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

NY: The American Historical Society, Inc. 1920

p. p. 27 - 30:

JOHN CLARKE BUDLONG, M. D. - MARTIN S. BUDLONG, M. D.  --  Among the old and distinguished families of Rhode Island that of Budlong occupies an enviable place, its members having for many generations occupied high positions of regard in the community, and filled many important public and private capacities.  It was founded in Rhode Island by one Francis Budlong, of Warwick, R. I., of whom we have a record as early as March 19, 1669, when he was married to Rebecca (Lippitt) Howard, the widow of Joseph Howard, and a daughter of John Lippitt, of that place.  It was by a very narrow margin that this Francis Budlong left any descendants at all, as he and his family, with the exception of his son John, were all massacred by Indians at the outbreak of the tribes on the west side of Narragansett bay, which had joined King Philip in his effort to destroy the white settlements and exterminate their inhabitants.  The son, John Budlong, was carried off by the savages, being then but three or four years of age, but was subsequently rescued by a relative of his mother, of the name of Lippitt.  The old Budlong home was situated in old Warwick, R. I., at a place which is known as Horse Neck.

(II)  John Budlong, son of Francis and Rebecca (Lippitt) Budlong, was born at his father's home in 1672.  His perilous adventure with the Indians, his capture and subsequent escape, have already been mentioned.  Upon his return to the settlement, his uncle, Moses Lippitt, made him a member of his family, and he grew up in the community and eventually became a prominent member thereof.  In the year 1692 he became the owner of twenty-five acres of land on Cowesett bay and to this he later added in various ways until he was the owner of a tract of several hundred acres, in which was included Brush Neck.  It was in this region that he built himself a house, where he afterwards dwelt until the time of his death, October 4, 1744, and which is still owned by the family.  He married Isabel Potter, whose birth occurred October 17, 1664, a daughter of John and Ruth (Fisher) Potter.  Her death occurred in 1731, and they had six children.

(III)  Moses Budlong was born in 1708, and married (first) July 4, 1734, Hannah Staples, daughter of Samuel and Hannah Staples.  His death occurred in 1789; he was the father of four children.

(IV)  Samuel Budlong was born in Warwick, R. I., in 1736, and died in 1816. He married, September 28, 1758, Katherine Rhodes, a daughter of Captain John Rhodes, Jr.  Samuel Budlong, of Warwick, was a private in Captain Rice's compnay, Colonel John Waterman's regiment, from December, 1776, to January, 1777.  In 1781 the town of Warwick voted to pay one shilling a day in cash to those of that town producing a certificate of service from their commanding officer; such payments were made to Samuel Budlong and Samuel Budlong, Jr.

(V)  Samuel (2) Budlong, son of Samuel (1) and Katherine (Rhode) Budlong, was born November 2, 1763, at Warwick, R. I. His lot was cast in troublous times, as the war for American independence broke out while he was a young man and he at once hastened to offer his services in the cause of his country.  He enlisted as a drummer boy when but sixteen years of age, and later became a private in the company of Captain Allen Johnston, in Colonel Thomas Tillinghast's regiment of Rhode Island militia.  After his death his widow drew a pension for his service.  He married, April 3, 1791, Waitey Salisbury, born December 19, 1771, and died October 14, 1857, a daughter of Nathan Salisbury, of Cranston.  They were the parents of several children, among whom was Samuel Budlong, who is mentioned below.

(VI)  Samuel (3) Budlong, son of Samuel (2) and Waitey (Salisbury) Budlong, was born November 19, 1809, at Warwick, R. I., but made his home at Cranston, in that State, where for many years he followed the occupation of farming.  He was a man of fine character, and although rather retiring than otherwise, and one who consistently refused to enter public life, was highly respected by the whole community.  His death occurred October 25, 1875, while yet a comparatively young man.  He married, January 23, 1829, Rachel Martin, a daughter of Ephraim and Rebecca (Salisbury) Martin.  Their married life lasted only eleven years, Mrs. Budlong dying in 1840, at the age of thirty-six years.  Mrs. Budlong was a descendant in the sixth generation from Richard Martin, who with his son John and probably other members of the family, accompanied the Rev. John Myles, when the latter, with his congregation, came from Wales about 1665 and settled in that part of Rehoboth which later became Swansea. Her father, Ephraim Martin, was a soldier in the Revolution, as was also her grandfather, Hezekiah, who reached the rank of lieutenant during the war.  He was for a time sergeant in the company of Captain Stephen Bullock, of Colonel Thomas Carpenter's regiment, which on the alarm of December 8, 1776, marched to Bristol, R. I. To Samuel (3) and Rachel (Martin) Budlong the following children were born: 1.  Martin S., who for many years carried on a successful printing business in Providence, where he married Elizabeth Arnold.  2. Olive S., who became the wife of Dr. Isaac W. Sawin.  3.  Samuel N., a merchant of Providence, who resided in that city for many years, but later moved to Scituate, R. I. 4.  John Clarke, of further mention.  5. Rachel, who married (first) Benjamin Smith, and (second) George A. Smith, of Smithfield, R. I.

J. C. Budlong(VII)  John Clarke Budlong, son of Samuel (3) and Rachel (Martin) Budlong, was born August 28, 1836, at Cranston, R. I. His youth was spent in a manner typical of the farmer's boys of that time and region, and his time was divided between the wholesome tasks of farm life and study in the local district schools.  The latter, however, was cut short almost as soon as it began, as Dr. Budlong was left an orphan at a very early age and was obliged, when only nine years old, to support himself. Usually precocious and industrious, he gave his whole attention to the tasks which were set him and rapidly made himself of value to his employers.  His work for a time was on a farm, where he performed such tasks as his youth permitted, and so great was his ambition that he attempted at the same time to supplement his all too brief education and managed to gain a few months' schooling from time to time in the winter.  This did not however, satisfy him, as he possessed the strongest ambition to properly educate himself and, accordingly, by dint of the greatest economy and hard work, he laid by a sufficient sum of money to enable him to enter school by the time he had reached the age of fifteen years.  For a time he attended the Elmwood Grammar School and later the Centredale Grammar School, where he applied himself with the utmost energy to his studies and laid for himself an excellent education in general subjects as a foundation for his later professional work.  He later attended the Fruit Hill Classical Institute, where he studied under that notable educator, Stanton Belden, and was graduated as valedictorian of his class.  During this whole time Dr. Budlong has paid for his own tuition and defrayed every expense connected therewith. Much of that which he earned at that period was gained as a school teacher, he having taught in some of the local institutions of North Providence, first at Fruit Hill and later in the Woodville and Centredale districts, each change of location being accompanied by an increase in salary.  After his course at the Fruit Hill school, he entered the Smithfield Seminary, which has since become known as the Lapham Institute, at North Scituate, R. I., and here he prepared himself for the study of medicine, taking a special course, with this end in view.  He completed his studies in this institution in 1855, but did not directly enter college, placing himself on the contrary under the tuition of Dr. I. W. Sawin, of Centredale, R. I., a man who enjoyed an enviable reputation in that region.  After two years' study under these auspicious surroundings, Dr. Budlong entered the Homeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1857, but was obliged temporarily to give up his studies there and return home.  This institution was later merged into the Hahnemann Medical College of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Budlong there resumed his studies in 1862.  He was graduated with the class of 1863, taking the degree of Doctor of Medicine.  He had, during the winters of 1857, 1858, and 1863, attended clinics at the Pennsylvania Hospital and the Philadelphia Alms House, and during this same time took a private course in surgical anatomy and operative surgery under Dr. Agnew, at the University of Pennsylvania. He received a certificate of proficiency in both these branches, and after his graduation, was offered a position as assistant in charge of the college dispensary.  This offer he accepted and, indeed, it was his intention to settle permanently in Philadelphia and had actually opened an office in that city when the outbreak of the Civil War caused him to modify all his plans and return to his native State.  This move was actuated by his desire to offer his services to the cause of the Union as a representative of his native region, and upon reaching home, he at once enlisted.  On July 29, 1863, he was appointed assistant surgeon in charge of the Third Rhode Island Cavalry, which was then being organized, and on Novmeber 29, 1863, was promoted to the rank of surgeon. He sailed with his regiment for New Orleans in December, 1863, and took part with it in the Red river campaign, during which time he saw much active service.  His personal courage and great knowledge of his subject made him invaluable to the army, and he was rapidly advanced, holding consecutively the offices of brigade and division surgeon. He was also for a time placed in charge of the General Hospital, and continued to remain with the army, arranging and systematizing various matters in connection with the medical bureau until December, 1865, when he received his honorable discharge.  He then returned to Rhode Island, where he entered into a partnership with his brother-in-law, Dr. Sawin, under whom he had previously studied, and the two conducted a successful practice at Centredale for about two years.  At that time Dr. Sawin withdrew from active practice, leaving Dr. Budlong in full charge of his affairs, the latter continuing in practice at Centredale until the year 1883, when, in the month of February, he removed to the city of Providence.  Here he speedily established himself on a firm basis and from that time on, enjoyed a very high degree of popularity in the city and was regarded as one of the leaders of his profession by his colleagues and the community at large.

In addition to his private practice Dr. Budlong became active in connection with the State militia and joined the Pawtucket Horse Guards, and was chosen surgeon of that body.  Some time afterward he was promoted to the office of brigade surgeon of the Second Brigade, and in the year 1875 was appointed surgeon-general of Rhode Island, succeeding Dr. Howard King in this responsible office.  Dr. Budlong was the first homeopathic physician in the world to be elected to the office of surgeon-general, a distinction which did credit to his remarkable ability as a surgeon and popularity as a man. He continued in this office for a period of nineteen years, and finally, retired in 1894, with the rank of brigadier-general.  Dr. Budlong was associated with the American Institute of Homeopathy; the National Homeopathic Medical Society, and served for a time as vice-president of this organization.  He was also a member of the Rhode Island Homeopathic Medical Society, and served it for one year as treasurer and for two as president. He was sent as representative of his State to the World's Homeopathic Medical Congress, held at Philadelphia during the Centennial, in 1876.  He was also an honorary member of the New York State and Massachusetts Homeopathic Medical societies.  Dr. Budlong was a very prominent Free Mason, and was a member of What Cheer Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Providence Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Calvary Commandery, Knights Templar, of Providence; Palestine Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, and Rhode Island Consistory, Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret, and had attained the thirty-third degree in Free Masonry.  He was a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, of the Grand Army of the Republic, and an associate member of the Military Service Institution of the United States.  Among other important organizations with which Dr. Budlong was affiliated should be mentioned the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, and several clubs, including the Central, University and Squantum, of Providence.  He was also president of the board of examining surgeons for pensions at Providence.

Dr. Budlong was a staunch supporter of the principles and policies of the Republican party, and was, indeed, so prominent in its affairs that he was frequently urged to accept its nomination for public office.  This, however, he declined to do, feeling that the duties of his various military and semi-official posts were quite sufficient to account for all his attention and energy, and that he would but diminish his usefulness by dissipating his efforts still further.  He did, indeed, for a time, while resident in the town of Johnston, serve as chairman of the school committee there, but he declined the candidacy for representative from that town, although this was offered him but shortly after he had attained his majority.  He was the choice of both parties for Senator from that town, but in spite of very unusual pressure being brought to bear upon him by his many associates and his fellow citizens generally, refused to accept the nomination.  Two other exceptions to his rule against running for public office are to be found when he represented the Fourth Ward of the city, first as a member of the Common Council and later as alderman.  He declined, however, in 1906, the Republican nomination for mayor of Providence.  In his religious belief, Dr. Budlong was an Episcopalian and for many years was very active in advancing the cause of the Protestant Episcopal church in the community.

John Clarke Budlong was united in marriage, June 7, 1866, with Martha Alexander Williamson, a native of Philadelphia, and a daughter of Professor Walter and Matilda (Massey) Williamson of that city.  Professor Williamson was for many years associated with the Homeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania, where he became emeritus professor of that institute.  The Williamson family is a very old one in the State of Pennsylvania, its progenitors being among the first settlers there and the recipients of a portion of the original grant of lands in Delaware county, a property which is still possession of their descendants.  Dr. and Mrs. Budlong were the parents of the following children:  1.  Walter Williamson, born Jan. 15, 1868, married Alice Thompson, and died Sept. 11, 1902.  Of this union one son, Walter Williamson, Jr., was born. Walter Williamson Budlong received his education at the Jencks Mowry Private School on Academy avenue, Providence, and later at the Classical High School of that city.  Upon completing his studies at the latter institution, he entered the employ of Taylor, Symonds & Company, where he learned the dry goods business and then later went to the Boston Store, with which he continued associated for a period of ten years.  In this concern he had charge of the glove department, and the future promised a brilliant career for him when his untimely death took place.  Walter Williamson Budlong inherited a strong taste for military matters from his father, and was for a number of years a very popular officer in the National Guard of Rhode Island.  He rose to the rank of captain and was placed in command of a machine gun battery to succeed Major William Ely.  This battery had for years, under the command of the latter officer and Captain Henry Walcott, been placed at the head of the brigade by the annual inspectors, and Captain Budlong fully maintained its high standing.  He joined the battery as a private on July 20, 1891, and on September 6, in the following year, was advanced to corporal.   On June 20, 1894, he was appointed sergeant, and three years later, on June 7, 1897, was elected second lieutenant of the battery.  At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, this battery was the first militia company to offer its services to Governor Dyer, and Lieutenant Budlong was among those who signed the agreement to serve in Cuba if the government so desired.  The battery was then organized as Light Battery B, First Rhode Island United States Volunteer Artillery, and Lieutenant Budlong received his commission as second lieutenant in the national service and served in this capacity until the battery was mustered out in the following October.  The year after the war the battery was reorganized and upon that occasion, Lieutenant Budlong was elected its captain on June 10, 1899.  Two years later he resigned from active service.

Martin S. Budlong, M. D.2.  Martin Salisbury, born Sept. 19, 1869, and was educated in the Jencks Mowry Private School and the Providence High School, where he prepared for college. He then matriculated at Brown University, and was graduated from this institution with the class of 1890, taking the degree of Bachelor of Arts.  In 1892 he received from his alma mater the honorary degree of Master of Arts, an honor which he prizes greatly.  Desiring to follow in the footsteps of his distinguished father, he entered Hahnemann Medical College, of Philadelphia, from which he graduated with the degree of Doctor of Medicine.  He supplemented these theoretical studies with the practical experience gained as interne at the Hahnemann Hospital at Philadelphia, where he remained for two years and then returned to his native State and engaged in general practice at Providence. He associated himself with his father, and met with a very high degree of success, and is now regarded as one of the most able physicians of the community.  He married, March 4, 1905, Affie M. Bradford, of Brockton, Mass. Mrs. Budlong is active in the social life of Providence, and is vice-president of the Elmwood Woman's Club, and a member of the Rhode Island Woman's Club.  3.  John Clarke, Jr., born July 17, 1871, and now engaged in the insurance business at Providence. He married Fannie Evans, a daughter of Henry R. Evans, of Providence. 4.  Warren Sawin, born April 16, 1873, and died at the age of twenty-two years.  5.  Matthew Williamson, born June 27, 1875, and died while a student at Brown University.  6.  Alonzo Alexander. 7.  Martha Matilda.  8.  William Gerard.  The three last named died in childhood.

Dr. John C. Budlong was one of those vivid, striking personalities that impress powerfully all those about them and, became we identify them so distinctly in our minds with virile, active life, assume a sort of immortality in consciousness.  This is borne witness to in a remarkable manner, in his particular case, by the feelings of his friends expressed by them.  He was very fond of the society of young folks, entered into their plans and proposals with remarkable spontaneity, and rejoiced if he could render them assistance, and we have it on the testimony of those who knew him best that he never seemed to grow old himself.  In spite of the many cares under which he labored in connection with his public duties and private interests, he never carried them about with him and never obtruded them upon the notice of others, either abroad among his associates or in the bosom of his family at home.  To the very end of his life he retained the buoyancy of youth, the outward expression of an inward spiritual good cheer which never deserted him.  Among his associates, especially those who were fortunate enough to have been intimate with him, the feeling still remains that his spirit is still present, often expressed in such phrases as 'he never died' or 'something comes up every day to make us think him still with us'.  He was one of those natures that have no small taint of meanness such as so often blights the strongest; he had that virtue of simplicity which sinks personal pettiness in wholesome admiration, the simplicity of hero worship.  A fine example of this was to be found in his relations with his army associates between whom and himself there existed the staunchest admiration and friendship.  In the midst of all the many tasks with which his broad and willing shoulders were burdened, Dr. Budlong's feelings and affections all drove him to his home and the intercourse of his own family for rest and relaxation.  Here he experienced more real happiness than he could extract out of any other form of occupation, and every hour of which he felt free to dispose to his own pleasure was thus spent among those he loved best.  Thus did he round out his life, and, to his splendid record of public service, good citizenship and business success, he added that highest praise of a true and worthy manhood.

North Burial Ground, Providence, RI
Martin S. Budlong John C. Budlong, 2nd
Martin S. Budlong
November 21, 1829 - September 22, 1900
his wife
Elizabeth W. Arnold
June 18, 1832 - August 1, 1914
their daughter Emma M. Budlong
their son John C. Budlong, 2nd
September 2, 1863 - July 19, 1924
his wife
Amey L. Spencer


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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