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History of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical

NY: The American Historical Society, Inc. 1920



p. 116:

FRANK H. HAMMILL  --  From the date of his admission to the Rhode Island bar, Mr. Hammill has displayed deep interest in public affairs, and has devoted a great deal of his time to the public service of town, county and State.  A lawyer of learning and skill, he has served in judicial capacity and in the political arena, and has attained to the high honor of Speaker of
the House of Representatives.

Frank H. Hammill, son of Patrick and Mary (Gallagher) Hammill, was born in Bristol, R. I., January 11, 1878, and received his preparatory education in the public schools of his native town, graduating from Bristol High School in 1895.  He then entered Brown University, whence he was graduated Bachelor of Philosophy, class of 1900.  He prepared for the legal profession at Harvard Law School, receiving his degree, Bachelor of Laws, class of 1904. In 1905 he was admitted to the bar in Rhode Island. He at once began the practice of law in Bristol and Providence, and has since been an attorney-at-law, his public service vieing with his legal business in importance.  For three years he was judge of probate, and is standing register in insolvency for Bristol county.  He is justice of the District Court of the Fifth Rhode Island Judicial District. These purely professional offices have been supplemented by political offices, his legislative career dating from 1907, when he was elected president of the Town Council of Bristol, a reelection following in 1908.  In 1909-10-11 he represented Bristol in the State Legislature, and in 1913 reentered the Legislature, having been returned from Bristol each year until the present. During the years 1913-14 he was deputy speaker, and in January, 1915, was elected Speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, an office he has held continually until the present (1918).  He has proved a fair, impartial presiding officer, and in the making of his committees has distributed his favors without fear or favor, recognizing only fitness and length of service in choosing his chairmen.  He has the respect of his contemporaries of the House, and ranks among the able and honorable men of the State governing body.  He is a Republican in his political faith.  He is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of Providence, and Knights of Columbus; also a member of the Ponham Club, and a devotee of motoring and fishing.

Mr. Hammill married, April 17, 1914, Olivia M. C. Day., of Providence, R. I.



p. 116 - 117:

GEORGE R. HUSSEY  --  When the flags flying at half-mast on the City Hall at Providence announced to the city the death of Alderman George R. Hussey, the expressions of regret heard on every side were most touching and heartfelt.  Perhaps the thoughts uppermost in the minds of all were best expressed by Mayor Gainer, the dead alderman's intimate and valued friend: 'His services to the city as a member of the board of aldermen for the past four years were of inestimable value.  He was a man of high ideals, of strong character, and of marked ability. In his death the city of Providence loses a public servant and a patriotic citizen of the highest type, and his associates at City Hall a lovable and faithful friend.'

Mr. Hussey has been intimately connected with the city government for four years prior to his death, and was to have retired on January 6, 1919, he having refused to accept nomination for another term as alderman that he might devote all his energy to the affairs of the Baird-North Company of which he was president.  It was his connection with this company that brought him to Providence in 1907, a young man of twenty-three. His entire business life had been spent with the Baird-North Company, gold and silversmiths, his father, William G. Hussey, its founder and head until his death in 1908.  As executive head of the company from January, 1908, until his own death, December 27, 1918, George R. Hussey developed the company until it ranked with the largest mail order houses of the country. As a business man he was held in the highest esteem, and it was his high sense of honor and his ability, as displayed in the conduct of his private business, which gave him his standing in the city and brought him prominently into the public eye.  Just how popular he became with the voters of the sixth ward is best attested by the fact that he was the first and the only Democrat ever elected to the Board of Aldermen from that ward. Not only that, but he was reelected, and could have had a third term but for his positive declination of the honor.

George R. Hussey was a son of William G. Hussey, of Augusta, Me.; Salem, Mass.; Providence, R. I.; and a descendant of Christopher Hussey, born in England, who came to New England with the Rev. Stephen Bachelor on the ship 'William and Francis', to Boston, July, 1630.  This Christopher Hussey was a suitor for the hand of Theodate Bachelor, and could only gain her father's consent to their marriage by promising to come to New England with his father-in-law.  Christopher Hussey was one of the original grantees of Hampton, N. H., the first deacon of the church there, and a captain of militia, town clerk, representative and a royal commissioner. In 1659 he was one of the purchasers of Nantucket, and later was a sea captain.  He died in Hampton, N. H., March 6, 1686, aged about ninety years.  Branches of his descendants settled in Nantucket and in Maine, George R. Hussey belonging to the Maine family.

George R. Hussey was born in Augusta, Me., May 29, 1884, and died at his home, No. 179 Ontario street, Providence, R. I., December 27, 1918. He attended the public schools of Augusta until 1892, when his parents moved to Salem, Massachusetts.  There he finished high school courses and attended commercial college, also being for a time a student at Waltham Horological School.  He attended Dartmouth College, and upon leaving became associated with his father who had organized the Baird-North Company, gold and silversmiths.  He passed in turn through the different departments of the business, becoming familiar with its every detail, then in 1907 father and son removed the business to Providence.  William G. Hussey, the father, died the year following the removal to Providence, and was succeeded in the management by his son, George R. Hussey.  The removal to Providence had been actuated by a desire to benefit by the prominence of Providence as a jewelry manufacturing city, the business of Baird-North being largely done through the mails.  Upon succeeding to the presidency Mr. Hussey greatly increased the scope of the business, and during the ten years of life remaining him he placed Baird-North in the very front rank of mail order houses.

In 1912 Mr. Hussey became interested in city politics, and in that year was the Democratic candidate for Common Council from the sixth ward. While the sixth was a strong Republican  ward, the exceptional run made by the Democratic candidate focused the eyes of the party leaders upon him, and in 1914 he was made the party candidate for alderman. He also received the endorsement of the Independent organization of the ward, and at the ensuing election he won the verdict of the polls over his opponent, John H. Higgins. In 1916 he was reelected, but declined a third term, his private business interests demanding his entire time. As alderman he was closely associated with the financing committee and its work, he being a member of that most important committee during his entire four years of aldermanic service.  He was a supporter of Mayor Gainer and his policies, there also existing a warm personal friendship between the two men.

During his eleven years of residence in Providence, Mr. Hussey became a well-known social figure, and in club and fraternal life was very prominent. He held all degrees of lodge, chapter and commandery of the York Rite of the Masonic order, and in the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite had attained the thirty-second degree.  He was a member of Providence Lodge, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; and the Boston Athletic Association; his Providence clubs, the Central, West Side, and Metacomet Golf.  In all these organizations he was active and popular, his genial, kindly nature responding to the fraternal and social spirit they engendered.

Mr. Hussey married, November 9, 1907, Julia Agnes Corbett, of Beverly, Mass., who survives him with three children:  Robert Thurston, Ruth Carol and Betty Loraine Hussey.



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Emery J. San SouciEMERY J. SAN SOUCI  --  While Lieutenant-Governor San Souci has gone far in political life and received high endorsement from his fellow-citizens, his career as a merchant is equally notable, and the San Souci Department Store has developed from a modest beginning to one of great volume and importance. He reviews a life of earnest effort, and has developed a strong character in which love of justice, upright dealing, and regard for the rights of others are pervading traits.  To these he adds energy, industry, ambition, and a sincere desire to be useful.

The family is of French ancestry, early settlers in Canada, in the Province of Quebec, from whence came Euzebe and Marie Louise (Couett) San Souci, the former so thoroughly imbibing the spirit of our institutions that he enlisted in the Union Army, although he had been a resident of the United States but six years.  His loyalty to his adopted land stood the supreme test, and he sleeps in an honored soldier's grave, meeting his death on the battlefield at Salem Church, Va.  Nor was this the only sacrifice the family made that 'a government for the people and by the people' should not perish. A son, Francis Euzebe San Souci enlisted in the same regiment, and served until the war closed, was twice wounded, death finally resulting from these wounds ten years later.  Such were the antecedents of Lieutenant-Governor San Souci who, left fatherless at the age of seven years, inspired by such family traditions, has so well fought the battle of life that he has placed himself at the head of a large retail mercantile house, and so impressed himself upon the public life of Rhode Island that he is serving his second term as lieutenant-governor of the State, and in the absence of the governor has, on numerous occasions, exercised all the right duties and prerogatives of a governor.

Emery J. San Souci was born in Saco, Me., July 24, 1857, son of Euzebe and Marie Louise (Couett) San Souci, who came from their native Province of Quebec, Canada, to the United States in 1856, settling in Saco, Me.  In 1860 the family removed to St. Albans, Vt., where they were residing in 1861, when the father, Euzebe San Souci, enlisted in the First Regiment, Vermont Cavalry.  He fought with his regiment and the glorious Army of the Potomac until June 4, 1864, when he fell during the battle of Salem Church, fatally wounded, death resulting June 10.  He left his widow with nine children, some of them young, and she, like the strong resolute woman she was, became both father and mother to them, taught them they way of honor and uprightness, so impressing her lessons upon those children that to-day 'they rise up and call her blessed'.  She died in Greenfield, Mass., June 17, 1892, at the home of a daughter.  Mr. and Mrs. Euzebe San Souci were the parents of five sons and five daughters, the order of birth not here observed:  Francis E., died in 1874 from wounds received in the Civil War, he serving in the First Regiment, Vermont Cavalry, with his father; Euphemia, Phoebe, Philomena, Martha, Victoria, Joseph O., Emery J., George H., and Alfred C.

The family left Saco, Me., while Emery J. was yet under school age, and he attended public school at St. Albans, Vt.  The death of his father in 1864, and the necessity of adding his earnings to the family purse, cut short his school years, but nevertheless he finished the grammar school course with graduation.  His first work was in a Biddeford, Me., cotton mill, where he resided a few years prior to removing to Greenfield, Mass.  There Emery J. was employed as a clerk in a shoe store until 1876, when he entered the service of Eben J. Beane, a shoe merchant at No. 1094 High street, Providence, R. I.  One year later he transferred his services to the Clark & Holbrook Manufacturing Company, makers of ladies' shoes, at Hartford, Conn. He remained with that company eleven years, 1877-88, then opened a retail shoe store in Hartford, successfully conducting business there until 1890. He then, in association with his brothers, Joseph O. and Alfred C. San Souci, purchased the Boston Shoe Store, at No. 125 Westminster street, Providence, which they maintained until 1900.  In the meantime the San Souci Brothers had opened a small department store in Olneyville, on Olney square, Providence, also established a shoe store in the same neighborhood, they having at one time four stores in successful operation.  Alfred C. San Souci, broken in health, retired from the firm, removed to California, and there died in 1916.   In the year 1900, the four stores were consolidated in one, and the business centered in the department store on Olney square, No. 1957 Westminster street, Providence.  The building there was enlarged, and is now one of the largest in the city devoted to retail merchandising, its three stories constituting the home of a modern department store, with the omission of a grocery department only.  On November 16, 1909, the business was incorporated as the J. O. San Souci Company, Joseph O. San Souci, president; J. San Souci, secretary and treasurer.  The business is a large one, sixty to one hundred and twenty-five clerks being employed.  The patrons of the store being largely mill operatives and workers, the store is busiest evenings and on Saturdays, when every department is taxed to its capacity.  Mr. San Souci, the treasurer, is one of the inspiring heads of this great business, who have brought it to a condition of successful operation, which is a guarantee of the ability and business genius of its managing head.  He is also a director of the Union Trust Company of Providence, and a director of St. Vincent de Paul Infant Asylum.

A Republican in politics, Mr. San Souci began his public career early upon making his permanent location in Providence.  He was a member of the annexation committee, which in 1898 accomplished the annexation of a part of the town of Johnston to the city of Providence, and at the city election held in 1900 he was chosen to represent the eighth ward (Olneyville), in Providence City Council, and served continuously until 1907.  In all improvements looking to municipal or civic progress, he took a public-spirited part, and it is to his energy and enterprise that much improvement is due.  He was a trustee of the Olneyville Library Association, but when Olneyville came in by annexation, Providence councils made no appropriation for the support of the Olneyville Library.  As councilman, Mr. San Souci presented the matter to the governing body, argued its injustice, and secured the first appropriation, $500, which the library received from Providence.  In the year 1908, Mr. San Souci was appointed a member of Governor Pothier's staff with the rank of colonel, an honor he held six years.  He was nominated and elected on the Republican ticket for lieutenant-governor in 1914, and in 1916 was re-nominated and re-elected to succeed himself in that high office.  Perhaps nothing could better illustrate the lieutenant-governor's versatility and genius for adapting himself to the work in hand than his career as lieutenant-governor, particularly in his fulfillment of that part of his duty requiring him to preside over the Senate.  He was not a parliamentarian when elected, but he quickly mastered the rules as laid down in Reed, and no man presides over a legislative body with greater fairness, dignity and ease than he.  He is highly popular both as official and civilian, being a man of most democratic nature and practice, the friend of every man who is willing to be his friend. He has risen above the arts of the demagogue or office seeker, has preserved his high character and glories in the fact that every success which has come to him has been won honorably and fairly.  He is strong in his party allegiance, a tower of strength to the party, and is so recognized in party councils.

He is the oldest member of the Knights of Columbus in the city, in point of years of membership, and is a past grand knight; he is an ex-president of the Providence Catholic Club, a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the Sons of Veterans, and once held the second highest office in the National body of that order. He is an honorary member of Slocum Post, Grand Army of the Republic; honorary member of of Connell Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars; member of the West Side and Sunset clubs.  In religious faith he is a Roman Catholic, being a member of St. Anthony's Parish, Providence.

Lieutenant-Governor San Souci married Minnie A. Duffy, and they are the parents of two daughters:  Mary Louisa and Euphemia Maybelle San Souci.  The family home is No. 176 Webster avenue, Providence.



p. 119:

JUDGE JOHN DORAN, well known in the legal profession, is a son of James and Catherine (Nolan) Doran, of Barrington, R. I., where he was born, November 8, 1858, and there prepared for college in private schools, one of his instructors being Isaac F. Cady, of Barrington Centre.  From preparatory school he went to Mount St. Mary's College, Emmittsburg, Md., there completing his classical study.  After a course of law study and preparation, he was admitted to the Rhode Island bar in July, 1882, and at once began practice in Providence.  For five years he practiced alone, and then formed a partnership with Edwin D. McGuinness, which continued for fourteen years, 1887 - 1901.  That partnership was then dissolved upon Mr. McQuinness' [sic] death.  He was elected to the Superior Court of Rhode Island as associate justice, February 7, 1913.  Judge Doran is a Democrat in politics, but numbers his friends and his supporters in both parties.  He is a member of the University and Catholic clubs.



p. 119:

JOHN LINCOLN ALGER, A. M.  --  The position Professor Alger holds among the educators of New England is one of honor, and has been won by close devotion to the profession he embraced since 1890.  His connection with the Rhode Island State Normal School at Providence began in 1908, and has resulted in increased professional reputation for Professor Alger, and in a higher plane of efficiency and usefulness for the institution. He is a son of Nathan Willis and Mary Key (French) Alger, his parents residing in Vermont.

John Lincoln Alger was born in Eaton, Quebec, Canada, November 20, 1864. His education was completed at Brown University, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, class of 1890, making Phi Beta Kappa.  In 1895 he was awarded the Master's degree with the class of that year.  Prior to graduation, in 1890, he began teaching in the Rutland (Vermont) High School, under the principalship of Professor George Grafton Wilson, then came to Providence and taught in the high school until 1892, when he became instructor in mathematics at Brown University, a post he occupied from 1892 until 1895.  He then resigned to accept the superintendency of the public schools of Bennington, Vt., holding that position five years, 1895-1900. The next four years he spent in Normal work as principal of the Vermont State Normal School of Johnson, going thence, in 1904, to Vermont Academy, Saxtons River, Vt., as principal.  Four years were spent at the academy, then came his return to Providence, R. I., in September, 1908, as head of the Rhode Island State Normal School, his present position ten years later. He is a member of several professional societies, is well-known in educational circles as instructor, speaker and writer, and is wholly devoted to his work.  Out-of-door recreation attracts him, and his vacation periods are usually spent in some spot convenient to ocean or forest.

Professor Alger married, June 30, 1896, Edith Goodyear, of North Haven, Conn.



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Nathan M. WrightNATHAN MANCHESTER WRIGHT  -- Tracing in unbroken line of descent to a hero of the Revolution, Lieutenant James Wells, and to Henry Wright, of Dorcester, Mass., 1635, Mr. Wright is a native and loyal son of Rhode Island, best known, perhaps, for his valuable assistance and untiring effort is effecting a division of the old town of Johnston, and annexing the easterly portion to Providence.  Originally Johnston was a distinctive rural community adapted to a town form of government.  But while the western part of the town retained its rural character, the eastern part filled up with city families, became very populous and demanded the form of city government and the advantages to which they were accustomed.  Mr. Wright was of this latter party, and ably headed the movement to bring about the desired conditions.  The opposition was strong, and the prejudice to be removed was deep seated, but as the recognized leader he met this objection with infinite tact and patience, finally effecting the separation of the town. After annexation he continued his leadership, and was the most potent force in securing from the city of Providence the improvements sorely needed by the annexed district.  So he is held in high honor by his fellowmen of his home district, and in the city is the well known, efficient clerk of the District Court of the Sixth Judicial District of Rhode Island.  Since 1643 Wrights have been associated with the history of Rhode Island, Henry Wright, the American ancestor, coming from Dorchester, Mass., in that year, the records showing that his home lot was adjoining that of Roger Williams.  In this branch the town of Foster, R. I., became the family seat, Nathan M. Wright being of the fourth generation of Wrights to reside there.

His father, Albert H. Wright, was a farmer of Foster in early manhood, but later engaged in the lumber business, then until retirement devoted himself to real estate as agent and trustee.  Albert H. Wright married Mary C. Mathewson, daughter of Nathan and Laura A. (Millard) Mathewson. An ancestor of Nathan M. Wright was lieutenant James Wells, of the Sixth Company, Rhode Island Militia, of the town of Scituate, Lieutenant Wells being a brave officer of the Revolution through whom his great-grandson, Nathan M. Wright, obtains membership in the Rhode Island Society, Sons of the American Revolution.

Nathan Manchester Wright was born in the town of Foster, R. I., February 14, 1865, and there his parents resided until 1871, when they moved to the town of Johnston.  There the lad, Nathan M., attended public schools, passing later to the grade and high schools of Providence, completing the high school course with graduation, class of 1885.  He entered Brown University, completed a full four years' course, made Phi Beta Kappa in his senior year, won honors in English, and was graduated A. B., class of 1889.  The following year, 1890, he became a member of the reportorial staff of the 'The Providence Journal', and shortly afterward was appointed secretary to the editor of the 'Journal', a position he filled until 1903.  During that period he studied law, and on October 31, 1904, was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island.  He at once began general practice in Providence, was admitted to the bar of the United States Circuit Court, December 4, 1905, and became well established in public regard as a lawyer of learning and skill.

In July, 1906, Mr. Wright was elected by the City Council as justice of the Police Court of Providence, and by successive re-election filled the position ably for three years, surrendering it after election for his present post, clerk of the District Court of the Sixth Judicial District of Rhode Island, March 19, 1909.  In political faith a Republican, Mr. Wright has given much time to the public service, beginning as a senate page at the age of thirteen, and when barely a voter serving as delegate to State and local conventions.  He was superintendent of schools for the town of Johnston for three years, 1891-94; elected a member of the Providence Common Council in 1898, serving two years; elected secretary and treasurer of the Republican State Central Committee in July, 1903, an office he yet most ably fills.  His services to the party in that position have been well nigh invaluable, his peculiar qualities of thoroughness, systematic arrangement of detail and ready pen, fitting in well with the requirement of the post. Quiet and unassuming in manner, Mr. Wright is most energetic, and never leaves a subject until it is mastered.  He is an ex-president of the Sunset Club; member of the Bernard Club; Nestell Lodge, No. 37, Free and Accepted Masons; Providence Chapter, No. 1, Royal Arch Masons; Providence Council, Royal and Select Masters; Cavalry Commandery, No. 13, Knights Templar; past noble grand of Manufacturers Lodge, No. 15, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; and is grand officer of the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.  He is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, and the Rhode Island Bar Association.

Judge Wright married, November 27, 1889, Mary Elizabeth Page, daughter of John W. Page, of Providence.  Mr. and Mrs. Wright are the parents of two sons, Nathan M. (2), and Harold P.; also of two daughters, Beatrice M. and Evangeline P.  Nathan M., Jr., is a member of the Rhode Island bar, having been admitted to practice in November, 1915, and is an assistant clerk of the Superior Court.  Harold P., a law student, was in the service during the 'World War', graduating from the Second Plattsburg Officers' Training Camp, taking up aviation, and finally going into the Thirty-seventh Artillery Regiment, Coast Artillery Corps, being with the latter unit when the armistice was signed.  Beatrice M., married Harold R. Shippee, of Pawtucket; parents of two children:  Elizabeth W. and Elmer R.


Continued


These documents are made available free to the public for non-commercial purposes by the Rhode Island USGenWeb Project. Transcription and pictures 2001-2 by Beth Hurd


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