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

NY: The American Historical Society, Inc. 1920

p. 260 - 261:

WASHINGTON LEVERETT COLE  --  The name of Cole has been identified with the history of Rhode Island since the early years of the struggle of the little colony for existence.  The heraldic arms of the Cole family is as follows:

Arms - Quarterly, 1 and 4 argent, a bull passant gules, armed or, within a bordure sable bezantee, 2 and 3 gules, a lion rampant argent.
Crests - 1st - A demi-dragon holding an arrow or, headed and feathered argent.
              2nd - A demi-lion rampant argent, gorged and chained or.
Motto - Deum cole, regem serva.  (Worship God, protect the king).

Cole Coat of ArmsThe symbolic arms of the Cole family is as follows:

The shield is divided into four parts, the 1st and 4th being the armorial bearing of the husband and the 2nd and 3rd that of the wife.  1st quarter, the background is silver - silver in heraldry signifies wisdom, joy, peace and sincerity.  The black border (called bordure) was formerly a mark of difference, to distinguish one branch of a family from the other.  Its bezants (roundlets of gold), so called from the ancient gold coin of Byzantium, now Constantinople, denote that the ancestor had been to the Holy Land, very likely at the time of the Crusades (1200).  The bull denotes strength and usefulness.  Red (the color of the bull) in heraldry denotes fortitude, fire, victorious strength, triumph and power.  The dragon (the crest on the left) is deemed the emblem of viciousness and envy.  In armory it is properly applied to tyranny or the otherthrow of a vicious enemy.  The arrow denotes the knighthood received for bravery in battle or otherwise, also swiftness and activity.  The second quarter is showing a silver lion rampant (aggressive) in a red field.  Red denotes fire - 'a burning desire to spill one's blood for God or country'.  The lion is the symbol of strength, courage and generosity.  The chain attached to its neck means that the life of the bearer of these arms was a continuous chain of brave and meritorious deeds.

The motto: Deum cole, regem serva, means translated: 'Worship God, protect the king', and was no doubt selected, outside of its appropriate and reverent meaning, as an allusion to the name.

The family which was founded in Rhode Island by James Cole, is a branch of the English Coles, one of the most ancient and honorable of early English houses.  The Coles owned land in Essex, Wiltshire, Devonshire and Derbyshire under Edward the Confessor.  In 1616, James Cole, progenitor of the Rhode Island Coles, lived at Highgate, London; he was a lover of flowers, and a great horticulturist, and married the daughter of de Lobel, the celebrated botanist and physician of James I., from whom the plant Lobelia is named. The Cole family owned lands on the ridge of hills called Highgate, near the Kingston line.  James Cole subsequently came to America, settling in Rhode Island, where he founded the family of which the late Washington Leverett Cole was a member.

In 1667 the town of Swansea, Mass., was incorporated, including an expansive terrritory out of which later came several towns, among them Warren, R. I. In 1669, Hugh Cole, with others, purchased from King Philip, the Indian sachem, five hundred acres of land in Swansea, on the west side of Cole's river (named for Hugh Cole, son of James Cole).  At the outbreak of the Indian war two of Hugh Cole's children were made prisoners by the Indians and were taken to Philip's headquarters at Mount Hope.  Philip, through a long standing friendship for their father, sent them back with the message that he did not wish to injure them, but in the event of an uprising might not be able to restrain his young braves.  Philip advised that they repair to Rhode Island for safety.  Hugh Cole removed immediately with his family, and had proceeded but a short distance when he beheld his house in flames. After the war he returned and located on the east side of Touisett Neck, on Kickmuet river, in Warren.  The farm and well he made in 1677 are yet in possession of his lineal descandants.  The friendship of the Indian warrior Philip for Hugh Cole is one of the few romantic and touching stories which come down to us from the whole revolting history of King Philip's War.

Washington Leverett Cole was born in Providence, R. I., August 10, 1841, a descendant of the founder, James Cole, through his son, Hugh Cole, and son of Samuel Jackson and Frances (Sessions) Cole.  He traced a maternal ancestry as distinguished as that of the Cole family.  Samuel Jackson Cole was a man of means and position in Providence in the early part of the ninteenth century, a gentleman farmer, and the owner of a large estate, located in the section between Irving avenue and the Pawtucket line, and what is now the Blackstone Boulevard.  He married Frances Sessions, member of a prominent old family of Providence.

Their son, Washington Leverett Cole, was educated in the private school of Samuel J. Austin, in Providence, and on completing his studies, became interested immediately in the management of his father's large property and of his farm, eventually succeeding him in the control of the estate.  He devoted his entire life to bringing this farm to a high standard of efficiency and excellence, purely for the love of the work, and for his deep interest in agriculture and dairying.  The farm was famous for its herd of one hundred high grade cows, which was the pride of its owner.  Mr. Cole conducted a large business in dairy products.  He was widely known in Providence, and highly respected for the stern integrity and consistent justice of his life and of his business policies.  Although he maintained a deep interest in public issues, he kept strictly aloof from political circles, and was independent of party restriction in casting his vote.  He was in accord with the policies and principles of the Republican party on national issues, however.  He was a member of the Episcopal church.

On December 28, 1872, Mr. Cole married Martha Stalker, who was born in Greenwich, R. I., daughter of Duncan and Lucy (Spencer) Stalker, her father a native of Glasgow, Scotland, and her mother of Warwick, R. I.  Mrs. Cole survived her husband until November 15, 1916, when she passed away at the Cole home on Cole avenue, opposite Sessions street, in Providence.  The Cole home has been preserved in as nearly as possible the form in which it was when early members of the Cole family entertained Washington and Lafayette, and contains among other relics of that day the chair in which the commander-in-chief sat.  Mr. and Mrs. Cole were the parents of the following children:  1.  Francis Sessions, manager of the Cole farm.  2.  Jessie Leverett, who resides in the old homestead.  3.  William Marchant, a contractor; married Ella Grahan Gulnac; issue:  Janet, and William M., Jr. 4.  Jackson Lanksford, ordained to the Episcopal priesthood in St. Paul's Cathedral Church at Fond Du Lac, Wis., by the Rt. Rev. Reginald Heber Weller, D. D. and L.L. D., bishop, on June 2, 1918, and assumed charge of St. Andrew's Mission at Kenosha, Wis.  Washington Leverett Cole died at his home in Providence, March 17, 1911.

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WILLIAM ARNOLD WILKINSON  --  In a perusal of the lives of the ancestors of the late William A. Wilkinson, of Providence, R. I., the impression is gained that they were a race of hardy, capable men, strong-minded and determined, possessed of great inventive genius, mechanical skill and administrative ability.  John Wilkinson, of the second generation, established a forge, and his grandson, Jeremiah Wilkinson, wrought in iron and steel, and in gold and silver, making from silver coins the first silver spoons made in his section.  He made hand cards for carding wool, drew his own wire by horse power, and is believed to have been the first man in Rhode Island to cut nails from cold iron.  He invented many machines for carrying on his work, and is generally credited with being the first man to start these three important American industries, drawing wire, card making, and cold wire cutting.  His son, James Wilkinson, was another inventive genius, making important additions to the articles then in use, and also making the tools used in producing his inventions.  He was an excellent mathematician, skillful with pen and surveying instruments, and as a designer unequalled.

The family was founded in New England by Lieutenant Lawrence Wilkinson, son of William Wilkinson, and grandson of Lawrence Wilkinson, of Lancaster, Durhamshire, England.  The history of this American ancestor is most interesting, beginning with his service as lieutenant in the English army against Cromwell.  He was taken prisoner when the Protector captured Newcastle, and by act of Parliament deprived of his estates.  He then came to New England, with his wife and child, located at Providence, R. I., there receiving a grant of land in 1657.  By thrift and energy he acquired a large estate and won high reputation as an efficient, public official, a fearless soldier and Indian fighter, and a man of strong, decided character.  He died after a long and useful life, August 9, 1692.  The line of descent is through John Wilkinson, the eldest son of Lieutenant Lawrence Wilkinson and his second wife, Susannah (Smith) Wilkinson.

John Wilkinson, eldest son of Lieutenant Lawrence Wilkinson, continued his residence in Providence until his death, April 10, 1708, but his son, Jeremiah Wilkinson, removed to Cumberland, R. I., where he became a land owner.  He was a birthright member of the Society of Friends, and is described as a man of 'strong mind, rather stubborn in disposition.'  He was succeeded in the ownership of the Wilkinson homestead in Cumberland by his son, Jeremiah (2) Wilkinson, the inventor, previously referred to, and he by his son, James Wilkinson, also a noted inventor, who married, November 4, 1813, Rowena Aldrich, they the parents of Arnold Aldrich Wilkinson.

Arnold Aldrich Wilkinson was born in Cumberland, R. I., April 25, 1823, but in early manhood came to Providence, where he died December 12, 1881.  He inherited the mechanical ability of his father and grandfather, and for several years was employed in the mechanical department of the Providence Machine Company.  Later he spent several years in commercial life in New York City.  After his return to Providence he engaged in the coal business as a wholesaler and retailer, but later sold his business and became superintendent of the American Multiple Fabric Company, a post he capably filled until his death.  Arnold A. Wilkinson married Emmeline Hill, born in Slatersville, R. I., in 1825, died in Providence, January 23, 1892, daughter of Ebenezer A. and Ruth H. (Slade) Hill.  Mr. and Mrs. Wilkinson were the parents of:  William Arnold, of further metnion; Charles Allen, of C. A. Wilkinson & Company, manufacturers of optical goods; Edward DeForrest, deceased, who was an importer and dealer in calico printers' and engravers' supplies; Rowena Alida, now Mrs. Lloyd A. Brayton; Arnold Aldrich (2), agent of the American Multiple Fabric Company.

William Arnold Wilkinson, eldest son of Arnold Aldrich and Emmeline (Hill) Wilkinson, was born in Providence, R. I., March 10, 1850.  After completing public school courses he pursued a course of study at business college, then entered business life as an employee of the S. W. Baker Manufacturing Company as a clerk.  In direct line of promotions he attained the position of agent, and was filling that post when the business was reorganized as the American Multiple Fabric Company, a corporation. He was the first agent and treasurer of the company, and so continued for several years, then was elected president and treasurer, his brother, Arnold A. Wilkinson, succeeding him as agent.  The company's plant is located in Providence, where they manufacture multiple woven goods, including dryer felts, calico printers' blankets, drawing and preparing aprons for worsted webbing, fire hose, etc.  Two generations of Wilkinsons, father and sons, have been potent in the management and development of the company, and to them is due the prosperous condition of the same, the sons, William A. and Arnold A., having long been active in the management of the corporation, the former continuing as the executive head until his death, the latter as secretary and agent.

William A. Wilkinson was also president of the E. DeF. Wilkinson Company, importers and manufacturers of calico printers' and engravers' supplies, his brother, Edward DeForrest Wilkinson, being manager of the company until his death, March 16, 1900.  He was a director of the Citizens' Savings Bank, and was interested in many other business enterprises of the city. He was a member of the Providence Board of Trade, and interested in all that pertained to the welfare of the city, but purely as a good citizen, not as an office seeker, his interest in public affairs being confined to the exercise of the franchise, his political preference, Republican. His clubs were the Squantum Association and the Wannamoisett Golf.

Mr. Wilkinson married, February 13, 1873, Jessie B. Valentine, born February 13, 1854, at Fall River, Mass., died in Providence, June 10, 1885, daughter of William and Martha Valentine.  Mr. and Mrs. Wilkinson were the parents of two daughters:  Jessie Maude, who married Captain Walter I. Sweet, and Effie A.; also a son, Walter E., born December 27, 1880, a graduate of Pennsylvania Military Academy, Chester, Pa. He married Grace Ryder, of Providence, and they are the parents of: Walter E. (2) and Jessie M. Wilkinson.  William A. Wilkinson died at his home in Providence, April 10, 1919.

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John Davis JonesJOHN DAVIS JONES, prominent figure in mercantile and public life in the city of Providence in the latter half of the nineteenth century, was a native of Seekonk, R. I., born in the year 1812, and a member of a family long established and influential in the life and affairs of Providence county.  The Jones family is one of the largest numerically of American families of early Colonial date; branches of it are found in every State in the Union.  In the early decades of the colonization period several emigrants of the name left England for the American Colonies, and were the founders here of a family which had figured prominently in our history from he very beginning.

Arms - Or, a chevron engrailed between three Cornish choughs sable, all within a bordure azure bezantee.
Crest - A battle-ax and spear in saltire, handles gules, heads argent, mounted or.

John Davis Jones spent the early years of his life in Seekonk, where he attended the public schools.  As a young man he went to Providence and entered business life, securing his first employment with his brother, Albert Jones, who at that time was conducting a shoe business in the Arcade. After spending a period of years in the employ of his uncle, during which time he learned every phase of the shoe business thoroughly, and familiarized himself with the methods of management, he established himself in business independently.  This venture proved highly successful.  Mr. Jones subsequently admitted his son, James Jones, to partnership, and the firm removed to Westminster street.  Here Mr. Jones enlarged the scope of his activities to include wholesale as well as retail business.  He became widely known in mercantile circles in the city, and was drawn naturually into the field of public affairs.  From the time of his removal to Providence, Mr. Jones had taken a deep interest in civic issues, and had identified himself with  many movements for the bettering of conditions in the city.  He was elected a member of the City Council, holding this office under the administration of Mayor Doyle.  He fulfilled the duties of his incumbency so ably that on the expiration of his term he was elected alderman from the Third Ward.  Throughout his life Mr. Jones was active in the councils of the Republican party in Providence. He was a man of strict integrity, and great firmness of purpose, a tireless worker.  He was active in business life, managing the affairs of the firm of Jones & Son until the time of his death.

Mr. Jones married, in Providence, Fannie Pierce, a native of Uxbridge, Mass., daughter of Calvin Dean Pierce.  They were the parents of fifteen children, the following of whom grew to maturity:  James, Fannie, John, a physician of Providence; William, a cotton broker, served with the Union forces in the Civil War; Melissa, Carrie, Henry, Lillian, Griffeth, in partnership with his brother Henry in the shoe business; Anna G., who resides in Providence, is the only surviving member of this large family. Mrs. Fannie (Pierce) Jones died at the venerable age of ninety-two years. The family attended the Unitarian church. John Davis Jones died at his home in Providence, October 26, 1869.

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ARTHUR ERNEST AUSTIN  --  When scarcely of legal age admitted to a partnership with his honored father, twelve years then elapsed before Arthur E. Austin was called upon to fill the place made vacant by the death of his father, and since 1900 he has been sole owner and head of the firm, John Austin & Son, gold refiners of Providence, R. I.  His father, John Austin, the founder, was a pioneer in his branch of the smelting business, and from a small beginning saw his business grow until the annual output of refined gold reached a total value of one and a half million dollars.  For forty-six years he was in the business, and hardly a manufacturing jeweler in the land but knew him.  Thoroughly honorable and upright in business, he possessed the confidence of all, and was both respected and beloved.

Under such training Arthur E. Austin received his business instruction, and when called to carry heavy responsibilities for so young a man he was not found wanting.  Since 1900 he has continued the business of John Austin & Son, and with the years has taken on business strength and greater burdens. Since 1896 he has been in the public eye as councilman, assemblyman and State Senator, although since 1900 his business interests have absorbed all his energy.  This branch of the Austin family descends from Robert Austin, whose name is among those granted lots in Westerly in 1661.  From that date Kingston and Exeter, R. I., has been the family state of residence.  The line of descent from Robert Austin to Arthur E. is through Jeremiah Austin, his son, Ezekiel, his son, Ezekiel (2), a soldier of the Revolution, who from the age of seventy-five, on March 4, 1831, was a prisoner of the government on account of his services in that year.  He was living in 1840, aged eighty-three years. Ezekiel (2) Austin, the Revolutionary soldier, was succeeded by his son, Ezekiel (3) Austin, of Exeter, father of John Austin, father of Arthur E. Austin, of Providence.  This review will deal with the two generations of gold refiners, John and Arthur E. Austin.

John Austin was born in Exeter, R. I., October 17, 1830, and died at his home in Providence, February 19, 1900.  He spent his youth at the home farm in Exeter, obtained his education in the public schools, then began his business career as an apprentice under L. B. Darling, a gold and silver refiner at Providence.  He became an expert in his line, and in 1862 began business for himself, forming a partnership with Horace F. Carpenter, and establishing a refinery at the corner of Friendship and Dorrance streets. Later he became sole owner and conducted the business alone until 1888, when his son, Arthur E. Austin, was admitted a partner, and the firm, John Austin & Son was formed.  Twelve years later he died, after a connection with the refining business covering a period of thirty-eight years, 1862 - 1900.  He specialized in the manufacture of blue vitrol and oxide of zinc, and dealt in fine gold, silver, copper, gold coin, and black crucibles, assayed gold and silver, and smelting and refining these metals.  At the time of his death the firm, John Austin & Son, was the leading firm of refiners in the United States, and John Austin the foremost man in his line of business.  He was elected president of the High Street Bank in 1878, and in 1879 was elected president of the Citizens' Savings Bank, and held both offices until his death.  He became the owner of the old homestead owned by his Revolutionary grandfather, and upon it erected building after building, until they numbered twenty-four, including a memorial church, a post officce, school house, and store building, all adding greatly to the attractiveness of the town.  Naturally quiet and retiring, he took little part in public affairs, but was so kindly and sympathetic that he made friends everywhere, many of them his customers living in far off parts of the country.  He was a Master Mason of Mt. Vernon Lodge, No. 4, a companion of Providence Chapter, No. 1, Royal Arch Masons; and a vestryman of All Saint's Memorial Episcopal Church.

John Austin married, September 18, 1859, Susan Jane Darling, daughter of John and Polly (Weeding) Darling, of Cumberland, R. I.  Mrs. Austin passed away October 17, 1918.  Mr. and Mrs. Austin were the parents of two daughters and three sons:  Clara M., Eugene A., Clarence H., Arthur Ernest, of further mention; and Alice W., all deceased except Arthur E.

Athur Ernest Austin was born July 23, 1868, at Providence, R. I., and was educated in the grade and high schools of the city. Immediately after completing his studies he was inducted into the secrets and mysteries of the refiing of gold and silver, as understood by his father, and thoroughly mastered the business from a practical business standpoint.  In 1888 he was admitted a partner, and in 1900 the partnership was dissolved by the hand of death, Arthur E. continuing the business of John Austin & Son.  He also was president of the High Street Bank, of which his father was president twenty-two years; vice-president of the Citizens' Savings Bank, of which John Austin was president twenty-one years; and has served as secretary-treasurer of the Improved Seamless Wire Company. He is a worthy twentieth century representative of this ancient Rhode Island family, and occupies an important position in the business world in his native city.

A Republican in politics,Mr. Austin was long prominent in public affairs, but business responsibilities caused his withdrawal. From 1896 until 1905 he was a member of the Cranston Common Council, and for the greater part of that period was president of that body.  In 1896 he was elected second representative from Cranston to the General Assembly, and in 1897 was elected first representative, serving on the committee of incorporations. In 1898 he was elected State Senator, served on committees, judiciary and militia, but declined reelection, and at the close of his term retired to private life.  He is a Master Mason, a Capitular Cryptic, and Tempar Mason; a Noble of the Mystic Shrine; and in Scottish Rite Masonry holds the thirty-two degrees of Providence Consistory.  He is a past commodore of the Rhode Island Yacht Club (1892), and formerly a member of the New York Yacht Club, Squantum Association, and Pomham Club.  Through the war services of his great-grandfather, Ezekiel (2) Austin, he has gained admission to the Patriotic Order Sons of the American Revolution. He is a vestryman of All Saint's Memorial Church (Episcopal), his father having held the same office. The foregoing shows Mr. Austin as a man of business energy, public spirit, and social prominence, his interest extending to all branches of city life, and in his different activities most helpful and useful.  He readily extends encouragement of a substantial nature to every worthy cause and is a man held in highest regard.

Arthur E. Austin married (first), October 25, 1888, Louisa D. Osgood, of Providence, who died April 21, 1894, aged twenty-six  years, leaving two children:  Clarence E., born July 23, 1889, and Gertrude W., September 20, 1891.  He married (second), October 17, 1895, Mrs. Jessie Anna (Wright) Stone, of New York City.

p. 264.

Samuel H. TingleySAMUEL H. TINGLEY  --  Ranking with the octogenarians of his native city, Providence, Mr. Tingley passed away July 26, 1918, after a long life of close connection with the financial affairs of that city.  His entire life from school graduation to retirement was spent with the Bank of North America and the Mechanics' National Bank.  Nearly half a century of his life was spent in banking activity, principally as discount clerk and cashier, two departments of a bank upon which the entire structure depends for security and success.  He ranked with the best informed and able of cashiers, and was held in the very highest esteem by associates and contemporaries.  The Tingley name was brought to Providence by Samuel and Sylvanus Tingley, of South Attleboro, Mass., Samuel, the father, Sylvanus, the uncle of Samuel H. Tingley, whose long and successful life furnishes the inspiration for this review.

The American ancestor was Samuel Tingle, but later in this branch the name became Tingley.  Samuel H. Tingley was of the seventh generation in New England, Samuel having been the given name of the head of each generation in his direct line.  His grandfather, Samuel Tingley, was a farmer of South Attleboro, Mass., a man of considerable prominence, a fine penman, much called on by his neighbors to assist therein their writing. His son, Samuel Tingley, born at the South Attleboro farm, May 2, 1785, died in Providence, July 19, 1869.  He and his brother, Sylvanus, were stone cutters and letterers, Samuel going to Boston and taking special instruction in lettering.  They came to Providence, and as S. & S. Tingley, stonecutters and letterers, established a yard, shop, and mill on South Main street.  In addition to monumental work they did a large business in cut stone for buildings, one of their contracts being for all the stone cap sills used in the Hope College building (the second of the buildings erected by the college), a large contract for that day. Sylvanus Tingley had a large family of sons, and as they arrived at suitable age some were taken into the business.  Samuel Tingley then withdrew and established a similar business for himself, which he conducted until his retirement.  He was a Whig in politics; served as member of the Providence Common Council; was a Congregationalist in religion, and a man of strong character and upright life.  Samuel Tingley married, December 7, 1831, Sarah C. Allen, who died December 28, 1843, daughter of Caleb and Hannah (Smith) Allen, her father a cabinetmaker and later a merchant of Providence, a son of Confort Allen, who settled at now East Providence. Mr. and Mrs. Tingley were the parents of two daughters, who died in infancy, and a son, Samuel H., of further mention.

Samuel H. Tingley, only son of Samuel and Sarah C. (Allen) Tingley, was born in Providence, R. I., December 21, 1836, where he still resided at the time of his death.  He was educated in the Providence public schools, and at the age of seventeen entered the employ of the Bank of North America as clerk, continuing with that institution fifteen years and advancing to the position of discount clerk.  After fifteen years' service here he resigned his position and accepted a similar one with the Mechanics' National Bank, Providence, continuing as discount clerk until January 1, 1873, when he was promoted to the cashier's desk. He spent twenty-five years in that position, then retired to private life, one of the best known and highly-regarded bank cashiers of his city.  For two years of this period Mr. Tingley was president of the Providence Clearing House Association.  For many years Mr. Tingley was a member of the board of trustees of the Providence Public Library, and was its treasurer; was treasurer of the Providence Charitable  Fuel Society, now in its ninety-second year; and in 1869 became secretary and later president of the Providence Association of Mechanics and Manufacturers, his honored father having been secretary of the same association in 1836, and from 1863 until his death in 1869.  In the later years of his life he was occupied with philanthropic enterprises, to which he gave generously of his time and money.  Mr. Tingley was also a trustee of the Bethney Home.  He is a member of the First Congregational (Unitarian) Church, and the Unitarian Club, and in politics a Republican. He is one of the original members of the Providence Bank Clerks' Mutual Benefit Association. He was superintendent for many years of the Olney Street Congregational (Unitarian) Society Sunday school, and a member of the Rhode Island Historical Society.

Mr. Tingley married, in Springfield, Mass., October 29, 1885, Adella Malvina Hubbard, born in Enfield, Connecticut, died in Providence, July 12, 1905.

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CHARLES HERBERT McFEE  --  Prior to his elevation to the bench, Judge McFee had practiced for twenty years at the Rhode Island bar, with offices at Woonsocket.  Ten years have elapsed since his assuming judicial dignity, and time has proven his fitness for the high honor then bestowed. His life since 1882 has been lived in full public view as school principal, attorney, legislator, and justice, and the verdict of approval has been stamped upon his official acts by a preponderance of public opinion. His career as a lawyer was one of honorable success, and when called higher he took up his new task with a full knowledge of judicial procedure, for his practice had been an extensive one in all State and Federal Courts of his district.  On the bench he has been fair and impartial in his rulings, seeking only the correct reading of the law, and its unbiased application.  He is a native son of Massachusetts, son of Hamden and Sarah (Cook) McFee, his father a shoe factory foreman of Haverhill, who died in 1884.

Charles Herbert McFee was born in Haverhill, Mass., January 1, 1861, and there began his education, completing the public school course of study with graduation from high school.  In 1878 he entered Harvard University, there remaining a student three years, leaving at the close of his junior year. >From 1881 to 1885 he was an instructor of youth, serving as principal of Washington Academy, and principal of the Consolidated Grammar School. He began the study of law during his teaching years, and in 1885 became a student in the law offices of F. L. O'Reilly, of Woonsocket, and in October, 1887, was admitted to the Rhode Island bar.  After his admission, Mr. McFee began practice in Woonsocket, continuing most successfully until his election as justice of the District Court, Twelfth Judicial District, in February, 1908.  He gained a large and influential clientele while in legal practice, being attorney for the National Glove [sic - Globe?] Bank, Mechanics' Savings Bank, Woonsocket Building and Loan Association. He is a member of the State Bar and the American Bar Association, and one of the strong men of his profession.  A republican in politics, Judge McFee has given much time to the public service of his city and State. He was president of Council, clerk of the School Committee and Representative to the General Assembly, there serving as chairman of the committee on education.  He is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, a Universalist in religious faith, and interested in many organizations, professional, charitable and social.

Judge McFee married, April 18, 1888, at Woonsocket, Carrie V. Cook, daughter of Simeon S. and Ruth M. Cook, they the parents of a son, Raymond Frank, born October 29, 1889.

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GEORGE FRANKLIN CASWELL  --  As a leader in his business at Narragansett Pier, R. I., Mr. Caswell enjoys the results of his energy and enterprise and is rated one of the substantial men of that famed summer resort of the Rhode Island Coast.   In Rhode Island, the Caswells trace descent from Job Caswell, of Newport, who was admitted a freeman in May, 1727.

(I)  Job Caswell was an ensign of the Third Newport Military Company in 1735 and 1736, perhaps longer, captain in 1739, 1741 and 1743, then declining  to longer serve.  He died in 1744, his widow Lydia in December, 1760, aged fifty-five years.  The records of the Second Congregational Church of Newport show baptisms of the following children of Job and Lydia Caswell: Mary, April 20, 1729;  Philip, Feb. 28, 1730;  Job, Jan. 21, 1732, died young;  Elizabeth, Nov. 28, 1736, died young;  Elizabeth (2), June 4, 1738; Job (2), Aug. 5, 1739, died young;  Job (3), Oct. 26, 1740, died young; John, of further mention; Job (4), Oct. 16, 1743; Abigail, Decmber 9, 1744.

(II)  John Caswell, son of Job and Lydia Caswell, was baptised in the Second Congregational Church of Newport, March 7, 1742, died in South Kingston, R. I., in 1779.  At the time of the Revolution he was living at Newport, but in a time of danger from the British he ferried his family across the bay in a small boat to Narragansett, landing at what is now known as the lower pier. He married, December 31, 1761, Hannah West, born in 1740, died Aug. 3, 1775.

(III)  John (2) Caswell, son of John (1) and Hannah (West) Caswell, died in 1812.  He married Mary Tefft, born in 1772, died February 9, 1819, daughter of Gardiner Tefft, a soldier of the Revolution. They were the parents of John West, of further mention;  Gardiner, Reuben, Waity, Mary, Hannah.

(IV)  John West Caswell, son of John (2) and Mary (Tefft) Caswell, was born in South Kingston, R. I., January 10, 1792, died July 30, 1867. He married, in 1815, Hannah Bush Tefft, born in 1797, died in 1852, daughter of Daniel and Sarah (Hazard) Tefft, her mother a first cousin of Commodore Olive Hazard Perry.  John W. and Hannah B. (Tefft) Caswell were the parents of seven children:  Stephen  Tefft, of further mention; Daniel Tefft, born Dec. 6, 1819, married Abby Hazard Tefft;  Mary Ann, born Feb. 29, 1824; John H., born Feb. 24, 1826, married Abby Ann Eaton;  William Gardiner, born Feb. 11, 1828, married Sallie Carpenter Gardiner and had two children, W. Herbert Caswell, of Narragansett Pier (q. v.), and Addie H., residing with her brother;  Caroline Amelia, born Aug. 2, 1834, married Jeremiah Slocum Briggs;  Thomas Arnold, married Clara Weston.

(V)  Stephen Tefft Caswell, eldest son of John West and Hannah Bush (Tefft) Caswell, was born in South Kingston, R. I., July 27, 1816, and there died in 1885.  He owned a small farm at South Kingston Hill, which he cultivated and also was a fisherman.  He married Susan Kenyon, and they were the parents of five sons and a daughter, William C., Susan, Stephen Tefft (2), of further mention;  John, Caleb, Olive.

(VI)  Captain Stephen Tefft (2) Caswell, son of Stephen Tefft (1)  and Susan (Kenyon) Caswell, was born at the home farm  at Kingston Hill, Kingston, R. I., January 27, 1847, and is now retired and living at Narragansett Pier, but spends his winters in Florida.  His school attendance was limited to six weeks, but by home study, reading and close observation, he has acquired a wholesome fund of information and is a well informed man.  At the age of twelve years he went to sea, and at the age of seventeen was in command of his own vessel, engaged in the coastwise trade.   He sailed the seas as master until 1903, when he retired and now enjoys the rewards of his long and active life.  He is a man of fine physical proportions and held in high esteem at the Pier, where his summers are spent.  He also has a host of friends in his winter home in Florida.  He married Caroline Matilda Anna Saunders, born in Saunderstown, R. I., in 1848, yet  her husband's companion in his joys and sorrows.

(VII)  George Franklin Caswell, son of Captain Stephen Tefft (2) and Caroline M. A. (Saunders) Caswell, was born in Saunderstown, R. I., January 22, 1872.  He was educated in the public schools of Saunderstown, Narragansett Pier, Peace Dale, finishing his studies at Peace Dale High School.  He went to sea with his father when a youth, but later entered business life, and during the years 1895-97 operated a cigar store on the square at Narragansett Pier.  He was variously employed until 1903, when he established a small garage on Caswell avenue, removing the next year to his present location on Kingston road, Narragansett Pier.  This was the first garage opened at the Pier and Mr. Caswell has always retained his prestige and business prominence, the Caswell Garage business being the largest in the town, it including storage room for one hundred cars, a repair department and a store for the sale of automobile accessories. In politics he is a Democrat, popular with his patrons and a man of high generous impulse.

Mr. Caswell married (first) at Narragansett Pier, Sophia Clarke, born in 1874, died May 21, 1906, daughter of William Clarke, of Albany, N. Y., and later of Narragansett Pier.  He married (second) at Flatbush, Long Island, N. Y., Maud Lillian Clarkson, born in London, England, December 28, 1888, daughter of Arthur Sidney Clarkson, whose widow came to the United States with her daughter about 1900, and married (second) Walter R. Lusher, of Brooklyn, N. Y.  Mr. and Mrs. Caswell are the parents of a son, George Clarkson, born in Providence, R. I., May 15, 1914.  Since 1903 Mr. Caswell has made his home in Daytona, Fla., engaging in the automobile business there, but since 1910 has gone South for rest and pleasure only.


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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