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This town is of but a recent separate formation, having formerly belonged to the town of Smithfield, which was then one of the largest towns in the State, comprising a population of some fourteen thousand. The early history of the town would seem, therefore, to more properly belong to that of its parent town, Smithfield. And yet, the territory embraced within the limits of the present town of Lincoln has been the scene of many historic achievements. It was here that King Philip’s war was commenced and finished, and many hard-fought battles attest the courage and self-sacrificing devotion of its early pioneers. Although the town, as has been remarked, is of but recent birth, still it is fast progressing in the development of all its manufacturing and business interests, and the future of Lincoln is a destiny of undoubted progress and success.

A large section of the old town of Smithfield was devoted almost exclusively to agriculture. That portion now embraced within the limits of Lincoln, had most its business along the lines of the Blackstone and Moshassuck rivers. For many years the advisability of dividing the old town of Smithfield, owing to the diversity of occupations and business interests, had attracted the attention of people, and many discussions ensued.

The matter assumed no definite form until 1871. On the 21st of January, 1871, a special town meeting was called for that purpose, and a vote was taken and resulted favorable to the friends of a separate town formation. A committee was immediately appointed, consisting of the following-named gentlemen: Hon. Charles Moies, George Kilburn, Esq., Mr. Thomas A. Paine, and Mr. Job Shaw. This committee was duly authorized to introduce this subject to the State legislature for its favorable consideration, which they did at the January session of 1871. Through their judicious management it was favorably entertained by this body, and on the eighth day of March, 1871, the legislature of the State of Rhode Island passed an act authorizing the division of the town of Smithfield, incorporated the new towns thereby formed, and fixing the boundaries of the several towns therein interested.

Thus the young town started into life under very auspicious circumstances, inheriting from its mother town the sum of $2,500 in cash, the records and archives of the old town, — which are now in the town clerk’s office, — and the duty of paying a share of the old town’s debt, which was $26,000; the total indebtedness being $53,000. The first members of the General Assembly elected from the town of Lincoln were: Senator, Hon. Edward L. Freeman; Representatives, Edward A. Brown and Samuel Clark. There has been no change in the general form of the government since its first formation.

The only distinguishing feature in the government of this town, from that of the other towns of the State, is that while this town, like all the others, is governed by a town council, yet the southeasterly portion of it is incorporated specially by the State legislature, under the name of the ‘Central Falls Fire-District’. They have the power to elect a moderator, clerk, treasurer, three assessors, and a collector of taxes; to elect fire-wards, and presidents of fire-wards; to order, assess, and collect taxes on persons and property within such district for fire-extinguishing apparatus, and keeping the same in order and using it; to regulate the duties of fire-wards, and of the citizens of said districts in case of conflagration; to provide for suppressing disorders and tumults, for the lighting of streets, and maintaining such police force as would be necessary for the safety and peace of the several districts. The reason for this special legislation arose from the fact, that it was not deemed right or just, that the sparsely settled portions of the town should be taxed for these benefits, that would be enjoyed only by these fire-districts, but of no particular interest, nor considered at all desirable in other parts of the town, while to these districts they were matters of great importance and of absolute necessity. The government of the town, with this exception, is administered by a town council composed of seven members, who, together with seven justices of the peace and a town treasurer, are elected annually by the people, with a town clerk, originally elected annually, but, under the changed law of the State, in 1871, the clerk was elected for three years. A moderator, to preside at town meetings, is also elected annually, by the tax-payers’ town meeting. The town council elect, annually, all the town officers and school committee, and also act as the court of probate, the president of the council acting as the judge of the probate court, while the other members fulfill the duties of associate justices of the same court. The Hon. Charles Moies, John A. Adams, Joseph W. Tillinghast, Benjamin Comstock, Stephen Wright, Hazard Sherman, and William D. Aldrich were, upon the first Tuesday in June, 1871, duly elected as the first town councilmen of the town of Lincoln. They were all men deeply interested in the welfare and prosperity of the newly created township, and were conspicuous, not only for their integrity and honesty, but their administrative abilities. The Hon. Charles Moies was chosen president, and still retains the position by virtue of the votes of his fellow-citizens and co-councilors, thus demonstrating not only his administrative abilities, but the respect and esteem in which he is held by his constituency. Thomas Moies was chosen the first town treasurer, and still remains entrusted with this important office, and was also chosen moderator of the town meetings. The Hon. Samuel Clark fulfilled the duties of town clerk, as he had done for some years previous in the town of Smithfield. Joseph M. Ross, Esq., held the position of trial justice, but resigned the office on the 4th of September, 1871, and was succeeded by George F. Crowningshield, Esq.

At the first town meeting, the ordinances of the old town of Smithfield were adopted, and on June 24, 1871, Joseph M. Ross, John P. Gregory, and Frederick N. Goff were appointed a committee to draft a code of ordinances for the town of Lincoln, which duty they performed in a very satisfactory manner. It may be mentioned in this connection, that after a considerable discussion as regards the name to given to this new town, it was finally agreed upon, that the name of the town should be called Lincoln, in commemoration of the martyred President of the United States.

Thus is briefly sketched the early organization of the town of Lincoln, and, although it is of recent formation, and its historical record but limited, in comparison with the older towns of the State, nevertheless it is not without interest, and the continued activity and energy of its citizens are only required, to give the town of Lincoln a degree of enterprise and thrift unsurpassed by any of her sister towns, and to assure it unbounded success in the future.


In 1871, when the town of Lincoln was first set off from that of Smithfield, it was estimated that there were about fifty miles of roadways in the town. There are now between fifty and sixty miles, together with a large number of streets, laid out and travelled on, although not as yet accepted by the town. These roadways are usually kept in good repair, and the bridges are generally found to be in good condition. During the past few years, the sum of $73,519.80 has been spent by the town in improving these highways, and to-day they are much better than before the division of the old town of Smithfield.

Poor Department.

The town originally had no town asylum, or place to take care of the unfortunate poor. Early recognizing the Christian duty of charity in the caring for these unfortunate ones, who, by adverse circumstances, have become unable to take care of themselves, the town council at once took steps toward providing for this class of people, and appointed Mr. Henry Gooding as overseer of the poor. He made satisfactory arrangements with the town of Smithfield, for the temporary care of all such as could not care for themselves at their own houses, and who needed the accommodations of an asylum, until such time as they should be able to afford a town asylum in the newly organized town. The town officers immediately devoted themselves to securing a proper location for the erection of a suitable town asylum, and finally succeeded in purchasing the Christopher Kelly place, and an adjoining lot, from the Lonsdale Company, and on the thirty-first day of December, 1871, the deeds of the estates were accepted and the money ordered to be paid.

During the past five years, with all the hardships and sufferings of the poorer classes, it has been found necessary to expend, for the support of the town’s poor, $15,239.16; while $5,359.35, or a large per cent. of that amount, has been expended for the relief and care of State paupers. Under the successful management of Mr. Gooding, the institution has remained in a flourishing condition, and a system has been adopted, to give, as far as practicable, temporary aid at their homes to those needing it, thereby saving them from the fancied degradation of being sent to the poor-house, and fostering, so far as possible, in the unfortunate poor, a spirit of self-dependence.

Military, Police, and Fire Department.

Company C, Fifth Battalion Infantry, R. I. M., was mustered into the service of the State of Rhode Island on the nineteenth day of August, 1865. It was composed principally of Irish-American veterans of the war of the Union. Its first officers were: Captain, E. E. Lapham; First Lieutenant, Patrick Barry; Second Lieutenant, Matthew Curran. Its present officers are: Captain, P. A. Cosgrove; First Lieutenant, John P. Curran; Second Lieutenant, Bernard Kirke. Captain Cosgrove has commanded the company since July 25, 1873. The arms consist of thirty-five breech-loading Springfield rifles, with bayonets, good and serviceable weapons; to store which, the company has a handsome gun-rack in its armory, with folding glass-doors. Armory in Union Hall. It is remarkable that death has never visited the company but once since it was organized. On that occasion, May 8, 1871, Lieutenant Peter Boyce died, sincerely mourned and regretted by all of his comrades. The company meets for drill on Friday evening of each week, and to judge by the attendance and obedience of the men, it is evident that they are determined to hold the place which they have so deservedly attained, the front rank in the militia of Rhode Island.

Lincoln Union Guard was formed during the year 1863, and elected the following as the first officers: Lysander Flagg, Captain; Stafford W. Razee, First Lieutenant; James N. Woodward, Second Lieutenant; but a new militia law having been passed, the company was reorganized under that law, May 24, 1864, and Lysander Flagg was re-elected Captain; James N. Woodward, First Lieutenant; and David L. Fales, Second Lieutenant. They were again reorganized, March 19, 1866, ‘a charter having been obtained from the General Assembly and accepted’, under the name of the Lincoln Union Guard, and attached to the Second Brigade D. R. I. M., and the following officers were chosen: Colonel, Lysander Flagg; Lieutenant-Colonel, James N. Woodward; Major, George F. Crowningshield; Captain, Edward L. Freeman; First Lieutenant, David L. Fales; Surgeon, A. A. Mann.

Colonel Flagg resigned in 1869, and Lieutenant-Colonel E. L. Freeman was elected Colonel, to which position he was annually re-elected until the company disbanded. In the year 1870, through the exertions of Colonel Freeman, a handsome uniform was purchased, which added much to the appearance of the company, which was composed of a good class of men. In 1874, a new militia law was passed, which they, with many other military organizations in the State, did not wish to come under, and to the regrets of a great many of the citizens, they voted to disband, July 30, 1875.

The Police Department is under the control of the fire-ward, as are also the fire department, water supply, and street lights; and all these are to a certain extent connected. The town appoints a certain number of police constables, and they are distributed through the several localities where their protection is the most needed. They are paid by the Fire-Ward Corporation. Central Falls has three, who are on duty during the night. One of these takes care of the street lamps, keeps them in proper order, and attends to lighting and extinguishing them. They are usually put out at twelve o’clock, and he retires at two, leaving the others on duty until morning. There are nine of them on duty during the day, except on Sundays.

The Lonsdale Company furnish one watchman, who does police duty for the village, in Lincoln; and another one, across the river, is paid by the town of Cumberland. One is also employed at Manville, and receives his pay from the Lonsdale Company.

Fire Department. The nearness of the village to Pawtucket, with its well equipped and organized fire department, was without doubt the cause of the long delay in securing a more complete system of protection against the fire-demon. An engine was finally procured in the spring of 1848, and a fire department duly organized. The engine was a side-stroke, Button pattern, manufactured at Waterford, N. Y. The company, numbering about fifty members, went to Worcester, and brought it on for trial. It proved, in all respects, quite satisfactory, and was accepted by the committee having the matter in charge. In 1853, the fire company was recognized, under the name of the Pacific Steam Fire-Engine Company, No. 1, with the following officers: Foreman, William Newell; Assistant, John R. Fales; Hose Director, Henry Whipple; Engineer, J. O. Patt; Second Engineer, Russell Peck; Clerk, Robert Robertson; Treasurer, Alfred Knight; Steward, James Babbitt. The new engine-house, near the railroad, on Cross Street, is a substantial brick building, and fitted up with all conveniences for the purpose for which it was designed. The present company numbers two hundred and fourteen members. One alarm-bell, on the engine-house, run by weights, is considered sufficient for all practical purposes. The whole fire department is under control of the fire districts, whose officers are elected by the vote of the people.

Central Falls.

This is a flourishing manufacturing village, and derives its name from the fact of its location, midway between Pawtucket and Valley Falls. In 1822, it contained bur four dwellings. The stone house, just north of the Stafford Mill, was used as a place of worship for many years. Elisha Waterman, George Wilkinson, and the Jenckes erected the old chocolate-mill, which was the first manufacturing establishment in operation here. In 1856, Central Falls had but a few dwellings, one of which is now occupied by Albert Frost as a box-factory. It stood on the site of the present Union Block. There was no street north of this house at the time it was built, about 1822. Central Street was laid out, but had no name. High Street stopped at Central, and Broad Street was called the Valley Pike.

Mr. Anthony Gage emigrated, with his family, in July, 1812, from Cape Cod to Central Falls. He made his debut with an ox-team and cart, laden with his household effects. He settled here and remained a citizen for many years. His wife was a very religious woman, and held meetings at the old stone house regularly for some years. Dr. David Benedict was accustomed to preach occasionally, and others aided in keeping up the interest in these meetings. Central Falls, in 1821, had but sixty inhabitants. The old chocolate-mill was torn down about the year 1824. It is said the only clock owned in the village, outside the mill, was owned by Mrs. Anthony Gage, and the overseer warned her that she would have to give up the old timepiece, or leave the tenement. This unjust demand she refused to obey, and immediately secured another tenement, which stood near where the Baptist Church now stands, on High Street, and made preparations to remove thither. Mr. Jenckes, seeing the loss that his mill would thus sustain, by the withdrawal of a number of hands, prevailed upon her to remain.

At this time, the overseer in these mills was accustomed to exercise almost unlimited power; and among his prerogatives, was the punishment of the children employed in the factories, and that were thus under his control. Severe and brutal chastisement was often inflicted upon these helpless children, for many frivolous, and not unfrequently imaginary offences. By the growth of population, and the influence of education in developing a better and higher state of civilization, these cruel and inhuman practices have ceased, and the system of government in these large manufactories, is to-day administered in a far more humane and Christian spirit. Every means is resorted to for the better accommodation and convenience of the army of operatives employed in these extensive establishments, and capital and labor feel a mutual interest in the prosperity and welfare of these vast manufacturing institutions.

The first post-office was established in 1867, and the first postmaster was G. F. Crowningshield, who still holds the office. Four mails a day are received and distributed. This is a money-order office, and its business equals that of any office in the State of equal size. Central Falls has no banking institution, and this branch of the post-office serves, in a great measure, as a substitute for the transmission and receiving of moneys. Ashton, Lime Rock, and Lonsdale, each has an office, and one at Lonsdale being also a money-order office, thus making two within the township.

The press of the town consists of a publication entitled the ‘Weekly Visitor’. This paper was established in 1869, with E. L. Freeman & Co., owners and publishers. It is a sheet of thirty-six columns, Republican in politics, and is the only publication ever issued in the township. It has a large circulation, and bears an excellent reputation for the general information of its columns. In connection with the establishment, is a large job and book printing department. The manufacturing interest forms the most important branch of industry, and is the source of much of the material prosperity and wealth of the place.

The Central Falls Stockinet Factory is situated on Mill Street, near Central Street, and was established, in 1866, by Messrs. Cushman & Fuller. Employs some twelve or fifteen operatives, and manufactures knit underwear, &c.

The Stafford Manufacturing Company. The mill occupied by this company was built in 1825, by John Kennedy, for a cotton factory. Its original dimensions were small, with only about one-third the present capacity. It came into the possession of Almy & Brown about 1836. They enlarged the mill, and made other important improvements. In 1845, it was operated by John Gardiner & Co. About 1854, the property was sold to R. J. Stafford and H. B. Wood. In 1860, new additions were made; and in 1862 the company introduced the manufacture of thread and yarn. In 1863, Mr. Stafford died, when the present company purchased the property. Their charter bears date 1864, and the company consists of T. D. Bowen, Joseph Wood, J. A. Taft, F. H. Stafford, and J. A. Adams. Its officers are as follows: President, T. D. Bowen; Treasurer, J. Wood; Agent, J. A. Adams. The present company have added to the capacity, and now operates the mill in the manufacture of spool-cotton, yarns, warps, &c. They also own a one-half interest in the Dennis Mill, built by David Jenckes in 1823. The management is under the control of the above officers: Mr. Adams attending to the entire business. In the company’s yard stands their warehouse, which occupies the site of the famous old duck-mill. It was built by the Jenckeses, and operated by William Borden, in 1731 [sic], on cotton-duck. It was removed in 1856, to give place to other improvements. This company have ample accommodation for the employment of 200 operatives; have about 13,000 spinning, and 4,000 twisting spindles, and turn out some 600,000 dozen spools of sewing-cotton, and 15,000 pounds of yarn per annum.

Thurber, Horton & Wood manufacture cotton goods. Their mill is located between Mill Street and the river, and was built, in 1824, by Uriah Benedict, B. Walker, William Allen, and Jabel Ingraham, for the purpose of manufacturing thread. This is said to be the first thread-mill in Central Falls. The property has passed through many hands, three-fourths of it being owned by Stephen Benedict at the time of his death, which occurred in 1868. One-quarter is owned by the heirs of Dudley Walker, and the First National Bank of Pawtucket. It is operated by the above company in the manufacture of thread, &c.

Paper-Box Manufactory. This establishment is located on Mill, near Central Street, and is occupied by Albert Frost, who began business on the opposite side of the street in 1868, but removed to the present location in 1870. He leases power and building of E. L. Freeman & Co., and has facilities for working about forty hands. He manufactures, as a specialty, jewelry and thread boxes, which find a ready sale in this village, and its neighbor, Pawtucket.

Pawtucket Hair-Cloth Company. The mill that early occupied the site of this extensive manufactory, was built by Stephen Jenckes & Sons previous to 1829. It was built of the timber of a church at Attleborough. It now forms a part of the Weatherhead & Thompson Tannery. Governor Lemuel Arnold, Ruel Richards, and James F. Simmons purchased the mill about 1830, and made some additions, and operated it as a print-mill until 1837, when it was leased to Avery, Gilmore & Co. Mr. Arnold sold to Charles Moies; and Mr. Richards dying in 1838, Mr. Moies took the entire charge of the business. About 1846, Joseph and Samuel Wood purchased it, and it was subsequently sold to the Pawtucket Hair-Cloth Company. The old mill was removed to make room for the present buildings of the above mentioned company. This hair-cloth manufacture belonged originally to Pawtucket. In 1856, the business was started in the old Slater Mill. David Ryder & Co. began the business.

In 1858, Olney Arnold purchased Mr. Baxter’s (one of the original partners) interest, and about the same time Mr. Richard Ryder purchased an interest, and the company started up in this new branch of industry.. The partners were all inexperienced in the business, and most of them having other business to attend to, did not give their attention very closely to this branch, excepting David Ryder. He gave up all other interests, and resolved to make a success of this new manufacture, if possible. After overcoming numerous obstacles, which involved many discouragements and a considerable outlay of means, a stock company was formed in May, 1861, with a capital of $100,000. In January, 1863, it was increased to $300,000, and afterwards increased again to $500,000. Mr. Arnold had been the treasurer of the company, and was elected to the same office under the corporation. Mr. Ryder was president, and also business manager. The old quarters in Pawtucket soon became too small for the growing demands of the institution, and the company purchased the present site in Central Falls, and erected their present fine and commodious buildings in 1864. This is one of the largest establishments of the kind in the country, and, under its present management is doing a large, profitable, and safe business.

American Curled-Hair Company was organized in August, 1872. The Lewisohon Brothers, of 25 Park Place, New York, are proprietors. H. B. Metcalf and D. G. Littlefield are agents, and J. C. McCartney, superintendent. The buildings, grounds, sheds, &c., occupy about an acre of land. The business is that of curling the hair so extensively used in upholstering. The company have branch houses in London, Eng., and Hamburg, Ger. They also deal in brush-supplies, and color large quantities of hog’s hair, which is chiefly consigned to the foreign houses. The establishment is finely located on the corner of High and Blackstone streets, near the river, and in close proximity to the Boston and Providence Railroad. It gives employment to about sixty operatives, and has a twenty horse-power engine as a motor. They are doing a large and profitable business in the class of goods manufactured.

United States Flax Manufacturing Company. This establishment is located at the corner of Foundry and Railroad streets, and was erected by Messrs. Fales, Jenckes & Sons in 1863. It was at first used by them as a machine-shop. Subsequently the A. & W. Sprague Manufacturing Company purchased it, and converted it into a flax factory. In 1869, it was converted into print-cloth works, the cloth being sent to the Cranston Works for printing. The buildings occupy about four acres of ground, and furnish employment for about five hundred operatives, and run 27,000 spindles. W. E. Phillips is superintendent. The company continue to retain the firm title of ‘United States Flax Manufacturing Company’.

Central Falls Woollen Mill was erected in 1869-70 by Messrs. J. E. Phetteplace, G. A. Seagrave, and J. L. Pierce, and commenced the manufacture of woollen goods, for men’s ware [sic], in 1871. The above parties were chartered as the Central Falls Woollen Mill, formerly known as the ‘Granite Woollen Mill’. The mill is located on Mill Street, near Cross Street, and is 50 x 150 feet, and five stories high; has nine sets, and a capacity of about 450,000 yards per annum. Gives employment to some one hundred and thirty-five operatives.

Fancy Wood-Turning Works are located in the rear of 242 High Street. This establishment is occupied by T. D. Rice & Co., and contains machinery for turning all kinds and descriptions of fancy articles in wood, buttons, jewelry, spools, &c. It employs about twenty-five operatives, has an eighty horse-power Corliss engine, and consumes some 200,000 feet of lumber per annum. The company have a branch establishment at Pawtucket for the purposes of enameling their goods.

Picture-Frame Manufacturers. In 1873, T. E. & A. A. Miller began the above business. In 1875, Mr. W. C. Manchester purchased the interest of A. A. Miller, and the new firm moved to a more commodious site, at the corner of High and Central streets. In 1876, Mr. Manchester purchased the interest of Mr. F. E. Miller, who removed to Woonsocket, and is now engaged in the same kind of business. Mr. Manchester is at present managing the entire business, and has added a stock of fancy goods, toys, &c. This is the only establishment of the kind in Central Falls. In connection with the business, is that of copying and enlarging pictures. Some fine specimens of this art can be seen at this establishment.

Top-Roll Covers. This establishment is located at 31 Railroad Street, and operated by Messrs. Bennett & Hathaway, successors to Samuel Boardman. Mr. Bennett has had an experience of sixteen years in the business in Fall River. The company employ eight operatives, and have an eight horse-power engine as a motor. This is the only establishment of the kind in Central Falls.

Brass Foundry. William Newell is located on High Street, near the railroad, and began the above business in 1847. He manufactures all kinds of brass and bronze goods, and usually furnishes employment to four hands. This is the only brass foundry in the village of Central Falls, and, indeed, it may be said, in this vicinity.

New American File Company was incorporated in May, 1876. Stephen A. Jenckes, President and Treasurer; H. S. Fairbanks, Resident Agent; Capital, $100,000. This extensive establishment is located on Dexter, Pine, Mowry, and Rand streets, and occupies three acres of land. The company manufacture all styles of files and rasps, and give employment to one hundred and forty hands. The capacity of the works is four hundred dozen files per day. The establishment is provided with forty-three cutting-machines of the Bernot patent, of which they have the exclusive right in the United States. Office, at the works, on Dexter Street.

Central Falls Machine Company was started by Charles E. Griffin, in the Union Block, about 1867. It passed through several different hands, and is now conducted by C. E. Hartwell, who, in 1873, moved from the old Chipatone Mill on Mill Street, to the present location, which is in the rear of 146 High Street, in Greene & Daniel’s Building. The specialty is the manufacture of trimming mouldings, and scarfing machines, used in making belting.

Job Printing. At 369 Mill Street is the job-printing establishment of C. A. Wilkinson, who began in Central Falls in 1873, having, as a partner, Mr. William Evans, who retired from the business in 1874. The present printing establishment was purchased by Mr. Wilkinson of Nickerson & Perrin, of Pawtucket, in 1875, and was removed to Central Falls. He runs three presses, and all other necessary accompaniments of a first-class printing-office. The power is obtained from the adjoining thread-mill of the Stafford Manufacturing Company.

Tin and Sheet-Iron Workers. At 141 Dexter Street is the shop of Joseph Allenson, tin and sheet-iron worker, and manufacturer of the cylinders for mule and spinning frames. Mr. Allenson located here in 1876, and is a native of Lancashire, England, and located in Rhode Island in 1868. In 1858, Robert Plews, a native of Cheshire, Eng., located in the Union Block, in the lower story. In 1859, finding that his increasing business demanded better accommodations, he built the present building on Central Street, near the railroad, now occupied by George Gosling and Eastwood Eastwood {sic]. The business is conducted by this firm, and consists in the manufacture of ‘Plews’ Patent Tin Cylinders’, Adjustable Card Screen, and all kinds of tin, sheet-iron, copper, and brass goods. In 1869, George Gosling and John Gosling, took an interest in the firm, and in 1871, purchased the entire business. Still another change was made in 1874, by John Gosling retiring from the firm, and Eastwood Eastwood taking an interest, he being a brother-in-law of Mr. Gosling. This is the first establishment of the kind in Central Falls. These goods find their way into nearly all the markets of the world.

The establishment of O. W. Wilmarth & Co., at 351 and 355 Mill Street, was established by O. W. Wilmarth, in 1871, as a stove-dealer and manufacturer of tin and sheet-iron ware. In 1875, J. W. Wilmarth took an interest, and the hardware business was added. They also do plumbing, and deal in masons’ supplies. David Jenckes located in Central Falls about 1843, in the blacksmith business. Samuel Hildreth had a shop here, which was purchased in 1845 by Stephen Perry, who added the business of carriage-making. J. W. Perry purchased the establishment of his father, in 1874, and the business is now conducted by him. The shop is located at 306 Mill Street.

Manufacture of Jewelry. At 209 High Street is the establishment of H. D. Horton, who succeeded W. H. H. Barton in 1875, who began the manufacture of jewelry in 1872. Previous to this, however, Mr. George Gooding had been in the business. This forms quite an important branch of industry, and is at present conducted with no little degree of success.

Confectionery. Leot Smith, about 1832, began the above business in the old N. Venner building on Central Street. In 1833 he sold to Samuel Cash, who continued the business until about 1843, when he sold one-half interest to S. C. Pierce. The above company built a shop where the dwelling of S. L. Pendergrass now stands. Mr. Pierce subsequently purchased the entire business, which he continued until 1862, when he sold it to the present occupants, Messrs. Arnold & Horton, under the firm-style of M. B. Arnold & Co. This is the oldest established confectionery in Central Falls. About 1843, William Leonard began the business on Central Street, selling to Moran & Brother in 1865. They moved to their present location, 279 Mill Street, in 1867. They have introduced the wholesale cigar-trade in connection with their business. They employ eight hands, and run two double teams on the road, and are doing a business of about $40,000 per annum.

Gas Works. Dr. Charles F. Manchester began the manufacture of oil-gas near the river and in rear of the Spencer Building, at an early date. In the year 1850, the Pawtucket Gas Company was incorporated, and built the present extensive buildings on the corner of Elm and High streets. They supply Pawtucket, Central Falls, and Valley Falls with gas. The present officers are: William Newell, President; Thomas Moies, Treasurer; S. G. Stiness, Superintendent; William Newell, Gideon L. Spencer, H. Conant, D. Goff, J. G. Fales, R. S. Salisbury, Thomas Moies, G. L. Walker, L. B. Darling, Directors.

Boot and Shoe Factory. E. L. Slocum first began business in Pawtucket in 1864, in company with a Mr. Wright. Mr. Slocum purchased his partner’s interest and soon afterward took another interest and conducted the business under the firm-title of Slocum & Pitcher. In 1867, Mr. Slocum took the business and removed it to Central Falls. In 1870, he opened a retail store, which he runs in connection with his manufactory. He has a capacity for the employment of twenty-five hands. The business is located at 45 Central Street, and is the first establishment of the kind in the State, and the only one in Central Falls.

Tanners. Weatherhead & Thompson established the business in 1858, adding the manufacture of thread spools in 1868. They are now engaged in the manufacture of thread spools, belts, and factory leather, for laces, &c.

Central Falls Lumber Company, located at 148 Broad Street. This establishment was founded by Henry B. Wood, in 1844, embracing lumber and builders’ supplies. About 1855, Mr. Gideon C. Smith was admitted to the firm. In 1857, A. P. Wood became a member of the firm. In 1864, Mr. A. G. Wood became a partner. In 1866, Henry B. Wood and G. C. Smith retired from the firm. In 1872, A. G. Wood retired, and the whole business devolved upon A. P. Wood, who continues the business at present.

Contractors and Builders. On Elm Street is the establishment formerly known as Pratt & Rathbun. By recent changes and establishment has come into the possession of the Central Falls Lumber Company. The specialty is the manufacture of mouldings, packing-boxes, and scroll sawing.

Carriage Repository. This establishment is located at 172 Broad Street, and occupied by J. H. Fairbanks & Co., who commenced the above business in 1868. In 1870, A. S. Fairbanks took an interest in the business, formerly carried on on Mill Street, but removed to their present quarters in 1877. This is the oldest establishment of the kind in Central Falls. They keep all kinds of carriage furnishing goods, as well as all kinds of carriages, express wagons, &c.

roceries. Among the early parties engaged in this branch of trade were Samuel Hawes and Sabin Allen. They were located nearly opposite the Stafford Mill, about 1825. Richard Smith opened a store in 1830, on the site of the machine-shop on Mill Street. Moses Morse began business near the site of the Central Falls Woollen Company’s mill, in 1837. Isaac Babson also had an establishment on the site of the Hiscox Bakery, corner of Cross and High streets. Competition ran high, and others were induced to embark in this business. In 1857, A. Harding commenced the business, which he still continues, being located on Central Street, and keeps a full line of choice goods, and is doing a safe and profitable business. J. J. Fales commenced business about 1854, at the corner of High and Central streets. The establishment is now conducted by Joseph E. Fales & Brother. The store formerly occupied by J. B. Gooding was purchased by D. K. Newell & Co., in 1873, and was subsequently transferred to D. Hicks, who is now engaged in the business at the corner of Mill and Central streets. James Murphy, at 37 Central Street, has been engaged in the grocery trade for twelve years; commenced the business under the firm-style of Murphy & Cross. Mr. Murphy succeeded to the entire control of the business in 1876. He is also agent for emigration tickets, with seven of the most popular lines of steamers; and, in fact, is the only emigrant agent in Central Falls. D. K. Newell & Co. opened a new store at the corner of Cross and Mill streets, in the Perry Building, in 1877.

Moshassuck Bleachery.

This magnificent establishment is situated in the town of Lincoln, within two miles of the thriving town of Pawtucket, and but five miles from the city of Providence. It is one of the largest and best arranged bleacheries in the United States; and its location, upon the Moshassuck River, from which it derives its name, renders it of superior value, by virtue of the intrinsic properties of the water for bleaching purposes. Its facilities for transportation are unsurpassed, it having a railroad from Providence into and upon its own premises. The country surrounding it is picturesque and fascinating; and although in a great degree worthless for agricultural purposes, nevertheless its hills, valleys, and streams render it capable of almost endless improvement and ornamentation.

In 1848, M. W. F. Sayles commenced, without any previous knowledge of the business, and with a comparatively limited capital, the bleaching business in the hamlet of Moshassuck, the extent of his business reaching only about two and a half tons of bleached goods per day. In 1854, the business had increased to four tons per day, and soon became the leading establishment in the State, of its kind, and drew a greater part of all the finest goods therein manufactured. In 1854, the entire works were destroyed by fire; but the proprietor, with his usual energy and perseverance, immediately commenced their construction on a much larger scale, and in the fall of that year was completed an establishment that had a capacity for bleaching six tons of goods per day. The business still continuing to increase, under the judicious management of its enterprising proprietor, it was found necessary to make more improvements and add to its capacity. Consequently, in 1865, further enlargements were made, and from that time to the present, extensions have been constantly made, until its capacity has reached the enormous amount of forty tons per day, or more than three hundred thousand yards of goods. The buildings are mostly of brick, and are substantial in every respect, while the interior departments are all minutely arranged, and adapted to the cheapest and best method of bleaching the finest and most delicate cotton fibrics [sic]. In connection with the water-power, two beautiful Corliss engines have been added as a motive-power, while a planing-mill, — fire-proof, and of ample dimensions, — a machine-shop, and dry-houses, render this establishment perfect in all its details and requisites for carrying on the business in the most rapid and satisfactory manner. And to-day, the bleaching establishments of Messrs. W. F. & F. C. Sayles has a world-wide reputation; and its capacity, together with the excellence quality of goods manufactured, is unsurpassed by any like institution in New England.

Other Manufactories.

Albion. Oziel Wilkinson had a forge here long before the dam was built, situated upon Muzzy Brook, and near its junction with the Blackstone. This fact, no doubt, influenced Abraham and Isaac Wilkinson to build here, in 1822, having previously purchased the land (some thirty acres) of Daniel Hill, and fifteen acres more of Jonathan Carpenter, on the Cumberland side. In the above year they built the fine stone mill, a four-story structure, 108 x 40 feet. They operated 75 looms, and leased to Harris & Co. one third of the power, who operated 35 looms on sheetings. In 1829, the property passed into the hands of George Wilkinson, a son of Abraham, who immediately built a new mill, 40 x 60 feet, in which he operated 50 looms in the manufacture of sheetings. He also built another mill, near where the Providence and Worcester Railroad station now stands. This mill was 35 x 60 feet.

In 1834, the estate was purchased by Waldo & Co. of New York, from whom it was purchased by the Albion Company, in 1834. This firm was composed of Christopher, William, and Robert Rhodes of Pawtuxet, and Orrin Taft and Thomas Trysdall of Providence. In 1835, they purchased the Harris interest. They leased the mill last built by Wilkinson, to Ingraham and Whitney Haden of Albion, and Charles Moies of Central Falls, who operated it until it was destroyed by fire in 1836. The other mill is now used as a store-house. The company now run one hundred and fifty-five looms. In 1849, they were running two hundred and fifty looms on print-goods. During this time, Taft sold his share to William A. Howard, who sold his share to Harvey and Samuel B. Chace of Valley Falls, who afterwards bought out the remaining partners, and organized under a charter form the General Assembly, obtained May, 1856, as the Albion Company. The property is now owned by Harvey Chace and others, Samuel B. Chace having withdrawn from the firm.

In 1861, a brick mill was built on to the stone mill, a structure five stories high, 50 x 118 feet, and extended it 100 feet in 1874, so that now the company run 27,000 spindles. In connection with the mill, they have large and ample buildings to accommodate the demands of their truly gigantic business. The privilege is one of the most powerful on the stream, having a fall of twelve feet. The mill is operated by two turbine-wheels of one hundred and fifty horse-power each, and a smaller wheel of eighty horse-power, of a different pattern. Mr. Waterman F. Brown has been superintendent since 1873. The mills produce 130,000 yards of print-goods weekly, and employ three hundred and twenty hands.


Simon Whipple, George Olney, Samuel Clarke, and others purchased this privilege, and built a factory in the year 1810, and spun cotton. Mr. Olney purchased his partners’ shares at various times. In 1825, he owned the entire privilege. The management of these men, gave the place the name of ‘Sinking Fund’, which was bestowed upon it by Henry Scott. At the time of which we are speaking, the leading politicians had a great deal to say about creating a ‘Sinking Fund’, in order to be able to pay the public debt at maturity. Mr. Scott took the word, and pronounced the above company a ‘Sinking Fund.’ His peculiar method of enunciation added to the beauty of the joke, and the story has been remembered, although its author has long since passed away.

Mr. Olney afterward sold out to the Lonsdale Company. This company operated the mill until 1869, on silicias and sheetings. Since this time, the mill has been used as a store-house. A part of this village is in this town, but the manufacturing interest, and the new village, have been built upon the Cumberland side. The Lincoln village has several stores, and is connected with the new village by a fine bridge.

Lonsdale. The history of this important manufacturing village is very interesting. In 1828, the privilege was purchased by Messrs. Brown & Ives, who formed themselves into a firm under the name of the Lonsdale Company, and obtained a charter from the General Assembly in January, 1834. In 1831, they erected their first mill at this place, and in 1838 erected another mill, and about the same time commenced a bleachery. As years rolled on, the business of the firm required the erection of another mill, which was put up about 1850. A dye-house had been erected a few years previous. In 1856, the company added a gas-works, lighting the works and the village. The gas has been carried in pipes to the new village, and up the river to Berkley and Ashton.

Another great improvement, was the building of a branch railroad from the main track of the Providence and Worcester Railroad, to the yard of the company, and crossing the Blackstone River on a fine iron bridge; this work was completed in 1876. By this arrangement, all of the transportation to and from these mills is done by steam. The works of this company at this place, taken altogether, are the largest in the State, and the mere enumeration and description of their various buildings would occupy several pages in our work. To give the reader some idea of this truly gigantic business, we will mention that fact that in the three mills at this place are run 50,600 spindles, upon the same style of goods as at the company’s other factories, viz., silicias, cambric muslin, and fine sheetings, while the bleachery and dye-works finish up the goods made at the company’s mills at Blackstone, Mass., Fitchville, Conn., Hope, Ashton, and Berkeley mills, R. I. The company employ, altogether, about 3,000 hands, of whom 1,100 are employed at Lonsdale.

Moshassuck. The factory at this place was built between the years 1810-14, by a party of gentlemen who styled themselves the Smith Manufacturing Company. They first run on woollen goods, but soon changed to cotton goods. Palemon Walcott purchased the mill, and operated it in the manufacture of cotton goods. The history of this mill is a history of many changes and different industries. About 1858, the mill was purchased by Euclid C. Thayer, and altered into a tannery. Mr. Thayer discontinued business in 1872, and the privilege was afterwards sold to the Hon. William F. Sayles, who now holds the property. An interesting fact connected with this mill, is the bell, which bears the date of 1264, and for centuries was connected with a convent in England, being used at vespers, and upon other occasions. This old bell, by some strange turn of events, was placed upon the British frigate ‘Gerriere’. When this frigate was captured by the United States ‘Constitution’, on the 19th of August, 1812, the bell fell into the hands of the Americans. Many articles thus captures were sold in New York at auction, and, among others, the bell of the ship, which was purchased by Stephen Smith, and brought by him to Rhode Island, and placed upon his mill at this place, where it has ever since remained. The bell has a clear, sweet sound, that rivals many of the bells cast in more modern times.

Valley Falls. In 1870, Messrs. Grey & Fish leased rooms from the Valley Falls Company, and commenced the manufacture of weaver’s reeds and harness. From Jan. 1, 1873, to Jan. 1, 1877, Mr. Myron Fish conducted the business alone, after which he admitted Mr. John A. Carter as partner. In December, 1875, Mr. Fish erected a building for his business, a two-story wooden structure, 40 x 80 feet, into which he removed his machinery, and where the firm still remain. They employ about twenty hands. The building is situated close to the new iron bridge on Broad Street. The machinery is operated by steam power. The business is now quite flourishing, despite the times.

In 1854, Mr. William J. Hood commenced the manufacture of jewelry, at Pawtucket, Mass. He soon removed to Central Falls, and in 1858 to his present location in this village, at 280 Broad Street. Since he has been here, he has greatly extended his business, not only manufacturing jewelry, but in separate buildings he carries on the manufacturing and enameling of toys, making a specialty of croquet sets, and parlor, field, and table games. In his enameling department, he turns out 15,000 buttons daily. In his toy department he is doing a fine business, employing from six to ten hands, while in the jewelry department he has 26 hands employed upon various lines of cheap jewelry. All these buildings are in close proximity to each other, and could, if fully employed, find work for more than 125 hands. Joseph and Sarah Jenckes, who owned all the land on this side of the river, sold sixteen acres, by deed, dated April 7, 1812, to Abraham, Isaac, and David Wilkinson, for the consideration of $2,500. These gentlemen, soon after purchasing, erected a stone mill close to the new iron bridge, and fronting on Broad Street, which was torn down only a few years ago. They spun cotton until 1829, when they became embarrassed. The property was sold by an attorney, June 1, 1831, to Henry Marchant, who built the present wooden mill soon afterwards. He wove cotton goods. In 1847 he built the present brick mill. Mr. Marchant became embarrassed in 1852, and on Aug. 5, 1852, the property was sold by the United States Marshal to James H. Chace, who, on the 9th of July, 1853, transferred it to the Valley Falls Company, the present owners, who have greatly improved the property. The two mills we now speak of, run together 19,000 spindles, and, together with the one across the river, employ 400 hands, and produce 206,000 yards of print-goods weekly. The mill is operated wholly by water-power.

Secret Societys.

Jenckes Lodge, No. 24, F. and A. M., of Central Falls, was constituted Jan. 25, 1867. This lodge is the offspring of Union Lodge, Pawtucket. There were thirty-seven names enrolled on the charter, but twelve of these did not take dimits or sign the by-laws, so that the original members were but twenty-five. The first master was Horace Daniels. The lodge has rooms in the building erected by Messrs. M. B. Arnold & Co., which are tastefully fitted up with appropriate lodge furnishings, at a cost of about $1,300, that give to it an air of comfort and tidiness, unrivalled by any other lodge-room in the town. Both officers and members feel a just pride in their worthy institution, which is destined to a prosperous and happy future.

Mount Moriah Lodge, No. 8, F. and A. M., of Lime Rock, was chartered July 28, 1804, with twenty-three charter members. First officers: W. M., Moses Aldrich; S. W., Ahab Reed; J. W., Christopher Dexter; Treasurer, David Sayles; Secretary, Thomas Mann; S. D., George Hill; J. D., Winson Aldrich; Tyler, Nathaniel Mowry. The present membership is 125. Cost of furnishing hall, $500. The hall is also owned by the lodge, and located in a two-story brick building costing $3,000. Meetings are held Friday on or before the full moon.

Superior Lodge, No. 35, I. O. O. F., was instituted June 24, 1874, in Fales Block, on Central Street. The officers were as follows: N. G., Albert P. Carpenter; V. G., John Foster; R. S., William H. Steere; Treas., John W. Perry; P. S., Joseph D. Billington; War., Jabez W. Wilmarth; Con., Gideon M. Barber; I. G., George H. Smith; O. G., Eastwood Eastwood; R. S. N. G., John Aigan; L. S. N. G., John Ramsbotton; R. S. V. G., George H. Perkins; L. S. V. G., Francis A. Burnham; R. S. S., George W. Usquhart; L. S. S., John E. Thompson; P. G., William S. Davis; Chap., Benjamin F. Bryant. Meetings are held in the Brennan Block, Central Street, Central Falls, on Friday evenings. Number of charter members, 85. The present membership is 125.

Washington Lodge, No. 4, K. of P., was instituted Thursday evening, Jan. 19, 1871, by D. S. C. James H. Barney, and the following officers duly installed: V. P., Lysander Flagg; W. C., Edward A. Browne; W. V. C., David L. Fales; R. S., Charles F. Wood; F. S., Charles H. Randall; W. B., Benjamin A. Sibley; W. G., Fred. N. Goff; I. S., George J. Fairbrother; O. S., Manley P. Barber. This lodge is one of the strongest in the State, in a financial point of view, and its membership is large and composed of very excellent and worthy men. Its present membership about 90.

Lincoln Lodge, No. 360, Knights of Honor, organized Sept. 7, 1876, with the following officers: D., A. P. Carpenter; V. D., John Aigan. The number of membership, when instituted, was 11; at present, 18. The lodge meets in the rooms of the G. A. R., in Edgerton Block, on Central Street, in Central Falls.

Twilight Temple of Honor, No. 21, was instituted March 25, 1871, by Grand Templar G. M. Kimball, with thirty-two charter members. First officers, W. C. T., W. E. Keenan; W. V. T., H. Moredock; W. R., R. F. Eldrige; W. A. R., J. Dolan; W. F. R., Wm. McAllister; W. T., S. Arnold; W. U., J. Albrow; W. D. U., J. Keenan; W. G., G. Phillips; W. S., M. Jones; W. C., D. Hill; P. W. C. T., S. Wixon. It was organized in the Edgerton Block. In 1872, the new hall in Fales Block was dedicated, and is now used by the society. The lodge numbers at present a membership of about 60.

The Mountain Lily Social Temple of Honor, No. 5, was organized in 1872, and comprises members of subordinate lodges and ladies in good standing and respectability. First officers were as follows: S. P. T., Sophia Ambrose; B. P. J., George Kidder; S. V. T., Mary Fuller; B. V. T., George Matteson; S. C. Mary F. Wixon; S. U., Cynthia Chace; B. U., Stephen Parker; S. R., Annie Hiscox; B. R., Samuel Wixon; S. T. Lizzie Cozzen; F. R., David Hill; S. G., Mary Arnold; B. S., Michael Cunningham; S. P., Aaron E. Bullock; B. P., William Keenan.

Blackstone Division, No. 30, S. of T., was chartered May 4, 1866. Number of charter members, nineteen; present membership, about 107. First officers: no record of them. Present: W. P., William Rose. Meetings are held Tuesday evenings of each week, in the public hall in Valley Falls.

Rainbow Division, No. 1, S. of T., was chartered Feb. 6, 1871, with twenty charter members. First officers were: W. P., C. W. Arnold; W. A., Mrs. A. Frost; R. S., W. B. Fiske; A. R. S., L. M. Robertson; F. S., W. Wolstenholm; T., Albert Frost; Chap., Mrs. H. F. Smart; C., Frank D. Freeman; A. C., Emma F. Magee; I. S., Eliza Templeton; O., S., Joseph G. Chace. Present membership, nineteen. Meetings are held the first and third Monday evenings in each month, in the Good Templars’ Hall, Gooding’s Block, Central Falls.

Ionic Lodge, No. 65, I. O. G. T., was chartered Oct. 23, 1876, with twelve members. First officers were: W. C. T., C. D. Robinson; W. V. T., Jennie E. Fuller; W. Chap., Abbie Sprague; W. R. S., J. Ramsden; A. S., Mattie Hague; W. F. S., C. Thornton; W. T. Katie Cooke; W. M., A. Stoddard; A. M., Mary May; W. O. G., G. Gray; W. I. G., G. Sprague; W. R. H. S., J. Scofield; W. L. H. S., J. Cooke; L. D., J. Scofield. Present membership, 113. Meetings are held Monday evenings of each week in the Ionic Hall, at Lonsdale.

Ancient Order of Foresters, No. 6,287, was organized Oct. 7, 1876, with the following officers: C. R., George Jordan; S. C. R., Samuel Bancroft; Treas., George Ramsden; Sect’y, Thomas Ramsden; S. W., Robert Wolstenholme; J. W., James Ramsden; S. B., Benjamin Waterhouse; J. B., Jonathan Hunt; Trustees, I. Benson, S. Bancroft, and J. Jackson. Number of members at commencement, twenty; present number, forty-five. Meetings are held in Oak Hall, at Lonsdale, on alternate Thursday evenings. The order is of English origin, and its courts are held by virtue of dispensations granted by the High Court of England, through the subsidiary High Court of the United States; charters are also granted by the General Assembly. It was first organized in Rhode Island on Oct. 21, 1874, when Court What Cheer, No. 6,011, was opened in Providence. Courts numbering over 6,000 are spread throughout the world, with over $12,000,000 of invested capital. The object of the A. O. F. is to provide a weekly allowance to the members in time of sickness, with medical attendance and medicine; for the burial of deceased members or their wives, and to support the members when compelled to travel in search of employment. District Courts, comprising delegates from the Subordinate Courts are established in different States, for the purpose of providing funeral funds and superintend the general working of Courts. The Rhode Island United States District was organized July 21, 1876, with the required officers to conduct the Court.

School Department.

One of the first acts of the first town council was to appoint a school committee, consisting of Messrs. George A. Kent, Lysander Flagg, and Henry H. Jenckes. They organized by electing Mr. George A. Kent as Chairman; Lysander Flagg, Superintendent of Schools; and Henry H. Jenckes, clerk of the committee. All of these gentlemen were well qualified for their respective positions, and under their faithful management, the school system of the town has attained to a high standard of excellence. There were expended, from June 1, 1871, to April 30, 1876 (besides the various sums that have been raised in the several districts by district tax), the sum of $74,157.43 for school purposes, — a fact that illustrates the high estimate entertained by the citizens of the town as regards an efficient system of schools for the education of the rising generation. There are some forty or more teachers, twelve school districts, and eleven school-houses.

The Broad Street Baptist Church.

A meeting was held in the Central Falls school-house, Oct. 12, 1844, to take into consideration the subject of organizing a Baptist church in that village. The following resolutions were presented and duly adopted: — ‘Resolved, That in view of the present and constantly increasing population of this village, and the fact that there are about one hundred and sixty Baptist church-members residing in the place, it is the opinion of this meeting that the organization of a Baptist church in this village would promote the glory of God, the prosperity of the Redeemer’s kingdom, and the salvation of souls.

‘Resolved, That under a consciousness of our obligations to Christ and his cause, we consider it as our duty to proceed, without further delay, to form ourselves, with others who may unite with us in this enterprise, into a church.’

A committee was appointed to ascertain how many felt sufficient interest in the subject to join the society in case one should be organized. At a subsequent meeting, the committee reported that twenty-nine persons had been found willing to join the church, and measures were immediately taken to organize a society. Articles of faith and covenant were adopted and duly signed. October 31, the new organization was admitted into fellowship as a gospel church. Services were conducted at the school-house for some time. Feb. 2, 1845, Rev. S. O. Lovell of Troy, N. Y., accepted the pastoral charge of the church, under a salary of $500 per annum. The new society began immediately to receive additions to their number, and on Aug. 6, 1845, was dedicated, with appropriate ceremonies, the church edifice, that had been completed during the season.

From this time forward the church continued to grow and prosper, under the faithful ministry of its earnest and devoted pastors. At length the subject of a new church edifice began to be agitated, the needs of the society having outgrown the accommodations of the old one. Messrs. Greene and Daniels donated to the society a lot on the northeast corner of Central and Broad streets; and, in 1875, work was commenced upon the new edifice. It was rapidly pushed to completion, and dedicated with imposing ceremonies. The church is of the gothic type of architecture, and cost, with furnishing, some $30,000. It is an elegant structure, complete in all of its appointments, and the society may truly feel proud of this beautiful sanctuary dedicated to the worship of the only true God.

The Central Falls Congregational Church.

This church was organized by a council convened for that purpose, June 18, 1845, with forty-six members. On the same day, the house of worship which had been erected by the society, was dedicated to the service of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. It is now thirty-four years since the church was organized. During that time many members have been added to the original forty-six. The Sabbath School was organized on Sunday, June 22, 1845, four days after the formation of the church. Joseph Wood was its first superintendent, and R. B. Gage its librarian and treasurer. There were present sixty-eight teachers and scholars. During Mr. Wood’s superintendency, there were frequent additions to the church from the Sabbath school. Mr. Wood resigned in December, 1862, after a long and faithful service of seventeen years and six months, leaving, in place of a school of small numbers, one that had increased to more than 200 scholars, the largest attendance having been 228, on Feb. 27, 1862. Deacon Robert Cushman was chosen superintendent the first Sabbath in 1863. During his administration the school continued to increase in number and efficiency. Its attendance sometimes exceeded 300. The services of Deacon Cushman extended over a period of ten years. James H. Olney was chosen superintendent the first Sabbath in January, 1873. The school numbers at the present about 400.

he Rhode Island Conference of Congregational churches met with this church, June 14 and 15, 1870, and assisted in the celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary, Wednesday afternoon, June 15. In 1868, the church edifice was enlarged, giving an addition of twenty-eight pews, at an expense of about $5,000.

The church and society are entirely free from debt. The liberality of two of its members, Messrs. Wood and Adams, has contributed in a large degree to this good state of affairs. Joseph Wood died Feb. 11, 1873, in the seventieth year of his age.

The Lonsdale Baptist Church.

This society was organized April 15, 1840, at the house of Isaac Smith. The original members were thirty-seven in number, all of whom came by letter from the church in Valley Falls. After adopting articles of faith, and also a church covenant, arrangements were made for a council, and for the recognition of the churches. The following churches were invited to send delegates: First, Second, Third and Fourth, Providence; First and Second, Pawtucket; Valley Falls, and Woonsocket. The council was comprised of eight ministers and twenty-two laymen. The services of the recognition occurred April 21, in the public-school house, as follows: Invocation and reading the Scriptures, by Rev. E. K. Fuller of Pawtucket; prayer, by Rev. M. M Dean of Providence; sermon, by Rev. William Hague of Providence; prayer of recognition, by Rev. Silas Spaulding of Pawtucket; hand of fellowship, by Rev. B. P. Byram of Valley Falls; charge, by Rev. John Dowling of Providence.

July 8, Alfred Arnold, David Clarke, and Isaac Smith were appointed to make arrangements for building a meeting-house. Thus commenced a series of efforts, which resulted in the erection of a house of worship. The services of the dedication were held July 21, 1842. In 1840, the church was received into the Warren Association, and in 1844 withdrew, with others, to form the Providence Association. The church has been served by nine pastors and five deacons. The original number of members was thirty-seven. There have been received by baptism, one hundred and thirty-nine; by letter, one hundred and eight; by experience, twenty-six; by restoration, one; total, three hundred and eleven. There have been dismissed, one hundred and thirty-three; dropped twenty-one; excluded, nine; died, forty-one; total, two hundred and four. The present membership is one hundred and seven.

St. George’s Church, Central Falls.

The first attempt to establish the Episcopal Church in Central Falls, was made by Rev. James DeWolf Perry, then rector of St. Paul’s Church, Pawtucket, assisted by Mr. Olney Whipple and James M. Davis, the latter having procured the engine-hall, on the corner of Broad and Cross streets, and extensively advertising the same in the vicinity. The first service was held on Sunday evening, Oct. 1, 1865, the hall being well filled, and all appeared interested in the services, which were continued each Sunday evening, until Nov. 26, 1865, when, from the difficulty experienced in procuring clergymen to officiate, the enterprise was abandoned for the time-being. From this time, no further efforts were made to keep up the services of the church, until the spring of 1871, when the services were again commenced on Sunday evening, March 19, in the same engine-hall, by Rev. E. H. Porter, rector of St. Paul’s Church, Pawtucket.

In February, 1872, the congregation were obliged to move from the old engine-hall, to the hall in Edgarton’s Block, on Central Street, where they held service for nearly two years. In the spring of 1872, the work was recognized by the Church of the Diocese, and Central Falls was appointed a missionary station by the Board of Missions. The Rev. George A. Coggeshall was appointed its missionary, and took charge Easter Sunday, March 31, 1872. The necessity of having a church edifice wherein to hold the services becoming more and more urgent, an effort was made to secure the necessary funds; and enough having been obtained to warrant building, ground was broken in the autumn of 1872 for a new church edifice, on the lots secured previously by Rev. E. H. Porter, on the corner of Central and Clinton streets.

On December 17, 1872, the Rt. Rev. the Bishop of the Diocese, S. M. Clarke, laid the corner-stone; and on the 23d of October, 1873, the church edifice was finished, and formally opened by the Bishop of the Diocese.

After having obtained an act of incorporation form the General Assembly of the State, on March 23, 1874, James M. Davis, George A. Coggeshall, Graham Cowperthwait, David Hart, Samuel G. Stiness, and Samuel Briden organized themselves as the Parish of St. George’s Church, Lincoln, and in June, 1874, were duly admitted as a parish into the Convention of the Diocese. During the year 1875, a handsome rectory was built, adjoining the church. On February 14, 1876, Rev. George A. Coggeshall resigned his charge, and on Trinity Sunday, June 11, 1876, the present rector, Rev. Charles M. Pyne, took charge of the church. In the annual return made in 1876, the number of communicants reported was eighty-three; Sunday School teachers and officers, eight; scholars, seventy-two.

The Embury Methodist Episcopal Church, Central Falls.

This church is a branch from the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Pawtucket. A Sabbath school was organized, Sept. 16, 1866, under the direction of Rev. James D. Butler, the pastor of the Methodist Church of Pawtucket. The school remained a mission until April 10, 1868, when a church was organized by Rev. Samuel C. Brown, Presiding Elder of Providence District, with twenty-six members; Rev. M. J. Talbot, of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Pawtucket, preaching once upon the Sabbath. Services were held in the engine-hall belonging to the fire department, on the corner of Broad and Cross streets.

In the summer of 1868, land was purchased on Cross Street of David L. Fales, and a chapel erected which was dedicated to the worship of God, Dec. 2, 1868. In March, 1869, Rev. Charles Banning became pastor, and remained until March, 1871, when Rev. Edwin D. Hall was appointed and remained until 1873, when Rev. William H. Starr was appointed and remained until 1875, when Rev. Samuel T. Patterson, the present pastor, was appointed. In the autumn of 1875, the church accommodation not being sufficient, a larger building was erected, which was dedicated to the worship of God, Jan. 9, 1876. The present membership is one hundred and forty. At the organization of the school, the membership was thirty. The present membership is three hundred and fifty.

Christ Church, Lonsdale.

Episcopal services were first held in Lonsdale in the old school-house in the spring of 1833. During the same year a room was fitted up in factory number three, capable of seating four hundred persons, by the Lonsdale Company; who offered to contribute one-third of the cost of a suitable church edifice; Rev. George Taft of Pawtucket officiating as pastor during the summer of that year. Rev. James W. Cooke reorganized the Sunday school, though under great disadvantages, there being but one Christian person who would act in the capacity of teacher. The year following saw a marked change, as the list of Christian teachers is recorded as ten, and the school numbered ninety-five scholars. The name of Christ Church was given the organization in December, and it was chartered according to the principles and usages of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States. In the autumn of 1834, the corner-stone of Christ Church was laid by Bishop Griswold, with appropriate services, and the edifice was completed in September, 1835, when it was consecrated to God.

In December, 1838, Rev. Louis Jamsen accepted a call to preach in the parish, which at that time saw some of its darkest days, and, to the liberality of its old friend, the Lonsdale Company, was due much of its strength to combat in its struggle for an existence. The Rev. T. G. Slater was the next pastor. In the spring of 1840, the Rev. Charles C. Taylor accepted the pastorate, and new enterprises sprang into existence; among them was a school for young ladies in which instruction was given in all the branches of a complete education. The average attendance of teachers and scholars was one hundred and twenty.

In July, 1844, Rev. Mr. Taylor resigned his charge, and Rev. Emery M. Porter became the pastor in January, 1845. The Lonsdale Company presented them with a new bell to replace the old one in the church edifice. Since this time the church has been presided over by various pastors, whose labors have been attended with varying degrees of success. Rev. H. C. Cunningham, the present pastor, commenced his pastorate October, 1873. In 1862-3, the church edifice was enlarged by about one-third, at a cost of about $6,000. In 1867-8, the Lonsdale Company built a commodious church edifice at Ashton, capable of seating nine hundred people, at a cost of $9,000, which was consecrated to the service of Almighty God, Sunday, Nov. 29, 1868. A parish was organized, being the outgrowth of Christ Church.

Church of the Sacred Heart.

This church edifice was erected in 1873, and Rev. Charles Dorr from Saint Mary’s, Ca., was pastor at the time, and built the edifice, at a cost of $35,000. Rev. Father Bowland succeeded him, and found a church numbering two thousand souls. There is a day and evening school kept in the basement, having about one hundred and thirty students. French is exclusively taught here. A fine Sabbath school is also held in the basement where French is also taught. Rev. Father Bowland is a native of France, and settled in Rhode Island in 1874, and took pastoral charge of this church in 1875, having previously assisted at Woonsocket. He is beloved by his people, and is in every respect a worthy laborer in the vineyard of the Lord.


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