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Illustrated History of Pawtucket, Central Falls and Vicinity
by Robert Grieve, 1897
Providence: Published by Henry R. Caufield
EASTON, Frederick Willard, was born in Providence, R. I., Oct. 17, 1852, and is the sixth child of Nicholas Redwood and Mary (Eddy) Easton. He attended the public schools of Central Falls until he attained his fourteenth year, and completed his education in Mowry & Goff's English and Classical School in Providence, graduating in 1870. His first occupation was as clerk for Snow & Lewis of Providence for one year, after which he worked for William H. Fenner for two years. In 1873 he entered the machine shop of Easton & Burnham, of which firm his father was senior member, and learned the business thoroughly. After spending seven years in the shop he was employed in the office and by degrees took charge of matters until 1879, when he was admitted to the firm. Upon the incorporation of the company in 1891, he was elected treasurer, which position he now holds. Mr. Easton is a Republican and has taken a prominent part in both state and city affairs. He was a member of the town council in 1883, a member of the sewer commission from 1885 to 1894, and is now a member of the board of control of the State Home and School. In 1891 he was elected to the Rhode Island House of Representatives, and was chosen senator from Pawtucket in 1892, 1894 and 1895. He is a member of the Pawtucket Business Men's Association and was first lieutenant of Tower Light Infantry for the first three years. He attends the First Congregational church. Oct. 4, 1876, he was married to Agnes F. Barker, by which union there are three children: Robert B., b. March 5, 1880; Nicholas R., b. Aug. 21, 1881; Frederick W., Jr., b. April 2, 1890.
EVANS, John, was born June 16, 1820, at Vallowshill, in the parish of St. Twinals in the county of Pembroke, South Wales, Great Britain. From the age of six until he was twelve he attended the common schools of his native district, was then apprenticed to a tailor and, following the customs of the time and country served seven years to learn the trade. For three years he worked as a journeyman. In 1842 he was married, and started in business on his own account in the parish of St. Michaels, Pembroke. He continued in this business and place until 1870 when with his wife and family he came to Pawtucket, and worked four years for Wilson & Carpenter. In 1874 he started in Pawtucket as a merchant tailor, and stills carries on the business in company with his son John M., under the firm name of John Evans & Son, at 406 Main street, in the Evans & Deacon building. For more than fifty years he and his wife lived happily together, and she died in 1893. Mr. Evan's ancestors were sturdy yeoman. His grandfather, George Evans, was a fisherman in Angle; his mother's father, George Williams, was a butcher; and his father, Abram Evans, was a farmer. For fifty years Mr. Evans has been a member of the Methodist church, and now belongs to the Embury M. E. church, Central Falls. He is a member of Temple of Honor, No. 4, Pawtucket. Despite his 76 years Mr. Evans is still hale and hearty, and attends to business daily.
EVERETT, George Francis, the first child of George W. and Frances (Austin) Everett, was born in Wrentham, Mass., May 3, 1845. He attended the public schools of Pawtucket, whither his family had removed, until his eighteenth year, when he began to learn the blacksmith trade in his father's carriage and blacksmith shop. There he continued until 1879, when he succeeded his father in the same business at 5 Church street, which he has since conducted successfully. Mr. Everett was active for many years in the old volunteer fire department and is now a member of the Pawtucket Veteran Firemen's Association. He also belongs to the Odd Fellows. June 10, 1868, he was married to Frances A. Northrup of Pawtucket, by which union there are two children, George O., b. Nov. 23, 1871; and Charles H., b. Dec. 21, 1882.
Mr. Everett's father had a blacksmith shop in connection with his farm in Wrenthem, Mass., before he moved to Pawtucket; he was b. Oct. 30, 1813, and d. in Pawtucket, Sept. 2, 1889. Mr. Everett's mother was b. Aug. 26, 1815, and d. Oct. 25, 1877.
FAIRWEATHER, James Robertson, was born in Worcester, Mass., June 4, 1862, and is the fourth child of Thomas S. and Lillian (Wright) Fairweather. The family is of Scotch origin, and his ancestors have for generations been noted for mechanical ability. His father was a skilled mechanic, came to America from Scotland in his youth. James R. went with the family to Dorchester, N. H., where they resided for eleven years, after which they removed to Berkely, R. I. He attended the public schools at Ashton and Berkeley until he was 17 years old, when he went to work in a cotton mill. This occupation was, however, distasteful to him, and he came to Pawtucket, went to work in a sash and blind factory, and finally learned the art of stair building with D. A. Kelley. Having acquired a thorough knowledge of this trade he entered into co-partnership with Mr. Kelley, which was soon dissolved owing in part to an accident that nearly proved fatal to Mr. Fairweather. He established himself in business in Providence, Nov. 10, 1890, which he discontinued when he purchased his former employer's business in 1893. The shop was then situated at 36 East avenue. In 1894 he removed to his present place, 41 to 45 Bayley street. Mr. Fairweather was a pupil in the first draughting class established in the Pawtucket night school, and he profited to such an extent by his studies then and since that in the intricate problems involved in his business he is thoroughly proficient. As a result of this preparation he has been able to do such excellent work that from the first his business has been a success and is constantly increasing. In politics Mr. Fairweather is a Republican. June 4, 1884, he was married to Lydia Beachen of Pawtucket, and they have had six children: James E., b. March 31, 1885; Clara Lydia, b. Jan. 8, 1887, d. Feb. 17, 1887; Eugene Elmer, b. May 17, 1888, d. April 8, 1890; Fred Raymond, b. Jan. 16, 1891; Gertrude May, b. April 23, 1893, d. April 30, 1893; Nettie Viola, b. May 16, 1895.
FALCON, Abraham Z., M. D., was born in St. Jacques, P. Q., Canada, March 15, 1856, and is the first child of Abraham and Emelie (Remillard) Falcon. He attended the public schools of his native town until he attained his thirteenth year, when he entered Montreal College, from which he was graduated when 21 years old. He then turned his attention to the study of medicine and took a four years' course at the Victoria Medical College of Montreal, from which he received the degree of M. D. Believing the opportunities for the successful practice of his profession were broader in the United States than in Canada, he migrated to this country in 1879 and commenced to practice in Central Falls. He also opened a drug store on Broad and Foundry streets, and from the first was successful. He now has a large and lucrative practice which is continually increasing and in his store does a good business.
In public affairs the doctor is very active. He is a Democrat and has freqently held public office. He has been a trustee of the school fund and has represented his district in the lower house of the General Assembly for three successful terms, 1890-1-2. He is a member of the Rhode Island Medical Society and the Mortar and Pestle Club, the St. Jean Baptiste Society, and the Circle Jacques Cartier. Sept. 27, 1881, he was married to Melvina Schiller of Central Falls. Dr. Falcon's ancestors were among the early French settlers of Canada, and they were descended from an old Normandy family.
FALES, David L., the oldest son and second child of James G. and Maria (Aldrich) Fales, was born in Attleboro, Mass., Dec. 22, 1839. He moved to Pawtucket in 1843, and afterward to Central Falls, where he attended the public schools until he attained his eighteenth year. He then served an apprenticeship of three years in the shop of Stephen R. Bucklin of Pawtucket, and learned the blacksmith trade, after which he was employed for a short time in the machine shop of Fales & Jenks. In the spring of 1862 he enlisted for three months in the 9th Rhode Island Regiment and went to the front. Returning home he again enlisted in the 11th Rhode Island Regiment for nine months. At the end of this service he returned home and through ill health abandoned all business. In 1862 he opened a periodical and fruit store on High street, Central Falls, which he sold out in 1871, when he became a partner in the steam and gas pipe business with his brother-in-law, James H. Andrew, under the name of the Pawtucket Steam & Gas Pipe Co. The concern was incorporated in June, 1890, now carries on business at 32 East avenue, and Mr. Fales has been treasurer since the incorporation.
Mr. Fales is a Republican, a Free Mason and a Knight Templar. He has been married twice. His first wife was Millisa A. Gage of Central Falls, who died April, 1866, leaving one son, Edward L., b. in 1866. In 1868 he married Cordelia A. Fales of Farmington, O., by which union there have been two children, William C., b. Jan. 28, 1871; Edith L., b. Aug. 11, 1874.
FALES, James G., was born in Attleboro, Mass., March 17, 1814, and was the seventh child of John and Roby (Gilmore) Fales. The Fales family is of Welsh extraction. The first of the name in America settled early in the sixteenth century in that part of North Wrentham, Mass., formerly known as Tuckertown. From this locality Peter Fales, the grandfather of James G., moved to Attleboro, worked at his trade as a carpenter, carried on a farm, and left a large family of sons and daughters who were active and prominent in the development of Attleboro and surrounding towns. John, the son of Peter, inherited the farm in Attleboro, and conducted it until his death at the age of 80. He was prominent in town affairs and in the religious and social life of the community.
James G. was brought up on the old homestead. He attended the public schools of Attleboro until he was 13 years old, and for a period of five years thereafter he assisted his father on the farm. The monotonous character and drudgery of this life were too irksome for the young man, so he left the farm and going to Pawtucket learned the machinist trade. This occupation, however, proved injurious to his health, so three years later he began the business of retailing garden produce. He worked hard, saved money, and in 1847 opened a grocery store, in Pawtucket, on the site of the office of Lewis Fairbrother on North Main street. In 1852 he discontinued his store in Pawtucket and opened one in Central Falls. His business prospered steadily, and he made money and became rich. He invested his capital in houses and business blocks, and is now a large property owner. In 1874 he sold out the grocery business to his sons, who still carry on the store under the name of Fales Bros. Since that time Mr. Fales has lived a quiet, retired life, and has given part of his time to looking out for his real estate interests.
Despite his 82 years he is remarkably well preserved, is physically strong and active, is clear minded, retains his interests in current affairs, and has full possession of his faculties. In his youth Mr. Fales was a Jacksonian Democrat, then a Freesoiler, but for many years he has been a Republican. He married Maria Aldrich of Central Falls, and seven children were born to them: Roby, David, Joseph, Henry, Ellen, Alice, and Albert, all of whom, with the exception of the last named, are living and occupy positions of influence and prominence in the community.
FALES, Joseph E., a son of James G. and Maria (Aldrich) Fales, was born Nov. 12, 1841, in Attleboro, Mass. When he was about one and a half years old his parents came to Pawtucket, where he went to school, and also attended the schools in Central Falls, completing his education at A. G. Scholfield's Business College, Providence, at the age of seventeen. He then learned the trade of ornamental painting with John P. Arlin, with whom he worked until he was twenty-one. While so engaged he joined the Pawtucket Light Guard, and when the members of that organization volunteered in April, 1861, on President Lincoln's first call for troops, he was anxious to go with his comrades, but being under age his parents would not allow him to leave home. After leaving Mr. Arlin he went to work for Henry C. L. Dorsey at sign painting, and subsequently was employed at carriage painting by Eli Newell of Pawtucket. He started carriage painting in Stephen Perry's building, Mill street, Central Falls. He bought out the business of house painting and afterwards formed a partnership with E. H. Wade, with a shop in a building which occupied the site of the Farwell Worsted Mills. In a short time he bought out his partner's interest, carried on the business for several years, when he sold out to T. P. Steere and went to Cameron Junction, Missouri, where he speculated in real estate with success. A few years later he disposed of his western holdings and returned to Central Falls, where he took occasional contracts for painting until 1873, when he bought out the interest of George Morse who was then a partner of James G. Fales, and with his brother, J. Henry Fales, formed a copartnership, since which time, on the corner of Central and High streets, Central Falls, they have carried on a grocery store under the name of Fales Brothers. They have built up a good business and accumulated considerable property. The business is the largest of its kind in Central Falls and the firm's teams cover a large territory. Mr. Fales is a member of Jenks Lodge, the Central Falls Firemen's Association, and the Lincoln Republican Association. He was a member of the town council of Lincoln for one year, and has been a member of the city council of Central Falls since the formation of the city. He attends the Broad Street Baptist church, Central Falls. In 1877 he was married to Sarah E. Dunham of Pawtucket, and they have three children, Bertha D., Lester P., and Flossie L.
FARNSWORTH, Claudius B., was born at Groton, Mass., Jan. 8, 1815, and was educated at the Groton Academy and Harvard College, graduating in 1841. He studied law at the Harvard University law school and with Timothy G. Coffin, of New Bedford, Mass., was admitted to the bar at Taunton, Mass, in 1844, and practiced his profession in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. In 1859 he was elected treasurer of the Dunnell Manufacturing Co., in which position he continued for 25 years. For years he represented Pawtucket in the lower house of the state legislature, was a member of the town council in 1874-5 and finally became town solicitor. He was a 32d degree Mason.
The Farnsworths are of English origin, and the founder of the American family was Mathias Farnsworth or Farnscoth, who came from Manchester, England, and settled in Lynn, Mass., in 1657. Shortly after, he removed to Groton, Mass., as his name appears in the town records of that place in 1664. When [the] King Philip war broke out he with others fled to Groton. He appears to have been a man of considerable ability and was prominent in public affairs. The members of the family distinguished themselves in the revoluntionary war and performed great service for the American cause.
FARNSWORTH, Claude J., was born in Pawtucket, Dec. 15, 1862, and was the second child of Claudius B. and Marianna (McIntire) Farnsworth. He attended the private school of Rev. Charles H. Wheeler, Pawtucket, and the University Grammar School, of Providence, and was graduated from Brown University in 1884. He studied law, and when admitted to the bar in 1887 engaged in practice with his father, with offices in Cole's block. He has taken high rank in his profession, has conducted successfully many difficult cases, and has an extensive general practice. Mr. Farnsworth is a Democrat and has taken a somewhat prominent part in public affairs for a young man. He was private secretary to Gov. John W. Davis from 1887 to 1890 and was a member of the General Assembly in 1893. He is a prominent Mason. April 29, 1894, he was married to Elizabeth Barber Dorlis of New York, by which union there is one child, Claude J. Farnsworth, Jr., b. June 11, 1895.
FARWELL, Frederick S., was born in New Fane, Vt., Jan. 11, 1843, and was the second child of Lemuel and Amy B. (Walden) Farwell. He attended the public schools of his native town until he was twelve years old. After leaving school he found employment in a woolen factory in Millville, Mass., where he learned to be a weaver, at which occupation he worked five years, when he went to Uxbridge, Mass., and engaged in making loom harnesses and chains at the Sayles Mills. January, 1861, he entered the employ of Phetteplace & Seagraves as section hand in the weaving room of their mill at Graniteville, R. I., where he remained two years. He then had charge of the weaving room for Philip Hawkins at Pascoag, R. I., for one year. From there he went to the mill of A. L. Sayles at Pascoag as superintendent, a position which he ably and acceptably filled for nine years. Being ambitious and desirous of establishing a manufacturing business of his own, he entered into partnership in 1873 with William Tinkham in the purchase of the Harrisville woolen mills and operated them with marked success under the firm name of Tinkham & Farwell until 1884, when Mr. Farwell sold out to Mr. Tinkham. He then entered into partnership with Charles Fletcher and operated the National Worsted Mills at Olneyville, Mr. Farwell introducing and superintending the weaving department. In 1891 he purchased Mr. Fletcher's interest in the mills and although the firm had become a corporation, he being the largest stockholder, practically conducted the business. In 1893 the National Worsted Mills, belonging largely to Mr. Farwell, were consolidated with the Providence Worsted Mills, in which Mr. Fletcher was the heaviest and controlling owner, by the name of the National and Providence Worsted Mill, under a charter from the Rhode Island General Assembly, with an authorized capital of $2,000,000. When Mr. Farwell started the National Worsted Mill he only had 75 looms in operation but at the time of the consolidation these had increased to 337. He remained with the new corporation as superintendent of the weaving mills about eighteen months when he resigned. In 1894 he purchased the Central Falls Woolen Mills of 39 looms, but he has developed this plant until now he has in operation 109 looms. As a manufacturer Mr. Farwell is thoroughly proficient in all the details of his own industry, and his success is due to his accurate practical knowledge, supplemented by good executive ability and skill as a financier.
In Masonic circles Mr. Farwell has been active. He is a past master of Granite Lodge, A. F. & A. M., of Burrillville, R. I., and a member of Calvary Commandery of Providence. He belongs to the Pomham, the West Side, the Country, and the Rhode Island Yacht Clubs, and to the Providence Athletic Association. He is an attendant of the Cranston Street Baptist church, Rev. Mr. Bixby, pastor. Politically he is a Republican and a believer in a high tariff. March 14, 1863, he was married to Helen M. Buchanan of Thompson, Conn., by which union there were two children: Etta A., b. June 16, 1864; and Jennie A., b. Aug. 24, 1870, d. Jan. 19, 1872.
Mr. Farwell is descended on both sides from old New England families who trace their descent back to the first settlement of the country. His father, Lemuel Farwell, was b. in Townsend, Vt., Jan. 13, 1812, and d. Oct. 1, 1894, at North Grafton, Mass. His mother, Amy B. Walden, b. in Glocester, R. I., Dec. 10, 1821, is still living in the enjoyment of good health.
FESSENDEN, Benjamin, the Hon., born June 13, 1797, died Jan. 6, 1881, was a member of a family whose history is coeval with the settlement of New England. He upheld the honor and dignity of his ancestry and was worthy of remembrance for his own achievements and character.
The first of the name in America was John Fessenden, who came from Kent, England, and settled in Cambridge, Mass., in 1636. He died without issue, leaving his property to his nephew and niece, Nicholas and Hannah Fessenden. Nicholas left numerous descendants and was the direct ancestor of the family. The seventh son of Nicholas was Benjamin, born Jan. 30, 1701, who was graduated at Harvard College in 1718, was the minister of the church at Sandwich, Mass., from Sept. 12, 1722, to his death, Aug. 7, 1746, and was also a physician. His eldest son, also named Benjamin, was likewise educated for the ministry, graduating from Harvard in 1746, but became an innholder in Sandwich, and died Oct. 24, 1783. The third son of the second Benjamin was William, born Jan. 4, 1769. He learned the trade of a printer in Boston, worked in the government printing offices in New York and Philadelphia, then became a storekeeper in Waterville, Me., and finally bought out the other heirs and settled on the paternal estate in Sandwich, where his second son Benjamin, the subject of this sketch was born. William Fessenden died Oct. 24, 1846.
The third Benjamin Fessenden, like his grandfather and great-grandfather, was educated at Harvard College and became a clergyman. He was graduated in 1817 in the same class with George Bancroft, Caleb Cushing, and the Rev. Drs. Alva Woods, J. H. Jones, Stephen Salisbury and Stephen H. Tyng. After studying three years at the Theological School in Cambridge he became on Sept. 19, 1821, the minister of the Unitarian church at East Bridgewater, Mass., but resigned Nov. 6, 1825, on account of ill health. Dec. 13, 1821 he was married to Mary Wilkinson of Pawtucket, daughter of Isaac Wilkinson. After resigning his pastorate he with his wife and family removed to Pawtucket, and there engaged in business in company with Edward Mason.
In 1833 he became interested with Henry Marchant in the Valley Falls Mills. He was also interested in the Abbott Run Manufacturing Company, whose cotton mills were on the Cumberland side of the river at Valley Falls. He then established his home in that village and continued to reside there, until his death, while his connection with the cotton manufacture extended over a period of forty years.
While attending to his own individual concerns Mr. Fessenden was at the same time a public spirited citizen. He represented the town of Cumberland in the Rhode Island General Assembly and served as speaker of the House of Representatives in 1855-6, and in 1859 and 1870 was successively elected a state senator. In politics he was originally a Whig, but on the formation of the Republican party he threw in his lot with it and continued in that political faith the rest of his life. During the war of the rebellion he was active on the relief committees of the town. When 73 years of age, Mr. Fessenden, in 1870, was appointed by President Grant postmaster of Valley Falls, and held the office for eight years.
Although originally a Unitarian, Mr. Fessenden from the time of his removal to Pawtucket, was an attendant of the Baptist church. For twenty-five years he was the superintendent of the Sunday school of the Valley Falls Baptist church, but did not unite with that communion by baptism in full until his eightieth year. Mr. Fessenden and his wife were members of the choir for forty years. The land on which the Baptist church stands in the village was presented to the society by Mr. Fessenden and his brother-in-law Henry Marchant. His wife, whose ancestors were Friends, had been a member of the church from the time of their removal to Valley Falls until her death - a period of fifty-four years. Mr. Fessenden was a constant advocate of temperance, was engaged in the anti-masonic agitation, was active in the anti-slavery movement, and was interested and helpful in other reforms.
Mrs. Fessenden was born Oct. 11, 1804, and died at Valley Falls, July 27, 1871 [sic], in her 84th year. Nine children were the issue of the marriage, most of whom died in infancy. Two of the sons, Robert and Charles H., participated on the Union side in the war of the rebellion, the former rising to the rank of colonel, and the latter was killed at Rolla, Mo., April 10, 1865. Mary Wilkinson, the only daughter, was married to William F. Sayles, the well known manufacturer of Pawtucket, but she passed away in 1885, the year before her mother's death. The two surviving sons, Russell F. who resides in the old house at Valley Falls, and Robert living at Barrington, R. I., are the only living representatives of the family.
FISHER, Gilman Clark, was born in Francestown, N. H., July 12, 1841, and is the youngest child of Mathew A. and Jane C. Fisher. He attended the public schools of his native town until he attained his 13th year, when he began to earn his own living, and except for a few scattering terms, first at Francestown Academy, and afterwards at Foxcroft Academy, Maine, received no more schooling until the close of the civil war, when he determined to fit for college. He taught his first school in Foxcroft, Me., in the winter of 1860-1, receiving $16 per month. The following spring he enlisted in a nine-months regiment, being then nineteen years of age, served his time, but when he came home began teaching again. When principal of the Dexter, Me., high school he was drafted for one year and went to the front a second time. During these two periods of service he was in several battles, first in the Red River Expedition under Gen. Banks, and afterwards in Virginia, being present at the surrender of Lee. He fitted for college at Phillips Exeter Academy, N. H., and entered the sophomore year at Waterville College, now Colby University, Waterville, Me., graduating in 1869. Both during his college course and subsequently he taught the Castine, Me., high school.
In 1870, Mr. Fisher went to Europe, as foreign correspondent for a number of papers, including the Springfield Republican, for which he wrote over the signature of 'Horns'; but his aims had always been educational, and on his return to this country he re-engaged in teaching. He taught the Swampscott, Mass., high school two years and the West grammar school in Malden, Mass., four years. Several summer vacations were spent abroad and an absence of several months passed in traveling in European and Asiatic Russia, during which he wrote for a number of periodicals, including the Boston Journal, to which he contributed a series of articles entitled, one 'A Run Through Russia', and the other 'A Trip Around the Black Sea.'
Since 1878 Mr. Fisher has been continuously in the superintendency, serving four years in Dover, N. H., eight years in Weymouth, Mass., two years in Muskegon, Mich., and at the present writing four years in Pawtucket. He is the author of a manual of primary arithmetic and the 'Essentials of Geography', which was formerly an annual publication embracing the 'Geographical News of the Year' as an appendix. This was also published separately. All of these works have had a large sale, the two former being still on the market. As a contributor to periodicals in the past, including the Galaxy and Lippincotta, he has had some measure of literary success, but he is confining himself at present strictly to the work of his chosen profession.
Mr. Fisher is a Republican. He attends the Pawtucket Congregational church, and is a member of the Business Men's Association, of Tower Post, the Knights of Pythias, and other organizations. He was married to Harriet W. Stevens of Castine, Me.
FISK, Stephen Perry, was born in Scituate, R. I., Oct. 16, 1813, but very early in life established himself in Pawtucket where he became a well known contractor and builder, succeeding in this business his father, Stephen Fisk, who was born in Scitate, R. I., Jan. 14, 1784, and died at Pawtucket, Mass., Nov. 30, 1852. Stephen P. learned the trade of a carpenter in Providence, and came to Pawtucket in 1836. For a year or two he was foreman of the building operations at the Dunnell printworks, and then went into business with Nathaniel Lewin under the firm name of Lewin & Fisk, as carpenters and builders. Subsequently Charles E. Kenyon was taken into the firm, when the name became Lewin, Fisk & Kenyon. This firm built some of the largest mills in the state at that time, among them being the Atlantic Delaine mill in Olneyville. Mr. Fisk retired from this firm in 1868, and entered the employ of the Providence, Washington, Equitable, Atlantic and Hope Insurance companies as adjuster and examiner. With the two companies first named he remained until the day of his death, twenty-five years, but the Atlantic and Hope companies went out of business at the time of the Chicago fire, at which time Mr. Fisk settled claims amounting to over $1,000,000. During his connection with these companies he settled thousands of claims, and was one of the oldest and best known insurance adjusters in New England. He was elected one of the directors of the Pawtucket Mutual Fire Insurance Company in 1859 and held that position as long as he lived, a period of thirty-four years, being the oldest director in the company. He was one of the trustees of the Park Place Congregational church from its organization and one of the building committee of the church. He was a member of the Knights Templars and in his younger days took an active part in that order. He took no part in politics, but gave his whole attention to business, and was active and energetic, showing little of the marks of advancing age up to the time of his death.
The mansion house still occupied by the Fisk family, was erected on the site of the Pawtucket Academy, which was built here in 1828 on a ledge of rocks. In preparing for his new house, Stephen P. Fisk had to blast away a portion of this ledge, an undertaking which took many weeks. The great rock on which the house is founded was the same one that made it necessary for the old part of Main street to follow such a crooked line, as the road was originally laid out in 1816 so as to go around it. The rock is thus one of the historic landmarks of Pawtucket. Mr. Fisk was married July 4, 1836, to Sarah Marchant, who was born Sept. 5, 1814, and is still living in the old house. He died May 18, 1893. They had three children, Joanna Francis, b. Nov. 23, 1840, d. Dec. 18, 1842; Frank Duane and Stephen Francis, twins, b. in Pawtucket, Dec. 13, 1843. Frank Duane d. March 19, 1895.
The American founder of the Fisk family is supposed to have come to this country about 1620, and the family line is traced back to Symond Fisk, lord of the manor of Steadhangle, Suffolk county, England. A genealogy, prepared by Fred C. Pierce, 120 Fifth avenue, Chicago, Ill., is now in the hands of the publishers.
FISK, Stephen Francis, son of the foregoing [Stephen Perry Fisk and Sarah Marchant] was educated in the public schools of Pawtucket and Providence until he was 17 years old. He learned the drug business with J. Balch & Son of Providence after a four year course, and in 1869 he opened a druggist's establishment at his present location, 215 Main street, where he conducts a high class and successful business in this line. Mr. Fisk served during the war of the rebellion in the 9th Rhode Island Regiment. For five years he was a member of the state militia, and during this period was on the staff of General William R. Walker with the rank of major. In politics he is a Republican. He is a member of the Congregational Club. He is a past master of Union Lodge of Free Masons, is a Knight Templar and a member of the Mystic Shrine, belongs to the Pawtucket Business Men's Association, the To Kalon Club, and is a charter member of Tower Post, G. A. R. Jan. 13, 1875, he was married to Susan Joanna Sheldon of Providence, and they have one daughter, Hope Sheldon Fisk, b. July 15, 1882. Mr. Fisk with his family resides in the old mansion, erected by his father, and his mother is a member of the household.
FITZ, Edward Eustace, the third child of the Rev. William and Ellen I. (Salisbury) Fitz, was born in Westerly, R. I., Aug. 23, 1862. He went to school until he was sixteen years old, when he became a clerk in a retail grocery store in Burrillville, R. I. Removing thence to Providence he continued in the same business. In 1880 he became a clerk for the Nicholson File Co., of Providence, and was steadily promoted, becoming superintendent's clerk and finally purchasing agent, and remained with the company nine years. He next secured the position of superintendent of the New American File Co., Central Falls, which concern was purchased by the Nicholson File Co. in November, 1890, with whom he remained in the same position until the spring of 1896, when he assumed control as superintendent of the parent plant at Providence. Under Mr. Fitz's administration the Central Falls plant increased from an output of 300 to 1200 dozens per day. The Nicholson File Company has a plant at Beaver Falls, Pa., which is the largest concern of its kind west of New England, and Mr. Fitz is also manager of this establishment. May 26, 1886, he was married to Minnie L. Whelden of East Providence, by which there are two children: Helen E., b. Nov. 24, 1888, and Erle W., b. Feb. 1, 1891.
The Fitz family have been prominent in Massachusetts for generations. Mr. Fitz's father, who was a prominent Baptist minister, was b. in Haverhill, Mass., Aug. 5, 1828, and d. in Burrillville, R. I., Jan. 8, 1895. His uncle, the Hon. E. C. Fitz, was mayor of Chelsea, Mass., a Massachusetts state senator, and a member of the governor's staff. His maternal grandfather, Daniel M. Salisbury, was one of the pioneer cotton manufacturers in Burrillville, R. I., carried on a general store there for many years and his ancestors were among the first settlers of Northern Rhode Island.
FOLLETT, Francis F., was born in Swansea, Mass., in 1820. His ancestors were among the first settlers of the Old Colony, and the Follets [sic] have been numerous and prominent in Swansea and Rehoboth for generations. Many of them were ship builders in Swansea during the last and early in the present century. After obtaining a meagre amount of schooling, Francis F. came to Pawtucket, Mass., in 1835, and learned the trade of cigar making, which industry both as a journeyman and a manufacturer he has followed all his life. In 1867 in company with his son, Ferdinand A. Follett, he engaged in cigar manufacturing on Green street, Pawtucket, under the firm name of F. F. Follett & Son. Father and son worked well together, and built up an extensive and paying business. The father was the traveling man while the son was the buyer of stock and manager of the factory. This arrangement continued until 1893 when F. F. Follett retired in favor of his son, who now owns the business entirely.
FOLLETT, Ferdinand A., son of Francis F. Follett, was born in Pawtucket, Mass., July, 1845. He was educated in the Pawtucket public schools, and when he left school began to learn the trade of a cigar maker. From 1867 until 1893 he was in business with his father under the name of F. F. Follett & Son. In the latter year his father retired, the business was incorporated as the F. F. Follett & Son Company, and Mr. Follett has since conducted it at the old location, 9 Green street. The company now employs from twenty to thirty people, makes from 1,000,000 to 1,800,000 cigars a year, covers Rhode Island by wagons, and makes the Crown, LaRosa, Crown Junior, Cavalier, B. K., Eagle, Newport, and many private brands of cigars. The cigars have always been of high grade, which accounts for the popularity they have attained. The establishment has been the largest cigar manufactory in Pawtucket since 1864.
In national politics Mr. Follett is a Republican. He enlisted in 1862 in the 9th Rhode Island Regiment. He belongs to the Barney Merry Lodge of Masons, United Workmen, and the Pawtucket Business Men's Association. In 1867 he was married to Susan, daughter of Joseph Quamby of Pawtucket, and they have two children: Frederick L. and Grace E., twins, b. 1868.
FOLLETT, Jabez, was born in the town of Smithfield in 1821. His early opportunities for education were very limited, as he attended school only three months in the year, and worked on his father's farm and at the lime kilns the rest of the time. When 15 years old he took a course at the academy in Oxford, Mass. From the age of 17 until he was 21 he worked with his father in the lime industry. He then determined to depart from the customs of his ancestors and seek for success in other lines. Accordingly he went to work for Clark Pierce, candy manufacturer, of Central Falls, as a traveling salesman in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and held this position for three years. Then he became a stage driver for Wetherell & Bennett, who operated a line of coaches between Providence and Pawtucket. He was a popular driver, for he averaged 40 minutes for the trip with four horses, and made three trips daily. When Sterry Fry succeeded Wetherell & Bennett in 1854, Mr. Follett made six trips. The fare was 12 1/2 cents and was soon reduced to 10 cents each way. He was on the line about 12 years, when he had saved sufficient money to enable him to start in business for himself. He then bought out the expressing and teaming business of Charles Baker of Central Falls, at once put on a line of teams to Providence, carried a large amount of freight, and the increase in business was such that he employed forty horses constantly. His foresight caused him to add to the business the selling of horses, carriages, harnesses, etc. He prospered and accumulated considerable property. The headquarters of the business were on Cross street. About 1883 Mr. Follett sold the Providence express traffic and all the horses to P. C. Lull, and has since devoted his time to looking after his investments. He now resides in a beautiful modern mansion, corner of Washington and Central streets, Central Falls. At the age of 75 Mr. Follett is hale and hearty and is full of interest in all things. He was married in 1845 to Susan A. Chamberlin of Central Falls.
The Follett family, consisting of three brothers and five sisters, came from England to Amercia early in the last century, and settled in Smithfield and Cumberland. They were among the first settlers and they and their descendants have resided in those neighborhoods ever since. Down to Mr. Follett's father, Leonard J. Follett, moved to Smithfield when a boy, conducting a farm awhile, and also engaged in lime burning. He was a successful and industrious man, and died in 1854, when 62 years of age. The eldest son, L. J. Follett, who left Smithfield about 1856, went to Adams, Mass., and founded the lime business there. He is now deceased but the business is carried on by his sons under the firm name of L. J. Follett & Sons. They also have an extensive lime business at Pownal, Vt.
illustrations on page 311: photo: James R. Fairweather, stair builder and cabinet maker; Jabez Follett, founder of Follett & Steere Express Co.; Francis F. Follett, retired cigar manufacturer; Ferdinand A. Follett, of F. F. Follett & Son, cigar manufacturers; George H. Fuller, founder of George H. Fuller & Son; Charles H. Fuller, of George H. Fuller & Son.
FONTAINE, Hermenegilde, the second child of Timothee and Virginie (Forant) Fontaine, was born in St. Angele, Quebec, Canada, June 11, 1865, and obtained his education in the elementary schools of his native country. In March, 1880, he came to Central Falls and went to work in the store of St. Germain, corner of Broad and Fales street. He then became bookkeeper for John M. Fournier, devoted himself assiduously to mastering the business and is now head bookkeeper and confidential clerk for the Fournier & Schiller Co. At the second city election in Central Falls he was chosen alderman from the second ward on the Republican ticket. He belongs to the Church of the Sacred Heart, Central Falls, was a charter member of the Cercle Jacques Cartier, and is a member of the St. Jean Baptiste Society. In 1891 he was married to Rosanna Rocheleau, and they have three children: Elzear, b. April 18, 1892; Edgar, b. July 11, 1894; Fernand, b. April 11, 1896.
FORTIER, Adelard J., D. D. S., the second child of Adolph and Vitaline (La Branche) Fortier, was born in Baltic, Conn., Feb. 2, 1871. He received his primary education in the public schools of Connecticut, and then entered Holy Cross College, Farnham, P. Q., Canada, from which he was graduated in 1888. He was a teacher at that college for one term, at the end of which time he came to Pawtucket and entered the dry goods business, in which he remained until 1890. He then turned his attention to the study of dentistry, entered the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery in 1891, and was graduated in 1894 with the degree of D. D. S. Upon his return to Pawtucket he established himself at 6 Park place where he practices his profession successfully. The doctor is a member of the Rhode Island Dental Society and belongs to the Knights of Pythias. In national and state politics he is a Democrat.
Dr. Fortier's father was born at St. Judes, Province of Quebec, his mother at St. Hyacinthe. The ancestors of both were among the earliest French settlers of Canada.
FOURNIER, John M., the oldest child of James and Elmire (Chagnon) Fournier, was born Oct. 19, 1845, in Marieville, Canada. Until he was 12 years old he attended the public schools of his native place, and then worked on his father's farm until he was 16. At that age he began to learn the trade of carriage making, and at the expiration of his apprenticeship, when 19 years old, in 1865, he came to Troy, N. Y. The following year he came to Rhode Island and located at Central Falls, secured employment as a house carpenter, and through careful frugality and self-denial saved sufficient [sic] to enable him to invest in real estate. His venture proved profitable and in 1871 he opened a meat market in partnership with his brother Joseph, under the firm name of Fournier Bros. One year later they added a stock of groceries, making a general grocery and provision store, which business was continued until 1874, when Joseph sold his interest. The name was then changed to Fournier & Co., under which style it was conducted until 1879, when Hector Schiller became a partner under the name, Union Cash Store, Fournier & Schiller, proprietors. Three years later the firm added boots and shoes, hats, caps, and gentlemen's furnishings, converting the store into a large general emporium. In 1882 Alphonse Schiller was admitted a partner. In 1883 the firm opened a bakery on Sheridan street in connection with the store, which venture also proved successful, and in 1885 commenced the manufacture of preserves, jams and jellies, and in 1888 the canning industry was introduced. Having such demands for the goods and with trade increasing so constantly that more room was needed, the firm constructed the building now occupied, and added necessary machinery and implements as required by the business. Jan., 1892, it was concluded to divide the business. Messrs. Fournier and Alphonse Schiller took the bakery, canning and preserving departments, and have since devoted all their energies to the development of this business with such good result that is now the largest plant of its kind in Rhode Island. The establishment is located at 9 and 11 Sheridan street, Central Falls. Besides an extensive bakery, there are departments devoted to preserving, canning, pickling and making ketchup and mustard, and maple sugar and syrup are dealt it extensively. In 1893 the business was incorporated as the Fournier & Schiller Co., Mr. Fournier being the president and treasurer.
In politics Mr. Fournier is an active Republican and has been repeatedly honored by the people of Lincoln and the city of Central Falls. He was a member of the town council in 1887-8, town auditor from 1892 to 1895, a commissioner of the sinking fund of the Central Falls Fire District, and is now a commissioner of the sinking fund of Central Falls. Mr. Fournier was a member of the legislature from Lincoln from 1892 to 1895, and most faithfully discharged the duties thus devolving upon him. He also represented the city of Central Falls in the legislature in 1895 and 1896. He was compelled to retire from the legislature because of the constant increase of his business. As a staunch Republican, he has been one of the leaders of the party in this section, respected and esteemed alike in business and social circles. In 1867 he was married to Louise Ruel. By this union there are two children: Exeline and Delia. His first wife died in 1873, and he was married to Louise Schiller in 1876, by which union there is no issue.
FOWLER, George Herbert, the son of George D. and Abigail (Adams) Fowler, was born in Northbridge, Mass., July 16, 1852. He attended school in Barre, Mass., whither his family removed in 1854, until he attained his sixteenth year. Then for a short time he went to Worcester Academy, but having determined to study mechanical engineering he entered Worcester Polytechnic Institute, from which he was graduated with honors in 1873. He then went to work in a small machine shop in Providence, where he remained until 1874, when he connected himself with the Providence Tool Co. In his capacity as draughtsman he made the acquaintance of George H. Webb who was constructing some machines for that company, and from this casual intercourse his connection with the Pawtucket Manfacturing Co. commenced. His ability impressed Mr. Webb who engaged him as soon as he found his services could be secured. On the incorporation of the Pawtucket Manufacturing Co. in 1882, Mr. Fowler was elected treasurer and retained that position until his death, Jan. 4, 1895. His loss was severely felt by the company, but it falls most heavily on Mr. Webb, the general manager, who sadly misses Mr. Fowler's sympathetic intelligence and his quick comprehension of the mechanical devices placed before him.
In all his business relations Mr. Fowler was a man of strict integrity and high principles, and his treatment of his employees was always considerate and kind. He was a man of strong domestic tendencies and outside of the duties due to his family and friends took no active part in general affairs. He was married to Lula A. Reynolds, Dec. 7, 1887, who still survives him.
FREEMAN, Edward Livingston, is one of the ablest public and business men in the state of Rhode Island. He was born Sept. 10, 1835, in Waterville, Me., and was the first born child of the Rev. Edward and Harriet (Colburn) Freeman. He received his early education from his father and was prepared to enter college; but developing a desire to learn the printer's art was apprenticed when 15 years old in 1850 to A. W. Pearce, of Pawtucket, R.I. Having acquired a thorough knowledge of his trade he obtained a position as journeyman with the firm of Hammond, Angell & Co., of Providence, and was finally admitted to the firm. In 1863 he disposed of his interest and opened a printing office in a small room in the large three story brick building (now owned by him) in Central Falls, R. I. His entire staff consisted of two men and a boy. From this modest beginning he has built up one of the largest printing and publishing establishments in the state and now occupies the entire block. In 1869 he began the publication of the 'Weekly Visitor', a journal that contributed greatly to the growth and development of Central Falls and vicinity. For 21 years he conducted this newspaper successfully, and sold it to David J. White of Pawtucket in 1890. In 1873 John E. Goldsworthy was admitted as a partner, under the firm name of E. L. Freeman & Co. Mr. Goldsworthy retired in 1885 and Mr. Freeman's oldest son, William C., was admitted to partnership under the firm name of E. L. Freeman & Son. In March, 1896, his second son, Joseph W., was admitted to the firm and is now the general manager of the printing department. Since 1877 all the official printing for the state of Rhode Island, including the public laws and all reports and documents, has been done in the firm's establishment at Central Falls. In 1877 the house purchased a large book and stationary store in Providence, and in 1888 opened a similar store in Pawtucket. These stores were successful from the first, and the volume of business transacted is continually increasing every year.
In public affairs Mr. Freeman has a distinguished record. He has served the people in various capacities from fireward to state senator, and always with honor and distinction. He early developed a remarkable capacity for the clear and comprehensive understanding of public matters and being a man of progressive thought has made a deep impress on the legislation of this state. For nineteen years he was a member of the board of firewards (the governing-body of Central Falls) and was also a school trustee. For twenty-one years he has been a member of the Rhode Island legislature; representative from the old town of Smithfield, 1868-70; senator from Smithfield, 1870-1; senator from Lincoln, 1871-2; representative 1874-7, 1879-89, and was Speaker of the House from May, 1874 to 1876. He was elected senator from Lincoln 1892, and has been re-elected from that town and from the city of Central Falls at every election since. He is now chairman of the judiciary committee of the senate. Mr. Freeman is a fluent speaker, a man of clear, positive ideas, and for many years has been the legislative leader of his party. He has been state railroad commissioner since 1888. Before the reorganization of the state militia he was colonel of the Union Guard, one of the oldest military organizations in the state. He is a director in many corporations, where his business sagacity is highly valued. He joined the Central Falls Congregational church in 1855 and has ever since taken an active part in the Sunday school work. In 1883 he was made superintendent and still discharges the duties of that office. In Masonic affairs Mr. Freeman has been distinguished above most members of the Craft. He has filled nearly every important office in the order in the state. At present he is the oldest Past Grand Master and is also Past Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templars of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He is likewise a member of many other fraternal societies. Nov. 10, 1858, he was married to Emma E. Brown of Central Falls, by which union there were seven children, two of whom are deceased. Those living are: William C., b. Aug. 11, 1859; Joseph W., b. May 9, 1863; Edward, b. April 13, 1867, now a Methodist clergyman; Emma R., b. Sept. 13, 1865; Lucy J., b. Nov. 19, 1873.
Mr. Freeman traces his ancestry back to some of the first settlers of Massachusetts. His grandfather, Edward Freeman, was born in 1781, and his grandmother, Sarah Thayer, was born Aug. 4, 1783. His father, who was born in Mendon, Mass., in April, 1806, was an eminent Baptist clergyman and a scholar of prominence. He graduated in the class of 1833 from Brown University, Providence, R.I., and studied theology in the University of the Baptist church. He died in Camden, Me., in 1883, beloved and regretted by all whom knew the worth of his sterling character. Mr. Freeman's mother was born in 1815 at Dedham, Mass., and received a classical education at the Medfield, Mass., high school, from which she was graduated with high honors. She was a linguist of high order, and taught French and Latin for many years. She died when in the prime of life, aged 37 years.
FREEMAN, Joseph Wood, the second son of Edward L. and Emma E. (Brown) Freeman, was born in Central Falls, May 9, 1863. After he entered Mowry & Goff's English and Classical school, Providence, where he fitted for college. He was graduated from Brown University with the degree of A.B. in 1885, and in 1889 received the degree of Master of Arts. Immediately upon leaving college, Mr. Freeman became editor of the Central Falls Weekly Visitor, which he conducted until 1890, when the paper was sold and consolidated with the Pawtucket Record. Since then he has devoted his time to the printing business, is now a member of the firm of E. L. Freeman & Sons, and has charge of the printing office in Central Falls. He has been librarian of the Central Falls Free Public Library from its establishment in 1882 until the present time and has devoted much time and care to its management. During this period it has grown from one of the smallest libraries in the state, having less than 900 volumes, to one of the largest, now having about 7000 volumes. While greatly handicapped by insufficient appropriations and unsuitable quarters it has accomplished much good work and its selection of books has been frequently and warmly commended. Mr. Freeman has held several town offices, having been clerk and moderator of the voting district of Central Falls, a member of the Lincoln school committee, and secretary and chairman of the board of sewer commissioners.
Mr. Freeman was one of the special supervisors at the town election in 1890, when the famous 'tissue ballot' frauds were discovered, and it was largely owing to his determined opposition to the count made by the election officials on election day, and his record then made, backed up by his convincing testimony before the Supreme Court, that the fraud was detected and the victory awarded to the successful party.
He is actively interested in Masonic affairs and is a Knight Templar as well as a 32d degree Mason in the Scottish Rite. In 1894 he was W. Master of Union Lodge, No. 10, A. F. and A. M. of Pawtucket. Mr. Freeman is a member of the Lincoln Republican Association, Ballou Post Associates, Rhode Island Master Printers Association, Central Falls Veteran Firemen's Association, Mystic Shrine, and other societies. He has written numerous historical sketches, and compiled many catalogues and reports. He was married June 23, 1886, to Elizabeth King Fales, daughter of the late George S. and Frances (Baker) Fales of Pawtucket. George S. Fales was a prominent leather manufacturer of Pawtucket, the son of David G. Fales and brother of John R. Fales, of the Fales & Jenks Machine Co. He was an expert mining engineer, and the last ten years of his life were spent principally in Mexico and the United States of Colombia, South America, in erecting mining machinery. Mr. Freeman has four children: David Lincoln, b. June 8, 1887; Edward Livingston, b. July 10, 1891; Elizabeth King Fales, b. Oct. 28, 1893; and Frances Louise, b. July 2, 1895.
illustration on page 315: photo, Joseph W. Freeman, of E. L. Freeman & Sons.
FREEMAN, William Capron, oldest child of Edward L. and Emma E. (Brown) Freeman, was born in Central Falls, Aug. 11, 1859. He received his early education in the public schools of Central Falls, and then went to Mowry & Goff's English and Classical School, Providence, but left that institution before he had graduated, to take a position in his father's book and stationary store in Providence. By strict application he mastered every detail of the retail business, and eventually became manager of the store. In 1885 he purchased John E. Goldsworthy's interest in the firm, the name of which was then changed from E. L. Freeman & Co., to E. L. Freeman & Son.
He continued as the active resident manager of the store until 1888, when the firm started a plant in Central Falls for gelatine printing, and organized that business under the name of the Artogravure Co. The pictures turned out were reproductions of masterpieces of painting and sculpture, photographs of buildings, and scenes of interest. Some of them were in black and white and others beautifully tinted, and all were finely finished, artistic in conception and treatment, and could be turned out at a low cost. Mr. Freeman made a success of this industry and managed it until 1893, meanwhile retaining an oversight of the stationary stores in Providence and Pawtucket. In 1893 the Artogravure Co. was consolidated with the Art Publishing Co., of Gardner, Mass., and Charles Taber & Sons of New Bedford, Mass., under the name of Taber Art Co., and all the plants were moved to New Bedford, into the premises occupied by Charles Taber & Sons. Mr. Freeman was elected president of the new company, which position he still retains. He at once made his headquarters in New Bedford and moved his family there the following year. He has charge of selling the goods, and has a corps of ten or twelve traveling salesmen under his orders. Personally he is a very successful salesman, and occasionally goes among the trade in the large cities. The company turns out all descriptions of modern process pictures, including gelatines, photographs, etchings, artotypes, and makes picture frames of all styles and varieties. The house also handles the art productions of other manufacturers, both in this country and abroad. From 200 to 400 persons are employed at the works, according to the season and the state of business. Mr. Freeman still retains his connection with the firm of E. L. Freeman & Sons, and the stores in Providence and Pawtucket are under his control.
When William P. Sheffield was appointed by Governor Bourn, Nov. 19, 1884, to fill out in the United States Senate the unexpired term of Henry B. Anthony, who died Sept. 2, 1884, Mr. Freeman was appointed private secretary to Senator Sheffield, went on to Washington and held this position until the end of the senatorial term, Jan. 21, 1885. He then accepted a similar position with Jonathan Chace, who was elected to succeed Mr. Sheffield, and remained with Mr. Chace for about two years in this capacity, after which he made an extended trip through the West.
1888 Mr. Freeman was married to Grace Maud Cleveland of Indianapolis. They have four children. He belongs to all the Masonic bodies of Pawtucket, was a member of the Pawtucket Business Men's Association and the T. K. Club while he resided here, and is now a member of the Wamsutta Club of New Bedford. He is also a member of the Rhode Island Master Printers Association.
FRENCH, Charles Henry, M. D., is now one of the leading physicians of Pawtucket. He is the son of Henry W. and Anna Maria (Taylor) French, and was born in Waterbury, Conn., Jan. 29, 1859. He received his education in the public schools of his native town, and at the Wesleyan Academy, Wilbraham, Mass., then took a medical course at Yale College, and completed his professional studies at the Bellevue Hospital Medical College, New York, from which he was graduated in 1880. For the next two years, 1881-2, he was one of the resident house physicians in the Charity, now the City Hospital, New York city. At the end of that period he returned to his native place and began the practice of medicine. He met with success, and was town physician and health officer for several years. While residing and practicing in Waterbury he became one of the surgeons of the Connecticut National Guard and was a member of the Waterbury Medical Association and of the Connecticut Medical Society.
March, 1887, he came to Pawtucket, purchased the practice of another physician, and located at 107 and 109 Broadway, where he has since remained. His practice is of a general character, and Dr. French is a 'family' physician in the best sense. He is genial, kind and sympathetic, and is consequently popular with his patients and the public. In his profession he stands high, and is a member of the Pawtucket Medical Association, the Rhode Island Medical Association, the Medico-Legal Society of Rhode Island, the American Medical Association, and of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States. He is lieutenant-colonel and medical director of the brigade Rhode Island Militia, and previous to his appointment to this position served as surgeon of the 1st Battalion of Cavalry. He is Medical Examiner of District No. 8, Providence county. He belongs to the Pawtucket Business Men's Association, the T. K. Club, the Royal Arcanum, the Odd Fellows, and the Rhode Island Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. He is a trustee of the Providence County Savings Bank, is a member of the vestry of St. Paul's Episcopal church and belongs to the Churchmen's Club of Rhode Island. June 5, 1884, he was married to Florence S. Wells, by which union there are three children, one born in Waterbury and two in Pawtucket.
Dr. French traces his descent on his father's side from John French, who came from England and settled in Dorchester, Mass., in 1639. On his mother's side side he is descended from the well known Daggett family of Attleboro. Daniel Daggett and Ebenezer French, both of whom were among his direct ancestors, were revolutionary soldiers.
FROST, Albert, the oldest child of Antipus and Polly (Guile) Frost, was born in Walpole, Mass., in 1838. He attended the public schools of Pawtucket, Smithfield, and Lanesville, Mass., until he was fourteen years old and then went to work in his father's grist mill in Pawtucket, where he remained for a number of years. He then worked in cotton mills until 1866 when he learned to be a box maker. In 1868 he started in the manufacture of paper boxes on his own account. The business was very small at first but by the introduction of improved methods he developed it successfully and steadily. He now makes his product on patent box-covering machines, the plant has a capacity of from 3000 to 5000 boxes daily, and consumes 150 tons of straw board annually. The factory is a three story building on High street, Central Falls, 45 by 70 feet in dimensions, and the total floor space is 6000 square feet. The product is taken chiefly by the thread and hosiery factories in Pawtucket and Central Falls. The capital required to run the business is $10,000.
Mr. Frost is a Republican in politics. He is a member of the Central Falls Baptist church, and belongs to Jenks Lodge of Masons. During the war of the rebellion he was a member of the Home Guard of which Jacob Dunnell was colonel. He has been trice married. His first wife was Susan G. Doan, and his second Elvira F. Chace. By the first marriage there was one daughter, Ida L., who was b. in Smithfield, June 15, 1863.
FULLER, George H., was born in South Attleboro, Mass., in 1832, and received his education in the schools of his native town. When about 15 years of age he learned the trade of a jeweler. Being of an ingenious turn of mind and gifted with business foresight, he originated what was practically a new industry by the invention of machinery for the manufacture of jewelry supplies. His productions found a ready sale and he quickly built up a good business. He started in this line in 1858 at South Attleboro, but in 1860 removed to Pawtucket. The industry gradually assumed large proportions. In 1878 Mr. Fuller admitted his son Charles H. to partnership and the firm became known as George H. Fuller & Son. Mr. Fuller died June 26, 1892, and the establishment is still carried on by the son under the old name. Mr. Fuller was a scion of an old New England family whose first American ancestor came here from England in 1636. He was a member of the first board of water commissioners in Pawtucket, was prominent in politics, served on the school committee, and was interested in the general welfare of the community.
FULLER, Charles Henry, was born in South Attleboro, Mass., Sept. 1858, and is the only child of George Henry and Abbie N. (Ide) Fuller. He was educated in the public schools of Pawtucket until he was 18 years old, and in 1878 went to work for his father. In his 20th year his father admitted him as partner in the jewelers' findings business, on Exchange street, Pawtucket, under the firm name of George H. Fuller & Son. Beginning in 1880, for a number of years he traveled as a salesman and was very successful. On the death of his father, June 26, 1892, he succeeded to the business and has since conducted it alone. It is one of the oldest if not the very oldest house in this line in the country. Mr. Fuller is a Republican. He attends the Congregational church. May 11, 1880, he was married to Susan E. Whittaker of Philadelphia, Pa., by which union there are two children: Charles W., b. May 11, 1882, and Alice G., b. Jan. 22, 1887.
GAGNON, Fortunat, M. D., was born in Maryville, Province of Quebec, Canada, March 7, 1859, and is the eighth child of Hubert and Catherine (Thuot) Gagnon. He was educated in the college of his native town. He learned the blacksmith trade, but as the opportunities for advancement in his own country were limited he emigrated to the United States in his 20th year. He soon secured employment at his trade in Central Falls with F. X. Lamarine, with whom he remained until 1873, during which time he accumulated sufficient money to enable him to commence the study of medicine. From 1873 to 1879 he studied with Dr. Ropelle of Providence. In 1884 he returned to Pawtucket, opened a drug store in connection with George A. Sullivan, at 17 Exchange place, which he successfully conducted until 1895. Since then he has devoted his time to his profession and has built up a good practice.
Dr. Gagnon is a Republican. He is an active member of the Knights of Pythias and the Red Men. Jan. 23, 1883, he was married to Eugenie Riopelle [sic] of Central Falls, by which union there are three children: Adelaide, George and Arthur.
GARBUTT, Irving R., son of John and Aurelia (Hays) Garbutt, was born in Hartland, N. Y., Nov. 15, 1867. He attended the public schools of Hartland until he was 14 years old, and then went to the high school at Lockport, N.Y., until he was 18, when he entered the University of Rochester, N.Y., from which he was graduated in the class of 1889, when 22 years old. Since his graduation he has followed the profession of a teacher. In 1895 he became principal of the Pawtucket Business College in the Pacific Bank Building. Here he taught mathematics and all the commercial branches. Mr. Garbutt's own specialty was commercial law and the theory and practice of bookkeeping. In June, 1896, he sold out his interest in the business college, and with the beginning of the fall term he began as principal of the commercial department and teacher of mathematics in the new Pawtucket high school.
Mr. Garbutt is a Republican. He is a member of the First Baptist church, of the Young Men's Christian Association of Pawtucket, and belongs to the Odd Fellows.
GARDINER, William E., son of John C. and Lois V. (Bradford) Gardiner, was born in Stonington, Conn., Feb. 12, 1857. His ancestors on his father's side were among the early settlers of South Kingstown, R.I., and were prominent in the South County for generations. His maternal ancestors were farmers in Westerly, Conn. John C., the father of William E., was the engineer of the first engine that went over the Providence and Stonington Railroad, and worked in that capacity on that road the greater part of his life. William E. obtained his education in the schools of Stonington, Conn., and at the age of 17 went to work in a wholesale grocery in New London. Four years later he came to Providence and entered the employ of B. F. Gilmore, manufacturer and retailer of trunks, with whom he continued six years, becoming an efficient salesman and an adept in the manufacture of trunks. He then went to work for F. W. Weston, trunk dealer, Pawtucket, in 1890, and a few months later he became head salesman and assistant manager of the retail truck and general store of A. F. Browne, Pawtucket Loan Co., 245 Main street. Here he has earned the confidence of the patrons of the store, is popular with all classes of people, and under his management the business has been very successful. He resides in Providence, and was married Dec. 20, 1882, to Mary Burrows of West Moreland, N. Y., daughter of Martin Burrows.
GARDNER, William Scott, was born in 1839 in the town of Seekonk, Mass., at the place which was long known as Ocean Cottage, in the present town of East Providence, R.I., where his father owned an extensive estate. He was the sixth child of Dr. Johnson and Phebe Lawton (Sisson) Gardner. His father was for many years the leading physician in Pawtucket on the North Providence side of the river, and owned the house at the northeast corner of Main and High streets. This property he purchased from Samuel Slater about 1829. Dr. Gardner had his office and residence in this structure, which is still standing but is greatly changed, at least in outward appearance, from its original condition. For twenty years Dr. Gardner was a representative from Bristol county, Mass., to the Massachusetts senate. During the war of the rebellion he was examiner of recruits in Pawtucket and Providence. He was in public service about 20 years. He died Dec. 12, 1870. Dr. Gardner was appointed by Gov. Briggs of Massachusetts one of the commissioners to settle the boundary line between Massachusetts and Rhode Island about 1850. He was a member of the governor's council of Massachusetts for many years.
Walter S. attended the public schools of Seekonk until he was seven years old. Having lost the sight of one eye as a result of cataracts on both eyes, he went in 1854 to the Perkin's Institution for the Blind, South Boston, where he remained ten years, during which period he obtained a first-class education. The last three years of this time he was a teacher and had charge of the workshop. While at this institution he learned various handicrafts, among others that of broom making. In 1865 he returned to Pawtucket and in a shop on High street on his father's estate began to make brooms to order. He made a success of the business and as the years passed it increased in volume slowly but surely. In 1890 he built his present factory, rear of 54 Warren avenue, where he now employs a number of men in the manufacture of brooms and brushes.
Mr. Gardner enlisted in Boston during the war of the rebellion, and went on to Washington, but was discharged from the service on account of his poor eyesight. In politics he is a Republican. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias. May 30, 1876, he was married to Ellen Muir in Pawtucket, and they have had five children, three of whom are now living: Clarence E., Frank A., and Harry A.; Viola, d. about 1873. [sic]
Mr. Gardner inherited half of his father's extensive estate in Pawtucket, which included all the property on the east side of High street from the corner of Main to the City Hall. The lower part of this estate now belongs to his brother, Dr. Clarence Gardner of Providence, while the upper portion is the property of Walter S.
GARVIN, Lucius Fayette Clark, M.D., of Lonsdale, is one of the best-known men in the state of Rhode Island. For a score of years, besides fulfilling with success and ability the duties of his profession, he has been continuously active in public life. He has not, however, been an ordinary politician, content to hold office and manage caucuses, but has constantly agitated for reforms that would, as he conceived, be of public benefit. In doing this even his enemies acknowledge that he has manifested great persistence, skill and judgment; and, although often derided by members of his own as well has those of the opposite party, he has been the means of carrying through a goodly number of reform and other measures. In all the stress and irritation occasioned by these efforts, and while he has been assailed in the press, in the legislature, and elsewhere, as a crank and agitator, Dr. Garvin has always remained the same quiet-mannered gentleman. He has, after years of abuse, won the respect of the entire community, and men of all classes and parties now recognize his high character and acknowledge that he is actuated by the most disinterested public spirit. As a public man his career has been an ideal one, and his example shows the possibility of maintaining purity of life and elevation of character while engaged in the struggle of politics.
The Garvin family traces its descent from James Garvin, who was born in Vermont, June 5, 1783, and died in Elkhart, Indiana, in 1872. His son, James Garvin, Jr., was born in Bethel, Winsor county, Vermont, in 1809, died in Knoxville, Tenn., June 29, 1846, was a teacher by profession, and at the time of his death was a professor in East Tennessee University. He was a quiet, dignified gentleman, devoted to the cause of education. He married Sarah Ann Gunn in Enfield, Mass., Dec. 5, 1833, and they had two sons: James A., born in Pikeville, Tenn., Aug. 28, 1837, and Lucius F. C., born in Knoxville, Tenn, Nov. 13, 1841. Mrs. James Garvin, Jr., was born Aug. 26, 1812, and died June 27, 1890, in Lonsdale, at her son's house. She was a woman of cultivated manners and unusual ability. After Mr. Garvin's death she married again, and had three children: Walter Montague, Charles Washington, and Lola McConnell.
L. F. C. Garvin fitted for college at New Garden, a Friend's school, near Greensboro, N. C. From there he went to Amherst college, Massachusetts, where he was graduated in his 21st year in the class of 1862. Soon after, he enlisted as a private in Company E of the 51st Massachusetts Volunteers, and served under General Foster, who succeeded General Burnside in command of the Federal forces in eastern North Carolina. His chief military experience was in the expedition to Goldsboro, N. C., late in the year 1862, for the purpose of cutting off the communications of Lee's army. He taught school in Sunderland, Mass., during his senior year in college; in Ware, Mass., after leaving college; and at Leverett, Mass., after his service in the army. He then began the study of medicine with Dr. Sylvanus Clapp of Pawtucket, and continued his education in this line at the Harvard Medical school, from which he was graduated in the class of 1867. He immediately began the practice of medicine in the village of Lonsdale, and for more than a decade was the only physician in the vicinity. His practice extended throughout the adjacent villages of the Blackstone valley, and he became the beloved physician of the country-side. In 1876 he built, in the new village of Lonsdale, town of Cumberland, a mansion which is seated in beautiful grounds, opposite the brick tenements of the village. The Catholic Oak is within view from his grounds, and the spot where William Blackstone lived is only two or three minutes walk distant.
Until 1876 Dr. Garvin was a Republican, but since then he has acted with the Democrats because he believes in the free trade policy. He is now one of the recognized leaders in his party. He has represented the town of Cumberland ten times in the General Assembly, having first been elected to fill a vacancy in the house in 1883, reelected the same year, and elected in 1885, 1886, 1887, 1893, and 1895, and as senator in 1889, 1890, and 1891. During these years he was the principal advocate in the assembly of reform legislation. The passage of the ten hour and the ballot reform laws, of the Bourn amendement for the extension of the suffrage to foreign-born citizens, of the bill establishing the bureau of industrial statistics, and of the acts for factory inspection and plurality elections all found in him a strong supporter. In the contest for the extension of the suffrage he was for many years the leader both in the community, and to his exertions more than those of any other man was the success of the movement finally due. He was the candidate for congress of the Democratic party in the second congressional district in 1894 and 1896, but was not elected.
Dr. Garvin stands high in his profession. He is a member of the Rhode Island Medical Society and of the Providence Medical Association. He belongs to Ballou Post, Grand Army of the Republic, is a member of the Royal Arcanum, and of the Municipal League of Providence. In religion he is a liberal. For years he was a member of the Free Religious Society of Providence, and is now one of the Bell Street Chapel Society, Providence, of which the Rev. Anna Garlin Spencer is the minister. He was married Dec. 23, 1869, to Lucy W. Southwayd, at Middletown, Conn., who was a graduate of the Woman's Medical College of Boston, Mass., and previous to her marriage was resident physician at Mount Holyoke Seminary, Holyoke, Mass. They have three daughters: Ethel, b. Dec. 19, 1871; Norma, b. April 19, 1874; and Florence, b. Feb. 27, 1876.
GATCHELL, Frank Lincoln, was born in Mendon, Mass., Feb. 23, 1861, and was the first born of James Lawrence and Mary Elizabeth (Jones) Gatchell. His father has been for many years overseer in the braid mill of D. Goff & Sons. The Gatchell family originated in England and immigrated to Marblehead in early colonial times. Frank L. attended the public schools of Pawtucket, and was graduated from the high school in 1878. Soon after he went to work as clerk for Wilbur & Tingley, proprietors of the Pawtucket flour mills. Here he continued nearly three years, at the end of which time he had been advanced to the position of bookkeeper for Peleg B. Wilbur, flour and grain dealer, Central Falls, in which situation he remained over two years. Having achieved a reputation for accuracy and reliability, in July, 1883, he entered the Pacific National Bank as a bookkeeper, and was in the course of time promoted to his present position of paying teller. Mr. Gatchell has the handling of millions of dollars, and implicit confidence is reposed in him by the directors. He is genial and pleasing in his manner, and holds the esteem and friendship of the patrons of the bank. In politics he is a Republican, and was clerk of the Common Council of Pawtucket from 1892 to 1894. He is a member of the First Baptist church and belongs to the Ancient Order of United Workmen, Lodge No. 1, Pawtucket. Oct. 7, 1885, he was married to Sarah Patience Merrill, and they have two children: Ruth Merrill, b. July, 1892; and Raymond Walker, b. July, 1894.
GATES, George C., the first child of John and Elizabeth (Carter) Gates, was born in Norfolk County, England. His early education was meagre, and at the age of nine he began work on a farm. When eleven years of age he became an apprentice in the shop of his father, who was a manufacturer of shoes and a dealer in leather and shoe findings. At 18 he was given charge of the shop, and remained in that position until he was 20 years of age, after which for several years he was employed in the shoe districts of Northampton and Lincolnshire. He then decided to come to America and arrived in New York Dec. 28, 1851, after a voyage of 72 days. He first went to Randolph, Mass., and worked at the shoe business there and in Taunton, Mass., and Providence, R.I. June, 1852, he came to Pawtucket and secured employment with Peter Warren. February, 1853, he purchased Mr. Warren's business and began the manufacture of a fine grade of custom shoes in the old Carpenter building, on the spot where the Lee block now stands. After several changes, necessitated by the increase in business, he finally, in 1866, located at 224 Main street, where in 1868, in connection with F. B. Woodward, he began the manufacture of boots and shoes under the firm name of Gates & Woodward. The venture did not prove profitable, and the firm was dissolved in 1870, but Mr. Gates continued the manufacture of custom boots and shoes on his own account, and in 1880 he added a department for the sale of leather and shoe findings. The business has been successful, and to-day he is doing a large amount of high grade fine custom work.
In politics Mr. Gates is a Republican and takes an active interest in public affairs, especially in all matters relating to education, and is a staunch supporter of the present system of public schools. He was elected to the city council of 1896 from the third ward. He is actively interested in fraternal circles, and is a prominent member of the Temple of Honor and the Knights of Pythias. In the latter order he has occupied the highest positions in the state of Rhode Island, and was Grand Chancellor in 1893. He is treasurer of the Pawtucket Veteran Firemen's Association. He is a member of Trinity Episcopal church and one of its vestry. July, 1854, he was married to Elizabeth McDivit of Pawtucket, by which union there are four children: John H., George A., Henry and Elizabeth. His wife died in 1870, and in October, 1882, he was married to Debora M. Almy Kelley of Pawtucket, who died in 1890.
GERMAIN, Peter, was born in St. Judes, Quebec, Canada, March 18, 1850, and is the fourth child of Augustine and Sophie (Garreau) Germain. He went to school until he was 16 years old, and then worked on his father's farm for a year. He came to the United States in 1877 and secured a position in a grain and feed store at Douglas, Mass., which he held for two years. He then moved to Manchaug, Mass., and started a livery stable, which he conducted with success for eleven years. He sold out his stable in 1890, and established a hotel in Harrisville, R.I. Receiving a profitable offer for its purchase in 1893 he disposed of it, came to Central Falls in 1894, and opened the largest and finest hotel in that city, the Lincoln House, at 486 and 488 Broad street, which he continued to conduct until 1896.
Mr. Germain is an active Republican. He is a member of the Foresters and Shepherds. April 15, 1871, he was married to Melvina Clare, of Chambly, P. Q., Canada, by which union there are three children: Mary, b. Feb. 22, 1876; Peter, b. Jan. 15, 1873, and Joseph, b. Oct. 13, 1879.
GILL, Isaac, the present efficient engineer for the Dunnell Manufacturing Company, was born in 1850 and is of Scotch-English parentage. His father, Isaac Gill, Sr., was born in Manchester, England, in 1817, and emigrated to Newport, R. I., in 1842. There he became acquainted with his future wife, Agnes Frances, who was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1821, and had been brought to America by her parents when a young child. Shortly after their marriage, gold was discovered in California, and the young husband, like many others, decided to try his fortune in the Far West. Accordingly he became one of the earliest 'forty-niners' who entered California. He remained in the West 15 or 16 years, at the end of which time he returned to his former home in Newport, R. I., where he remained till the date of his death in 1880.
Isaac, the son, was educated in the public schools of Newport up to his 13th year. At the end of that time, his father being far away from his family, circumstances demanded that he should seek employment. Accordingly he was employed by Caswell, Mark & Co., a drug firm of Newport, for whom he worked four years. At the age of 17 he came to Pawtucket and went to work for Cole Bros., steam fire engine builders, where he remained for eight years. In 1876 he was employed by the Dunnell Manufacturing Co. as engineer, with which concern he yet remains. Mr. Gill has ever been a steady, straightforward, sincere and consistent workman. He is a man of sound judgement and good business policy as is evidenced by the number of years he has represented his ward in the city council. He was elected a member of the town council of 1885 by the Democrats, with whom he always affliates. He represented the second ward in the city council from 1886 to 1888 inclusive, and again in 1895 and 1896. Aside from his business and official duties he is a man of fraternal and kindly spirit, as is shown by the distinction he has achieved amongst his fellow Free Masons, in which order he has long been a member. Mr. Gill has in his possession four tokens of gold bestowed on him at different times by the Masonic order. He is past master of Union Lodge; past high priest Pawtucket Royal Arch Chapter; past commander Holy Sepulchre Commandery; past grand T. I. M. grand council of Rhode Island. It is in Masonry that Mr. Gill finds his chief interest, and his career among his brethren best shows in what way that interest is received. He is one of the board of directors of the Masonic Temple Co., which is empowered by the Order to execute all plans necessary for the erection of the new Masonic hall on High street.
In bygone days Mr. Gill was an ardent member of the Pawtucket Boat Club, and pulled an oar in the crew which created so much enthusiasm and received such praise in those races that used to stir the city from centre to circumference with excitement and anticipation.
In 1891 he was married to Annie Macklin, of Pawtucket. They have one boy, Isaac, who is now in his fourth year. Their home is at 18 Pond street.
illustration on page 322: photo, Isaac Gill, Councilman, Second Ward, Pawtucket.
"GLANCY, Charles Augustine, M. D., the fourth child of Patrick and Bridget (Reynolds) Glancy, was born in Smithfield, R. I., Jan. 2, 1858. He attended the public schools until he was 12 years old. In 1870 he went to work in one of the mills of the Lonsdale Co., continued there for three years, then worked in Valley Falls and for the Conant Thread Co., and afterwards for the American File Co. In 1879 he again entered the employ of the Conant Thread Co. in another department. Factory work was uncongenial to him, and he decided to study in order to prepare himself for the medical profession. For three years he studied pharmacy with Stephen L. Talbot, Ph. G., of Providence. In 1885 he passed the state board examination and was registered as a pharmacist. He continued with Mr. Talbot until his death in 1885. He then devoted himself to his profession in some of the largest drug houses in the United States: in Providence with Howe & Carr, successors to Mr. Talbot; in Brooklyn, N. Y., with John B. Winter; in Brattleboro, Vt., with George A. Briggs & Co. Returning to Providence he worked for William H. Hinds and A. W. Fenner, Jr., after which he was appointed resident apothecary to the Rhode Island Hospital. May 4, 1887, he passed the board of pharmacy of Massachusetts. He came to Pawtucket in 1889 and opened a drug store at 67 Park street. The business was successful from the start and afforded him the opportunity of accomplishing the ambition of his life. In 1891 he entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Baltimore, Md., studied there until the fall of 1892, when he entered Baltimore Medical College, from which he was graduated April 17, 1894, with the degree of M. D. Thus after 24 years of unceasing struggle, without other aid than that afforded by his own labor and indefatigable energy, he accomplished the purpose of his life. Nov. 29, 1888, he was married to Anna E. Duffy, of Ballardvale, Mass., by which union there is one child, Wendell Joseph, b. March 27, 1895.
The Newport County Reading Room Index More Biographies & History .