Rhode Island Reading Room
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This section contains articles of genealogical and historic interest on Rhode Island in general, from old Rhode Island books and newspapers. If you would like to contribute please e-mail me with information.

  The Ancestors of Amasa Manton Chace [Descendant of William Chase]

  The Townsend Family, of which Mrs. Amasa Chace is a member

  The Ancestors of Henry Clay Anthony [Descendants of John Anthony of England]

  Roman Catholic Churches of Pawtucket


  THE HISTORY OF RHODE ISLAND 

The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical, by the American Historical Society, Inc., 1920. For an unknown reason there are two copies of the book with the same title page, but with different contents. Articles will be added from these books regularly. 


The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical
Pages 114- 116 of the smaller volume
Amasa Manton Chace

The surname Chase, of which Chace is one of the most usual variants, is derived from the French chasser, meaning to hunt, and was introduced into England in its earliest forms by the Normans at the time of the Conquest.  The French verb, was well as the surname, was rapidly assimilated by the English.  The ancestral seat of one of the most important branches of the family in England was at Chesham, in Rockinghamshire, through which ancient town flows the river Chess.

 Arms -- Gules four crosses potence argent two and two, on a canton azure a lion passant or.
 Crest -- a lion rampant or, holding between his feet a cross potence gules.

The Chase and Chace families in America date from the year 1630, when the earliest immigrant to New England, William Chase, settled in Roxbury, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  Other immigrants of the name followed, among them Thomas and Aquila Chase.  These three men were the founders of a many which played an important role in the life and affairs of New England from the middle of the seventeenth century to the present time.  Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and Rhode Island, have been the homes of noted and well defined branches of the early family.  The line herein under consideration, that of the late Amasa Manton Chace, noted figure in advertising circles in New York City during the closing decades of the past century, includes eight generations from the founder, the last two of which were identified with the city of Newport, R. I.

(I)  William Chase, immigrant ancestor and progenitor, was a native of England, where he was born about 1595, and with his wife Mary and son William came to New England in the ship with Governor Winthrop in 1630.  He settled first at Roxbury, Mass., where soon he became a member of the first church of Roxbury.  The record of Rev. John Eliot, the Indian Apostle, of “such as adjoined themselves to this church,” has the entry:  “William Chase, he came with the first company, bringing with him his wife Mary and his son William.”  Thomas and Aquila Chase, who settled at Hampton, N. H., in 1639, are thought by genealogists of the Chase family to have been either brothers or cousins of William Chase, the first comer.  On October 19, 1630, he applied for admission as a freeman, and was admitted on May 14, 1634.  William Chase was subsequently a town officer of Roxbury, and a prominent man in its early life and affairs.  In 1638 he was one of the pioneer company which settled the town of Yarmouth, of which he was chosen constable in 1639.  In 1645 he served against the Narragansetts.  He died in Yarmouth in May, 1656.  His will, dated May 4, 1659 [sic], and proved May 13 of the same year, states that he was aged.  He bequeathed to his wife Mary, and two sons, Benjamin and William.  His widow died in October, 1660.

(II)  William (2) Chase, son of William (1) and Mary Chase, was born in England, about 1622, and accompanied his parents to America, in 1630.  He removed with his father’s family to Yarmouth, in 1638, and died there, February 27, 1685.  He was a prominent resident of the town, but took no active part in civic affairs.  The name of his wife is not know; they were the parents of eight children.

(III)  William (3) Chase, son of William (2) Chase, was born about 1645.  He married (first) Hannah Sherman, daughter of Philip and Sarah (Odding) Sherman, and (second) December 6, 1732, Priscilla Perry.  He died in 1737, and his will was proved August 16 of that year.

(IV)  Isaac Chase, son of William (3) and Hannah (Sherman) Chase, was a native and lifelong resident of the town of Yarmouth.  He married (first) February 10, 1704, Elizabeth Blethen, daughter of John and Jane (Marks) Blethen, of Salem, Mass.  He married (second) Mary Fowler, daughter of Samuel Fowler.

(V)  David Chase, son of Isaac and Mary (Fowler) Chase, was born in Yarmouth, Mass.  He married (first) October 11, Elizabeth Austin, and (second) December 22, 1791, Mary Chace.

(VI)  Jesse Chase, son of David and Elizabeth (Austin) Chase, was born September 11, 1761.  He married Margaret Bowers, who died November 14, 1822, aged sixty years.  Jesse Chase resided during the greater part of his life in Somerset, Mass.  He died February 25, 1847, aged eighty-six years.

(VII)  Captain Jesse (2) Chace, son of Jesse (1) and Margaret (Bowers) Chase, was born in the town of Somerset, Mass., June 3, 1798.  Early in life he went to Newport, R. I., with the intention of entering on a seafaring career.  He followed the sea from early youth until shortly before his death, and rose to the rank of captain in the merchant trade between China and England.  Captain Jesse Chace died at his home in Newport, March 17, 1876.  He married (first) Almira Brayton, who was born in Swansea, Mass., and died February 26, 1837, aged thirty-three years.  He married (second) Damaris Carr Allen, who died in Newport May 10, 1857.  He married (third) Jane B. Thompson, who was born August 14, 1814, daughter of Samuel Thompson, of Fall River, and who survived her husband until September 25, 1894.  The children of the second marriage were:  1. Mary Catherine, who died in infancy.  2. Damaris Carr, who died September 17, 1845, aged one year.  3. Amasa Manton, mentioned below.

(VIII)  Amasa Manton Chace, son of Captain Jesse (2) and Damaris Carr (Allen) Chace, was born in the city of Newport, R. I., March 22, 1847.  He received his elementary education in the schools of Newport, later attending the Riverside Military Academy, at Poughkeepsie, N. Y.  On completing his education he entered immediately on a business career, and secured his first employment in wood turning and nickel plating with a firm in Mystic, Conn.  He remained here for a short period, at the end of which he returned to Newport, where he established himself in business a dealer in imported art goods, antiques, furniture, etc., on Bellevue avenue.  He was highly successful in this venture, but discontinued this line of business to enter the advertising field in New York City.

After ten years of active participation in business advertising in New York, Mr. Chace retired in 1888, and returned to Newport, R. I., which remained his home until his death.  He was well known and highly respected in business circles in New York for the honesty and strict integrity of his principles, and for his sagacity and keenness as an organizer and executive.  On his return to Newport, he interested himself deeply in the life and civic affairs of Newport, and for many years was identified with practically every movement for the development and advancement of the city.  His political affiliation was with the Republican party.  He was a member of the Masonic order, and belonged to St. Nicholas Lodge, of New York.  In religious belief he was a Unitarian, and a member of the Channing Memorial Chapel of Newport.  His death occurred at Newport, November 11, 1903, and he was interred in the Island Cemetery in that city.

On April 10, 1872, Amasa Manton Chace married Sarah Hull Townsend, daughter of Edmund J. and Abby H. (Sherman) Townsend, of Newport.  (See Townsend V).  Mrs. Chace was born in Newport, R. I., October 15, 1844.  She survives her husband and resides in Newport, where she is an honored and respected member of the city’s finest social circles.  Mr. and Mrs. Chace were the parents of the following children:  1. Allen Townsend, born in 1874, died in 1881.  2. Amasa Manton, Jr., born in 1886; a graduate of Brown University; married Gladys Marsh; resides in Providence.


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The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical
Page 116 of the smaller volume 
The Townsend Family, of which Mrs. Chace is a member, has been prominently identified with Newport since the beginning of the eighteenth century.

 Townsend - Townshend Arms -- Azure a chevron, ermine between three escallops argent.
 Crest -- A stag proper.
 Supporters -- Dexter, a stag sable.  Sinister, a greyhound argent.
 Motto -- Haec generi incrementa fides.

Descendants of the founders of the Newport line, Job and Rebecca Townsend, have been leaders in the life of the community for several generations.  The late Christopher Townsend, a noted merchant of New York City prior to the Civil War, and a financier and philanthropist, was a member of the Newport Townsend family.  He was most generous in his gifts to this native city, and among his gifts made either during his lifetime or by the terms of his will were $10,000 to the endowment fund for the Home for the Aged; $100,000 for the Home for Friendless Children; and $100,000 for the People’s Library.

(I)  Job Townsend, the first of the direct line of whom we have authentic data, was a resident of Newport, and appears on the vital records of the town at the beginning of the eighteenth century.  He married Rebecca -----, and they were the parents of seven children, among them Job, mentioned below.

(II)  Job (2) Townsend, son of Job (1) and Rebecca Townsend, was born in Newport, R. I., and resided there all his life, a prosperous and respected member of the community.  He married, May 31, 1753, Deborah Taylor, daughter of Peter and Thankful Taylor.  Among their children was Job Edmund, mentioned below.

(III)  Job Edmund Townsend, son of Job (2) and Deborah (Taylor) Townsend, was born in Newport, R. I.  He learned the trade of cabinet maker, which he followed for several years.  He also served in an official capacity in the Newport Custom House for a considerable period.  He married Mary Clarke Allen, and they were the parents of Edmund J., mentioned below.

(IV)  Edmund J. Townsend, son of Job Edmund and Mary Clarke (Allen) Townsend, was a lifelong resident of Newport, R. I., where for over fifty years he engaged in sailmaking.  He married (first) April 12, 1830, Mary Louise Ford, and they were the parents of a son, William Ford.  He married (second) Abby H. Sherman.  The children of this marriage were:  1. Mary Louise, who died unmarried.  2. Wealthy Moore, who married John JG. Weaver, Jr., of Newport.  3. Sarah Hull, mentioned below.  4. Abby Catherine, married Samuel M. Blatchford, of New York, and is now deceased.  5. Susan, died at the age of four years.

(V)  Sarah Hull Townsend, daughter of Edmund J. and Abby H. (Sherman) Townsend, was born in Newport, R. I., October 15, 1844.  She married, April 10, 1872, Amasa Manton Chace, of Newport.  (See Chace VIII).


These documents are made available free to the public for non-commercial purposes by the Rhode Island USGenWeb Project.
The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical
Pages 243 - 245 of the smaller volume 

Henry Clay Anthony has for many years held an almost unique position among the agriculturists of Rhode Island, his splendid nurseries and farms, distributed throughout the Portsmouth section of the State, are models of their kind, and Mr. Anthony has built up one of the largest businesses connected entirely with agricultural pursuits in the United States.

The Anthony family is of English origin and had its seat at Hempstead, near the city of London, where John Anthony, the founder of the line in America, was born, in 1607. Members of the family have occupied distinguished positions in many different callings throughout the entire period of American history, and no name is more closely associated with the growth and development of Rhode Island, both as a colony and State, than is this.

(I) John Anthony was a young man when he sailed from his native country on board the baroque "Hercules," in 1634, and it was but six years later that we find the first record of him as a resident of Portsmouth, R. I., where his descendants have made their home ever since. One year later (1641), he was made a freeman of Portsmouth and shortly afterwards became a corporal in the military company of the settlement. He was the recipient of a grant of land a "Wading River" in 1644, and on May 25, 1655, had authority granted him to keep a house of entertainment at Portsmouth. He was commissioner in 1661, and a deputy to the General Court from 1666 to 1672. He married Susanna -----, and both he and his wife died in 1675. They were the parents of the following children: John, born in 1642; Susanna, Elizabeth, Joseph, and Abraham, of further mention.

(II) Abraham Anthony, son of John and Susanna Anthony, was born at Portsmouth, and resided at that place during his entire life. He was a freeman in 1672, and was deputy in 1703-04-05-07-08-09-10-11, and was Speaker of the House of Deputies in 1709-10. His death occurred October 10, 1727. He married, December 26, 1671, Alice Wodell, born February 10, 1650, a daughter of William and Mary Wodell. Mrs. Anthony’s death occurred in 1734. They were the parents of the following children: John, born Nov. 7. 1672; Susanna, born Aug. 29, 1674; Mary, twin of Susanna; William, of further mention; Susanna, born Oct. 14, 1677; Mary, born Jan. 2, 1680; Abraham, Jr., born April 21, 1682; Thomas, born June 30, 1684; Alice, born Jan. 22, 1686; James, twin of Alice; Almy, born Jan. 30, 1688; Isaac, born April 10, 1690; and Jacob, born Nov. 15, 1693.

(III) William Anthony, son of Abraham and Alice (Wodell) Anthony, was born October 31, 1675, at Portsmouth, and became prominent in the affairs of that place. He married, March 14, 1694, Mary Coggeshall, a daughter of John Coggeshall, and they were the parents of the following children: William, born Mar 14, 1695; Abraham, of further mention; Elizabeth, born May 2, 1698; Mary, born Dec. 8, 1699; John, born Sept. 12, 1702; Alice, born May 22, 1705; Anna, born May 17, 1707; John, born Nov. 16, 1708; Amey, twin of John; William (2), born Oct. 26, 1709; James, born Nov. 9, 1712; Job, born April 10, 1714; Benjamin, born June 10, 1716; and Daniel, born May 19, 1720.

(IV) Abraham (2) Anthony, son of William and Mary (Coggeshall) Anthony, was born September 26, 1696, at Portsmouth, but made his home at Swansea, Mass., during a large portion of his life. He returned, however, to Portsmouth eventually, and it was there that his death occurred. He married, at Swansea, Mass., February 7, 1716-17, Elizabeth Gray, and they were the parents of the following children, nine of whom were born at Swansea and the remainder at Portsmouth: Abraham, Jr., born Dec. 9, 1717; Mary, born Feb. 9, 1718-19; Edward, born May 2, 1720, and died Feb. 6, 1821; Thomas, born Oct. 19, 1721; Philip, born April 11, 1723, died September 8, 1777; Elizabeth, born April 24, 1725; Isaac, of further mention; Sarah, born Jan. 12, 1734; Peleg, born Nov. 30, 1735; and Daniel, born Sept. 1, 1738.

(V) Isaac Anthony, son of Abraham (2) and Elizabeth (Gray) Anthony, was born March 7, 1727, at Swansea, Mass., but removed as a child with his parents to Portsmouth, where the remainder of his life was spent, and where his death occurred. He married (first) at Portsmouth, February 15, 1753, Ruth Russell, a daughter of Seth and Hannah Russell, of Dartmouth, Mass. He married (second) November 19, 1760, Hannah Slocum, daughter of Giles and Ann Slocum, of Portsmouth, R. I. Mr. Anthony probably had a third wife, Rebecca ----, though the records are not quire clear on this point. His children by his first wife were as follows: Hannah, born Nov. 15, 1753; Isaac, born Sept. 26, 1755; and Seth, born Feb. 15, 1759, who died in infancy. The children of the second marriage are as follows: Giles, born Oct. 20, 1761-62; Ruth, born July 31, 1765; Seth (2) of further mention; and Rebecca, who was born March 30, 1771. There were two children who were probably born of the third marriage, as follows: Alice, born June 10, 1773; and Isaac (2), born March 13, 1774.

(VI) Seth Anthony, son of Isaac and Hannah (Slocum) Anthony, was born July 27, 1767, at Portsmouth, and resided there during his entire life. He married, November 17, 1791, Abigail Clarke, born May 25, 1772, and they were the parents of the following children: Hanna Slocum, Elizabeth, born April 7, 1795; Samuel, born March 25, 1797; Joseph, born Sept. 2, 1799; Seth Russell, of further mention.

(VII) Seth Russell Anthony, son of Seth and Abigail (Clarke) Anthony, was born August 9, 1812, at Portsmouth, R. I. Mr. Anthony followed the occupation of farming at Portsmouth, where he resided during his entire life, and where his death occurred March 2, 1873, in his sixty-first year. He was prominent in the life of the town, serving in the Town Council an was overseer of the poor. In politics he was a Republican, and in religion a member of the Society of Friends. He married (first) March 21, 1835, Abby Freeborn, born September 12, 1815, a daughter of William Freeborn. She was a direct descendant of William Freeborn who came from Ipswich, England, in the ship "Francis," with his wife, Mar, and two children, Mary and Sarah, and after stopping for a time at Boston, settled in Portsmouth, where he was a signer of the compact in 1638. Mr. and Mrs. Anthony were the parents of the following children: Henry Clay, with whose career we are here especially concerned; Sarah E., born Mary 1, 1854, and became the wife of Charles H. Dyer, of Portsmouth. Seth Russell Anthony married (second) March 23, 1869, Henrietta Slocum, of Smithfield, Providence county. There were no children by this union.

(VIII) Henry Clay Anthony, son of Seth Russell and Abby (Freeborn) Anthony, was born at Portsmouth, June 10, 1852, in the old family homestead, where his forebears had resided for so many generations. As a lad he attended the local schools and later Scoffield’s Commercial College, at Providence, where he was prepared for business life. During his childhood and earl youth Mr. Anthony lived on his father’s farm, where he aided the latter in the work there, and there received a very thorough training for the pursuit which he has followed ever since. Early in life he became interested in the raising of seed for the farmers of the surrounding region, and since that time has developed this line to a very high state of perfection, having devoted his thoughts and energies to the perfecting of the best methods. At the present time he is the largest seed grower in New England, and has a market for his product extending far beyond the limits of his home locality.

He has also devoted much time to the growth of vegetables and garden crops, and operates a number of farms throughout this region. He is the owner of upwards of eight hundred acres of land in Rhode Island and in addition rents an area as great in different parts of Massachusetts. He enjoys a reputation for producing the highest type of garden and farm seeds, which extends to many parts of the United States and Canada, and at present does an enormous business in this line. Mr. Anthony makes his home on "Elm Farm," which overlooks Narragansett bay and the Sakonnet river, and commands a splendid view of this beautiful country. Mr. Anthony, in 1902, incorporated his business under the laws of the State of Rhode Island as The Henry C. Anthony & Sons Company, his wife, and three sons. William B., Ralph H., and Joseph G. Anthony, being the other members of the concern. Mr. Anthony sets a splendid example of industry and energy not only to his family, but to the community-at-large, working as he does for over sixteen hours a day.

In addition to his agricultural labors, Mr. Anthony has always taken an active part in the affairs of the community of which he is so valued a citizen, and although in no sense a politician, has held a number of offices in the gift of the town. In 1899 he was elected to represent Portsmouth in the State Legislature and has served in this capacity ever since, making an enviable record for himself as a capable and disinterested public servant. For several years he was chairman of the committee on fisheries and has also been a member of other committees of importance. He has also been a member of the Town Council of Portsmouth, and has done much to promote the general interests of the place. In politics he is a staunch Republican, and in religion an Episcopalian. He and his family, attend St. Paul’s Church of this denomination at Portsmouth. He is a member of Eureka Lodge, No. 22, Free and Accepted Masons, of Portsmouth, of which hi is past master; Aquidneck Chapter, No. 9, Royal Arch Masons, of Portsmouth; Washington Commandery, N. 4, Knights Templar, of Newport; and Palestine Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shine of Providence. Besides these Masonic bodies, he is a member and past grand of Seaside Lodge, No. 32, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Henry Clay Anthony was united in marriage, December 27, 1876, with Eldora Jane Wilcox, a daughter of Joseph and Jane Walker (Barnett) Wilcox, of Attleboro, Mass., a lady who has ably seconded him in his business enterprise and is now a partner thereof. Mr. and Mrs. Anthony are the parents of the following children:

1. William Barnett, born Nov. 19, 1877, and educated at the schools of Portsmouth; he is now in business with his father, and is prominent in local affairs, being a staunch supporter of the principles and policies of the Republican party; he married Eliza Coggeshall, a daughter of Joshua and Elizabeth Coggeshall, of Middletown, by whom he has had four children: Elizabeth Barnett, Seth Russell, William Lloyd, and Hope Coggeshall.

2. Ralph Henry, born Aug. 12, 1879, and educated at the schools of Portsmouth; he is a member of his father’s corporation, and is well known in the general life of the community; he married, in October, 1905, Angeline Congdon, of East Providence, by whom he had one son, Irving Joseph, who died at the age of seven months, and a daughter, Gertrude Alice.

3. Joseph Garfield, born May 13, 1881; he met his death on July 22, 1906, when he, with his wife and two children, were crossing Narragansett bay in a small boat. The craft was overturned and Mr. Anthony succeeded in placing the oars under the baby carriage, which was thus washed ashore with the child unhurt, while he and the remainder of the family were all drowned. The son Warren Wilcox Anthony, is now living with his aunt, Mrs. Frederick Webb. He married Louise Sherman, daughter of Warren Sherman, of Portsmouth, and they were the parents of two children.

4. Jennie Louise, born Jan. 17, 1884, and was educated in the public schools of Portsmouth and the Fall River Business School. She later studied at the State Normal School, at Providence, from which she was graduated with the class of 1906, and is now engaged in teaching.

5. Alice Wilcox, born March 24, 1886, and educated at the public schools of Portsmouth, and the Shoemaker and Clark Business College of Fall River, Mass. 6. Henry Clay, Jr., born Oct. 23, 1895, was educated at Mrs. Dennis’ School at Portsmouth. He married Nellie F. Stafford, of Newport, R. I., and they have one child, Henry Charles Anthony.


HISTORICAL SKETCH of the TOWN OF PAWTUCKET, RHODE ISLAND
Goodrich, Rev. Massena. Pawtucket 1876.

SL# 1,697,374 Item 8. Pg: 182-188

ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCHES

The subjoined account of the Roman Catholic churches was furnished by Rev. P. G. Delany. Mr. Delany, from his long residence in Pawtucket, has become a household name in thousands of families; and his general courtesy and untiring industry have largely forwarded the great work which the denomination wherewith he is connected have performed in this town:

The catholic community, which now forms so large and important a part of our population, has existed in Pawtucket since the year 1827. Before this date there may have been a few Catholics in the town, as there were in Providence even as early as 1818, when it is known the celebrated Dr. Chevereaux, as well as his companion, Dr. Matignon, visited the latter city and celebrated Mass for its Catholic inhabitants. If any of the same faith resided then in Pawtucket, they received spiritual ministrations from those missionaries.

It was only in the year 1828 that the Rt. Rev. Dr. Fenwick, Bishop of Boston, in whose diocese Rhode Island was then included, appointed the Rev. Father Woodley as the first resident priest in this State, to minister to the Catholics of Pawtucket and Providence. Whilst attending to this mission he resided at the old home beyond the toll-gate, known as the Carpenter house.

In the same year, Bishop Fenwick visited Pawtucket, and called upon David Wilkinson, Esq., to acknowledge that gentlemen’s generous donation to the Catholics –a lot of land, 125 feet square, on which to build a church. The church, a very small building, was erected the following year, and Mass was celebrated in it for the first time by Father Woodley.

This was the second Catholic church ever erected in Rhode Island. That in Newport was the first , being fitted out for worship one year earlier. In this charge, Father Woodley was succeeded by Father Corry in 1830; and he again was replaced by Father Conelly in 1838, who attended Providence and Pawtucket till the year 1835. Rev. Fathers Lee and McNamee took his place up to the year 1844, when the Rt. Rev. Dr. Tyler was consecrated bishop of the new diocese of Hartford, comprising the State of Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Rev. James Fitton, who still lives in Boston, was then deputed to Pawtucket, where he remained for one year. His place was filled in 1847 by the Rev. Joseph McNamee, who took up his residence in Pawtucket and devoted his whole attention to that town, where the Catholics had considerably increased in numbers. For six years Father McNamee labored with zeal and devotedness for the spiritual good of the Catholic emigrants, who in his time came in great numbers to find a home and employment in the various branches of industry then established in Pawtucket. He died on the 28th of March, 1853. His successor was the Rev. P. G. Delany, the present pastor of the church of the Immaculate Conception.

At this date, Valley Falls, Attleboro and Ashton had Catholic congregations, all of whom, together with Pawtucket, were under the pastoral charge of Father Delany. He commenced his mission with a wide field of labor before him. By his exertions the Catholics acquired valuable tracts of land, where the future churches and schools were to be built.

For his congregation in Attleboro he projected a new church, and made extensive preparations for its erection, when, in 1856, at his request, another priest was placed in charge of that place. Soon after, Valley Falls needed a new church for the increasing Catholic population of that town, who were then obliged to attend religious exercises at St. Mary’s, Pawtucket.

With the coöperation of those pious, generous Catholics who subscribed, Father Delany had the pleasure of seeing that beautiful church, St. Patrick’s, completed in 1860. In the summer of that year, it was dedicated by Rt. Rev. Dr. McFarland, assisted by Dr. Conroy, of Albany, and several other clergymen. With very little debt remaining, it was then resigned into the hands of a new pastor.

Pawtucket could now receive the undivided attention of Father Delany. Here, by the side of the old St. Mary’s lot, he purchased from the proceeds of a fair all the land extending from the old church as far as the convent. The persons from whom the land was bought were: Job Bennett, Mrs. Collins, of Albany, and Thomas D. Forsyth, of Lowell, Mass.

The old church was enlarged now for the second time, to accommodate the large congregtion (sic) that thronged to it, and, after various improvements made in the church and the cemetery annexed to it, the next care of the pastor was to build school where the children of his flock might have the benefit of an education from the Sisters of Mercy, for whom he had applied to Bishop McFarland. The school and convent were completed in a short time according to the plans of the pastor, and under his immediate supervision. Six Sisters of Mercy were established in the new convent, in which they immediately opened a select Academy for day pupils. Together with the parish schools in which the children are taught free by the Sisters, this institution is a great benefit in the midst of the Catholic population of Pawtucket. The average attendance at the parish school is 300 children, whilst the Academy at the convent generally numbers 60 pupils.

The good influence of the Sisters as teachers amongst the young is well known, whilst the education they impart is of the high standard for which the schools of the Sisters of Mercy are noted, both in this country and in Europe.

Every year saw some new building erected or some improvement made around St. Mary’s through the exertions of Father Delany and the generosity of his flock. The old residence of the pastor was somewhat enlarged, until after a few years it became advisable to replace it by a new and more commodious home. This was finally erected on a new lot of land in the rear of the church, purchased from Mr. J. Taylor, of Pine street. At this time the pastor was aided in his ministrations by two assistant clergymen, who resided with him until the year 1878, when Central Falls was given in charge of Rev. J. Smyth. As a resident pastor of that place he commenced the new church of the Sacred Heart, which is now completed.

Father Delany, at the same time, saw the necessity of another house of worship for the better accommodation of that part of his people who lived in the east side of the town. He solicited subscriptions for the project, and with $3000 willingly placed in his hands by his people, commenced the new church of St. Joseph, on Walcott street. The lot for this church was purchased from Mr. Warren French.

In the spring of 1874 the building was nearly completed, and sufficiently fitted up to have divine service held in it. As it appeared that a new parish might be formed in that section of the town, Father Delany resigned St. Joseph’s into the hands of a new pastor, Rev. H. F. Kinnerney.

Therefore, during the present pastor’s time of residence in Pawtucket, and, in what was his first pastoral charge on his arrival here, having only one church for his people, there have been formed six new parishes, besides St. Mary’s still in his charge, each of which has its own spacious and elegant church, its own resident pastor, and its own large congregation of from 1000 to 3000 souls each. Included in this list of parishes is that of Central Falls, established exclusively for the French Canadians, who now form one of the largest congregations in Pawtucket.



Transcribed and provided by Loree Muldowney, 2000
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