Inductees in Famous RI Families

  1. Senator Philip Allen

    Senator Philip Allen (1785-1865)

    Inducted in 2002

     Allen, Philip, 1785-1865

    Senator Philip Allen (1785-1865) of Providence was a merchant, a textile magnate, a reform governor (1851-53), and a one-term United States Senator (1853-1859).   The brother of Zachariah Allen, noted inventor and industrialist, and the uncle of Thomas Wilson Dorr, Allen was also prominent in banking and insurance.
    A graduate of Brown University (Class of 1803), Philip Allen was Rhode Island’s most prominent political figure of the early 1850s. He was chosen governor as a Democrat in the April elections of 1851, 1852, and 1853. Read more >
  2. James Burrill Angell

    James Burrill Angell (1829-1916)

    Inducted in 2008

    James Burrill Angell  had a remarkably diverse career-- Brown University graduate, professor of languages, newspaper editor, university president, and diplomat.  He is best known as the longest-serving president of the University of Michigan where he aspired to provide an 'uncommon education for the common man.'

    Born on January 7, 1829, in Scituate, Rhode Island, Angell was the eldest of eight
    children of Amy and Andrew Angell, and a member of an old-line Rhode Island family that traced its lineage to Thomas Angell who came to Providence with Roger Williams.

    Although reared on an outlying farm, Angell had an excellent early education including a
    year at the University Grammar School under the instruction of Henry Frieze, a teacher who would spend many years as professor and interim president of the University of Michigan. Read more >

  3. James Newall Arnold (1844-1927)

    Inducted in 2007

    Arnold, James N. (James Newell), 1844-1927

    James N. Arnold (1844-1927) whose contributions to the study of Rhode Island history are as fresh and useful today as they were when first transcribed, dealt in data  of family life: official town documents and records; newspaper accounts; birth, marriage, and death records in church archives; and history on stone in local graveyards.   While historical interpretations pass in and out of favor; the cold facts remain. Read more >

  4. Burton L. "Buster" Bonoff

    Inducted in 1999

    Burton "Buster" Bonoff of Phoenix, Arizona and West Warwick was a legendary entertainment entrepreneur who founded the famed Warwick Musical Theatre (WMT), in Warwick, R.I. in 1955. He also served as its general manager and as a promoter of major entertainment talent in Rhode Island and elsewhere for over forty years. Read more >

  5. John Nicholas Brown (1900-1979)

    Inducted in 1975

    John Nicholas Brown, 1900-1979, was a former assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air, senior fellow at Brown University and a director of the Smithsonian Institution. He directed the search and recovery of the works of art stolen by the Nazis for which he was decorated by the French and Belgian governments. Read more >

  6. Joseph Brown

    Joseph Brown (1733-1785)

    Inducted in 1999

    Joseph Brown, 1733-1785, was one if the five famous Brown brothers of 18th century Providence. He was a successful entrepreneur, a respected scientist and astronomer, as well as an accomplished architect whose buildings include the First Baptist Church, the Providence Market House, University Hall and the John Brown House.

    Photo of Joseph Brown House by Chet Smolski, Rhode Island College.Read more >

  7. Moses Brown

    Moses Brown (1738-1836)

    Inducted in 1999

    Moses Brown, 1738-1836, the youngest of the five Brown brothers was a Providence civic leader, entrepreneur, sponsor of Samuel Slater, and prominent Quaker abolitionist. Moses Brown was also a founder of the Providence Athaneum and Moses Brown School. Read more >

  8. Nicholas Brown, II

    Nicholas Brown, II (1769-1841)

    Inducted in 2000

    Nicholas Brown II, 1769-1841, Providence businessman and philanthropist, was the son and heir of of Nicholas Brown, one of the five famous Brown brothers of late eighteenth-century Providence. In 1796 he formed the highly successful mercantile-industrial partnership Brown & Ives, which made a fortune in the China trade. When the name of Rhode Island College was changed to Brown University in 1804, the change was made in recognition of the gifts and services rendered to the school by Nicholas and his uncles. Nicholas II served as a member of the Brown Corporation for fifty years, twenty-nine of them as treasurer. Read more >

  9. John Carter Brown (1797-1874)

    Inducted in 2012

    Born in 1797, the youngest of the three surviving children of Nicholas Brown II and Ann Carter, daughter of John Carter, the noted Providence printer, John Carter Brown was raised in a family tradition of public leadership and philanthropy. While at Brown University, he joined an undergraduate society to provide needy students with free books.

    Upon graduation in 1816, John Carter Brown joined the family firm, Brown & Ives. Though lacking his forefathers' enthusiasm for business or politics, he cheerfully undertook his commercial responsibilities, especially after his older brother Nicholas III defiantly left the family firm to settle in New York. Read more >

  10. John H. Chafee

    John H. Chafee (1922-1999)

    Inducted in 1971

    John H. Chafee,1922-1999, was a Providence native who entered government service as Secretary of the Navy. Then, in 1963, when he was forty years old, he took office as Governor of Rhode Island. He was one of the youngest men to become Governor in Rhode Island's history. Read more >

  11. Reverend William Ellery Channing

    Reverend William Ellery Channing (1780-1842)

    Inducted in 2012

    Reverend William Ellery Channing (April 7, 1780 - October 2, 1842) was born in Newport, a grandson of William Ellery, a Rhode Island signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was also raised in Newport prior to graduating from Harvard in 1798. Thereafter he often visited Rhode Island, but he made his career in Boston as America's foremost minister of Unitarianism, a sect that rejected harsh Calvinistic theology in favor of a gentle, loving relationship with God. 

    From 1803 until his death Channing was pastor of Boston's Federal Street Church. Read more >

  12. LeBaron Bradford Colt

    LeBaron Bradford Colt (1846-1924)

    Inducted in 2008

    LeBaron Bradford Colt was born in Dedham, Massachusetts to Christopher and Theodora (DeWolf) Colt.  He and his equally famous brother, Samuel, had very influential forebears. On their maternal side, they were the grandsons of General George DeWolf of Bristol and the grandnephews of U.S. Read more >

  13. Samuel Pomeroy Colt

    Samuel Pomeroy Colt (1852-1921)

    Inducted in 2008

    Samuel Pomeroy Colt, a brother of U.S. Senator LeBaron Colt, shared his sibling's impressive lineage.  Born in Paterson, New Jersey in 1852 as the youngest of six children, he received his early education in Hartford, graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1873, and from Columbia Law School in 1876. Read more >

  14. Gov. Samuel Cranston

    Gov. Samuel Cranston (1659-1727)

    Inducted in 1998

    Samuel Cranston, 1659-1727, of Newport, was a statesman and governor of Rhode Island for almost twenty-nine years--1698-1727--a tenure not only longer than any Rhode Island governor but also exceeding the tenure of any other chief executive of an American colony or state. Cranston presided over the transformation of Rhode Island from a beleaguered cluster of villages to a flourishing agricultural province. His outstanding accomplishment was to bring his colony into a working relationship with the imperial government in London while preserving its charter privileges.

    Photograph of Samuel Cranston's grave medallion, Common Burying Ground, Newport, Rhode Island, 22 July 2011 c. Read more >

  15. Helen Metcalf Danforth

    Helen Metcalf Danforth (1887-1984)

    Inducted in 1998

    The late Helen Metcalf Danforth, 1887-1984, formerly of Providence, served as President of the Corporation of the Rhode Island School of Design from 1931-1947. She also served as a member of the RISD education committee until 1965, when she was elected Chairman Emeratia. During her term of office she is credited with guiding RISD from a diploma-granting vocational school to a degree-granting accredited college, overseeing significant physical expansion, and for guiding the prestigious RISD Museum of Art to national prominence. Read more >

  16. Joseph Davol

    Joseph Davol (1837-1909)

    Inducted in 2007

    Joseph Davol, a native of Warren, traced his ancestry to William Davol who settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony around 1640. After early schooling in Warren, Joseph moved with his parents to Brooklyn, New York where he attended high school. At the age of sixteen he entered the employ of a wholesale dry goods business in New York City where he received successive promotions by exhibiting a talent for business. In 1862 Davol married Mary E. Read more >

  17. Governors Elisha & Elisha Jr. Dyer

    Governors Elisha & Elisha Jr. Dyer

    Inducted in 2007

    Dyer, Elisha, 1811-1890 

    Governor Elisha Dyer (1811-1890) and Governor Elisher Dyer, Jr. (1839-1909) traced their illustrious ancestry to William and Mary Dyer of Boston who settled Portsmouth in 1638 as exiled disciples of Anne Hutchinson. They eventually embraced Quakerism, and Mary repeatedly returned to Boston to preach the new doctrine in defiance of the Puritan magistrates. Such persistence earned her martyrdom. Read more >

  18. Amasa Eaton (1841-1914)

    Inducted in 2009


    Eaton, Amasa M. (Amasa Mason), 1841-1914


    Amasa Eaton  was a prominent Providence attorney who might be described as the quintessential Progressive reformer. His distinguished lineage included Providence’s Brown family and the Herreshoffs of Bristol. 
    He was an outspoken advocate of home rule for Providence and a member of the Metropolitan Park Commission, the Blackstone Neighborhood Improvement Association, and various good-government organizations. Read more >
  19. Maud Howe Elliott

    Maud Howe Elliott (1854-1948)

    Inducted in 2008


    Elliott, Maud Howe, 1854-1948

    Maud Howe Elliott  lived a very long life and certainly made the most of it.  She was born at the Perkins Institute for the Blind in Boston on November 9, 1854.  Her father, Samuel Gridley Howe, a noted physician and social reformer, directed the institution, but most people became familiar with her mother, Julia Ward Howe, who wrote The Battle Hymn of the Republic and later battled for the cause of women's rights.

    Maud was the driving force behind the founding of the Newport Art Association and served as its secretary until she was eighty-seven years old. Read more >

  20. James & Ann Smith Franklin

    James & Ann Smith Franklin (1696-1763)

    Inducted in 1998

    James Franklin ,1696-1735, and Ann Smith Franklin, 1696-1763, of Newport, were journalists and Rhode Island's first printers and newspaper publishers. In 1727 they set up Rhode Island's first printing press. In 1732 he issued the Rhode Island Gazette, Rhode Island's first newspaper. When James died in February, 1735, the printing shop was continued under the auspices of Ann Franklin, whose imprint appeared as “The Widow Franklin. Read more >

  21. Thomas F. Gilbane (1854-1927)

    Inducted in 2017

    Humble origins have been the hallmark of many American and Rhode Island success stories. Not many can match the saga of the Gilbane Brothers and the establishment of the multinational Gilbane Building Company.

    The Irish potato famine of the1840's sent myriads of Hibernian refugees to North America. And so it was with Thomas and Bridget Gilbane--from County Leitrim--who settled in Rhode Island in 1845 with their Irish-born first son, William. Read more >

  22. William J. Gilbane (1842-1927)

    Inducted in 2017

    Humble origins have been the hallmark of many American and Rhode Island success stories. Not many can match the saga of the Gilbane Brothers and the establishment of the multinational Gilbane Building Company.

    The Irish potato famine of the1840's sent myriads of Hibernian refugees to North America. And so it was with Thomas and Bridget Gilbane--from County Leitrim--who settled in Rhode Island in 1845 with their Irish-born first son, William. Read more >

  23. Sarah Updike Goddard

    Sarah Updike Goddard (1701-1770)

    Inducted in 1998

    Sarah Updike Goddard, 1701-1770, of North Kingstown and Providence was a journalist, publisher, civic leader, and editor of the Providence Gazette. She was descended from the Smiths and Updikes of Cocumscussoc and married DiGiles Goddard in 1735. Her son William founded the Providence Gazette in 1762 but left the business in 1765. Sarah continued to print the paper on a weekly basis until 1768 when she sold her interest to John Carter. Read more >

  24. Colonel Robert Hale Ives Goddard

    Colonel Robert Hale Ives Goddard (1837-1916)

    Inducted in 2009


    Goddard, Robert H. I. (Robert Hale Ives), 1837-1916

    Colonel Robert Goddard (1837-1916) was a son of Professor William G. Goddard, newspaperman and first Chancellor of Brown University, and Charlotte Rhoda Ives Goddard. Read more >

  25. Jabez Gorham (1792-1869)

    Inducted in 1966

    After an apprenticeship to Nehemiah Dodge, Jabez Gorham became the foremost Rhode Island producer of jewelry and silverware. While in his twenties, Gorham established a shop at North Main and Steeple Streets, the first of several buildings that formed his original factory complex. By the end of the century, the company he founded was a world leader in the production of silverware.

    Jabez Gorham came from a long line of illustrious New Englanders. Read more >

  26. Christopher Greene

    Christopher Greene (1737-1781)

    Inducted in 1999

    Christopher Greene, 1737-1781, of Warwick, was a Revolutionary War hero and Colonel of the famous "Black Regiment." Greene, a veteran of many campaigns starting with the ill-fated march to Quebec in 1775, met death in a Tory ambush in May of 1781.

    Lincoln, James Sullivan, "Col. Christopher Greene," John Hay Library, Brown University, 1863. Read more >

  27. George Washington Greene

    George Washington Greene (1811-1883)

    Inducted in 2004


    Greene, George Washington, 1811-1883

    George Washington Greene, prominent educator and author, was born in East Greenwich and was the grandson of Nathanael Greene, the great Revolutionary War general.

    As a young man, Greene traveled extensively in Europe gaining proficiency in the Italian and French languages. His first wife was Italian and he served as U.S. Read more >

  28. General Francis Vinton Greene

    General Francis Vinton Greene (1850-1921)

    Inducted in 2010


    Greene, F. V. (Francis Vinton), 1850-1921

    Francis Vinton Greene, son of General George Sears Greene and Martha Dana, was born in Providence on June 27, 1850. He entered the U. Read more >

  29. Carl W. Haffenreffer (1906-1999)

    Inducted in 2007


    Haffenreffer, Carl W.

    Carl W. Haffenreffer, son of Rudolph Haffenreffer, Jr., continued his father’s tradition of business and philanthropic activity. Read more >

  30. Rudolph Frederick Haffenreffer, Jr. (1874-1954)

    Inducted in 2007

     Haffenreffer, Rudolph Frederick, 1874-1954

    Rudolf Frederick Haffenreffer, Jr. (1874-1954), a native of Boston and a first generation German-American, became a successful Fall River brewer and purchased several hundred acres in Bristol from 1903 to 1912 for use as a summer retreat. His acquisitions included Mount Hope and the Bradford House. 

    After completing his basic education in the Boston school system, young Rudolph was sent to Stuttguart, Germany to study chemistry. Read more >

  31. Rudolf Frederick Haffenreffer, III (1902-1991)

    Inducted in 2007

     Haffenreffer, R.F.

    Rudolf Frederick Haffenreffer, III (1902-1991), the eldest son of Rudolph Haffenreffer, Jr., succeeded to his father’s positions in several family ventures. Read more >
  32. Rev. Edward Everett Hale

    Rev. Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909)

    Inducted in 2007


    Hale, Edward Everett, 1822-1909

    Rev. Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909), noted author, social and economic reformer, and Unitarian minister was born in Boston. His father was a nephew of Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale, and his maternal uncle and namesake Edward Everett was a noted orator, U.S. Read more >

  33. Sylvia K. Hassenfeld

    Sylvia K. Hassenfeld (1920-2014)

    Inducted in 1997

    Mrs. Hassenfeld, formerly of Providence, lived in both New York City and Palm Beach, FL.  She was been widely recognized as an outstanding civic, cultural, and philanthropic leader of international communal services for more than 40 years. 

  34. Thomas Robinson Hazard

    Thomas Robinson Hazard (1797-1886)

    Inducted in 2002


    Hazard, Thomas R. (Thomas Robinson), 1797-1886
    Thomas Robinson Hazard was a South Kingstown manufacturer, agriculturalist, author, and social reformer who embodied the egalitarian spirit of the pre-Civil War age of reform.
    Affectionately called “Shepard Tom” because of his prize sheep herd, Hazard was a seventh generation descendant of Thomas Hazard, the progenitor of the famous Hazard clan of Rhode Island and one of the nine founders of Newport. He was also the grandson of Thomas Hazard (1720-1798), an eighteenth-century South County Quaker abolitionist called “College Tom” because of his advanced study at Yale, and the older brother of Rowland Gibson Hazard (1801-1888), a noted Peace Dale woolen manufacturer, railroad promoter, and writer on philosophical subjects. Read more >
  35. Caroline Hazard (1856-1945)

    Inducted in 2010


    Hazard, Caroline, 1856-1945

    Caroline Hazard, educator, philanthropist, and author, was born in the South Kingstown village of Peace Dale on June 10,1856. She was educated by private tutors in Providence, by attending some courses at Brown University, and by private study in Europe. She worked side-by-side with her father, industrialist and social reformer Rowland G. Hazard, in various business ventures. Read more >

  36. Rowland Hazard (1829-1898)

    Inducted in 2013


    Hazard, Rowland, 1829-1898

    Rowland Hazard  was the son of Hall of Fame member Rowland Gibson Hazard and the father of Hall of Fame inductee Caroline Newton Hazard. Born in Newport, he moved at the age of four to his family’s mill village of Peace Dale which remained his principal residence until his death--as well as a principal object of his benefactions and generosity.
    After graduation from Brown University with distinction in 1849, he lived a life filled with business success, travel, political involvement, and civic activity. In addition to his direction of the Peace Dale Manufacturing Company, a large woolen textile firm, he acquired a huge lead mine in Missouri in 1875 where he introduced improved methods of mining and smelting ore. Read more >
  37. Nathanael G.

    Nathanael G. "Nat" Herreshoff (1848-1938)

    Inducted in 1965

    Nathanael Greene Herreshoff, 1848-1938, was a world-renowned Bristol boatbuilder who teamed with his blind brother John Brown Herreshoff to build a series of world famous racing yachts that dominated the America's Cup competition from 1893 through 1934. "Captain Nat" and his Herreshoff Manufacturing Company also built luxury yachts, cruising sailboats, and America's first torpedo boat in 1876. Read more >

  38. Halsey C. Herreshoff (1933-)

    Inducted in 1999

    Halsey C. Herreshoff of Bristol, is an internationally renowned yachtsman, acclaimed America's Cup competitor, and successful Naval Architect. He is the founder and former president of Herreshoff Marine Museum, which includes the America's Cup Hall of Fame. He is also a prominent designer, widely recognized civic leader, author, lecturer, businessman, and longtime promoter of maritime history. Read more >

  39. John Brown Herreshoff (1841-1915)

    Inducted in 2007


    Herreshoff, John Brown, 1841-1915

    John Brown Herreshoff  was the Bristol-born elder brother and indispensable associate of Hall of Famer Nat Herreshoff. The Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, which built seven America’s Cup defenders from 1893 through 1934, was founded in 1878 by “JB” and Nat Herreshoff. This firm operated under JB’s direction for thirty-seven years.

    JB lost one eye to disease at age 13 and the other by an accident a year later. Read more >
  40. Commodore Esek Hopkins

    Commodore Esek Hopkins (1718-1802)

    Inducted in 1975

    Commodore Esek Hopkins, 1718-1802, brother of Stephen Hopkins, became the first Commander-in-Chief of the United States Navy, achieving the rank of Commodore. Read more >

  41. Major General Morphis Albert Jamiel

    Major General Morphis Albert Jamiel (1922-2013)

    Inducted in 2014

    Major General Morphis Albert Jamiel, 1922-2013, truly exemplified the very best of America. Born into the well-known Jamiel family of Warren in 1922, his parents were the late Albert and Mary Jamiel. He had twelve brothers and sisters. From this humble origin in the small town of Warren, he eventually carved out a notable career as a well-respected attorney, public servant, and soldier. Read more >

  42. Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy

    Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy (1967-)

    Inducted in 2018

    Patrick Joseph Kennedy II was born in Brighton, Massachusetts on July 14, 1967, the son of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy and Joan Bennett Kennedy. After graduation from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts in 1986, he began a quarter-century of residence in Rhode Island bringing with him both the benefits and the burdens of the Kennedy legacy. Read more >

  43. Benjamin B. and Robert L. Knight

    Benjamin B. and Robert L. Knight

    Inducted in 2006


    Knight, Benjamin B., 1813-1898 and Knight, Robert, 1825-1912

    The Knight brothers were textile manufacturers and philanthropists, owning twenty-one manufacturing villages under the logo “Fruit of the Loom,” and employing nearly 7000 operatives.

    Benjamin was born in Cranston, R.I. Read more >

  44. Frank Licht (1916-1987)

    Inducted in 1996

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