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

NY: The American Historical Society, Inc. 1920

p. 79 - 80:

Edward E. ArnoldEDWARD EVERET ARNOLD  --  Tracing through more than a score of generations from Ynir, an ancient Prince of Wales, and of the eighth generation of the family founded in New England by William Arnold, in 1635, Edward Everet Arnold, of Providence, Rhode Island, brings to his activities the best traits of an ancestry seated in Rhode Island since 1636, when William Arnold became an associate of Roger Williams.  The stay in Massachusetts was very short, as one year after being made a freeman of Hingham he joined with Roger Williams and others in the purchase of land in Rhode Island, acquiring large tracts in Providence, Pawtucket and Warwick.  He was one of the thirteen original proprietors of Providence, and in 1640 was one of the signers to the form of government.  In Providence he became influential in business and public life, the last record of him being under date of March 9, 1658.  He married Christian Peake, the line of descent being through their youngest son, Stephen.

Stephen Arnold was born in England, Dec. 22, 1622, and he was brought to New England by his parents in 1635.  He removed from Providence to Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and there acquired a large estate.  He was prominent in public life, deputy-governor in 1664, and assistant in 1665.  He married Sarah Smith, and was succeeded by his son, Stephen (2) Arnold, born Nov. 27, 1654, inherited an estate from his father, and was one of the leading men of his day, a deputy in 1704-1706-1719.  He married Mary Sheldon, the line to Edward E. Arnold being traced through their son, Philip Arnold, born at Providence, R. I., Feb. 12, 1693, who settled at Warwick, R. I., where his son, Thomas Arnold, was born June 22, 1730.  He married Hannah ----, and had a son, Nathaniel Arnold, who married Eleanor Rice.  Their son, Nathaniel (2) Arnold, was born at Coventry, in 1808, and died Jan. 4, 1872.  He was a substantial farmer all his active years, owning a fine estate adjoining the Rice farm.  He served the church faithfully all his life, and was held in high regard by all who knew him.  He married Lydia Vaughn, and they were the parents of three daughters:  Mary, Eunice, Harriet; and three sons, George H., Henry Nathaniel, and Edward Everet.

Edward Everet Arnold, youngest child of Nathanial (2) and Lydia (Vaughn) Arnold, was born at Coventry, R. I., Dec. 17, 1853, his birthplace, the homestead farm.  The homestead farm was a part of the land purchased by twelve men from Miantonomi, chief sachem of the Narragansetts, January 12, 1642.  After public school courses were completed, he attended East Greenwich Academy, finishing his studies with a course at Eastman's Business College, Poughkeepsie, New York.  He entered business life in Providence, May 11, 1874, his first position being with Mason, Chapin & Company, wholesale drugs and chemicals.  From a clerkship in 1874, he rose to a partnership in 1883, and later, as the elder partners retired, a complete re-organization was affected, the new style and title of the firm, Arnold, Peck & Company.  In later years Mr. Arnold formed a partnership with William H. Hoffman, drugs and chemicals, the business at first, Arnold, Hoffman Company, a firm now and since January 2, 1900, Arnold, Hoffman & Company, Incorporated, Edward E. Arnold, president.  His business life has been one of marked success, his connection with wholesale drugs and chemicals covering the entire period now nearing the half-century mark.  But his association with Arnold, Hoffman & Company is but one of his many important business interests. He is president of the Mathieson Alkali Works, which he founded in 1892, at Saltville, Virginia; president of the Castner Electrolytic Alkali Company of Niagara Falls, New York; president of the Nitrogen Products Company; president of the Oneonta Light & Power Company; president of the Pawtucket Valley Water Company; director of Ponemah Mills.

Notwithstanding his heavy business responsibilities, Mr. Arnold reserved a share of his time for the fulfillment of his obligations as a citizen, and gives freely of his time, ability and means to the public good.  He served for three years as a member of the Rhode Island Senate, and in public spirit and interest never falters.  He is fond of country life, is an earnest advocate of the cause of good roads, and spends his summers at the homestead owned by his grandfather, Nathaniel (1) Arnold, at Coventry, which he also owns.  No good cause appeals to him in vain, and his life must be deemed a worthy and successful one, from whatever angle viewed. He is a member of Lodge, Chapter and Commandery of the Masonic order, also is a member of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, the Hope Club, and the Squantum Association of Providence.  He has won his way in the world, and his life is an example of right living and well-directed effort worthy of emulation.

Mr. Arnold married, Jan. 3, 1889, Mittie Hodges, of Peoria, Ill., and they are the parents of three daughters and three sons:  Mittie, Edward Nathaniel, died age two years; Dorothy, Edwin Hodges, Henry Nathaniel, and Elizabeth.

p. 80:

JOHN FRANCIS McCUSKER, M. D., son of Thomas and Honor (Keough) McCusker, was born in Providence, R. I., Nov. 19, 1865.  He completed public school education with graduation from high school in 1883, going thence to Manhattan College, New York City, taking the scientific course, and receiving his degree, B. S., class of 1886, honor man and prize mathematician. Later, in 1892, he received the degree M. S.  He studied medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, and was graduated M. D., class of 1889.  He entered Rhode Island Hospital in Providence as officer in 1889; was made assistant surgeon of the out-patient department in 1891, and later became connected with the phthalmological
department.  He was visiting surgeon to St. Joseph's Hospital and secretary to the staff, 1892-95; assistant surgeon to the Metropolitan Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital, New York, 1895; house surgeon to the Massachusettss Charitable Eye and Ear Infirmary, 1897, now a specialist in diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat, his offices, No. 382 Broad street, Providence. He is a member of the Providence Medical Association.

Dr. McCusker married Florence M. Rafter, of Damariscotta, Me., Sept. 21, 1908, and they are the parents of a daughter, Honor.

p. 80 - 81:

Nelson W. AldrichNELSON W. ALDRICH  --  The late Senator Nelson W. Aldrich was one of the most conspicuous figures in the public life of recent years.  Beyond that simple statement of fact, a biography of his life needs no further introduction.  He was a man of National reputation, and his work as a conscientious and able legislator in the United States Senate is now a matter of history.

Nelson Wilmarth Aldrich was a native of the State of Rhode Island, born in the town of Foster, Nov. 6, 1841, the son of Anan F. and Abby (Burgess) Aldrich.  He was a member of the famous old Aldrich family of Rhode Island, and a lineal descendant of several of the early founders of the Colony.  The family has been prominent in the history of the Colony since its founding, and its original land holdings extended to the boundary line between Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Nelson W. Aldrich received his early education in the town of Killingly, Connecticut, where he attended the elementary schools.  He later studied at the Providence Seminary and at the Academy at East Greenwich, Rhode Island. At the age of sixteen years he discontinued his studies in the latter institution and went to Providence, where he entered the employ of the firm of Waldron & Wightman, wholesale grocers, in the capacity of bookkeeper.  He remained in this position for eight years, and at the end of this time became a partner in the business, the name of the firm becoming Waldron, Wightman & Company.

Mr. Nelson made his entrance into the world of politics and public affairs in the late sixties, in that turbulent period of reconstruction following the Civil War.  From the very beginning of his public career he was a firm and staunch believer in the principles and doctrines of the Republican party.  He was a man of signal ability, and devoted much energy to work in the interests of the people of Providence.  He became a member of the Common Council of Providence in 1869, and for six years remained in that office, rendering especially conspicuous services to the city during the years 1871-72-73.  In 1875 he was elected a member of the Lower House of the Rhode Island Legislature, and in that year became Speaker of the House.  Three years later he was elected to represent his district in the United States Congress, and was reelected in 1880, serving four years.  During his terms in the House of Representatives he was influential in bringing about much-needed and beneficial legislation, with the cooperation of the other delegates from Rhode Island.  During his second term in the Lower House of Congress, the death of Ambrose E. Burnside, Senator from Rhode Island, left a vacancy in the United States Senate, and on October 5, 1881, Mr. Aldrich was elected to fill the unexpired term, which had five years to run.  In 1886 he was reelected, and served in every Congress thereafter until 1911, when at the end of thirty years' service he refused a renomination and retired from active participation in politics and public life.

While Senator Aldrich was not noted as an eloquent speaker, he was conspicuous for his sound judgement, application and shrewdness, and he at once took rank in the Forty-seventh Congress among his contemporaries, including such recognized leaders as Allison, Ingalls, Sherman, Dawes, Hoar and Edmunds. The brilliant Conkling and the politic Blaine had retired from the Seante to enter other fields of strife.  Senator Aldrich came to the Senate after an experience in the Lower House, and during the first session voted for the establishment of a tariff commission for which he had persistently cast his votes as a member of the House of Representatives. This experience in public life was supplemented by an active business career and an instinct of watchfulness, and his acquirements soon placed him in the foremost ranks among the originators and moulders of legislation and public opinion. He was chairman of the committee on finance, on which he served during his entire term of Senatorial service.  Because of his industrious study of the problems placed before him, he became thoroughly familiar with all of the intricate questions of finance and tariff, and when he had occasion to present his views the Senators accorded him an attentive hearing.  In the Fifty-first Congress he offered an amendment to the McKinley Tariff Measure, involving the reciprocity features originated by Secretary of State Blaine, and strongly advised their acceptance.  By force of his arguments and influence the amendment was passed and became a part of the bill.  In his subsequent career in the Senate, Mr. Aldrich was prominent in the discussions of the great financial questions, and he was the father, the originator and the organizer of the present financial system of the Nation.  He visited Europe as the chairman of the commission appointed by Congress to study the financial systems then in use abroad, and after many years of study brought forward the present national banking law, substantially in the form adopted by the administration succeeding that from which he retired.  Senator Aldrich was conspicuous as an untiring advocate of monometallism.  The measures with which Senator Aldrich's name is most conspicuously associated are known as the Payne-Aldrich Tariff Law and the Vreeland-Aldrich Emergency Currency Act of 1908.  As chairman of the monetary commission he achieved fame, but he was always busy with every legislative programme which affected the tariff or the national finances.

Senator Aldrich was the owner of the finest and most comprehensive library on economics in the entire country.  The collection of books dealing with economics covers the following range of subjects:  Economic theory, economic history and conditions, commerce and trade, shipping and subsidies, commercial treaties and reciprocity, tariff policy, tariff administration, industries, capitial and labor, prices and wages, the cost of living, trusts and monopolies, transportation, money, general works, banking, coinage, exchange, money and banking, public finance, taxation, social science, statistics, etc.  The entire library falls into three main divisions, the first comprising books on travel, history and art, fine literary works, standard authors, etc.; the second, the economic collection, above mentioned; the third, books and papers, and various material relating to the history of Rhode Island, past and present.  In private life, Senator Aldrich was conspicuously identified with the largest business and financial interests of his native State.

Senator Aldrich died in New York, April 16, 1915, and was buried in Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, R. I.

Senator Aldrich married, Oct. 8, 1866, Abby Pearce Truman Chapman, a daughter of Francis Morgan and Lucy Ann (Truman) Chapman, and a member of one of the oldest families of Rhode Island.  Their children were: 1.  Lucy T., of Warwick, R. I.  2.  Edward B., resides at Warwick; married Lora E. Lawson, of Troy, N. H.  3.  Abby Greene, who became the wife of John D. Rockefellow [sic], Jr.  4.  Stewart M., married Martha L. Clackwell, of St. Louis.  5.  William Truman, married Dorothea Davenport, of Boston.  6. Richard S.  7.  Winthrop, married W. Harriet Alexander.  8.  Elsie, wife of Stephen Maurice Edgell.

p. 81 - 83:

CLARENCE ALVERN ALDRICH, one of the most prominent and brilliant attorneys of his day in the State of Rhode Island, and a figure of Statewide prominence in the ranks of the Democratic party, whose death occurred Feb. 1, 1916, was a lineal descendant of the progenitor, George Aldrich.

Clarence Alvern Aldrich was born in the town of East Killingly, Connecticut, August 9, 1852, the son of Anan F. and Abby (Burgess) Aldrich.  Maternally, Mr. Aldrich was descended from one of the oldest and most honorable families of Rhode Island, the Burgess family.  Anan F. Aldrich, father of Clarence Alvern Aldrich, was a member of the Aldrich family of Foster, Rhode Island, and resided there during the early part of his life. He removed to the town of East Killingly, Connecticut, and it was there that his son was born.

Clarence Alvern Aldrich received his early education in the town of Killingly, where he attended the grammar school, later going to Danielson, Connecticut, to attend the high school there.  After being graduated from the Danielson High School, he entered Lapham Institute, at North Scituate, Rhode Island, with the intention of pursuing a course preparatory to entering Brown University.  However, on the completion of his course at that institution in 1871, he spent a period of four years teaching.  During this time he taught in the district schools of the western part of Rhode Island, and the east of Connecticut, at Chepachet in the former State, and East Killingly in the latter.  It was during this period that he finally decided on the profession of the law as his life work, and took the first steps toward that end.  His decision taken, he came to Providence, Rhode Island, in 1875, and entered the law office of the prominent attorneys, Benjamin N. and Simon Lapham, leaders in the legal profession in  Providence, under whose preceptorship some of the most able lawyers in Providence in the past few decades received their initial training in the law.

Mr. Aldrich was a man of great strength of mind and firm convictions, and allowed nothing to swerve him from a decision justly and thoughtfully taken. He was possessed of a mind keenly analytic, individual, and original, and supported with great ability and persistence the principles which he espoused.  He was very distinctly the master of his own destiny, his own career, and clung to the course which he had mapped out for himself in early life despite the fact that his brother was in a position in the work of affairs to aid him materially to a place of prominence in the public eye. The elder man, the late Senator Nelson W. Aldrich, was then a man of highly-respected judgment, mature, influential, and highly-honored in Providence, and eminently in a way to aid Mr. Aldrich onward on the ladder of success.  His aid would undoubtedly have been along the lines of his own convictions, precluding the possibility of originality or expression for the younger man, and in the end would have beyond reasonable doubt have stifled the originality which was one of the principal characteristics of Clarence Alvern Aldrich.  His authority, however lightly-imposed, would have had a disastrous effect.  Mr. Aldrich evinced an independence which later brought his path in life in direct opposition to that of his brother, and wrought for himself a career eminently of his own making.

After a period spent in the office of the Laphams, Mr. Aldrich successfully passed his bar examinations and was admitted to the bar of Rhode Island in 1879, and immediately thereafter began the practice of his profession. He achieved a high degree of success from the very beginning, and gradually assumed a position of authority and prominence in the legal profession in Providence.  He practised independently during his entire career, never forming a partnership.  Mr. Aldrich was recognized as one of the most able lawyers of his time in the city, and handled some of the most important litigation of Providence and the larger cities throughout the entire State. He was known for a man of strictest integrity, unassailably honest, a strict adherent to the ethics of his profession, and a careful guardian of the rights of his clients.

However, although his work in the field of the law brought him a State-wide reputation, he was nevertheless brought more prominently into the public eye through his political connections.  During his entire lifetime he was a staunch and ardent supporter of the principles of the Democratic party.  He was thus, in the matter of politics, opposed to his brother, who was one of the most prominent men in the ranks of the Republican party in the State of Rhode Island.  His choice of sides against his brother in the field of politics, when it would have been natural that he follow the lead of the man who was already firmly established on the ladder of success, and whose very prominence offered advancement, are indications of the courage and independence of the younger man.  Having once formed for himself convictions of a decisive nature, Mr. Aldrich clung to them throughout his life, despite the fact that the party to which he gave his allegiance was decidedly in the minority in the State of Rhode Island.  He joined the ranks of the Democratic party comparatively early, and soon became known locally as an energetic worker and as a leader of more than ordinary ability.  Mr. Aldrich during his career worked with some of the most prominent and influential men of the Democratic party of the time.  Some of these men became his friends for life, and through them he formed some of the most delightful of his associations.  Among these men was the late Ziba O. Slocum, with whom Mr. Aldrich first became associated through his legal practice.  The offices of the two opened into one another for years.  In 1887 Mr. Slocum was the candidate for the office of attorney-general of Rhode Island, and at the same time Mr. Aldrich was running for election to the State Legislature. Both were successful, and shortly after his election the attorney-general, who under the old regime could appoint but one assistant, gave the appointment to Mr. Aldrich, who then became assistant attorney-general of the State.  His services in this office were generally recognized to be of the highest order.  Mr. Slocum continued to be the Democratic candidate for this office for several years thereafter, and on each occasion of his reelection, reappointed Mr. Aldrich as assistant.  In 1893, Mr. Aldrich himself became the candidate for office, but although he polled the strongest vote of any candidate, he was not elected, because of the existing law which made a majority vote necessary for election.  The election was thrown into the Legislature, which was at the time Republican.  His opponent was elected in spite of Mr. Aldrich's plurality of more than one thousand over any of the candidates.  In 1894 he was again persuaded to became a candidate, but was defeated in the election in an overwhelmingly strong Republican year.  During the period which followed, he devoted his entire time and attention to the absorbing work of his legal practice and to his efforts in behalf of the Democratic party.  In 1902 he again entered the field of active politics as a candidate for the General Assembly. He was elected to office, and during his term in the Legislature rendered valuable service in the interests of the district which had elected him.  His popularity gained, and in 1905, despite the hopelessness of the situation and the fact of the obvious strength of the Republican party during that year, he accepted the nomination for the mayoralty of the city of Providence. His opponent was Governor Elisha Dyer, beyond doubt the strongest man the Republican party could have found, but despite his strength Mr. Aldrich ran less than sixteen hundred votes behind.

At this time Mr. Aldrich retired from active participation in politics, though to the time of his death he worked ardently for the good of the party in Rhode Island.  He was appointed to the Board of Bar Examiners, and in this capacity accomplished many needed reforms for the good of the city.  He served in the post for many years.  Mr. Aldrich possessed the talent of working without cessation for any principle or cause which he espoused, of devoting himself purely for the love of work and accomplishment to a task which could not bring him personal preferment.  He was thoroughly disinterested, and was appreciated as a man of unimpeachable integrity alike by his friends and political opponents.

Mr. Aldrich was a well-known figure in the professional and official life of the community, but was equally well-known in its club and social circles. He was a member of the Young Men's Democratic Club of Providence, of which he was president for several years.  He was very active in the work and interests of the club, and was almost always a speaker on the occasion of public banquets.  He was also a member of the Pomham and Wannamoisett Country Clubs.

Clarence Alvern Aldrich married, January 25, 1887, Adeline M. Kennedy, daughter of Alexander and Bethana (Wood) Kennedy, residents of the town of Sterling, Conn.  Mrs. Aldrich survives her husband and is a resident of Providence.

Mr. Aldrich died in Providence, February 1, 1918 [sic].  Nothing could better express the place which he held in the esteem of his fellow-citizens than the following excerpt from a biography of him written shortly after his death:

'For one who never occupied any higher office that he, he held an extraordinary place in the regard of his fellow citizens, and was certainly one of the most popular men in the city at that time without regard to politics or party.  He was a disinterested champion of the people, and without fear or favor worked in their interests and the absolute sincerity of his purpose could not fail to impress them.  There was a certain direct and fearless element in the way that he went after any object that absolutely disarmed the suspicion as to his motives and caused even his bitterest political enemies to pay tributes to his essential honesty. Altogether he was a man of whom his city may be justly proud and whose virtues should long dwell in the civic memory.'

(The Kennedy Line).

Arms  --  Granted February 1, 1618.  Sable, an escallop or, betweeen three helmets close argent, garnished of the second.

Crest --  A hand proper holding an acorn, between two oak leaves vert.

The name of the original progenitor of this large family in America is unfortunately unknown.  A Mr. Kennedy and his wife took passage on a ship from England, bound for the New World, in the latter part of the seventeenth century.  During the woyage, a rough and stormy one, and while nearing the shores of New England Mrs. Kennedy gave birth to a son, Hugh.

Hugh Kennedy is supposed to have lived most of his life in Connecticut, where his parents settled, not far from the village of Voluntown.  He was a farmer.  He married, and had a son Alexander.

Alexander Kennedy, son of Hugh Kennedy, was born in Connecticut, near Voluntown, about 1725.  He lived in Voluntown for some time, and married Mary Edmunds, of that place.  Later he removed to Rhode Island and settled in what is now the town of Foster, where he purchased a tract of land of two or three hundred acres, a small parcel of which was in the State of Connecticut.  This became the home of the Kennedys of Rhode Island, where Mr. Kennedy's twelve children were born.  The homestead remained in the possession of the family until 1870, when it was sold. The children of Alexander and Mary (Edmunds) Kennedy:  Alexander, Joseph, William, Joshua, Samuel, George, Hannah, Deborah, Catherine, Rachael, Polly, and Betsy. William went West early in life, and established a branch of the family in that part of the country, of which little is known.  Joshua and Samuel lived in the eastern part of Connecticut, had large families, and their descendants are still living.  Hannah and Deborah married into the Montgomery family, of Connecticut, and Rachael died a young woman, unmarried.  Catherine married Russell Wood, of Connecticut, whose descendants still live in that State.  Polly married Thomas Blanchard, of Foster, R. I., leaving descendants in Providence.  Betsy married Christopher Place, of Foster, R. I., having seven sons.  A granddaughter is living near there now.

Captain George Kennedy, the youngest son of Alexander and Mary (Edmunds) Kennedy, was born at the old homestead in Foster, R. I., in 1789.  He worked on his father's farm for some time.  He married Celinda, daughter of Thomas and Rosanna (Tyler) Parker, of Foster.  He was greatly interested  in the militia, attaining the rank of captain.  He died at Foster, July 25, 1868, in the seventy-ninth year of his age.  His wife died December 8, ----, aged seventy-nine years, two months, twenty-five days.  Their children:  1. Alexander, mentioned below.  2.  Thomas P., born in Jan., 1818, died a year later.  3.  William E., born Dec. 11, 1819, died Feb. 25, 1908.  4.  Edgar M.  5.  George W., born Jan. 21, 1824, died April 5, 1901.  6.  Theodore P., born Sept. 10, 1825, died Sept. 3, 1913.  7.  Lorenzo M., born June 27, 1827, died Aug. 13, 1896.  8.  Eveline R., died Sept. 27, 1830, aged ten months, four days.

Alexander Kennedy, eldest son of Captain George and Celinda (Parker) Kennedy, was born in Foster, R. I., October 26, 1816.  He was a farmer.  He served in the Civil War.  He died May 2, 1873.  He married Bethana Wood, daughter of William and Hepsie (Nickerson) Wood.  She died December 11, 1899, aged eighty years.  She married Mr. Alexander Kennedy when twenty-two years old.  They had eight children:  1.  Jerome, of Rhode Island.  2. Eveline, died Jan. 5, 1916.  3.  Thomas O., died aged twenty-six years.  4. Jane. O., died July 28, 1916.  5.  Hepsie M., of Providence, married Gilbert Weaver, of Illinois.  6.  Adeline M., married C. A. Aldrich.  7.  Emily J., of Providence.  8.  George A., of Rhode Island.


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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