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

NY: The American Historical Society, Inc. 1920

p. 157 - 158:

Leonard Pearce BosworthLEONARD PEARCE BOSWORTH, one of the most progressive and prosperous business men of of Barrington, R. I., where he is the owner of a large general store and mercantile business, is a member of an old and distinguished New England family, which was founded in this country as early as 1634 when Edward Bosworth, the immigrant ancestor, and his wife Mary, embarked for New England in the ship 'Elizabeth and Dorcas'.   Edward Bosworth himself died when the ship was nearing the port of Boston, but his son, Nathaniel Bosworth, who accompanied his parents, settled at Rehoboth, then in Massachusetts, and the Mr. Bosworth of this sketch is of the ninth generation in direct descent from him.  The line is as follows:  Edward Bosworth, died at sea;  Nathaniel, son of Edward Bosworth;  Joseph, son of Nathaniel Bosworth;  Joseph (2), son of Joseph (1) Bosworth, born Sept. 12, 1683;  Joseph (3), son of Joseph (2) Bosworth, born Dec. 8, 1721;  Captain Samuel Bosworth, son of Joseph (3) Bosworth, born May 19, 1744;  he was active during the Revolution and was a lieutenant of a Barrington company in 1775, and was appointed a captain by the town, Feby. 12, 1776, commanding two guns; he saw active service at Warren and Bristol; he died March 4, 1824; Pearce, son of Captain Samuel Bosworth, born Oct. 12, 1787; Leonard Smith, son of Pearce Bosworth; Leonard Pearce of this review.

Leonard Pearce Bosworth is a son of Leonard Smith Bosworth, who was born June 20, 1821, and resided at Barrington, R. I.  Leonard Smith Bosworth was the founder of the great business now operated by his son at this place, and was a well known and prosperous citizen here.  He married, August 10, 1848, Laura Dunn, daughter of Henry and Rachel (Goldthwait) Dunn, of Northbridge, Mass., and they were the parents of the following children:  Caroline S., born May 21, 1852, and became the wife of Charles K. Reed, of Worcester, Mass.; and Leonard Pearce, with whose career we are here especially concerned.

Born November 7, 1856, at Barrington, R. I., Leonard Pearce Bosworth, only son of Leonard Smith and Laura (Dunn) Bosworth, passed his childhood in his native town, where he attended the private school of Professor Cady.  At the age of sixteen years, however, he completed his studies and commenced work in his father's establishment.  The property owned by the Bosworth family has many historical associations, and the grounds now occupied by Harvard College were originally the Bosworth farm.  They were also the owner of the old coal yard, which has remained in their possession for more than one hundred and fifty years and where one of the first trading posts in Rhode Island was established by his ancestors, and it was here that the young man first began his mercantile career.  The original business at this place was in bunker coal, and in 1881 Mr. Bosworth, Sr., purchased a lot at Barrington Center, where he built a small store and added a business in grain to his original occupation.  He also began dealing in groceries and in 1883 added a full line of mason's material.  For four years the present Mr. Bosworth operated this place, the combined business being conducted under the name of L. S. Bosworth & Son.  In the year 1885 the firm completed the present store and here dealt in a full line of coal, lumber, mason's materials, wood, grain, hay, straw, flour, feed, paints, oil and groceries.  In the year 1888 the elder Mr. Bosworth died, but the business continued under the same name until 1902, when it became known as it is at present, L. P. Bosworth.  Mr. Bosworth has greatly increased his establishment, having nearly doubled it in the past twenty years, and has increased his trade in other portions of the State.  In politics Mr. Bosworth has always been a Republican and he has been active in public affairs, having served in several capacities here. For a year he was a member of the City Council and during that time proved himself an able and efficient public servant.  He is a Congregationalist in religious belief and attends the church of that denomination at Barrington.

Leonard Pearce Bosworth married, May 11, 1881, Evelyn Maxwell Peck, a daughter of Albert and Susan R. (Smith) Peck, and they are the parents of two children, as follows:  Miriam Louise, born September 3, 1889, and Albert Leonard, born April 23, 1892, and now associated with his father in the management of the business.

p. 158:

PETER J. TRUMPLER, whose death occurred in Pawtucket, R. I., on June 26, 1910, had for several decades been a figure of prominence in the newspaper and printing worlds of Providence and Pawtucket.  From the time of his entry into the business world he had been connected with printing and publishing enterprises, and in the course of his career in Rhode Island newspaper circles, was a member of the staffs of the Providence 'Sunday Transcript', the Providence 'Evening Telegram', the Pawtucket 'Times', and the Providence 'News'.

Peter J. Trumpler was born in Germany, October 16, 1847, the son of parents in excellent circumstances.  He accompanied his parents to America early in life, settling in the town of Mansfield, O., where he attended the local public schools until he reached the age of sixteen years.  He was then apprenticed to the firm of D. Meyers & Brothers, publishers, of Mansfield. After learning his trade he worked as a journeyman in Ohio, until 1866, when he came East, and settling in Providence, R. I., became associated with the Providence 'Journal', and 'Evening Bulletin', as a composer and pressman. He later became foreman of the 'Evening Press', of Providence, continuing in this capacity until 1872, when he entered business independently. In this year he published the first and only official organ of the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island, of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows; this was known as the 'Odd Fellow Register'.  In 1873 Mr. Trumpler united with the Providence 'Sunday Transcript', and the Providence 'Evening Telegram', with which he remained from 1880 until 1889.  He next associated himself with David & Black, of Pawtucket, owners of the Pawtucket 'Times', and was active on the staff of this newspaper over twenty years, as business manager, when he assumed the business management of the Providence 'News', which subsequently became the 'News Democrat'.  For nearly forty-five years, Mr. Trumpler was active and prominent in newspaper circles in Providence and Pawtucket.  He was an able organizer and executive, talented in handling men, and keen in meeting and suiting the demands of the public.  On December 12, 1868, he became a member of the Providence Typographical Union, No. 33.  He was well known in club and fraternal circles in Providence and Pawtucket, and was a member of Roger Williams Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of the Knights of Pythias, and of the Rhode Island Press Club.

Peter J. Trumpler married, October 21, 1867, Ella G. Chase, daughter of George and Alfreda (Burlingame) Chase, of Providence, and a member of a prominent old Rhode Island family.  Mrs. Trumpler survives her husband, and resides at No. 35 Main street, Pawtucket.  They were the parents of one daughter, Mary, who married, April 24, 1912, Dr. W. A. Gaylord, of Pawtucket, son of the late Dr. W. A. Gaylord, who was born near Westfield, Mass., June 17, 1820, was a graduate of Trinity College, and of the Harvard Medical School, and for forty years was one of the foremost members of the medical profession in Pawtucket, R. I.  He died April 24, 1912.  Mr. Trumpler died at his home in Pawtucket, R. I., June 26, 1910.

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GEORGE GOSLING   --  The surname Gosling is of ancient French origin, and found its way into England at the time of the Norman Conquest.  It is of baptismal classificiation, signifying literally 'the son of Goce' or 'Josse', and is taken from the diminutive Gocelin or Josselin.  It appears in ancient English registers under the forms Goslin, Gosline, Gosling, Goslings, Gostling.  The g is excresent.  Goce and Josse track back to the ancient Latin and are cognate with joy and joyous in origin.  The name was rendered popular by St. Josse, the hermit, who refused the sovereignty of Brittany.  The parent name is nearly forgotton, however, but lives in the wide favor of the diminute Jocelyn.  From the first in England there was an interchangeable use of the initial letters G or J, and there was an attendant difference in pronounciation.  Thus it is that we have Gosling and Joscelyn, while both are the same name.  Branches of the family have been prominent in English history since the Norman Conquest.  Families of the name were established in America in the early part of the seventeenth century, but the line herein under consideration is English.  The Gosling coat-of-arms is as follows:

Arms - Gules a chevron between three crescents ermine.
Crest - An eagle's head erased sable charged with a crescent ermine.
The late George Gosling, former president of the R. Plews Manufacturing Company, of Central Falls, R. I., one of the foremost manufacturers of New England engaged in the production of spinning machinery, was a native of England, where he was born, February 23, 1845, in Hyde, Cheshire, the son of Thomas and Mary A. (Chadwick) Gosling.  Thomas Gosling was born in Cheshire, and at the age of ten years secured employment in the cotton mill of John Sidebottom, a manufacturer of cloth.  He worked gradually through positions of minor importance to the post of manager of the mill.  In 1850, at the beginning of a promising career, he died.  He married Mary A. Chadwick, and they were the parents of the following children:  1.  A child that died in infancy.  2.  Sarah, the widow of Hon. Eastwood Eastwood, of Central Falls, R. I.  3.  John, who was a member of the R. Plews Manufacturing Company for several years prior to his death in Southport, England. 4.  Jane, who married John McAllen, of Pawtucket, and died in Pawtucket.  5.  George, mentioned below.

After the death of her husband, Mrs. Gosling married (second), Robert Plews, and in 1856 came to America with her family, locating first in Providence, whence she removed first to Pawtucket, and later to Central Falls.  Here Mr. Plews engaged in the tinware business.  A man of fine inventive ability, he invented, patented and became the manufacturer of the tin cylinder for spinning frames, an invention which was widely acclaimed in manufacturing circles.  He was highly successful in the manfacturing business, which he conducted for several years.  He later took his step-sons, John and George Gosling into partnership, the firm name becoming R. Plews & Company.  In 1871 Mr. Plews withdrew from the business, and retired from active business life.  He died in Central Falls, July 23, 1877; his widow died May 8, 1883; both are buried in Moshassuck Cemetery.

George Gosling received his early education in the schools of England.  At the age of eleven years he came to America, locating with his mother and step-father at Central Falls, R. I.  He learned the tinsmith's trade under Mr. Plews, and followed it until the year 1869 when, with his brother John, he was admitted to partnership in the manufacturing business of Mr. Plews. In 1871 Robert Plews, as has been already stated, retired to private life, and Mr. Gosling became active head of the large business, rapidly growing into one of the foremost enterprises of its kind in New England.  In 1873 John Gosling withdrew, leaving George Gosling in sole control of the business.  In 1874, Mr. Gosling admitted to partnership former Mayor Eastwood Eastwood, and under the management of these two men the business was developed in to a colossal enterprise.  Both were men of executive talent and inventive genius, and sagacious business man, who knew well every phase of the industry in which they engaged.  As a result of the growing size of the business, it was deemed wise to incorporate, and on October 3, 1900, the R. Plews Manufacturing Company was formed, with Mr. Eastwood as president, Holmes Lomas and William H. Boardman, vice-president, and George Gosling as secretary and treasurer.  On the death of Mr. Eastwood, Mr. Gosling became president of the corporation, which office he held until his death, in 1901.  The firm is the largest which manufacturers patent tin cylinders for spinning frames and mules in America, and its products penetrate to every part of the civilized world.

Mr. Gosling was a well-known figure in club and fraternal circles in Rhode Island for many years.  He was a member of Jenks Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Pawtucket Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Holy Sepulchre Commandery, Knights Templar, Aleppo Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, and had attained to the thirty-second degree of the Masonic order.  He was also a member of the Boston Consistory, of Pawtucket Lodge, No. 1, Ancient Order United Workmen; Lincoln Lodge, Knights of United Workers; Hope Lodge, Knights of Honor; the American Legion of Honor; Providence Lodge of Elks; Washington Lodge, Knights of Pythias; Superior Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and Warwick Club, Providence.

On July 22, 1868, Mr. Gosling married Elizabeth A. Whittle, who was born in Pawtucket, R. I., daughter of James and Ann (Thornley) Whittle, both of whom were natives of England.  Mr. and Mrs. Gosling were the parents of the following children:  1.  Emma, who became the wife of Homles Lomas, secretary and treasurer of the R. Plews Manufacturing Company;  their children are:  i.  Le Roy Gosling, born Jan. 9, 1897; enlisted for service in the Workd War, July 17, 1918, and was made chief of section, Naval Reserve.  He died, Sept. 17, 1918.  ii.  Elizabeth H.  iii.  George Gosling. 2.  Bertha Louis.  3.  Charles Albert, who died young.    The family were members of St. George's Episcopal Church of Central Falls.  Mrs. Gosling, who survives her husband, resides in the beautiful Gosling home, built by her husband, on Central street, Central Falls.  She is well known in social life of the city, and has been prominently identified for many years with charitable and civic welfare work in Central Falls.  George Gosling died at his home in Central Falls, R. I., June 2, 1901.

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James GeeJAMES GEE, who for the past fifty years has been prominently identified with the textile industry of the New England states, was born in Stockport, about six miles from Manchester, England, October 1, 1843, and is now (1918) living a retired life in his home in Providence.  He is a son of Henry and Ann (Clegg) Gee, who came from England and located in New York State, later moving to Norwich, Conn., where the former died in 1903.  As a boy James Gee began work in a cotton mill in Stockport, England, but at the age of fifteen he came to the United States with the family, his father having preceded them and established a home to which he brought them in 1858.  He was employed in Brooklyn, N. Y., and on Staten Island by the New York Dye & Print Establishment.  It was here that he became interested in dyeing, and by night work, overtime, Sunday work and study he learned a great deal about the business in which later he figured as an expert.  From Staten Island he went to Joseph Bancroft & Sons at Rockland, but later returned to the Staten Island plant of the New York Dye & Print Establishment, becoming an expert in the dye and print business, and head of the book-cloth department of the works.

Mr. Gee came to Providence at the instance of Frank Sayles, who was about to start a mill for the manufacture of a fine grade of book-cloth, a business in which the better grades have been left to the English manufacturers.  Mr. Gee was engaged by Mr. Sayles to plan and operate the Interlaken Mill, which was located at Arkwright, R. I., and was further entrusted with a commission to go to England to purchase the required machinery.  Ten mills were started with good equipment, and began producing in February, 1884, the success of the enterprise being instant and has continued until the Interlaken plant dominates the American market.  Mr. Gee continued as general superintendent of the Interlaken Mills until his retirement, January 1, 1918.  He can review his life with satisfaction and trace his way from a working boy to his present station as a man of large means with the proud thought that he was the architect of his own fortunes, and has won his way through sheer pluck and that indomitable energy which in its last analysis is the fundamental characteristic of the successful man.  His career is one of those whose study affords fruitful conclusions for one seeking instances of the combination of the Anglo-Saxon qualities of pluck and perseverance with the opportunities open to such young men in this country.  The marvellous results furnish goals for the ambitious lad, who like Mr. Gee had nothing with which to start in life but bare hands, an active and willing mind, and sturdy health.

Mr. Gee is a member of the Masonic order, belonging to lodge, chapter, commandery, and shrine, and is also a member of the Country Club.

Mr. Gee married (first) Nancy Booth, of Staten Island, N. Y., who died some years later.  He then married (second) Angeline Parker Cain, of East Weymouth, Mass., daughter of Stephen Cain, Jr., a Civil War veteran, who died in 1900, at the age of sixty.  James and Nancy (Booth) Gee were the parents of two sons and three daughters:  William S. Gee, D. D. S., of Phenix, R. I., and a past master of Phenix Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; Robert Nathan Gee, a graduate of Brown University, and now his father's successor in the Interlaken Mills;  Alice, wife of William H. Snow, of Phenix, R. I.;  Minnie, wife of Andrew J. Morton, of New York, and resides on Staten Island, N. Y.;  Annie, who resides with her sister, Mrs. A. J. Morton.

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ROBERT NATHAN GEE  --  The Interlaken  Mills (Finishing Works), at Arkwright, R. I., the first mill in the country to specialize in the manufacture of book-cloth, and now the controlling factor in that line of textile manufacturing in the United States, owes in a large measure the eminence attained in that field to James Gee, who planned the mills, went to England to purchase the necessary machinery, and continued general superintendent of the plant until his retirement in 1918.  Then, after long training, came his son, Robert N. Gee, who succeeded his father, and is the superintending head of the plant.    Three mills are now included in the corporation, the mills of the Harris Manufacturing Company, of Harris, R. I., having been purchased in May, 1900, the grey cloth being woven there, and finished into book-cloths of every color and design at the Interlaken Mill.  The other mill that was purchased by the company is also at Arkwright, and it is one of the older mills of that section, having been buit in 1812.  The present output of the company includes a line of cotton goods in addition to book-cloths.

The Gees are a textile mill family, the grandfather, Henry Gee, born in Stockport, England, a mill-worker there until 1858, and in this country employed in Brooklyn, Staten Island, Arkwright, R. I., and Norwich, Conn. He died in Norwich, in 1893, aged ninety-one years.  He married Ann Clegg, who died on Staten Island, N. Y., aged seventy years.

James Gee, son of Henry and Ann (Clegg) Gee, was born in Stockport, near Manchester, England, October 1, 1843, and is now living a retired life in Providence, R. I.  From boyhood until retirement he was a mill-worker, and in his fifteenth year came to the United States, finally settling in Rhode Island, when he formed the connection with the Interlaken Mills, which continued until his retirement, January 1, 1918.  He has two sons:  William S. Gee, D. D. S., of Phenix, R. I., and Robert Nathan Gee, who has followed in his father's business footsteps.

Robert Nathan Gee, son of James and Nancy (Booth) Gee was born at Staten Island, N. Y., July 5, 1879.  While young he was brought to Arkwright, R. I., by his parents, and there he attended the private school presided over by Miss Mary Potter.  After a few years attendance there, he entered the University Grammar School in Providence, R. I., finishing in 1898, and going thence to Brown University, whence he was a member of the class of 1902.  He then entered the employ of the Interlaken Mills at Arkwright, R. I., in the coloring department, beginning at the very bottom of the ladder.  He received no favors from the fact that his father, James Gee, was superintendent of the plant, but advanced on merit, step by step, until his skill and knowledge of finishing and mill management qualified him to occupy the position left vacant by his father's retirement, January 1, 1918.  As superintendent he is continuing to evidence his ability as a textile manufacturer and, not yet in the prime of life, the future holds abundant promise for him.  Mr. Gee is a member of the college fraternity, Theta Beta Phi; is a Republican in politics, and for four years has been a member of Coventry Town Council, serving in 1917-18 as president of that body.  He is a member of Warwick Lodge No. 16, Free and Accepted Masons.

Mr. Gee married, September 14, 1904, Grace Hathaway Hicks, daughter of William and Endora Hathaway Hicks, of Providence.  They are the parents of two sons:  Robert Nathan (2) and Richard H. Gee.  The family home is Arkwright.


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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