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

NY: The American Historical Society, Inc. 1920

p. 131 - 133:

HON. WILLIAM BINNEY  --  The Binney family, of which the late Hon. William Binney, lawyer and jurist of Providence, R. I., was a member, is one of the oldest families of historic lineage which were founded in the Colonial period of our history.  In the several generations since its establishment the family has produced men who have figured largely in the affairs of the Nation, in its commercial and industrial life, and its religious and educational institutions and organizations.

The Binney family in England is very ancient.  Its origin, however, is Scotch, and the lineage of the family there greatly antedates the year 1500, when the branch of the family of which the immigrant ancestor of the American Binneys was a member settled in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England. The progenitor of the English branch of the Binneys came from Scotland in the year 1500.  About one hundred and seventy-eight years later the first of the name is recorded in America.

Arms  --  Ardent with a bend sable, between a cinquefoil in chief gules and a sword in pale azure, bladed or
Crest  --  A horse's head bridled.
Motto  --  Vertute et spera.
(I)  Captain John Binney, progenitor of the family in America, was a native of Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England, and emigrated to America in 1678-79. He settled at Hull, Mass., where he died in 1698, aged fifty years.  John Binney and his son John were buried in the same grave, over which in 1883 several of their descendants erected a monument.

(II)  Deacon John (2) Binney, son of Captain John (1) and Mercy Binney, was born on May 31, 1679, and died in Hull, Mass., June 30, 1759. In various contemporary documents he is called mariner, deacon and gentleman. He was one of the most prominent men of his time in the community, and frequently held public office.  He was town treasurer of Hull, in 1712 and 1733, and from 1746 to 1751; town clerk from 1749 to 1753; clerk of the market, 1743 to 1748, selectman in 1721-22-31-35-39-42-44-48-51; and also assessor. There is mention in early records, under the date March 22, 1724-25, of one Ensign Binney, member of a committee of five to call a minister.  Deacon John Binney married (first), May 31, 1704, in Eastham, Mass., Hannah Paine, born in Eastham, May 12, 1684, died in Hull, January 14, 1757, daughter of Thomas Paine, Jr., and his wife Hannah, daughter of Jonathan and Phebe (Warren) Shaw.  He married (second), in Boston, Mass., December 15, 1757, Sarah Crosby.  He was elected deacon of the church at Hull, December 13, 1727, of which he and his wife, Hannah, became members on April 30, 1727.

(III)  Captain Barnabas Binney, son of Deacon John (2) and Hannah (Paine) Binney, was born at Hull, Mass., March 12, 1723.  He was a very prominent merchant and sea captain in his day, and was master and owner of his vessel in which he traded to Demarara and other ports; he is also said to have been the owner of a plantation and slaves at Demarara. He resided on Summer street, Boston, and there had a store in his residence. From time to time in the Boston newspapers of the period there occur advertisements of his stock.  Captain Binney died at Demarara, probably in 1774. His estate in Boston extended from Summer street to the shore front. He married, October 15, 1747, Avis Engs, daughter of Deacon William and Ann (Adams) Engs; she was baptized in Boston in 1720, and died after 1779. She was admitted to the new South Church, May 1, 1763.

(IV)  Dr. Barnabas (2) Binney, son of Captain Barnabas (1) and Avis (Engs) Binney, was born in Boston, Mass., and baptized there on May 10, 1751.  He died on June 21, 1787, in Franklin county, Penn. He became a member of the First Baptist Church of Boston, March 3, 1771. He was graduated from Brown University, Providence, R. I., with the highest honors in the class of 1774, taking the degree of Bachelor of Arts. His oration delivered at commencement in September, 1774, was published. The title page reads:  'A plea for the right of private judgment in religious matters, and for the liberty of choosing our own religion, corroborated by the well known consequences of priestly power to which are annexed the valedictory of the class (then the one first graduated)  by Barnabas Binney, A. B., Boston, printed and sold by John Kneeland in Milk St. MDCCLXXIV.' Dr. Barnabas Binney served as a surgeon in the American Revolution, and later practiced medicine in Philadelphia.  He married, May 25, 1777, Mary Woodrow, daughter of Henry Woodrow, of Monmouth, N. J.  Several interesting anecdotes concerning Dr. Binney are preserved and a collection of these are printed in the Binney genealogy.  Two of the most interesting relate to his service in the Revolution.  He is said to have discovered life in a soldier assigned for burial, and to have dressed his wounds. The soldier lived and recovered his health, and for the remainder of his life made periodical visits to the doctor bringing him gifts of farm produce. He is also credited with the discovery of the sex of Deborah Sampson, a woman who fought in the war under a man's name, escaping detection until she was wounded and sent to the hospital.  She was taken from the hospital to the home of Dr. Binney, and upon recovering was sent to General Washington, who gave her an honorable discharge and funds for her trip home.  The late Epes Sargent of Boston, wrote of him:  'He was the most eloquent man I ever met.'  Another contemporary writer says: 'His intellectual powers, fine learning, strength of principle, decision and energy in action, with a delicacy of passion and poetic talents, were appreciated'.

(V)  Hon. Horace Binney, son of Dr. Barnabas (2) and Mary (Woodrow) Binney, was born in Philadelphia, Pa., January 4, 1780, and died there August 12, 1875.  He was a graduate of Harvard College in the class of 1797, and took first honors, after which he studied law and began the practice of his profession in Philadelphia.  Horace Binney later became one of the leading members of the bar there, subsequently attaining a national reputation as a trial lawyer of the greatest ability.  He was also a writer of great authority on legal subjects and published a number of treatises, including one on Chief Justice Marshall, one on Chief Justice Tillingham, and a mongraph on Washington's farewell address.  He was an able speaker.  One of his most celebrated cases was the defense of General Hull.  He was United States senator in 1808-09; director of the United States Bank, of Philadelphia; president of the Contribution Insurance Company of Philadelphia for many years.  He twice declined a seat in the Supreme Court of the United States.  Several portraits of Mr. Binney were painted by Inman, Sully, Hesley, and others and two vignettes were engraved for the bills of the National Bank of Philadelphia. Mr. Binney was deeply interested in the genealogy of the family, and was the owner of a silver plate which had been in the family for more than a century.  This plate bore the following arms and crest:  Arms: Argent, two horizontal bars sable with two scallop shells in each bar.  Crest:  An ostrich with a key, or, in his bill.  His maternal Grandmother Woodrow, thorough Scotch, of the blood of the covenanters, lived to the age of ninety-one, 'and I shall be glad', he says, 'to see her again as I saw her last when a law student, and was much delighted with her shrewdness and savoir faire.  Deacon John Binney, of Hull, is an ancestor I am very proud of.  The race from Scotland and England is good enough for us, and we are quite as good.'

Horace Binney wrote to Hugh Blair Grigsby, Charlotte Court House, Va., January 6, 1870:  'My first action in public was walking as one of the Philadelphia Academy boys in the Federal procession, July 4, 1788, to celebrate the adoption of the constitution successively in ten states; perhaps the march to Brush Hill tended to make me a strong Constitutionalist ever since, * * * mine has been a life of health not much abused, not yet very carefully nurtured, but having the root of a very good constitution, passed in wholesome country and exercise from eight to eighteen nearly, and all the rest in this city.  I am devoutly thankful to God for his many mercies, and have a strong sense of kindness for friends why sympathize with me in my capacity to enjoy life.'  For many years Mr. Binney was the oldest living graduate of Harvard.  Professor Diman said of him:  'A proficient in the literature of France and Spain, delighting his history and poetry, a close student of theology - he was much more than a lawyer, much more than a scholar.'  He received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Harvard in 1827.

Hon. Horace Binney married, April 3, 1804, Elizabeth Cox, born at Bloomsbury, N. J., January 2, 1783, the daughter of Colonel John and Esther Cox, of Trenton.  She died in 1865.  The children of Horace and Elizabeth (Cox) Binney were:  1.  Mary, born Feby. 27, 1805; married John Cadawalder. 2.  Horace, born Jany. 21, 1809, a lawyer of Philadelpha; married Eliza F. Johnson.  3.  John, born June 27, 1815, died March 6, 1817.  4.  Esther Cox, born Feby. 10, 1817; married Judge John Clark Hare.  5.  Elizabeth, born June 5, 1820; married Richard R. Montgomery.  6.  Susan, born April 4, 1822; unmarried. 7.  William, mentioned below.

(VI) Hon. William Binney, son of Hon. Horace and Elizabeth (Cox) Binney, was born in Philadelphia, Pa., April 14, 1825.  He was educated there, and entered Yale University, but was prevented from finishing his course by ill health, and left in his junior year.  In 1849 he received the honorary degree of Bachelor of Arts from Yale, and in 1866 that of Master of Arts. He also received the degree of Master of Arts from Brown University in 1856. After leaving college, Mr. Binney studied law in Philadelphia, and was there admitted to the bar.  He rapidly achieved prominence in his profession, and became known as a lawyer of considerable ability.  In 1853 he removed to Providence, R. I., and there resided until he built his home in Newport, R. I., in 1883-84.  He practiced his profession with great success in Providence until the year 1867.  In this year he was the principal organizer and founder of the Rhode Island Hospital Trust Company of Providence, the first trust company organized in New England. He became the first president of the corporation, and held that office until his retirement in 1881, retaining his place on the board of directors until his death.

During his residence in Providence, Hon. William Binney was one of the most prominent citizens in public life.  From June, 1857, to January, 1874, he was a member of the Common Council and served as its president from 1863 to 1871, and during his service in that capacity drew up the present charter of the city of Providence.  He was a deep student of economic, civic, political and social conditions, and wrote largely on these questions, in the newspapers of the city and State.  Shortly before his death he wrote to the 'Providence Journal' a letter advocating a public market.  Mr. Binney was at one time a member of the General Assembly of Rhode Island.  Among interesting family heirlooms in his possession were an oil portrait of Avis (Engs) Binney, his great-great-grandmother, and an excellent portrait of his father by Sully, and a miniature by Brown. Mr. Binney died April 23, 1909, at his home in Providence, R. I.

The following appreciation of Hon. William Binney is taken from an article published after his death:

'For him not merely his college life at Yale in the forties, but repeated residences in Europe, as well as close association with some of the most eminent men of his time, supplied the educative influences which underlie and explain his career.  With three of the New England colleges he was intimately linked, either by the personal tie of undergraduate study or by inherited interest, drawn from the earlier generations, and classical studies at all times made a strong appeal to him.  And yet these were not the only studies nor the only interests which claimed his attention.  The civic sense was at all times strong in him, and he found a keen pleasure - as more than once happened - to be able to render a signal service to the community.  * * *  The community can ill afford to spare one who, exemplifying these ancient ideals of scholarship, of gentle dignity, of reverence and sincerity, of honor and integrity, of sanity and good taste, has been living among us, quietly to be sure, but with a steady influence, nevertheless on his own time.'

Mr. Binney married (first), June 14, 1848, Charlotte Hope Goddard, born ecember 1, 1824, died April 26, 1866, daughter of William and Charlotte Rhoda (Ives) Goddard, of Providence, R. I.  He married (second), April 19, 1871, Josephine Angier, born March 25, 1840, daughter of Rev. Joseph and Elizabeth (Rotch) Angier, of Milton, Mass.  Mrs. Binney survives her husband and resides in Providence.  Children by first wife: 1.  Hope Ives, born May 10, 1849; married, Dec. 1, 1870, Samuel Powel, Jr., of Philadelphia, born Nov. 9, 1848, died April 1, 1902; their children were:  i.  Samuel Powel, born Nov. 23, 1884; married, April 15, 1909, Elsa Putnam, born March 13, 1887; children:  Samuel Powel, born Sept. 4, 1910; Elizabeth Otis, born Oct. 5, 1913; and Grace Putnam, born Jan. 11, 1918.  ii. Thomas Ives Hare Powel, born Sept. 2, 1887. Mrs. Powel survives her husband and resides on Gibbs avenue, Newport, and on Brown street, Providence, R. I.  2.  Mary Woodrow, born Dec. 14, 1856; married, Feby. 12, 1880, Sidney Frederick Tyler; children: i.   Charlotte Hope Tyler, born Jany. 5, 1881, married Feby. 12, 1902, Robert Leaming Montgomery, of Philadelphia, and had:  Helen Hope, born April 8, 1903; Mary Binney, May 19, 1907; Alexander Arnulph, May 7, 1911; Charlotte Ives, Dec. 28, 1912.  ii.  George Frederick Tyler, born Aug. 10, 1883; married Stella Van Tuyl Elkins, April 27, 1905, and had:  Sidney Frederick, born July 20, 1907, Molly Elkins, born Sept. 15, 1910, and George Frederick, Jr., born April, 1914.  3.  William, Jr., born July 31, 1858; married, July 14, 1881, Harriet D'Costa Rhodes.  4.  Horace, born May 18, 1860; a graduate of Harvard, 1883; married, April 20, 1888, Marie Sorchan, of Paris, France;  children:  i.  Marie Sorchan, born April 10, 1889, died in Feby., 1891.  ii.  Horace, Jr., born April 6, 1905.

p. 133:

HOWARD WARDWELL CHURCH, D.M.D., one of the most successful of the practicing dentists of Bristol, R. I., where he has been active since the year 1902, is a native of this city, his birth having occurred here October 19, 1879. He is a son of James and Mary T. (Wardwell) Church, like himself natives of Bristol.  James C. Church was prominent in the financial and business life of the community, was treasurer of the City Savings Bank of Providence for thirty-eight years, and otherwise connected with banking affairs. He retired from active life about 1903, and is now living on a farm near this city.  He was a member of the State House Representatives for two terms, and for a similar period of the State Senate.  The elder Mrs. Church died July 8, 1888.

The childhood of Howard Wardwell Church was passed in his native city of Bristol, and it was there that the preparatory portion of his education was received.  He attended the grammar schools and the City High School, but before he had graduated from the latter was sent by his parents to the celebrated Mowry and Goff School at Providence.  He was there prepared for college and, after his graduation he entered the dental department at Tufts College, having decided to make that profession his career. He took the usual dental course and graduated with the class of 1901, taking the degree of Doctor of Dental Medicine.  He then studied for two years in the medical department  of the same institution, and in 1902, opened his office in the Esterbrook block, Bristol.  Since that time he has made his headquarters at this place and developed a large and high class practice, so that he is now regarded as among the leaders of his profession here.  Besides his professional activities, Dr. Church is an energetic participant in the public life of Bristol, and is well known in many different departments of its affairs.  In politics he is a Republican, and while quite unambitious for a political preferment, has served on the school committee of the city for fifteen years.  He is also prominent in fraternal and social circles here, and is affiliated with a large number of organizations of different character.  He is a member of the various professional organizations including the Rhode Island Dental Society, the New England Dental Association, and the National Dental Association, and outside of these he belongs to the local lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows; the Bristol Yacht Club; the County Poultry Association, of which he is the president; the American Kennel Club; and the Rhode Island Kennel Club, of which he is also president. As may be judged by the nature of his clubs, Dr. Church is exceedingly fond of open air  life and all the pasttimes and occupations associated with the out-of-doors.  He greatly enjoys hunting and fishing and spends much of his spare time thus employed, but his chief pleasure and relaxation is the breeding and fancying of fine strains of dogs and poultry, and in this line he has been highly successful.  Dr. Church maintains a handsome residence at No. 37 Franklin street, Bristol.

Howard Wardwell Church was united in marriage, November 2, 1909, at Bristol, with Sarah B. Paull, of this city, daughter of Augustus R. and Sarah Jane (Burnham) Paull, old and highly respected residents of this place.  Mr. Paull, who was for many years engaged in the wholesale produce business here, died in August, 1915, at the age of seventy-two years.  His wife survives him and now makes her home at Bristol.

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WALTER HIDDEN  --  The name of Hidden is found in American Colonial records as early as 1654, when on the vital records of Rowley, Mass., the entry of the marriage of the founder of the line in America is found.  Since that early period the family has been prominent in New England, and is allied by marriage with some of the foremost families of that section of the country. The name is particularly well known in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, with the latter of which it has been identified for more than one hundred years. Notable figures in the mercantile and public life of the past century were the late James Clifford and Henry Atkins Hidden, members of the Rhode Island family.  Both these, influencial and important factors in business and financial circles, were citizens of unimpeachable integrity and worth, whose services in public capacities brought them the honor and love of the city of Providence; they bore well and even added to the heritage of an honored and distinguished name.

(I)  Andrew Hidden, immigrant ancestor and founder of the American family of the name, was born about 1620, and is first of record in the American colonies in 1654.  He was early a resident of Rowley, Mass., and married there, 7th of 4th month, 1654, Sarah, who died on October 9, 1729, aged about one hundred and three years.  Little beyond this is known of Andrew Hidden except that he died February 18, 1702, an old man, according to the records of Rowley.  Children:  1.  Andrew, born 7th month, 1655.  2.  John, born 16th of 2nd month, 1657.  3.  Margaret, born 28th of July, 1659.  4. Sarah, born Oct. 1, 1661.  5.  Mary, born 21st of Sept., 1663.  6. Elizabeth, born 19th of 12th month, 1665.  7.  Ann, born 22d of June, 1668. 8.  Mary, born 21st of July, 1669.  9.  Andrew (2), born 25th of Aug., 1670. 10.  Joseph, born 28th of Oct., 1671.  11.  Samuel, born 16th of July, 1673. 12.  Ebenezer, mentioned below.

(II)  Ebenezer Hidden, son of Andrew and Sarah Hidden, was born at Rowley, Mass., March 7, 1675-76.  He married, July 17, 1701, Elizabeth Story, who after his death married (second), April 28, 1757, Hon. John Hobson.  They were the parents of the following children:  1.  Elizabeth, born March 27, 1702.  2.  Sarah, born Oct. 3, 1703.  3.  Dorothy, born Sept. 9, 1705.  4. Mary, born March 22, 1707-08. 5.  Ebenezer, born Dec. 6, 1710.  6. Jonathan, born Jany. 19, 1712-13.; married in Rehoboth, where he is referred to as a resident, July 18, 1736, Susannah Hart, of that place.  7.  Edward, mentioned below.  8.  James, born June 2, 1718.  9.  Lucy, born April 1, 1722.  Jonathan Hidden died at Lake George, Jany. 6, 1756.  Ebenezer Hidden died some time prior to Aug. 8, 1748, on which date his will was proved.  In it he mentions his wife Elizabeth, and children, Jonathan, Edward, Dorothy, wife of James Sabin, and Lucy, wife of Thomas Elsworth.

(III)  Edward Hidden, son of Ebenezer and Elizabeth (Story) Hidden, was born April 22, 1716.  He married, at Rehoboth, Mass., June 18, 1741, Rachel Sabin.  She was born March 21, 1718-19, daughter of Noah Sabin, of Rehoboth. Edward Hidden served as an officer in the Continental Army during the American Revolution, and lost his life in the battle of Red Bank. Children, according to the town record of Rehoboth:  1.  Luce (Lucy), born Feby. 19, 1742.  2.  James, mentioned below. 3.  Jonathan, born Nov. 25, 1746.  4. Noah, born Dec. 1, 1748. 5.  Ruth, born April 23, 1752.  6.  David, born March 21, 1755.  7.  Hannah.

(IV)  James Hidden, son of Edward and Rachel (Sabin) Hidden, was born in Rehoboth, Mass., July 19, 1744.  He married (first), Betsey Knowles.  He married (second), in Providence, September 10, 1809, Mary Waterman Clifford, born in 1779, daughter of Francis Clifford, and cousin of Betsey Williams, donor of the beautiful Roger Williams Park to the city of Providence.  She was a descendant in the fifth generation of Roger Williams.  James Hidden resided during the earlier porion of his life in Walpole, Mass., but spent his last years in Providence, where he died prior to December 10, 1818.  His widow died in Providence, May 29, 1866, aged eighty-seven years.  Children of the first marriage: 1.  Mary B., died Jany. 4, 1882, aged eighty-one years.  2.  Susan, married Samuel Butts.  3.  William.  James and Mary Waterman (Clifford) Hidden were the parents of two sons.  4.  James Clifford, mentioned below.  5.  Henry Atkins, mentioned below.

(V)  James Clifford Hidden, son of James and Mary Waterman (Clifford) Hidden, was born in Walpole, Mass., May 15, 1813.  He received his early education in the public schools of Providence, after his father's removal to that city, and later attended the private school of Oliver Angell, and the classical school of Thomas C. Hartshorn.  A gifted student, he subsequently prepared for the profession of law and the practice of medicine, but was never actively engaged in either.  For a short period of years, after completing his education, Mr. Hidden taught in the schools of Providence. He later became associated with his brother, Henry Atkins Hidden, in the engraving and copper-plate business, purchasing the interest of General Thomas F. Carpenter in the firm of H. A. Hidden & Company. Until 1849 Mr. Hidden remained actively connected with the firm.  In this year he disposed of his interests in the business of his brother, and in 1851 purchased a large farm in Attleboro, Mass., where for ten years following he engaged in agriculture.

James Clifford Hidden, prior to his removal to Attleboro, and after his return to the city of Providence, was a prominent and influential figure in its public affairs.  He was a well known member of the Whig party, and from 1842 to 1847 was a member of the Common Council of Providence, holding that office again from 1868 to 1869.  He was president of that body from 1845 to 1847.  For many years he was a representative from Providence in the Lower House of the Rhode Island General Assembly, rendering services of so conspicuously valuable a nature as to make him one of the most popular men in public service in Providence in his day. He held the post of speaker of the House from 1849 to 1851.  Mr. Hidden was active in military affairs during the earlier years of his life, and was a member of the First Light Artillery Company of Providence until 1845. In 1842 he served as captain of the First Ward City Guard.

On March 27, 1839, James Clifford Hidden married Eliza Perrin, daughter of Daniel and Eliza Dean Perrin, of Medfield, Mass.  She died September 16, 1866, and he married (second), November 27, 1867, Eliza D. Leeman, of Newcastle, Me.  Children of the first marriage were six in number. Child of the second marriage:  Elizabeth Tower.  Mr. Hidden was for many years a member of the Rhode Island Historical Society.  He died at his home in Providence.

Henry A. Hidden(V)  Henry Atkins Hidden, son of James and Mary Waterman (Clifford) Hidden, was born in Providence, R. I., December 10, 1816.  He received his education in the private schools of Providence, and subsequently attended the academy at Leicester, Mass.  For a short time after leaving school he was employed in a store in Providence in the capacity of clerk, but at the age of twenty-one years, he entered upon an independent business venture, and launched the firm of H. A. Hidden & Company, in partnership with General Thomas F. Carpenter.  Together they started in the engraving and copper-plate printing business, locating in Whitman's block at the junction of Westminster and Weybosset streets, in Providence.  The firm met with large success and developed rapidly to great size, handling a large part of the engraving and printing of notes for the State banks.  They also engraved the diplomas for Brown University.  In 1837 James C. Hidden became a member of the firm, purchasing the interest of General Thomas F. Carpenter.  In 1849 he disposed of his holding, however, and from that time onward until the time of its dissolution Henry A. Hidden remained the head of the business and its sole owner.  For a long period of time the firm did opper-plate printing for manufacturers and bleachers of cotton goods throughout New England, and through this indirect conncction with the industry Mr. Hidden became interested in it.  Previous to 1843 he had become a dealer in cotton and cotton goods.  This business eventually increased to such proportions that he abandoned the copper-plate and engraving business, and in 1860 entered the mercantile field, in which he was very successful, becoming one of the largest dealers in print goods, if not the largest, in Rhode Island; the business yielded lucrative returns, and at the time of his death Mr. Hidden was a man of considerable wealth.  In 1868 he admitted his sons, Charles H. and Wilkins U. Hidden, as partners, and firm became known as H. A. Hidden & Sons; in 1875 he admitted his son, Walter Hidden.

Henry A. Hidden was well known and prominent in public life in the city of Providence, and although in no sense of the word an office seeker served for two years as a representative in the Rhode Island General Assembly; he also was a member of the Providence Board of Aldermen from 1860 to 1861.  He was active in financial circles, and was a corporate member and president of the What Cheer Bank, as well as a director in many corporations of note in the city.  For several years he was a member of the Providence Commercial Club, which was formed of the most influential business men in Rhode Island.  He was also a charter member of the Providence Board of Trade, and of the Rhode Island Historical Society, which he joined in 1873.

Henry A. Hidden married, in 1839, Abby A. Updike, daughter of Hon. Wilkins and Abby A. (Watson) Updike (see Updike VI).  Mr. and Mrs. Hidden were the parents of the following children:  1.  Charles Henry, mentioned below.  2. Wilkins Updike, mentioned below.  3.  Walter, mentioned below.  Henry A. Hidden died at his home in Providence, R. I., August 7, 1899.

(VI)  Charles Henry Hidden, son of Henry A. and Abby A. (Updike) Hidden, was born September 12, 1840, and died May 22, 1907.  He was a graduate of Brown University in the class of 1861, and in 1862 went to the front as a private in Company D, Tenth Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry.  In 1868 he became a member of the firm of Henry A. Hidden & Sons, and continued in connction with the business until his death.  He was  well known and prominent in business circles.  He was a member of several clubs, among then the University Club, of New York, and the Hope Club, Agawam Hunt Club, and Squantum Association of Providence.

(VI)  Wilkins Updike Hidden, son of Henry A. and Abby A. (Updike) Hidden, was born December 25, 1842.  He was graduated from Brown University in the class of 1865, and in 1868 was admitted to partnership with his father in the firm of H. A. Hidden & Sons.  In recent years he has been retired from active business life.  Mr. Hidden is a member of the Theta Delta Chi fraternity.

(VI)  Walter Hidden, son of Henry A. and Abby A. (Updike) Hidden, was born April 19, 1851.  He received his elementary education at the Mount Pleasant Institute, later becoming a student at the famous St. Paul's School, of Concord, N. H. Completing his studies, he identified himself immediately with his father's business, and in 1875 became a member of the firm of H. A. Hidden & Sons.  Mr. Hidden has always been an ardent sportsman, and a lover of out-door life.  His hunting and fishing tours have covered the notable game preserves of the United States, Canada and Europe.  He is a member of the Audubon Society, and a strong advocate of the preservation and conservation of bird life in America.  Mr. Hidden is also widely known in club circles in the city of Providence.  He was for several years president of the Squantum Association, and of the Hope Club, and for five  years was president of the Agawam Hunt Club.  He retains active membership in all the foregoing and is also a member of the Rhode Island Country Club.  By virtue of descent he is a member of the Society of Colonial Wars.  A man of scolarly tastes, a lover of the fine arts, widely traveled, and a true cosmopolitan, Mr. Hidden represents a type which commercialism is rapidly eliminating -- the well rounded, courteous, affable gentleman of the old school.

On October 12, 1897, Mr. Hidden married Mrs. Kate Holmes Anthony Hoppin, daughter of Henry A. and Kate L. Heiser. They are the parents of one daughter, Mary Updike, born September 25, 1903.

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THE UPDIKE FAMILY is one of the most conspicuous and important in Rhode Island history.  The American ancestor, Gysbert Opdyck, who came to New Amsterdam prior to 1638, was a son of Lodowigh (Locowick) Op den Dyck, of Wesel, Germany, son of Gysbert op den Dyck, son of Lodowigh, son of Gysbert, son of Johan, son of Johan, son of Deric, son of Henric op den Dyck.  The name is found in a great variety of spellings, all different forms of the name, op-de-Dyck, which means at or on the dike.

(I)  Gysbert Opdyck, the American ancestor, signed his name, Op d Dyck, in the two autographic signatures which have been handed down, and this form was also used by his father on the baptismal certificate of his son in Wesel.  The name became anglicised quickly, and is found in the records under varied form, Updike, Updyke and Opdyke, being the more prevalent forms.

Gysbert Opdyck was baptized in Willibrod's Church, Wesel, Germany, September 25, 1605.  The years between his birth and his coming to New Amsterdam were spent in his native city, where he was well educated.  He bore the title, Doctor, which in German is a degree of learning, not of medicine.  This has led to some confusion as there seems no proof that he was a physician. Wesel Academy was then famous in Europe, and the best influence is that he was graduated from that institution of learning with the doctor's degree. He came to now New York City, prior to 1638, and until the English occupation in 1664 was one of the leading men in New Amsterdam, an officer of the Dutch West India Company, commander of Fort Hope, under repeated appointments, commissary, one of the eight men who signed the great Treaty of Peace, August 30, 1645, between the Dutch and all the River Indians, his father-in-law, Richard Smith, also one of the 'Eight Men'.  He was also tithe commissioner, and frequently sat in the Council.  He was a friend of Governor Keift, Secretary Van Tienhoven, Fiscal de la Montagne, and Burgomaster Creiger, all of whom stood as sponsers at the baptism of his children.  Through all the many difficulties and trying situations through which the early Dutch settlement passed, he bore himself creditably. Gysbert Opdyck maintained a home on Stone street, New York, and also owned a farm at Hempstead, another at Cow Neck, L. I., and a whole of Coney Island was his property, part of it bearing his name.  The present Coney Island was then composed of three islands all owned by him, duly patented by Governor Kieft, and recorded by the secretary as can still be seen on the old Dutch records in Albany State Library.  The eastermost of the three was known as 'Gysbert's Island' for many years, but all were patented to him.  He had a legal and valid patent to all of Coney Island, but had never been able to occupy it without danger from the Indians.  Finally he transferred his claim to Duck de Wolff, a wealthy Holland merchant.  After the English occupation, nothing is found on the records concerning him.  The tradition is doubtless correct that he went with his children to Narragansett, after the death of his father-in-law, Richard Smith, in 1666, to take possession of the lands about Wickford, bequeathed to the children of Gysbert's deceased wife, Catherine.  'Gysbert Op ten Dyck, a bachelor from Wesel, and Catherine Smith, a maiden from England', were married September 24, 1643.  She was a daughter of Richard Smith, a man of wealth, character, activity and energy, prominent in Massachusetts, New Amsterdam, and Rhode Island.  He was born in Gloucestershire, England, came to New England to attain religious freedom, and was a most acceptable inhabitant and prime leading man in Taunton in the 'Plymouth Colony'.  About 1639, he bought from Narragansett Sachems thirty thousand acres on the west side of Narragansett bay, and there erected a trading post located on the 'Pequot Path'.  He died at his house at Wickford, R. I., his large land holdings being divided by will between his children and grandchildren.  Gysbert Opdyck's eldest son, Lodowyck, appears upon Kingstown records at Wickford, R. I., as early as 1668, and others of his children later.

(II)  Lodowick Updike, the second son of the Dutch-American ancestor, was baptized in the Dutch Church at New Amsterdam, June 10, 1646.  Three years of his infancy were passed at Fort Hope (Hartford, Conn.), as his father was commander there, but his youth, until the age of twenty, was spent in New Amsterdam in his father's house on Stone street, or in the house 'next the City Hall', and on Long Island.  Two years after the English occupation he is of record at Wickford, R. I., where his Grandfather Smith's trading house stood, and henceforth Rhode Island was his home, the name becoming as now, Updike, the English clerks so writing in the public records 'to take off the Dutch of it'.  His name is of continual mention in Rhode Island and Wickford records which leads to the inference that he was a man of prominence and energy.  He held the rank of lieutenant, was assessor, grand juryman repeatedly, served on important town committees, and as deputy to the General Assembly.  He inherited largely from his Grandfather Smith, and doubled his inheritance by his marriage to his cousin, Abigail Newton, daughter of Thomas and Joan (Smith) Newton, who was seventeen years his junior.  Lodowick Updike had his children educated at home by a foreign tutor, one of his sons marrying the daughter of a governor of Rhode Island, and becoming one of the most eminent men of the colony.  His wife, Abigail, was a convert to the Protestant Episcopal faith, the following item being from St. Paul's Church Register:

'1726, September 11, at night, clinick baptism, was administered by Mr. McSparran to Abigail, wife of Captain Lodowick Updike, it being the sixty-third year of her age.'

Lodowick Updike lived to be ninety years old, seventy years of that period being spent in Rhode Island, in the Narragansett section, which he saw change from a wilderness to a well ordered community.  He came when a young man of twenty to 'Cocumscussuc', or Smith Castle, built by his Grandfather Smith, at Wickford, in 1639, and rebuilt in 1680 by Richard Smith, Jr. Later Lodowick Updike became its owner, who in turn passed it to his son, Daniel, he to his son, Lodowick (2), he to his children, the 'Castle' passing out of the family in 1816.  The old historic town yet stands, no other building rivaling it in historic interest.  It sheltered many Updikes during the one hundred and eighty years it remained in the family name, and there many distinguished guests were entertained:  Roger Williams, Governor John Winthrop, Sir Edward Andros, Edward Randolph, Bishop Beverly, Smibert, the artist, Benjamin Franklin, the Marquis de Lafayette, the Duc de Lauzun, Bishop Seabury, Dr. James McSparran, and many other men of note having partaken of Updike hospitality within the walls of 'Smith Castle'.

(III)  Daniel Updike, second son of Lodowick and Catherine (Smith) Updike, was born at Wickford, R. I., in 1694, and died May 15, 1757.  He was educated under a private French tutor, who taught him Greek, Latin and French, other tutors teaching the usual studies forming the classical courses.  He studied law, opened an office in Newport, and there practiced very successfully.  In 1722 he was elected attorney-general of Rhode Island, and annually re-elected until 1732, when he declined further election. Boundary disputes continually arose during his offical term, Connecticut and Massachsuetts being averse to granting Rhode Island the little she claimed. Mr. Updike represented Rhode Island on the committees appointed, and was of great service to the Colony in presenting Rhode Island cases before the deciding bodies.  He was attorney-general until 1740, when a law was passed abolishing the office and creating a similar one of each county.  Daniel Updike was appointed attorney-general for Kings county, in 1741, was re-elected to the same office in 1742, the county law was repealed in 1743, and the old law revised under which Mr. Updike was again re-elected attorney-general for the Colony, annually re-elected until his death in 1757, his service to the State having been vital to the very life of the same.

In 1730 the first literary institution in the Colony was formed, in Rhode Island, out of which grew Redwood Library.  Mr. Updike was one of the founders, the first signer of its constitution, and a zealous member.  He was an intimate friend of the learned Dean Berkeley, and when the Dean returned to England he presented his friend with an elegantly wrought silver coffee pot, and after his arrival sent him his 'Minute Philosopher', which remained in the family as remembrance of the distinguished Divine.  His intimacy with Gridley, Colonial attorney for Massachusetts; Shirley, Governor under the Crown, Judge Auchmuty, the elder and Mr. Bollan, often caused him to visit these gentlemen in Boston, and outside of Rhode Island his acquaintance was large.  He possessed a fine library of classical and general literature, was highly respected among his professional brethren, and in all literary and law associations of his day his name stands at the head.  He was a strong advocate for the cause he championed, stood about five feet, ten inches high, with prominent features, and a clear, full musical voice.  From the records of St. Paul's Church, this extract is taken:

'Colonel Updike of North Kingston, Attorney-General of the Colony, died on Saturday, the 15th of May, 1757, about noon, and after a funeral discourse was preached by Dr. McSparran, was interred in the burial ground of the family beside the remains of his father and second wife, Anstis Jenkins, mother of Lodowick and Mary Updike, his surviving children.'

This burial ground of the Smith and Updike families was a part of the 'Cocumscussuc', the estate owned by them at Wickford. He had three wives: Sarah Arnold, Anstis Jenkins, and Mary Wanton.

(IV)  Lodowick Updike, the first born of Daniel Updike, attorney-general of Rhode Island, and his second wife, Anstis (Jenkins) Updike, was born at Newport, R. I., in 1725, died in 1804.  Under the custom of his day he was educated under private tutors, studied law, but never practiced, devoting all his life to the care of his private estate.  He became an eminent citizen of Rhode Island, and while his qualifications were such as fitted him for high position at the bar, in political or military life, he preferred the dignity and scholarly leisure of his private life of a landed gentleman.  He owned five farms, 1500 acres, resided in Smith Castle, the Updike Mansion, near Wickford, which descended down to him through his father and grandfather from Richard Smith.  To strong intellectual powers he added taste and attainment, entertained with an almost royal hospitality, and the doors of the Smith Castle were never closed to traveler of either low or high degree.  In fact, his great delight was the entertaining of his numerous friends.  He was a zealous adherent of the Church of England, and to his interest was largely due the erection of an Episcopal church at Wickford.  In personal appearance he was tall and fine looking, always wore a wig, and small clothes, and was said to resemble George III, of England. He is interred in the family burial plot at Wickford, as are his wife and children.  He married, January 25, 1759, Abigail Gardner, of Boston.  They were the parents of eleven children:  1.  Daniel, a lawyer and attorney-general of Rhode Island.  2.  James, died unmarried.  3.  Anstis, married William Lee, and died on her one hundredth birthday; her memory is perpetuated in St. Paul's Church by a beautiful communion table imported from Europe, a century and a half ago.  4.  Mary, married Nathaniel Mundy, a merchant of Wickford.  5.  Abigail, married Joseph Reynolds, a farmer.  6. Sarah, married David Hagan, a mariner.  7.  Lydia, married Frederick Cary, a merchant.  8.  Lodowick, a merchant of Rhode Island and New York City.  9. Alfred, a mariner and merchant of Wickford.  10. Gilbert, a mariner of Rhode Island, who later went West.  11.  Wilkins, of futher mention.

(V)  Wilkins Updike, youngest of the eleven children of Lodowick and Abigail (Gardner) Updike, was also almost the last of a generation of true Rhode Island men known as 'old fashioned', 'of the old school', but worthy of respect and imitation in the walks of private and public life.  This was the eulogy passed upon 'an old fashioned gentleman, this vigorous and honest legislator, the hospitable and warm hearted citizen' by his colleagues of the Rhode Island General Assembly at his decease.  He was born at North Kingstown, R. I., January 8, 1784, died at his home in Kingstown, January 14, 1867.  He was educated under private tutors and at Plainfield Academy (Connecticut), pursuing law study under William Hunter and Asher Robbins, of Newport, and Elisha Potter, of Kingstown.  He was admitted to the bar in 1808, and soon rose to eminence in his profession. He resided at Tower Hill, also for a few years at the homestead at North Kingstown, now Kingston.  He was a law maker as well as a lawyer, and was identified with many legislative reforms, the Married Woman's Act, the system of public schools, and many of the great public enterprises of his time.  He was a hard working member of the General Assembly, in debate was most effective, in logic convincing, in ridicule most powerful and in sympathetic appeal could draw the hardest to tears.  At his decease the General Assembly passed the following resolutions:

'Resolved, That we desire to inscribe upon the record some memorial of our respect for this old fashioned gentleman, this vigorous and honest legislator, this hospitable and warm-hearted citizen. Resolved, That in the decease of Hon. Wilkins Updike, has passed away from earth almost the last of a generation of true Rhode Island men, worthy of our respect and imitation in the walks of private and public life.'

His pen was equally effective and he contributed to the public press.  He wrote 'Memoirs of the Rhode Island Bar', published in 1842, a valuable work preserving much concerning distinguished men of the Rhode Island bar which otherwise would have been forgotten and lost.  He also wrote a 'History of the Episcopal Church in Narragansett, Rhode Island', published in 1847, a book now very valuable and rare.  He was a valued member of the Rhode Island Historical Society, one of the hardworking members to whom the Society owes its life.  Said one of his biographers:

'There is a portrait of Mr. Updike, by Lincoln, excellent both as a picture and as a likeness when he was in the full maturity of his physical and mental powers.  It is a radiant face, suggestive of strength and enjoyment. If it were hung in a gallery of portraits of men who have made a mark in the world, it would at once arrest attention and provoke inquiry about the original.  As the picture, so the man.  In whatever company Mr. Updike was, he was a centre of attraction, not because he asserted himself, but because he was alive in every part of his nature.  He enjoyed himself, and so was a source of joy to all around him.  He loved to eat and drink and laugh and work.  What was worth seeing, he saw.  What was worth knowing he knew.'

He had strong convictions, loved to study individual character, was a zealous friend of temperance, a church-man, a nobleman in personal appearance, and in the generous humanity of his nature.  Wherever he sat was the head of the table, and he would have entertained royally at his home without any thought of difference in rank.  He was beloved of the large family which grew up around him, the idol of his children, and when at a good old age he passed over he was laid at rest by a loving group of relatives and friends.

He married, September 31, 1809, Abby A. Watson, daughter of Walter and Abigail (Hazard) Watson, a lady of remarkable mentality, who preceded her husband in death, her remains being interred in the family burial ground at Wickford. Her portrait was painted in 1817, by Artist Gimbrede, in water colors, but later wax copied in oil.    She was greatly beloved and esteemed.  Their children were twelve:  1.  Thomas Boudoin, a druggist of Pittsburgh, Pa.  2.  Mary A., married Samuel Rodman, a manufacturer of Rocky Brook.  3.  Isabelle W., married R. R. Randolph, an accountant of Kingstown. 4.  Abby A., of further mention.  5.  Walter W., a lawyer of Seekonk, Mass. 6.  Artis T., of Kingston.  7.  Angeline, married John F. Greene, of Brooklyn, N. Y.  8.  Elizabeth T., of Kingston.  9.  Caesar A., a lawyer of Providence.  10.  Caroline, married John Eddy, a lawyer of Providence.  11. Daniel, of Kingston.  12.  Alice, of Kingston.

(VI)  Abby A., fourth child and third daughter of Wilkins and Abby A. Updike, married, in 1839, Henry A. Hidden, of Providence, who died August 7, 1899.  (See Hidden V).  They were the parents of three sons: Charles Henry, Wilkins and Walter.


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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