J. G. (Johann Georg) Heck.

The Biographical cyclopedia of representative men of Rhode Island online

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character upon which all true success is based. He has
been twice married. His first wife, already mentioned,
died June 29, 1865, and on the 22d of October, 1866, he
married Adeline M., daughter of Deacon Lucius F. and
Lydia E. Thayer, of Westfield, Massachusetts. By the first
marriage there were four children : Charles Hutchins,
Henry Shepard, Frank Elisha, and Alida Esther.

'Y'y? ARTWELL, De.\con John Bry.vnt, merchant,
J^fl^ ^'in of Samuel and Abigail (Holbrook) Hartwell,
-'■^'■- uas born in Alstead, New Hampshire, (October
f^ 17, 1816. His boyhood was spent upon his father's
••«• farm, the management of which was intrusted to
him when he was eighteen years of age. After acquiring
a knowledge of the branches of study usually taught at a
district school he pursued a preparatory course at Ludlow
Academy, Vermont; and in 1839 entered the Freshman
Class of Brown University, having his thoughts then directed
towards the Christian ministry. He left his collegiate
studies before graduation, and entered upon a business
career in Providence, engaging at first as a clerk with
Deacon James H. Read. He afterward opened a store for
himself in the third story of the Arcade, and accepted Mr.
Benjamin Cragin as a partner. He next occupied the store
No. 1 1 in the lower story of the Arcade, where after the


death of Mr. Cragin in 1847, he received in 1848 Mr.
Charles Dudley as a partner, and in 1849 Mr. H. F.
Richards became a member of the firm. In 1851 he re-
moved to Nos. 66 and 68 on the south side of Weybosset
Street, where he opened a wholesale drygoods store that
soon became widely known. In 1849 the firm-name was
Hartwell, Dudley & Co. On the retirement of Mr. Dud-
ley in 1861 was formed the well-known and successful
firm of Hartwell, Richards & Co. Mr. Hartwell also be-
came interested in manufacturing woollen yarns at Coventry
Centre, Rhode Island, and was President of the Peckham
Manufacturing Company, which office, he held until his
death. He occupied a prominent position in business cir-
cles of the city and the .State. He was one of the origina-
tors of the Third National Bank, and becoming one of the
first directors filled that position during the rest of his life.
He was also a director in the Atlantic Bank. In 1853 he
purchased a rural home in North Providence, and for many
years represented that town in the General Assembly as a
member of the House of Representatives. In 1866 he was
elected a trustee of Brown University, and .served in that
relation during the remainder of his life. For many years
he was a deacon in the Central Baptist Church in Provi-
dence, and in matters spiritual and temporal served that
body with constant devotion and efficiency. To all Chris-
tian and benevolent causes he was a systematic and large
contributor. In politics at first a Whig he became a Re-
publican, and manfully .stood by the nation during the
struggle with slavery and treason. He married, March 21,
1842, Harriet Hall, a woman of rare excellencies, daughter
of John and Patience (Peckham) Hall, of South Kingstown,
Rhode Island. His children were Anna L., who married
Mr. Jeffrey Hazard, of Providence; John S., who died at
the age of seventeen ; Mortimer Hall, a graduate of Brown
University in the class of 1870, and who succeeded his
father in business ; and George Arthur, who died at the age
of three years and five months. Deacon Hartwell died
December g, 1872. He was noted for his nobleness of
nature and broad public spirit, and was greatly trusted and
esteemed. Dr. E. G. Robinson, President of Brown Uni-
versity, truly said of him, " It is the testimony of those who
knew him most intimately that he was a man of deep reli-
gious convictions, gentle in spirit, persistent in purpose,
active in life, and ready for death."

fTSKERRY, John Gould, son of John Robinson and
1^^ Sally (Gould) Perry, was born on the Governor
SjLS Brown Farm in Boston Neck, in South Kingstown,
fjT[| Rhode Island, June 2, 1817. His maternal ances-
SlStors came from Scotland. John Gould, his grand-
father, was one of the first clerks of the Fir - ,t Baj tist
Church in South Kingstown, which office he held from
1782 to 1811. Mr. Perry's paternal ancestors came from
England an4 settled in Sandwich, Massachusetts. They

had a son Samuel, who came to Rhode Island and .settled
in Peri7ville (which place was named for him), in South
Kingstown. He was the progenitor of the Rhode Island
Perrys, among whom were Commodore Oliver H., the
hero of Lake Erie, and Commodore Matthew C, renowned
fur the Japan treaty. Samuel Perry lived and died in Per-
ryville. He left to his family a large estate, includmg
about two thousand acres of land, with buildings, be-
sides personal property. He was the father of James Perry,
whose son, James, Jr., was the father of John, whose son,
John R., was the father of the subject of this sketch. John
G., when young, attended the best schools of his native
town, and then by self-application became proficient in the
various branches of an English education, including natu-
ral philosophy, chemistry, mechanics, and music, having a
peculiar talent for the latter. Early developing mechanical
taste, he entered the woollen mill of William A. Robinson
& Co., in Wakefield, at the age of sixteen, to learn the
business, and devoted twenty-five years to that branch of
industry, acting much of the time as superintendent of the
finishing process, and instructing others therein. He wrote
a tre.Ttise entitled The Woollen Manufartiirer's Practical
Companion, and though it has never yet been published,
he has given copies of its pages of directions, which have
proved of great value to beginners in the art of finishing.
While engaged in the mill his leisure hours were spent in
some useful study, and when the mill was stopped on ac-
count of a crisis in the business he engaged in teaching,
and thus became one of the teachers in the public schools
in his native town under the present school system. While
in the manufacturing business his inventive genius was de-
veloped, his first invention being the power cloth-rolling
and measuring machine, now generally used by manufac-
turers in this and other countries. It took the place of the
slow, difficult, and inaccurate mode of doing the work by
hand. His next invention (for which he secured a patent
in 1S50) was a meat-cutling machine, which also came into
general use. He has also invented and patented many
valuable improvements in mowing-machines, hay-tedders,
feed-cutters, sausage-fillers, and other mechanical devices,
upon which he has expended many thousand dollars, from
which altogether he has received a remuneration over and
above all costs. His inventions excel for simplicity, durabil-
ity, and ease of operation. The" Perry Mower." has taken the
prize over all others at the great fairs and competitive trials
for several years in succession in this country, and a medal
over the '• McCormick Mower" at the World's-Fair trial
upon the Emperor's farm, at Vincennes, near Paris, in
France, in 1867. Mr. Perry's experience in procuring his
own patents, and his connection with the patent business
generally, has been such that he has become well versed
in patent law and the rules and practice of the Patent Of-
fice, and familiar with the slate of the art of the various
classes of inventions, so that he is able not only to conduct
his own cases before the Patent Oilice, but in connection



with his other business, acts as solicitor and attorney in
pi tent cases for others. He has also acted conspicuously
in other affaii-s. He was elected a Justice of the Peace in
1856, and Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas for Wash-
ington County in 1857. He served in both of these offices
until 1858, when he was chosen town clerk of his native
town, which office he has held from that time until the
present (1 8Sr). In 1867 he was apjjointed and commis-
sioned, by Governor Burnside, Commissioner from Rhode
Island to the World's Exposition, in Paris, France, and on
his return made a valuable report to the Government,
which was published by the State in 1868. He has served
on the School Committee of South Kingstown for twenty-
seven consecutive years, and for twenly-five years of the
time as clerk of the Committee. He has been associated
with all the interests of the town and has done much to
promote its welf.ire and prosperity. In the discharge of his
official duties he has acted with impartiality towards all.
In 1881 he was the Democratic nominee for the office of
Secretary of State, and at the ensuing election stood for
that office, running ahead of his ticket. He has been a
member of the First Baptist Church of South Kingstown for
the past forty-two years, and for fifteen years served as
leader of the choir and instructor in vocal music. He
compiled and published a manual of hymns entitled The
Bible Harp, and composed several of the hymns and tem-
perance songs therein. For more than forty years he has
been an active worker in the temperance reform. His
travels, mainly on business, have taken him extensively
over this country and to Europe. He married, March 12,
1S43, Harriet Theresa Hazard, daughter of Bowdoin and
Theresa Clarke Hazard. They have six children :
Harriet E., who married Clarence E. Thomas, a merchant
of Wickford ; S P"mnia, who married Herbert J. Wells,
now Secretary of the Rhode Island Hospital Trust Com-
pany, of Providence ; Oliver H., now in the hardware trade
in Providence; John E.,a graduate of the College of Phy-
sicians and Surgeons, of New York, who married Elnora
Etheline Crawford, of East Douglass, Massachusetts, and
is now practicing medicine in Wakefield ; Millanl F., now
clerk in the bank at Kingston; and Howard B., who is
deputy town clerk in his father's office in Wakefield.

I^ILBUR, William Half., M.D., was born in Hop-
JfMil) kinton, Rhode Island, March 10, 1816. He
■- — was the son of John and Lydia (Collins) Wil-

bur. In this volume will be found a sketch of
his father, who was a celebrated minister of the
Society of Friends. Dr. Wilbur received his rudimentary
education in the common schools of his naiive town and
in the Friends' School in Providence, and was in part a
self-educ.ited man. In the early part of his life his time
was spent in assisting his father on his fann, in teaching,
and in prosecuting the study of Latin and the higher

mathematics. In both these branches he was a proficient,
and continued the pursuit of the latter with zeal and de-
light throughout his whole life. He studied medicine with
his brother, Thomas Wilbur, M.D., in Fall River, Massa-
chusetts, after which he entered the Medical College of
the University of New York, graduating in 1847; h^ 'hen
went abroad, and perfected himself in the knowledge of
water-cure at Priessnitz's establishment in Germany, and
on his return conducted a hydropathic institution in Paw-
tucket two years. He married, April 20, 1849, Eliza S.,
daughter of Major T. S. and Eliza S. Mann, and a niece
of Hon. Horace Mann, the distinguished educator. They
had three children : John Wilbur, M.D., a sketch of whom
appears in this volume; Sarah Mann; and Caroline Eliza,
deceased. Dr. Wilbur commenced the practice of his
profession in Westerly, Rhode Island, in which he con-
tinued with marked success until the fall of 1S62, when
he entered the Union army as Surgeon of the First Rhode
Island Cavalry, joining the regiment December 16, imme-
diately after the battle of Fredericksburg, and performing
his duties with such skill, promptness, and fidelity as to
win the confidence of all. At the battle of Kelly's Ford,
in the spring of 1863, he remained on the field under fire
of the enemy, performing surgical operations, and proved
himself an intrepid soldier as well as a skilful surgeon.
At this time he assumed the duties of Brigade Surgeon,
and rendered invaluable service. He was with his regi-
ment at Chancellorsville and Middleburg, where he was
constantly in the saddle ; and although his horse was hit
by a piece of shell, yet no danger drove him from the spot
where duty called. On the re-enlistment of the regiment
in 1864, he returned to the active service of camp, hos-
pital, and battle. Of Dr. Wilbur's character nothing more
fitting can be said than the following tribute of a friend,
called forth by his sudden death, which occurred October
12, 1879: " At the close of his service in the war Dr. Wil-
bur returned to Westerly and resumed his practice ; and
here, after all, must be said his life-work was done. Deeply
absorbed in his profession, and h.iving a just estimate of
its high mission, he gave to it the full wealth of his knowl-
edge, his experience, and his life. He was exact in his
habits of thought, methodical in his investigations, studious
in keeping pace with the progress made in the science of
medicine, holding his opinions tenaciously when matured;
and being thus critical and thorough in his own culture,
he was intolerant of pretence and sham in others. Dr.
Wilbur was a man of rare purity of character. He never
patiently listened to the voice of scandal, and was disposed
to make charitable allowance for the errors and frailties
of his fellow-men. On all the great que - .tions of life he
thought for himself, and while firm in adhering to his con- "
victions, he never obtrudeil his views upon others. He was
too human to be faultless, yet where sickness and sorrow
dwelt, there could his ministering hand be found. .Such
was the sympathy and tenderness of his nature, that he



allowed no pecuniary considerations to swerve him from
the performance of what he deemed a professional duty.
Holding high rank as a surgeon as well as physician, he
has spent his life in this community responding to the call
for help without regard to the source from whence it came,
and by his skill restoring life and light to many a stricken
home. Spreading his heart out to embrace all that w.is
human, through toil and self-sacrifice day and night, he
sought to bring the ministries of his profession where hu-
man suffering most needed them; and being summoned to
the ' undiscovered country ' in the midst of his usefulness,
the record of his life has left the injunction, ' Write me as
one who loved his fellow-men.' "

^^l^ENCKES, Hon. Thomas Allen, LL.D., was born
Sj}l^ in Cumberland, Rhode Island, November 2, 1818.
_jj He was the son of Thomas B. and Abigail W.
p^ (Allen) Jenckes, a name found among the earliest
^ ¥ settlers of Rhode Island. He was fitted for college
by Rev. Adin Ballon, of Cumberland, and graduated at
Brown University in 1S38. He studied law with the Hon.
Samuel Y. Atwell, at the same time acting, for one year,
as tutor of Mathematics in Brown Univer-ity. Having
been admitted to the bar, September 24, 1840, he com-
menced the practice of his profession in Providence, his
law partner being Edward H. Hazard, Esq. At once he
entered upon a most successful career, and rose to the high-
est distinction among the lawyers of Rhode Island. His
commanding talents were called into requisition in giving
shape to the legislation of the State, and for several years
he was a Representative in the General Assembly. In
1857, he was a member of the commission which revised
the statutes of the State, and in 1862 was chosen to repre-
sent his native State in Congress, serving in this capacity
eight years. As a Representative in Congress, he occupied
prominent positions. He was a member of the Commi;tee
on the Judiciarj' and Chairman of the Committee on Pat-
ents. His efforts in behalf of the Civil Service Reform,
and in carrying through the Bankrupt Law, have made his
name famous throughout the countiy. Although for three
sessions he labored most untiringly to secure the passage
of bills having reference to a reform in the civil service,
his expectations of securing all that he aimed to accom-
plish in this direction were not realized. He succeeded so
far as to obtain the passage of a bill which made the ap-
pointment of cadets to the Military School at West Point
dependent, not on the favor of Representatives whose in-
terest the friends of the candidates might desire to secure,
but upon competitive examinations. At the close of his
connection with Congress, he resumed the practice of law
in Providence and New York, where his services were in
constant demand in some of the most important cases that
were tried in both the State and United States courts.
Among the able lawyers of the country he took the first

rank, and was regarded as authority in matters to which
he had directed his special attention. From Brown Uni-
versity he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws
in 1873. He married, in June, 1842, Mary Jane, daughter
of Zelotes Fuller, of Attleborough, Massachusetts. Their
children were four daughters and one son. He died in
Cumberland, November 4, 1875.

I^^LATER, Hon. William Smith, son of John and
tjj^0i Ruth (Bucklin) Slaler, was born in Slatersville,
£> North Smilhfield, Rhode Island, March 7, 1817.
J His father, the brother and business partner of Sam-
i uel Slater — " the father of American manufactures,"
— is elsewhere sketched in this volume. Well educated,
and thoroughly trained by his father in the mechanical
principles and operations of manufacturing staple fabrics,
he, with his brother, John F., early engaged in business.
On the death of their father, in 1843, the brothers con-
tinued to operate the mills in Jewett City and Hopeville,
Connecticut, under the firm-name of G. & W. Slater. In
March they sold the Hopeville property. In 1849, already
owning their father's interest in the Slatersville property,
they purchased the rights of the heirs of Samuel Slater,
and. in 1853, on the expiration of the lease held by Amos
D. and Mo^es B. Lockwood, put the whole property in ex-
cellent condition, with new machinery. In 1862 they, with
Estus Lamb, Henry S. Mansfield, and George W. Holt,
formed a special company, and leasing a mill below Slaters-
ville, carried on business under the style of the Forestdale
Manufacturing Company until 1872, when G. & W. .Slater
bought out the other partners and managed the property
themselves. In October, 1872, by mutual consent, they dis-
solved their long and successful partnership and divided
their company property. John F. received the mills and
estates in Connecticut, which he has continued to manage
with remarkable success, his place of residence being in
the city of Norwich, Connecticut. William S. received
the factories and estates in Rhode Island, the chief of
which is the Slatersville property. The village of Slaters-
ville, with its large mills, neat tenement houses, commodi-
ous church edifice, and park and shaded trees, testify to
the enterprise, taste and benevolence of the chief proprie-
tor of the place. Mr. Slater also owns a portion of the
mills and estates at Forestdale, where the same public
spirit and thrift are manifest. His residence proper is in
Slatersville, North Smithfield, but for many years he has
also had a house in Providence, — the well-known Whipple
homestead on College Street. He is prominently identified
with various business enterprises in Providence and in dif-
ferent parts of the State and of New England. He suc-
ceeded his father in the preiidency of the Slatersville
Bank, and still fills that position. For six years he was
the President of the Providence and Worcester Railroad
Company, in which he is still a director. He is now both



President and Treasurer of the Rhode Island Locomotive
Works. As stock-owner and director he is identified with
the American Ship Windlass Company, and several other
thriving business interests of Rhode Island. Polilically
of the old Whig school, he is now a Republican. He was
a State Senator from Smithfield in 1861-62, and was a
Presidential Elector both for Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Hayes.
Of the Congregational Church in Slatersville he is a constant
and liberal supporter. For business purposes, and occa-
sionally for relaxation, he has travelled extensively. He
was with his cousin, John Slater, in the West Indies when
he died. He married, December 7, 1842, Harriet Morris
Whipple, daughter of Hon. John Whipple, of Providence,
and has had four children : John Whipple, who married
Elizabeth Hope Gammell ; Harriet Whipple, who married
George W. Hall ; Elizabeth Ives, who married Alfred A.
Reed; and Helen Morris, who married Rufus Waterman,

I^mShEPARD, Thom.^s Perkins, M.D., son of Michael
^^™ and Harriet (Clarke) Shepard, was born in .Salem,
^Zi Massachusetts, March 16, 1S17. His studies, pre-
I paratory to entering college, were pursued at Sa-
■L lem, and he was a graduate of Brown University,
in the class of 1836. Among his classmates were Judge
J. P. Knowles, Professor J. L. Lincoln, and W. H. Pot-
ter, Esq. Immediately on graduating he was appointed
tutor in Latin. One year only was devoted to the duties
of this office. He commenced the study of medicine in
1837, and received his medical degree from the Harvard
Medical School in 1840. The same year he went abroad
to perfect himself in his professional studies, and was ab-
sent four years (1840-44). During his absence he travel-
led extensively in the Old World. Chemistry was his
favorite study, and when he returned, instead of devoting
himself to the duties of a medical practitioner, he engaged
in the business of manufacturing chemical agents, with
special reference to meeting the wants of the manfacluring
institutions of New England. In the enterprise in which
he embarked, and to the prosecution of which he gave his
best energies, he was eminently successful. In 1848, after
he had for some time the sole management of his manu-
factory, he formed a partnership with the Hon. Edward
D. Pearce, and the business continues to be carried on
under the .style of T. P. Shepard & Co. A man of such
marked ability as was Dr. Shepard was sure to be pressed
into the public service. For three years (1848-51) he
was a member of the Common Council of Providence, and
one of these years its President. He represented the city
one year, 1853, in the State Senate. In 1851 he was chosen
a trustee of Brown University, and in everything which
had reference to the department of science in that institu-
tion he was greatly interested. The excellent results
reached in the erection of the chemical laboratory are
largely due to his good taste, and his appreciation of the

wants of students of chemistry. The Rhode Island Hos-
pital found in him one of its warmest friends. He con-
tributed generously to its funds, and superintended the
erection of its building, in eveiy part of which may be
traced the evidences of his good judgment and knowledge
of the needs of such an institution. He was one of its
trustees, and was cho.sen to fill the vacancy occasioned
by the death of its President, Dr. Caswell. How deep
and abidmg was his concern for its prosperity is indicated
by the fact that by his will he bequeathed to its funds a
legacy of eight thousand dollars. His experience in the
erection of the buildings to which we have referred, led to
his appointment by the General As.sembly as a member of
the commission for the erection of the new court-house for
the county of Providence. The completed work will, so
long as it stands, be a monument of his taste and minute
acquaintance with the details of architecture, wdiich are
everywhere seen in the new structure. Dr. .Shepard's
death, which occurred in Providence, May 5, 1S77, was
sudden, and occasioned by inflammation of the brain. In
June, 1856 he married Elizabeth Anne, the second daugh-
ter of Professor William G. Goddard.

^^^ENNETT, MESS.tDORE Tosc.\N, son of Martin
^j^K and Eliza T. (Butts) Bennett, was born in New-
^Ti. port, Rhode Island, November 20, 181 1;. His
Y? great-grandfather, Stephen Bennett, was born in
J t Middleborough, Massachusetts, about the year 1742,
and died on the Island of Nantucket, in 1817. His
grandfather, Cornelius Bennett, was sailing master in the
United States Navy, and with Commodores Bainbridge
and Perry was engaged in some of the most memorable
naval battles of the war of 1812. Mr. Bennett's father
was a very successful ship-master, and died of yellow
fever on a voyage from Savannah to Liverpool, in Sep-
tember, 1835. Mr. Bennett received his education in the
schools of Bristol, Rhode Island, and in 1833 entered

Online LibraryJ. G. (Johann Georg) HeckThe Biographical cyclopedia of representative men of Rhode Island → online text (page 100 of 143)