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

NY: The American Historical Society, Inc. 1920

p. 145 - 146:

WALTER MOWRY OLNEY, one of the most influential citizens of Chepachet, R. I., where he has held many positions of responsibility and trust and where he is engaged in the real estate, lumber and farming business on a large scale, is a member of a family which for generations has been identified with the State of Rhode Island, and has been represented here by many men who have stood high in the esteem of the community and rendered notable services to the State.  It was founded in this country at a very early date in Colonial history, the progenitor having been one of the first settlers of Rhode Island.

(I)  Thomas Olney, founder of the family in this State, was a native of England, and came to Salem, Massachusetts, in 1635. He was one of the followers of Roger Williams, taking the same stand as did that remarkable man on the question of religious belief, and suffering with him many persecutions on the part of his fellow-colonists, and eventually virtual banishment. He was one of those who came with Roger Williams and made the settlement at Providence, in 1636, and became a prominent man in the youthful community.

(II)  Epenetus Olney, son of Thomas Olney, was born in England, in 1634, and was probably less than a year old when his parents brought him to this country.  He inherited his father's vigorous and energetic character, and took a conspicuous part in the life of the colony and had considerable hand in the administration of its affairs.  He was a member of the Town Council at Providence and of the Colonial Assembly. Epenetus Olney married Mary Whipple, and they were the parents of the following children:  Mary, James, Sarah, Epenetus, Jr., mentioned below;  John, Mercy, Thomas and Lydia.

(III)  Epenetus (2) Olney, son of Epenetus (2) and Mary (Whipple) Olney, was born January 18, 1675, at Providence, R. I., and died there September 17, 1740.  He owned a large tract of land, which comprised a part of the sites of the present Glocester and Burrillville, and was a well-known man in the community.  He married Mary Williams, granddaughter of Roger Williams, and they were the parents of the following children:  James, Charles, Joseph, mentioned below;  Anthony, Mary, Amey, Anna, Martha, and Freeborn.

(IV)  Joseph Olney, son of Epenetus (2) and Mary (Williams) Olney, was born at Glocester, in the year 1710, and made that place his home during the remainder of his life.  He married Esther Smith, and they were the parents of five children, as follows:  John, mentioned below;  Docas [sic], Stephen, Nathan, and Jeremiah.

(V)  John Olney, eldest child of Joseph and Esther (Smith) Olney, was born at Glocester, June 22, 1747.  He resided at that place, and was a young man at the time of the outbreak of the Revolutionary War.  He joined the force of patriots who first opposed themselves to British arms, and saw service in the war that followed, being present at the battle of Bunker Hill.  His death occurred September 17, 1797.  John Olney married Lydia Steere, a member of a very prominent Rhode Island family, which is mentioned elsewhere in this work, and a daughter of Jonah and Lydia (Whipple) Steere.  Mrs. Olney died September 16, 1828.  To them were born eight children, as follows:  Anne, James, Esther, Stephen, Joseph, George, Ziba, mentioned below; and Elizabeth.

(VI)  Ziba Olney, son of John and Lydia (Steere) Olney, was born January 2, 1783, at Glocester, where he continued to live during his entire life.  He was a man of enterprise and intelligence and became a well-known citizen in that place, where he was engaged in succesful agricultural operations. His death occurred at his home in Glocester, December 5, 1871.  Ziba Olney married (first) Anna Aldrich and (second) Prudence Baker.  He was the father of the following children:  Lydia, born April 5, 1810, and became the wife of Charles A. Slocum, and one of her sons was the late Ziba O. Slocum, at one time Attorney-General of Rhode Island;  George, mentioned below;  Sarah A., born February 27, 1820, died at the age of twelve years.

(VII)  George Olney, son of Ziba Olney, was born December 31, 1811, at Glocester, R. I.  Following in the footsteps of his father, he became a successful farmer, his property being located in the eastern part of Glocester township.  He was, however, a very enterprising man, and in addition to his farming operated a saw mill.  He was a natural inventive genius and was capable of turning his hand to almost any kind of mechanical work, and gained a wide reputation throughout the community for his skill in this line.  He was recognized as a man of the greatest integrity and honor, and was much esteemed by his fellow-citizens generally. His death occurred August 10, 1871.  Mr. Olney married Waity M. Smith, who survived him, and they were the parents of the following children:  Joseph S., mentioned below;  James B., born January 14, 1845, who became a farmer at Glocester, and married (first) Miverva Keach, who died in 1873, and (second) Ellea Baker, by whom he had the following children: Emma, Lula, Waity, George, Alva, Ellabell, Ralph and Sandy.

(VIII)  Joseph S. Olney, son of George and Waity M. (Smith) Olney, was born April 14, 1835, at Glocester.  Like his ancestor, for a number of generations, Mr. Olney devoted himself to farming during his entire life in his native region.  He was a well-known man in Glocester, and enjoyed the esteem and effection [sic] of his fellow-citizens in an unusual degree. Joseph L. Olney married, February 13, 1853, Amey S. Randall, born May 30, 1834, in the township of Johnston, R. I., a daughter of Augustus and Lydia (Smith) Randall.  To Mr. and Mrs. Olney the following children were born: 1.  Louisa, born April 14, 1854; married, Feby. 25, 1872, David Youngs, a farmer of North Kingston, to whom she has borne the following children: Cora M., deceased;  Marion L., David, Edwin O., Ziba O., and Fannie R.  2. Waity, born Oct. 4, 1855, died June 25, 1876, in her twenty-first year.  3. George A., born March 10, 1857, died Nov. 23, 1873.  4.  Walter Mowry, mentioned below.  5.  Martin B., born July 5, 1862; was engaged in mining in Montana, where he was killed in an accident, Aug. 28, 1896.  6. William F., born Jan. 4, 1866; married (first) Rosa Daniels, and (second) Ernestine Mowry, and is the father of two children: Walter E. and Arthur F.  7. Sarah S., born July 14, 1868; married, February 2, 1891, Henry M. Paine, of Chepachet, R. I., to whom whe has borne the following children:  Edna, Ruth O., Alcy M., and Henry Mowry, Jr.  8.  Fannie, born April 4, 1871; married, in Nov., 1895, Justin Stone, of Los Angeles, Cal., to whom she has borne two children:  Robert O., and Donald J., born Dec. 24, 1906.  9.  Joseph, born Aug. 25, 1873, died Jany. 10, 1875.  10.  Lydia, born May 19, 1876; became the wife of John Steere, of Gloucester, to whom she has born seven children: Amey, Helen, John P., Mary S., Louise M., George O., and Walter Mowry Olney.

(IX)  Walter Mowry Olney, son of Joseph S. and Amey S. (Randall) Olney, was born February 1, 1860, at Glocester.  His childhood was spent on his father's farm, and most of his time was given to aiding the elder man in the work about the place. His educational advantages were exceedingly meager, but Mr. Olney is one of those characters which are keenly observant and he has learned much in the hard school of experience, especially about that all important subject, his fellow-men.  He continued to reside with his parents until the time of his marriage, and as a youth was employed by the neighboring farmers, so that he gained a wide and extensive knowledge of this subject and became well skilled in agricultural methods generally.  At the time of his marriage he purchased his present farm and has there resided continuously up to the present time.  This property was naturally a fertile one and he developed and cultivated it until he brought it to a highly productive state, and for a time carried on successful farming operations here.  In the year 1890, however, he engaged in the business of getting out fire wood from his property and selling it to the surrounding communities, and this business grew so rapidly that he decided to devote his time principally to it.  He began to use a portable mill in his work, and purchasing standing timber in this region he rapidly reduced it to marketable sizes.  He has employed at times more than twenty-five hands in this work, and is now associated with J. Oscar Ballou, of Pascoag, under the firm name of Olney & Ballou.  Of recent years he has also become interested in the development of real estate in this community, and now does a large business in this line.  He has not, however, entirely given up his farming, and his place is regarded as one of the well conducted properties in this region, and it is also, undoubtedly, one of the most picturesquely situated hereabouts.  Mr. Olney has erected all of the buildings which now stand on his land, including his charming dwelling house.  Mr. Olney is one of those men who are instinctively interested in the welfare of the communities where they reside, and he has given no little time and energy to the conduct of public affairs. He is a Republican in his politics, and has identified himself closely with the local organization of his party, which has elected him to a number of important offices on its ticket.  In 1902 he was chosen a member of the Town Council and continued to serve on that body for eight years, proving himself a capable and efficient public officer.  Later he was the Republican candidate for State Senator, but was defeated in the election that followed.  He is a member of the Fire Department Board, and is a trustee of the Chepachet Cemetery Association.

Walter M. Olney married (first) October 11, 1881, Mrs. Betsy Jane (Gay) Bowen, widow of Henry Bowen.  Her death occurred August 6, 1899. On July 26, 1900, Mr. Olney married (second) Ruth Frances Bowen, of Glocester.

Chepachet Cemetery, Glocester
ZIBA OLNEY 1783 - 1871
ANNA his wife 1789 - 1832
SARAH ANN 1819 - 1832
GEORGE 1812 - 1871
WAITY M his wife 1806 - 1849
JOSEPH S OLNEY 1835 - 1923
AMEY S his wife 1834 - 1925
WALTER M OLNEY 1860 - 1925 his wife
RUTH F OLNEY 1854 - 1946

p. 146 - 148:

JACOB MANCHESTER  --  The name Manchester is of local derivation, meaning 'of Manchester'.  It is unusual to find representatives of the larger cities, as the natural tendency was rather to come to them than to leave them.  Hence many little towns, villages, corners and communities are the fruitful parents of surnames.

The surname Manchester is probably as old, or nearly so, as the town from which it was taken, and, as is usually the case in a cognomen of that sort, it has differed very slightly in orthography to the present day.

Arms  --  Quarterly, first and fourth, argent three lozenges conjoined, in fesse gules within a bordure sable for Montagu; second and third or, an eagle displayed vert, beaked and membered gules, for Monthermer.
Crest  -- A griffin's head couped, wings expanded or, gorged with a collar argent, charged with three lozenges gules.
Supporters  -  Dexter, an heraldic antelope or, armed, tufted and hoofed argent; sinister a griffin or, gorged with a collar as the crest.
Motto  --  Disponendo me, no mutando me.
Its earliest known form is Manchestre, represented by John de Manchestre, who lived in the county of York in the reign of Edward II.  John Manchester is found in the Close Rolls of Henry VI.'s reign; there is a Richard Manchester, of Ratcliffe, in the public records of 1671; and a Sarah Manchester, of Manchester, in 1676.

Its representatives, though of a small family, have a large part in all the great historical events of England and America.  There were pioneers and builders, doctors of medicine, solemn dignitaries of the law, gallant soldiers and famous scientists, and business men that knew no peers.

(I)  The immigrant ancestor of the branch of the Manchester family treated in this article, Thomas Manchester, was born in England, where he spent the earlier years of his life.  He took passage for this country late in 1638, and became a resident of New Haven, Conn., in 1639, one year after the planting of that colony.  Shortly afterward, however, he removed to Portsmouth, R. I., and there spent the remainder of his life.  He is mentioned in the land records of that town, January 25, 1655, when he and his wife sold to one Thomas Wood twelve acres of land, but there is evidence that he had lived in Portsmouth or the vicinity for some years previous to the latter date.  A grant of eight acres of land was made to Thomas Manchester at Portsmouth, December 10, 1657, and during the same year he sold to Richard Sisson one three-hundredth rights in Canonicut and Dutch Islands.  On July 9, 1691, a short time before his death, he granted to his son John his mansion house and lands at Portsmouth, except the place at the lower end of the grounds then in possession of his son Thomas, all of his personal effects including cattle, tools, etc., one-half to be his at the death of the grantor and the other half at the death of grantor's wife, mother of grantee, providing he pay to the sons Thomas, William and Stephen, ten shillings each; to Job twenty shillings; and to the daughters Mary and Elizabeth, ten shillings each.  Thomas Manchester died in 1691, and his wife followed him two years later in 1693.  Children:  Thomas, born about 1650; William, mentioned below; John, George, Stephen, Job, Mary, Elizabeth.

(II)  William Manchester, son of Thomas Manchester, was born in 1654, probably in the vicinity of Portsmouth, and resided at Tiverton, R. I., in 1718.  He was one of the public-spirited and prominent men of his day.  He was admitted a freeman in 1675.  There is a record that he with others purchased, March 5, 1680, of Governor Josiah Winslow, land at Pocasset, and became the owner of five of the thirty shares.  He was one of the organizers of the town of Tiverton, March 2, 1692.  In his will, dated September 27, 1716, and proved November 3, 1718, he left his lands at Tiverton to his son John, and made other legacies to his wife and children, to be paid by John as administrator.  He left a large estate for that early date, it being appraised at £1,586.  He married Mary Cook, a daughter of John and Mary (Borden) Cook, and she died in 1716.  His children were:  John, mentioned below;  William, Mary, Sarah, Deborah, Elizabeth, Margaret, Amey, Susanna, Rebecca, Thomas.

(III)  John Manchester, son of William and Mary (Cook) Manchester, was born in 1695.  He lived at Tiverton all of his life, and married, June 22, 1718-1719, Phebe Gray.  Children, all born at Tiverton:  William, Feby. 9, 1719-1720;  Philip, Feby. 11, 1722;  John, Feby. 12, 1724;  Mary, Jany. 23, 1726;  John, April 17, 1728;  Isaac, mentioned below.

(IV)  Captain Isaac Manchester, son of John Manchester, was born at Tiverton, R. I., June 27, 1731.  He married (first), November 1, 1750, Abigail Brown;  (second), April 9, 1769, Deborah, daughter of Thomas Cook. He had eight children, all by his first wife, and all born at Tiverton: Phillip, born Aug. 23, 1751;  Sarah, Oct. 1, 1753;  Isaac, mentioned below; Thomas, April 5, 1759;  Abraham, Aug. 8, 1761; John, July 10, 1764;  Phebe, Aug. 22, 1766;  Abigail, Feby. 9, 1769.

(V)  Isaac (2) Manchester, the third son of Captain Isaac (1) Manchester, was born at Tiverton, R. I., August 4, 1756.  His wife, Alice (Tabor) Manchester, whom he married May 11, 178--, was a daughter of Jacob and Susanna Tabor.  Jacob Tabor was son of Thomas and Mary (Thompson) Tabor. Mary Thompson was the daughter of John and Mary (Cook) Thompson. Mary Cook was the daughter of Francis Cook, who came over in the 'Mayflower'.

Isaac and Alice (Tabor) Manchester had the following children, all of whom were born at Tiverton, as follows:  John, May 19, 1783;  Otis, Jany. 28, 1786, died April 26, 1788;  Lucy, born March 26, 1788; married a Mr. Hammond;  Robert, born Aug. 21, 1790;  Isaac, born Sept. 21, 1792;  Otis, born March 17, 1795;  Willard, born May 12, 1797;  George, born Aug. 20, 1799;  Humphrey, born Aug. 10, 1803;  Jacob, mentioned below;  Eli, born Oct. 21, 1808.

Jacob Manchester(VI)  Jacob Manchester, a son of Isaac (2) and his wife, Alice (Tabor) Manchester, was born at Tiverton, R. I., May 2, 1806, on the old homestead which had for generations been the seat of the family in that vicinity.  He attended the public schools of Tiverton until he reached the age of twelve years, and then left home to go to Providence, R. I., there to study the science of surveying under the immediate tuterage of his brother Robert, who was at that time well known in surveying and civil engineering circles throughout the State.  Jacob Manchester became quite proficient in this profession in a short time, and followed it with varying degrees of success until he became interested in and learned the trade of carpenter. This
trade he followed with uniformly good fortune for some years, finally forming a partnership with Albert Dailey, of Providence, and engaging in the lumber business, with headquarters and yards on Dyer street, under the firm name of Manchester & Dailey.  This firm continued until 1840, when Mr. Manchester left it to enter business as a dealer in builders' supplies, including soon after the handling of coal, and thus became one of the first coal dealers in the city.  His offices at that time were on the Dorrance street wharf.  He took as a partner, in 1846, William H. Hopkins, and the firm name became Manchester & Hopkins.  When G. P. Pomroy and John H. Hopkins were later admitted, the name was again changed to Manchester, Hopkins & Company.  He continued as the active head of this business until his death.

Mr. Manchester was a selfmade man in every sense the word implies.  He began life with only a rudimentary education, and entered business with practically no capital except that which he was able to gather together through his own exertions.  He became well known and popular throughout the city because of his honest dealings.  He was honorable, enterprising and progressive in all walks of life, and eminently successful in business because of his high and well practiced principles, combined with a keenness and far-sightedness always chief among his characteristics.  The long up-hill fight that he encountered at the beginning of his career would have been more than sufficient to sour the nature of many another man, but it had the effect of making Mr. Manchester only more patient of the faults of others, and more tolerant of the aversities of life.

In politics, he was a pronounced Republican, taking a large interest in the affairs and government of his State and city, although the great amount of time and attention his business demanded prevented him from availing himself of the opportunities to fill the various public offices frequently offered him.  He was one of the early members of the old Providence Fire Company.

He married (first) in Providence, R. I., September 3, 1827, Caroline Pettis, who was born September 19, 1806, and died June 6, 1838.  He married (second), December 25, 1838, Thankful Stevens, daughter of Samuel and Abigail (Hilliard) Stevens, born at Barnstable, Mass., September 25, 1817, and died at her home on Friendship street, Providence, September 15, 1892. She was a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal church on Chestnut street.

Jacob Manchester died at his home in Providence, June 29, 1871, at the age of sixty-five years, and is bured in the North Burying Grounds, in the latter city.  Children by first wife, born in Providence:  1.  Caroline Frances, born Sept. 14, 1828, died Aug. 18, 1904; married Norval B. Lamb. 2.  William Dart, born March 13, 1834, died Aug. 1, 1877, in Chicago.  3. Mary Ann, born May 31, 1838, died Oct. 1, 1838.  Children by second wife: 4.  Daughter, born March 15, 1840, died same day. 5.  Lucy Hammond, born Sept. 22, 1841, died March 8, 1846.  6.  Jacob, Jr., born July 24, 1843, died Feby. 14, 1846.  7. Emma Louise, mentioned below.  8.  Mary Simmons, born Dec. 26, 1849.  9.  Walter Howland, mentioned below.  10. Eleanor Lewis, born March 1, 1855, died Sept. 15, 1858.  11.  Willard, mentioned below.

(VII)  Emma Louise Manchester, daughter of Jacob Manchester and his wife, Thankful (Stevens) Manchester, was born at Providence, R. I., July 29, 1846. She and her sister, Mary Simmons Manchester, reside at No. 152 Adelaide avenue, Providence, in the section known as Elmwood.  They are prominent members of the Methodist Episcopal church.  Misses Emma L. and Mary Simmons Manchester are members of both the Rhode Island Woman's Club and Elmwood Woman's Club.  Miss Emma L. Manchester has been a member of the board of the Providence Children's Friends' Society for over forty years; was manager many years and is now vice-president of the same.

(VII)  Walter Howland Manchester, son of Jacob Manchester, was born in Providence, R. I., August 16, 1851.  He received his early education in the public schools of his native town, and later entered and graduated from Scofield's [sic] Commercial College.  He entered the employ of Manchester & Hopkins as a salesman at the age of eighteen years, continuing with that firm until 1878, when he became a partner in the firm of Manchester & Hudson, dealers in masons' and  builders' supplies, and located in Point street, near the Point street bridge.  In 1910 Mr. Manchester arose to the presidencey of the company, when it was incorporated under the laws of Rhode Island, and holds that position to-day.  Since his entrance into the firm the business has prospered exceedingly, and Mr. Manchester is known as one of the foremost and progressive of Providence business men and merchants.

He is equally prominent socially; a member of What Cheer Lodge, No. 21, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; of Providence Chapter, No. 1, Royal Arch Masons; of Providencce Council, No. 1, Royal and Select Masters; of Calvary Commandery, No. 13, Knights Templar; Palestine Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; and Rhode Island Consistory (thirty-second degree).

Mr. Manchester married (first), December 31, 1872, Ida Davis, daughter of James and Julia (Sherman) Davis.  She died September 8, 1905.  Children:  1. Child, died in infancy.  2.  Ida Louise, born Oct. 12, 1875; died Feby. 15, 1878.  3.  Edith Howland, married Thomas J. Griffin, now of Abington, Mass., and has had children:  Thomas J., died in infancy; Deborah Manchester; Thomas J. (2nd), and Edith Amanda Griffin.  Bertha Simmons married J. Forrest Perkins, of Providence [sic - this is how the text reads].  Mr. Manchester married (second), March 19, 1907, Ella (Patton) Bardeen, widow of Bernard Bardeen, and a daughter of Lorenzo Patton.

(VII)  Willard Manchester, son of Jacob Manchester, was born at Providence, R. I., July 27, 1857.  He was educated in the Providence public schools.  He was for years in the office of Manchester & Hudson, and later engaged in the insurance business.  He died at his home in Providence, May 1, 1910.  He married Vesta Louise Trescott, and they had four children:  1. Raymond Lindumon, born April 14, 1881, died April 12, 1893.  2.  Helen Louise, born April 10, 1883.  3.  Ruth Frances, born May 22, 1886; married Howard W. Congdor, April 7, 1915; died Jany. 16, 1916.  4.  Lewis Trescott, born Oct. 13, 1887, died in infancy.

p. 144 - 145:

W. HERBERT CASWELL  --  This branch of the Caswell family represented by W. Herbert Caswell, of Narragansett Pier, R. I., a leading real estate operator, traces descent from Job Caswell, who was a freeman in Newport, R. I., in 1727, and a member of the Congregational church, as was his wife, Lydia.  He died in November, 1774, she in December, 1760.  They were the parents of John, mentioned below.

(II)  John Caswell, son of Job Caswell, was born in March, 1742, and died in South Kingston, in 1779.  At the time of the Revolution he lived in Newport, but removed his family across the bay in a small boat, landing at what is now Narragansett Pier.  He married, December 31, 1761, Hannah West, born in 1740, died August 3, 1775.  John and Hannah (West) Caswell were the parents of John, mentioned below.

(III)  John (2) Caswell, son of John (1) Caswell, died in 1812.  He married Mary Tefft, born February 4, 1772, daughter of Gardiner Tefft, a soldier of the Revolution.  She died February 9, 1819, leaving children:  John West, of further mention;  Gardiner, Reuben, Waity, Mary and Hannah.

(IV)  John West Caswell, son of John (2) Caswell, was born in South Kingston, R. I., January 10, 1792, and died July 30, 1867.  He was a farmer of South Kingston.  He married, in 1815, Hannah Bush Tefft, born in 1797, died in 1852, daughter of Daniel and Sarah (Hazard) Tefft, the last named a first cousin of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, the hero of Lake Erie. They were the parents of seven children, all now deceased:  Stephen Tefft, married Susan Kenyon;  Daniel Tefft, married Abby Hazard Tefft;  Mary Ann, born February 29, 1824, unmarried;  John H., builder and proprietor of the 'Metatoxet House' at Narragansett Pier until his death in 1904, the last of the old time hotel keepers at the pier, married Abby A. Eaton;  William Gardiner, of further mention;  Caroline Amelia, married Jeremiah Slocum Briggs;  Thomas Arnold, married Clara Watson.

(V)  William Gardiner Caswell, son of John West Caswell, was born February 11, 1828, and died at Narragansett Pier, R. I., July 16, 1896.  He was a farmer, later a partner with his brother John H. in a grocery and dry goods store in Kingston, subsequently became proprietor of the Mansion House at Narragansett Pier, when that place sprang into prominence.  He also built the Mt. Hope Hotel at the Pier, was its proprietor until 1889, then sold out and retired after a lifetime of success.  He was a Republican in politics, was a member and president of the Town Council of South Kingston, represented South Kingston in the State Senate for a number of years, was a notary public until his death; captain of a company of Rhode Island Militia during the Civil War; a deputy sheriff of Washington county, residing at the county jail at Kingston Hill;  a member of Hope Lodge, No. 25, Free and Accepted Masons; Hope Valley Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; and of St. John's Commandery, Knights Templar.  William G. Caswell married Sallie Carpenter Gardiner, born in the Rowland Robinson house in that part of Narragansett known as Boston Neck, October 26, 1832, died April 15, 1908, daughter of Rowland F. Gardiner, a farmer of South Kingston.  Mr. and Mrs. Caswell were the parents of a son, W. Herbert, of further mention, and a daughter, Addie Helena; they are unmarried and reside together at Narragansett Pier, R. I., there maintaining a beautiful home.

(VI)  W. Herbert Caswell, son of William Gardiner Caswell, was born at the homestead in South Kingston, R. I., November 22, 1859.  He was educated in the public schools in South Kingston and Narragansett Pier, finishing his courses at East Greenwich Academy.  His father was owner of the Mt. Hope Hotel, at Narragansett Pier, and until 1889 was its proprietor, his son becoming his assistant, first as clerk three years, then for five years was manager, 1885-89.  The hotel was then sold, Mr. Caswell, the elder, retiring from all business activity, Mr. Caswell, the younger, opening a clothing store at Narragansett Pier, and conducting it for one year.  He then retired from mercantile life, and from that time until the present he has been heavily engaged in real estate operations.  He maintains unusually finely equipped and handsome offices on Exchange place, and is the central figure in all the important real estate transactions involving Narragansett Pier or Washington county property, and from his office at the Pier transacts a very large business.  His operations cover the territory between the Hope Valley, East Greenwich and Westerly, in addition to his local business; his office also conducts an insurance department, writing all forms of fire, life, accident, indemnity and automobile.

Mr. Caswell was the first elected town clerk of Narragansett Pier, after its separation from South Kingston, in 1888, and from March 22 of that year until the present, 1919, he has held that office continuously.  He was first elected clerk of the Court of Common Pleas, and of the Supreme Court for Washington county, and has been clerk of the higher courts in said county since 1892, twenty-seven years, the different courts now having been merged into the Superior Court.  Mr. Caswell is a member of the Narragansett Park Commission.  Other business enterprises with which he is connected are the Sherry Casino Company, of which he is director, secretary and treasurer; and The Griffin-Browning Ice Company, of which he is secretary, treasurer and director, both of these being Narragansett Pier Corporations.  For two years he was commodore of the Wakefield Yacht Club.  Since 1888 he has been a notary public; since 1892 a commissioner of deeds.  He is a member of Mt. Hope Lodge, No. 25, Free and Accepted Masons;  Hope Valley Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks;  Ancient Order of United Workmen; and the Royal Arcanum.  He is vestryman of St. Peter's Protestant Episcopal Church, and interested in all forward movements.  He is a man of quiet life and refined tastes, loves the artistic and the beautiful, his home and offices reflecting the tastes of their owner for the finer things of life.  His chief recreation is sailing in his motor boat and automobiling, being very enthusiastic in both diversions.


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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