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

NY: The American Historical Society, Inc. 1920

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Edwin O. ChaseEDWIN O. CHASE  --  Burrows & Kenyon, lumber dealers of Providence, R. I., is the firm with which the entire business life of Mr. Chase has been spent, a period of more than twenty-three years.  In this time he has advanced from the place of office boy, the capacity in which he first joined the firm, to its presidency, while during the same time he has assumed responsible and honored position among the leading men of affairs of his State.

Edwin O. Chase is a son of John A. and Amy J. (Wade) Chase, his father of native of East Killingly, Conn, his mother born in Gloucester, R. I. John A. Chase was for many years engaged in the contracting and building operations in Providence, his death occurring in 1917.  Edwin O. Chase was born in East Killingly, Conn., April 12, 1877, and attended the public schools of that place until he was eight years of age, when Providence became the family home.  In this city he continued in attendance in the public schools, graduating from high school in the class of 1893. For three years he was employed with his father, and in 1896 he became office boy in the employ of the Burrows & Kenyon Lumber Company. Two years later he became bookkeeper for the same firm, and in 1903 his competent and faithful service gained him an interest in the business. Upon the incorporation of the company in 1908 Mr. Chase became secretary and treasurer, and in 1911, when death removed Mr. Kenyon from office, he became president and treasurer.  Mr. Chase acquired the controlling interest in the company in 1917 and reorganized the officiary as it now exists:  Mr. Chase, president, Carlton C. Chase, vice-president, George E. Thurber, treasurer, and William Mc Kenna, secretary.  The firm name has remained the same throughout the changes in the personnel, and the business they conduct in lumber and builders' supplies, wholesale and retail, is one of the oldest and largest in New England.  Mr. Chase, in addition to his private business interests, serves the Citizens' Savings Bank as trustee.  He is president of the Rhode Island Employers' Association, and throughout the wide territory that his operations and influence extend he is known as a progressive and able business man.  The position he occupies represents the reward of unremitting labor and a fixed determination to achieve a responsible place, while in his advancement he has known no deviation from the strictest probity and the most upright methods.

Mr. Chase belongs to the Republican party and is a member of the City Counsel [sic], representing the Sixth Ward.  He has a wide following both within and without his party, for he is generally known as a supporter of man and principles rather than as an adherent to party form, and no good measure or movement in Providence has ever lacked his support.  He is a member of the Providence Chamber of Commerce, and also belongs to the Wannamoisett Country Club, and the Turk's Head, Pomham, and Providence Central clubs.  Mr. Chase has been active in the Masonic order all of his adult life, holding all degrees in the York and Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite up to and including the thirty-second, and in September, 1918, he achieved the ultimate Masonic distinction when he was elected to receive the honorary thirty-third degree, a rare honor reserved as a mark of the highest appreciation of service rendered the order.  Mr. Chase is an attendant of the Episcopal church.

Mr. Chase married, June 20, 1899, Martha E. Thurber, daughter of Emery E. Thurber, her father a long-time resident of Rhode Island, now living retired in Esmond.  Mr. and Mrs. Chase are the parents of one son, Leslie T., born in 1906, a student in the Moses Brown School, of Providence.

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ROBERT HAZARD CHAMPLIN  --  When in May, 1911, Robert H. Champlin and his widow passed away within one week of each other, two remarkable lives ended. For forty-three years they had trod life's pathway together and, when the gentle mother was borne to her last resting place upon the shoulders of her four manly sons, it did not require a prophet to realize that life's race was run for the aged father, whose years were then numbering eighty-two. And so it proved, and six days it was the mournful but sacred duty of the sons to bear him to his last resting place beside their mother.  His monument is the business he founded; he retired in 1891, and later the business passed into the hands of three of the sons who yet conduct it.

Robert Hazard Champlin was of the seventh generation of his family in New England, the founder of which was Jeffrey, Jeoffrey or Geoffrey Champlin who is of record as early as 1628.  He married and had male issue, the line of descent being traced through his eldest son, Jeffrey, who was born at Newport, in 1650, and is of record at Kingstown in 1715, leaving a son Jeffrey (3) born in 1670.  Jeffrey (3) Champlin married (third) a wife Susannah who bore him a son John, who is next in  line of descent.  Jeffrey (3) died in 1717, and his will was probated March 10, 1718.

John Champlin, only son of Jeffrey (3) Champlin and his third wife, Susannah, was born February 12, 1716, died September 8, 1772.  He married Freelove Watson, born in South Kingstown, died in Exeter, R. I., May 10, 1773, daughter of John Watson.  Their second son, Samuel, born July 17, 1746, died in Exeter, R. I., November 1, 1818, was the father of Russel Champlin and the grandfather of Robert Hazard Champlin, to whose memory this review is dedicated.  Samuel Champlin married, Dec. 10, 1782, Alice B. Reynolds, born July 21, 1755, died Oct. 23, 1825.  They were the parents of six children, of whom Russel was the fifth.

Russel Champlin was born in Exeter, R. I., July 23, 1793, and there resided until two years after the birth of his son, Robert H., in 1829, then moved to East Greenwich, R. I., and there resided until his death.  He married Mary Arnold and they were the parents of Robert Hazard Champlin.

Robert Hazard Champlin was born in Exeter, R. I., April 24, 1829, died in East Greenwich, R. I., May 19, 1911.  He was brought to East Greenwich by his parents in 1831, there obtained his education, established a prosperous business and resided until his death, eighty years after his coming, in 1831.  His education was obtained at East Greenwich Academy; his instructors, professors Goodenow and Eastman.  At the age of seventeen years, his school ended, and from the year 1846 until his retirement in 1891, he was continuously connected with the lumber business in East Greenwich.  He became head of his own business and built it up to large proportions, and 'Champlins' were headquarters in that section of the State for lumber and building materials.  He conducted the business very successfully until 1891, then sold out to Joseph Dews and retired to a well-earned period of contentment and ease.  The business which he sold was conducted by Mr. Dews for five years and then sold by him to three sons of Robert Hazard Champlin, who own and operate the business founded by their father many years ago.

For twenty years after his retirement from business, Mr. Champlin continued his residence in East Greenwich, enjoying to the full, the rewards of a long life of honored usefulness.  He was a man of quiet and home loving disposition and those twenty years were spent mainly at his home, with the wife of his youth and children.  He was highly esteemed in his neighborhood and in all things measured up to the full statue of a man.  His end was hastened, no doubt, by the death of his wife, who succumbed to an atttack of pneumonia, May 13, 1911, and six days later on Friday, May 19, he too passed away, and their four sons were the pall bearers at both funerals.

Robert H. Champlin married, November 26, 1866, Frances Beulah Williams, of Clintonville, N. Y., who died Saturday, May 13, 1911, aged seventy-two years, daughter of William Hilton and Mary Williams.  The Williams family descended from Robert Williams, who came from England to Roxbury, Mass., in 1638.  Mr. and Mrs. Chaplin were the parents of sons and daughters, as follows:  1.  Mary Frances, of New York.  2.  Florence Beulah, of East Greenwich.  3.  Jeduthan Russell, of East Greenwich.  4.  Samuel Arnold, died December 14, 1911.  5.  Robert Hazard (2), conducts the firm, Champlin Lumber Company, of East Greenwich and Centerville, dealers in lumber and builders' materials; he now resides at Riverpoint, R. I.  6.  William Hilton, of Rochester, N. H., where he is engaged extensively in lumber manufacture.

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Dr. Frank KennedyTHOMAS FRANCIS KENNEDY, M. D.   --  The echoes from the recent terrific explosion in Halifax harbor had scarcely died away ere relief trains from the United States were speeding to the scene of disaster, laden with surgeons, physicians, nurses and medical supplies.  From Rhode Island, under the banner of the Red Cross, fifty physicians and surgeons, quickly volunteered, and among those who made the journey was Dr. Thomas F. Kennedy, of Woonsocket, R. I.  The quick relief rendered by New England was gratefully acknowledged, and great as was the suffering, it would have been much greater had not warm hearts and generous hands so quickly responded. The medical profession has never failed in such an emergency, and the good accomplished by this band of fifty Rhode Island doctors will ever live in grateful hearts, and wherever deeds of sacrifice and courage are appreciated their offering to the suffering people of Halifax will be remembered.  Dr. Kennedy is a brother of Ambrose Kennedy, United States Congressman from Rhode Island, whose sketch follows in this work.  There are two other brothers, Eugene A. Kennedy, M. D., of Milford, Mass., specialist in eye, ear, nose and throat, and Edwin Kennedy, of North Smithfield, R. I., a dyer by occupation, and two sisters, Mrs. Mary C. Quinn, of Woonsocket, wife of Timothy S. Quinn, a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, and Mrs. Angela F. Downey, wife of John J. Downey, who is at present postmaster at Blackstone, Mass.

Dr. Kennedy is a son of Patrick and Mary (McCormick) Kennedy.  His father, a mill overseer at Blackstone, Mass., was a member of the Massachusetts Legislature in 1875 and 1876, and selectman, assessor, overseer of the poor and collector of taxes in the town of Blackstone for a number of years.

Thomas Francis Kennedy was born in Blackstone, Mass., June 12, 1874, and there completed grade and high school courses.  He then pursued a literary course at St. Hyacinthe College, St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada, after which he began the study of medicine at the University of Maryland, College of Physicians and Surgeons, at Baltimore, Md.  He was graduated M. D. in the class of 1900 with highest honors in a large class, and afterwards, in 1906, 1907 and 1908, studied abroad in the hospitals of London, Paris, Vienna and Berlin.

Dr. Kennedy began the practice of medicine in Woonsocket, R. I. in 1900, where he has established a high reputation as a skillful physician and surgeon.  He is a member of the Medical Staff of St. Joseph's Hospital, Providence, R. I., Park Place Hospital, Pawtucket, R. I., and Woonsocket Hospital, Woonsocket, R. I.  He is also medical examiner for the Aetna Insurance Company and for the Modern Woodmen of America.  Dr. Kennedy is a member of the Woonsocket District Medical, Rhode Island Medical and the American Medical associations, and keeps in closest touch with all medical and surgical advancement.  Dr. Kennedy is past exalted ruler of Woonsocket Lodge, No. 850, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and a member of the National Grand Lodge of the order.  He also belongs to the Knights of Columbus; the Modern Woodmen of America; is a member of St. Charles Roman Catholic Church; and in politics is a Republican. Dr. Kennedy made application for appointment in the Medical Reserve Corps, United States Army.

Dr. Kennedy married in Blackstone, Mass., September 7, 1914, Margaret Isabel McCabe, daughter of John and Catherine (Smith) McCabe. Dr. and Mrs. Kennedy are the parents of two sons, Frank, born Jan. 22, 1916, and John Q., born July 3, 1918.

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Ambrose KennedyAMBROSE KENNEDY  --  As representative from the Third Rhode Island District in the Sixty-third, Sixty-fourth, Sixty-fifth and Sixty-sixth congresses, Mr. Kennedy has had a voice in shaping legislation, more important and far-reaching than any heretofore passed by any other American Congress. These congresses have been called upon to legislate on matters affecting the whole world, have appropriated money for national defense and war purposes staggering in the total, and have passed laws unprecedented in their character, when compared with former national legislation.  So long as history shall be read, the proceedings of these congresses, particularly the Sixty-fourth and Sixty-fifth, will be regarded as epoch making, and the end is not yet in view.  In all these proceedings, Congressman Kennedy has taken an important part.  He is a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and his voice and vote in committee and upon the floor of the House have been uniformly in support of the truest American doctrine, and patriotic to the core.

Mr. Kennedy has been in the public eye from his college graduation, first appearing as principal of the high school and superintendent of schools in Blackstone, Mass.  From the teaching profession to the law was an early transition, and from the law to the arena of politics was but a step.  He has risen high in the political world, his rise being most meteoric, and still a young man, Mr. Kennedy may face the future with confidence, his record proving his worth in these days which are trying men's mettle by the sternness of tests.

Ambrose Kennedy was born in the town of Blackstone, Mass., December 1, 1875, son of Patrick and Mary (McCormick) Kennedy.  He there began his education, completing grade and high school courses.  From high school he passed to St. Hyacinthe College, St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada, then to Holy Cross College, Worcester, Mass., whence he was graduated A. B., in the class of 1897.  Holy Cross College conferred upon him the degrees of A. M. in 1901, and L.L. D. in 1918.  In 1899 he was elected principal of Blackstone High School, filling that position and that of superintendent of schools until 1904.  He then entered Boston University Law School, whence he graduated L.L. B. and J. B., class of 1906. The same  year he began the practice of law in Woonsocket, R. I., where he soon built up a large practice.  He is a member of the the Rhode Island Bar Association, and has won high standing in his profession. He was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States on March 15, 1918.

A Republican in politics, Mr. Kennedy made his first public entrance into political life as a candidate for the House of Representatives, being successful at the polls and serving two years, 1911-12.  He was elected Speaker of the House in 1912, and during his legislative terms rendered valued service in the judiciary committee, on the floor and as presiding officer.  From 1909 until 1912 inclusive, he served upon the personal staff of Governor Aram J. Pothier, as aide-de-camp, with the rank of colonel, and became during those years one of the foremost men of his party, sought in counsel, and entrusted with important duties.  His service in the House brought him prominently before the people of the Third Congressional District, and in 1912 he was the choice of the District for Congress.  He has been reelected as each term expired and is now serving in the Sixty-sixth Congress, dealing with the many momentous questions connected with the war and the subsequent problems of reconstruction.  Congressman Kennedy is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Columbus, and Modern Woodmen of America.  His religion is Roman Catholic.  On September 1, 1909, he married Anastacia G. Leahy, daughter of Michael A. and Julia M. Leahy, of Middleboro, Mass.  Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy are the parents of three sons:  Ambrose A., born Jan. 6, 1911; James F., born Aug. 5, 1912; and John E., born Jan. 29, 1915.

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CHARLES A. WHITE  --  Although a permanent resident of Narragansett Pier for several years, Dr. White has also maintained a dental office at Wakefield, R. I., and has divided his practice between the village and Narragansett Pier.  He is a son of Derick White, a boot and shoe manufacturer, and Louise Blanchard, who at the time of the birth of their son, Charles A., were residing at Weymouth, Mass.

Charles A. White was born Aug. 8, 1873, and was educated in the public schools of Weymouth.  He began the study of dentistry with a Boston dentist, and finally became an expert practising dentist.  He was engaged in his profession in Boston and other places until 1897, when he opened an office in Providence, R. I., remaining in that city one year. He then located in Wakefield, R. I., practising there during the winter months and going to Narragansett Pier for practice during the summer months. He makes his home at Narragansett Pier, and is still actively engaged in practice.  For several years he was a member of the firm, Peleg Brown & Company, who had the agency for the Oldsmobile, National, and Oakland automobiles for six years.  In 1915, Dr. White withdrew from the automobile business, and has since been active in real estate dealing at the Pier, in addition to his practice.

Dr. White has been very busily engaged in war work, serving as chairman of the board in charge of the Liberty Loan, chairman of the War Savings Committee, and has volunteered to do free dental work for the soldier boys of the Pier.  He married at Narragansett Pier, in 1890, Mary, daughter of Peleg Brown.  Dr. and Mrs. White are the parents of a son, Charles A. (2); and a daughter, Julia Louise.


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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