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History of Providence County, Vol I & II
Ed. by Richard M. Bayles; W.W. Preston & Co., NY. 1891
p. 702 - 704: Charles FLETCHER, president of the Providence Worsted Mills, is now, in the various mills of which he is the principal owner, the largest consumer of wool in the United States. Eminent as a manufacturer in the textile industries of the country, his record is somewhat remarkable. It would indeed be difficult to find a case parallel with his, wherein such large results, in so short a period, have been attained in manufacturing pursuits. Mr. Fletcher began at the bottom of the ladder, and is now recognized as one of the foremost manufacturers in our great country. As late as 1875 we find him beginning business for himself for the first time in a very small way, with an indomitable will, and greater capacity for labor than money for capital, and now because of constant and increasing demand for his special fabrics, the little mill in which he began, with its limited equipments, has given way to a whole plant of large buildings, in which he has in operation at this time 45 sets of woolen cards, 36 sets of worsted cards, 28 worsted combs and 52 woolen mules, having, with other spinning machinery, an aggregate of 52,800 spindles and 420 looms for weaving worsted suitings for gentlemen's wear, also overcoatings and ladies' cloakings.
Charles Fletcher was born in Thornton, near Bradford, Yorkshire, England, November 20th, 1840. He is the son of Richard and Ann (Drake) Fletcher, the father being the owner of a large variety store at that place. Charles Fletcher received his education in the public schools of Thornton, attending night schools after he began work in the mills. When 17 years of age the mills stopped, and he sought and obtained employment in the mills at Bradford. He remained in Bradford till 21 years of age, though he had completed his apprenticeship at the age of 17 years. In 1864 he came to this country and was employed one year in the Pacific Mill at Lawrence, Mass. He then returned to England, but in 1867 set sail again for America, locating this time in Providence, where he still remains.
Mr. Fletcher began his career here in the Valley Worsted Mills, in charge of one department of the work, and afterward as superintendent of the worsted department. He remained in this capacity nine years. The operations of the mill under his management were very profitable, enabling the proprietors, who were embarrassed by debt when he commenced, to pay off their obligations two years afterward. At the close of his superintendentency for them, the mills were on a strong financial basis, and earning a large interest on the capital invested.
Late in the summer of 1875, Mr. Fletcher determined to undertake the manufacture of worsted yarns on his own acccount. Accordingly he hired the small stone mill on Valley street, known as the Rising Sun Paper Mill, from Anna Richmond, trustee of the Richmond estate, and at once ordered from England a Noble comber and the necessary subsidiary machinery for the manufacture of worsted yarns. Work was begun early in 1876, Mr. Fletcher himself superintending the operation of the machinery with the utmost diligence during work hours, devoting the evenings--often far into the night-- to correspondence and the keeping of his books and accounts. He also personally sold the product of his mill, making occasional visits to the various large cities of the country for that purpose. Severe as was his routine of labor already, at the earnest solicitation of his former employers, he also exercised supervision of the work at the Valley Worsted Mills.
The success of Mr. Fletcher as a manufacturer is due wholly to the superior class of worsted goods he placed upon the market. In consequence, a demand for his yarns was created beyond the capacity of his facilites, necessitating the erection and equipment of new buildings, especially designed and adapted to the worsted manufacture. Accordingly, on the 1st of October, 1878, he purchased the mill and land, in area about 24, 000 feet, having a frontage on Valley street of 175 feet, and he has since increased the area by a purchase from the Richmond Land Company and others, so that it now measures 213,000 square feet, with a front on Valley street of 852 feet. On this property he erected six large mills, a building for the offices of the company, and numerous small buildings. Mill No. 1, erected in 1879, is 210 by 58 feet, four stories high. No. 2, erected in 1881, is 263 feet by 57 feet, four stories high, with basement; No. 3, erected in 1884, is 215 feet by 63 feet, four stories high, with an extension 36 by 36 feet, four stories high, and an ell 47 feet wide and four stories high; No. 4, erected in 1884, is 252 by 24 feet, four stories high; No. 5, erected in 1886, is irregular in shape, having an average length and width of 130 by 45 feet, and a height of two stories. In 1890 Mr. Fletcher erected a group of mills on Valley street, the largest one being 278 by 100 feet, four stories; another 120 by 80 feet., three stories high; and south of this building, called the Annex, a storehouse especially for the storage of wool, 140 by 60 feet, four stories high. In addition to the above, engine and boiler houses, dye house, storehouses, etc., have been erected as needed.
In July, 1883, Mr. Fletcher associeated with himself four of his most faithful and efficient employees, putting to their credit in the aggregate, $100,000 of the stock, with the privilege of paying for it from the profits of their shares, allowing their regular salaries still to continue, and organized the Providence Worsted Mill Company, under the general laws of the state, witha cash capital of $500,000. In 1886 this capital was increased to $1,000,000. December 31st, 1880, he purchased from the Lonsdale Company the mills and tenements at Manton, R.I. He then added a new mill, and sold the property to Horace Kimball. July 5th, 1883, he purchased the estate of the Providence Thread Company, in what had been known as the village of Simmonsville, and established an important industry, giving it the name of the Thornton Worsted Mills, naming it after the village of his birth, and put it under the immediate superintence of his son, Joseph E. Fletcher, by whom it was operated till 1888, in which year the Thornton Worsted Mill Company was formed.
In 1883 Mr. Fletcher purchased from Charles H. Whipple the mill priviledges next below that now occupied by the Thornton Worsted Mills, and erected a mill, which he leased in 1884 to the British Hosiery Company. Mr. Fletcher also became interested in the manufacture of a fabric woven of cotton yarns, under a patent granted originally to John Gujer, of Philadelphia, May 18th, 1858. Subsequently an improvement was granted to Seth W. Baker, of Providence, September 4th, 1866, and on the 30th of January, 1883, a patent for an application of this fabric was granted to Mr. Fletcher, for the manufacture of aprons for carding, combing and drawing machines, used in preparing the sliver of wool fiber. In 1886 Mr. Fletcher purchased the Narragansett Hotel. He was also one of the original instigators and builders of the cable street railroad now in successful operation in the city of Providence. The above is but a meager outline of the grand career of Mr. Fletcher's life, and his life seems but commenced.
p. 705-707: William A. HARRIS.-- The great ancestor of the subject of this sketch, William Harris, came to America from Bristol, England, in the ship "Lyon", in company with his brother Thomas and the world renowned Roger Williams. He was one of the first settlers of Providence in 1636, one of the twelve to whom Williams deeded land in 1638, and one of the 12 original members of the First Baptist church. Subsequently, he had a long controversy with the founder of the state which was characterized by a good deal of warmth on both sides.
William Andrew Harris was born in Woodstock, Conn, on the 2d day of March, 1835, the family consisting of three sons. His parents came to Providence while he was a child, and after remaining until 1840 they removed to North Adams, Mass. At the age of 11 he returned to Providence, where he has since resided. After having attended the Fountain street grammar school for about three years, the principal being Mr. Albert A. Gamwell, a famous teacher in his day, he entered the high school in 1849, where he remained until the spring of 1851, when he left to attend a boarding school at South Williamstown, Mass. While attending the high school he was one of the carriers of the 'Providence Journal', retiring therefrom, as he well remembers, on the anniversary of Washington's birthday, February 22d, 1851, he playfully remarking to one of his young companions who asked what the cannon-firing was for, that it was because he had got through carrying the 'Journal'. And here it may be remarked that to have been a carrier of the 'Providence Journal' in its early days is a distinction which gives a justifiable degree of pride to many of the prominent citizens of the 'City of Roger Williams'.
Young Harris, during the winter of 1851-2, remained at home practicing drawing. In March of the latter year he entered the Union Bank of Providence as clerk, where he remained three years. In 1855 he engaged in the employ of the Providence Forge and Nut Company, now known as the Providence Tool Company, as draughtsman. The following year he accepted a similar position with the Corliss Steam Engine Company. Here he remained eight and one-half years. On the 1st of August, 1864, he began building the Corliss engine on his own account, paying the inventor, the late George H. Corliss, a stipulated royalty. At first he occupied an old building on Eddy street which was used during the 'Dorr War' as the headquarters of Thomas Wilson Dorr's adherents. For four years Mr. Harris carried on business here. In 1869 he exhibited one of his 'Corliss Engines' at the American Institute in New York city. The 'New York Tribune', in describing it, gave it the name of the 'Harris-Corliss Engine'. Since 1870, the date when the patent on the Corliss engine expired, Mr. Harris has manufactured it, with his own and other patented improvements, under the name originally given it by the 'Tribune'.
Mr. Harris started his present extensive works on the corner of Park and Promenade streets, west of the Union railroad station, on the 17th of November, 1868. The premises occupy nearly 150,000 square feet of valuable land. The buildings, constructed expressly for the business, consist of a machine shop, blacksmith shop, iron foundry, brass foundry, pattern shop and pattern storehouse, and other structures. A large force of skilled workmen, varying with the fluctuations of business from 200 to 400, is employed in the establishment, the most amicable relations at all times existing between the employer and the employees, 'strikes' being an unheard of thing here. A large part of the machinery and tools were invented and made especially for these works, the product of which consists of stationary engines varying from 20 horse-power to 2,000. The establishment, when run on its full extent, is capable of turning out half a million dollars' worth of merchandise annually, which is shipped to all parts of the United States, and to Cuba, Mexico and Spain.
Fifty years ago a prominent feature of the arts and trades throughout New England was the apprentice system, a thing now almost unknown. But in Mr. Harris' establishment this commendable feature is still kept up. Briefly stated, the system, as devised by him and improved and perfected by the experience of years, makes his works a manual or industrial training school of the best and most practical kind, covering a period of three years, that being the term of apprenticeship. During this time the learner is thoroughly taught to execute every part of the complex work in the best manner, so that when his apprenticeship is ended he is the master of a good trade, and can, if he chooses, find employment where he learned the business. A large proportion of the workmen employed by Mr. Harris have thus been instructed under the direct supervision of his superintendent and foremen, thereby securing skilled mechanics and a total exemption from the friction which so often exists between employer and employed. Every man in the establishment thoroughly understands what is expected of him, and upon compliance therewith merits and receives the approbation of the proprietor.
In the war of the rebellion Mr. Harris entered the service of his country as a member of the 10th Regiment, Rhode Island Volunteers, and after serving the full period of his enlistment he received an honorable discharge. He is a much esteemed comrade of Prescott Post, No. 1, G. A. R., of Providence; served as an aide-de-camp on the staff of Cammander-in-Chief Rea; was chosen a member of the council of administration of the Department of Rhode Island at the annual encampment in 1890; and at the annual encampment in 1891 was chosen as delegate-at-large to the national encampment to be held in Detroit, Michigan, in August, 1891.
In politics Mr. Harris is a republican. He has represented his ward in the city council, and for four successive years (1882- 6) he was chosen representative to the general assembly.
He married, September 8th, 1859, Eleanor F. Morrill, of New Hampshire. They have two sons, Frederick W. and William A., Jr.
Mr. Harris is a Unitarian in religious belief, and has for many years been a regular worshiper at the First Congregational church in Providence. As a citizen he is widely known throughout the state and universally respected by all classes. By his uprightness of character and other sterling qualities he has won an honorable position in business and social circles in the city where he has so long resided.
p. 707 - 709: William S. HAYWARD was born in Foster, R.I., February 26th, 1835. His early youth was spent on a farm while attending the public school. In 1847 he went to Old Warwick, R.I., where he engaged in farming, attending the district school during the winter months. Removing to Providence, his present home, in 1851, he obtained employment in a baking establishment and followed that business until 1858, when he purchased an interest with Rice & Hayward. Two years later he became a partner under the firm name of Rice, Hayward & Co. In 1863 Mr Hayward bought the entire interest of the firm, and continued alone in business until 1865, when Mr. Fitz James Rice again became his partner, which copartnership has existed until the present time. An extended notice of such a well-known establishment would be superfluous. We suffice to say its prosperity is largely due to Mr. Hayward's sterling qualities, which insure success, whether in business or at the head of a municipal corporation.
His fellow citizens were not long in recognizing this fact, and in consequence he was called upon to fill many positions of honor and trust. In 1872, Mr. Hayward was elected to the common council of the city of Providence, and annually reelected until 1876. During his terms of office in this branch of the city government, he served on many important committees, acting as chairman of the committee on fire department, public parks, etc. We may here mention that Mr. Hayward has always been a supporter of all measures for the benefit of the city and people, and has contributed much of his time and means to the furtherance thereof. The beautiful fountain which adorns the center of Hayward Park was his present to the citizens of the city of Providence in 1889. In 1876 he was elected a member of the board of aldermen, and in 1878 was chosen its president, which office he held three years.
In November, 1880, Mr. Hayward was nominated and elected mayor of the city of Providence, succeeding the Honorable Thomas A. Doyle. He brought to that office the ripe experience of a long training in the common council and board of aldermen, a sound judgment, and an enterprising spirit, and it is unnecessary to say his position was filled to the entire satisfaction of the community. After serving as mayor for the years 1881, 1882 and 1883, he declined a renomination for the office.
The following notes are from newspaper articles published after his valedictory address. 'Providence Journal', January 5th, 1884: 'The pleasant words of thanks to Mayor Hayward, which accompanied the close of his legislative functions, have much more than an official and perfunctory significance. They indicate not only the warm feeling of personal respect and regard of his associates, won by unfailing kindliness and impartiality, but that of the community as well, for a high order of administrative ability, sincere devotion to the public welfare, and a graceful courtesy and dignity worthy of the chief magistrate of the city.'
The 'Providence Evening Press', January 7th, 1884, gives an extended editorial. Among other things it says: 'The valedictory address of Mayor Hayward, delivered before the city council, to-day, very properly is confined to a brief summary of some of the more important operations of the various departments of the city government during his term of office, which has embraced the past three municipal years. It informs us that the net city debt has been decreased during that period $593,646.43' After referring to other matters in the address, is sums up as follows: 'Such is a brief summary of the matters treated is the valedictory address of His Honor, Mayor William S. Hayward, now ex-mayor of the city of Providence -- than whom no more honest, upright, well-meaning man, ever occupied the mayoral office of this or any other city in the land. He has given twelve years of an honest man's life to the service of the city in one and another of the different branches of its municipal goverment, and retires to-day to private life crowned with the enviable, imperishable honor of a well spent public career, and laden with the grateful thanks of his fellow citizens.'
The 'Providence Evening Telegram', January 7th, 1884, says: 'At noon to-day Mayor Hayward performed the last official act of his administration, and bade farewell to the halls of municipal legislation. There was a tinge of sadness to his final parting words, for during the three years he occupied the mayoral office he had endeared himself to all officials of the city government, and to our citizens generally by his faithful discharge of duties, courteous and affable manners.'
Honorable Thomas A. Doyle again succeeded to the mayoralty after the retirement of Mayor Hayward. The following is a quotation from his inaugeral address of January 7th, 1884: 'In declining to be a candidate for reelction to the position to which his fellow citizens would have again cheerfully called him, Honorable William S. Hayward closes a term of service highly honorable to him, and creditable to the city. In assuming once more the position of private citizen, he takes with him not alone the esteem of a large number who have been associated with him during his twelve years of service in the municipal government, but he has won the respect of the citizens of Providence, whose interests he has honestly guarded and always endeavored to promote.'
Mr. Hayward is president of the Bank of America, and is a director in the Citizens' Savings Bank and the National Eagle Bank. In 1885 he was elected a representative in the state legislature and was reelected in 1886. He was appointed a member of the state board of charities and corrections by Governor Bourn, January 23d, 1884, and was reappointed by Governor G. P. Wetmore in 1886, and is still in office. He has been a member of the committee on buildings and repairs, and for five years a chairman, during which time many new buildings have been erected at the state institutions, notably the new alms house, a structure 730 feet in length, and with accommodations for 400 people.
Mr. Hayward is a member of the Masonic fraternity, of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Franklin Lyceum, Providence Light Infantry, Squantum Club, and other societies and organizations.
He married November 9th, 1859, Miss Lucy Maria Rice, daughter of Fitz James Rice, Esq.
[Facing page: portrait of William S. Hayward]
p. 709 - 710: Thomas J. HILL is one of the oldest and most active of the business men in Providence. His is the son of Cromwell Hill, a native of Rehoboth, Mass., who removed to Pawtucket, R. I., about the year 1800, soon after his marriage with Cynthia Walker. Mr. Hill was born at that place March 4th, 1805. He obtained an ordinary school education, and after working a few years with his father and in the mills of Pawtucket, entered the machine shop of Pitcher & Gay, with whom he remained nine years as journeyman and apprentice. In April, 1830, he went to Providence and took charge of the machine ship connected with the steam mill then owned by Samuel Slater. A few years later he purchased two-fifths interest with his employer. They then associated in business under the name of the Providence Machine Company. Mr. Slater died in 1835, and his interest was sold to other parties. Under the management of Mr. Hill the business improved rapidly until 1845, when it became necessary to have larger quarters. New buildings were erected, and the following year Mr. Hill became sole proprietor of the Providence Machine Company. In 1867 a charter was obtained by him for the corporation, but it was not until 1874 that the company was organized, with Mr. Hill as president and treasurer, his son, Mr. Albert Hill, as secretary, and Mr. George Hazard as manager and agent. In 1837 he bought the Lee Mill at Willimantic, Conn., and for several years operated it in the manufacture of thread and machinery.
Observing an opportunity for manufacturing in Lewiston, Maine, he associated himself with a number of Boston capitalists, who organized the Bates Manufacturing Company, and built extensive cotton mills. At that place, in 1850, Mr. Hill erected a foundry and rented a machine shop, where he built machinery for the mills associating himself with Mr. Samuel W. Kilvert, a former foreman in his foundry at Providence. About ten years later he sold this plant. In 1859 he bought the Peckham Mills, at East Greenwich, R.I., and started there what is now known as the Bay Mills. This mill he afterward gave to his two sons. The Providence Dredging Company was organized by him in 1866, and a year later he organized the Rhode Island Malleable Iron Works, and in 1874, the Providence Pile Driving and Bridge Company was established by him. Subsequently he founded the village of Hill's Grove, on the N.Y., P. & B. railroad, and in 1875 he started a cotton mill there of upward of 20,000 spindles, which he named Elizabeth Mill, a compliment to his wife.
Besides being a large manufacturer, Mr. Hill has been prominently identified with various banking institutions and insurance companies, and has held several positions of trust and responsibility. He has been president of the Lime Rock National Bank for over 35 years, and vice-president of the City Savings Bank from 1859 to 1884, of which he was also one of the board of trustees. He was a member of the Providence city council during the years 1848-52, 1855-56, and 1878. Mr. Hill has also served as a member of the general assembly of Rhode Island. He is a member of the Rhode Island Historical Society, and of the Rhode Island Agricultural Society.
Mr. Hill has been married three times: first, October 12th, 1825, to Betsey Brown, daughter of Sylvanus and Ruth Brown, of Pawtucket, who died May 9th, 1859; second, December 9th, 1961, to Olive L. Farnham, daughter of Stephen and Hannah Farnham, of Canterbury, Conn., who died November 16th, 1866; and third, August 9th, 1869, to Elizabeth C. Kenyon, daughter of John H. and Ruth Kenyon, of Warwick, R.I. By the first marriage there were six children: James Brown, Abby Ann, William Wallace, Albert, Amanda Elizabeth and Thomas Henry, three of whom died in infancy. There were no children by the other marriages.
p. 710 - 713: William Henry HOPKINS, coal merchant, belongs to one of the old and prominent families of New England. His ancestor, Joseph Hopkins, married Martha Whaley, supposed to be a daughter of the regicide judge of Charles II. John Hopkins, son of Joseph, settled in West Greenwich and died there in 1791. Jonathan Hopkins, son of John, married Mary, daughter of Robert Whitford of East Greenwich, in April, 1760. In 1781 he moved to Jamestown, R.I. Their sons were: Job, Oliver, Fones and John. Oliver Hopkins, the father of the subject of this sketch, was a successful farmer, owning 80 acres of land of what is now Conanicut Park, and where he lived from the time he was 17 years old till his death in 1851. He was a licensed preacher of the Baptist church, in the town of Jamestown.
William H. Hopkins, son of Oliver and Rhode (Hathaway) Hopkins, was born at Jamestown, R.I., April 7th, 1817. He received but a common school education, but by native ability, energy, tact and perseverance, he has risen to prominence as a citizen of the state. In the fall of 1831 he first came to Providence and set himself to work to learn the jewelry trade. He remained in this business from 1835 to 1840, and was the first to use steam power in the manufacture of this line of goods. About this time his father's health greatly declined, and he went back to Jamestown to take charge of the farm. Outdoor exercise proved healthful to him, and when he returned to the city he engaged in the teaming business. In 1840 he formed a partnership with Jacob Manchester, under the firm name of Manchester & Hopkins, for the sale of masons' building materials, curbstone and coal, with general team work. The business of the new firm increased so rapidly they were obliged to seek new quarters, and they accordingly purchased 52,000 square feet of land in what at the time seemed to be an out-of-the-way place on Eddy street. Their equipments from the Dorrance street wharf were now moved into the new yard, where their facilities for handling coal, together with their methods of doing business, soon secured for them the largest retail trade, in that line, then carried on in any of the states in New England. In 1864 Mr. Gorham Park Pomroy and Mr. John H. Hopkins, both clerks in the establishment, were admitted as partners, and the firm became Manchester, Hopkins & Co. June 30th, 1871, Mr. Manchester died and the firm became Hopkins, Pomroy & Co., Mr. Edgar Arnold Hopkins being subsequently admitted as a partner. In 1878 they disposed of their brick and lime business to Manchester & Hudson, their former clerks, since which time they have confined their own energies to the coal trade.
The company now occupy two extensive wharves, covering an area of nearly four acres. They operate nine engines, nearly 100 horses, carts and wagons, and own blacksmith and wheelwright shops for doing their work. Mr. Hopkins possesses an inventive mind, and at his suggestion, the best coal tub then in use was improved, manufactured and patented by Focht & Warren of Reading, Pennsylvania, and was universally used until recently without an attempt at improvement or change from its original design. He was the first to bring into use the four wheeled cart, now seen everywhere, and on which he would not, in consideration of our poor beasts of burden, take out letters patent. He was the first to build 'pockets' for the storing of coal, and his plans were copied by persons who came to see them from all portions of the East and West. He was the first person, when in the jewelry business, to use steam power in the manufacture of jewelry, and his generous nature is such, that he has permitted his inventions to be used without royalty to himself.
In 1865 Mr. Hopkins purchased a handsome summer residence and about 60 acres of land in Seekonk, Mass. The farm has since that time been increased by various purchases until it now embraces 325 acres of beautiful meadow lands. It is situated about two miles from the city of Providence, and has on it four houses for his farmers, together with cattle, horse and carriage barns, and other equipment for a first-class, well regulated place. At each barn is a large windmill for pumping water upon the lawns, and for his stock at the barns. He has also a large steam engine for cutting and steaming fodder, and a large refrigerator in the creamery for cooling milk. Under his skill much of this land, once but dense swamps and worn out pastures, has been reclaimed and enriched, till now it is a beautiful and a fertile piece of property. Four thousand feet of vitrified pipe, and a large amount of tile and stone drain have been laid for underdraining it, and it is under a high state of cultivation, producing the best crops of all kinds of grain. In 1876 a fire broke out and consumed the barns and 65 head of the finest Jersey cattle in the state. The new barn was immediately rebuilt, being 60 by 145 feet, covering the foundation occupied by the four that were burned. Under this large barn he has eight silos, each of which holds over 35 tons of provisions for his cattle.
Mr. Hopkins has held numerous offices of trust in the gift of the people. From 1856 to 1864 he was councilman from the Fifth ward and chairman of the committee on highways, a position involving a great tax upon his time and much prudence in management. From 1866 to 1871 he was alderman from his ward, and in 1871, 1872 and 1873 was elected to the general assembly. In the legislature he was chairman of the committee on charities and corrections. In May, 1874, he was appointed by Governor Howard a member of the board of state charities and corrections, which has in charge all the state eleemosynary and reformatory institutions, and was re-appointed by Goveror Lippitt in June, 1875, for six years. Acting in this capacity without compensation, he has rendered important service to the state and humanity. Mr. Hopkins was active in the formation of the board of trade of Providence, of which he was vice-president for two years, and a member of the committee of council for several years. He was a director of the Charitable Fuel Association, and the Providence Aid Society, one of the directors of the Union Horse Street Railway Company for many years, and is a member of the Mechanics' Association, the Rhode Island Historical Society, the Rhode Island Society for the Encouragement of Domestic Industry, and the Providence Horticultural Society, in all of which he has held offices. He is also a director of the Bristol County Agricultural Society. In his official life he was always on the alert, in search of invention and improvement, and was the first to urge the introduction of the fire alarm, and the building of Point street bridge.
In 1836 Mr. Hopkins joined the Six Principle Baptist church of Providence, called the Roger Williams church, which has since passed out of existence. He now attends the Broad Street Christian church, and for several years was the president of that society. He was one of four in Providence to aid in the organization of the Free Soil party, and afterward of the republican party.
He married June 29th, 1836, Susan Arnold Ellis, of Warwick, R.I., daughter of Halsey Ellis. They have had seven children: John Henry, who married first, Minnie Lawrence, and second, Ella Irons; Rhoda Hathaway, who married John Adams; Edgar Arnold, who married Anna Millen; Amy Elizabeth, who married Earl H. Potter; Susan Adelaide, died young; Ella Arrazine, deceased; Hattie Leverne, who married Frank Chaffee, and died December 29th, 1879.
p. 713 - 714: Hiram HOWARD was born in Woodstock, Conn., November 26th, 1834. He was educated in the district schools of his native town, and in the academies of Eastford, Ashford and South Woodstock, Conn., and Webster, Mass., and when 18 years of age he came to Providence and obtained employment with the firm of Moulton & Rodman as bookkeeper. His desires being more metropolitan than could be gratified in his adopted city, he went to New York and engaged with T. B. Bynner, a jobbing jeweler, remaining in his employ until 1858, when he was admitted to a partnership, the name of the firm being changed to T. B. Bynner & Co. He remained a member of the concern until 1861, and then enlisted in the Second Regiment Artillery, New York Volunteers, and was honorably discharged after three years' service. He again engaged with T. B. Bynner in 1864 as traveler, was soon admitted into the firm, and remained a partner until 1874. From March 1st of that year until January, 1875, he was with the firm of A. L. Kotzow & Co., selling their product of solid gold chains. He then formed a partnership with Mr. Nicoud, under the firm name of Nicoud & Howard, importers of watches, which relations lasted until 1880.
But during the meantime, in the year 1878, Mr. Howard commenced at Providence, in a small way, the manufacturing jewelry business, under the firm name of H. Howard & Co., making a line of sets, which during those days were so popular with the trade. Thus when he relinquished his partnership with Mr. Nicoud, he had a business started which required his undivided attention. It had always been the desire of Mr. Howard to be at the fountain head, for as long ago as he had relations with Mr. Bynner, he worked persistently to get the consent of his partner to enter the manufacturing business, wishing to offer to thier customers goods of their own designs and make, rather than depend upon the skill of others to produce the articles they could handle. In 1884 his son, Stephen C. Howard, was admitted a partner in the business, and the firm named adopted was Howard & Son, remaining the same ever since. Mr. Howard has been connected with manufacturing about twelve years, starting small, and doing a safe, steady and wonderfully increasing business.
In the fall of 1885 the firm conceived the idea of adding a separate branch to their line of production, and 'The Sterling Company' for formed, which since the start has been a ready means of increasing their sales and bringing in concerns into the acquaintance of a new line of customers separate entirely from those purchasing the American lever cuff and collar buttons.
When Mr. Howard started in the manufacturing business he stated that his ambition was to be at the head of an establishment where 150 hands were employed. This wish has been more than realized, for during the last year the firm have had in busy times upon their payroll, exclusive of their office force and salesmen, 180 operatives.
Mr. Howard was married April 18th, 1854, to Miss Mary Kenyon, a native of Providence, and the daughter of the late Stephen C. Kenyon. His son Stephen is the only child they had. Mr. Howard has been connected with the Manufacturing Jewelers' Board of Trade since its organization, and has been a member of its board of directors. Mr. Howard is a member of the Eureka Lodge, No. 243, F. & A. M., of New York city, also of the Reform Club of the same city.
p. 714 - 716: Oliver JOHNSON, son of Elisha and Asee (Albro) Johnson, was born at East Greenwich, R.I., June 14, 1799. His paternal ancestor in this county came from Wales and settled on the island of Rhode Island, where, in company with his brother, he commenced the business of fulling and dressing cloth, which he had pursued in his native country. He subsequently removed to that part of East Greenwich now called Frenchtown, where he purchased a tract of land (part of which is still owned by the Johnson family) and erected a mill and dwelling house. Benjamin Johnson, the grandfather of Oliver, served for some time as judge of the common pleas court, and at the time of his death was one of the judges of the supreme court of Rhode Island, which position he had occupied for several years. Mr. Johnson's maternal ancestors were of French descent. He was educated at the common school in his native town, and Washington Academy at Wickford. At the early age of 15 he began to teach school, and thus worked his way through the academy, and was enabled to acquire a good education. He continued to teach until he was 23 years of age.
In 1822 he quit teaching, and, with Whipple A. Arnold, engaged in general merchandising at Centreville, R.I. After being thus associated for about two years the partnership dissolved, and Mr. Arnold continued to carry on the business alone. He next opened a variety store in a building owned and occupied by Doctor Sylvester Knight, and having a desire to learn the drug business, added drugs and medicines to his stock. For some time he was assisted by Doctor Knight, and studied with him until he had acquired a thorough knowledge of the drug business. He continued in business at Centreville until 1833, and a part of the time while there kept the Centreville Hotel, and also engaged in cotton manufacturing with John J. Wood.
In April, 1833, he removed to Providence, where he has since resided. The year of his removal to Providence he and Doctor Knight opened a wholesale drug store on Weybosset street, where they continued until the death of Doctor Knight in 1841. The stock and fixtures of this store were then sold to Grosvenor & Chace, of Providence, and Mr. Johnson afterward opened a store for the sale of drugs, groceries, cotton, cotton goods and manufacturers' supplies, at the present site of the 'Journal' office, where he continued in business alone, and succeeded in building up a large and profitable trade. In 1846 he removed his business to 13 Exchange street, and has continued there until the present time. In consequence of increased trade, his store has been greatly enlarged, and now extends through to Exchange place. In 1852 he associated with his son, William S. Johnson, and the firm continued as Oliver Johnson & Son until 1859, when Benjamin W. Spink, who had for several years been in Mr. Johnson's employ, was also admitted as a partner, and the business has since been continued under the firm name of Oliver Johnson & Co. They also have a large building on the corner of Eddy and Elm streets, where they grind white lead and colors.
Mr. Johnson is at present the oldest wholesale druggist in the state, and, though not now an active partner, being over 91 years of age, still retains a relish for the activity of business, and may be seen almost every day at his desk in the counting room. His uprightness of character and business qualifications have won him the esteem of his fellow citizens, and caused him to be called upon to fill various public positions. He was justice of the peace and notary public in Warwick for some time; in 1841, '52, '53, '54, '56 a member of the city council of Providence, holding while there the offices of chairman of the committee on education, chairman of the committee on highways, and was instrumental in locating and purchasing the present site of the city hall. He was a representative in the general assembly of Rhode Island in 1854, '55 and '57, holding there the office of chairman of the committee on corporations, and was a member of the two conventions in 1841, called for the purpose of drafting the constitution of the state. He has been a director in several insurance companies; was a director of the City National Bank from 1834 to 1848, and has been a trustee of the Mechanics' Savings Bank since 1864, having been one of the incorporators in 1854. He has also been a director of the Westminster Bank several years.
He has been an active and prominent member of the order of Freemasons since June 7th, 1823, at which time he was initiated in Manchester Lodge, No. 12, at Coventry, R.I. Notwithstanding the religious and political persecution to which Freemasons were subjected during the anti-Masonic movement, Mr. Johnson remained firm in his adherence to the order. He was twice called before the church of which he was then a member to answer to the charge of being a Freemason; but the charge was withdrawn. He received all the degrees in Ancient Masonry, and the orders of Knighthood, and was honored with the highest offices in the gift of the fraternity. He was elected grand master of Masons by the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island in 1855-56; (grand commander) eminent commander of St. John's (Encampment) Commandery in 1859; and grand high priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Rhode Island in 1860. He has received in all 44 degrees and orders, including the degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rites. On the 6th of July, 1816, when 17 years of age, he joined the First Baptist church in Exeter, R.I., and has since been a member and prominent leader in many other churches.
He has been twice married; first to Hannah S. Davis, daughter of Ezra D. and Mahitable (Reynolds) Davis, of Davisville, R.I., September 5th, 1824. She died May 24th, 1862, aged 57 years. They had two sons: William S. and Edwin A. Johnson. He married, second, February 23d, 1864, Cordelia M. Stanwood, daughter of Solomon and Jane D. (Hamoor) Stanwood, of Ellsworth, Maine. Mr. Johnson was for many years a member of the standing committee of the Rhode Island Society for the Encouragement of Domestic Industry, and has given considerable attention to agriculture, having for some time owned a farm on Coweset bay, in Warwick.
[Facing page: portrait of Oliver Johnson]
p. 717 - 727: Benjamin B. and Robert Knight
p. 728 - 731: Herbert W. LADD. -- Among the younger men of Rhode Island, none is more widely or favorably known than the subject of this sketch. In the numerous public positions which he has filled, he has discharged the duties in a manner highly creditable to himself, and to the fullest satisfaction of those who called him to service.
Herbert Warren Ladd, son of Warren and Lucy (Kingman) Ladd, was born in New Bedford, Mass., October 15th, 1843. He was educated in the public schools of New Bedford, and was graduated from the high school of that city in 1860. Shortly after his graduation he entered a wholesale dry goods house, where he remained a year, when, in 1861, he accepted a position on the 'New Bedford Mercury'. His abilities were at once recognized, and he soon became one of the most efficient reporters and correspondents of that paper. As a writer he was clear, accurate and graphic, and his letters to the 'Mercury' from various points in the South and West during the war for the suppression of the rebellion were of exceptional merit and interest. The first Sunday newspaper published in New England, outside of Boston, was an extra 'Mercury' issued by him to announce the battle of Fredericksburg.
In 1864 he re-entered the dry goods business in Boston, with White, Brown & Co., then the largest importers of foreign dress goods in the United States. In the spring of 1871 he came to Providence and founded the extensive dry goods house now widely known by the name of the H. W. Ladd Company, of which he is president, and with which he has been prominently identified a score of years. Here his ability as an organizer first manifested itself, the business of this large retail establishment being conducted with as much system and attention to details as that of any railroad or steamship corporation in the country.
Although engrossed with a large and constantly increasing business, he has always taken a lively interest in public affairs. He was the founder, and for three years president, of the Providence Commercial Club, an organization which embraces in its membership the representative men of the city and state, and the reputation of which is widely extended by reason of the large number of distinguished men from all parts of the country who have attended its gatherings and spoken on topics which were engaging public attention. He was also one of the organizers of the Congregational Club, one of the most flourishing institutions of its kind in New England. For two years he was vice-president of the Providence Board of Trade. As president of the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, he devised the present systematic and efficient organization of that philanthropic association. When he assumed the presidency, the institution was literally 'without house or home', the children entrusted to its care being provided for as best they could be under the circumstances. But, notwithstanding the pressure of his own business, he remained at the head of the society until, by his persistency of purpose and untiring energy, it was enabled to procure a spacious house in a pleasant location, making for the little ones a home of which the city and state may well be proud. No worthy charity is ever brought to his attention without meeting a quick and generous response.
Numerous other organizations, among which may be mentioned the Young Men's Christian Association of Providence, of which he is a member, and to which he is a large contributor, the Providence Press Club, and the Rhode Island Choral Association, have experienced the benefit of his personal enthusiasm and liberal public spirit. He is also a prominent member of the Hope Club and other social organizations, and a director in the Atlantic National Bank of Providence. Though frequently invited to the same position in larger financial institutions in the city, he has never been able to give to them the time which he felt that their importance demanded. In the movement for enlarged and better railway terminal facilities for the city of Providence he has always taken a deep interest, and the plans adopted are very nearly identical with those advocated by him in 1884.
Although repeatedly urged, it was not until the spring of 1889 that he consented to become a candidate for any office in the gift of the people. His uniform reply was: 'I am a business man, and not trained in the school of politics'. But that year, in response to the earnest solicitations of the republicans of Rhode Island, he allowed his name to be used as a candidate for governor, and was unanimously nominated in the convention. The republicans had hardly an even chance for electing their ticket. There was no choice of governor by the people, but he was elected by the general assembly. To the office of chief magistrate of the state he brought the same energy and public spirit which had characterized him in his private business. There was no portion of the state's affairs with which he did not at once make himself intelligently familiar; and without any disparagement to his long line of honorable predecessors, it may be truthfully stated that Rhode Island has never had a more progressive governor, one who better understood its wants and made provision for meeting them. He inaugurated public improvements which, when fully completed, will reflect great credit upon his sagacity and foresight, and entitle him to be forever remembered with gratitude by his fellow citizens.
In his annual message to the general assembly he called attention to the necessity of a new and better state house in Providence. Appended to the message were engravings of the modern capital building of twelve different states, thus strikingly illustrating Rhode Island's poverty in this respect. A commission, of which Governor Ladd was made chairman, was mmediately appointed to recommend a suitable site and obtain plans and estimates for a new building. Another matter in which Governor Ladd became deeply interested was the establishment of a state home for disabled and indigent veterans of the war of the rebellion. In Goveror Ladd the old soldier had always a firm friend, and as chairman of a commission appointed by the general assembly, he was largely instrumental in securing for this purpose, as a gift from the town of Bristol, the Greene farm comprising upward of one hundred acres. The formal transfer of the land by the president of the town council to Governor Ladd as the representative of the state, was made a notable event in local history. The formality was observed with great ceremony and according to ancient custom, a handful of sod, as a token representing the metes and bounds, being given and received as emblematic of the gift from town to state.
The state militia also had cause for gratitude to Goveror Ladd, for to him is due the credit of obtaining the new uniforms which were so much needed. Moreover, a vist to Washington was the occasion of a personal interview with the secretary of war in the interests of the state militia, the result of which was a valuable addition to the arms of the Rhode Island troops.
The condition of the roads in the state also received attention in the governor's message, and suggestions were made as to how they might be improved. After referring to the great necessity which existed for an intelligent reform in road making and road keeping, and the advantage to the state of a uniform road law, he remarked: 'To keep well built roads in good repair, under intelligent supervision and single authority, is not costly; a poor road is costly under all circumstances.' As the result of calling attention to this subject, in many parts of the state an improvement in the management of the highways is already perceptible. Many other matters of a practical nature recieved attention in this message, and that they commended themselves to the legislature is evidenced by the fact that, notwithstanding the house of representatives was democratic, 2,000 extra copies of the message were ordered printed by that body.
During the summer of 1889 Governor Ladd resided at Newport, where he had the honor of entertaining President Harrison and other distinguished guests. Later, ex-President Cleveland was a guest at "Maycroft". He also entertained Admiral Brown de Colstoun and other officers of the French flagship "Arathusa", who, with other naval and military officers stationed at Newport, as well as some of its most distinguished citizens, visited Providence, where a banquet was served, after which they inspected some of the important manufacturing establishments in the city.
As an illustration of the watchfulness of Rhode Island's interests which characterized Governor Ladd's administration, it may be mentioned that while at Newport attention was called by him to the fact that at Narragansett Pier an opportunity was furnished for making one of the finest ports on the Atlantic coast, enabling European steamers to land passengers in New York several hours quicker thus by the present ocean route.
Being deeply interested in the location of the World's Fair in 1893, he invited the business men and respresentatives of business associations from all parts of the state to a conference in Providence in the fall of 1889. An interesting discussion of the subject was had, and representatives from New York, Chicago and Washington were present, who advocated the claims of their respective cities. The agricultural interests of the state received a good deal of attention from Governor Ladd, and the Farmers' Institute meetings during his term proved a great success. The experiment station at Kingston also had reason to appreciate his assistance. During his term Governor Ladd assisted in laying the corner-stone of the new building of the Providence Young Men's Christian Association.
The crowning act of Governor Ladd's official life occurred in connection with the 121st annual commencement of Brown University, he being present as the state's representative. At the conclusion of the alumni dinner, and before the more formal post-prandial exercises began, President Ezekial G. Robinson announced to the large assembly that he was authorized to state that His Excellency had decided to present to the university an astronomical observatory and its full equipment. This announcement was received with the wildest enthusiasm. Never was there a more gratifying surprise to the students, alumni and friends of the university than this munificent gift of Governor Ladd, and for which all Rhode Islanders and the sons of Brown, wherever located, justly felt a deep sense of gratitude to the public spirited donor. Others have followed his noble example of generosity, and the university has received a fresh impetus therefrom.
In the spring of 1890 Goveror Ladd's adminstration of the state's affairs received emphatic endorsement by his unanimous re-nomination, but, owing to dissensions and disagreements as to party policy, for which he was in no way responsible, the republicans suffered defeat.
Governor Ladd married, May 25th, 1870, Emma Frances, daughter of Caleb Gerald and Elizabeth Holmes Burrows, of Providence. Of six children, only two are living: Elizabeth Burrows and Hope. Mrs. Ladd died just as her husband entered upon his duties as governor.
p. 731 - 733: Henry LIPPITT was born in Providence, R.I., October 9th, 1818. He is decended from John Lippitt, who came to Rhode Island in 1638, two years after its settlement by Roger Williams, and was the first of the name who arrived in this country. In 1647 he was one of the committee appointed to organize the colony under the parliamentary charter. The ancestors of the subject of this sketch were among the pioneer cotton manufacturers of Rhode Island. In November, 1809, Christopher and Charles Lippitt, Benjamin Aborn, George Jackson and Amasa and William H. Mason organized the Lippitt Manufacturing Company, with a capital of $40,000. Christopher Lippitt was the first agent of the company. Their mill, which was erected in 1807, in what is now the village of Centreville, in Warwick, was the third in the state. The yarns were first woven by hand looms into cloth, but in 1820 power looms were introduced into their factory.
Warren Lippitt, son of Charles and father of Henry, was in early life a sea captain, but subsequently entered into business in Providence as a cotton merchant, having also a branch house in Savannanh, Ga. Henry received a good English education at the academy in Kingston, R.I. Shortly after leaving the academy he entered into mercantile business, and from that time to the present he has been actively identified with the commercial and manufacturing interests of the state. He is also connected with a number of the leading financial institutions in Providence, as well as various corporations outside of manufacturing. He is president of the Silver Springs Bleachery and Dyeing Company, and his eldest son, Charles Warren Lippitt is treasurer and agent; and is also president of the Lippitt Woolen Company, and has been since its organization in 1865.
Mr. Lippitt has always taken a lively interest in public affairs, and been intimately connected with every enterprise calculated to enhance the prosperity and general welfare of the people. Some 15 to 18 years ago, seeing that the city was sadly in need of better hotel accommodations and a first-class opera house, he took hold of the matter in earnest and with a determination to succeed. After several years of active and persistent effort the result was the present beautiful opera house and magnificent Narragansett Hotel, which are indeed an honor to the city. It is but just to say that the accomplishment of these two enterprises is due more to the individual exertion of Mr. Lippitt than to that of any other citizen. He was treasurer and president of the hotel corporation until it was sold to Mr. Charles Fletcher, and has been president of the opera house association since its formation.
He was one of the organizers and the first vice-president of the Providence Board of Trade, and its second president for three years. He was active in reorganizing the Providence Marine Corps of Artillery in 1840, and in 1842 was elected lieutenant-colonel of the corps, after serving in the various subordinate positions, and commanded a portion of the company armed and drilled as infantry through the 'Dorr War' in 1842. In 1861, on the outbreak of the war of the rebellion, he was appointed by the governor of the state enrollment commissioner for Rhode Island, and it was in consequence of his energetic action that the quotas assigned to Rhode Island were so promptly filled. He was governor of the state in 1875 and 1876, serving through both terms with distinguished ability, and took an active part in honoring Rhode Island at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876.
His high character for financial ability and integrity is signally illustrated by the fact, that at no time during the past fifty years has his annual business ever amounted to less than $500,000, and frequently it has exceeded $4,000,000; and during that long period, notwithstanding the many financial disturbances that have occurred, he has never failed, nor even been obliged to ask for an extension of time on his comercial paper. He is universally esteemed in business circles as an energetic, frank, outspoken man who can be always relied upon.
He married, December 16th, 1845, Mary Ann Balch, daughter of Doctor Joseph Balch. They have had eleven children, six of whom, three sons and three daughters, are now living.
p. 733 - 735: Isaac M. POTTER, son of John and Mary (Arnold) Potter, was born in Scituate, R.I., August 23d, 1833. He is the youngest of eight children, six of whom are now living. His father was a descendant in the seventh generation of Robert Potter, who came from England in 1628, settling in Salem, Mass., but later removing to Rhode Island, where he became one of its distinguished founders. Colonel Potter's maternal ancestor in America was William Arnold, who settled in New England about the year 1636, and soon afterward removed to Providence, R.I., being an associate of Roger Williams, and one of the thirteen original grantees of 'Pawtuxet Purchase'. The ancestry of William Arnold may be traced back to the eleventh century, when one of the Arnolds, king of the Britons, reigned and built Abergavenny and its castle. The descendants of William are very numerous, and we find from the 'Potter Genealogy' of their making matrimonial alliances with the Williamses and Watermans.
Colonel Potter was educated in the public schools of his native town and at Lapham Institute, North Scituate, and also took a business course at Scholfield's Commercial College, Providence. When 19 years of age he was apprenticed to a manufacturing jeweler in Providence, with whom he remained about four years, gaining there the first practical knowledge of the business which has been his life occupation. Having earned enough to start in business himself, in 1856, Colonel Potter associated with Albert W. Delnah in the manufacture of jewelry. Prosperity attended this enterprise, and they continued together until the spring of 1861, when the civil war commenced. Business was then stopped, and both partners enlisted in the service of their country. Mr. Potter at once enlisted as a private in Company C, First Regiment, Rhode Island Volunteers, with which he proceeded to Washington, D.C., and took part in the first battle of Bull Run, serving faithfully with his regiment until it was mustered out of service. The following winter he received a commission from Governor Sprague to raise a company for the Third Regiment of Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, but before the company was completed the urgent call for troops took him south. While there he was in active service at the capture of Fort Pulaski, Ga. Later he was ordered to join the expedition against Charleston. 'They landed on James island June 9th, 1862, and on the 16th of the same month, at the battle of Secessionville, one of the hottest engagements of the war, Lieutenant Potter was severely wounded in the right wrist, while leading his men against the enemy's works. After the battle he received sick leave and returned home.' His wound was quite serious and required the best of surgical skill to save his hand, only the partial use of which he has since regained. He resigned his commission as first lieutenant, and having partially recovered from his wound, accepted, November 20th, 1862, an appointment as captain in the Fifth Regiment, Rhode Island Infantry. This regiment was then stationed at Newbern, N.C., but Captain Potter did not join them until February, 1863, having in the meantime been engaged in recruiting in the state. Soon after arriving at Newbern he was stricken with yellow fever and narrowly escaped death.
In April, 1863, General John J. Foster, commanding the department of North Carolina, went to Little Washington to inspect the garrison and defenses, and was besieged by the enemy. Colonel Sisson volunteered the services of the Fifth Regiment to go to his relief. They embarked on board the 'Escort', a common side-wheel steamer, taking a quantity of ammunition which was placed on the lower deck. The officers and men not on duty were ordered below so as to insure their safety as far as possible. Captain Potter was placed in command of a picked company of sharpshooters stationed on the main deck. The pilot steamed safely through the passage in the blockade, grazing only once on the piles. They passed three formidable batteries at short range, and arrived in Little Washington without losing a man. If a shot or shell had struck the boiler or ammunition undoubtedly most of those aboard would have been lost. The 'Escort' returned to Newbern the next day with General Foster on board. In passing the batteries the pilot was shot through the head and killed. Perhaps the running of the blockade for the relief of Little Washington ranks as one of the most hazardous and brilliant achievements that occurred during the war. The 44th Massachusetts, one of the besieged regiments, feeling deeply the services rendered, presented the Fifth with a beautiful silk flag. Captain Potter, with a few others, received special mention by Colonel Sisson in his official report, for the able performance of duty; and the general assembly at its May session in 1863 passed a resolution of thanks to Colonel Sisson and the officers and men of the regiment for the gallantry and heroism displayed in the siege for the relief of General Foster.
Captain Potter remained with his regiment until the close of the war. February 27th, 1865, he was appointed major and soon afterward brevetted lieutenant-colonel. When peace was declared, he again took up his former business, associating himself with Fred W. Symonds in Providence. The continued successfully in partnership for three years, when Mr. Symonds sold his interest to John M. Buffinton, and the firm style has since been Potter & Buffinton. Their specialty is solid gold goods and they rank among the best manufacturers of the state. Colonel Potter was chosen a representative to the general assembly of Rhode Island in 1875, and reelected in 1876, serving the first year on the committee on militia, and the second year as chairman of the joint standing committee on executive communications. He is a member of the G. A. R. of Rhode Island and was a delegate to the national encampment held at Dayton, O., in 1880. He was also a delegate in 1880 to the national republican convention, and one of the presidential electors from Rhode Island in 1884. He has been for several years a member of the board of trade, also member of the What Cheer Lodge since 1860. Colonel Potter married October 28th, 1875, Josephine Elizabeth, daughter of William H. and Alphileda (Lyon) Arnold of Providence. They have had one child, Gladys A., born December 4th, 1883.
A strict business man, yet generous of nature, genial in companionship,
and commanding of presence are Colonel Potter's chief characteristics.
He has won the high respect of the citizens of Providence, and though he
holds an enviable position socially his main enjoyment is his home and
City of Providence Continued
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