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Biographical sketches, "Town of Woonsocket"
History of Providence County, Vol I & II
Ed. by Richard M. Bayles; W.W. Preston & Co., NY. 1891
p. 377-78: Joseph Barton ALDRICH. -- Moses Aldrich, of Mendon, Mass., the remote ancestor of the subject of this biography, was a noted preacher in the Society of Friends. His son, Robert Aldrich, came to Cumberland, R.I., about the year 1740, and settled on the old homestead. He was one of the owners and treasurer of the Old Forge, located at Woonsocket before the war of the revolution. His son Amos married Sally Cook, of Warwick, R.I., one of whose eight children was Joseph C. Aldrich, born in Cumberland April 13th, 1787, died June 21st, 1851. He married Aseneth Gaskill, of Blackstone, Mass. The fifth child among a family of twelve children was Joseph Barton Aldrich, the subject of this biography.
He was born December 30th, 1824, on the homestead in Cumberland, now embraced in the city of Woonsocket, and has during the whole of his life resided at or near the scene of his birth. He was employed on the farm in summer and attended the district school during the winter months until the age of 16, continuing thus engaged until the spring of 1852, when he devoted several months to travel in the West.
In September, 1853, he opened a store in Woonsocket, very soon established a prosperous trade, and continued his career as a merchant until 1863, the year of his retirement from trade. Since that date Mr. Aldrich has not been engaged in business, but has found active settlement in the management of his real estate interests and in the settlement of various estates, noteably that of the late George Law, of Woonsocket. This embraced several charitable bequests, one of which was conditional. Through the influence of Mr. Aldrich, the sum of $28,000 was donated to the Woonsocket Hospital, of which he is a trustee. Much of his time has been devoted to the interests of this charitable institution. He was formerly a director of the Citizens' and Globe Banks, and is a trustee of both the People's Savings Bank and the Oak Hill Cemetery. Mr. Aldrich was in early life a democrat, but previous to the war gave his allegiance to the republican party. He has never aspired to office, and only from a sense of duty served in the town council and as assessor. He is a member and was formerly one of the prudential committee of the Universalist church of Woonsocket.
Mr. Aldrich was married on the 9th of May, 1855, to Marcia A., daughter of William Law, of East Killingly, Conn., who died August 29th, 1867. He was a second time married June 9th, 1870, to Cyrena J., daughter of the late Willis Cook, of Woonsocket.
[Overlay: engraved portrait of Joseph B. Aldrich.]
p. 378: Victor ALLAIRE, born in 1844 in St. Ours, Richelieu county, Quebec, came to Woonsocket the same year that President Buchanan was elected, and with the exception of three years, has been a resident of Woonsocket. He learned the blacksmith trade and worked at that for seven years, and in 1866 took up the mason's trade, which he has since carried on. He is now contractor and mason, and has contracted to furnish all the stone for the Woonsocket Rubber Works. He has been a member of the town council. He married Malvina Aubin, of St. Felix, Valoix, Quebec, in 1865.
p. 378: Cyrus ARNOLD, son of Cyrus and Ruth (Arnold) Arnold, was born in 1815 in Smithfield, and was educated in the public schools. He came to Woonsocket in 1847, and was superintendent for George C. Ballou for about thirty years. He served seven terms as member of the general assembly, five terms in town council, and was president once. He is vice-president of the Citizens' National Bank and director in the Woonsocket Machine and Press Company. He married Celia, daughter of George C. Ballou, in 1846.
p. 378: Samuel K. BAILEY, son of Henry and Mary (Kerton) Bailey, was born in England in 1832, and came to America in 1843 with his parents, who located first in Southbridge, Mass. His father followed farming for 20 years in Dudley, Mass., but was brought up in the woolen business and for a number of years before was boss spinner for George Marsh, at Burrillville. Samuel K. was boss finisher 12 years in Burrillville; afterward superintendent for C. H. Whipple, Plainville; then superintendent of the Babcock & Morse Steam Woolen Mill at Westerly four years; superintendent at Versailles, Conn., six years; superintendent for the Rock Manufacturing Company, Rockville, Conn; superintendent for the Empire Woolen Mills, Clayville, N.Y., for six years, and since 1883 superintendent of The Lippitt Woolen Company's Mills, Woonsocket. He married in 1853 a daughter of William Cogswell, of England. His present wife is Alma, daughter of Thomas Harrington, of Killingly, Conn. He married her in 1884.
p. 379: Charles E. BALLOU, son of Elilab M. and Mary (Cushman) Ballou, was born in 1846 in Woonsocket. He has been connected with the Woonsocket National Bank and the Woonsocket Institution for Savings since 1864, is treasurer of the Woonsocket Business Men's Association, treasurer of Morning Star Lodge, No. 13, and treasurer of the Masonic Mutual Relief Association. He married Emma G., daughter of Reuben O. Cooke, of Woonsocket, in 1868. His father learned the trade of a mason, which he followed for many years, and later he became a partner in the Woonsocket Baking Comany and died in 1857.
p. 379-81: Latimer W. BALLOU, the son of Levi Ballou and Hepza Metcalf, was born at Cumberland, R.I., in what is known as the Ballou neighborhood, March 1st, 1812. He was educated in the schools and academies in the vicinity of his native town, and at the age of 16, finding the employments of the farm neither suitable to his strength nor congenial to his tastes, repaired to Cambridge, Mass., and learned the art of printing in the office of the 'University Press'. In 1835, in company with Messrs. Metcalf & Torry, he established the 'Cambridge Press', and continued it until 1842, the date of his removal to Woonsocket, where he engaged in mercantile pursuits. In 1850 he was chosen cashier of the Woonsocket Falls Bank, and treasurer of the Woonsocket Institution for Savings, which positions he continues to hold. These institutions owe much of their prosperity and present standing to his wise administration. Brought by his official position into close relations with the business and economic interests of the town and state, he has had, during a whole generation, a continually increasing share in the shaping of them. As counsellor or as arbitrator his services have been for many years in almost constant demand. He is the president of the Oak Hill Cemetery, and was sole trustee of the Ezekiel Fowler Hospital Fund, which has since been absorbed in the Woonsocket Hospital, of which he is also president. In the year 1871 he spent several months in Europe, devoting a large part of his time to the advancement of business trusts with which he was charged.
Mr. Ballou took an active part in the organization of the republican party in the state. In 1860 he was presidential elector on the Lincoln and Hamlin ticket. At the outbreak of the civil war he labored indefatigably for the enlistment and comfort of soldiers, and while the enlisted men were in the field was the cheerful adviser of their families at home, and to a great extent the unpaid medium of communication between them. Throughout the war his services were unabated. In 1872 he was a delegate to the national republican convention at Philadelphia which nominated Grant and Wilson. He was elected representative to the 44th, 45th and 46th congresses successively, and served as a member of the committeees on education, labor, patents and printing. In the committee he was by long experience and training especially fitted to act, and here he made his presence felt. By members of all parties his opinions were respected and he himself honored as a man of incorruptible integrity.
Of his addresses in the house of representatives, perhaps the most important was the one reviewing the relation of the national banks to the currency of the government. In the opinion of competent judges no more concise, logical and effective exposition of the subject was given before congress. His bill asked for the appointment of a commission to consider the subject of a reform in the orthography of the English language, grew out of his interest in the cause of education, and the conviction that the acquisition of the rudimentary branches of instruction, by wise and uniform action, may be greatly facillitated. The leading colleges and more than 50 educational institutions of the country have in general terms sustained his views. He was for many years treasurer of Dean Academy in Franklin, Mass., and is now its president.
Mr. Ballou married, October 20th, 1836, Sarah A., daughter of Charles and Ruth Hunnewell, of Cambridge, Mass., a lady of many rare qualities of mind and heart, who died June 24th, 1879. Their children are: Mary Francis, Sarah Jane, Henry Latimer (deceased), and Marie Louise (deceased). Mr. Ballou carried to Washington the atmostphere of a refined domestic life. He entered heartily into the various charitable and philanthropic movements of that city, and was especially active in the cause of temperance, holding year after year the vice-presidency of the Congressional Temperance Society. For 40 or more years he has held the superintendency of the Sabbath school at Woonsocket, and a greater part of the time has been president of the society. He is at the present time president of the Rhode Island Universalist Convention. His interest in the cause of Christianity, warm and deep at first, has never abated, and most effectively has he labored to promote the religious and moral welfare of society. Mr. Ballou had conferred upon him by Tufts College the honorary degree of LL.D. in 1887.
[Overlay: engraved portrait of L. W. Ballou and son Henry L. Ballou]
p. 381-82: Henry Latimer BALLOU, the son of Latimer and Sarah A. Ballou, was born in Cambridge, Mass., October 14th, 1841, and removed with his parents to Woonsocket the following year. His education was received at the public schools, supplemented by a business course in a Boston commercial college. Improving these opportunities with study in leisure hours, he became broadly educated, and a gentleman of refinement and polish. In 1861 he entered the Woonsocket National Bank and Woonsocket Institution for Savings, as clerk, becoming assistant cashier and assistant treasurer in 1876. Since that date, when his father, the cashier of the National Bank and treasurer of the Institution for Savings, was elected to Congress, he had been the active executive officer of both these institutions. He was also prominently connected with several local business enterprises, having been one of the incorporators of the Woonsocket Rubber Company, and an active director, as also director of the American Worsted Compnay, of the Woonsocket Machine and Press Compnay, and the Bailey Wringing Machine Company. Mr. Ballou was treasurer for many years of the consolidated school district, and an active member of the Woonsocket Business Men's Association since its formation. He also held the position of treasuere of the Woonsocket Hospital Corporation.
In politics Mr. Ballou was a republican, and while ever desirous for the advancement of his party, nevertheless believed that a party should stand for something more than mere success at the polls. His influence was as wide as the state, and always with a tendency to hold the party to higher aims. He believed in the might of right. He was gifted with the power of prescience, saw further than most men, and was leader of his party in many popular movements, as in the adotion of the Bourn amendment for the extension of the sufferage, the ten hour law, temperance legislation, and convenient hours at polling places. Neither did he hesitate to identify himself with what he deemed a morally just cause which might be unpopluar. In all the business interests with which he was connected he was faithful to every trust and duty. He not only filled with conscientious care every office to which he was appointed, but was a wise and judicious councellor to all desiring advice regarding investments, or in the settlement of estates. In such relations he manifested both wisdom and unselfishness, bestowing his counsel in so kindly a manner, that the seeker felt assured of his sincerity and friendship. In the popular mind Mr. Ballou was thought of as a trustworthy and successful banker rather than as a manufacturer, though the industries of the town owed much to his enterprise and forethought.
The arduous duties which occupied his mind finally began to tell upon a constitution, not robust. Chosen as a delagate to the republican convention held in Chicago in 1888, he made preparations to attend, but at the last moment gave his place to an alternate. Seeking the more genial climate of Southern California he rallied for a time, but finally succumbed to the malady which occasioned his death on the 22d of May, 1889. In his demise Woonsocket lost one of her most prominent and worthy citizens. He was a member of the Universalist church and assistant superintendent of its Sunday school; a Christian man-- Christian in faith, Christian in hope, and Christian in his daily life.
Mr. Ballou was October 6th, 1868, married to Susan A., daughter of the late Willis Cook of Woonsocket. Their children are: Latimer Willis, Marie Louise and Roland Hunnewell.
[Overlay: engraved portraits of Henry L. Ballou and father L. W. Ballou]
p. 382: Richard BARNETT, born in 1844 in Charlestown, Mass., was educated in the vicinity of Boston and South Kingstown, R.I. He enlisted in the Second R. I. Regiment, 1861, and reenlisted in the Second U. S. Infantry in 1864. He came to Woonsocket in 1865 as clerk in a grocery store for Horace Cook. He established business for himself in 1877. He was assistant chief of fire department and afterward chief. He was elected alderman of the Second ward upon the formation of the city government. He married in 1865 Lucinda J., daughter of George Campbell of Woonsocket.
p. 382: Richard C. BARTLETT, son of Elisha and Martha (Inman) Bartlett, was born in 1825 in what was then Cumberland, now Woonsocket, and was educated in the district schools. He worked in the mill until he was 26 years old and for two years at brickmakeng; then worked at the carpenter trade for three years, and in 1855 located on his present farm, where he has since that time carried on farming and the milk business. His father followed farming until he was 20 years of age, afterward learned the stone cutting trade and always followed it. He worked on the Blackstone canal, putting in locks and dams. His grandfather and great-grandfather were named Joseph, and his great-great-grandfather was Moses. He married Emeline White, daughter of William Lawrence of Appleton, Maine, in 1868.
p. 382-83: David BASS -- Simeon Bass, the grandfather of David Bass, married Hannah Sawyer. Their children were three sons: Ebenezer, Simeon and David. David was born February 8th, 1798, in Peterboro, N. H., where the greater part of his active life was spent, his regular pursuits being those connected with a farmer's life. He married Mary Eaton of the same town, whose children were: David, Jr., born March 3d, 1821; Eben, in 1823; Mary, in 1825; William E., in 1827; Charles, in 1829; Lewis G., in 1831; Samuel W., in 1833, and Martha J., in 1836. Mary married Matthew J. Moore, and Martha J. became the wife of George Emory.
David Bass, the subject of this biography, is a native of Deering, N. H., with which locality his early years are associated. He was a pupil of the district school until the age of eleven, after which his education was limited to nine weeks of study during the year, the remainder of the time being devoted to his father's farm, and to such desirable employment as could be obtained in the neighborhood. His first introduction to the world outside his home, was in the city of Boston, where he was variously employed for four years. On the 1st of May, 1845, he married Rebecca J., daughter of Stephen H. CARR of Deering. Their children are: Mary A., deceased, wife of Lyman H. Fulton; Martha J., who died at the age of 14; Lewis C., a resident of New Bedford, married to Mary L. Lomas; and Viola E. Mr. Bass on his marriage returned to New Hampshire and resumed his early occupation, that of a farmer. In 1859 he removed to Antrim, inthe same state, and under the contract system then in vogue, engaged in the manufacture of shovels and hoes. Continuing thus employed for four years, he then returned to the farm, which in 1864 he sold, and began in the city of Lowell, Mass., the manufacture of spools and bobbins. This business was afterward removed to Lawrence, in the same state.
Mr. Bass subsequently spent three years in his former home, at the end of which time he became a resident of Woonsocket. Here he assumed control of the Woonsocket Spool and Bobbin Company, which under his successful management has become one of the important industries of the town. The business has largely increased in dimensions, employs 125 hands, and supplies the markets of the United States, Canada and Mexico. Mr. Bass is a director of the First National Bank, and the Peoples' Savings Bank. He is a republican in politics, but neither a politician nor an office seeker. His religious sympathies are with the Methodist Episcopal church, of which his children are members.
[overlay: engraved portrait of David Bass]
p. 383: George BATCHELOR, son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Townrow) Batchelor, was born in 1850 in London, England. His father came to America in 1854, and located in St. John, N. B., and from there the subject of this sketch came to Woonsocket in 1865, working first in the mills and in the grocery business, until he started the grocery business for himself in 1880. He is fire marshal, also served as such under the town government. He has been town sergeant. He was foreman of Steamer Company No. 1, and also a member of board of fire engineers, and is license commissioner. He married Mary A., daughter of Thomas Miller of Woonsocket, in 1870.
p. 383-84: Jonathan BATTYE, son of Joseph and Ann (Holden) Battye, was born in 1834 in England, came to America and located in Woonsocket in 1853. He worked first in the mills for about two years, then learned the carpenter's trade, working at that about three years, and for a time did carpenter work for Edward Harris. He afterward had charge of different departments of mills up to superintendent. He established himself in the grocery business in 1876, and has been engaged in that ever since, also in buying and selling real estate. He married Mary, daughter of James Halliwell of Woonsocket in 1856. He was educated in England and Woonsocket. He served twice in town council at different times. He is a member of the board of assessors and clerk of the school district.
p. 384: Philippe BOUCHER was born in 1859 in St. Barthelemi, Quebec, was educated in Berthier College, came to Woonsocket in 1872, and first worked in the Hamlet and Social Mills. He established his present business of grocer in 1880. He married Darinaine, daughter of Louis Menard, of Cuntrecoeur, Canada, in 1882. He is president of the St. Jean Baptiste Society, and also president of Ligue-du-Sacre-Coeur Society. He was elected councilman from the Fifth ward upon the formation of the city government.
p. 384: Joseph BOUVIER, son of Francis and Tharsile (Normandin) Bouvier, was born in 1845 in St. Simon, Province of Quebec, and came to Woonsocket with his parents in 1863. He first began working in the mills, a short time afterward engaged in the grocery business off and on for about three years, was also in the tinware business for two years, and in 1868 started for himself in the grocery business. He was married in 1867 to Celina, daughter of Pierre Vincellette, of Waterville, Maine. He is a member of the board of assessors, and was member of the town council two years.
p. 384: Reverend John BOYDEN was born May 14th, 1809, in Sturbridge, Mass. He was ordained in Berlin, Conn., in 1830, preached in Dudley, Mass., six years, and in 1840 became pastor of the New Society in Woonsocket, where he continued for thirty years. He died in 1869."
John R. BOYDEN, son of John and Sarah (Jacobs) Boyden, was born August 22d, 1838, in Dudley, Mass., and came to Woonsocket when only two years old with his parents. He was educated at the high school, Woonsocket, where he graduated, and then entered Tufts College. He taught school in Woonsocket and at Great Falls, N.H., and afterward entered the employ of Woonsocket Rubber Company as treasurer, and was there until he died in 1867. He married A. Olivia, daughter of Willis Cook, of Woonsocket, in 1862. They had one son, John R., who is in the real estate business in Woonsocket.
p. 384: James E. BRADFORD, son of Charles W. and Clarice (Horton) Bradford, was born in 1850 in Smithfield, and was educated in the public schools. He was first employed in the finishing department of a mill. He established business for himself as contractor and builder in 1876. He married Harriet T., daughter of Jonathan Wales, of Woonsocket, in 1868. He was elected councilman for the Second ward upon the formation of city government.
p. 384-85: Gilman BROWN, son of Laban and Annie M. (Mowry) Brown, was born in 1828 in Woonsocket, and was educated in the public schools. He was married first to Sally S., daughter of Ahas Mowry, of Smithfield, in 1851. He married his present wife, Ann Eliza Amanda, daughter of Leander Fenner, of North Providence, in 1868. Mr. Brown has been head farmer in charge of the Harris farm since 1870. He has served as member of town council, and was elected to the general assembly in 1889.
p. 385-86: Alphonzo Watson BUCKLAND, D.D.S. -- The earliest representative of the Buckland family in New England was Thomas Buckland, who was made a freeman in Massachusetts in 1635, became a resident of Windsor, Connn., as early as 1638, and died May 28th, 1662. Temperence, his widow, died July 26th, 1681. In the direct line of descent were Timothy, son of Thomas; Jonathan, son of Timothy; Alexander, son of Jonathan; Erastus, son of Alexander; Lorenzo M., son of Erastus, and lastly the subject of this biography, who is the son of Lorenzo M. Buckland. Erastus Buckland, the grandfather of Alphonzo W., married Sally Heath. Their son, Lorenzo M., was born February 7th, 1810, in Broad Brook, Harford county, Conn., and married Julia Hull, of East Windsor, Conn., on the 3d of August, 1811.
Alphonzo W., the fourth child of this union, was born at Washington, Van Buren couty, Iowa, June 19th, 1843, and in early childhood removed to Broad Brook, Conn., where his youth was spent. His elementary education was begun at the district school, his studies continued at the Wesleyan Academy at Wilbraham, Mass., and at the Providence Conference Seminary, at East Greenwich, R.I. He had meanwhile at intervals added to his slender means by teaching school. Determining to enter the service during the late war as an attache of the signal service, he was diverted from his purpose by an advantageous offer to repair to the oil regions of Pennsylvania, where he spent nearly three years. Doctor Buckland, soon after his return and on the 10th of October, 1866, married Helen Augusta Marble, daughter of Joel Waters Marble, and his wife, Mary Ann Harding, of Southbridge, Mass. The children of this marriage are three daughters: Florence M., Alice M. and Bessie M.
Doctor Buckland, after his marriage, chose dentistry as his profession, and removing to Philadelphia, began his studies under the preceptorship of Doctor Charles A. Kingsbury, graduating from the Philadelphia Dental College in 1871. Having previously located in Woonsocket, he returned and there established himself in his profession. He speedily acquired a reputation for skill as an operator, and with it an extended practice. Among his professional confreres in the state he enjoys an enviable position, and his clinics before the classes in the various New England colleges are highly valued. His status in the profession may well be indicated by the fact that he is a member of the New England Dental Society, of the Rhode Island Dental Society, and of the Rhode Island Board of Registration in Dentistry.
Doctor Buckland is president of the Woonsocket Electric Machine and Power Company, and of the Woonsocket Spool and Bobbin Company, and director of both the Producers' and the People's Savings Banks. He is connected by membership with the First Methodist Episcopal church of Woonsocket, and is a member of both its board of stewards and trustees. He is a member of Washington Lodge, No. 70, F. & A. M., of Windsor, Conn.; of Union Chapter, No. 6, and of Woonsocket Commandery, No. 23 of Woonsocket, of which he is a past commander. He is also a member of Washington Lodge, No. 1269, Knights of Honor, and of various social and protective organizations.
[Overlay: engraved portrait of A. W. Buckland]
p. 386: Frank A. CAMPBELL, son of Patrick and Jane (Mercer) Campbell, was born in 1858 in Providence, R.I., and came to Woonsocket in 1879. He established his business of merchant tailor in 1880. He was tax collector in 1886-87, and is postmaster of Woonsocket, taking the office in 1888. He was married to Delia Burke, of Woonsocket, in 1883.
p. 386: Joseph P. CHILDS, son of John Burnap and Polly (Ganson) Childs, was born in 1815 in Pittsfield, Vt. He came to Woonsocket in 1840 and was employed in a hotel a number of years. He then carried on the grocery business a number of years and afterward went into the florist business and followed that the rest of his days. He died in 1883. He was at one time sheriff. He married Mary A., daughter of Robert Smith, of Bellingham, Mass., in 1844.
p. 386: Leroy L. CHILSON, son of Nathan and Susan R. Chilson, was born in 1833 in Bellingham, Mass., and was educated in district and select schools of Bellingham and North Providence. He taught school in Mendon, Blackstone and Pawtucket. He came to Woonsocket in 1868 and purchased from F. S. Weeks the stationery business that he has since carried on. He was a member of the general assembly and for 10 or 12 years a member of the school board, and president of the same since the formation of the city government. He married Fannie E., daughter of Preston Warfield, of Blackstone, Mass., in 1858.
p. 386-87: Joseph E. COLE -- Isaac Cole, of Sandwich, in the couty of Kent, England, and the progenitor of the family represented by the subject of this sketch, came to America with his wife Joan and two children in the ship "Hercules", and settled in Charlestown, Mass. Their son John Cole, in 1651, married Susannah, youngest daughter of William and Ann Hutchinson, the latter of whom was banished from the colonies on account of her religious faith. Of the ten children of this marriage William Cole died in 1734. He married, in 1701, Ann Pinder, whose children were nine in number. Their eldest son, John, the great-grandfather of the subject of this biography, was twice married, his second wife being Mary Bissell. They had six children, [one] of whom [was] Captain John Cole, born July 6th, 1749, died May 15th, 1825. He married Virtue Davis, to whom were born children: William, Thomas Bissell, William Davis, Mary, Edward, Esther, Isett, Hannah and Lucy. Edward Cole, the fourth son, was born April 18th, 1786, and died February 5th, 1852. He married Margaret, daughter of Joseph Pierce in 1815. Their children were: Sarah Ann, Sybil Pierce and Joseph Edward.
Their only son, Joseph Edward, the subject of this sketch, was born November 18th, 1824, in North Kingstown, R.I., where upon the farm owned by his father his youthful years were spent. His first educational advantages were received at the country schools, after which he attended successively the Wickford and East Greenwich academies. He then for a period employed the winter months in teaching, and spent the summer in the varied duties pertaining to a farmer's life. He was for a year and a half in charge of the school at Wakefield and met with much success in his avocation. Being desirous to enter the arena of business, Mr. Cole, in his 22d year removed to Providence as bookkeeper and clerk in a drug and dye house, and later accepted a position as bookkeeper in a print works in Johnston, R.I. Here he remained four and a half years, and in 1854 effected an engagement with Edward Harris at Woonsocket. He was very successful soon after in establishing a growing trade in Boston, and made his presence felt in the management of this extensive business. In 1857 he was given an interest and confined his attention specially to the finances and the trade which had been successfully built up in Boston. The happy result of this venture led Mr. Harris to open a house in New York for the sale of fabrics of his mills, and it devolved upon Mr. Cole to organize the business at that point. This he accordingly did and remained in that city until the enterprise was an assured success.
This extensive manufacturing interest was subsequently reorganized as the Harris Woolen Company, of which he is one of the partners and treasurer of the organization. Mr. Cole was made president of the Woonsocket First National Bank on the death of Mr. Harris, and is also president of the People's Savings Bank. In 1876, on a reorganization of the American Worsted Company, he was solicited to accept the presidency and still fills that office. In politics Mr. Cole is a staunch republican and has been to some extent identified with local political issues. He was for nine years a member of the school board and part of this time its president. In 1888 he represented his constituents in the state senate, and acted as chairman of the finance committee of that body. His religious support is given to the Methodist Episcopal church, of which Mrs. Cole is a member.
Mr. Cole married, October 12th, 1857, Mary K., daughter of William L. and Mary Ann Peckham, of Bristol, R.I. Their children are: Edward Peckham (deceased), Walter Hutchinson, Mary Louise and Frederic Pierce .
[Overlay: engraved portrait of Joseph E. Cole]
p. 387-88: Henry L. COOK, son of Zebina and Phila (Bartlett) Cook, was born in 1840 in Woonsocket, then Cumberland, and was educated in the district schools. He first engaged in farming and the ice business, was on the police force for four years, and afterward for four years was superintendent of streets. He married Olive B., daughter of Luman Hardy, of Carroll, N.H., in 1861.
p. 388: Ira B. COOK, son of Aquilla and Olive (Bates) Cook, was born in 1842 in Bellingham, Mass., and was educated in the public schools of Bellingham and Woonsocket, and at the Bernardston Academy, Massachusetts. He was married in 1866 to Ida, daughter of Carlile W. Capron, of Woonsocket. Mr. Cook served in the 42d Massachusetts Volunteers, went out lieutenant and was afterward made captain of Company B. On his return from the war he took up the brush manufacturing business as manager for his father, who carried on the business in Woonsocket for many years. At the death of his father he sold the business and retired. He is at present interested in real estate in Chicago, is a director in the Woonsocket Institution for Savings, and one of the board of investment, also a director in the American Worsted Company.
p. 388: James E. COOK, son of Davis T. and Abby (Hoag) Cook, was born in 1851 in Woonsocket, and was educated in the public schools. He was married in 1879 to Annie W., daughter of John T. Carter, of Salem, Mass. He has served as a member of town council, filled the position of clerk of the republican town organization for several years, was for six years a member of the school committee, and chairman of the board two years. He was elected alderman of the Fourth ward upon the formation of the city government in 1888, and elected president of the board in January, 1889. Mr. Cook is teller of the First National Bank of Woonsocket.
p. 388: Joseph B. COOK, son of Zebina and Phila (Bartlett) Cook, was born in 1837 in what was then Cumberland, now Woonsocket, and was educated at the district school. He was married in 1878 to Millsa, daughter of James Lake, of Cumberland. They have two children, Joseph B. and Millsa S.
p. 388-90: Willis and Lyman Arnold COOK, sons of Levi and Rhoda (Darling) Cook, were born in the town of Cumberland, R.I.; Willis, September 5th, 1803, and Lyman A., December 15th, 1805. Their father, a prosperous farmer and a man of sterling worth, was a member of assembly, and prominent in the the affairs of his town. There being but two years difference in the ages of the brothers, they were naturally brought together on the farm and at school during the winter months. This association ripened into an almost life-long partnership at Woonsocket, covering 50 years of development of the town, in which they bore no small part. Leaving home at the ages of 17 and 18 respectively, they learned the machinist's trade, at which they worked, turning their pay over to their father, until the last year of their minority, when each bought his time for $100, and continued to work at day wages. Saving a portion of their earnings each year until 1828, they that year formed a copartnership with Willing Vose for the building of machinery, under the firm name of Willis Cook & Co. They conducted a successful business until burned out in 1835. Leasing ground and water power they soon after built a foundry and machine shop, and made various improvements in the property. Mr. Vose at a later date withdrew from the company.
In 1846 they added to their business the manufacture of cotton goods, continuing it for 12 years, when they leased this mill to other parties, but continued the foundry and machine works. At the expiration of the first 15 years' lease it was renewed, and within the second term, they purchased the whole property, including a large estate on the opposite side of Main street, where they erected dwellings, store and office buildings, the last of which, completed in 1868, is known as Cook's Block, now one of the finest buildings in the town. The mill property was sold in 1868, at which time they retired from the machine business, but retained their other landed estates. A few years later the copartnership of 50 years duration was dissolved by mutual agreement, Willis purchasing the company's real estate, while Lyman invested in other manufacturing interests. This long business association is remarkable in its uniform record of integrity and unquestioned financial credit and stability during the whole time.
In politics Mr. Willis Cook was an old line whig, an active and earnest opponent of the Dorr party, and later promintently identified with the republican party. He served at different times as a member of the general assembly, but did not seek political offices, often refusing when asked to accept them. During the greater part of his business career he was connected with the Smithfield Union Bank, as director from 1833, and as president of that corporation, now the National Union Bank, continuously from 1862 until his death, which occurred February 11th, 1882. He was one of the original incorporators of the Woonsocket Institution for Savings in 1845, was subsequently a trustee and director, and in 1873 was made its president. He contributed largely to its success, by attention to its investments, and advice to its management. He was an active director of the Woonsocket Gas Company, and the American Worsted Company.
Mr. Cook was from early life interested in the subject of religion. He founded his belief upon the views of universal salvation, as proclaimed by the Reverend Hosea Ballou, and through his influence, with that of others, various Universalist divines, including Mr. Ballou, were induced to expound their faith to the people of Woonsocket. Mr. Cook assisted in establishing the first Sunday school in Woonsocket, a union school for all denominations. In 1834 he with others was instrumental in organizing a Universalist society, and later a Sunday school and church. He was for many years president of the society, and until 1879 a member of the prudential committee, when ill health compelled his withdrawal. He contributed largely toward the support of the society, and was influential in its growth and prosperity. He was distinguished for immovable integrity and uprightness, for his interest in all matters pertaining to the good of the town, state and nation, for thoroughness in all he undertook, and for sound judgement in matters of business.
Mr. Cook married July 3d, 1828, Cyrena Thayer, daughter of Moses and Anna (Paine) Thayer, of Mendon, Mass. Their children are: Eliphalet S., Horace C. (deceased), Ann Janette T., Madora (Mrs. R. G. Randall), Cyrena J. (Mrs. J. B. Aldrich), A. Olivia (Mrs. J. R. Boyden), Susan A. (Mrs. Henry L. Ballou), Ednah L. (deceased), and Gertude (Mrs. R. A. Bullock, deceased).
Mr. Lyman A. Cook, in addition to the partnership business of the brothers, has been active in the organization and promotion of several other manufacturing interests, which have been successful, given employment to many, and contributed to the growth of this and other localities. He was one of the organizers of the Bailey Wringing Machine Company, and on its incorporation was elected its president. He was, in 1863, elected president of the Woonsocket National Bank and held the same position in the Pawtucket Hair Cloth Company, and Hautin Sewing Maching Company, and the Narragansett Nail Company. He was also a large owner in the Lawrence Felting Mills at Millville, Mass., and is a director in the Providence & Worcester Railroad Company, and president of the Woonsocket Institution for Savings. He has also from time to time held considerable interests in other mechanical and mining enterprises.
Mr. Cook has not been an active participant in politics, but has at various times represented the town in both branches of the general assembly. Formerly a whig, he is now allied to the republican party. In religion he for many years worshipped with the Baptists, and later at the Protestant Episcopal church, of which he is a member and the senior warden. He has always been a liberal contributor to the organizations with which he was interested.
Mr. Cook married September 22d, 1830, Lavina B. Smith. They had three children: George Smith (deceased), Henry Lyman (deceased) and Edward Lyman. Mr. Cook has always enjoyed the esteem of his fellow citizens, energy, tenacity of purpose and integrity having characterized all the actions of his life. He is still, though advanced in years, much interested in the city of his residence.
[Overlay: engraved portrait of Willis Cook]
p. 390-91: Reuben Olney COOKE.-- Silas Cooke, the grandfather of Reuben O. Cooke, was a resident of Pelham, Mass., where his death occurred. He married Joanna Darling, whose son, Reuben Cooke, was a farmer in the town of Franklin, Mass. The wife of the latter was Martha Whipple of Cumberland, R.I., to whom were born children; Elias, Lyman, Elmira (Mrs. John Chilson, deceased), Didama (Mrs. Orren Chilson, deceased), Mary Ann (Mrs. Benjamin Foster, deceased), Alpha (Mrs. W. B. Darling, who was a second time married to Fenner Cook, deceased), and Reuben O.
Reuben O. was born June 22d, 1822, in Bellingham, Mass., and when six years of age removed with his father to Franklin in the same state. He attended the common and high school, and the Smithfield Academy, after which the duties pertaining to the farm occupied his attention until his twentieth year. He then came to Woonsocket, spent a year in a machine shop and at the expiration of that time engaged in the grocery business, remaining thus employed for two years. After a brief residence in Syracuse, N.Y., Mr. Cooke established himself again in Woonsocket in the auction business, and continued for four years to maintain a profitable patronage. In 1856 he began a grocery and drug business, which was in turn sold, and in 1873 the flourishing baking business, which is still continued on Main street, was purchased.
Mr. Cooke was married May 30th, 1847, to Lydia A., daughter of Eugene T. Martin of Woonsocket. Their children are: Emma G., wife of Charles E. Ballou; Frank A., who has an interest in his father's business; Ferdinand E. and Irving L., who are also engaged with their father in the bakery.
Mr. Cooke is a director in the Producers' National Bank and president of the Producers' Savings' Bank. He is a member of Morning Star Lodge, No. 13, F, & A. M., Union Chapter No. 5, and Woonsocket Commandery No. 23, as also of Woonsocket Council, R. & S. M., No. 4 and Providence Consistory, A. & A. S. R. Mr. Cooke is a republican, but not active in the arena of politics. He has held some local offices, but usually declined such official distinctions.
[Overlay: engraved portrait of R. O. Cooke]
p. 391: Samuel P. COOK, son of A. Lindsey and Mary H. (Phillips) Cook, was born in 1852 in Albion, R.I., and was educated at the high school, Woonsocket. He married Lucia G., daughter of Lucius M. Moses in 1883. Mr. Cook has been connected with the Producers' Bank since 1870, is cashier of the Producers' National Bank, and secretary and treasurer of the Producers' Savings Bank. He was elected town treasurer in 1885, serving since that time, and was elected city treasurer upon the formation of the city government.
p. 391-92: G. W. CUMNOCK, son of R. L. and Margaret (Goodlet) Comnock, was born in Mason, N.H., was educated in public schools of Mason, and at the age of 17 went to Lawrence Academy, Groton, Mass., graduating from the scientific department in 1877. He started in the spinning department of the Great Falls Manufacturing Company, Great Falls., N.H., where he remained one year. He afterward went to Fall River, starting in the picker house of the Robeson Mills, in which place he learned to run every machine in the carding department. He then went to the Pacific Mills, Lawrence, Mass., in charge of the carding department, remaining two years. He next engaged with the Saratoga Victory Manufacturing Company to change their Horican Mill from fancy goods to plain print goods so that one man could superintend all their mills. He was afterward offered the management of the Piedmont Mills, Piedmont, S.C., one of the largest in the South, which he refused. He afterward made arrangements with the Whitin Machine Works, Whitinsville, Mass., to serve a term of years at building and engineering. They were the most thorough builders of cotton machinery in the country. He entered their works in 1881, remaining until 1886. He worked up plans for a small cotton mill, which he exhibited at the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition held in New Orleans in 1884-5, which took the grand gold medal. He remained in the South as selling agent for the Whitin Machine Works, placing their machinery, locating mills and general engineering until 1886. Since that time he has been general manager of manufacturing for the Social Manufacturing Company.
p. 392: Godfroy DAIGNEAULT was born in 1849 in the province of Quebec, where he was educated. He came to Woonsocket when he was 17 years old, and first worked in the mills for one year, then learned the carpenter trade, working in Providence for two years, and continued in the business until 1874, when he established his meat business. He also has a meat business in Blackstone, which he started in 1886, and engaged in the coal and wood, stone and teaming business, and real estate. He has been a member of the town council. He married Elmire, daughter of Levi A. Archambault, of St. Hyacinth, P. Q., in 1870.
p. 392: Henry M. DARLING, son of Ellis B. and Tamzin (Hoag) Darling, was born in 1839 in Woonsocket, at that time Cumberland, and was educated in the public schools. He has served twice as a member of the town council. In 1863 he was married to Juliett, daughter of William Smith of Blackstone.
p. 392: Alvertus DEAN, son of James M. and Patience W. (Holbrook) Dean, was born in 1851 in Woonsocket, and was educated at the Woonsocket high school. He has been connected with the P. & W. railroad since 1873, four years as clerk at Woonsocket, then agent at Milford, where he remained two years, and in 1879 he succeeded B. W. Johnson as agent at Woonsocket. He was married in 1878 to Sarah L., daughter of Isaac N. Crosby of Milford, Mass. His father was for many years superintedent of mills.
p. 392: Frederic DULUDE was born in 1859 in Chambly, Quebec, came to Woonsocket in 1870, and established his present business under the firm name of Dulude & Trahant, in 1881. The firm was dissolved in 1883, and the business has since been carried on by him. He married Azilda, daughter of Francois Breault, of St. Simon, Quebec, in 1877. He was marshal in St. Jean Baptiste Society, and connected with it for a number of years. He was elected councilman from Fifth ward upon the formation of the city government.
p. 392-93: Daniel M. EDWARDS, M.D., son of Azariah an Catharine (Mann) Edwards, was born in Lincoln, Penobscot county, Maine, in 1844, graduated at Michigan University in 1867, and is a member of R.I. Medical Society He came to Woonsocket in 1869 and practiced medicine until 1888. He became a stockholder in the Woonsocket Spool & Bobbin Company in 1885, and has been treasurer of the same since April, 1888. He erected the Hope Building in 1877, built the Edwards Block in 1878 and the bobbin shop in 1885. He was married in 1870 to Laura, daughter of Doctor Ariel Ballou of Woonsocket. He was with the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery from 1863 until the regiment was mustered out.
p. 393: L. W. ELLIOTT, son of Nathaniel and Malinda (Caswell) Elliott, was born in 1834 in Middleboro, Mass., and was educated in the district schools. He came to Woonsocket at 11 years of age and first worked in the mills three or four years, then worked for his brother in the grocery business. He afterward established himself in the teaming business, which he carried on for seven or eight years and later kept a boarding and livery stable in Providence for about three years. In 1868 he went into the hotel business in Woonsocket in company with William O. Mason. Mr. Mason was only interested for about eleven months, since which time the business has been carried on by Mr. Elliott. About 1869 the present house was built, called the Monument House (the old one being moved), and a hall in connection, known as Elliott's Opera House, which has of late been altered into an extension to the hotel. Mr. Elliott married Hannah T., daughter of James Townsend, of Sheffield, Vt.
p. 393-94: John W. ELLIS.-- Seth Ellis, the grandfather of John W. Ellis, resided in Medfield, Mass. His son, John Ellis, married Almira A. Fisher, also of Medfield. The children of this marriage are: Charles H., John W., William F. and Harriet A., wife of Allen F. Ballou. John W. Ellis, the second son in order of birth, is a native of Woonsocket, where he was born September 7th, 1845, and to which town his father removed in 1839. He was educated at the New Hampton Institution, graduating in 1863, and at once engaging in the profession of civil engineering. From that date he began, unaided, his career of signal success. During the years 1864-5 he was employed on the western terminus of the Boston, Harford & Erie railroad, and from 1865 to 1867 as assistant engineer on the extension of the New London & Northern railroad. From 1867 to 1869 he acted in the same capacity for the Troy & Greenfield railroad, and in the latter year returned to Woonsocket, where he opened an office and established himself in the general engineering business. Since that date Mr. Ellis has prosecuted his profession and been identified with many of the important interests of the locality. In 1873 he was made chief engineer of the Providence and Worcester railroad, and continued to fill the duties involved in the holding of this office until the leasing of the property to another corporation in 1888. During this period the road was largely reconstructed, new and capacious depots erected, and important bridges built. He was the engineer on the construction of the Woonsocket water works, and on the sale of the franchise and works to the town in 1885, was made chairman of the board of water commissioners, which position he still holds.
Mr. Ellis has been one of the leading spirits in the development of the business and public interests of Woonsocket, and is identified with nearly every public movement and many financial enterprises of magnitude. He is president of the Woonsocket National Bank, a member of the board of investment of the Woonsocket Institution for Savings, and one of its most trusted advisers, director of the Woonsocket Gas Company, member of the committee on management of the Woonsocket Gas Compnay, trustee and chairman of the executive committee of Oak Hill Cemetery, member of the committee on sale of the Woonsocket Manfacturing Company's property, commissioner of topographical survey of the state of Rhode Island, chairman of the board of water commissioners of the city of Woonsocket, trustee and chairman of the executive committee of the Woonsocket Hospital, member of the Boston Society of Civil Engineers and the imcumbent of many other offices of more or less importance. In addition to these varied trusts he has for four years been engaged in a general engineering business throughout the New England states.
Mr. Ellis in his religious views sympathizes with the doctrines of the Universalist church, and is a member of the prudential commitee of the Universalist Society of Woonsocket. He was married May 23d, 1870, to Mary F. Howe, daughter of Eben Howe and Hannah H. Sanborn, of New Hampton, N.H. Their children are: John, Walter H., Harry E. (deceased), Edith A. and Marion.
[Overlay: engraved portrait of John W. Ellis]
p. 394: Darius D. FARNUM, son of Jonathan and Minerva (Buxton) Farnum, was born in 1827, in Uxbridge, Mass., came to Woonsocket in 1844, and was for 35 years connected with the late Edward Harris and the Harris Woolen Company, first as bookkeeper and afterward as a member of the company. He held the office of clerk of the consolidated school corporation for several years. He is a director in the First National and National Globe Banks. He was elected councilman from the Fourth ward upon the formation of the city government. He was married in 1851 to Adeline, daughter of Peter Darling, of Cumberland.
p. 394: William I. FOLLETT, son of Isaac and Ann E. (Remington) Follett, was born in 1834, in Smithfield, now Lincoln, and was educated in the district school. He came to Woonsocket, locating on his present farm, in 1877. He learned the cooper's trade, and followed it for 20 years. Since that time he has followed farming. He married Harriet, daughter of Thomas Harris, of Smithfield, in 1856.
p. 394-95: John B. FOUNTAIN, son of Charles and Sophia (Oliver) Fountain, was born in 1837 in Canada, and was educated in Canada. He came to Woonsocket in 1863, and learned his trade with Hubbard & Page, being with them three years. He was afterward foreman for N. Elliot for ten years, and in 1878 started business for himself as contractor and builder. He married Ella, daughter of Nelson Praray, of Woonsocket, in 1864. He served as a member of the town council, is a member of the school committee of the Fifth ward, also warden.
p. 395: E. Charles FRANCIS, son of Eben and Mary (Hunnewell) Francis, was born in 1851, in Utica, N.Y. He came to Woonsocket in 1870, and entered the Woonsocket National Bank as clerk, was afterward teller and is now assistant cashier. He was educated in the public schools of Cambridge, Mass. He married Gertrude, daughter of Charles Nourse, of Woonsocket, in 1886. Mr. Francis is one of the assessors of taxes, and was colonel on Governor Littlefield's staff.
p. 395: Irving GASKILL, son of Elisha and Sarah (Steere) Gaskill, was born in 1842, in Woonsocket, and was educated in the public schools and high school of Woonsocket. He followed the ice business for five years, the rest of the time farming. He served in the 9th Infantry and 3d R.I. Cavalry. He was married, in 1868, to Mary, daughter of James Phillips, of Scotland.
p. 395: A. GAULIN, son of Nicholas and Marie (Lamothe) Gaulin, was born in 1845, in St. Hugues, Canada. He came to Woonsocket with his parents in 1867 and worked first in the mills for nine months, then in the grocery business for D. Sylvester for five years, and in 1872 started in the grocery business for himself, which he carried on about fourteen years. Since 1866 he has been in the real estate business. He was married in 1873 to Elmire, daughter of Felix Marcoux, of St. Barthelemi, Canada. He was elected tax collector in 1889.
p. 395: Emerson GODDARD, son of Emerson and Mary (Smith) Goddard, was born in 1819, in Orange, Mass. He learned the daguerreotype business in Boston, went from there to Fitchburg, thence to Nantucket Island, and in 1846 came to Woonsocket, where he has since carried on the photograph business. He was the first moderator when the town was set off, for two years, was five years on school committee and president one year. He started the Commandery in Woonsocket in 1867, was master of the Lodge and high priest of the Chapter, an officer in the Grand Lodge seventeen years, and deputy grand high priest in the Chapter five years. He married Jane E., daughter of Elisha Addington, of Worcester, Mass.
p. 395: James R. GOULD, son of James and Mary Ann (Springer) Gould, was born in 1829, in Providence, and was educated in the public schools. He came to Woonsocket in 1861, and has since been connected with the Woonsocket Baking Company as foreman. He married Harriet, daughter of Daniel Darling, of Blackstone, Mass., in 1849. He was elected councilman of Third ward upon the formation of the city government.
p. 395-96: George H. GRANT.-- Eliphus and Mary (Whipple) Grant were the grandparents of George H. Grant. His father, Arunah Grant, married Eliza Darling of Wrentham, Mass. The children of this marriage are: William D., Charles E., George H. and several who died in youth. George H., the eldest of the living children, was born December 11th, 1837, in Woonsocket, where with the exception of brief intervals he has since resided. His education was begun at the public schools, from which he entered the Smithfield Seminary in North Scituate and later graduated from the Woonsocket High School. Desiring to become master of a self-supporting trade, he entered the maching shops of Edward Harris and spent three years as an apprentice to the trade of a machinist. He then found employment in Woonsocket, and afterward in Providence.
In 1861, while engaged in the former town, during the outbreak of the late civil war, he entered the service as lieutenant of Company K, First Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers, and participated in the battle of Bull Run. Returning at the expiration of his enlistment period of three months, he raised a company, which was merged into the Fifth Regiment Heavy Artillery, known as Company D, of which he became captain. He was present at the battles of Roanoke Island, Newbern and at the taking of Fort Macon.
Mr. Grant was compelled by ill health to resign, and on returing to his native town resumed his trade, having soon after been made foreman of the machine shops and foundry of Edward Harris. Three years later he accepted an engagement with the Groton Manufacturing Company as foreman of their machine shops, and continued this relation for one year, after which he became the superintendent of the mills. In 1883 this industry was reorganized as the Eagle Mills, of which he is the superintendent.
Mr. Grant has been a lifelong and ardent republican. He has been for several years a member of the town council, and a portion of this time its president. On the incorporation of Woonsocket as a city, he had the honor of being elected its first mayor, which office he now holds. He is a member of Morning Star Lodge, No. 1269, Knights of Honor; of Woonsocket Lodge, No. 10, I.O.O.F., and of Smith Post, No. 9, G.A.R., all of Woonsocket. He worships with the congregation of the Univeralist Church.
Mr. Grant was in 1865 married to Ellen F., daughter of Franklin Rand, of Pawtucket. Their children are: Harriet E., wife of James E. Pratt, of Woonsocket; George F., Edwin S., Ellen F. and William H.
[overlay: engraved portrait of Geo. H. Grant]
p. 396: Albert E. GREENE was born in 1839, in North Scituate, and came with his parents to Woonsocket in 1849. He is a son of James and Louisa (Phillips) Greene-- the former born in Coventry, the latter in Scituate. He was educated in the public schools of Woonsocket. He married, in 1871, Edna F., daughter of Stephen L. Sprague, of Providence. He was clerk in the post office previous to going to the war. He enlisted in the First R.I. Infantry and was appointed first sergeant. Afterward he was commissioned lieutenant in Company B, Heavy Artillery, and was made captain in January, 1863. He was clerk for N. Elliott, contractor and builder, from 1870 to 1874. He was elected town clerk in 1874, and served in that office until elected city clerk upon the formation of the city government.
p. 396: James HANDLEY was born in 1856, in Smithfield, and is a son of James and Ann (Hourigan) Handley. He was educated at the public schools. He learned the trade of moulder and worked at that four years. He engaged in the meat business in Woonsocket in 1877 under firm name of Handley & Coulahan, which continued five years, and since that time has carried it on himself. He served several years on the democratic town committee, and served as highway commissioner. He is one of the charter members of the Catholic Knights, was one of the organizers of the Union Brass Band, also the Woonsocket Temperance Brass Band. He was twice elected to town council. He married Kate, daughter of Charles Riley, of Woonsocket, in 1884.
p. 397-399: Edward HARRIS, son of David F. and Lydia (Streeter) Harris, was born in Smithfield, R.I., October 3d, 1801, and died at his home in Woonsocket November 24th, 1872. In early childhood his parents removed to Dutchess country, N.Y., and remained until 1818, when their son became a resident of Ashtabula county, Ohio. His boyhood and youth were spent at home, his time being employed in farming, studying and teaching school. What he lacked in literary attainments he made good in critical observance of men and things, thus laying the foundation of character that fitted him to become one the ablest business men of the country.
In 1823 he returned from the West to his place of nativity with 25 cents as his capital, and became assistant in the counting house of his uncle, William Harris, then an extensive manufacturer at Valley Falls, R.I. In 1824 he entered the Albion Mills, then owned by William and Samuel Harris, and Isaac Wilkinson. He first worked for his Uncle William, and then for his Uncle Samuel, at $1.33 per day, saving at the end of eighteen months $106, which was devoted to the payment of his debts. During the second year he received higher wages, and promotion to the superintendence of the factory, which he held until 1828. In November of that year he became the agent of the Harris Lime Rock Company, engaged in the manufacture of lime, and held that position until November 1st, 1830. In 1831, with a capital of $3,500, saved from his earnings, with the exception of $1,000, borrowed from his father, he bought a small woolen mill known as "Number 1" of the Harris Woolen Company, with one set of machinery, situated on the Blackstone river at Woonsocket, and in March, 1831, began the manufacture of satinets, with Edward Seagrave and Willard B. Johnson as associates. A decline in woolen goods necessitated his relinquishing this enterprise, and Mr. Harris returned to the Albion Mill, still retaining an interest in his satinet mill. During the following year the advance in his fabrics netted him $5,000, and this may be taken as the starting point of his great business success. Dissolving the partnership in 1837 he ever after carried on business alone. In 1836 his stone mill in Woonsocket was built, designated as mill "Number 2", in which he began the manufacture of his "merino cassimere", and in 1842 he produced all-wool fabrics, extensively known as "Harris Cassimeres". In 1844 was built factory "Number 3", a large brick and stone structure in the central part of Woonsocket. In 1845 factory "Number 4" was erected, and work commenced in it. All these mills were run by water from the Woonsocket Falls, supplemented by steam power, and are known as the "old mills". They contained 25 sets of wool cards, and produced 12,000 yards of "Harris Cassimeres" per week. Cotton mill "Number 5" has 7,000 spindles. In 1860 Mr. Harris commenced his mill "Number 6", called the "New Mill", just north of the town, on Mill river, and this was the last great work of his life. It is 442 feet in length, 60 feet wide, and five stories high, containing a Corliss engine of 175 horse power, and a water wheel of 28 feet breast and 40 feet diameter, capable of running the whole mill. The mill has 25 sets of woolen machinery for producing fancy cassimeres and staple woolens. It was finished and set in operation in 1865. Connected with it are a dye house, picker house, foundry, planing and saw mills, and 80 houses with 250 tenements.
Mr. Harris made over 250 styles of cassimeres a year, having for his standard of work, "make the best goods possible". His attention to the details of his immense business was no less diligent than that to the outlines of his plans, and he as critically studied the characters of his principal employees as he did the capacity of the larger water wheels. It was thus clearly a misfortune for one to be found "out of gear" or "wrongly unbalanced". He would not be restricted to the usual customs of trade, and stipulated an exclusive agency with a heavy dealer in New York on condition that all notes taken for "Harris Cassimeres" should be kept by themselves, and that no notes from those holding or dealing in slaves should be put in that package. In 1855 he opened a warehouse in New York city, and made his bills payable two months shorter than those of other houses, allowing from two and a half to five per cent, to his patrons for early payments, thus being surer of his pay and suffering much less than others in the crisis of 1857. When others suspended, he bought supplies cheaply and drove his mills vigorously. When other declined all credits in 1861, Mr. Harris allowed three months credit, and thus increased his business. His robust constitution, clear head and great energy carried him through responsibilities of great magnitude. Rising early he attended to the details of his extensive business, and would not trust to others what he could do himself. His various milling interests he incorporated into the "Harris Woolen Company", to be continued as such after his death.
While Mr. Harris was amassing a great fortune he was mindful of the welfare of others. There is reason to believe the sum of his donations was half a million. He spent about $100,000 constructing new streets in Woonsocket. He also donated the site for the Woonsocket High School, the site for a district school, and the land for the Oak Hill Cemetery. In June, 1863, he donated to his townsmen the elegant block and grounds known as the "Harris Institute", for the purpose of promoting the moral, intellectual and social improvement of the inhabitants of the vicinity. It embraces a free library, a large hall for free lectures, and on the ground floor three stores and the post office, from which there is an increasing revenue for the support of the lectures and increase of library, the whole building and site having cost Mr. Harris $75,000. He gave $2,500 to form the nucleus of a library, which now has more than 8,000 volumes.
To the banking institutions of Woonsocket Mr. Harris contributed largely in patronage and influence. He was one of the originators and the first president of the Railroad Bank, organized in 1851, afterward known as the First National Bank, and held the office until his death. In 1862 he became president of the People's Savings Bank, which office he filled during the remainder of his life. In middle life he was a member of both branches of the Rhode Island general assembly. He was a strong opponent of intemperance and slavery, and intimate with the leading abolitionists. While known as such he was desired to omit his name from his fabrics to increase the Southern sales. Instead he ordered his name placed on both ends of each piece of cassimere. He contributed much to the anti-slavery cause, and rejoiced in the emancipation of the slave. While John Brown was a prisoner under sentence of death, Mr. Harris wrote him a very Christian and consoling letter, enclosing a check for $100 for his bereaved family. This was received and acknowledged in a letter written by John Brown the day before his execution. Mr. Harris married first, December 2d, 1835, Rachel, daughter of Moses Farnham, of Blackstone, Mass,., who died February 7th, 1846. Their children were: David F. and Rachel F. (deceased), wife of Oscar J. Rathbun, of Woonsocket. The second wife of Mr. Harris was Abby P., daughter of Joseph Metcalf, of Cumberland, R.I. Their children were: Joseph M., Emma G., Isabel and Helen. Joseph M. died in Berlin, Prussia, October 21st, 1872.
[overlay: engraved portrait of Edward Harris]
p. 399-400: Frank HARRIS is the grandson of William Harris, who married Sarah Wilkinson, daughter of Abraham Wilkinson, of Pawtucket. His father was Abraham Wilkinson Harris, one of the argonauts of '49 to the Pacific coast and now a resident of Kingston, New Mexico. He married Hannah Bucknell, daughter of Benjamin Bucknell and Eliza, his wife. The children of this union are: Elizabeth Vila (deceased), Frank, Anne Wilkinson, and William. Frank, the oldest son, was born April 12th, 1855, on a ranch near Centreville, California, where he resided until his eleventh year, the date of his removal to Providence. With the exception of intervals of travel, much of his youth was spent in Wrentham, Massachusetts. Here he prepared for college and entered Brown University, from which institution he was graduated in the class of 1878.
Mr. Harris immediately began mercantile life as accountant for Addison Q. Fisher, of Providence, and was for three years employed in that capacity, subsequently being admitted as a partner under the firm name of Fisher & Harris, brokers and commission merchants. On the retirement of Mr. Fisher he formed a copartnership with Charles F. Tarbell, of Providence, the firm three months later purchasing the Hamlet Mills at Woonsocket. On the first of January, 1889, Mr. Harris, having secured the interest of his partner, became the sole owner of this extensive milling property. By the judicious expenditure of means many improvements have been made in the various departments and the products of the mills brought to a high state of perfection under their present ownership.
Mr. Harris is a director of the Woonsocket Gas Company and of the Woonsocket Business Men's Association, member of the Calumet Club and of the Slater Club (protective association), both of Providence, and of the New England Manufacturers' Association. Aside from his membership in the Providence Press Club he is not identified with other social of business organizations. His brief residence in Woonsocket has precluded active participation in local political affairs, though he was elected alderman in the fall of 1889. His religious belief is in harmony with the creed of the Congregational church, of which he is a member.
Mr. Harris married, October 20th, 1886, Ellen, daughter of the late Samuel H. Reynolds, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, one of the most brilliant representatives of the bar of that state.
[overlay; 'artotype' portrait of Frank Harris]
p. 400-401: Benoni HAWKINS, son of Elisha and Rhody C. (Comstock) Hawkins, was born in 1844 in Coventry, R.I., and was educated in the public schools of Coventry. He came to Woonsocket in 1870 and first went to work in the spool and bobbin business, and in 1871 went into partnership in the firm of Bass Bros. & Co. They dissolved and the business was sold to a Fall River corporation, he going with them. Afterward he bought out the American Spool Company, of Westerly, and moved it to Woonsocket, running it four years. He sold an interest to David Bass, the business afterward being sold to Thisell, Lamson & Welch. He was interested in the Woonsocket Yarn Company for six years, and in the Woonsocket Lumber Company six years. He also ran another lumber business under the name of B. Hawkins & Co.; afterward sold his lumber business to the Woonsocket Spool & Bobbin Company, having an interest in that company until April, 1888. He then started the Globe Knitting Company in partnership with Henry S. Houghton, which was dissolved at the end of four months, and run by him alone until August, 1889, when he sold out to Stiles & Green. He served in Company C, First R.I. Cavalry, three years, and was taken prisoner and confined for a time in Libby Prison. He married for his first wife Lillie G., daughter of Leander Duncan, of Stafford, Conn. In 1884 he married his present wife, Elizabeth A., daughter of Thomas Mills, of Scotland.
The Newport County Reading Room Index More Biographies & History .