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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 North Providence"


History of Providence County, Vol I & II

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

Biographical sketches, "Town of North Providence"

p. 191: Byron ANGELL is a son of William H., he a son of William W., and he a son of William Angell.  His mother was Orra Ide.  He was born in North Providence in 1856, and married Emily, daughter of William Ide of Glocester, in 1882.  They have one son and two daughters.  He is a farmer and owns and occupies the farm settled by William Angell, his great-grandfather.  William H. Angell was trial justice for North Providence for twenty years, and was in the senate, representing North Providence.

p. 191: Frank C. ANGELL, born in 1845 in North Providence, is a son of James Halsey Angell, born 1822, and Sarah A. Angell, born 1824.  His grandfather and great-grandfather were both named James, and were descendants of Thomas Angell, who came from Engand in Roger Williams' time.  In 1865, Frank C. learned harness making, and in 1877 engaged in that business for himself at Centredale, which he still continues.  In February of 1885 he was appointed town treasurer in place of William Angell, deceased, and in June of that year was elected to that office, and was re-elected in 1886, 1887, 1888 and 1889.  He is librarian of the Union Free Library of Centredale, having filled that position, with the exception of one year, since it was established.  He has also been secretary of Roger Williams Lodge, No. 32, F. & A. M., of Centredale, since its organization in 1876.  His father has been the society's treasurer during this time.

p. 191: George W. ANGELL, born  in North Providence in 1818, is a son of Lemuel, he a son of Benjamin, he a son of Stafford.  Lemuel married Sally Smith, daughter of Nehemiah Smith.  George W. was married in 1840 to Emily M. Mann, of New Hampshire.  They had two children, one of whom is living, Thomas W. The wife died in 1848.  He married in 1849 Mary J. Manchester, of Tiverton, who had three children, none living.  He has been a member of the town council several terms and held other town offices.  His father was elected to the assembly and senate, several terms each.

p. 191-92: Moses ANGELL, deceased, born in Johnston in 1809, was a son of James and grandson of Isaac Angell.  He was married in 1836 to Mary O. Randall, of North Providence.  They had three children: one son, Isaac L., who died young, and two daughters, Abbie E. and Rebecca F., wife of Henry W. Bradford.  The latter's father was Henry W. and his grandfather Joseph Bradford.  His mother's maiden name was Mary Whipple.  They have one son, Henry I., and three daughters, Carrie A., Helen M. and Abbie A.  Mr. Bradford was bookkeeper in the Merchannts National Bank of Providence for several years, but failing eyesight compelled his to give up his situation, and he has since been living a retired life.  The family, with Mrs. Bradford's mother, occupy the Angell homestead, which has been in the family for three generations.

p. 192: Thomas H. ANGELL,  born in 1832 in Providence, is a son of William and grandson of Fenner Angell, who was in the revolutionary war.  His mother was Sydney Smith.  He was married in 1852 to Patience J., daughter of John Appleby.  They had nine children: four are living, one son and three daughters.  In early life he carried on the grocery business in Providence. He settled in North Providence in 1865.  He was elected town clerk in 1880, and has held that office continuously since, also notary public for same length of time, and collector of taxes for nine years.

p. 192: George T. BATCHELDER is a son of Parley Batchelder.  His mother was Alzada Barnes.  Parley Batchelder was born in Barre, Vt., in 1794, and was a volunteer from that town in the war of 1812.  He settled in Providence county about 1825.  George T. was born in North Providence in 1836, and was married in 1879 to Lydia A. Fenner.  In 1855 he entered the store of Luther Carpenter at Centredale, and remained there until 1862, when he enlisted in the 7th Rhode Island Infantry and served three years; then returned to the employ of Mr. Carpenter, and in 1886 purchased the business and has carried it on since that time.  In 1883 he was elected to the assembly from the town of Johnston.  In 1886 he was appointed postmaster at Centredale.  He is a member of Temple Lodge, F. & A.M., of Greenville.

p. 192: Henry BEAUREGARD, born in Canada in 1850, is a son of Francois and grandson of Ethiene Beauregard, who came from France and settled in Canada.  Henry settled in Providence in 1869, and for 16 years was in the employ of the American Screw Company.  In 1886 he settled in North Providence, and engaged in the grocery business.  He was married in 1867 to a Miss Audet.  They have has 12 children, of whom five sons and three daughters are living.

p. 192: Jonathan G. BOSS, son of Jonathan and Sally (Austin) Boss, was born in Hopkinton, R.I., in 1833.  In 1858 he married Mary L. Bates, of South Kingstown.  They have three daughters living.  He has always been a farmer. He settled in North Providence in 1875.  He was elected to the town council in 1887, 1888 and 1889.

p. 192: Charles E. COREY, son of Peleg and grandson of Joseph Corey, both of North Kingstown, was born in 1819, and married Mary H. Dawley, of Exeter, in 1841. They have two children -- Mary A. and James V., who served three years in the war of the rebellion in the 1st Rhode Island Cavalry.  Charles E. settled in North Providence in 1840, and, with the exception of nine years spent in Woonsocket, has since resided here.  In early life he was employed in a cotton mill, but for the past 20 years has been a farmer.

p. 193: Martin K. COWING was born in Warren, R.I., in 1807, came to Providence county about 1826 and settled in Providence.  His parents were John Cowing and Elizabeth Kelley, and his grandfather was also named John Cowing.  He came to North Providence in 1836 and engaged in cotton manufacturing.  He was married in 1841 to Amey, daughter of Solomon and Phebe Olney.  They have three sons -- Marcus M., Martin K. and William O.; and three daughters -- Susan D., Grace A. L. and Lillie M.B.  Mr. Cowing retired from business several years ago.  He has been a member of the town council several terms.

p. 193: George W. GOULD, son of Abraham, and grandson of Ebenezer Gould of Vermont, was born in Middletown, N.Y., in 1838.  His mother's maiden name was Eunice Wakefield.  Mr. Gould settled in North Providence in 1855, and connected himself with the Allendale Manufacturing Company as clerk, and later as agent.  He has been secretary of the company since 1864, and is at present secretary and manager.  He was superintendent of schools in North Providence for two years, and president of the town council for a like period.  Mr. Gould was married in 1856 to Sarah J. SWEET.  They have one son, George A., and a daughter, Bertha Adelle.  He is a member of the Allendale Baptist church.

p. 193: Stephen M. GREENE, born in Scituate, R.I., in 1840, is a son of Stephen A., he a son of Stephen, he a son of William, and he a son of Benjamin Greene of Warwick.  He was married in 1866 to Sarah W., daughter of Henry D. and Susan (Angell) Olney.  He was in the war of the rebellion; enlisted June 6th, 1861, and was discharged June 18th, 1864.  He was sergeant in Battery A, First Regiment of R.I. Light Artillery, and was in all the prominent battles of the Army of the Potomac.  He is past master of Mt. Vernon Lodge, A. F. & A. M., a member of the Providence Royal Arch Chapter, and St. John's Commandery, No. 1, K.T., Providence, RI.

p. 193: Charles E. HALL is a son of George Hall, who came from New Hampshire and settled in Warwick.  He married Freelove Pendleton.  Charles E. was born in Warwick in 1820, and was married in 1845 to Amey S., daughter of James Dawley of Exeter, R.I.  They have one son, Henry J., born in 1846.  He settled in North Providence about 1840, and has been a farmer and contractor.  He has been elected to the assembly four terms, and has been a member of the town council several years, also assessor of taxes, and overseer of the poor one year.  They are Baptists.

p. 193: Ara HAWKINS, born in Glocester in 1819, is a son of Ara and Rebecca (Owen) Hawkins.  He was married in 1849 to Amey Horton of Glocester.  They had two sons, Everett E. and Myron H., and one daughter, Avis A.  The wife died in 1858.  He married Mary O. Knapp of Greenwich, Conn., in 1860.  He has been a member of the town council, and assessor of taxes.  He is a Congregationalist.

p. 194: Rufus W. HARRIS, born in North Providence in 1843, is a son of Smith and Margaret M. Harris, grandson of John Harris, and great-grandson of Welcome Harris, all born in Smithfield, R.I.  Mr. Rufus Harris is engaged in the granite business at Graniteville, R.I.  He has represented the town of Johnston four years as representative.  He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and past master of Roger Williams Lodge.  He married in 1862 Julia E., daughter of William Carey, of Johnston.  They have three children: Fred R., born 1865; Dora L., born 1867, and Edwin M., born 1869.

p. 194: Henry R. HILL, born in Plainfield, Conn., in 1837, is a son of Sheldon and Mercy W. (Randall) Hill of Foster, R.I.  His grandfather was Jonathan Hill, also of Foster.  He was educated at Brown University, class of 1867.  He was married in 1869 to Sarah A., daughter of Thomas and Sarah Pray of Killingly, Conn., who was executive cotton manufacturer there.  They have one daughter, Annie C.  He has been a member of the town council several years, and has been president of same, and overseer of the poor for five years.  He has been a member and clerk of the school committee of the town of North Providence six years.  He was appointed by the supreme court of Rhode Island receiver on the Vashti W. Angell estate pending a settlement with creditors, and had charge of said estate about five years.  This estate had a valuation of $250,000.  He is a member of Roger Williams Lodge, No. 32,  F. & A. M.

p. 194: Joseph W. NAYLOR is a son of Thomas Naylor.  His mother's maiden name was Esther Harrington.  They came from England and settled in Providence. Joseph W.  was born in Lonsdale, R.I., in 1839, and was married in 1868 to Susan Noonan of Escoheag, R.I.  They have two sons, Joshua J. and Amos A., and one daughter, Mary M.  At the beginning of the rebellion he enlisted in the 14th U.S. Infantry, Company H, and served two years.  He then entered the navy and served over two years.  He has always been a farmer.  He settled in North Providence about 1875.  He is moderator, and has held other offices in the town, is a member of Eagle Lodge, I. O. O. F., of Providence, and member of the State Beneficial Association.

p. 194: Edwin B. OLNEY was born in North Providence in 1812.  His father was Charles Olney, and his grandfather bore the same name.  Charles Olney married Robey Briggs of Johnston, daughter of Peter Briggs.  Edwin B. Olney married Fanny Allen of Woodstock, Conn., daughter of Captain Consider Allen in 1833.  He married in 1854 Patience Manton of Kinderhook, N.Y., for his second wife.  In his younger days he was a carriage manufacturer, and since 1840 has been engaged in farming.  He resides on the farm owned by his grandfather, Charles Olney.

p. 194-95: Ira OLNEY, a farmer of North Providence, belongs to one of the oldest families of the county.  His ancestor, Thomas Olney, was contemporary with Roger Williams, and a man of considerable prominence in the early history of the state.  Ezra Olney, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was the first to settle in what in now known as North Providence.  He located upon a tract of land of about 600 acres in extent, covering what is now know as Fruit Hill.  His son, Cyrus Olney, the father of Ira, married Patience Mowry in the year 1814.  He was the father of the following children: Miranda, Sullivan, Pamela, Cyrus, Edward, Ira, Augustus, Jane and Samuel.

Ira Olney was born on the homestead place in North Providence August 6th, 1824.  He received a good common school education and has remained a farmer on a part of the homestead place, handed down to him from his grandfather. In 1861 Mr. Olney was married to Caroline, daughter of Captain Samuel Thurber, of Providence, who was formerly a sea captain and subsequently a custom house officer in the employ of the government.  By this marriage Mr. Olney has but one child living, Miss Carrie Olney, who resides at home.  In 1861 Mr. Olney erected his present handsome residence, and since then has built a barn and made many other improvements.  The land, consisting of 80 acres, is very valuable.  It is almost within the city limits, located in Providence city, North Providence and the town of Smithfield.

Mr. Olney was elected to the town council of North Providence in 1878 and held that office five consecutive years.  In 1884 he was elected to the state senate and held that office four years.  Upon his retirement from the senate in 1887, he was again elected a member of the town council, which position he still holds.  As a member of the state senate, he served on some of the more important committees, holding for two years the chairmanship of the committee on elections, was a member of the finance committee, and served in other important capacities.

Mr. Olney is engaged in building and renting tenements, of which he now owns and controls 25.  He is also an administrator of much experience, having settled a number of valuable estates.  He also borrows and loans money and acts in various ways as a broker.

[overleaf:  engraved portrait of Ira Olney]

p. 195: Stephen B. OLNEY, born in North Providence in 1822, is a son of Alfred, and grandson of Stephen, who was a captain in the continental army, and a son of Joseph Olney.  Stephen B. was married in 1851 to Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Harris, of Smithfield.  They have two children, Stephen H. and Mary E.

p. 195: Nicholas REINER was born in Austria in 1840, and came to this country in 1867.  He resided at Geneva, North Providence, and in 1884, settled at Lymanville in the same town, and carries on a large boarding house for the Lymansville Manufacturing Company.  He was married in 1869 to Mary Bergman. They have one son, Nicholas, Jr., born June 18th, 1873.  Mr. Reiner is a member of Herman Lodge, No. 15, Knights of Pythias.

p. 196: Thomas H. SIMMONS, born in Foster, R.I., in 1829, is a son of Eseck and Betsey Foster (Tucker), and grandson of Solomon Simmons, all residents of Foster.  Thomas H. was married in 1869 to Julia A. Ford, of Johnston.  They have one son and four daughters.  Until 1840, Mr. Simmons lived on a farm. At that time he went to California, returning in 1856, and about 20 years ago, settled in Centredale, North Providence, where he has since resided.

p. 196: Daniel SMITH, son of Edward, married Abigail, daughter of John Smith.  They had eight children.  Two sons, John E. and Thomas H., and one daughter, Frances W., widow of Reynolds S. Wilcox, are living.  John E. married Abbie Bullock.  They have no children living.  Thomas is a bachelor.  They occupy part of the farm owned by their grandfather, Edward Smith.

p. 196: Henry STONE came from Dedham, Mass., and settled in North Providence.  He married Lucina, daughter of Augustus Winsor, of Smithfield.  Lemuel M. E. Stone, his son was born in North Providence in 1820, and in 1845 married Caroline L. Phetteplace, daughter of Asa.  They have two children:  Waterman and Caroline P.   Mr. Stone is a civil engineer and surveyor.  He has been chief engineer and builder of several railroads; and was superintendent of the Providence, Warren & Bristol for 16 years.  He has represented his town in the assembly several years, and since 1882 has been commissioner of dams and reservoirs for the state.

p. 196: Benjamin SWEET, son of Emor and granson of Philip Sweet, was born in Johnston in 1832.  His mother was Waity, daughter of William Manton.  He was married in 1857 to Olive, daughter of Nelson Gardiner.  They have five sons and seven daughters.  He was elected to the assembly in 1874 and 1875, and was a member of the town council from 1877 to 1889, with the exception of two years.  He has also been assessor and member of school committee.

p. 196: Philip A. SWEET, born in Johnston in 1816, is a son of Philip and Ruth (Angell) Sweet, and grandson of Philip.  He is of English descent.  He was married in 1838 to Lydia A., daughter of Silas Sweet.  She died the same year.  In 1839 he married Hannah Martin.  One son, Albert Sweet, by that marriage, is living.  She died in 1852, and he married Sarah Thurston in 1853.  They had one daughter, wife of Louis L. Inman, of Burrillville. Sarah Thurston died in 1873, and in 1874 Mr. Sweet was again married to Mary C., daughter of Erastus White.  Mr. Sweet is a carpenter by trade, and carried on the builiding business for fifty years.  He has been member of town council several terms, and held other minor offices in the town.  He is a member of the Free Baptist church, and has been a deacon of the same for over thirty years.

p. 196-97: Welcome W. SWEET, brother of Philip A., was born in Johnston in 1819.  He married Martha Irons.  They have two sons: Alfred, who married Josie King, and Sanford, who married Emeline Salisbury.  Mr. Sweet is a carpenter by trade.  He is a member of the Free Baptist church of Graniteville.

p. 197: Hartford J. TINGLEY, born in Cumberland, R. I., October 24th, 1814, is a son of Lyman and grandson of Benjamin Tingley.  He was in the revolutionary war, and was a member of Washington's staff.  Hartford J. Tingley's mother was Ruth A. Harrington.  He was married May 15th, 1839, to Selina, daughter of Henry West, of Rehoboth, Mass.  She was born in Seekonk, Mass, in May, 1815.  They have three sons: Hartford B., Xenephon D. and Frederick W., and two daughters: L. Sophia and Inez T.  Mr. Tingley was brought up on a farm. At the age of nineteen he began teaching writing, and made that his business for twelve years.  He afterward learned the trade of machinist, and followed it for twenty years.  He settled in North Providence about 1857, and is at present engaged in farming.

p. 197: Charles A. TOWNE was born in 1848 in Barre, Vt., and is of English descent. He is descended from Oel M., born 1816; Thomas, born 1792; Richard, jr., born 1737; Richard, born 1700; Thomas, born 1655; Edward, born 1628, son of William Towne,  who was born in England, and was married in the old Church of St. Nicholas, at Yarmouth, England, in December, 1620.  He came to Salem, Mass., with his family about 1630.  Charles A. Towne settled in Providence in 1879, and in North Providence in 1880.  He was elected a member of the town council in 1888, and was re-elected in 1889, and was president of same both years.  He is a republican.  Mr. Towne is a watchmaker and has carried on this business in Providence since 1886.  He is a captain of the Providence Marine Corps of Artillery, and lieutenant in the Light Artillery in the active militia.  Mr. Towne was married in 1875 to Marian A. Perry, who died in 1884.  He married again in 1886 to Lillie B. Barker.

p. 197: Benjamin WHIPPLE, born in North Providence in 1811, was a son of Emor, he a son of Ephriam, and he a son of Benjamin.  Emor married Abigail Brown. Benjamin Whipple was married in 1834 to Mary Allen.  They have two sons living, Emor B. and William H.  William H. was born in 1849 and married in 1869 to Almira Collins.  They have two daughters and one son.  His business is farming.  The farm they occupy has been in the family for five generations.

p. 197: Byron S. WHIPPLE, son of Weston F. and Mary Whipple, was born in Smithfield in 1856.  In 1879 he engaged in business in Providence, dealing in coal, wood, hay, grain and fertilizers.  He was married in 1877 to Ida E. Farewell.  They have two sons and one daughter.

p. 197-98: Walter Wilson WHIPPLE, wholesale commission merchant, is one of the few young men who has made a fortune for himself in early life.  Considering his many and varied adversities in starting out, his success has been phenomenal.  He is the son of Weston F. and Mary (Watson) Whipple, and was born in the town of Smithfield April 7th, 1858.  He was brought up on the old homestead place in North Providence, where he remained, assisting his father on the farm and attending the district school until 14 years of age. Having a desire to follow the drug business, he entered the employment of Butts & Mason, now Mason & Chapin, but the work of compounding medicines proved deleterious to his health and after a clerkship of two years he was obliged to seek a more sanitary occupation.  When 17 years of age he sought and obtained employment in a grocery store owned by Mr. H. S. Sharpe (now bookkeeper for Mr. Whipple), but soon afterward became a member of the firm Brown, Whipple & Co., retail grocers.  The beginning of this enterprise was propitious enouph, the firm operating two stores in the commencement, but it wound up in a few months in a state of bankruptcy, being able to pay 60 cents on tghe dollar only.

April 8th, 1878, Mr. Whipple married Mary E., daughter of Palmer Tanner, of Providence, and located in the city.  In the meanwhile, having somewhat recovered from his financial surprises, he went on the road with a horse and wagon, trading in butter, eggs and poultry.  This was the beginning of his present mammoth industry.  Success rapidly followed his efforts in this new undertaking and in due time he liquidated all former indebtedness of Brown, Whipple & Co., paying off all claims in full.  In 1882, when 24 years of age, he found himself in a store of his own at 104 Canal Street.  In 1884 he was obliged, for the want of more room, to move to his present quarters, since which time his progress in business has been astonishingly rapid.  In 1888 he established a large packing house in Oskaloosa, Iowa, operated under the style of Whipple & Co.  In 1884 he established a shipping house in Corinna, in Maine, but recently sold the business belonging to this last named enterprise and confined his efforts to Providence, Newport, Boston, Fall River, and other towns surrounding these larger places.  In the year 1889 a business of $300,000 was done, and in 1890 one of $400,000.

In 1885 Mr. Whipple moved to North Providence and located on Fruit Hill, where he has continued to reside.  He owns a magnificent property, which he has improved at great expense, making of it an elegant residence and a delightful place.  In 1889 Mr. Whipple was elected as a representative of his town to the general assembly of Rhode Island and re-elected in 1890.  He is a member of the Fruit Hill Detective Society, and was its president in 1888 and 1889.  He is a lover of fine horses and owns some valuable stock, but is in no sense a sporting man.  He is also a member of the Elk Society. The names of his children are Mabel, Gertrude and Florence.

[overlay:  engraved portrait of Walter W. Whipple]

p. 198-99: Andrew Jackson WILCOX, state senator from the town of North Providence, is a prominent farmer in that part of the county, and a son of Reynolds S. and Frances W. (Smith) Wilcox, also of that town.  His father was formerly of the southern part of the state, but years ago came here and purchased a part of the valuable farm known as the Old Daniel Smith homestead.  It is situated on the old Smithfield road, about three miles from the city, but now within easy reach of the street railway.  On this farm Andrew J. Wilcox was born, January 24th, 1863.  His early life was spent on the farm and in attending school.  Subsequently he completed a course of studies at the Mt. Pleasant Academy, and later still at Mowry & Goff's Institute, Providence. In 1883 his father died, and on June 27th, 1889, he was married to Miss Maude I. Barbour, who parents were of East Greenwich.  Mr. Wilcox owns 60 acres of very valuable land, almost within the city limits.  His farm is stocked with a valuable herd of 25 milch cows, and also with other cattle, necessitating the renting of other lands near by for grazing purposes.

Mr. Wilcox is a staunch republican, and has been the recipient of the popular vote of the citizens of his town for public office for several years past.  In 1887 he was elected to the town council of North Providence, and in 1888, 1889 and again in 1890 he was elected to the state senate.  He was not only the nominee of his party in the last policital canvass, but of the democrats as well, who put up no canidate against him.  In the senate he served on the committee on elections, and was also a member of the committee on public help, acting as chairman of that committee during his second term of office.  He also served on other committees, and in various capacities. Mr. Wilcox is public spirited, and takes a lively interest in the affairs of his town and county.  He is a member of several societies, among with are the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and the Rhode Island Society for the Encouragement of all Domestic Industries, of which he is a member of the standing committee.  He was chosen commissary, ranking as first lieutenant, on the staff of the United Train of Artillery of the Town of Providence, one of the oldest organizations in the state.  He served two years in this capacity and declined reelection.  Mr. Wilcox is the father of one child, Reynolds Baldwin Wilcox.


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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