This section contains articles of genealogical and historic
interest on Rhode Island in general, from old Rhode Island books and newspapers.
If you would like to contribute please e-mail me with
History of Providence County, Vol I & II
Ed. by Richard M. Bayles; W.W. Preston & Co., NY. 1891
pp. 55 - 60.
Nicholas Van Slyck, one of Rhode Island's representative lawyers, was born at Pine Plains, near Kinderhook, N.Y., July 28th, 1829. His father, a 'Knickerbocker', was a native of Kinderhook, where his ancestors had resided since the early settlement of the country. His mother's maiden name was Orminta Matilda Pulver.
Young Van Slyck, after completing his elementary studies in the public schools, attended the academy at Kinderhook, and there under the direction of Silas Metcalf, his principal and teacher, prepared himself for a collegiate education. He entered Williams College, Williamstown, Mass., in 1846, and graduated therefrom in 1849. Besides himself there were many others among his classmates who have since distinguished themselves in literary and professional pursuits.
Soon after graduating Mr. Van Slyck commenced the study of his profession, and passing an examination at Albany, was admitted to the New York bar, December 3d, 1850. He then removed to New York city, where he practiced law for five years, at the end of which time he removed to Providence, R.I., and formed a partnership with George H. Browne, a graduate of Brown University. This partnership commenced in July, 1856, and continued until the death of Colonel Browne in 1885, when Cyrus M. Van Slyck, his eldest son, joined him and has since practiced with him.
Mr. Van Slyck's character and ability were early made manifest, which led to his being called upon to fill various positions of trust. From 1877 to April, 1890, he was president of the school committee, and for many years previous rendered efficient service as a member. In 1870 he was elected a member of the city common council, from the Fifth Ward, and of this popular branch of city government he has for years been a prominent and active member. He was twice elected president of that body. From 1861 to 1864 Mr. Van Slyck served in the general assembly of Rhode Island, and in his position upon the judiciary committee of the house of representatives, was of great service to the legislation of the state. In 1874 he was chosen city solicitor, an office he filled with such acceptance that he has been regularly elected and still holds that position. During the late war of the rebellion he served in the 1st Regiment of Rhode Island Volunteers, commanding Company B, at the battle of Bull Run. He afterward went out as lieutenant colonel, and having aided in the organization of the 9th Regiment he resigned his commission and returned home. Previous to this, in 1858, he was colonel of the Providence Artillery, now the United Train of Artillery.
Mr. Van Slyck has been especially interested in masonic work, as the following list of officers and positions held by him will show. October 6th, 1857, he was initiated an entered apprentice in What Cheer Lodge, No. 21, passed to the degree of Fellow Craft the 20th and raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason November 24th, 1857; being the first person to recieve the degrees in that Lodge. He was elected junior warden 1859, senior warden 1860, and master 1861. In 1864 he was elected deputy grand master and again in 1872. In 1873 he was elected grand master, and reelected three times, refusing to serve the fifth term. He was made a Royal Arch Mason in Providence Chapter, No. 1, in 1861. In 1882 he was elected deputy grand high priest, relected in 1883, and in 1884 grand high priest, positively refusing an election in 1885. In 1862 he was made a Knight Templar in Calvary Commandery and served as junior warden and generalissimo. In 1871, he was elected commander but was not installed, as he had been elected R.E. grand commander of the Grand Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In 1869 he was elected generalissimo of the Grand commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and in 1871 grand commander. To this position he was reelected in 1872, but the following year declined to accept a third term. At the last triennial conclave of the Grand Encampment of the United States he was elected junior grand warden, which position he still holds. In the A. & A. Rite he has attained the 33rd degree.
<facing page: portrait of N. Van Slyck>
Mr. Van Slyck married November 1st, 1854, Elizabeth P., daughter of Captain Cyrus B. Manchester, of Providence. They have had born to them several children. The eldest, Cyrus M., a graduate of Brown University and heretofore spoken of, is commanding officer of the United Train of Artillery, and is also prominent in several Masonic bodies. A brief idea of Mr. Van Slyck's sterling qualities may be gained from the words of a friend which we quote as follows:
'As a lawyer he holds a most enviable position in the Rhode Island bar for his ability, integrity and courtesy. The regard in which he is held by his fellow citizens is only partially shown by the many public positions of honor and trust to which he has been called. In his Masonic relations he not only possesses the confidence and esteem of his brethren, both at home and abroad, but he has won the admiration of all with whom he has been brought in contact, and the love of all who have been admitted to his friendship. Constant and true to his friends, generous and courteous to his opponents, there is no one who is more highly esteemed in the community where the better portion of his life has been spent than the subject of this sketch.'
Daniel R. Ballou is the eldest son of Arnold and Roxa Ballou, and was born in Slatersville, in the old town of Smithfield, August 6th, 1837. He is a descendant of Maturin Ballou, who settled in Providence soon after its settlement by Roger Williams. Daniel grew up in the experiences of farm life, and enjoyed the ordinary privileges of the public schools until he was about 17 years of age, when his father sent him to boarding school. This awakened his ambition to acquire an education. He taught during the winter months, and attended school during the remainder of the year. He completed the preparation for college at the University Grammar School in Providence, and entered Brown University in 1859. After graduating there he read law, and was admitted to the bar in 1864. He then opened an office for the practice of his profession in Greenville, in the town of Smithfield. In August, 1862, he enlisted in the 12th Regiment R.I. Volunteers, and soon after reaching the front was commissioned a lieutenant. He resigned in the spring of 1863, and on returning home was commissioned as colonel of a militia regiment then being organized for expected actual service. In 1865, after being admitted to the bar, he was elected to represent Smithfield in the state legislature, and was returned for three consecutive years. In 1867 he was elected clerk of the court of common pleas, which position he filled for eight successive years. In the spring of 1875 he declined a reelection, and returned to the practice of law in the city of Providence, where he has remained ever since. In 1882 he was elected to the legislature, and was returned the following year. He was again elected in 1885, but resigned after the May session was over. Since then he has devoted his time to his professional duties.
Among the lawyers of Woonsocket Aaron White is remembered as one of the first men permanently located in that locality. His home was on the line of the P. & W. railroad, and when the depot was built, in 1847, his house was removed to make room for the latter structure. He was a man of considerable learning, and was able in the counsels of the law. He was accorded the honorary title of 'Squire White'. He was accustomed to attend court at Providence, going and returning on foot, with his books under his arms. Later in life he moved to Thompson, Conn., where he married and settled.
Honorable Christopher Robinson has for many years been the veteran member of the legal fraternity practicing in Woonsocket. He has also served to some extent in public life. His three sons, Charles Pitt, Henry H. and Albert Greene, were also educated as attorneys. The last mentioned died at Woonsocket, in July, 1870, but the other two removed to Providence. Among others of the past, Bailey E. Borden and Sullivan Ballou were attorneys in Woonsocket since 1850. The latter entered the army early in the war, and was killed at the battle of Bull Run. He was a man of brilliant promise, and had already attained distiction in public life. Leland D. Jenckes was another lawyer of this town whose promise of life was cut short in its fulfillment. He died in 1872, at the age of 33 years, having been in practice about eight years. Other members of the bar from Woonsocket, who have been conspicuous in former years, have been Marquis D. L. Moury, Richard Hearn, P. S. Gleason, Ferdinand Belcourt, Richard K. Randolph and Francello G. Jillson.
Frank H. Jackson was born July 11th, 1843, at Nobleboro, Maine, being the son of Joseph and Arletta G. (Flagg) Jackson. His parents removed to Jefferson, Maine, when he was about one year of age. His education in the common schools was supplemented by a course in Lincoln Academy at New Castle, Maine. He read law one year in the office of Henry Farrington at Waldoboro, and then entered the law office on Honorable Lorenzo Clay at Gardiner. He was admitted to the Kennebec bar at Augusta, Maine, in Novemeber, 1867. September 19th, 1869, he opened a law office at Hallowell, where he enjoyed a successful practice for a number of years, bing elected city solicitor for 1870 to 1875, and 1877 to 1878. He removed to Providence, January 1st, 1879, where after being admitted to the Rhode Island bar, he entered into a partnership with Colonel Daniel R. Ballou, under the firm name of Ballou and Jackson. Mr. Jackson was a candidate on the democratic ticket for attorney general of Rhode Island, in 1885. He was married to Ella H. Owen, of Waltham, Mass., January 27th, 1875. They have two children: Frank H., Jr. and Walter N.
Edwin Aldrich was born at Woonsocket, October 14th, 1836. He was the son of Captain Joseph C. and Aseneth Aldrich, both of whom died when he was a boy. His boyhood days were passed upon the farm and in the common schools. In the Woonsocket High School he was prepared for college. He entered Tufts College and passed the first year there, but at the beginning of the second year he entered Brown University. Here he remained until the end of the junior year, when failing health compelled him to give up the course there. He afterward studied law in the office of Honorable Wingate Hayes, of Providence, graduated and received the degree of LL. B. from the Department of Law in the University of Albany. He was admitted to the bar in 1863, and commenced the practice of law in Neenah, Wis., the same year. A few months later he entered a partnership with Moses Hooper, at Oshkosh, Wis., where a lucrative practice opened before them. In 1864 he returned to Providence, opened an office and began to build up a successful and lucrative practice. From 1868 to 1872 he was associated with Leland D. Jenckes, under the firm name of Aldrich & Jenckes. Since the death of Mr. Jenckes, which occurred in 1872, Mr. Aldrich has been alone in business. He represented the city in the assembly in 1867, 1868 and 1869. Politically he has been always a republican. He is a Free Mason, and for two years was eminent commander of Woonsocket Commandery of Knights Templar. He was married to Augusta C. Carter, of Naugatuck, Conn., on the 17th of June, 1870. Their five children now living and their ages are: Florence Augusta, 19; Alice May, 17; Paul Edwin, 14; Lotta Helen, 12 and K. Pauline, 10 years of age.
George Eldridge Webster, son of Clement and Catherine Packer (Littlefield) Webster, was born in Lowell, Mass., in 1843. His father was the original editor of the 'Providence Post', continuing in that position until his death in 1864, and through that connection Geroge Eldgridge became in his boyhood quite an adept in the printing business. He was educated in the public schools of Providence, finishing his course in the Providence High School, after which he was employed as a job printer in the office of the 'Post'. In 1864 he was engaged by Senator William Sprague as private secretary, and went with him to Washington. There he was appointed clerk of the committee on manufactures of the U. S. Senate, and in that capacity served through the session, and through the special session immediately following. He was connected with the pension office from March, 1865, till his resignation in October, 1871. During that time he had occupied the positions of chief clerk, special service agent, chief of the branch office, secret service agent and pension agent at Fort Gibson, in the Indian Territory. In the last mentioned position he held a commission under General Grant, then president, and was sent there to investigate the 'Wright Indian Frauds'. While in Washington he graduated with honors at the Law Department of Columbian Law College, and was admitted to the bar of the District of Colombia. In the fall of 1871 he went to Chicago, where he intended to establish himself in the practice of law, but three days after his arrival there the great conflagration took place which laid a great part of that city in ruins. He then returned to Providence, and edited the 'Providence Herald', the paper which succeeded the old 'Post', for a year or two. At the May session of 1875, he was elected clerk of the court of common pleas of Providence county, and has held the position to the present, with the exception of a single year being unanimously elected. He was married in 1864, to Mary Josephine Gale, of Providence, and has one surviving daughter, Grace Gale Webster, born in Washington in 1868, having lost another in 1876. In 1878 Mr. Webster took up his abode in East Providence, and since then has represented the town as commissioner of the fire district, which introduced water into the town, and on the construction of the Seekonk River bridge and the town hall.
Amasa M. Eaton is the son of Levi C. Eaton, of Framingham, Mass., and Sarah Brown (Mason) Eaton. He was born in Providence, in a part of the present city then included in North Providence, May 31st, 1841. He was married September 15th, 1873, to Alice Maude Mary Dunnell, daughter of Jacob Dunnell and Amy (Brown) Dunnell, of Pawtucket, R.I. He was graduated at Brown University, with the degree of A.M., in 1861, after three years' study in Europe, and at Harvard Law School in 1878, with the degree of LL.B. He was a member of the First Rhode Island Regiment under Burnside as colonel, during the first three months of the civil war. From 1862 to 1867 he was engaged in business. Mr. Eaton frequently represented his native town in the general assembly, and after the annexation of that portion of the town to the city of Providence he served as a member of the common council and as alderman from the Tenth ward. Since 1878 he has practiced law in Providence. The names of his children, with dates of their birth, are as follows: Amasa Mason, born September 24th, 1874; William Dunnell, February 26th, 1877; Sarah Brown, June 30th, 1878; Charles Curtis, January 16th, 1880; Lewis Diman, September 13th, 1881; Amey Brown, January 1st, 1885.
John F. Lonsdale as born in Providence, December 28th, 1844. His parents were John H. and Sophia (Stowe) Lonsdale. He was educated in Providence, and graduated at Brown University, in 1867. After being admitted to the bar in 1870, he began the practice of law, and still continues in that profession, having an office at 28 North Mian street. He was elected a representative from Providence in the state legislatures of 1889 and 1891. He was married at Providence, August 18th, 1874, to Anna C. Bucklin. They have no children.
pp. 60 - 64.
Walter B. Vincent was born at Mystic, Conn., August 6th, 1845. His father was Ezra Vincent, of the town of Stonington, Conn.; and his mother was Ann Maria Denison, of Mystic, Conn. The first years of his life were passed in the village of Westerly, R.I., his mother dying when he was but three years of age, and his father but two years later. From that time until he was 14 years of age he lived with his father's relatives upon the ancestral farm at Stonington, and attended meanwhile the district school during his earlier years, and afterward a select classical school in Westerly. He afterward received a classical and military education at the Paulding Military Institute at Tarrytown, and the Peekskill Military Academy at Peekskill, both in the state of New York. He came to Providence in 1864, and entered upon the study of law in the offices of Thurston & Ripley, and in May, 1866, received the degree of LL.B. from the University of Albany, being then admitted to the bar in the state of New York. He was admitted to the bar of Rhode Island in March, 1867. He was clerk of the senate of Rhode Island for four years from 1871, and was subsequently a member of the house of representatives for three successive terms. He also held the position of judge advocate of the Second Brigade, Rhode Island Militia, in the staff of General Frederick Miller, for three years from 1874. Mr. Vincent was married in Providence, December 16th, 1869, to Mary E. Wingate; and they have one daughter, Edith, born September 30th, 1872. With the exceptions already noticed, he has devoted himself exclusively to the general practice of his profession. He is the Providence counsel for the Old Colony Railroad Company, and has recently edited a revised and enlarged edition of the 'Rhode Island Book of Forms', for the use of lawyers and state and town officers.
C. P. Robinson, now practicing law at 55 Westminser street, is the son of Christopher Robinson and Louisa (Aldrich) Robinson, and was born at Woonsocket, October 28th, 1841. He was educated in the public schools of his native town up to 1858, then at Lyon's private school in Providence, fitted for college. He graduated from Brown University in 1863; from Harvard Law School in 1865; and was in that year admitted to the bar in Providence. He afterward attended law lectures at Heidelberg, Germany, and at Paris in 1866, 1867 and 1868. On his return from Germany he settled in Providnece, and was clerk of the house of representatives of the state in 1869 and 1870, also a member of the city council in 1876-78, during two years of which he was also president of that body. He has been practicing law since 1868. He married Annie C. Greene, December 7th, 1871. She was a daughter of Rufus Greene. They have four children -- Constance, Annette, Margant and Helen.
Dexter B. Potter was born in Scituate, R.I., August 23d, 1840, his father being Jeremiah Potter, and his mother's maiden name Mary A. Salisbury. Mr. Potter was born and reared on a farm belonging to his father, that had been in the family nearly or quite a hundred years. His ancestors have been in Rhode Island since 1636. He was educated at the common schools and at the River Point Classical Seminary, and at the East Greenwich Academy. He then read law for three years and was admitted to the bar December 8th, 1868. He immediately began practicing law, and has continued to the present time, his place of business during the time being the city of Providence, though his political residence was in the town of Coventry from 1869 till 1883. He represented that town in the assembly for five years, during two years of the time being speaker of the house. He also represented the same town as senator for two years. He was married July 24th, 1883, to Emily H. Allen of Cranston. They have no children.
Francis L. O'Reilly of Woonsocket, was born in the province of Ulster, County Cavan, Ireland, June 24th, 1844. He is a descendant of a long line of Irish patriots, who for many centuries fought against British rule, for their liberties and their homes in their native land. He is distinctly Celtic, both by his father and mother, and no man feels more proud of his ancestry than he does. His father was Philip O'Reilly, his mother's maiden name was McEntee, and his grandmother's name McMahon. Francis L. was educated under private tutorship until he was 17 years of age, when his father died and he soon after came to this country, locating for a short time in Providence. He went to Cincinnati and engaged in the dramatic profession for a period of four years. In deference to the wishes of his mother he abandoned that calling, entered the field as a lecturer, and continued lecturing for eight months, but was obliged to discontinue public speaking, owing to bronchial trouble produced by too great strain on his vocal organs, and he then commenced the study of law. After three years thus spent, he was admitted to the Rhode Island bar of this state. He immediately commenced practice, in Woonsocket, in which city he still remains in active and successful practice. He was admitted an attorney and counsellor of the supreme court of the United States, at Washington, in 1882. In politics he is a democrat, and while not personally ambitious of political preferment, he is an active worker in the political field in his own state. He represented his town in the state legislature in 1879 and 1880. In both civic and military circles he has been very active and prominent for the past 20 years, and for several years he commanded one of the military companies in his town. In 1874 he was commissioned lieutenant colonel of the Rhode Island Guards. He was married January 1st, 1878, to Mary C., daughter of M. Butler, Esq., of Newport, and has two children, a boy and a girl. His wife, a beautiful and accomplished young woman, died July 25th, after a brief illness.
Cornelius C. Plummer, attorney and counsellor at law, of the city of Providence, was born at New London, Pa., March 26th, 1849. His parents were Charles H. and Anna Britton Plummer. He was educated in the public schools and at Brown University. Previous to his admission to the bar he taught school and engaged in journalistic matters on local and others papers for a time. His office location is at 31 Market square.
Edward Church Dubois, the son of Edward Church and Emma (Davison) Dubois, was born in London, England, January 12th, 1848. His paternal grandfather was Edward Church, of Kentucky, who while on his travels in France married Marie Dubois. His son Edward Church was born at St. Germain, France, December 9th, 1806. The elder was afterward consul at L"Orient, France, from 1817 to 1832, and afterward returned to America. Edward, the father of our subject, came to America about 1844, and published the same year a grammar, called 'Church's French Spoken'. In 1847 he went to London, and remained there several years. He returned to America about 1854. About 1857 he, being about to publish another French grammar, concluded that a French name would prove more attractive and successful, adopted and used the family name of his mother - Dubois. This name he continued to use until his death, in 1885, and his family adopted and still continue to the same name. Growing up under average circumstances Edward, the subject of this notice, was educated at the high school of Pawtucket, and the Friends' Academy of New Bedford, Massachusetts. He was clerk of the police court of Haverhill, Mass., from 1872 to 1877, and during the latter year removed to Providence, and in May, 1878, thence to East Providence, where he has remained ever since. He was senator from that town in the general assembly of 1883-4 and in 1884-5. He also held the office of town solicitor about ten years. He was married to Jennie Roberts, February 24th, 1872. Three children have been born to them, two of whom died in infancy. The only surviving one is Desiree J. Dubois, born in Haverhill, Mass., April 5th, 1877. In politics he is a liberal republican.
Charles Edmund Gorman, born in Boston, July 26th, 1844, is a son of Charles Gorman, born in Ireland, and Sarah J. Woodbury, a descendant of John Woodbury, one of the original settlers of Cape Ann, Mass., in 1623. Charles Edmund removed to Providence in 1848, and was educated in the public schools until he reached the age of 12 years. He was a newsboy from the tender age of five until he reached 15. In 1862 he entered the office of Richard Ward Greene and commenced the study of law. He was admitted to the bar December 12th, 1865, and at once enjoyed a large and varied practice. He was a member of the school committee and trustee of schools from 1868 to 1873. He was a member of the general assembly in 1870, 1885, and 1887, being elected a speaker of the house in the latter year. He was elected a member of the common council of Providence in 1874, and alderman in 1878, 1879, 1880 and 1889. Mr. Gorman has been the democratic candidate at different times for the offices of secretary of state, attorney general, and mayor of Providence. From his early manhood he began agitating and working for 'equal rights' in Rhode Island, which meant the removal of the real estate requirement imposed upon naturalized citizens to admit to suffrage. After 25 years, during which he spent a great deal of time and money in advocating the cause, the reform was accomplished by an amendment to the constitution. Upon the adoption of this amendment the citizens of the state presented Mr. Gorman with a solid silver tea service 'in recognition of 25 years' service in behalf of equal rights.' He was married to Josephine C. Dietrich, July 8th, 1874. Their children are: Charles Woodbury, Edmund Joseph and Clement Dietrich. Mr. Gorman has been one of the prominent democratic speakers, having spoken in every presidential campaign since 1864.
Nathan Whitman Littlefield was born May 21st, 1846, at East Bridgewater, Mass. His father, Rufus Ames Littlefield, was for many years a teacher in the East Bridgewater Academy and other schools in that and neighboring towns. His mother, Abigail Russel (Whitman) Littlefield, was born in Boston, Mass., and educated at the Charlestown Female Seminary. Both his father and mother are lineal descendants of the pilgrims. Through them the subject of this sketch is related by blood to John Alden and Miles Standish. His early education was received at home and in the public schools of his native town. Aided by the advancement given him by his father, who was an accomplished mathematician, he at the age of 14 surveyed and platted land in his native town. He prepared for college at the East Bridgewater High School, and at Bridgewater and Phillips (Andover) Academies, graduating from the latter institution in 1865. The same year he entered Dartmouth College, where he was graduated in 1869 with the highest honors. He was soon after employed as submaster of the Charlestown, Mass., High School; then master of high school of the Newport, R.I., High School; and then master of high school and superintendent of schools at Westerly, R.I. In 1874 he began the study of law. His course was pursued at the Boston University Law School, graduating in 1876. He was admitted to the bar at Boston, in May of the same year. A few weeks later he located at Providence, where he has since practiced law. Avoiding all political entanglements, he has devoted all his energies to the practice of law, and has achieved that succes which usually attends earnest, honest and persistent labor in that profession. Early in 1889 he formed a partnership with Warren Goddard, Jr., and has since practiced under the style of Littlefield and Goddard. He was married August 13th, 1873, to Arletta V. Redman, of Ellsworth, Maine. She died October 18th, 1878, leaving a son, Nathan W. Littlefield, Jr., born April 20th, 1878. He was married a second time, December 1st, 1886, to Mary Wheaton Ellis, of Pawtucket, and on December 19th, 1889, a son, Alden Llewellyn Littlefield, was born to them.
George Tilden Brown, born in West Greenwich, R.I., June 29th, 1848, is a son of Peter Tilden Brown and Roxalana Potter. The parents had ten children, and the father died when Geroge was four or five years of age. The family was left with a small, encumbered farm, and hard work and close economy on the part of the mother were necessary. George attended the East Greenwich Seminary about eight or ten months, working during the vacation on the farm and in winter teaching country schools to defray expenses. He afterward attended Newport High School, where he was graduated in June, 1869, and entered Brown University in September of the same year, graduating in June, 1873. He studied law one year in Providencce, then spent one year in the Albany Law School, graduating in May, 1875. He was then admitted to the bar in Rhode Island in October following. He was admitted to the bar of the United States courts in 1879. He has practiced law in Providence since October, 1875. He represented his native town in the general assembly in 1877, and the city of Providence in the same body in 1887. He was elected a delegate to the democratic national convention at St. Louis in 1888, and was elected to represent Providence in the state senate in 1889. He is chairman of the democratic city committee, having held that position in 1884 and 1885, and being again chosen to it in 1888 and 1889. He was married in Providence, August 29th, 1876, to Ida Rebecca Williams. They have two children - Gertrude Tilden Brown, born May 17th, 1877; and Bertha Brown, born April 10th, 1884.
Mr. J. E. Goldsworthy, now practicing law at Central Falls, was born in Kenosha county, Wis., December 9th, 1843. His father was Stephen S. Goldsworthy, and his mother's maiden name was Lavinia Eustis. His early life was spent on a farm, where he attended the district school, and later the high school at Racine, Wisconsin. He was educated further at Wisconsin University at Madison, and studied law in the office of O.S. & F. H. Head, at Kenosha, and later took a course at Albany (N.Y.) Law School. He then went to Missouri to practice, and remained there six years. He was afterward engaged in journalism, publishing and printing with E. L. Freeman & Co. for twelve years. He resumed the practice of law in 1888. Mr. Goldsworthy was married to Sarah L. Stafford, at Central Falls, R.I., in 1872. They have four children.
George Lewis Gower was born November 6th, 1849, at New Sharon, Maine. His father, Tanison Bartlett Gower, was a Baptist clergyman, and died in 1859, leaving his wife, Maria Susan (Dix), a widow, with three boys, aged respectively nine, seven and five. George, the eldest of the three, was educated in Abbott's School in Farmington, Maine, in grammar and high school in Providence, R.I., and Brown University, in the class of 1871. He studied law with Samuel Currey of Providence four years, and was admitted to the bar there in December, 1871. He was clerk of the Rhode Island house of representatives from 1876 to 1886 and judge advocate general of the state from 1883 to 1888. He has been associated with his brother, Fred. A. Gower, in telephone affairs from 1878. He was never extensively engaged in legal practice, but was connected with Providence newspapers from 1867 to 1880, and has acquired interests in telephone affairs and other business connections in Rhode Island and in Washington state, and is largely interested in the growth and development of the city of Tacoma, in the latter state. He was married in January, 1873, at Providence, to Frances, daughter of Hon. J. M. Blake of Bristol, R.I. They have two children - Hope, born in 1875, and George Lewis, Jr. born in 1876.
Edmund S. Hopkins, son of Israel Hopkins, was born at Laurel Ridge, Burrillville, in this county, August 21st, 1849. His mother was Louise M., daughter of Dr. Jervis J. Smith. The father of Edmund was a woolen manufacturer, and lived in Burrillville until 1859, when the family removed to Providence, and Edmund entered the public schools of that city. After spending several years in them he entered the private school of Mowry & Goff, to prepare for college. He then spent a year in the law office of Samuel Currey, Esq., and another year in the office of William W. Blodgett, Esq., at Pawtucket. He then attended lectures at the Albany Law School, and on graduating was admitted to the bar of New York state, February 14th, 1870. One month later he opened an office in Binghamton, N.Y., and in September of the same year he removed to Corning, where he formed a partnership with Hon. Henry Sherwood. He remained there until December, 1872, when he returned to Providence, and on March 14th, 1873, opened an office in that city, where he has since remained in the practice of law. He was elected a member of the city council in 1877, representing the Eighth ward, and served four years; also a representative in the general assembly in 1876 and 1877. He was elected assistant attorney general of the state, and held that office for two years. He was married at Providence, and has one son, Albert S. Hopkins, now a student at law.
pp. 64 - 69.
Charles F. Ballou, son of Henry G. and Sarah L. (Fales) Ballou, was born in Woonsocket in 1847. His parents moved to Bristol when he was 13 years old. He was educated in the public schools of Bristol, and from the high school of that town he went to Brown University, where he graduated in the class of 1869. He then studied in the law office of Charles H. Parkhurst, in Providence, and began the practice of law in Woonsocket. He was president of the town council two years, and was elected to the general assembly, where he served for successive years. He was appointed trial justice to succeed Judge Wilbur, when the latter was elected to the supreme court bench. He was trial justice until the district court act went into effect, and since then has held the office of district court judge. He was also elected by the city council probate judge, on the formation of the city government.
Warren Goddard, Jr., attorney and counsellor at law, of the firm of Littlefield & Goddard, was born in the town of North Bridgewater, now the city of Brockton, Mass., October 10th, 1849. His father was Rev. Warren Goddard, who had been settled over the Brockton church of the New Jerulsalem, in 1839. It is worthy of remark here that the Reverend Warren Goddard remained in that pastorate over 50 years, and the 50th anniversary of his settlement was celebrated in his old church, in the fall of 1889, the city generally participating in the celebration. The mother of our subject was Sarah Eldridge, a sister of the brothers, John, Oliver and Asa Eldridge, well known names among seafaring men. Among the brothers of Warren, Jr., are Reverend John Goddard, a distinguished clergyman of Cincinnati, Ohio; Reverend H. E. Goddard, pastor of the Brockton church of the New Jerusalem; Asa E. Goddard, teacher in the St. Louis University; and James F. Goddard, vice-president of the A., T. & S. F. railroad system. Warren Goddard, Jr., followed his father's profession for 15 years, and was the pastor of the New Jerusalem church in Brookline, Mass., and afterward of a society of the same faith in Providence. His preparation for this work had been made at the Brockton High School, Dartmouth College (class of 1871) and the New Church Philological School now located in Cambridge, Mass. He was always fond of the law, and used to spend his Mondays in court, hearing prominent lawyers discuss law points and matters of evidence. At last he began the study of law in earnest, with a view to making it a profession. January 1st, 1887, he entered the offices of Van Slyck & Van Slyck, city solicitors of Providence, as a student. By giving attention to it he covered the usual ground in his reading with greater rapidity than is usual, and passed the examination with ease. He also prepared an elaborate and accurate index or digest of the Rhode Island Law Reports, which is pronounced by those who have examined it as the most complete thing of its kind in the state. After being admitted to the bar he entered into partnership with Nathan W. Littlefield, and since April, 1889, has laid aside all ministerial duties, and devoted himself exclusively to the law. On October 9th, 1874, he married Alice Clark Wellington, of Brookline, Mass., by whom he has had seven children: Langdon, Margaret, Edith, Warren, Alice W., Mary E., and Arthur E., the eldest of whom died January 11th, 1887.
William Howard Sweetland was born in Pawtucket, R.I., December 19th, 1857. His parents were William and Nancy Greene (Howard) Sweetland. He was educated in the schools of Providence, and at Brown University, receiving the degree of A.B. in 1878, and of A. M. in 1881. He was admitted to the Rhode Island bar in the latter year, and settled in Providence, where he has since continued the practice of law. He was a member of the Providence school committee in 1887; clerk of the Rhode Island house of representatives in 1888-89; and was elected clerk of the district court of the Sixth judicial district in 1889. He was married, June 11th, 1889, to Florence Gardiner Reynolds, and has a son, Reynolds Sweetland.
John T. Blodgett was born in Belmont, Mass., May 16th, 1859. He was educated in the public schools of that town and of Watertown, Mass., graduating from Watertown High School in the class of 1875, from Worcester Academy in 1876, and from Brown University , with the degree of A.B., in the class of 1880. He received from the same institution the degree of A.M. in 1883. On graduating he entered the law office of Benjamin N. Lapham, Esq., of Providence, and was admitted to the bar by the supreme court of Rhode Island in 1883, and by the U.S. circuit court in 1885. He is actively associated with the prohibition movement in this state, and has been placed in nomination for many of the important offices - representative to general assembly, mayor of city, and attorney general of state.
Augustus S. Miller was born in Plainfield, Conn., August 13th, 1847. He is the descendant of Robert Miller, who settled there some 200 years ago. He prepared for college at Mowry & Goff's English and Classical School in Providence, and graduated from Brown University in the class of 1871. He is engaged in the practice of law in Providence, and is also president of the American Enamel Company. In politics he is a democrat, having held the position of chariman of the democratic city committee in 1881 and 1882, and was one of the organizers of the Young Men's Democratic Club of Providence, and its first president in 1882 and 1883. He was a representative to the general assembly in 1884-5, a member of Providence city council in 1885, 1886 and 1887, being its president in 1887, and representative to assembly in 1889 and 1890, also speaker of the house during both those terms. He was married February 17th, 1881, to Elizabeth Le Moine Davis, daughter Hon. William D. Davis of Providence. They have had two children: Mary E. D., born February 8th, 1883, died April 1st, 1886; and William Davis, born November 5th, 1887.
Cyrus M. Van Slyck, son of Nicholas and Lizzie P. (Manchester) Van Slyck, was born in Providence, January 9th, 1856. He was educated in the public schools of the city, graduating from the high school in 1872. He then attended Brown University, graduating thence with the degree of A.B. in 1876. He next took a course in the Law School of Harvard University, receiving there the degree of LL.B. on graduating in 1878. He was admitted to the bar July 3d, 1878, and began practicing in Providence, where he has ever since continued. He held the office of city solicitor from June, 1888, to the present time; entered the militia service of the state in 1875, and after holding various offices therein, became colonel of the United Train of Artillery of Providence, in 1884, and still retains that position. He was married in 1887, to Annie P. Crocker, of Fitchburg, Mass., and they have one child.
Samuel Norris, Jr., was born July 23d, 1862, in Bristol, R.I., in the home of his parents and grandparents. In 1865 he went abroad with his family, and remained until 1879, living meanwhile chiefly in Paris and London. He had an English tutor, and passed the matriculation examinations of the London University in 1879, in the First Division. On returning to this country in the same year he entered Harvard in the fall, and was graduated in 1883. He then attended Harvard Law School for two years, and was admitted to the Rhode Island bar in 1885. Since then he has continued to live in Bristol, having an office there and another in Providence.
Edward F. Lovejoy was born in East Corinth, Maine, December 1st, 1861. He is the son of Azael and Zintha S. Lovejoy. He was graduated from Brown University in the class of 1885, and from the Boston Law School in the class of 1887. He has since practiced in Providence, being now connected with the firm of Stone & Lovejoy, whose offices are in Butler Exchange. The other member of the firm is Mr. Samuel S. Stone.
Erwin J. France was born in Burrillville, R.I., March 1st, 1856, being the son of James E. and Susan (Phillips) France. He was educated at Brown University, graduating in the class of 1876, and in the law department of Boston University, in the class of 1881. He has practiced law since that time in Woonsocket, and has been state senator from that town, also a member of the school board. He is now a member of the law firm of France & Ballou, their office being at 239 Main street, Woonsocket.
George Newman Bliss, of East Providence, was born in Tiverton, July 22d, 1837. He graduated from Union College, Schenectady, N.Y., in the class of 1860. He enlisted as a private in the First Rhode Island Calvary, in September, 1861, and was mustered out as a captain, May 15th, 1865. Wounded and captured at Waynesborough, Va., September 28th, 1864, he was confined as a hostage at Libby Prison for a confederate soldier who had been sentenced to be hanged. He was exchanged for hostage February 5th, 1865. Since the war he has practiced law, having an office in the city of Providence. He was a representative from East Providence in the assembly, from 1868 to 1873, and senator in 1882-3, and again in 1885. He was assistant commissioner of shell fisheries, 1869 to 1879; major commanding First Battalion Cavalry, R.I. Militia, 1879 to 1883; trial justice, 1872 to 1886; justice of the Seventh judicial district since July, 1886; and member of the school committee since 1873. In politics he is a republican.
Stephen A. Cooke, Jr., is a lawyer by profession, and a republican in politics. He is located in the practice of law in offices at 37 Weybosset street, Providence. He served as a representative from the city of Providence in the general assembly from 1871 to 1874, and as senator from 1885 to 1887.
John P. Gregory, of Lincoln, was born in Central Falls, then a part of the town of Smithfield, March 3d, 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.
Thomas P. Barnefield, of Pawtucket, was born in Boston, Mass., March 25th, 1844. He was educated in the public schools of Massachusetts, and has practiced law at Pawtucket since 1880. He has held the offices of judge of probate and city solititor of Pawtucket; assistant judge advocate general of the state; representative, 1884-5, and 1886-7. During the civil war he enlisted as a private in the 35th Massachusetts Volunteers, in 1862, and was mustered out as a first lieutenant, in 1864.
James W. Blackwood was a lawyer who practiced in Providence until recently. He was a trial justice of Providence from 1876 to 1886, and was justice of the Sixth judical district from July 1st, 1886, for a time. He was a representative in 1876-7, and again in 1885-7. In politics he was a republican.
William Winthrop Blodgett, of Pawtucket, was born in Randolph, Vermont, July 8th, 1824. He was graduated from the University of Vermont in the class of 1847. He was a member of the Massachusetts house of representatives from 1858 to 1860; in the Rhode Island senate, in March, 1862, being the first senator from the newly organized town of Pawtucket; a representative in general assembly 1863-65, 1869-71, 1882-85 and 1886-88. He was for 20 years judge of probate, in Pawtucket; and was also commissioner of insolvency of Massachusetts, and Rhode Island bank commissioner.
Albert R. Greene was born in Apponaug, town of Warwick, March 3d, 1844. He was educated in Brown University in the years 1865-66, and graduated from Cornell University in the class of 1870. He then studied law in the Michigan University Law School, and graduated in 1871. He was admitted to the bar in 1872, and has since practiced law. During the civil war he served in the 11th R.I. Volunteers and 78th N.Y. Volunteers, from September, 1862, to August, 1864, participating in the battles of Wauhatchie, Lookout Mountain and other engagements attending the capture of Atlanta, Ga. He has held the office of moderator of the town of Warwick almost continuously since 1872; was a member and president of the town council three years; served as trial justice and coroner, and was a representative in general assembly some two or three years. He practices law in Proivdence, having an office at 37 Weybosset street.
James Harris, of Smithfield, was born in Burrillville, September 16th, 1860. He was educated in the public schools and in the private school of Merrick and Emory Lyon, at Providence. He has been a member of the school committee of his town since 1883. He was a representative from Smithfield several years, beginning with 1883. He also held the office of justice of the Ninth judicial district several years. He is a lawyer by profession, and a republican in poliltics.
Francello G. Jillson was born in Woonsocket, in the then town of Cumberland, September 22d, 1841, and was educated at the Woonsocket High School and New London, N.H., Academy. During the civil war he served as corporal in the First Rhode Island Volunteers and first lieutenant in the Ninth Rhode Island Volunteers. He was town clerk from 1865 to 1874, inclusive; senator from the town of Woonsocket 1870-71; member and president of the town council two years; and representative from that town from several years, beginning with 1881. He was speaker of the house from January 30th, 1883, to May, 1885. He has for many years been practicing law in Woonsocket.
Francis W. Miner, of Providence, was born in Fall River, Mass., December 10th, 1831. He graduated from Brown University, and was admitted to the bar in 1859. He was representative from Cranston from 1861 to 1864, and again from 1868 to 1875, and was speaker of the house in 1862-3. He was a representative from Providence in 1886-7. During the civil war he was major of artillery, performing important staff duty. He was a member of the Providence common council in 1886. In politics he is a republican.
John Carter Brown Woods was born in Providence June 12th, 1851. He was graduated from Brown University in the class of 1872, and from Harvard Law School in the class of 1874. He was admitted to the bar in December, 1874, and has since practiced the profession of law. He was a member of the common council of Providence from February 1st, 1877, to January, 1885, and was president of that body from 1881 to 1885. He was a representative five or six years, beginning November 22d, 1881. In politics he is a republican.
Christopher Marble Lee was born in Newport, October 18th, 1854. His father was Thomas J., and his mother Mary Lee. His education began in the public schools of Newport, and he graduated from there in July, 1873. In the fall of the same year he entered Brown University, and graduated from there in 1877. In the fall of that year he entered the office of Francis B. Peckham, city solitior of Newport and remained there for two years. Being admitted to the bar in September, 1879, he began practicing law in Newport, and continued there until 1885. In that year he removed to Providence, and has continued in practice there ever since. He was married June 1st, 1881, to Laura C. Gardiner, youngest daughter of Adridge B. Gardiner, of Providence. They have no children.
pp. 69 - 76.
William C. Baker was born in the village of Wickford, R.I., March 15th, 1858. His parents were David S. and Mary C. Baker. He attended the public schools during his boyhood, and prepared for college at East Greenwich Academy; then entering Brown University, he graduated thence in 1881. He taught languages in De Veaux College, at Suspension Bridge, N.Y., two years. He was admitted to the bar of Rhode Island July 19th, 1884. He was superintendent of public schools in North Kingstown, R.I., from 1884 to 1888. In the latter year he was nominated for congress by the democrats, but was defeated in the election. He married Sophia, daughter of Jesse Metcalf, of Providence, May 24th, 1888.
Charles F. Baldwin, now practicing law at 19 College street, Providence, was born in Plainfield, N.H., November 11th, 1852, being the son of Cyrus and Hannah Baldwin. He received the principal part of his education at Kimball Union Academy, N.H. He studied law in Providence, and was admitted to the bar in 1878. He was married in 1882, to Clara, daughter of John Howland of Jamestown, R.I. Since his admission to the bar he has practiced in Providence.
Samuel Slater Durfee was born in Providence, September 23d, 1858. His father is Thomas Durfee and his mother Sarah J. (Slater) Durfee. He was educated at the private school of Reverend Charles H. Wheeler, in Providence, and at Brown University, graduating from that institution in the class of 1880. He studied law in the office of Thomas C. Greene, in Providence, and at the Law School of Boston University, after which he was admitted to the Rhode Island bar January 29th, 1884. Since then he has practiced law in Providence. He is still unmarried.
Stephen G. Edwards was born at Glen, Nova Scotia, January 22d, 1855. His parents were William H. and Eleanor S. (Mount) Edwards. Until 17 years of age he lived on a farm with his father, receiving his early education in the public schools of Glen. At the age of 17 he taught school one winter, and then took a college preparatory course at Amsterdam Academy, and at Hungerford Collegiate Institute, of Adams, New York state. Entering Brown University in 1875, he graduated thence in 1879, after which he taught three years in Providence High School. During the last year and a half he was second teacher in the classical department. He studied law in the office of Bradley & Metcalf, and took the course at Boston University Law School, being admitted to the bar in 1884. Since then he has practiced law in Providence. In 1886-7 he was instructor in mathematics and logic at Brown University, but continued his law practice meanwhile. In 1889-90 he was a member of the Providence school committee; in 1890 was clerk of the house of representatives in the state legislature. He was married in 1887 to Ellen A. Chace, and they have two children, Walter A. and Helen C.
John Doran was born November 8th, 1858, in the town of Barrington, Bristol county, R.I. His parents were James and Catherine (Nolan) Doran. His early life was spent in Barrington, where he attended the district school, and afterward prepared for college in the private academy of Isaac F. Cady, at Barrington Centre. He entered Mt. St. Mary's College, at Emmitsburg, Md., in September, 1875, and graduated in June, 1879. In the spring of 1880 he commenced to study law with James Tillinghast, Esq., of Providence, and was admitted to the bar in July, 1882. He has practiced in Providence ever since. In July, 1887, he formed a partnership with Mr. E. D. McGuinness, which he still continues. He was married July 10th, 1889, to Jane F. Ward, daughter of Patrick and Mary Ward, of Warren, R.I.
Ambrose Fealy, a lawyer of Olneyville, with residence in Woonsocket, was born in the latter place, September 2d, 1859. He received his education in the Jesuitical College of Worcester, Mass., graduating there, with the degree of A.B., in 1880. He then began the study of law, at first in the Boston Law School, and afterward in the office of F. L. O'Reilly, in Woonsocket, and was admitted to the bar in January, 1884. For two years he was in partnership with Mr. Charles E. Gorman, but since that he has been alone, practicing law in Providence. Mr. Fealy is a democrat, and was elected to the assembly in 1887, and again in 1889.
Franklin P. Owen, of Scituate, was born in that town December 27th, 1853, and is a lawyer by profession. He was educated at the Lapham Institute and Amherst College, class of 1874. He is a democrat in politics and has served as state senator.
Samuel P. Colt was born January 10th, 1852, at Patterson, N.J., being the son of Christopher and Theodora G. (De Wolf) Colt. His school days were passed at Hartford and New Hartford, Conn. At the age of 14 he came with the family to Bristol, R.I., where they settled upon the homestead of General George De Wolf, his grandfather on the maternal side. He was educated at Anthon's Grammar School, in New York, for two years, and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology three years. He then passed a year in Europe, and then spent two years in Columbia Law School. He was admitted to the bar in New York in May, 1875, after which he studied law in the office of Thurston & Ripley, in Providence, and was admitted to the Rhode Island bar January 1st, 1876. He practiced law in Rhode Island, and was a member of the general assembly from 1876 to 1879. In the year 1879 he was elected assistant attorney general, and served in that position till he was elected attorney general, in 1882. In the latter position he served four years. He founded the Industrial Trust Company, of Providence, and has been its president from the start. He is also president of the National India Rubber Company, of Bristol, R.I., having re-organized the old National Rubber Company with $500,000 new capital. He was married in 1881, to Elizabeth M., daughter of Judge J. R. Bullock, of the U.S. court. They have three children - Samuel P., Jr., eight years; Russell G., seven years, and an infant in its first year.
Charles Staples, son of ex-Chief Justice William R. Staples of Providence, was born in Providence, May 29th, 1859. His mother was Evelina Eaton Staples, of Framingham, Mass. He was educated at Lyons and Brown University, and then studied law with Wingate Hayes, Esq., and his own father, Judge Staples. He was deputy secretary of state for three years under John R. Bartlett, and private secretary to Governor Ambrose E. Burnside during his term of office. After practicing law eight years in the city of Providence he studied medicine under Doctors W. O. Brown and George R. Kenyon. He was the first hospital steward appointed in the Rhode Island militia, and served in that capacity nine years, being attached to the First Light Infantry Regiment. He has been ward clerk of Second ward three years, secretary of the R.I. Society for the Encouragement of Domestic Industry, of the Providence Franklin Society, of the Zeta Psi Society, and of Company B., First Light Infantry Regiment. He is now in the United States employ, in the census department, and is also notarty and justice of the peace.
Thomas W. Robinson was born at Pawtucket, March 23d, 1856, being the son of Thomas and Mary Robinson. He was born and brought up on a farm and was educated in the public schools, Bryant & Stratton Business College and also the Boston University Law School, graduating thence in the class of 1877. He was admitted to the bar of this state in 1888, and has had an office and practiced law in Pawtucket ever since. He was a member of the town council in 1886, and a representative to general assembly in 1887 and 1889. He was married to Mary E. Tetlow, at Providence, November 3d, 1881. Two daughters have come to them - Lillian, six years, and Mary, four years of age.
Thomas Z. Lee was born September 26th, 1866, in Woonsocket. He is the son of Thomas and Helen M. Lee, and was educated in Woonsocket. He was admitted to the Rhode Island bar in 1888, and began practice in Woonsocket, after reading law with Messrs. Browne & Van Slyck, in Providence. He was for a time connected with the Woonsocket 'Evening Reporter', and was clerk of the house of representatives in 1888 and 1889. On the 4th of November, 1889, he formed a partnership with Hon. Livingston Scott, in the practice of law. He is prominent in secret societies, and is well known in social and political circles thoughout the state.
Clarke Howard Johnson was born at Moosup Valley in the town of Foster, November 18th, 1851. His father, Elisha Johnson, was an influential citizen of the town, and held many positions of public trust, among others that of president of the town council, state senator, and colonel of the 13th Regiment in the old militia. The mother of our subject was Matilda Howard, daughter of Clark Howard, of Foster. He was brought up on the old Johnson homestead, which had been in the Johnson family since 1784, and in the possession of his ancestors of another family since about the year 1700. He worked on the farm summers, and attended the district school winters, until about 18 years of age. After that he prepared for college at Lapham Institute, in North Scituate, and entered Brown University in 1873, graduating thence in 1877. He studied law in Providence, and was admitted to the bar in 1879, and has been practicing there ever since. He was elected to a seat in the state house of representatives in 1879, and again in 1880. In 1881 he was elected to the state senate. From 1881 to 1886 he was clerk of the house of representatives. In 1886 he was elected justice of the district court for the Eighth judicial district, which position he holds at the present time, having been re-elected in 1889.
Charles H. McFee was born in Haverhill, Mass., January 1st, 1861. His parents were Hamden and Sarah C. (Sealy) McFee. He was educated at the high school in Haverhill, and at Harvard University, in the class of 1882. He taught school, as principal of Washington Academy, at Wickford, R.I., one term, and as principal of the Consolidated Grammar Schools from September, 1882, to September, 1885. In the latter year he began the study of law in Woonsocket. He was a member of the town council in 1886 and 1887, being its president in the latter year. In 1887 he was elected a representative to the general assembly, where he was placed at the head of the committee on education. In 1886 he was elected a member of the school committee, and in 1887 was chosen clerk of that board. He was married April 18th, 1888, to Carrie V. Cook, at Woonsocket, and they have one son, Raymond F. McFee. Mr. McFee was admitted to the bar in October, 1887, and has been practicing in Woonsocket ever since.
Charles C. Mumford was born at Medford, Mass., November 11th, 1860. His parents were Benjamin G. and Jane D. Mumford. His father died when Charles was about seven years old, and the family removed then to Providence. He was educated in the public schools of that city and at Brown University, where he graduated in 1881. He studied law with Messrs. Browne & Van Slyck, and was admitted to the bar in 1883. July 1st of that year he was appointed assistant clerk of the court of common pleas, and held that position until he was elected clerk of the municipal court in June, 1884. In June, 1885, he exchanged that position for that of assistant attorney general of the state, which he held until May, 1886. Since that time he has devoted himself to the practice of his profession in the city of Providence, except about ten months spent inBuffalo, N.Y. He has held various positions in the Masonic fraternity, the Narragansett Boat Club, and other organizations. He was married to Miss Emma Van Slyck in April, 1887, and they have one child, Marion.
Eugene F. Warner was born in Coventry, R.I., October 9th, 1853. He was educated at Allen's School, West Newton, Mass., and at Brown University, where he graduated in 1875. He studied law with J. H. Parsons and J. E. Spink, and was admitted to the bar in 1877. He opened an office in Providence soon after, and still maintains it. He was a member of the Rhode Island house of representatives in 1876, and was elected clerk of the Rhode Island senate in 1877, and by successive elections has retained the position till the present time. He was a delegate to the Chicago republican convention of 1884, and secretary of the R.I. state central committee from 1884 to 1888. He was elected judge of the Fourth district court of R.I., in 1886, and in 1889 for another term of three years. He has never been married.
Albert A. Baker was born September 26th, 1862, in Providence, the home of his parents, Albert O. and Anna M. (Stone) Baker. He was graduated from Brown University in the class of 1884, and became the assistant editor of the Attleborough 'Chronicle' in 1884-5. He afterward studied law with Colwell & Barney, in Providence, and was admitted to the Rhode Island bar in August, 1888. He has an office at 4 Westminster street; was clerk of the judiciary committee in the R.I. house of representatives, 1887-8; secretary of the joint special committee of the state legislature on revenue of the state; and is a member of the republican city committee from the Ninth ward.
Harmon Seeley Babcock was born April 11th, 1849, at Lebanon Springs, Columbia county, N.Y. His parents were George H. and Sarah G. (Merrills) Babcock. He removed with the family to Lee, Mass., in 1853, and remained there until 1861, when they removed to Lenox, Mass., and again returning to Lee, in 1870. He passed through the various degrees of boyhood and youth with that assurance of future success which generally characterizes the American boy, and after thorough preparation at Brookside Seminary, Stockbridge, and at the Lenox High School, under Augustus Linfield, he entered Brown University and was graduated therefrom in 1874, with the highest honors, delivering the valedictory address and receiving the degree of A.B. In 1877 he was further honored by being made an A.M. After graduation he taught for two years as assistant in the University Grammar School of Providence, presecuting legal studies in the meantime. He was admitted to the bar in 1877. He taught also in the evening schools for a number of years as principal, and also as an instructor in logic in Brown University, for a short time in 1883. Since 1877 he has been practicing law continuously in the city of Providence. He filled the office of superintendent of public schools in East Providence from 1879 to1882, and was solicitor for that town from 1882 to 1886. His literary abilities were recognized early in life, and the fact that he wrote the poem for the centennial celebration of the town of Lee, Mass., in September, 1887, is evidence of his reputation in that direction. The R.I. Horticultural Society chose him for secretary in 1878, and about that time he was treasurer of Franklin Lyceum for three years. He has taken a prominent part in poultry affairs, having been president of the R.I. Poultry Association in 1888, and at different times written much on the subject. Among his many literary works of excellence was the poem delivered at the annual convention of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity at Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1883, and also the poem delivered before the alumni of Brown University in 1888. He was married June 11th, 1879, at Lenox, Mass., to Eva S. Belden. Two children have been born of this marriage, the elder and survivor being a son, Samuel Belden Babcock, born June 9th, 1880.
Benjamin W. Smith was born in Warwick, R.I., June 21st, 1856, being the son of Charles W. and Elizabeth R. (Le Valley) Smith. He was educated in the public schools of Rhode Island and Iowa; prepared for college in Providence High School; entered Brown University and was graduated in the class of 1876. He studied law in the office of Tillinghast & Ely, in Providence, and was admitted to the bar in Rhode Island in 1878, and to practice in the U.S. circuit court in 1881. He has practiced law in Providence since his admission. He is still unmarried.
Rathbone Gardner was born in Providence, February 18th, 1856. His parents were Henry W. and Mary R. (Rathbone) Gardner. His education was pursued in Mowry & Goff's School, in Providence, and Brown University, where he was graduated in the class of 1877. His legal education was pursued in the office of Browne & Van Slyck, and at the Boston Law School. He was admitted to the bar July 19th, 1879, and has ever since practiced in Providence. He was elected to the city council in 1884, and was president of that body in 1885 and 1886. He was appointed U.S. attorney for the R.I. District, by President Harrison, February 19th, 1889, and still holds that office. He was married to Sophie L., daughter of the late John A. Gardner, in Providence, January 1st, 1880, and has two children - Henry W. and Marianna Gardner.
James Wilmarth Williams was born in Providence, August 23d, 1859. He was the son of James F. and Phebe A. (Wilmarth) Williams. He attended the public schools and the high school of the city of his nativity, and Columbia College, where he was graduated from the law school in 1882. He then studied law with Hon. Dexter B. Potter, of Providence, taught school for a brief period, and was admitted to the R.I. bar July 19th, 1884. He was married March 25th, 1886, to Flora B. Tillinghast, of Providence. They have one child, Hope Tillinghast Williams. Mr. Williams is prominently identified with the prohibition movement in Rhode Island, and is a member of the national prohibition committee for Rhode Island. He took a prominent part in framing the laws enacted under the prohibition amendment of 1886-1889, and was for a time counsel for the chief of police of the state during that period. He is a direct descendant of Roger Williams, one of the few descendants bearing the family name of the original founder. He was a speaker at the reunion of descendants in June, 1886, on the occasion of the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the settlement.
Benjamin L. Dennis was born in Providence, February 6th, 1853. His parents were Benjamin C. and Lydia A. Dennis. He was educated in the public schools of the city until 12 years of age, when his parents removed to Webster, Mass., and he there received in part a grammar and high school education. At the age of 15 he entered Woodstock Academy, at Woodstock, Conn., and remained two years. At the age of 17 he commenced teaching school at West Woodstock, and during the next three years taught winter terms in different districts of Connecticut. In 1873, being then 20 years of age, he entered the R.I. Normal School, and was graduated in June, 1878, when he commenced the study of law. He was admitted to the bar in 1881, and has since practiced in Providence. Mr. Dennis may be classed among the self-made men of our time, having worked his way up to his present position by his own efforts, almost unaided. He was married December 22d, 1885, to Alice J. Arnold, who had been a teacher in the public schools of Providence. They have one son, Robert L. Dennis. Mr. Dennis resides at Valley Falls, six miles from Providence, but has an office in Butler Exchange in the city.
Frederick Rueckert was born in Providence, November 21st, 1855, being the son of Christian and Theresa Rueckert. He received his early education in the public schools of Providence, graduating from the High School in 1873. Entering Brown University in the fall of that year, he was graduated in 1877, and studied law for two years following. He was admitted to the bar of the state in February, 1880, and has since then been admitted to practice in the U.S. circuit court here. His practice is mainly confined to civil cases. He was married November 21st, 1886, to Ella L. Senft, of Providence.
Christopher E. Champlin was born in New Shoreham, Newport county, R.I., September 24th, 1860, being the son of John P. and Lydia M. Champlin. He spent his early years in his native town, and taught school there two years, in 1879 and 1880. His advanced education was received at East Greenwich Academy and Brown University, after which he pursued legal studies at the Boston Law School, and was graduated in 1884. He was admitted to the bar of Suffolk county, Mass., July 8th, 1884, and to the Rhode Island bar in February following. He has since practiced law in Providence. He was a representative from New Shoreham to the general assembly from 1887 to 1889. He was secretary of the democratic state central committee, for Grover Cleveland, during the campaign of 1888. He is yet unmarried. His two brothers living are John C. and William R. Champlin.
Walter Hammond Barney, of Providence, was born in Providence September 20th, 1855, and was graduated from Brown University in 1876. He was elected representative to the general assembly in 1888.
Edwin C. Pierce was born in Providence in 1853, and was educated in the public schools. He has been a member of the school committee and was elected representative to the general assembly in 1888.
The Newport County Reading Room Index More Biographies & History .