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

NY: The American Historical Society, Inc. 1920



p. 151 - 152:

CHARLES EDMUND LONGLEY  --  Barely a half century of life was allotted to Charles Edmund Longley, but they were years gloriously spent, full of business success and honorable effort as a citizen.  Thrown upon his own resources in his youth, he rapidly developed a remarkable business ability, and while yet a minor held important managerial positions. He climbed the ladder of success swiftly and for many years he viewed life from an assured and eminent position.  But there was more of honorable achievement  in his life than his rise in the business world. He solved in his own circle the problems arising between employer and employee, and in all the ramifications of his large business the welfare of his employees was scrupuously regarded, and he was looked upon by them as their friend as well as their employer. This friendly, personal relation broke down all barriers, banished suspicion and distrust, and established a true spirit of cooperation which worked for the good of all.

A sucessful business man, very popular with all classes, genial, generous and open-hearted, thoroughly alive to his responsibilities as a citizen, Mr. Longley was the ideal candidate, and as such attracted the envious eyes of the politicians who would have used his manly, personal qualities to further their own ends.  Party leaders often importuned him to allow his name to be used as a candidate, the Governorship at one time being vigorously urged upon him.  But never for an instant did he waver in his refusal to became a candidate for any public office, great or small, not that he lacked either patriotism or confidence in his own ability, but from a pure dislike for public office with its attendant obligation to surrender so much of his personal independence and thought to conform to party needs.  For he was not an opportunist, but held firmly to that which was right and as firmly opposed that which was wrong, party ties never binding his conscience. Hence he lived and died a private citizen, honored, respected, and loved by all who knew him, his name a synonym for integrity in the business world, and for loyalty in his social and home circle.

Paternally Mr. Longley was of the Maine branch of the Longley family, founded in Lynn, Mass., by Richard Longley, in 1635. His maternal relationship was with the Swift family, another of New England's old and honored families. The coat-of-arms of the Longley family is as follows:

Arms - Quarterly - First and fourth, parti per fesse or and azure.  Second and third, parti per pale argent and gules.  The former on a chevron sable, three bezants, or.  The latter two chevronels.
Crest - A lion sejant argent.
Motto - Esse quam videri.
Charles Edmund Longley was born in Sidney, Maine, in 1850, and died at his home, No. 87 Walcott street, Pawtucket, R. I., November 29, 1899.   He was educated in the public schools of Sidney and at Maine Wesleyan Seminary at Kents Hill.  In youth he was left an orphan, dependent upon his own exertions, this condition, however, but stimulating his ambitions and nerving him for life's battle.  After completing his studies at Wesleyan Seminary, he left the home of his youth, and in pursuit of his ambition to become a factor in the business world, located in Boston, Mass.  He found employment in a clothing store as clerk, and in the years that followed until 1876 he was engaged with several of the leading retail clothing firms of the city in more than ordinary capacity.  He not only became thoroughly familiar with every detail of the clothing business, but he developed a method of salesmanship and a deportment toward customers that won him a standing with his employers and a popularity with the trade. He was devoted to the interests of his employers, and his change of firms was not that his services were not satisfactory, but were part of his plan of preparation, for the time he was resolved should come when he would be a proprietor.  He was often promoted in rank and compensation, but the varied experiences of this period of his life were more valuable to him.

In 1876 he collected his savings and decided the time was ripe to make his start in business for himself.  He chose Providence, R. I., as a location, and there in association with George Talbot, of Brookline, Mass., he opened a retail clothing store, trading as the Boston and Providence Clothing Company.  His Boston experience had admirably fitted him for his new responsibilities, and the new venture won instant public favor. But the store in Providence, successful as it was, did but pave the way to greater effort.  His ambition was for a chain of stores and soon branches began to appear in other New England cities, until the company's sign appeared over stores in Pawtucket, Woonsocket, R. I., Fall River and Worcester, Mass., New Haven, Hartford and New Britain, Conn.  These were not small stores in obscure localities, but in the best locations and finest buildings obtainable.  The store at Pawtucket was in the Music Hall building, the store in Woonsocket in the Longley building, one of the finest in the city. This chain of stores formed an immense outlet for goods, and naturally Mr. Longley was attracted by the wholesale and manufacturing possibilities, eventually becoming a member of the Standard Clothing Company of Boston, operating stores in New York State and in New England.  Later the Boston and Providence Clothing Company and the Standard Clothing Company consolidated, bringing under one management the huge business of both companies.

It would now seem as though Mr. Longley had fully realized the ambitions of his youth and had found suficient outlet for even his immense energy.  But not so; on February 15, 1893, the J. B. Barnaby Company of Providence was absorbed by purchase from the heirs of J. B. Barnaby and the business continued as a corporation, The J. B. Barnaby Company, Mr. Longley being elected president and general manager.  From that time forward Mr. Longley gradually disposed of his stores and interests outside New England and several of the branches in New England, retaining, however, the New Haven and Woonsocket stores and increasing his holdings of the stock of that highly successful company.  He continued the active head of the business for six years, then succumbed to the inevitable, his years of excessive effort bringing about a weakened physical condition unable to resist the attack of disease.  From that time he failed rapidly, and on November 29, 1899, died, not yet having reached his fiftieth year.  But the record of those years is one of honor, the brilliancy of his life achievement atoning in a measure for his early demise.

Essentially the business man and entirely devoted to his business interests, allowing nothing, not even his own health, to interfere with its vigorous prosecution, Mr. Longley yet took an active interest in the affairs of his city, and he was keenly alive to his social obligations.  After his married in 1879 he made Providence his home until 1882, then moved his residence to Pawtucket, his home ever afterward.  He was a member of the Squantum, Pomham, To-Kalon clubs, a charter member of the Providence Athletic Association, a trustee of the Pawtucket Congregational Church, a  member of the Congregational Club of Rhode Island, the Pawtucket Business Men's Association, Massachusetts Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, and St. Paul's Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, of Boston, in which he had attained the thirty-second degree.

He had the public welfare deeply at heart, was most solicitious for the well being of his employees, was most genial and approachable, holding their respect and confidence.  He was very popular with patrons of his stores, and a favorite in any gathering he graced with his presence.  Integrity and courtesy may be said to have been the prime articles of his faith, certainly no more upright nor courteous man ever lived.  Generosity and charity marked his life, but so unostentatious was his giving that none knew how freely he drew upon his purse for the relief of others.  By every test Mr. Longley proved himself a man, and he passed from earthly view with an untarnished name.

Mr. Longley married, in Providence, in 1879, Henrietta A. Swinney, born in Savannah, Ga., daughter of Captain John L. Swinney, of a prominent family of the South, valiant in war, leaders in public life, hospitable, gentle, gracious in the home.  Mrs. Longley's great-grandfather, Richard Swinney, was a soldier in the Revolution, and a slave and plantation owner; her father, Captain John L. Swinney, was an officer of cavalry in the Seminole War, serving as captain of the Hancock Troop of Cavalry of Georgia, under General Winfield Scott.  He married Eliza A. Robinson, of Massachusetts, a granddaughter of Elijah Robinson, a Revolutionary soldier, and a descendant of Rev. John Robinson, the noted Puritan minister.  The coat-of-arms of the Swinney family is as follows:

Arms - Or, on a fess vert, between three bears passant sable, a lizard passant proper.
Crest - Two turtle doves cooing, proper.
Mrs. Longley survives her husband and continues her residence in Pawtucket, with her four children:  Charles Edmund, Jr., Vawter Clifford, Rosalind, and Ronald Swift.  A son, Harold Robinson, died in childhood.  Mrs. Longley is a most gracious lady, blending the virtues of North and South.  The family residence, formerly the Dexter homestead, purchased in 1882, has been so added to that it is one of the architectural beauties of the city;  Mrs. Longley's summer home, formerly the Phillips Homestead, is at Phillips Beach, Swampscott, Mass.  She is also prominent in club and social life, is past regent of Pawtucket Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, and for a number of years was Rhode Island State director of the Society of Children of the American Revolution, and was for two years State regent for Rhode Island of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and is now vice-president general of this National Society.

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WILLIAM C. PRATT, president of the Maplehurst Greenhouses, Inc., at Long Meadow, a concern which has come to occupy a very important part in the life of this place, and a man of public spirit and wide activity, is a son of William H. and Jane (Greene) Pratt, old and highly-respected residents of Providence, R. I.  It was in that city that William C. Pratt was born, on June 28, 1858, and it was there that he began his education, attending the local public schools until he had reached the age of nine years.  He then, at that tender age, began to be occupied with the task of earning his livelihood, and for a time carried newspapers, and also acted as a general delivery boy.  He did not entirely give up his schooling, however, but continued at the Providence public schools until fourteen years of age.  In that period Providence was a comparatively small place, and could boast of but one short street-car line, the motive power of which was horses.  Mr. Pratt, when fourteen, entered the office of the George L. Claflin Company, where he worked as office boy at a salary of three dollars per week.  Mr. Pratt was always a bright and alert lad and took a keen interest in his work, being careful to clean up the office and do a number of extra jobs entirely on his own account.  This interest soon met with appreciation on the part of his employers, and his weekly stipend was raised to the sum of five dollars.  After a time the youth left this concern and found employment with the Wolcott & Blodgett Produce Company, as a bookkeeper.  This concern was the first in Providence to deal with the Standard Oil Company and ship the product of the concern in tank cars.  The Standard Oil Company itself later opened an office in Providence and here Mr. Pratt applied for a position as bookkeeper.  He was accepted in this capacity, and it was he who kept the first set of Standard Oil books in Providence, in the old office on Custom House street.  After four years with the Standard Oil Company, Mr. Pratt left this concern and went West, settling in Dayton, Ohio, where he gained an excellent position with the Dayton Screw Company, and formed the acquaintance of Albert Angell, the president of that concern.  His ability was highly appreciated there, and he was eventually promoted to the position of secretary and assistant treasurer.  After filling this double office for about a year, Mr. Pratt returned temporarily to Providence, where he was married, and then took his wife back to Dayton in order to resume his position there.  The concern with which he was associated, however, was entirely reorganized about this time, whereupon Mr. Pratt resigned his position and returned to Providence, where he secured employment with the firm of Murray & Allen, wholesale grocers, as the head bookkeeper.  Upon the death of Mr. Allen sometime later, Mr. Pratt was admitted as a member of the firm, in 1892, but shortly afterwards sold out his interest and secured employment with the Narragansett Brewing Company as cashier.  He remained with that concern until 1900, when he became one of the organizers of the Park Brewing Company, with a plant situated on Elmwood avenue, Providence. He continued as secretary of the Park Brewing Company until the year 1914, when the business was finally dissolved.  In the meantime, however, his son, Stuart Greene Pratt, had become interested in horticulture, and to pursue the study further, entered the Rhode Island State College at Kingston, where he spent the years 1906 and 1907.  In 1909, in partnership with his son, Mr. Pratt established the Maplehurst greenhouses.  The venture was begun on a small scale, the first house measuring only twenty by twenty feet.  Mr. Pratt, Jr., devoted his attention largely to raising carnations.  Around this period Mr. Pratt also established a dairy business, which has grown to large proportions.  The Maplehurst greenhouses beame known within a comparatively short period in the markets of Providence and surrounding cities, and in 1910 to meet the enlarged demands of his business, Mr. Pratt erected larger greenhouses and opened a business office.  In order to introduce the culture of chrysanthemums and other plants and flowers, he was obliged to still further increase his facilities, and after long extended negotiation secured the Long Meadow Golf Club grounds, a tract of eighty-five acres.  Thirty acres of this tract are now under intensive cultivation, the remainder being used for pasturage for a fine herd of cows, of which Mr. Pratt's first cow was the nucleus.  A modern dairy is now operated here and rivals the greenhouse proposition in success.

Mr. Pratt and his son, Stuart Greene Pratt, were partners in this enterprise from its inception, but in 1914, Charles E. Cannon, and his father, William W. H. Cannon, were likewise admitted to the firm, and on May 27, of that year, the firm was incorporated under the name of the Maplehurst Greenhouses, Inc., its officers being William C. Pratt, president, Stuart G. Pratt, vice-president and manager, Charles E. Cannon, secretary and treasurer, and William W. H. Cannon, assistant treasurer.  A sketch of Charles E. Cannon, with further particulars concerning the Maplehurst greenhouse concern, will be found elsewhere  in this work.  Mr. Pratt is president of the First Southern Rhode Island Federal Farm Loan Bank, which is situated in East Greenwich, where is was established in 1916.  He is a member of the State Advisory Board, of the War Savings Commission under the presidency of Theodore Francis Greene.  Mr. Pratt has been very active in public affairs here, and was the candidate of the Independent ticket for the Town Council at Long Meadow in 1916.  He is not a member of any of the secret fraternal orders, but is affiliated with Warwick Grange, Patrons of Husbandry.  He is also a member of the Union Congregational Church of Providence, R. I.

William C. Pratt was united in marriage, December 13, 1881, with Lucy Maria Potter, a daughter of Hezekiah and Abby (Thornton) Potter.  Of this marriage one son has been born:  Stuart Greene Pratt, who is mentioned below.

Stuart Greene Pratt, only son of William C. and Lucy Maria (Potter) Pratt, was born in Providence, June 23, 1888.  He attended the University Public School and the Technical High School of Providence.  In 1906-07, he attended the Rhode Island State College, at Kingston, taking a special course in horticulture in order to prepare himself for his present line of business. Mr. Pratt was married, October 1, 1914, to Emily Warren, a daughter of James and Caroline (Hill) Warren.  They are the parents of one daughter, Carolyn Hill Pratt, born July 26, 1915.  Mr. Pratt is intensely interested in the business which his father established, and is now, as before stated, vice-president and manager of the Maplehurst concern.



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THOMAS G. MATHEWSON, one of the prominent citizens of Warwick, and superintendent of the Goddard Estate at Potowomut, is a member of one of the old Rhode Island families, the members of which have been identified with this region for many generations.  He is a direct lineal descendant in the seventh generation from the Hon. Henry Matteson of Scotland, from which the line runs through Joseph, Josiah, Russell, Wilbur, and Syria Wilbur, down to Thomas Greene Mathewson.  Mr. Mathewson's father, Syria Wilbur Mathewson, was born at Coventry, February 19, 1824, and died October 15, 1904.  He resided on the old Hill farm until 1868, when he built and opened a summer hotel at Narragansett Pier.  He met with success in this enterprise, and in 1896 enlarged and entirely remodeled the hotel and changed its name to that of the New Mathewson House, which he continued to operate until his death. It was then taken over by the Mathewson Company, composed of his three sons, with Thomas G. Mathewson as president, Everett L. Mathewson as vice-president, and Syria Wilbur Mathewson, Jr., as secretary and treasurer. This company was finally dissolved and the hotel sold in 1917.  The elder Mr. Mathewson was an expert machinist in early life, a trade which he followed for a time, as he did also that of weaver.  He was a member of the first Town Council of Narragansett Pier, and was active in having the town district set off.  He was a member of the Quidnesett Baptist Church.  He married, December 17, 1848, Ann Eliza Hill, a daughter of Thomas and Lucy Ann (Allen) Hill, and a member of the old and distinguished Hill family of this State.  Mrs. Mathewson was born Dec. 12, 1829, and died March 20, 1910. They were the parents of the following children:  Ida B., who became the wife of John J. Benson, of Vermont, now residing in West Palm Beach, Fla.; Thomas G., of further mention;  Syria Wilbur, who died in infancy;  Syria Wilbur, Jr., who makes his home at Narragansett Pier;  Walter H., born March 28, 1861, died Feby. 2, 1887;  And Everett I., born Nov. 2, 1865, died Jany. 11, 1916, at Narragansett Pier.

Thomas G. Mathewson was born November 5, 1854, on the old Hill homestead in North Kingston, R. I., and as a lad attended the district schools of Quidnesett, in North Kingston township.  He later studied at the East Greenwich Academy, and finally completed his schooling at the celebrated Bryant & Stratton Business College, at Providence, where he took courses in surveying and architecture.  He possesses a natural gift for forestry and landscape gardening, and so great a fondness for the work that he has devoted the major part of his life to the work.  At the request of his grandfather, who desired to have someone care for him and his place, the young man went to live on the old homestead, which he greatly improved, and where he carried on general farming.  He remained there until the year 1890, and then secured a position as landscape gardener on the handsome estate of Mr. Russell, at Potowomut.  He remained in the employ of that gentleman until the latter's death, and since then has worked on the same estate for his successor, Robert H. I. Goddard.  He has assisted Mr. Goddard in enlarging the forest that covers a part of the property, and is still in charge of it, as well as being superintendent of the entire estate.  The old Hill farm upon which he was born was deeded to Mr. Mathewson in 1901 by his mother, and he has since purchased the old Forge property, at one time in the possession of the family, but which had passed into other hands for a number of years.  Mr. Mathewson is therefore the owner of a considerable property in this region.  He is very active in the affairs of the community, and has held a number of public offices here, among which should be mentioned that of trustee of the Rhode Island State College Board of Kingston, road surveyor, commissioner of the town farm, and member of the Board of Agriculture and the executive committee thereof.  Mr. Mathewson is also a member of the Rhode Island Horticultural Society.  He was one of the organizers of the Quidnesett Memorial Cemetery in 1902.  He designed and laid out the grounds, and is now superintendent, a member of the board of directors, and also vice-president.  Mr. Mathewson has been a member of the of the board of trustees of Rhode Island State College at Kingston since January, 1903.  In his religious belief he is a Baptist, and attends the church of that denomination in Quidnesett, being a trustee and deacon thereof.  He is a member of King Solomon Lodge, No. 22, Free and Accepted Masons, of East Greenwich, and of Quidnesett (at one time Davisville) Grange, No. 44, Patrons of Husbandry, and served in all the chairs of the latter.  He is a member of the Rhode Island Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Thomas G. Mathewson married, November 9, 1881, Celia Maria Madison, daughter of Joseph Warren and Maria (Smith) Madison, and a direct descendant of the Hon. Henry Matteson.  They are the parents of the following children:  1. Anna Maria, who married, July 28, 1909, Dana Lawrence, of Arlington, Mass., to whom she has borne two children:  George Hill Mathewson, born June 19, 1910, and Lucy Maria, born Jany. 12, 1915. 2.  George Hill, born March 4, 1886, died at Mt. Hermon School, Mass., Sept. 14, 1904.



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Ezra DixonEZRA DIXON  --  Men of genius, power and business ability belong in a sense to the public, and it is no invasion of their rights to minutely chronicle their lives, as it is from the biographies of successful men that the young man learns how he may direct his efforts in order to attain success.  Hon. Ezra Dixon, of Bristol, R. I., is a man whose years, sixty-nine, have been years of fruitful endeavor and high attainment, and a rich lesson may be drawn from a study of his career.  He came from one of the oldest of New England families, his American ancestor, Nathanial Dixon, coming from Ely, Cambridge, England, prior to the year 1634.  In England the line is traced to William Dickinson, 1564-96, and in this country the family with its collateral branches is interwoven with every department of American life and history.  It is found in many forms and varied spellings, the Dixons of this review springing from the Dickinson of 1630.  In England the family bore arms granted in 1802, thus described:

Arms - Azure, an anchor erect, encircled with an oak wreath, vert, between three mullets pierced or, on a chief paly of seven or, the last and gules, a mural crown argent.
Crest - Over an armed arm brandishing a falchion proper, a trident and spear in saltire or.
Motto - Fortes fortuna juvat.
Ezra Dixon is a son of Dwight James and Susan Ann (Bixby) Dixon, of York county, Maine, the memory of his parents there cherished in the hearts of their many friends of the region in which they lived prior to their coming to Spencer, Mass., where their son, Ezra, was born.  Dwight James Dixon was a son of John Dixon, a highly esteemed citizen of Dudley, Mass.  From both maternal and paternal ancestors he inherited a sound mind and a healthy body, and from them he inherited the fine physical and mental equipment which shows as yet no sign of deterioration.

Ezra Dixon was born in Spencer, Mass., December 12, 1849, and was there educated in the district school and through home study.  He was interested in machinery from boyhood, and much of his time was spent around the mills of Spencer, when not in school.  In 1857 he began his career as a mill worker, he entering the employ of John L. Ross, at Quadic, Conn., and for twenty-nine years he was employed in all the operations  of cotton manufacture as back-boy, cleaner, frame spinner, mule piecer, and doffer in mills of East Brookfield, North Uxbridge, Leesville, Stoneville, New Worcester, Linwood, Three Rivers, Lymans Mills, Hopedale and Manchester. During most of the Civil War period he was too young to enlist, but on December 1, 1863, he did enlist in the quartermaster's department in South Carolina, and served until April 6, 1864, when he was mustered out.  He re-enlisted July 15, 1864, in Company F, Forty-Second Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, and served until mustered out with his regiment, November 10, 1864.  He enlisted a third time, was assigned to the quartermaster's department, at Nashville, and there served until honorably discharged at the close of the war.

With seventeen years of cotton mill experience, minus the time spent in the army, he came to Rhode Island, and on July 8, 1874, entered the employ of the Nanquet Mills at Bristol, R. I., there continuing twelve years in the operating department.  From boyhood Mr. Dixon had given full rein to his inventive genius, but it was not until 1876 that he founded The Dixon Lubricating Saddle Company, the culmination of years of thought and hard work.  The saddle was an instant success, and was quickly adopted, and is yet in constant demand wherever cotton goods is [sic] manufactured.  This was his first important patent, but since that time nineteen others have been issued to him, all valuable additions to cotton mill machinery.  The Dixon Lubricating Saddle Company is located in Bristol, Ezra Dixon, president and treasurer, this company with offices in Bristol and Providence, R. I., manufacturing under the Dixon and other patents:  The Dixon Lubricating Saddle; Dixon Patent Locking Saddle and Stirrup;  Potter's Patent Rowing Guide Motion;  Peterson's Patent Pick Shaft;  Cumnock Patent Thread Board Shifter, as well as a general line of spinners' supplies.  Upon passing from the ranks of the employed to those of the employer, Mr. Dixon carried with him the best wishes of his associates, and in the years which have since intervened he has kept in close touch with the mill worker and his welfare, pursuing policies just and equitable to both owner and worker. To his own manufacturing business he has given his greatest effort, but his labors have extended to other industries and corporations.  He is a director of the Industrial Trust Company of Providence, and chairman of the board of managers, Bristol branch, and is now a director of the National India Rubber Company, the Kilburn Mill of New Bedford, Mass., of the Warren Manufacturing Company, and the Fort Drummer Mills of Brattleboro, Vt.  The foregoing but outlines the activities of an unusually busy and successful career from a business standpoint.  From boyhood a worker, Mr. Dixon has exerted every resource of body and brain to working out the problems which confront the manufacturer.  His personal experience as a textile worker was varied and broad, and to this he has added extended tours of travel and study of the conditions which effect or would affect manufacturing interests.  Many positions of responsibility and trust offered him have been refused, from the fact that to accept them would be equivalent to a surrendering of those things which had become his very life, his manufacturing interests.  But from his coming to Rhode Island, nearly half a century ago, he has manifested a deep interest in the welfare and advancement of his community, and is one of the potent forces responsible for the good which has attended the passing of the years.

His work in purely local affairs may be told quickly, but the good accomplished cannot be told.  As a Young Men's Christian Association worker, he has given liberally of his time and means, succeeding to the presidency of the Bristol branch, October 1, 1883, and ever continuing his interest. He was chairman of the committee in charge of the erection of Hydraulion Engine House, the Walley and the Oliver street school houses, and the purchase of the town waterworks.  He was appointed sewer commissioner in 1900, and Bristol's fine sewage system is due largely to his public spirit and interest.  He serves as a trustee of the Public Library, and has kept in touch with his army comrades through the medium of Babbit's Post, No. 15, Grand Army of the Republic, with which he has been connected since its organization.  Mr. Dixon is very prominent in Masonic circles, being a member of Saint Alban's Lodge, No. 6, Free and Accepted Masons, of Bristol, the Council of Warren, St. John's Commandery, Knights Templar, of Providence, R. I., Consistory; also member and past noble grand of United Brothers Lodge, No. 13, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of Bristol.  He is a past department commander of Rhode Island and there is no better known or more highly respected member of the Grand Army in the State.  Politically, Mr. Dixon is a Republican, was elected in 1907 to the House of Representatives from Bristol, and in 1908, he was elected state senator from Bristol.  His senatorial career was marked by close attention to committee and floor work, his votes prompted by a careful consideration of each question submitted to him.  Personally he is a man of agreeable manner and genial disposition, a friend to every man who will be friendly, upright and just in all his intercourse with his fellowmen.  He is a member of the Country Club, at Barrington, Turk's Head Club of Providence, and various other organizations, also a member of the Southern New England Textile Club.

Mr. Dixon married, August 14, 1872, at Uxbridge, Mass., Annie Prest, daughter of William and Rebecca (Morton) Prest, both born in Blackburn, England.  Mr. and Mrs. Dixon are the parents of three sons and two daughters:  Fred Morton, born March 12, 1874;  Ezra (2), Oct. 12, 1877; Annie Rebecca, Sept. 28, 1879;  William Garfield, July 4, 1883;  Fern, Jany. 13, 1888, the wife of Edward J. Leahy, of Bristol.  The eldest child was born at Hopedale, Mass., the other children at Bristol, R. I.  Nearing the age of three score and ten, Mr. Dixon can review a successful and happy life, and is a self-made man in every sense of the word.



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WALTER ALLEN SCOTT, late head of the firm of J. B. Barnaby Company, and for a period of over twenty-five years one of the foremost figures in the fraternal and business life of the city of Providence, was born in the town of Cumberland, R. I., May 14, 1846, the son of Louis and Harriet (Jenckes) Scott.  He was descended both paternally and maternally from several of the oldest and most notable of Rhode Island Colonial families. The town of Cumberland has been the home of the Scotts for several generations. The surname itself is of most ancient and honorable antiquity, and is found in the earliest of Scotch and English registers.  It signifies literally 'The Scot', one who came from Scotland.

The founder of the Scott family in Rhode Island was Richard Scott, an English gentleman of culture and substance, who came first to Ipswich, in the Massachusetts Colony, whither in 1637 he removed to Providence.  Here he became the owner of a large estate.  Richard Scott and his wife later espoused Quakerism and suffered persecution at the hands of the Massachusetts authorities for their belief.  It is claimed that he was the first Quaker resident at Providence.  His wife, Catherine (Marbury) Scott, was the daughter of Rev. Francis and Bridget (Dryden) Marbury, of London, and niece of Sir Erasmus Dryden, Bart., grandfather of the poet, Dryden. Their descendants settled throughout Providence county.

Walter Allen Scott was educated in the schools of Cumberland.  At the outbreak of the Civil War he was but sixteen years old.  After repeated efforts to gain admission to Rhode Island units, he finally succeeded in August, 1862, by misrepresenting his age, and was enrolled in the Twelfth Regiment, Rhode Island Volunteers.  This regiment was formed from the overflow of the Eleveth in which young Scott had tried to enlist.  The unit was sent immediately to the fighting front, and Mr. Scott took part in December, 1862, in the battle of Fredericksburg and in several of the major engagements of the spring of 1863.  His father, who was a member of Battery B, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, was wounded at Fredericksburg.  Mr. Scott served unscathed throughout the term of his enlistment and was mustered out of the service on July 29, 1863.  He returned to Cumberland, where for the next two years he worked in a general store.  He then began preparation for business life in the Bryant & Stratton Business College of Providence, from which he was graduated in 1868.  In the same year he secured the position of assistant bookkeeper with the J. B. Barnaby Company of Providence, and thus began his connection with the firm of which he subsequently became general manager and president.  Mr. Scott rose rapidly to a position of responsibility and importance in the firm, and was an active factor in its development and growth.  He was an able organizer and executive, keenly alert to every changing phase of the business.  He was a man of keen foresight, swift and sure in his decisions, and most progressive in his policies.  He became president of the J. B. Barnaby Company, in 1900, and held the office until his death.

Walter Allen Scott was long a prominent figure in fraternal and patriotic circles in the State of Rhode Island.  He was a member of Prescott Post, No. 1, Grand Army of the Republic, and has held numerous offices in the department of Rhode Island.  On October 19, 1912, he was elected junior vice department commander.  He was a member of Mount Moriah Lodge, No. 8, Free and Accepted Masons, of Lincoln; Pawtucket Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Pawtucket Council, No. 2, Royal and Select Masters;  Holy Sepulchre Commandery, No. 8, Knights Templar, and Palestine Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.  He belonged also to the Roger Williams Society, to Unity Council, No. 277, Royal Arcanum, and to Providence Lodge, No. 182, of the Knights of Honor.  In all of these organizations he was highly esteemed.

On November 22, 1868, Mr. Scott married Helen M. [May] Whipple, daughter of Daniel Whipple, of Cumberland, R. I., and a descendant of the ancient Whipple family of Providence and Cumberland, which has figured notably in Rhode Island affairs since the middle of the seventeenth century.  Daniel Whipple married Adaline Peck, daughter of Jesse F. Peck, of Pelham, Mass., and a descendant in the seventh generation of Joseph Peck, founder of the family in America.  (See Peck VII).  Mr. and Mrs. Scott were the parents of four children, who of whom are:  1.  Walter Osgood, was graduated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; is a chemist of note; married, in Providence Louise Holworth.  2.  Wilbur Allen, was educated in the schools of Providence; is now engaged in legal practice and in the insurance business; married Sybelle Sykes, daughter of Robert H. Sykes, of Augusta, Ga.; they are the parents of three sons, Wilbur Carleton, Harold Leroy, Kenneth Allen.  Mrs. Scott is a member of the Elmwood Woman's Club and Ardirhebiah Club, and is well known in social circles in the city.  She makes her home during the summer months on the old Whipple homestead at Diamond Hill, and during the winter at No. 398 Blackstone street, Providence.  Walter Allen Scott died at his home in Providence, December 30, 1912.

(The Peck Line).

The Peck families of New England take rank among the oldest and foremost in the country.  Several immigrants of the name settled in the American Colonies in the seventeenth century.  Foremost among these, however, were Joseph and the Rev. Robert Peck, sons and descendants of a most ancient and honorable English family whose lineage is traced for twenty generations prior to the founding of the family in America.  The surname is of great antiquity, and is found in Belton, Yorkshire, at a very early date.  From Belton branches of the original house spread all over England, and into every English-speaking country.  A branch settled in Hesden and Wakefield, Yorkshire, whose descendants moved to Beccles and were the ancestors of the American immigrants.  The family in America has figured prominently in history since the middle of the seventeenth century.  That part of Massachusetts which borders upon Rhode Island has long been the home of the branch herein under consideration.

(I)  Joseph Peck, immigrant ancestor, was baptized in Beccles, County Suffolk, England, the son of Robert and Helen (Babbs) Peck.  In 1638 he and other Puritans, with his brother, Rev. Robert Peck, their pastor, fled from the persecutions of their church to America.  They came in the ship 'Diligent', of Ipswich, John Martin, master.  The records of Hingham, Mass., contain the following entry:  'Mr. Joseph Peck and his wife, with three sons and a daughter and two men servants and three maid servants, came from Old Hingham and settled at New Hingham.'  He was granted a house lot of seven acres adjoining that of his brother, and he remained at Hingham seven years, at the end of that time removing to Seekonk.  At Hingham he was deputy to the General Court in 1639, and later held important town offices; was selectman, justice of the peace, assessor, etc.  In 1641 he was one of the principal purchasers of the Indian lands called Seekonk, afterwards the town of Rehoboth; this tract included the present towns of Rehoboth, Mass., and Seekonk and Pawtucket, R. I.  He removed, after 1645, to his new home.  An incident of the trip is recorded in the town records of Rehoboth.  'Mr. Joseph Peck and three others at Hingham, being about to remove to Seaconk [sic], riding thither they sheltered themselves and their horses in an Indian wigwam, which by some occasion took fire, and, although there were four in it and labored to their utmost, burnt three of their horses to death, and all their goods, to the value of fifty pounds.'  He was appointed to assist in matters of controversy at court, and in 1650 was authorized to perform marriages.  He was second on the tax list, and from all indications was one of the wealthiest men of his time in the southeastern part of the Massachusetts Colony.  In some instances land granted to Joseph Peck is still owned by his descendants.  His house was upon the plain in the northerly part of the 'Ring of the Town', near the junction of the present Pawtucket with the old Boston and Bristol road.  He died December 23, 1663. His sons united in amplification of the written will which was made on his death bed, and the court accepted it as part of the will.  He married, at Hingham, England, (first), Rebecca Clark, May 21, 1617; she died and was buried October 24, 1637.  The name of his second wife is unknown.

(II)  Joseph (2) Peck, son of Joseph (1) and Rebecca (Clark) Peck, was baptized in England, August 23, 1623, and accompanied his father to America in 1638, settling at Hingham.  He later removed to Seekonk, where he became a prosperous land owner.  His will was dated March, 1701.

(III)  Jathniel Peck, son of Joseph (2) Peck, was born in Hingham in 1660. He settled near his father in Rehoboth, and took an active part in local affairs during is entire life.  He was deputy to the General Court in 1721-22-23-26-27-28-29-30-31.  He gave land to the church.  Jathniel Peck died April 5, 1742, aged eighty-two years; his gravestone is still standing. His wife Sarah died June 4, 1717, aged forty-six years.

(IV)  Ichabod Peck, son of Jathniel and Sarah Peck, was born in Rehoboth, Mass., March 9, 1690-91.  He settled in that part of Attleborough which is now Cumberland, R. I., where he purchased lands as early as October 23, 1721.  He purchased of John Sweetland a tract of land with dwelling house, etc., lying at the north end of Red Earth Hill, on each side of the road to Diamond Hill.  According to the records of Taunton and the proprietors' records of Attleborough, Ichabod Peck was the owner of large tracts of land, laid out to him, and in right of his father and grandfather in the common lands.  He was one of leading citizens of Attleborough, where he held office frequently.  He was also active in Cumberland affairs.  He married Judith Paine, daughter of Samuel Paine; she died November 26, 1778.  He died July 8, 1773.

(V)  Solomon Peck, son of Ichabod and Judith (Paine) Peck, was born Arpil 19, 1733, at Rhoboth, Mass.  Early in life he settled in the southwestern part of Wrentham, Mass.  Contemporary records show him to have been a wealthy gentleman farmer, a man of distinction and influence in the community.  He married Mercy Foster, who was born May 22, 1734, daughter of Ebenezer Foster, of Cumberland.  He died December 31, 1802.

(VI)  Jesse F. Peck, son of Solomon and Mercy (Foster) Peck, was born in Wrentham, Mass., April 2, 1777.  He was a resident of the town of Pelham, and in the latter part of his life a prosperous farmer there, and a leading citizen.  He married (first) Anna Cole, daughter of Joseph Cole, of Cumberland, R. I.; (second), Martha Tingley, daughter of Samuel Tingley.

(VII)  Adaline Peck, daughter of Jesse F. Peck, became the wife of Daniel Whipple, of Cumberland, and the mother of Helen May Whipple, widow of the late Walter Allen Scott, of Providence.  (See Scott).


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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