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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.

  Biographical sketches, Town of Burrillville


History of Providence County, Vol I & II

Ed. by Richard M. Bayles; W.W. Preston & Co., NY.  1891

Biographical sketches, Town of Burrillville

p. 567: SMITH ANGELL, born in 1834 in Burrillville, is a son of Esten and Charlotte (Walling) Angell.  He was representative in 1878-79 in the general assembly of the state.  He married Susan, daughter of Amasa Seamans, of Burrillville. His grandfather, Randall Angell, came from North Providence to Burrillville in 1789 and located on the farm where his grandson, Smith Angell, lives and was born.  His father, Esten Angell, was senator and representative holding the last office when only 22 years of age, and was in the town council, overseer of the poor and justice of the peace.

p. 567: John ARNOLD, born in 1815 on the farm where he now lives, is a son of John and Abigail (Cook) Arnold.  He was educated in the Burrillville schools, and married Susan, daughter of Dexter Richardson, of Uxbridge, Mass., who died in 1863.  His father was a member of the town council and held many other town offices.

p. 567: Job BALLOU, born in 1818 in Burrillville, is a son of Daniel and Marcy (Brown) Ballou.  He was married in 1863 to Harriet E., daughter of Peter Gory.  They have one child, Job Aseor.  His father, Daniel, was born on the same farm.  Mrs. Ballou's mother was the sixth generation of the descendants of Roger Williams.

p. 567: Fayette E. BARTLETT, born in 1840 in Smithfield, is a son of Elisha and Sarah (Ballou) Bartlett.  He was married in 1865 to Harriet, daughter of Lafayette Reynolds of Glocester.  Their chilldren are: Francis F., died 1867; Sophia L., Marion D., Waldo R. and Marsella M.  Mr. Bartlett was elected to the senate in 1880, 1881, and 1882.  He manufactured woolen goods for three or four years and has been in the lumber business for the past 20 years.  His great-great-grandfather, Abner, came to Burrillville and settled on the farm where his great-grandfather, grandfather and father were born, and where his father still lives at the age of 81.  His father moved to Smithfield for a time when Fayette E. was born, but returned to Burrillville upon the death of his wife.

p. 567: George O. BLIGH was born in 1848 in Burrillville, on the same place where he has always lived, and is a son of Otis W. and Lydia (Esten) Bligh.  He married Martha A., daughter of Charles W. Keniston, of Upton, Mass., in 1876.  Their children are: Eldora E., John O. and Sylvia G.  His father was a member of the town council, also president of the same.

p. 567: Joseph H. CARPENTER was born in 1837 in England, came to America in 1855 and located at Graniteville, in the town of Burrillville, and worked in the mill there until 1858.  He then worked in the mill at Pascoag until 1860, and in the fall as clerk for Steere and Tinkham, in their store at Harrisville, then as clerk in a store at Glendale from 1864 to 1883, when he began operating the mill at that place under the firm name of Carpenter & Orrill.  He married Amanda A., daughter of Selah Buxton, of North Smithfield, in 1868.  They have three children living: Emma F., Joseph Waldo and Clara A.  Mr. Carpenter has held the office of assessor of taxes.

p. 567: Arnold W. CLARK, born in 1858 in Providence, is a son of William H. and Mary M. (Arnold) Clark.  He was educated in Burrillville and at Mowry & Goff's, Providence.  He was a member of the town council one year.  He was married in 1878 to Fanny A., daughter of John Johnson of Burrillville. Their children are:  Althea Fanny, Mabel Louise, Edith Frances, Florence Gertrude and Alice Belle.  Mr. Clark has been in the butcher business for fifteen years.  His father located in Burrillville when Arnold W. was only six weeks old.  They have always lived in the same house.  His father carried on the butcher business in Providence, Woonsocket and Burrillville, and died in 1880.  He was a member of the general assembly a number of years.  His grandfather, Joseph Clark, carried the mail from Burrillville to Chepachet during the Dorr War.

p. 568-69: James Sullivan COOK was born in Mendon, Mass., Dec.  4th, 1810.  His parents, Ichabod and Louisa (Cook) Cook, were members of the Society of Friends, highly respected for their sterling qualities of character, and thus young Cook's early training was of the best.  He spent most of his boyhood on his father's farm, but nevertheless managed to obtain a good common school education.  For some time, he attended the Friends' School, Providence, and when 23 years of age was employed as clerk in the mercantile of E.T. Read & Co., Woonsocket, R.I.  Later he became a partner with E. T. Read and A. Hixon, engaging in the same business.  He also served some time as clerk for the Clinton Manufacturing Company and others.  In 1847 Mr. Cook removed to Pascoag, Burrillville, R.I., where he has since resided, winning the esteem of his fellow-citizens and taking much interest in the general welfare of the town.  In 1851 he was elected cashier of the Granite Bank, now the Pascoag National Bank, which position he successfully held until a few years ago.  He was also treasurer of the Pascoag Savings Bank for several years.  From 1854 to 1862 he was engaged in the manufacture of fancy cassimeres, in company with Pitts and Thomas D. Sayles, at Pascoag, the first style being Sayles, Cook & Co.  Mr. Cook was the financial manager.

Mr. Cook has efficiently served as town clerk, and for several years as town treasurer, and has also taken considerable interest in educational matters, having been a member of the school committee since 1871.  In politics he is a republican, and before the organization of the party was a whig.  He was chosen state senator from Burrillville in 1858, reelected the following year, and served in the same capacity from 1869 to 1875, having been four years chairman of the finance committee.

November 13th, 1837, Mr. Cook married Elsie Ann, daughter of Daniel Sayles of Pascoag.  Their union was blessed by seven children, only two of whom are now living.  They are-- Marcella S., wife of T.E. Hopkins, and Phebe Smith, wife of William H. Sayles.  Mrs. Cook died in Oct., 1854.  Mr. Cook married, second, October 28th, 1856, Mrs. Harriet A. Pettit, daughter of Harvey Ballou, of Cumberland, R.I.  She was a woman of charitable nature, and was always interested in helping the poor and afflicted.  For upwards of 13 years she was appointed woman visitor to the penal and correctional institutions of the state of Rhode Island.  She died November 10th, 1890.

p. 569: Benjamin H. COOKE, born in 1817 in Burrillville, is a son of Elisha and Mary (Handy) Cooke.  He married for his first wife Sylvia, daughter of Benjamin Esten, of Burrillville.  She died in 1847.  His present wife is Angelina P. Esten, sister of his first wife.  They were married in 1848. His children were: Mary A. (by first wife), died 1844, and Henry E., who married Martha M., daughter of Isaac W. DARLING, in 1881, and has one child, Benjamin H.  Mr. Cooke was a member of the town council one term, and member of school committee.  He taught in the district school.  His grandfather, Israel, also served in many town offices.  His great-grandfather was Elisha Cooke, who settled on the place where Benjamin H. and his grandfather was born.

p. 569: Charles D. W. COOPER, born in 1821 in Burrillville, is a son of Eddy M.E. and Nancy (Harris) Cooper.  He married Nancy A., daughter of Amos Fuller, in 1845.  She died in 1888.  Their children were:  Charles G., Warren M. and Mary E., died in 1859.  Charles G. married Lizzie A., daughter of James Collins, of New York, and their children are: Charles E., Evelyn A., Alma A., Olive and Irene.

p. 569: Henry L. COPELAND, born in 1841 in Uxbridge, Mass., is a son of Lyman and Phebe (Thompson) Copeland.  He was married in 1860 to Mary E., daughter of John L. Boss.  Their children are: Danford H., died 1865; Gertrude M., died 1878; George A., Mabel, and Maud.  Mr. Copeland was elected to the town council in 1887 and in 1889, refusing to run in 1888.  He is boss finisher for Carpenter & Orrill.  His father was always identified with mill business.

p. 570: John Q. DARLING, born in 1834 in Burrillville, is a son of John Darling. He was educated in the schools of Burrillville.  He was elected to the general assembly in 1884, was a member of the town council from 1878 to 1883, justice of the peace three or four years, and coroner two or three years.  He was married in 1860 to Mary A., daughter of Deter Taft, of Burrillville.

p. 570: Seril Esten, born in 1822 in Burrillville, is a son of John Esten,2d, and Lovina (Thayer) Esten.  He was married in 1864 to Emily A., daughter of Jeremiah Smith of Waterford, R.I.  He was a member of the town council a number of years, and representative in the general assembly.  His father, Judge Esten, served in the town council, as justice of the peace and in other offices.  His great-grandfather came to Burrillville from Glocester.

p. 570: W. F. ESTEN was born in Burrillville in 1859, and was married in 1884 to Effie L., daughter of Wallace H. Smith of Southbridge, Mass.  His father, John F. Esten, was born in Burrillville, was always engaged in manufacturing in the town, and for a time kept a general store.

p. 570-72: John Thomas FISKE, a retired manufacturer of Pascoag, was born in the town of Scituate, R.I., January 30th, 1819.  Benjamin Fiske was his great-great-grandfather.  He came to Scituate (then Providence) in 1727, and bought a large tract of land, the homestead of which is now owned by John T. Fiske, and has been in the name since its settlement.  At the time of the settlement of this tract of land, John Fiske, the son of Benjamin, was a lad but 13 years of age.  He married Elizabeth Williams, a great-granddaughter of Roger Williams, and their son, Caleb Fiske, became an educated physician and a man of considerable prominence.  He died October 4th, 1834, aged 81 years, 8 months and 10 days.  He married Mary Manchester June 24th, 1776, ten days before the declaration of independence.  She was a daughter of Captain Thomas Manchester of Providence, a seafaring man, who was lost on his last voyage, the ill-fated vessel never having been heard from.  She died in 1817 in the 64th year of her age.  Doctor Fiske was a surgeon in the revolution under General Sullivan's command.  Among Doctor Fiske's private papers is a receipt from Sam Stone of $2,000 for a five year old sorrel horse purchased August 15th, 1780, showing the great value of the horses or the small value of the currency of that day, which was probably about $60 in silver.  In 1818 Doctor Fiske became a member of the Rhode Island Medical Society, was for a few years its president, and at his death he bequeathed the society 40 shares of the Union Bank stok in Providence, worth $2,000, which sum was to be devoted to scientific purposes.  Doctor Fiske and his son, Philip Manchester Fiske, established the cotton manufacturing business at Fiskeville, R.I., and carried it on extensively for many years.  These mills are now owned by B.B. & R. Knight.  The Fiskes also built up the village and mills at Jackson, which were subsequently sold to Governor Jackson, after whom the place was named.

October 7th, 1817, Philip Manchester Fiske married Eliza Andrews Taylor, daughter of William Taylor, of Providence, a merchant, of the firm Grinnell & Taylor of that city.  Thier children were:  John Thomas, Philip Manchester, Elizabeth Taylor, Mary Manchester and Abby Williams, all living. Philip Manchester Fiske was born March 2d, 1782, and died January 31st, 1828, when hardly 46 years of age, and when John T. Fiske was but nine years of age.  With five children to educate, the widowed mother decided upon moving to Providence, where the schools were noted for their efficiency and thoroughness, and accordingly in 1835 took up her abode in that city, where she died April 17th, 1876, 79 years of age.  She was born September 3d, 1797.

John T. Fiske, the subject of this sketch, received a very good education in the public schools of Providence, and was thoroughly trained for the many difficult and responsible positions of life he has been called upon to assume.  His business career was begun in the employ of George W. Gladding, a leading dry goods merchant of Providence.  This was in 1836.  About two years later he accompanied some of his acquaintances to Mobile, Ala., and for the next two years he was engaged as a cotton broker.  Upon the completion of the Norwich and Worcester railroad, he was induced to embark in the cotton and grain business with a Mr. Davis at Norwich, Conn. Considerable money was lost by this venture because of some bad debts contracted, and in a year or so afterward, the business here was wound up. He then went to Harrisville, in the town of Burrillville, R.I., and began the manufacture of cotton goods in the mill owned by Andrew Harris & Co., Mr. Fiske buying the stock.  He operated about 30 looms, and employed about 60 hands.  A year or so after that he located in a mill on grounds now occupied by John T. Fiske, Jr., and commenced business there.  In due time he purchased the Peter Place property adjoining, and run both mills till 1875.

Mr. Fiske has also been prominently connected in many ways with other interests of the towns of Burrillville and Glocester.  He was director of the Pascoag National Bank from Augush 29th, 1865, to January 13th, 1885, and president from January 9th, 1883, to January 13th, 1885.  He was the prime mover in the organization of the Chepachet Cemetery Association in 1850, his name appearing frist on the petition to the general assembly for that assocation .  He has been treasurer of this association from its organization, and one of its trustees for many years.  His first vote was cast in 1840 for Benjamin Harrison, the hero of Tippeconoe, and his last for his grandson, the present incumbent.

April 3d, 1843, Mr. Fiske was married to Miss Abby Eddy, daughter of Honorable Amasa Eddy, of Glocester.  She died October 28th, 1860.  Seven children were born to this union, two of whom died in infancy: Eliza Taylor, the wife of Charles Edward Paine, a broker in Providence, and one of the license commissioners of that city, was born January 13th, 1844; John T. Fiske, Jr., owner of the Sheffield Worsted Mills, Pascoag, was born May 21st, 1847, and is married to Kate E., daughter of Smith R. Arnold, of Burrillville; Frank Fiske was born September 30th, 1850; Fannie was born September 16th, 1852, died March3d, 1880, and Mary Owen, now the wife of Doctor Sayer Hasbrouck, of Providence, was born July 16th, 1854.

Mr. Fiske retired from active business in 1875, and in connection with other affairs has devoted more or less of his time since to the management of the farm at Chepachet belonging to his sister-in-law, Miss Mary B. Eddy, with whom his children have made their home since their mother's death.

(engraved  portrait of John T. Fiske on page facing p. 572)

p. 572: Arthur S. FITZ, son of William and Ellen L. (Salisbury) Fitz, was born in 1860, in Harford, Conn., and was educated at Mowry & Goff's school, Providence.  He was brought up on his father's farm, and at the age of 17 went to work with a file company, remaining nine years keeping books, and was head bookkeeper when he left.  In 1886 he started a cream factory in Burrillville in company with his brother, under the firm name of Fitz Brothers, which continued until April, 1889, when he accepted the position of treasurer and agent of the Rhode Island Creamery Company of Providence. He is a member of the state executive committee of the Rhode Island State Grange.  He married Delia M., daughter of Joseph A. Richardson, of Douglass, Mass.

p. 572: James E. FRANCE was born in 1813, in Burrillville, in the same house in which he has always lived.  He is a son of Joseph and Annie (Inman) France. His first wife was Sarah Goodenow.  His present wife, whom he married in 1844, is Susan, daughter of Thaddeus Phillips.  He has one child living, Erwin J., who was educated at Brown University, and was senator from the town of Burrillville, and is now practicing law in Woonsocket.  James E. France was in the general asembly in 1861 and 1862, and in the town council four or five years.

p. 572: Philip O. HAWKINS was born in Glocester in 1850, and was educated at the Sheffield Scientific School, New Haven, graduating in 1871.  He was a member of the school committee for five years.  He has been cashier of the Pascoag National Bank since 1888, and town treasurer since 1884.  He was married to Ellen J., daughter of M.V. Smith of Burrillville in 1876.

p. 573: Addison S. HOPKINS, born in Scituate, in 1844, is a son of Horatio L. and Amey Ann (Smith) Hopkins.  He was educated in the public schools, at Nichols Academy, Dudley, Mass., at New Hampton Literary and Biblical Institute, New Hampton, N.H., and at Eastman's Business College, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., from which he graduated in 1864.  He first entered the house of A. Hopkins & Co. as bookkeeper, and became a partner in 1868.  He has been three times elected to the senate, has been member of town council, and member of the governor's staff.  He was married in 1865 to Juliette E., daughter of Angell and Sarah (Ballou) Sayles, of Burrillville.  Their children are:   Waldo A., Horatio A. and Winifred S.  Mr. Hopkins has been superintendent of the Free-will Baptist church many years.

p. 573: James O. INMAN was born in 1829 in Burrillville, and was a son of James and Nancy (Thompson) Inman.  He was educated at the Friends' School, Providence. He was president of the Pascoag National Bank, a director of the Industrial Trust Company of Providence, and director of the Providence and Springfield Railroad.  He was married in 1854 to Ruhamah, daughter of John and Lydia Whaley, of South Kingstown.  Their children are:  Mary E., who married Albert Sweet, of Burrillville; Olney T., who married Leonora M. Salisbury, of Burrillville; Orianna O., who married W.A. Cady of Providence; Cora M., Isabel A. and Francis A.  Mr. Inman died in 1880.

p. 573: L.L. INMAN, born in 1852 in Burrillville, is a son of Donison and Hannah S. (Mowry) Inman.  He was married in 1874 to Ellen M., daughter of Philip A. Sweet, of North Providence, and has two children -- Sarah T. and Elmer C..

p. 573: M. V. INMAN was born in 1833 in Mendon, Mass., and came to Burrillville when seven years old.  He is a son of Nathaniel and Rhody (Pierce) Inman. He is district trustee and has served as such several years.  He was married in 1866 to Rebecca A., daughter of Shadrach Steere, of Burrillville.

p. 573: Oliver A. INMAN, born in Burrillville in 1826, is a son of James and Nancy (Thompson) Inman.  He has been deputy sheriff for over thirty years, for more than thirty years chairman of the board of assessors, and moderator since 1856, with the exception of two years.  He was elected president of town council in 1888.  He married Matilda E. Beckwith in 1850.  She was a native of New Hampshire.  His father was born in Burrillville, and was a manufacturer of scythes from 1830 to 1850, when he died.

p. 573-74: Olney T. INMAN, born in 1859 in Burrillville, is a son of James O. and Ruhamah Inman.  He was educated at the Friends' School, Providence, and graduated in 1877.  He was married in 1886 to Leonora M., daughter of Edward M. Salisbury, of Burrillville.  He first entered his father's mill as finisher, afterward was designer, and superintendent in 1884.  He has been a partner since January 1st, 1886.

p. 574: H. S. JOSLIN, born in 1856 in Burrillville, is a son of Doctor Benjamin and Emily S. (Arnold) Joslin.  He was married in 1884 to Mary, daughter of George Olney, of Worcester, Mass.

p. 574: Clovis E. KEACH, born in 1825 in Burrillville, is a son of Eddy and Cylia (Smith) Keach.  He was married in 1844 to Nancy, daughter of Lyndon Hicks, of Burrillville.  They have had two children:  Albert L., born in 1847, died in 1851, and Alfred S., born in 1850.  His father was born in 1800 and died in 1881.  His second wife was Emily A. Smith, sister of his first wife.  He was a democrat in early life, and became a republican upon the formation of the party.  His children were:  Kalista A., died in 1885; Colvis E.; Horace A., died in 1862; Alonzo E., died in 1836 (sic); and Smith B.  Horace A. was a lawyer, editor of 'Rhode Island Banner', lecturer of temperance and moral reform, and author of the 'History of Burrillville'.  Smith B. was for some time editor of 'The Town and Country', and was sometimes called the 'Poet'. He is now a reporter on a New York paper.  His father held the following offices: School teacher, six terms; quartermaster, one year; adjutant, one year; major, one year; colonel, one year; postmaster, ten years; merchant, eight years; moderator, six years; notary public, three years; auctioneer, ten years; justice of the peace, twelve years; on school committee, two years; president of council, six years; assessor of taxes, ten years; foreman of jury, three times; delegate to form constitution, three times, committee to bound highway districts in town, once; committee to divide real estate, and appraiser, referee, administrator often, and farmer since 1832. He was urged to be brigadier-general but refused, was member of the general assembly one term under charter, and two years under the constitution, and the last moderator under the old charter.  He had the line run between Burrillville and Glocester, and got 1,000 acres of land from the latter town.  He always attended the Free-will Baptist Church.

p. 574: Michael H. LACEY was born in 1852 in Ireland, came to America and located in Burrillville in 1869.  He was elected member of the town council in 1887, and was reelected in 1888 and 1889.  He was married to Julia E., daughter of John Black, of Burrillville, in 1876.  Their children are: James E., born 1877; John F., born 1881; Rosella, born 1883; Michael H., born 1886.  Mr. Lacey was engineer on the Providence and Springfield railroad a number of years, and has been in the butcher business for the past ten years.

p. 574-575: John W. LACKEY, born in 1823, is a son of Woodbury and Betsey (Smith) Lackey.  His father was a native of Sutton, Mass., and his mother a native of Glocester, R.I.  His father located permanently in Burrillville in 1825, when John W. was only two years old.  He, with his brother, Jonathan, bought the tract where they always lived, and where he died in 1832.  John W. married Alice W., daughter of Solomon Smith of Burrillville.  He was a member of the town council three years.

p. 575: Zenas LOGEE, born in 1824 in Burrillville, is a son of Washington and Lucy (Thayer) Logee.  His first wife was Lydia Kenyon, who died in 1870.  His second wife was Julia A. Baker, whom he married in 1872.  She died in 1876. His children are:  Henry and Adelaide Frances.

p. 575: David MATHEWSON, contractor and builder, was born in the town of Burrillville, December 29th, 1817.  His great-grandfather, Peregrine Mathewson, came to Smithfield before the revolution and took up a considerable tract of land in the northern portion of Smithfield and in Burrillville.  John Mathewson, his son, died here in 1835, 90 years of age. His wife was Lydia (Jenks) Mathewson, who was sister of Charles Jenks of Warehouse Point, Harford County, Conn., the great manufacturer of Jenks' Gin.  John Mathewson lived where Elisha Mathewson now resides, and raised a family of three sons and four daughters:  Peregrine, Welcome, John, Hannah, Lydia, Anphilis and Amey.  Welcome was the father of David and Peregrine was the father of Elisha, the only two now living on the make side of the family.  Welcome Mathewson was born in 1778 and died in 1872.  He married Abigail Brown, of Thompson, Conn.  She was a descendant of Simeon Brown, whose grandfather came over in the Mayflower.  His son, Rufus Brown, was her grandfather.  Her mother's name was Huldah (Bates) Brown.  The children of Welcome Mathewson were: Huldah, Mary Ann, Azuba, Erastus and David, the only son now living.

David Mathewson had poor opportunities for obtaining an education in his early days, but excellent ones for hard work.  He was raised a farmer, and closely applied himself to agricultural pursuits in the earlier stages of his career, but in 1840 branched out as a lumber dealer and contractor. During this part of his business life he has put up about 100 prominent mills and private dwellings of the town.  He erected in part A.L. Sayles' Mill, also the Plainville Mills and others.  As a building contractor he continued actively engaged till 1887, when he retired.  In conjunction with Robert Sweet, he began operating a saw mill about 1875.  This mill saws over 1,000,000 feet of lumber per year.  Mr. Mathewson is also the owner of an extensive farm near Harrisville, well stocked with fine cattle, and exceedingly well cultivated.

Mr. Mathewson has always voted the democratic ticket.  He was a member of the legislature in 1875, 1876 and 1877, member of and chairman of the town council for eight years, and clerk of the town one year.  When 27 years of age he was married to Emeline, daughter of Smith and Nancy Wood of Burrillville.  They have no children .

p. 575-76: Elisha MATHEWSON was born in 1820 in Burrillville, and is a son of Peregrine and Susan (Webb) Mathewson.  He was elected to the general assembly in 1851, to the senate in 1852 and again to general assembly in 1872, serving three years, and again to the senate, serving two years.  He was a member of the town council several years and four years president.  He was in the council at the age of 26.  He was a delegate to the democratic convention when Cleveland was nominated in 1884.  He was a candidate for lieutenant-governor of Rhode Island in 1884.  He has served on the democratic state central committee for over 25 years.  His father was born in Glocester when the towns were one.  His grandfather, John Mathewson, was born on the same place.

p. 576: A. A. MOWRY, born in 1834, in Burrillville, is a son of Silas and Lucy (Phillips) Mowry.  He married Olive A., daughter of Joseph D. Nichols of Burrillville, in 1855.  Their children are: Ernest D., Edmund E. and Herbert L.  Mr. Mowry was twice in the town council and served on the school committee several times.  His father was born in Smithfield and lived to be 88 years old.  His mother was born in Brooklyn, Conn., and lived to be 72. Mr. Mowry has been indentified with manufacturing woolen goods for 34 years; was boss finisher in Nichols' mill for 31 years, and interested in the mill for the past 11 years.  His father had 12 children.

p. 576: Alvah MOWRY, born in Burrillville in 1817, is a son of Benjamin and Alice (Smith) Mowry.  He was brought up on a farm until 18 years of age, then followed his trade of shoemaking until elected to the office of town clerk in 1854, which office he has since held with the exception of one year.  He married Abby, daughter of John Whipple, of Burrillville, in 1843.  His father was the first town treasurer of Burrillville.

p. 576: Lafayette MOWRY, born in 1833 in Burrillville, is a son of Joseph Mowry, 2d, and Martha (Staples) Mowry.  He was married to Hannah F., daughter of Jason Jenckes, of Burrillville, in 1860.  Their children are:  Herbert L., Frank B. and Irving L.  Mr. Mowry was district trustee and is now highway surveyor.  His father and mother were natives of Smithfield and located in Burrillville in 1833.

p. 576: Willaby NASON, born in 1826 in Burrillville, is a son of Leonard and Rebecca (Briggs) Nason.  He has served in the town council several times and as town clerk one year.  He was postmaster under Cleveland's administration. His first wife was Ellen E., daughter of Nathan Cook of Smithfield.  His present wife is Lydia M. Cook, sister to his first wife.

p. 576-77: David D. NICHOLS, born in 1845 in Burrillville, is a son of Joseph D. and Harriet S. (Stafford) Nichols.  He was educated in Burrillville and at New London Institute, New Hampshire, and Bryant & Stratton's Commercial College, Providence.  He was a member of the town council one year.  His first wife was Mary A., daughter of Charles S. Smith of Burrillville.   His present wife is Henrietta, daughter of William J. Dunn, whom he married in 1874.  He has one child, Clara E.  He has always been identified with the woolen manufacturing and manages the business.

p. 577: Henry Stafford NICHOLS, manufacturer, is the son of Joseph D. and Harriet (Stafford) Nichols, and was born in the town of Burrillville, March 19th, 1838.  His great-grandfather located in Rhode Island before the revolution. His father, Joseph D. Nichols, born in 1813, died in 1879, was a manufacturer and founded the village of Nicholsville, now known as Oak Valley.  Joseph D. Nichols first went to Mohegan, then to Nasonville, then came here about 1842, and began the manufacturing business for himself. From time to time additions were made to the old mill until it has increased to 100 feet in length.  It was burned March 5th, 1872, causing a loss all told of uninsured property of $40,000.  The hard work of a lifetime was swept away in a few hours.  In the meantime H.S. Nichols had come upon the stage of active life.  He began superintending the mills in the hard times of 1857, and continued in that capacity till overtaken with a severe attack of typhoid fever in 1888, when he was forced to seek another field of labor because of the frail condition in which his sickness had left him.  Born a natural mechanic, and possessed with an architectural skill rarely found even among experts, he very appropriately became, because of his great executive ability, the managing factor of the whole concern.  In ten days from the time of the fire, every contract necessary for the rebuilding of the mill was made by him,  and many new improvements under his management and care were added to the structure.  The new machinery was placed and everything was in running order by August of the same year.  The new main mill is 48 by 90 feet, three stories high; the second mill is 36 by 84 feet, two stories high.  The new buildings with all equipments are worth $80,000. The firm consists of Henry S., David J., and Joseph D. Nichols and the two daughters, under the firm name of Joseph D. Nichols & Sons.  The mill has five sets of broad looms, and gives employment to 150 hands, in the manufacture of the fine cassimeres.  The company's store was built in 1879.

Mr. Nichols was first married to Hannah E., daughter of Isaac Walling of Burrillville.  She died in 1863.  They had one child, now the wife of W.E. Horton, grocer, of Providence.  He was married the second time to Amanda M., daughter of Jason Olney of Burrillville.  By this marriage two children, a son and a daughter, were born, both now dead.  The son Jason died after he had become a young man 19 years of age.

Joseph D. Nichols, born in Burrillville in 1848, is the youngest son of Joseph D. and Harriet S. (Stafford) Nichols.  He was educated in Burrillville and at North Scituate.  He was elected to the town council in 1888.  He married Henrietta L., daughter of Henry Smith, of Burrillville, in 1876.

p. 578: Myron B. NOYES was born in 1840 in Vermont, and came to Burrillville in 1878.  He has always been in the mercantile business, and at Pascoag for the past nine years.  He is a son of Nathaniel and Betsey (Bartlett) Noyes.  He was married in 1866 to Martha H., daughter of Ivory Hill, of Buxton, Mass. He was recently appointed postmaster at Pascoag.

p. 578: William ORRILL was born in 1848, in England, and came to America about 1855 and located at Olneyville.  His parents moved from there to Bridgeport, Conn., then to Putnam, Conn., then to Pascoag, where he worked in a mill. His parents moved to Greenville in 1860, where he also worked in a mill, and came to Glendale in 1865, working there until 1868, when he went to Greenville, then to Belleville, then to Mohegan, then to Blackstone, Mass., then to Nasonville in charge of weaving, then back to Mohegan, then to Hampden, Mass., then to Putnam, Conn., then in 1879 to Glendale as superintendent for Francis Carpenter.  At the death of Mr. Carpenter, in 1883, he began operating the mill under the firm name of Carpenter & Orrill. He married Mary E., daughter of Edwin and Eliza Brewer, of Wilbraham, Mass., in 1888.  His first wife was Alice A., daughter of James and Ann Bradley, of Blackstone, Mass.  She died in 1881.  He has three children living: Gertude, Frederick and Mabel A.  He is one of the town committee.

p. 578: Burrill PAINE, born in 1810, in Burrillville, is a son of Sterling and Sarah (Esten) Paine.  He married for his first wife Matilda, daughter of Joseph Newell.  She died in 1864.  He married his present wife, Marinda, daughter of Edward Ross, of Burrillville, in 1866.  His children were: Lorin N., died in 1843, and Sterling.  He has been a member of the council, and a number of years highway surveyor.

p. 578-79: Joshua PERKINS, manufacturer, of Nasonville, was born in the town of Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England, March 17th, 1842.  His father, Joshua Perkins, was a shoemaker by trade, but young Perkins, after ten years of age, left this employ and went to work in a woolen mill, where he remained as long as he stayed in that country.  Realizing that his only capital was his labor, his thoughts naturally turned toward this country, where he was informed the munificent sum of one dollar a day was actually paid as wages to common laborers.  At the age of 17 he found himself possessed of sufficient means to make the ocean voyage, and on the 16th of March, 1859, he embarked in the 'Western Empire' at Liverpool, for the United States, and after a 45 days' sail landed in Boston.  With no surplus money in his pocket to spare, he immediately set out for Pascoag, where he at once found work as a common hand for James O. Inman at $16 per month.  The next year he was advanced by his employer, and made overseer of the finishing room, a position he held while he remained in Mr. Inman's employ.  In 1862, he became overseer of the Granite Mills, and remained there three years.  In 1865, he was employed by James Legg & Co., as overseer for their two mills, and remained with them till 1871.  In 1872, Mr. Perkins began business for himself, leasing a liittle mill in Mohegan for the manufacture of shoddy, but soon returned to Mapleville to serve in his former capacity, where he remained till 1877.  In the meantime he established a store in Nasonville, which he still owns and operates under the style of J. Perkins & Co.

In 1886, Mr. Perkins was induced to undertake a still greater venture.  The mills of Nasonville had been idle for a few months, seeking some suitable business man to lease the property.  These mills had never proven a success, and failures had become frequent.  Mr. Perkins undertook the enterprise, began the manufacture of fancy cassimeres and worsteds in a four set mill of 20 broad looms; and his business has so prospered that the mill has been increased to 33 looms, and the prospects are sufficiently bright to warrant the leasing of the White Mill at Pascoag, to take effect the 1st of August, 1890.  The business at the White Mill is conducted under the style of the Perkins Manufacturing Company.  Forty-six looms will be placed in the White Mill.  About 250 hands are employed.  Henry W. T. Mali & Co., New York, are the selling agents for these mills.

Mr. Perkins was married February 7th, 1863, to Miss Emily Gulick.  He has had one son, Fred W. Perkins, now a member of the Perkins Manufacturing Company, and one daughter, Ruth E. Perkins, who died in 1889 at the age of 15 years.  Mr. Perkins is a man of public spirit, but no office seeker.  He has been assistant postmaster and postmaster of Nasonville since 1877; trustee of the public schools for many years, and at one time a member of the town council.  Mr. Perkins is a successful business man, and a genial, kind-hearted gentleman.

p. 579: Henry PHILLIPS, born in 1816 in Glocester, is a son of Madeous and Martha (Sayles) Phillips.  He was two years old when his father located in Burrillville.  He married for his first wife Fanny, daughter of Jonathan Lackey, of Grafton, Mass., who lived in Burrillville at the time.  His present wife is Asha, daughter of John Law, whom he married in 1883.  His grandfather on his mother's side was Christopher Sayles, a native of Glocester, who served in the revolutionary war while at Newport.

p. 579: Hiram ROSS, born in 1813 in Burrillville, is a son of Samuel and Joanna (Mowry) Ross.  He has held the offices of school committee and road surveyor.  He married Nancy, daughter of Amos Stone, in 1842.  Their children are: Julia Ann, born in 1843, and James M., born in 1845.  His father, Samuel Ross, was a representative.  His grandfather, Seth Ross, was in the revolutionary war.

p. 579: Seth A. ROSS, born in 1829 in Burrillville, is a son of Samuel and Joanna (Mowry) Ross.  He was married in 1856 to Amie Ann, daughter of Brown Angell of Burrillville.  Their children are:  Adeline F., Fernando C., Maria L., Edward D., Earl A., and Frank W.

p. 580-81: Albert Leprelet SAYLES, manufacturer, was born in Harrisville (formerly called Rhodesville), in the town of Burrillville, August 29th, 1826.  He is a representative of the third generation of a large family of successful manufacturers in Rhode Island.  According to tradition, John Sayles, with his brothers Richard and Thomas, came from England.  Richard settled on what is now called Sayles hill in Smithfield.  Thomas settled in Rehoboth and John in Providence.  We have no reliable records other than that John Sayles married Mary, daughter of Roger Williams, in 1650, and held for some time town treasurer, town clerk, grand juror and other offices.  The grandson of John Sayles was Richard Sayles, a very prominent citizen, who was in 1731 town clerk of Smithfield.  His son, Israel Sayles, married Marsa Whipple, and lived in Glocester.  Their children were:  Richard, Esek, Elisha, Christopher, Royal, Ahab, Daniel, Mary (who married Esek Brown), Roba, Rebecca, and Mercy, who married Benjamin Mathewson.

Daniel Sayles, the grandfather of Albert L., was born in Glocester, in that part of the town since induded in the town of Burrillville, October 31st, 1769, and died January 25th, 1849.  Phebe, the wife of Daniel Sayles, was the daughter of Captain Pitts Smith.  She was born July 21st, 1769, and died December 11th, 1855.  They had nine children:  Hardin, born March 7th, 1779, died June 11th, 1861; Smith S., born December 24th, died August 31st, 1879; Pitts, born August 11st, 1801, died January 11, 1864; Mary, born September 3d, 1793, died August, 1857; Marietta, born 1798, died 1832; Marcillar, born September5th, 1803, died January 14th, 1835; Phidelia, born March 2d, 1807, died 1887; Elizabeth, born October 15th, 1808; Elsie, born September 2d, 1811, died October 5th, 1854.

Hardin and Laura Sayles were the parents of the subject of this sketch. Laura, the wife of Hardin Sayles, was the daughter of Captain John and Roba (Smith) Wood.  Their other children were: Maria Maretta, born June 25th, 1832, died July 16th, 1853; Elliot Smith, born February 13th, 1834; Hardin Roscoe, born May 20th, 1835; Ellen Augusta, born September 7th, 1839, died January 11th, 1864; and Addison Clark, born July 18th, 1841.

Albert L. Sayles attended the common schools until 15 years of age, when he commenced work in his father's mill.  Two years later he obtained employment with Daniel S. Whipple, at Gazza, a manufacturing village now a part of Mapleville in Burrillville.  Mr. Whipple was a relative (his mother being a sister of Hardin Sayles) and had learned the business of manufacturing in the mill of Edward Harris, a successful manufacturer, business man, and prominent citizen of Woonsocket.  Mr. Sayles remained with Mr. Whipple three years, during which time he learned the art of manufacturing and finishing woolen goods.  He then returned to the mill of L. Copeland & Co., of which firm his father was a member, and in 1848 took charge of the finishing department.  On the retirement of Mr. Copeland in 1850 he became superintendent of the mill, which position he held until 1853, when he purchased the interest of his uncle, Pitts Sayles, and the firm was changed to Hardin Sayles & Son.  In 1861 his father died, and he continued the business under the same firm, his mother, his three brothers, and a sister (heirs) retaining their share of his father's interest.  In 1865 he built his new stone mill and fitted it up with machinery, all at a cost of about $250,000.  Buying out the other heirs except one in 1880 he still enlarged its capacity to 15 sets.  In 1874, with other gentlemen, he purchased the manufacturing property at Warren, Mass., known as the Sibley Woolen Mills, the original cost of which was $240,000, and now owns that entire property. He also owns the Huntsville Mill at the upper village, which contains seven sets of cards and 40 broad looms.  He has also added machinery to his Warren mill in Massachusetts, which now contains ten sets of cards and 44 broad looms.  It is operated by Mr. Sayles and his son-in-law, Mr. William A. Jenks, under the firm name of Sayles & Jenks.  Albert H. & F.L. Sayles, his sons, have bought the Fiske & Sayles mill property, which they own and operate under the style of F. L. Sayles & Co., and in which Mr. A.L. Sayles is also interested.

Mr. Sayles was one of the prime movers in originating and building the Providence & Springfield railroad, was one of the largest stockholders of the company, and has been one of its directors since its organizaiton.  His is director and vice-president of the Third National Bank of Providence, a director in the Pascoag National Bank and a director in the American and the Enterprise Mutual Fire Insurance Companies.  In politics he is a republican, and was one of the delegates to the national republican convention held at Chicago in June, 1888.  He has long been an earnest and practical temperance man, having prohibited the use of intoxicating beverages on his table, and provided a commodious and comfortable hotel free of rent, to be kept strictly as a temperance house for the public accommodation in the village. His is a member of the Free-will Baptist Society at Pascoag, of which he was formerly president and treasurer.  He is a liberal supporter of the churches in his town and of all good works.

Mr. Sayles married, December 1st, 1852, Fannie J., daughter of David and Harriet P. (Benson) Warner, of Uxbridge, Mass.  They have had four children: Edgar Franklin, born April 20th, 1855, died March 24th, 1858; Ellen Maria, born November 30th, 1857, and married William A. Jenks, who resides in Warren, Mass., and is one of the co-partners in the operation of the Warren Mills; Albert Hardin, born March 25th, 1863; and Frederick Lincoln, born April 13th, 1865, both of the firm of F. L. Sayles & Co.

p. 581-82: Albert H. SAYLES, born in 1863 in Burrillville, is a son of Albert L. and Fannie J. (Warner) Sayles, and was educated at Mowry & Goff's, Providence, graduating in 1882.  He was elected to the general assembly in 1888 and re-elected in 1889.  In 1887 he was married to Emma B., daughter of John Griffith and Lavinia Bird of Newport.

p. 582: Fred L. SAYLES, born in Burrillville in 1865, is a son of Albert L. and Fannie J. (Warner) Sayles.  He was educated in Burrillville and at Mowry & Goff's English and Classical School, Providence, graduated in 1885.  He began the manufacturing of yarn in 1887 and to make goods in 1888.  He was married in 1888 to Phebe M., daughter of Manning Wood, of Pascoag.

p. 582: Henry C. SAYLES, born in 1839 in Burrillville, is the youngest son of Welcome and Maria Sayles.  He was married to Amanda F., daughter of Stephen Eddy, of Burrillville, in 1870.  He enlisted in  Company K, 12th R.I.

p. 582: Sylvester SAYLES, born in 1825 in Burrillville, is the eldest son of Welcome and Maria Sayles.  He was representative in 1860 and 1861, has served on school committee, has been collector of taxes and president of town council two or three years.

p. 582: William A. SHELDON was born in 1837 in Glocester, and located in Burrillville in 1860.  He is a son of George and Marana (Kelly) Sheldon.  He married in 1864 for his first wife, Mary, daughter of James Preston, of Foster.  She died in 1865.  His present wife, Nancy E., daughter of Thomas M. Baker of Grafton, Mass., he married in 1873.  He has one child, William R. Sheldon.  He has been engaged for thirty-five years in his business of builder and established for himself for twenty years.  He built most of the principal buildings in Burrillville.  He has been a member of the town council.

p. 582: Sumner SHERMAN, born in Burrillville in 1830, is a son of Cyria and Maria (Wood) Sherman.  He has been highway surveyor for 35 years.  He married Lucinda Mowry, of Smithfield, in 1856.  They have had two children: Lillian Maria, born October 22nd, 1858, died March 26th, 1874, and Everett B., born January 17th, 1862.  His father Ezekiel, and S.L. Sherman built the Granite Mill at Burrillville in 1849.  It was burned in 1852, and immediately rebuilt, and again burned in 1879.  His father died in 1867.  He was a mason by trade.

p. 582: Everett B. SHERMAN, born in Burrillville in 1862, is a son of Sumner and Lucinda (Mowry) Sherman.  He was educated at Burrillville and Mowry & Goff's English and Classical School, Providence, graduating in 1880.  He married Alice M., daughter of Charles White, of Uxbridge, Mass., 1886.  They have two children:  Lillian Maria, born January 12th, 1887, and Waldo Leonard, January 16th, 1889.  Mr. Sherman makes a specialty of breeding thoroughbred Ayrshire cattle and Hambletonian horses.

p. 582-83: Francis SPRAGUE was born in Glocester in 1825, and located in Burrillville in 1863.  He is a son of George and Sally Ann (Darling) Sprague.  He was married in 1856 to Emily, daughter of Welcome Sayles of Burrillville.  He has one son, Edward C.  His father and mother lived and died in Glocester. His father lived to be almost 91 years old, and his mother was 86.  Mr. Sprague has always been engaged in mason work and has been in business for himself over 30 years.  He does the principal mason work in Burrillville.

p. 583: Isaac STEERE, born in 1826, in Burrillville, is a son of Shadrach and Mary (Fowler) Steere. He was member of the town council in 1888, member of school committee for about 20 years, and also a member 30 years ago.  In 1855 he married Avis, daughter of Smith Battey.  Their children are:  Job W., born 1860; Smith B., born 1863, and Jonathan M., born 1870.  Mr. Steere lives in the same house where he was born, and which was built by Judge Daniel Mowry, of Smithfield, in 1795.  His father was born in Smithfield, and located in Burrillville in 1806.  His mother was from Northbridge, Mass.

p. 583: T. H. SWEET, born in 1838, in Fall River, Mass., is a son of Henry and Mary Ann (Mathewson) Sweet.  He was educated in Burrillville.  He established the wholesale and retail butcher business in 1863, and soon after took in his brother.  The firm is now T. H. & A. E. Sweet.  He was married in 1871 to Lydia S., daughter of Jason Olney, of Burrillville.  His father was born in Johnston, was a machinist by trade, building and running engines.  He located in Burrillville about 1830.

p. 583: George H. THAYER was born in 1858, in Burrillville, on the same place where he now lives, and was educated in the schools of his native town.  He was elected to the town council in 1888, and re-elected in 1889.  He was one of the republican town committee.

p. 583-84: William TINKHAM, president of the Providence & Springfield Railroad Company, was born in Harmony Village, Glocester, July 8th, 1823.  He is a lineal descendant of Hezekiah Tinkham, who came from England during the revolutionary war, settled in Glocester, and was a blacksmith by occupation. William Tinkham is the son of the late Nehemiah Tinkham, who died in 1886, at the age of 87 years, and Alzada (Andrews) Tinkham, still living at the age of 90 years.  William Tinkham is the oldest of the six children, all now living.  He received a good education in the district school, and finished in Smithfield Academy, later widely known as the Lapham Institute of North Scituate.  In his earlier days, he learned the trade of a blacksmith, but in 1844 he abandoned the trade and entered a store at Greenville, R.I., where he served for a short time as clerk, and afterward purchased the business. In 1853 he entered the store of a manufacturing establishment at Wakefield, but in July of that same year his career as a manufacturer with Job S. Steere was begun, first in Mapleville, then in 1856 in Harrisville, where the business is still continued under the name of William Tinkham & Co., the firm doing a business of $800,000 annually.

Very soon after Mr. Tinkham entered upon the manufacturing business, he realized that in order to insure complete success, a thorough knowledge of the details of the business was essential, and he therefore determined to make himself competent to surperintend every process in the factory.  To attain this end, he became an operative in his own mill, dismissed the assistant in the lowest room, and taking his place, began by scouring wood. He then learned the art of dyeing, dismissed the boss and hired an assistant.  And so on he went from room to room, working more hours per day than his help, and at the end of three years becoming master of manufacturing woolen goods.  In 1857, when the financial crisis overtook them, Mr. Tinkham went out and made business, manufacturing partly on shares, and buying and selling in person.  By his good management they were enabled to tide over the rough times, and by January, 1865, they were able to pay all their indebtedness, besides having a large surplus on hand.

In the fall of 1868, Mr. Tinkham took up his residence in Providence, and at the same time commenced running the Carolina Mills, in the town of Richmond, R.I., in company with his brother, Ellison Tinkham, and F. Metcalf.  In 1878 he sold his interests there to his partners.  After Mr. Tinkham removed to Providence he became at once identified with the interests of that city.  In 1866 he was elected to the general assembly, and served his term acceptably. In 1871 he was elected president of the Providence & Springfield Railroad Company, and in 1876 president and general manager, which positions he has held ever since.  He was instrumental in the projection, construction and successful operation of this road, and the success of the enterprise from its inception is due mainly to the energy and perseverance of its president. In 1878, Ernest W. Tinkham, his son, was elected treasurer of the company, and holds that position at the present time.

Mr. Tinkham was married March 16th, 1847, to Caroline M., daughter of Appleby and Ada (Steere) Smith, of Smithfield, R.I.  They have four children, two of whom are living:  Ernest W. and Grace L.  Ernest W. is a partner in the manufacturing firm of William Tinkham & Co.  He married February 12th, 1879, Margaret McCartney, of Dansville, N.Y.  They have one child, Miriam.

p. 584-85: John S. WALLING, born in 1850 in Burrillville, is a son of Isaac and Maria (Stone) Walling.  He married Sarah R., daughter of Martin and Nancy Smith, of Burrillville, in 1873, and has one child, Lennox G.  He was a member of the town council from 1884 to 1888, and its president in 1887.  He was educated at the Lapham Institute, North Scituate, graduated in 1866, and began teaching district school in Foster, Glocester and Burrillville.  He later went to Schofield's Commercial College, Providence, to learn book-keeping, and was first book-keeper for Horace Kimball two years, then went with Fiske & Sayles and learned the trade of coloring, then was designer for them, and afterward superintendent until 1880, when he went to Plainville and formed a copartnership with Gilbert F. Whipple, under the style Whipple & Walling, which continued until the fall of 1887.  Since that time he has been superintendent of the Fred L. Sayles & Co. mill.  His father followed farming, and his grandfather was a farmer and hotel keeper in Burrillville.

p. 585: G. F. WHIPPLE was born in Burrillville in 1855.  The Whipple Mill was started by Charles H. Whipple in 1856 and operated by him until 1873.  Then it was F. R. White & Co. until 1879.  Then G. F. Whipple operated it for one year.  Then it was Whipple & Walling until the fall of 1887, and since that time W. F. Esten & Co.  Charles H. Whipple died in 1885.

p. 585: George F. WHITFORD, born in 1845 in Putnam, Conn., came to Burrillville in 1870.  He married Phebe, daughter of Daniel and Hannah Smith, of North Providence.  He was educated at Eastman's College, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and graduated in 1865.  He has been engaged as book-keeper in A. L. Sayles' mill since 1870.  He was president of town council in 1884, 1885, and 1886, has been notary public for the past eight years, justice of the peace, and trustee of Pascoag school district for the past two years.

p. 585: Herbert M. WILSON, born in Burrillville in 1856, is a son of James M. and Elvira Wilson.  He was educated in Burrillville and at Mowry & Goff's English and Classical School, Providence.  He married Maria, daughter of Albert Sayles, of Burrillville, in 1881.  He has always been engaged in manufacturing, and has operated the Wilson shoddy mill since 1878.

p. 585: William R. WILSON, born in Burrillville in 1815, is a son of James and Deborah (Ross) Wilson.  He was overseer of the poor in 1856, and member of the town council in 1861 and 1862.  Over one hundred years ago a saw mill was built by William Ross, who died in 1803.  His sons ran it until about 1818, when it was idle until 1846, then a grist mill was put in, and in 1847, a shingle mill; again in the winter of 1856 a saw mill was put in. James and William R. Wilson began to make shoddy about 1866.  The mill was burned in 1871 and rebuilt the same year.  The privilege has been owned by the Wilsons since about 1835.


These documents are made available free to the public for non-commercial purposes by the Rhode Island USGenWeb Project. Transcribed by Beth Hurd, 1999 .
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