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

NY: The American Historical Society, Inc. 1920

p. 33 - 34: (part 1)

Gregory D. WalcottGREGORY DEXTER WALCOTT -- The Walcott family is of ancient English origin. The spelling still varies in this family, most of the Salem branch spelling the name Walcott, most of the Connecticut family using Wolcott.  The late Governor Roger Wolcott was a descendant of the Connecticut branch, the immigrant ancestor of which was Henry Wolcott (Woolcott or Woolcoot), who was born at or near Tolland, Somersetshire, England, about 1578, and came to Dorchester, Massachusetts, in the first company.  He removed in 1636-37 to Windsor, Connecticut, where he became a prominent citizen.

(I)  John Walcott, the immigrant ancestor of the family from which Gregory Dexter Walcott is descended, was born in England, doubtless at Glaston, whence he came to America in 1634 or earlier.  He was a planter or yeoman, and was at Watertown, Massachusetts, March 4, 1634-5, when he was admitted a freeman of the colony.  In the year following he was a householder at Cambridge, Massachusetts, but he shortly afterwards became a resident of Salem, Massachusetts.  His life in this colony, however, was brief as he died at Salem, before July 17, 1638.  He married (first) in England, Mary, surname unknown, and (second) Winifred, surname unknown, in this country. He was fined in Salem in 1636 'for refusing to bring his children to the ordinance and neglecting family duties.'  This was the Puritan way of punishing him for following Roger Williams.  His brother William also received a grant of land at Salem in 1637, but was finally excommunicated from the Salem Church at the instigation of Hugh Peters, at the same time and for the same reason as Roger Williams, and, we are told, removed to Providence, Rhode Island, with him.  John Walcott had five children, of whom Jonathan was the fourth child and second son.

(II)  Captain Jonathan Walcott was born about 1638, in Salem or vicinity; married (first) January 26, 1664, or 1665, Mary, a daughter of John Sibley, who died December 28, 1683.  He married (second), April 23, 1685, Deliverance, born September 9, 1656, a daughter of Thomas Putnam.  She died after 1723.  Jonathan Walcott was admitted a freeman, April 18, 1690, was elected captain of a military company in 1690, and was on the list of taxpayers of Danvers, Massachusetts, in 1692.

(III)  Mary Walcott, daughter of Captain Jonathan, became famous for the part she took in witchcraft persecutions.  When she was only seventeen years old, she figured as prosecuting witness in no less than sixteen cases. Captain Jonathan Walcott himself figured as the complainant in several cases, and appears to have been honestly carried away by the influence of the frenzy.  Rev. Mr. Parrish, who was active in bringing the victims of the delusion to punishment, was finally accused of conniving with Abigail Williams, Mary Walcott and others.  Mary was a witness against the vernerable Giles Corey, who was pressed to death under a pile of stones by the authority of the law after being condemned for witchcraft.  Captain Jonathan Walcott died at Salem, December 16, 1699.

(III)  William Walcott, a son of Captain Jonathan Walcott by his second marriage, was born at Salem, Massachusetts, March 2, 1691.  He married, at Salem, August 6, 1712, Mary, a daughter of George and Hannah Felt.  She was born October 13, 1687, and died before 1763.  William Walcott died at Attleborough, Massachusetts (now Arnold Mills, Rhode Island), November 3, 1777.

(IV)  Benjamin Walcott, a son of William and Mary (Felt) Walcott, was born at Attleborough, Massachusetts, October 16, 1729.  His marriage intentions to Mary, daughter of John and Margaret Foster, were published March 3, 1753. His wife was born November 19, 1729, and died March 9, 1820.  Benjamin Walcott's death occurred at what is now Arnold Mills, Rhode Island, July 20, 1781.

(V)  Ebenezer Walcott, a son of Benjamin and Mary (Foster) Walcott, was born at Cumberland, Rhode Island, June 1, 1765. He married, at Attleborough, Massachusetts, March 20, 1788, Mary, the daughter of Simon Titus.  She was born December 2, 1767, and died October 22, 1816.  Her husband's death preceded that date, taking place September 20, 1806.

(VI)  Lodowick Walcott, the son of Ebenezer and Mary (Titus) Walcott, was born at Attleborough, Massachusetts, September 27, 1795.  He married, at Smithfield, Rhode Island, June 21, 1825, Mary Dexter.  He was engaged in cotton manufacturing at Ashton, Rhode Island.  In the panic of 1837 he met with reverses that led to his failure, and, while attempting to retrieve his fortunes, contracted a severe cold which resulted in his death at Smithfield, Rhode Island, February 22, 1840.

Mrs. Mary (Dexter) Walcott was a lineal descendant of the Rev. Gregory Dexter, who came to Rhode Island as early as 1643 or 1644, and of his friend, Roger Williams.  This latter line of descent was through Meribah Williams, who was a granddaughter of Roger Williams' son Joseph, and whose daughter, Ann Brown, through her marriage with Eleazer Whipple, became the mother of Betsey Whipple, who married Christopher Dexter.  From this union there was born eight children, of whom Mary Dexter, the grandmother of the subject of this sketch, was one.  Of this line of ancestry nothing further need be said, since the careers of Roger Williams and of many bearing that name are so well-known.  The posterity of Rev. Gregory Dexter were also conspicuous in the early Colonial history of Providence, and through successive generations they have been dwellers of Rhode Island from the time of his settlement there to the present period.  He was a man of fine intellect, and many of his descendants have left their impress upon the communities in which they have lived.  Some of them have been public benefactors.  Dexter Asylum of Providence, a noble institution for the unfortunate poor of that city, and the Dexter Training Grounds there, are monuments to the name of their founder and donor, the late Ebenezer Knight Dexter.  The achievements of the eminent sculptor and painter, the late Henry Dexter, whose statue of General Warren at Bunker Hill, associates the name with an historic event, reflects credit not only upon the family name but also upon State and Nation.  Not a few of these Rhode Island Dexters have adorned the professions and have become prominent and successful in the manufacturing world, and as a whole, they have been a respectible, industrious and thrifty people.  By the marriage of Lodowick Walcott and Mary Dexter there are two sons, Charles Stuart and William Henry Walcott.

(VII)  Charles Stuart Walcott was born at Smithfield, Rhode Island, July 13, 1826.  In his early life he helped in farm work, and also as a mill hand at Ashton, Rhode Island.  He shipped before the mast from a New England port for a voyage to San Fransisco around Cape Horn.  He became one of the 'Forty-Niners' in California during the Gold Fever, but returned to the East after a brief residence in that locality.  He then became a locomotive engineer on the old Providence & Worcester Railroad; also on the road from Providence to Warren, Rhode Island, establishing his residence in the latter place.  Later he went to the Middle West, and was for a number of years an engineer on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad.

Returning East he volunteered in the Civil War, but was rejected on account of physical disabilities.  He was for a while a stationary engineer for a large chemical plant in New York; also at A. T. Stewart & Company's (now John Wanamaker's) store.  He was a member of the Episcopal church at Lonsdale, Rhode Island; a Whig in politics, but became a member of the Republican party on its organization.

He married, in New York City, July 3, 1867, Mary Catherine Leary, born at Glendale, Long Island, New York, May 5, 1850, and died at Germantown, Pennsylvania, April 28, 1913.  The children by this marriage are:  1.  Mary Dexter, born at Brooklyn, New York, May, 1868, wife of Edward M. Weeks.  2. Gregory Dexter, see below.  3.  Charles Stuart Walcott died at Lincoln (formerly a part of Smithfield), Rhode Island, April 6, 1871.

(VIII)  Gregory Dexter Walcott was born at Lincoln, Rhode Island August 29, 1869.  His preparatory education was at the public schools of Lime Rock, Lonsdale and Moshassuck in his native State.  After leaving school in the fall of 1883, he was employed for the most part in mercantile and manufacturing concerns.  Amongst the former was a dry goods store operated by Sharpless Brothers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  From 1884 to 1885 he was connected with the Providence Public Library, but during the following year he was engaged in farming in Lime Rock.  He was for four years, from 1886 to 1890, with the Glasgow Knitting Mill at Woonsocket and Warren, Rhode Island, and Brandon, Vermont, with the exception of the fall of 1887 when he was with the Oakdale Manufacturing Company of Providence, Rhode Island.  He was for several months in 1890 with the Cutler Manufacturing Company of Warren, Rhode Island.

In 1890 Dr. Walcott resumed his studies and became a student at the Worcester Academy at Worcester, Massachusetts, from which he graduated with highest honors in 1893 to enter Brown University, where he spent four years, receving the degree of A. B. upon his graduation.  He entered Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary of New York City, in 1897, and spent the next three years at these institutions, receiving the degree of A. M. from Columbia University in 1899; Ph. D. in 1904; and B. D. from the Union Theological Seminary in 1900.  In 1900-01 he went abroad and matriculated at the Bonn and Berlin universitites in Germany.  Returning to this country he was assistant minister for a year at the Central Congregational Church at Providence, Rhode Island, and part of the year of 1903 had charge of the Sayles Memorial Church, at Saylesville, Rhode Island. During the academic year, 1903-1904, he was a graduate student at the Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University, taking the doctor's degree in June as stated above.  In the fall of 1904 he became a member of the faculty of Blackburn College at Carlinville, Illinois, as Professor of Greek and Latin.  He became Dean of the college and Professor of Greek and Philosophy in 1905, and remained there until 1907, when he was elected to the chair of Philosophy and Psychology at Hamline University, St. Paul, Minnesota.  This new department, which he established, became rather popular, for while all the courses were elective, at times more than sixty per cent of the eligible students of the university registered for the work.  Dr. Walcott still retains his professorship in Hamline University, but was given in 1917-18 a year's leave of absence to teach psychology and lecture on ethics at Tsing Hua College, at Peking, China.  This is a government institution supported by the Boxer Indemnity money refunded by the United States.

He is a member of the college fraternities, Delta Upsilon and Phi Betta Kappa; also of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Western Philosophical Association, and the American Association of University Professors.  He has been mentioned in 'Who's Who in America' for three successive editions, and in 1916 his portrait was secured by the Minnesota Historical Society for their collection of the Prominent Twentieth Century Men of Minnesota.

A Republican in politics, he is a member of the Progressive branch of that party.  In his religious affiliations he is a member of the Baptist church of Warren, Rhode Island.  He is the author of 'The Kanian and Lutheran Elements in Ritschl's Conception of God', 1904, and has contributed many reviews and articles in scientific, philosophical and other journals.

p. 34 - 35:

RT. REV. DENIS M. LOWNEY --  While of high ecclesiastical station in the Providence diocese, it was as the head of St. Vincent de Paul Infant Asylum that Auxiliary Bishop Lowney first became widely known throughout Rhode Island.  He was connected with that institution from its inception, and his devotion to the work of caring for the well-being of the thousands of little ones raised in the Asylum endeared him to the hearts of Catholics all over the diocese.  The asylum was his most favored project, and he devoted himself unstintingly to its upbuilding and development, his efforts being largely responsible for its present condition.

Bishop Lowney was known throughout the diocese as one of the most charitable priests that ever labored here, and his willingness to dispossess himself of the comforts of life, in order that the needy might have them, brought him the admiration and love of his people early in his priesthood. His appointment to succeed Bishop Doran as Auxiliary Bishop of Providence was received with the utmost satisfaction throughout the diocese. The consecration ceremony in the Cathedral was regarded as in many respects one of the most notable functions in the history of the church of Rhode Island.

Denis M. Lowney was a son of Denis and Bridget Lowney, who were married in Ireland, came to the United States, and with their sons, Denis M., Patrick and Timothy, are residing at Fall River, Massachusetts.  Denis M. Lowney was born in Ireland, June 1, 1863, and the same year was brought to Fall River, Massachusetts, by his parents.  He began his education in Fall River parochial and public schools, and after exhausting their advantages passed courses of classical study in the College St. Laurent in Montreal, Canada, and Manhattan, New York City.  Having completed his classical studies, he spent two years in the study of philosophy at Grand Seminary in Montreal, then began his studies in theology at the same institution, and on December 17, 1887, he was ordained a priest of the Roman Catholic Church.

Immediately after ordination, he was assigned as an assistant to the rector of St. Mary's parish, Providence, there continuing until 1891, when he was called to the Cathedral by Bishop Harkins as assistant, and continued for three years, at the end of which period he was made chancellor of the Providence diocese.  In January, 1903, he was installed rector of the Cathedral, a high duty he well performed until June 3, 1905, when he was installed permanent rector of St. Joseph's Church at Pawtucket, succeeding Rev. Henry Kinnerny.

Father Lowney's rise to eminent distinctions in the Providence diocese was rapid but well-justified.  His learning, piety and devotion formed an irresistible force, and he was widely-recognized as a man of unusual  mental ability and religious fervor.  He was a vicar-general of the diocese, a member of the Bishop's Council, chairman of the board of examiners of the clergy, chairman of the school board, chairman of the board of trustees for Infirm Priests' Fund, diocesan director of the Eucharist League, and treasurer of the St. Vincent de Paul Infant Asylum.  On July 13, 1917, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the diocese of Providence by the Pope, and on October 23, following, he was consecrated to his high office in the Cathedral with full pomp and ceremony.  In 1912 Bishop Lowney observed his silver jubilee commemorating the twentyfifth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.  The manner of the celebration was most informal and simple, that being his especial request.  At a mass of thanksgiving held in St. Joseph's, at Pawtucket, twenty-five children from St. Vincent de Paul Infant Asylum occupied the place of honor in the center aisle.  On that same occasion Bishop Harkins presented the faithful pastor with a handsome gold chalice and paten, a testimonial of his many years of devoted service.

Bishop Lowney died at the Episcopal residence on Fenner street, August 13, 1918, after an illness of several weeks, his two brothers, and a nephew, a priest, being the only members of his family at his residence.  He was buried with full ecclesiastical honors at the Cathedral in Providence, August 16, following, Bishop Beaven, of Springfield, Massachusetts, officiating.

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PATRICK HENRY QUINN, son of Peter and Margaret (Callaghan) Quinn, was born in Phenix, town of Warwick, Rhode Island, December 16, 1869.  He attended the Warwick public schools, completing the grammar school course in 1881. In that year he entered the finishing room of the Clyde Print Works, and there spent the succeeding nine years.  There were nine formative years in his life in which, denied the opportunity to complete an education, he studied books and men, developing those qualities of mind and heart that have always commanded the respect of even those who differ from him.  It was during this period, when little more than a boy in years, that Mr. Quinn, through inherent talent as an organizer and leader, became a prominent figure in the National councils of the Knights of Labor, and was a trusted lieutenant of Terrence V. Powderly, chief executive and the brainiest leader of the strongest labor organization of its period.  The training and experience gained in this position and the opportunity it gave to develop his natural ability was the foundation upon which was built the successful record he has compiled as a lawyer and a man of public importance.  He came to legal age in 1891, and two years following were spent as bookkeeper and salesman with William R. Brown & Company, of Providence.  He met and impressed his individuality upon Edward L. Gannon, of the law firm of Tanner & Gannon, during the summer of 1892.  The acquaintance ripened into a friendship so close that Mr. Gannon feld impelled to advise and even urge upon the young man that he study law.  With his usual energy, Mr. Quinn began the study of law under the preceptorship of his friend.  He retained his place with Brown & Company during the three years which he spent in study under Tanner & Gannon, giving Brown & Company, his services Saturdays and odd hours and evenings, thus earning part of the cost of his legal preparation.

Mr. Quinn was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island in August, 1895, and to the United States Circuit Court, January 18, 1897. In the meantime Williard B. Tanner, senior member of the firm of Tanner & Gannon, had become attorney-general, and upon Mr. Quinn's admission to the bar the partnership of Ganon & Quinn was formed, continuing until the death of Mr. Gannon, March 15, 1896.  Following Mr. Gannon's death Mr. Quinn practised alone at the same location for several years, after which he formed a partnership with Charles H. Kernan, which has continued to the present time.  On January 1, 1918, Robert E. Quinn, a nephew of Colonel Quinn, was admitted to the firm, which is now located in the Turks Head building.  He rapidly advanced in the law, and while he has devoted a great deal of his time to public affairs he has never neglected the interests of a client.  It is this devotion which largely explains the fact that his clients are his friends, and that friendship continues after the relation of client and attorney has been dissolved.  He is probably at his best as a jury lawyer, pleading and argument affording him opportunity to use his powers of oratory and forceful speech. He is fair in his treatment of his opponents, and enjoys the confidence and esteem of every member of the Rhode Island bar.

In politics he has always been a Democrat, and when only eleven years of age helped to organize a company of boys, and marched in the Hancock campaign of 1880.  At the age of nineteen, in the Cleveland-Harrison campaign of 1888, he made speeches for Grover Cleveland; he has since 'stumped' the State in every campaign, both State and National.  He was a delegate to the Democratic State Convention since that time excepting the one in 1914, at which he was named for governor.  He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention which nominated W. J. Bryan, in Kansas City, 1900; to that which nominated A. B. Parker in St. Louis, 1904; to that which nominated W. J. Bryan in Denver, 1908; and in each instance was elected to the delegation unanimously.  He was elected secretary of the Democratic State Central Committee, in 1898, served five years in that capacity, and was then elected chairman for three years.  He was chairman of the Warwick Democratic Town Committee for ten yars.  In 1899 he was elected judge of probate of Warwick, the first judge of probate the town elected, the Court of Probate formerly being the Town Council.  That same year he was elected town solicitor, and in 1906 he was again elected as both judge of probate and town solicitor.  Mr. Quinn won his title of colonel as senior aide-de-camp on Governor Garvin's staff, in 1903.  In 1906 the citizens of Warwick, irrespective of party, united in presenting to Colonel Quinn a lifesize painting of himself, and in 1914 he was the standard bearer of the State Democracy for gubernatorial honor.  In 1916 he attended as a delegate from Rhode Island the Democratic National Convention at St. Louis which nominated President Wilson.  At this convention he was chosen as Rhode Island's member of the Democratic National Committee; was prominent in the movement to divide the town of Warwick, and was appointed by Governor Pothier one of the commission of five to make that division, whereby the town of West Warwick was created; and was elected first president of the Town Council of the new town of West Warwick.

Outside his profession Mr. Quinn has few business interests, one being the Phenix Lace Mills, which he serves as secretary and director, another the Warwick Lace Works, of which he is treasurer.  He is a director of the Pawtuxet Valley Free Library Association;  a past president of the Catholic Total Abstinence Union of Rhode Island; a founder and ex-president of the Catholic Club of Rhode Island; one of the founders of the Providence College; past chief ranger of Court Warwick, Foresters of America; a past grand knight of Gibson Council, Knights of Columbus; member of the American Bar Association and the Rhode Island State Bar Association; Robert Emmet Literary Association; Providence Lodge, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; Warwick Aerie, Fraternal Order of Eagles; and Benjamin Franklin Lodge, Providence Fraternity.  His clubs are the Catholic, Radical, Turks Head, Columbus, and Noonday.

Mr. Quinn married (first), November 12, 1897, Agnes G. Healey, of Providence, who died February 10, 1907.  He married (second), July 22, 1909, Margaret M. Connors, of Providence.  They have one son, Thomas Henry.


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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