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History of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical

NY: The American Historical Society, Inc. 1920

p. 23 - 24:

HON. GEORGE H. UTTER.  --  The progress of to-day makes the history of tomorrow, and because of the important and helpful part he took in shaping the events of vital importance in Rhode Island, the Hon. George H. Utter left an indelible impress upon the history of the State. Distinguished as a journalist, he was equally wide known and honored by reason of the many progressive movements which he instituted and aided, and which constituted tangible evidence of his devotion to the State's welfare.

Hon. George H. UtterHon. George H. Utter was born July 24, 1854, at Plainfield, N. J., a son of George B. and Mary Starr (Maxson) Utter. Through his mother who was a daughter of John Maxson, he is a direct descendant of Newport's first settler, and of Jesse Starr, of Newport, who participated in the Revolutionary War. On this branch the line is unbroken to Elder William Brewster, the famous divine who founded Hartford, Conn., and came to this country on the 'Mayflower'. George H. Utter accompanied his parents to Rhode Island as a child and received his education at the private schools of Westerly, in this State, and at the preparatory department of Alfred University, Alfred, N. Y.  He studied for two years at the latter institution, and then entered the Westerly High School for a similar period, and was there prepared for college. Mr. Utter then matriculated at Amherst College, from which he was graduated with the class of 1877.  Before entering college he had served an apprenticeship to a printer and learned that trade, so that after completing his education he became associated with his father and uncle in the publication of the Narragansett 'Weekly'.  He later became a member of the firm, and in 1892, at the death of his father, became sole proprietor of that paper.  He continued to be actively engaged for a number of years in newspaper work, and was the founder and publisher of the Westerly 'Daily Sun', which has still has a large circulation in this State.  During his management of these periodicals, Mr. Utter was an earnest advocate of reform in many different departments of the community's life and soon became well known and  highly esteemed by his fellow citizens generally. While still a young man, he became connected with the public life of the town, his first position being that of member of the Westerly School Board. In 1883, however, he was appointed by Governor Bourn as a member of his staff, and served on that body until 1885.  From that time on his rise in politics was rapid, and he served consecutively as a member of the General Assembly, speaker of the House, member of the State Senate, State secretary, and lieutenant-governor.  In the year 1904 he became the nominee of the Republican party for the highest office in the State, and upon the presentation of his name for this candidacy, was referred to by Congressman Adin B. Capron, in the following terms:

'As Jonathan would have delighted to have presented the name of David to the people of Israel, so do I approach the pleasant duty which this opportunity offers.  The people of Rhode Island critically demand of the Republican party that the candidate it presents for the office of Governor and commander-in-chief shall be without fear and without reproach. Less than our best will not satisfy, and, except upon the rare occasions when for a moment we have wandered away after strange gods, our nominees have had hearty approval at the polls during the entire life of our Grand Old Party. With our annually recurring election, it has not been usually possible for our chief executive, except in times of war, to perform the duties of his office in a way to especially call forth marked approbations, voiced by all classes and especially by the bone and sinew of our citizenship, the workers and wage earners, as is the case with the man whose name will presently fall from my lips.  *  *  *  For many years he served the cause of right and righteousness, as it was given him to know the right in the House of Representatives, where he reached out a kindly hand to me, a featherless fledgling from a country town.  I came to love him as it is not often given men to inspire love in men, because of his unswerving honesty, his quick perception of the right, and his unfailing, cheerful and hearty courage in pursuing the right.'

Mr. Utter was successfully elected to the governorship of the State, and served in that capacity in the years 1905 and 1906. His administration won the unqualified approval of political friend and foe alike and he became one of the most highly honored figures  in the life of the Commonwealth. In 1910 he was elected representative from the Second District of Rhode Island to the National Congress, and died in office.

George H. Utter married, May 19, 1880, Elizabeth L. Brown, of Allston, Mass., a daughter of Cyrus H. Brown, of that place, and they were the parents of four children, as follows:  George Benjamin, born April 11, 1881; Henry Edwin, mentioned at length below; Mary Starr, born Feb. 21, 1890; and Wilfred Brown, born Sept. 13, 1894.  George H. Utter died Nov. 6, 1912.

p. 24:

HENRY EDWIN UTTER, M. D. -- Among the well known of the younger physicians of Providence, R. I., Henry Edwin Utter, the well-known specialist in pediatrics, is a prominent figure and, in spite of the comparatively short time in which he has practiced here, has already made a place for himself among the leaders of his profession.

Henry Edwin Utter, second son of Hon. George H. and Elizabeth L. (Brown) Utter, was born at Westerly, R. I., April 9, 1883.  As a child he attended the public schools of that place and afterwards was sent by his parents to Riverview Academy, at Poughkeepsie, N. Y.  Here he took the regular classical preparatory course, and was graduated in 1902. He then matriculated at Amherst College, where he proved himself a most industrious and apt student, and was graduated with the class in 1906, taking the degree of Bachelor of Arts.  Dr. Utter had decided to make the profession of medicine his career, and with this end in view, entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons, in connection with Columbia University, of New York.  He was graduated therefrom with the class of 1910, and received his degree of Doctor of Medicine. He then became an intern at the Boston Floating Hospital, and after occupying that post for the summer of 1910 took a similar one with the Rhode Island Hospital, at Providence, where he remained through the year 1912.  He then returned to New York City, where he became associated with the Babies' Hospital, remaining until 1914, when he began his private practice in Providence.  During his association with the last named hospital, Dr. Utter had become keenly interested in pediatrics, or the diseases of children, and since that time has specialized in this branch of his profession.  He has established a reputation, and enjoys a very large and successful practice, and is regarded as an authority on pediatrics.  In addition to his private practice Dr. Utter at the present time holds the position of physician-in-charge of the Providence City Hospital, pediatric department; attending physician of the pediatric department of the Memorial Hospital at Pawtucket; assistant attending physician of the pediatric department, Rhode Island Hospital; consulting physician of the Providence Lying-In Hospital, and medical director of the North Providence schools.

Dr. Henry Edwin Utter was united in marriage, June 23, 1915, with Josephine Siggins, a daughter of Orion and Alice (Hall) Siggins.  The death of Mrs. Utter occurred May 18, 1918.


These documents are made available free to the public for non-commercial purposes by the Rhode Island USGenWeb Project. Transcription and pictures 2001-2 by Beth Hurd

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