861, and again in 1862, he was a representative from Northampton to the legislature of Massachusetts. This was during the time when the country was in the first throes of the civil war. In his legislative work he exhibited that same fidelity and mastery of detail that characterizes all that he undertakes. In 1879 and 1880 he was chosen a member of the town council of Lincoln, and in 1889, during the May session of the general assembly of Rhode Island, there being no election of lieutenant governor by the people on the first Wednesday in April previous, he was elected to that office.
In 1878 he was elected president of the Providence County Savings Bank, which office he still holds. Politically Mr. Littlefield is a republican, and was formerly a whig. In religious preference he is a Congregationalist. Socially he is a man of the people - modest and unassuming, a delightful host, at all times approachable, and a courteous gentleman.
p. 464: HAZEN W. MAGOON was born in the Province of Quebec, Canada, April 8th, 1848, and is the second son of Wilder and Electra (Blake) Magoon. He came to Lonsdale in 1870 and has had charge of the Lonsdale Company farms ever since. He married Orphelia Orcutt and has one child, Emma Adela.
p. 464-65: The Mann Family - The first person that appears on the Rhode Island records bearing the above name was James Mann, or Man, who was enrolled a freeman at Newport, May 17th, 1653. Thomas Man was a land-holder in Rehoboth, Mass., where he died. He had a son, John, born about 1694, married Abigail Arnold and purchased a farm in the northwestern part of what is now Lincoln, which property is still owned by his descendants. He died December 17th, 1782. His family were all daughters excepting the youngest, a son named John, who died October 9th, 1807, aged 72 years. John's first wife was Marcy Stafford, and their children were: Samuel, Hannah, married Jonathan Lapham, died in New York state, and Thomas. John married for his second wife a widow, Anna Aldrich. Thomas, son of John, was born September 2nd, 1769. He married Lydia, daughter of Augustus Lapham. He was a manufacturer and farmer, and was chief justice of the court of common pleas for Providence County. His children were: Job Scott and Arnold; Ruth and Mary, single ladies residing in Providence; Stafford, born February 21st, 1814, died unmarried August 23rd, 1888, and Abigail Lapham, died single. Job Scott, son of Thomas, was born March 21st, 1803, and married Olive L. Hill. He resides in East Providence and his children are: Thomas Stafford, Arnold Augustus, and Adelia Chase, who is single and resides in Lincoln. Arnold Augustus, son of Job Scott, was born April 12th, 1836, and married Philena A., daughter of Stillman Estes, of St. Albans, Vt. Their children are: George E., Bertha I.(died young), Frederic A., Mabel A., Elgie A., Grace I., John S.(died young), Ervin H. and Herbert H. He is a farmer in Lincoln. Arnold, son of Thomas, was born June 1st, 1804, and married for his first wife Ann Chase. Their three children all died young. His second wife was Mary Smith, daughter of Samuel L. Hill, and they had four sons: George, died young; Samuel H., resides in Lincoln; Charles Arnold, resides in Providence, and Herbert, died unmarried. Arnold died July 11th, 1888.
p. 465: EDWARD MANTON lived and died in the town of Johnston, RI. He was married to Catharine Alverson and had a family of six children: William, Edward, Henry, Lydia, married Doctor Moses Mowry of Johnston; Abbie, died single, and Eliza, married Doctor Stephen Harris of Coventry, R.I. William, son of Edward, also resided in Johnston, where he died, leaving a widow Freelove, daughter of John Jenckes of Smithfield; also a son, Crawford Jenckes, born in Johnston, March 19th, 1824. On the death of her husband the widow returned to her father's homestead in what is now Lincoln. Crawford J. married Esther B.Wilbur and has a family of seven children: Freelove, wife of Frank Draper of Lincoln; William James, lives in Clay County, Texas; Daniel Jenckes, married Patience Weekes and has two children, Harry and Daniel Jenckes, Jr.; Lydia, wife of Luther T. Angell, of East Providence; Crawford, married Emma, daughter of A.A. Draper of Lincoln and has one child, Alpha; Anna Evelyn and Thomas H.
p. 465-66: DANIEL MEADER was born in Sandwich, N. H., March 2nd, 1826, and was the eldest son of Ephraim and Hannah (Cooke) Meader. He was brought up on a farm and came to Smithfield, now Lincoln, in 1847. His wife was Louisa Neal, of North Berwick, Maine. His family consists of two sons, both residents of Lincoln. Walter Dennis was born December 27th, 1858, married Sophia Parmenter, and has two children, Abby Louisa and Daniel Ernest. Frank Herbert was born May 23rd, 1862, married Josephine Elliott and has one child, Herbert Freemont.
p. 466-67: SAMUEL MERRY married Abbie Wheaton and had the following children: John; Samuel, who left no issue and was lost at sea; Abby, married Otis Rhodes, who located at Homer, NY; Barney; Freelove, married a Millard; Joseph; Stewart, died young; Polly, died young; Hannah, died aged 16 years; and Benjamin, has no descendants living. Barney, son of Samuel, was born in 1783 and died in 1847. He married Phila Benson Tyler. In his early life he went to sea and at the age of 15 was the mate of a vessel. He crossed the ocean five times. At the age of 21 he came to Pawtucket where his brother Benjamin had already started in the bleaching and dyeing business. He became a partner and followed that business until his death. He was prominent in town affairs and was much interested in the Masonic Order, a Lodge in Pawtucket being named in his honor. Mr. Merry had a family of eleven children, four of whom died in infancy. Of the others Mrs. Willard is the only survivor. The names of the children were: Almira Wheaton, married Simmons Hale of Pawtucket; Mehitable T., married first Robert D. Mason, second John H. Willard (she is a widow and resides in Pawtucket); Samuel; Elizabeth, married Jesse Thornton; Benjamin, died in the West; George Augustus, died aged 19 years; and Joseph, died aged 26 years. Samuel, son of Barney, married Maria, daughter of John Dexter. He succeeded his father in the business, which he followed till 1870. His children by his first wife were: Barney, who died young, Samuel Eugene, who left one son, Henry B., a resident of New York City; Frank, George G. and Walter. Samuel married for his second wife Keziah D. Carpenter, by whom he had one child, Adelia G., who is married and resides in New York City. He died February 11th, 1875. Walter, son of Samuel, was born in Pawtucket December 20th, 1844, married Ida E. Bryant and has no children. He is in the employ of the Blodgett & Orswell Company of Pawtucket. Joseph, son of Samuel, married Amey Spaulding and had four children: Hannah, died single; Stewart; Lydia, married Samuel Mowry, and Joseph Harris. Stewart, son of Joseph, was born in Smithfield in 1809, and married for his first wife Abby Aldrich, by whom he had one child, Crawford, who died aged eight years. His second wife was Elsie Ann, daughter of Sterry Jenckes, and their children were: Estelle, died in infancy; George S. and Elsie Adelaide, single, lives in Pawtucket. Stewart died December 6th, 1875. George Stewart, son of Stewart, was born June 10th, 1847, married Susan Adelaide Blake and has four children: Cora; Ethel, Lolita and Elsie. He is a carpenter by trade and resides in Pawtucket. Joseph Harris, son of Joseph, was born April 7th, 1817, married Mary Smith and had two children: Amy, died aged 24 years, married to George L. Congdon, and Miles Greenwood. Joseph Harris died May 13th, 1863. Miles Greenwood, son of Joseph Harris, was born May 19th, 1841, married Maria Phillips, has one child, Mary G. He is a farmer and resides in Lincoln. The bleaching and dyeing business established by Benjamin Merry in 1805, in Pawtucket, is located on the same premises. In 1866 Robert D. Mason, a grandson of Barney Merry, became a partner under the style of Samuel Merry & Co. This firm continued till March 19th, 1870. A kier exploded in the works causing a damage to the property from $20,000 to $25,000. The firm then dissolved and the property was leased by Robert D. Mason in connection with Simon W. and Daniel W. Dexter, and the firm of R.D. Mason & Co. was formed. Owing to the failure of Dexter Brothers in 1876, Mr. Mason assumed the entire liabilities of R.D.Mason & Co., which he liquidated in full and became sole proprietor. They employ about 55 hands. They suffered a loss of $5,000 by an explosion in 1884. Frederic D. Mason, a son of Robert D., is at present a member of the firm.
p. 467: LUCIUS MINER was born in West Burke, Vt., February 24th, 1820, and was the eldest son of Simeon and Mary (Orcutt) Miner. He was brought up on a farm and came to Lincoln in 1841. He married Julia A. Randall, and had five children: Annie W., single; Mary R., died aged 22 years; Lewis A., Amy E., single, and Ida, wife of Oliver H. Perry, Jr., of Lincoln. Mr. Miner died May 11th, 1877. Lewis A., son of Lucius, was born in North Providence September 18th, 1852, and married Emma D. Smith. Their children are: Mary Alice, Amy Edna, Julia Lovinia, and Lewis Smith. He is a farmer and resides in Lincoln.
p. 467: JOHN MITCHELL was born in County Derry, Ireland, in 1827, and in 1839 came to America, locating in Providence, where he remained till 1857, when he commenced farming in what is now Lincoln. He married Jane Mitchell and has five children: William J., Robert H., Belle, wife of Benjamin Hawkins of Lincoln; George, and Charles.
p. 467-68: WILLIAM MOFFETT came from Killingly, Conn., to Smithfield, RI, married Elsie, daughter of Job Mowry, and had the following children: George, who died in the South; Arnold; Thomas, died in Providence; Augustus, died in Johnston; William, who was a soldier in the Mexican War and of whom nothing was ever heard; Amanda (deceased), married James Randall of Johnston; Waite (deceased), married Michael Cowan, of Woonsocket; Ann (deceased), married a Howell.. Arnold, son of William was born in Smithfield in 1799 and died in 1875. He married Sarah Borden and had one child, Arnold, born in Smithfield May 14th, 1822, married Eunice Walker, and has three children: Edmund, who married Ella Manchester and has two children, Chester and Everett; George, resides in Uxbridge, Mass., and Sarah, wife of Seba Perrin, of Pawtucket.
p. 468: CHARLES PARMENTER MOIES, son of Thomas and Susan W. (Seymour) Moies, was born in Pawtucket, March 24th, 1845. His father was well known and prominently connected with the best interests of that town. Mr. Moies received his education in the public schools of Central Falls. When 17 years of age he enlisted in Company B, 11th Rhode Island Infantry, his father being first lieutenant of the company. After serving nine months he attended a business college, then obtained a position with Browne, Sharpe & Co., Providence, remaining with them six months. In March, 1865, he went to Chicago and was employed by the C., B. & Q. R. R., until September, 1866. He then returned home, obtaining a situation as clerk in the Pawtucket Institution for Savings, of which his father was president. November 3rd, 1886, he was elected treasurer, and has since held that office, with many others, viz.: treasurer of the Pawtucket Mutual Fire Insurance Company, treasurer of the town of Lincoln, treasurer of the Central Falls Fire District, treasurer of Union School Districts 1 and 2, and in 1885-6 he represented the town of Lincoln in the general assembly. He is a member of G.A.R. Post, No. 3 of Central Falls, having been its commander two years and is much interested in Masonic affairs, a member of the Odd Fellows' Lodge, Knights of Pythias, Knights of Honor, and others. He married, December, 1876, Florence D. Wetherell, daughter of Zelotes Wetherell. They have had one child, Charles P., Jr.
p. 468-69: The Mowry Family - NATHANIEL MOWRY, the progenitor of the families by that name in the towns of Smithfield and Lincoln, was among the early settlers of northern Rhode Island, and is supposed to have been born in 1644. The earliest document in which his name appears is an agreement signed by him in 1668. He died March 24th, 1717-18. He married Joanna, daughter of Edward Inman, and had a large family of children, viz.: Nathaniel, who died single; John, Henry, Joseph, Martha, Sarah, married a Phillips; Mary, married John Arnold; Joanna, married Walter Phetteplace; Patience, married Joseph Smith; Mercy, married Edward Smith, and Experience, married John Malavery. Henry, son of Nathaniel married, November 27th, 1701, Mary, daughter of Isaac and Mary Bull, of Providence. His children were: Mary, married Jonathan Sprague; Uriah, Jonathan, Jeremiah, Sarah, married John Wilkinson; Elisha, and Phebe, married Elisha Arnold. Henry married for his second wife Hannah, widow of John Mowry. He died September 23rd, 1759. Uriah, son of Henry, was born August 15th, 1705; married Urania Paine. Their children were: Martha, married Preserved Harris; Nathan, Stephen, Philip, Gideon, Wanton, Jonathan, Mary, Elizabeth, and perhaps others. Uriah's second wife was Hannah, widow of William Arnold and daughter of Job Whipple. Stephen, son of Uriah, was born December 13th, 1731, and married Amy Cook. Their children were: Huldah, married Dutee Smith; Charlotte, married Charles Sayles; Aaron, Wanton, Mary, married Simon Thornton; Urania, married Samuel Smith; Benedict, Amasa, Stephen and Charles. Benedict, son of Stephen, was born September 23rd 1777, and died August 2nd, 1855. He married Phebe, daughter of David Mowry. Their children were: Simon, died aged 22 years, single; Fenner, and Phebe Amy, married Albert Cook. Fenner, son of Benedict, was born in August, 1797, and married Fidelia, daughter of Lindon Smith, of Glocester, R.I. Their children were: Phebe S., died aged 18 years; Simon B., resides in Michigan; Rensselaer L., and Orville, died aged three years. Fenner died July 27th, 1865. Rensselaer L., son of Fenner, was born June 13th, 1833, and married Laura A., daughter of Albert Vose. Their children were: Orville Mann (born March 13th, 1858, married Augusta, daughter of Orin Sayles, and has two children, Maria and Alice), Edgar A.,(born October 3rd, 1862, married Lottie Paton), Albert Fenner (born September 17th, 1866), Minnie Arabella, George Waldo (died in infancy), and Laura Fidelia. Mr. Mowry is a farmer and resides at Manville. He was a member of the assembly in 1877, '78,'87,and '88.
JOSEPH MOWRY, son of Nathaniel, was called "captain", and was born about 1675. He married, June 3rd, 1695, Alice Whipple, by whom he had the following children: Daniel, Joseph, Oliver, Alice, and Waite, married Israel Arnold. Daniel. son of Joseph, was born September 6th, 1697, and was also called "captain". He married Mary Steere, and died May 27th, 1787. His children were: Joseph, Thomas, Daniel, Elisha, Mary, and Alice. Elisha, son of Daniel, was born March 28th, 1735, and married Phebe Gulley. Their children were: William, Marcy, married John Randall; Ahab, Sylvester, Phebe, died single; Jesse, Nathaniel, Martha, married General Charles Jencks; Mary, died single, and Alice, married Baulston Brayton. Elisha was called "colonel", and died June 28th, 1792. Jesse, son of Colonel Elisha, was born January 5th, 1773, and married Susanna Easterbrooks. He died September 6th, 1844, and had the following family: James M., died single; Abby Ann, died aged 22 years; Lyman J., died single; Leonard S., single, lives in Lincoln; Otis T., died single; Mary Jane, widow of Palmer Valiet, resides in Burrillville, RI, and Elisha J., born October 15th, 1838, married Clara Arnold, and has two children: Lydia Arnold and Susan Ethel, who lives at Lime Rock, Lincoln, R.I.
p. 469: The Newman Family was first settled in that part of Smithfield that is now Lincoln about 1755 by Thomas Newman. He married Sarah Paine, and had a family of three sons, viz.: Nathaniel, who removed to Coventry, R.I., and his descendants emigrated to Ohio; Jeremiah, died single; and William, born in 1777, married Mary Ballou, and also had a family of three sons, viz.: Lyman, who died single; Benjamin Ballou, and William, died single. The first William died May 31st, 1828. Benjamin Ballou, son of William, was born October 12th, 1811, married Harriet Sayles, and has one child, Benjamin Ballou, Jr. He resides on the farm settled by his grandfather.
p. 470: BENJAMIN F. NEWTON was born in Providence, March 19th, 1821, and died at Pawtucket April 20th, 1886. He married Sarah M. Newton, and they had seven children: Sabra A., died young; Sabra A., married William Mason, and resides at Attleboro, Mass.; Sarah Amanda, married Edwin A. Brown, and they reside on the old homestead in Lincoln; Benjamin Franklin, died young; Lafayette D., lives at North Providence; Frank A., who resides in Pawtucket, and Emma, died young. Mr. Newton was a blacksmith, and was in business in Providence, but came to Lincoln in 1854.
p. 470: The Olney Family - The English ancestor of this family was Thomas Olney, born in St.Albans, Hertford County, England, in 1600. He left his native country April 2nd, 1635, was a shoemaker by trade, and came first to Salem, Mass., afterward in about 1637 or 1638 to Providence, and was one of the twelve who had land deeded to them by Roger Williams. He married Mary Small, and died in 1682. His children were: Thomas, Epenetus, Nedabiah, died young; Mary, married John Whipple; Lydia, married Joseph Williams;Stephen and John, both died unmarried. Thomas, son of Thomas, was born in 1632, and died in 1722. He married Elizabeth Marsh, and their children were: Thomas, William, Anne, married John Waterman; Elizabeth and Phebe, both died single. Thomas, son of Thomas, was born in May, 1661, and died March 1st, 1718. His wife was Lydia Barnes; and of their family of eight children, Obadiah was born February 14th, 1710. His son Elisha, who married a Whipple, had eight children, among whom was one Obadiah, who had six children, as follows: Joseph, Daniel, who died single; Mary, died single; Lydia, wife of William G.R. Mowry, of Providence, and two who died in infancy. Joseph, son of Obadiah, was born August 8th, 1814, and married Mary A. Bailey. Their children were: Clara, wife of A.E. Holbrook, Jr., of Providence; Helen G., died in infancy; Anna, (deceased), married Uriah H. Holbrook; George B., Charles P., and Joseph, died July 1st, 1887. He was many years engaged in farming, but for the last 18 years of his life was in the coal business in Providence. George B., son of Joseph, was born March 20th, 1854, married Ella Maria Payne, and has two children: Florence P. and Joseph. He is the senior member of the firm of Olney and Payne Brothers.
p. 470-71: OLIVER HAZARD JACKSON PERRY was born in South Kingstown, April 24th, 1828, and was the third son and fourth child in a family of eight children of Robert and Mary (Davis) Perry. In his boyhood he worked in the cotton mills, but afterward learned the trade of carpenter. Arriving at manhood he came to Providence, and had charge of Rice & Dawley's carpenter shop in that city. In 1852 he removed to Central Falls and carried on the carpenter business for a few years, when he opened a daily market in that village, which business he carried on successfully till 1875, when he purchased the farm on which he now resides. He married Emeline E. Thurber, and has had three children: Theodore, died aged three years; Clara E., wife of E.F. Bowen of Providence, and Oliver Hazard Jackson, Jr., who married Ida Miner, and has one child, Harold Thurber.
p. 471: The Randall Family. - The progenitor of this family was Joseph Randall, who came from Brest, France. He was a caulker by trade, and settled in Providence. He married Amy Eustace, and their children were: Amy, Joseph, Henry and Peter. He died March 30th, 1760. Peter, son of Joseph, was born June 12th, 1723. He was a resident of North Providence, also of Johnston. He married Freelove, daughter of Captain Stephen Dexter, for his first wife. The children of this marriage were: Joseph, Freelove, Amy, Waite, William, John and Stephen. His second wife was Anna Collins, and the children of this marriage were: Hezekiah, Nancy, Daniel, Mary and Susan. Peter died March 9th, 1808. Joseph, son of Peter, was born October 30th, 1747, and died March 5th, 1840. He lived in North Providence , and married Anna, daughter of John Comstock. He was a member of the Society of Friends. His children were: Elihu, Job, Peter, Freelove, Sarah and Shadrach. Shadrach, son of Joseph, was born May 9th, 1787, and died June 8th, 1860. He was a farmer, and married Mercy, a daughter of Deacon James Olney.
Their children were: Sabra J., died young; Shadrach, Anna, Mercy, Elizabeth, Patience, Mary and Almon. Shadrach, son of Shadrach, was born March 4th, 1816, and died in 1870 in Lincoln. He married Martha A. Smith, and their children were: William, died young; Emma F., wife of J. Thomas Peckham, of Providence; Charles F. and Harriet A., widow of Andrew Smart. Charles F., son of Shadrach, was born April 14th, 1848, married Maria Louisa Greene, and has one child, Charles Arnold. He is a farmer and lives in Lincoln.
p. 444: JOSEPH T. RICHARD was born in the province of Quebec, Canada, November 9th, 1852, and early learned the trade of carpenter. He came to Manville in 1871 and commenced to make contracts for building all descriptions of houses, and since that time has been actively engaged in that business, having built the majority of the dwellings in Manville. His business is conducted under the firm name of A. Richard & Son, and besides being builders and contractors they carry on a store for the sale of lumber, hardware and glass. Mr. Richard married Lizzie Dislow and has a family of four children: Cora, Frederick, Arthur and Lenora.
p. 471: PELEG B. SHERMAN came to Valley Falls, R.I., in 1832 and removed to Lonsdale in 1837. At the latter place he engaged in the grocery business, and at his death the business was conducted by his sons, Peleg and Hazard. The store was located in Lonsdale where Calef & Co., of Providence, now carry on business, and the property continued to be owned by the Sherman family till 1887. Peleg B., was the son of Hazard and Ruth Sherman and was born in Exeter, R.I., October 11th, 1798. He married Alcy Dawley and had a family of 14 children: Harriet, wife of Peleg B. Sanford of Providence; Mary (deceased), married Nelson Burlingame; Hazard, died in Lincoln; Susan, single, lives in Lonsdale; Peleg, single, lives in Lonsdale; Martha and Ruth, twins, the former is single and resides in Lonsdale, the latter is dead and was the wife of William Esten; George, Robert, died single; Alfred, Alcy, single, resides in Lonsdale; Sarah, Hannah, and Emily, all died young. Peleg B. died February 9th, 1848. George, son of Peleg B., was born in Cranston, R.I., February 6th, 1829. He married Laura A. Eaton and has two children: George Albert, a resident of Lincoln, and Laura Evelyn, wife of Alfred Aldrich of Lonsdale. Mr. Sherman had charge of the Lonsdale Post Office from 1841 to 1887, excepting from 1850 to 1852. During this time he held the position of postmaster for 18 years. Alfred, son of Peleg B., was born in Valley Falls, R.I., July 15th, 1832. He married Hannah T. Clarke and had two children: Alfred Everett, and Samuel, died young. Alfred died March 15th, 1888.
p. 472: The Spaulding family was first settled in Providence County by Joseph Spaulding, who came to what is now Lincoln about 1750. He married Mehitable Allen and had the following family: Mary, who married Captain John Earle of Providence; Sarah, who married Jason Newell of Cumberland; Chloe, married Gideon Sprague; Abaliah, who returned to Conn.; and Nathaniel, born July 15th, 1751. Nathaniel married for his first wife Lydia Harris and of their children but one lived to grow up, viz., Amy, who married Joseph Merry of Lincoln. His second wife was Thankful Whipple and they had eight children: Lydia, died single; Mary, married Martin Arnold; Nathaniel, Thankful, married Nicholas Tuell; Hannah, William, Sarah, married Jeremiah Olney; John, married Sarah Vose and left one child, Mary, wife of Albert Smith of Providence. These children are all dead excepting Hannah, who is single and resides on the original homestead settled by her grandfather. Nathaniel died June 8th, 1838. Nathaniel, son of Nathaniel, born March 8th, 1803, married Sarah Mason of Pawtucket. They had one child, Sarah Helen. Nathaniel died March 31st, 1889. William, son of Nathaniel, born May 1st, 1810, married Miranda, daughter of Joshua Arnold. He died February 2nd, 1852. Their family are: Charles F., Joseph E., George H., John A., Joshua E. and William W.
p. 472: ORIN SMITH was born in Smithfield, November 8th, 1822, and is the son of Jesse and Laura (Wilbur) Smith. He married Sally H. Williams and has five children: Henry A., Amanda A., wife of William J. Kent of New Bedford, Mass.; Alice, wife of Daniel Willmarth of Pawtucket; Amsden H. and Orin.
p. 472-73: RUFUS JUDSON STAFFORD, manufacturer, son of Stukeley and Dezoy Stafford, was born in Uxbridge, Mass., December 6th, 1818. When a child his father died, and upon himself devolved the necessity of making his way through life and of securing his own education. His beginnings seem to have been fraught with hardships, yet he succeeded. He became an apprentice in a cotton factory, and here his natural talents, his habits of industry and faithfulness procured him advancement. After completing the work of the day he devoted his evenings to scientific and general reading and study, and was soon qualified for holding new positions. He subsequently went to Utica, NY. At that place he directed the putting into working order the Utica Steam Cotton Mills, the first establishment of the kind in that region.
In 1852 he settled in Central Falls, which was ever after his home; purchasing a controlling interest in the old brick mill built in 1825, the largest in the place, in connection with H.B. Wood. After putting these mills in order he commenced the manufacture of cotton goods. Additions were made to the mill in 1860, and in 1862 the machinery was changed and he engaged in the manufacture of spool cotton. The discerning, industrious and energetic man was apparent in all his work. As his business became eventually very prosperous it was transformed into a joint association and incorporated under the name of the Stafford Manufacturing Company, and became one of the most flourishing companies in Rhode Island. This event took place a short time prior to his death. At this time he was contemplating the manufacture of a six cord thread, but death intervened before the arrangements were consummated. In 1854 he built the Pawtucket Gas Works. He also wove the first hair cloth made in America by power looms, and being an ingenious machinist devised important changes in the manufacture of hair cloth machinery, so that now the best cloth in the world of this kind is manufactured in this country.
Mr. Stafford was a man of fine personal appearance and noted for his uprightness, intelligence, kindness and benevolence. All looked upon him as a safe adviser and warm friend. He was a warm supporter of the Union during the late civil war, and very materially aided the cause in a pecuniary sense. Just before his death he became an earnest Christian. He was an attendant of the First Baptist Church, where his wife was a member.
He was twice married. His first wife was Catherine Wheelock, daughter of Simon Wheelock of Mendon, Mass. He had four children: Kate J., Sarah L., Andrew A., and Louisa W. His second wife was M.C.Taft, whose maiden name was M.C. Brown. Mr. Stafford died February 7th, 1864, aged 46 years. He was a prince among manufacturers and deservedly ranks as a representative man.
p. 473-75: HENRY A. STEARNS . . The father of the subject of this sketch, Captain Abner Stearns, was a soldier of the war of 1812. His mother was Anna Russell, whose grandfather, although a non-combatant, was ruthlessly shot by the British in their retreat from Lexington, Mass., April 19th, 1775. His grandfather was at the Concord fight. The captain of his company having been killed, and he being lieutenant, the command devolved upon him, and he followed the British to Boston. For many years his father was engaged in the carding of wool in West Cambridge, Mass., and also carried on a grist mill and paint mill. He was the inventor of the first machines in the country for splitting leather, and devised the first machine for dyeing silk. An uncle of Mr. Stearn's mother, a Mr. Whittemore, invented a card-setting machine, which was patented as early as 1797. For those days it was regarded as a wonderful contrivance. After many years of hard labor, Captain Stearns removed from West Cambridge to Billerica, Mass., where Henry was born, October 23rd, 1825.
When about 12 years of age his parents died. His father, being very desirous that he should have an education, left a sufficient sum of money to enable him to attend school for a while. He therefore went to Andover Academy, and for two years pursued an English course of studies. At the end of that time, being dependent upon his own resources, he supported himself by shoemaking and shopkeeping until he was 20 years of age. He then made up his mind that he would try his fortune in the West, and in the fall of 1846 went to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he engaged with a partner named Foster in the manufacture of cotton wadding, their establishment being the first of the kind west of the Alleghenies. He thus occupied himself until 1850, the works meanwhile being twice destroyed by fire and rebuilt. He disposed of this interest to Mr. George S. Stearns, and for 45 years the business has been carried on under the firm name of Stearns & Foster.
That year (1850) his attention was turned toward California. Gold had been discovered there more than a year before, and an immense emigration to the Golden Gate had set in. Believing that a steam laundry would prove profitable, he purchased the requisite machinery at Cincinnati, shipped it down the Mississippi and over the Gulf to Chagres, and then, after much labor, across the isthmus, the boiler being carried overland to Panama by detachments of men. At Panama he took passage for San Francisco in an old whaling vessel, which sprang a leak and came near floundering; the provisions became exhausted, and all on board were limited to four ounces of bread per day. For four months the old craft floated about on the Pacific, and when Mr. Stearns arrived in San Francisco he had become so much weakened that he was told by a physician that he could not live. But his health being finally restored, he set up his machinery and successfully established the first steam laundry in California. After a while he disposed of the laundry business to his partner, and purchasing an interest in a steamboat, ran the first regular steam ferry between San Francisco and the present city of Oakland. While in San Francisco he witnessed the execution by the vigilance committee of numerous ruffians who had for some time endangered the peace of the city. For the next two years he was mainly engaged in running a saw mill at San Jose and keeping a store at Gilroy. Cutting down redwood, he turned it into lumber for building purposes.
In the fall of 1853 he returned to Cincinnati and resumed the manufacture of cotton wadding with the old concern on a more extensive scale. He continued there until the spring of 1857, when, his health having been impaired and a change being considered desirable, he sold out and removed to Buffalo, New York. Here a new venture was tried. In June, 1857, he, with a partner, engaged in the manufacture of hardware. It was not many months after they began business that the disastrous financial revulsions of that year commenced, and Mr. Stearns suffered the loss of nearly all his accumulations. From Buffalo he went to Sangamon county, Illinois, where he bought a tract of timber land, set up a saw mill, and carried on a farm, and was thus occupied for two or three years.
In the early part of 1861 he removed to Pawtucket, RI, and associated himself with Mr. Darius Goff and others in the manufacture of cotton wadding. The business at that time was comparatively small, but the combined skill and energy of Mr. Stearns and his partners caused it to speedily increase, as is shown in the sketch of Mr. Goff in this volume. Since 1875 the business has been carried on under the name of the Union Wadding Company, and the establishment is now not only the largest and best equipped in the United States, but in the world. Mr. Stearns has held the position of superintendent ever since he became connected with the establishment. The company also has mills at Augusta, Georgia, and Montreal, Canada. Mr. Stearn's son George is superintendent of the former, and another son, Deshler F., and a nephew, Mr. Harold E. Stearns, are managers of the latter.
Mr. Stearns has devised several contrivances which have been of great value in his business. He has also obtained a number of patents on cotton gins and apparatus for extracting oil from cotton waste and kindred substances. Another patent obtained by him is on the railway safety-gate, which has come into such general use within a few years in all parts of the country where there are railroad crossings.
After having living a year or more in Pawtucket Mr. Stearns removed to the adjoining village of Central Falls, where he has resided upward of 25 years. In response to the calls of his townsmen he has filled various public positions. For several years he has represented the town of Lincoln in both branches of the general assembly; has served a number of terms as trustee of the public schools, and was chairman of the committee that secured the introduction of water into Central Falls. He is one of the trustees of the Franklin Saving Bank of Pawtucket, and for two years was president of the Pawtucket Business Men's Association. He is a member of the Central Falls Congregational Church and takes an active interest in its affairs, while as a citizen no man is more universally respected. he married, June 26th, 1856, Kate Falconer, daughter of John H. and Charlotte S. Falconer, of Hamilton, Ohio. They have had eight children: Deshler Falconer, George Russell, Walter Henry, Kate Russell, Charles Falconer, Henry Foster, Anna Russell (deceased), and Carrie Cranston.
The Newport County Reading Room Index More Biographies & History .