Inductees from 2007

  1. James Newall Arnold (1844-1927)

    Categories: Famous RI Families, Historians/Historical Accounts, Preservation, Literature / Writers / Newspapers

    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 >

  2. Andrew J. Bell, Jr. (1907-2000)

    Categories: African Americans, Civic Leaders, Civil Rights / Abolitionists

    Andrew J. Bell, Jr. was born in Providence in September 1907, the son of Andrew J. and Beatrice J. Read more >

  3. Harvey A. Bennett (1925-2004)

    Categories: Sports - Hockey

    Harvey A. Bennett--a man whose name is synonymous with hockey in Rhode Island--was born on July 23, 1925 in Regina, Saskatchewan and began playing hockey as soon as he was old enough to tie his skates.  After completing the eighth grade, Bennett left home to be a goaltender for the Oshawa Generals.  By age nineteen, Harvey became one of a handful of National Hockey League players to start more than 15 games in a row while still in their teenage years, when he played 22 consecutive games for the Boston Bruins from 1944 to 1945. Read more >

  4. Maximilian D. Berlitz (1852-1921)

    Categories: Education & Universities


    Berlitz, M. D. (Maximilian Delhinus), 1852-1921

    Maximilian D. Berlitz was born on April 14, 1852 in the village of Mühringen at the edge of the Black Forest in southwest Germany. Read more >

  5. Senator William Bradford

    Senator William Bradford (1729-1808)

    Categories: Founders of Rhode Island, Government & Politics


    Senator William Bradford (1729-1808) was a fifth-generation descendant and namesake of the famous governor of Plymouth Colony. He began his career as a surgeon, but after his arrival in Bristol in the late 1750s, Bradford left medicine and turned to a new profession in the law, and was admitted to the bar in 1767. He established a practice at Bristol. He served the town as state representative and town moderator. Read more >
  6. Judge Nathaniel Byfield

    Judge Nathaniel Byfield (1653-1733)

     Nathaniel Byfield was born in Long Ditton, Surrey, Englanfd in 1653. He arrived in Boston in 1674. Following the King Phillips War, he invested in Rhode Island lands, and made his home in Bristol, living part-time at Pappoosquaws Point. Byfield devoted himself to civic affairs,  joining the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in 1679, and becoming a member of the General Court in 1696 and 1697. Read more >

  7. Joseph Davol

    Joseph Davol (1837-1909)

    Categories: Business / Entrepreneurs, Famous RI Families, Industry - General

    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 >

  8. Governors Elisha & Elisha Jr. Dyer

    Governors Elisha & Elisha Jr. Dyer

    Categories: Civic Leaders, Famous RI Families, Founders of Rhode Island, Government & Politics

    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 >

  9. Carl W. Haffenreffer (1906-1999)

    Categories: Business / Entrepreneurs, Famous RI Families, Philanthropists


    Haffenreffer, Carl W.

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

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

    Categories: Famous RI Families, Historians/Historical Accounts, Preservation, Industry - General, Philanthropists

     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 >

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

    Categories: Business / Entrepreneurs, Civic Leaders, Famous RI Families, Philanthropists

     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 >
  12. Rev. Edward Everett Hale

    Rev. Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909)

    Categories: Famous RI Families, Literature / Writers / Newspapers, Religion & Churches


    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 >

  13. James Hanley

    James Hanley (1841-1912)

    Categories: Civic Leaders, Immigrants: Irish, Industry - General, Philanthropists


    Hanley, James, 1841-1912

    James Hanley was born in Roscommon, Ireland and came to America with his parents as a child in 1846 during the Great Famine migration.  He rose from poverty to prominence as Rhode Island’s leading brewer.

    Hanley’s first important step into the world of business came in January 1862, at the age of twenty, when he opened an inn and liquor store in downtown Providence. In 1876 he began his career as a brewer in partnership with fellow-Irishman John P. Read more >

  14. Bishop Matthew Harkins

    Bishop Matthew Harkins (1845-1921)

    Categories: Civic Leaders, Religion & Churches

     Harkins, Matthew, 1845-1921

    Bishop Matthew Harkins was born in Boston, the son of Patrick and Mary Margaret (Kranich) Harkins, both immigrants from Ireland. After completing studies at Boston Latin, the future bishop attended Holy Cross College for a year, and then, in 1863, went abroad to study at the English College in Douai, France. Like so many other American clerics, he was ordained at the Seminary of St. Sulpice in Paris on May 22, 1869. Read more >

  15. John Brown Herreshoff (1841-1915)

    Categories: Business / Entrepreneurs, Famous RI Families, Industry - General


    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 >
  16. Dr. John Franklin Jameson

    Dr. John Franklin Jameson (1859-1937)

    Categories: Education & Universities, Historians/Historical Accounts, Preservation

    Jameson, J. Franklin (John Franklin), 1859-1937

    J. Franklin Jameson (1859-1937) was a history professor at Brown University from 1888 to 1901, a vice president of the Rhode Island Historical Society, first secretary of the American Historical Association and long-time editor of its journal, The American Historical Review, Director of Historical Research at the Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C. Read more >

  17. Sherwin J. Kapstein (1917-)

    Categories: Education & Universities

    Sherwin Kapstein has spent 65 years as a Rhode Island educator, and he is responsible for many significant developments that have shaped the teaching profession and the lives of students.

    Born in Providence in 1917, Sherwin was educated in the public school system and then earned degrees in history and education from Brown University. As a young teacher in the Warwick school system he found time to coach sports. That facet of his life was interrupted by World War II, in which Sherwin served as a naval officer. Read more >

  18. Eugene Lee

    Categories: Architects & Designers, Theater

    “Nothing makes me happier than an impossible space and an impossible project,” says renowned theater set designer Eugene Lee.

    When Lee designs a set, he will often reconfigure the theatre, repositioning exits, technical booths, even walls, to accommodate the play.  His audiences frequently find themselves inside, on top of, or under sets that don’t stay put.  Robert Brustein, founding director of the Yale Repertory Theatre and the American Repertory Theatre once said that Lee has “the remarkable capacity to create an illusion of vast reaches out of circumscribed space. Read more >

  19. Chief (Ousamequin) Massasoit

    Chief (Ousamequin) Massasoit (1581-1661)

    Categories: Founders of Rhode Island, Native Americans

    Chief Massasoit, also known as Ousamequin, (ca. 1581- 1661) was born in present-day Rhode Island. As chief sachem of the Wampanoag nation, he befriended the Pilgrims at Plymouth, taught them farming methods, and joined with them in a 1621 thanksgiving feast. He was a cordial host to the original Pilgrim settlers and sheltered Roger Williams during his winter exile in 1636. Read more >

  20. Mayor Edwin D. McGuinness

    Mayor Edwin D. McGuinness (1856-1901)

    Categories: Government & Politics

    McGuinness, Edwin Daniel, 1856-1901

    Mayor Edwin D. McGuinness (1856-1901), a native of Providence, was the son of Irish immigrants who settled in Rhode Island after fleeing the Potato Famine in the 1840s. His father, Bernard McGuinness, was a successful real estate agent who encouraged his son's educational pursuits.

    Edwin attended local public schools and graduated from Brown University in 1877, one of the earliest Irish-Catholics to matriculate there. Read more >

  21. Charles F. McKim

    Charles F. McKim (1847-1909)

    Categories: Architects & Designers

    McKim, Charles Follen, 1847-1909

    Charles F. McKim, a native of Pennsylvania, was the son of an abolitionist father and a Quaker mother. The radical politics of his parents had little impact on McKim, who became a cosmopolitan architect who traveled in the company of wealthy and prominent businessmen and politicians.

    After study at Harvard, McKim enrolled at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and traveled throughout Europe. Read more >

  22. Rev. Charles E. Millard, Jr. (1914-2006)

    Categories: Civic Leaders, Medicine & Health Care, Religion & Churches

    The Reverend Charles E. Millard, M.D. excelled in many walks of life--as an athlete in his youth, as a noted family physician, husband, parent, author, professor of medicine, and civic leader in his prime, and as a deacon of the Roman Catholic Church after the death of his beloved wife Mildred Lowney Millard. Read more >

  23. Dr. John O. Pastore (1942-)

    Categories: Medicine & Health Care

    Pastore, John O. (John Orlando), 1942-

    Dr. John O. Pastore  joins his illustrious father as one of the rare father-son combinations to merit membership in the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. Read more >

  24. Sidney S. Rider (1833-1917)

    Categories: Historians/Historical Accounts, Preservation

    Sidney S. Rider (1833-1917) was born in Brainard's Bridge, Nassau County, New York in 1833 and died in Providence in 1917. He attended schools in New York and Pomfret, Connecticut. Coming to Providence as a boy, he went into the book business, eventually taking over the store of Charles Burnett. Read more >

  25. John Aldrich Saunders, Jr. (1808-1882)

    Categories: Business / Entrepreneurs, Craftsmen, Founders of Rhode Island

    John Aldrich Saunders, Jr. (1808-1882) was the central figure, chronologically and symbolically, of the noted South County family of boat builders, marine entrepreneurs, and seamen. He was born in Newport, the grandson of Stephen Saunders, a shipwright, and the son of Captain John Aldrich Saunders (1786-1832), who built one of the first three-mastered schooners and discovered that the buttonwood tree provided the best wood for a ship's keel. In all, Captain Saunders, Sr. Read more >

  26. Walter K. Schroder (1929-)

    Categories: Historians/Historical Accounts, Preservation, Military

    Although he was born in Pawtucket, Walter Schroder, the son of German immigrants, spent his early years in Germany where he was drafted in 1944 at age fifteen to serve with an antiaircraft battery. Captured by the British in 1945, he served as a P.O.W. Read more >

  27. Merrill W. Sherman

    Categories: Banking / Finance, Civic Leaders, Women

    Merrill W. Sherman, Principal of Sherman Consulting, LLC., and former president and CEO of the Bancorp Rhode Island, Inc., a publicly traded bank holding company, and its wholly owned subsidiary, Bank Rhode Island. Read more >

  28. Rev. Anna Garlin Spencer (1851-1931)

    Categories: Civil Rights / Abolitionists, Literature / Writers / Newspapers, Religion & Churches, Women

    Anna Garlin Spencer (1851-1931) was born in Attleboro, Massachusetts but spent her formative years in Providence. Her embrace of progressive causes and her quest for social justice can be traced to her abolitionist mother and an aunt who worked with the homeless.
    Anna began to write for the Providence Journal at age 19 and worked at the newspaper for eight years. She also became a Providence public school teacher from 1869 to 1871. Read more >
  29. Lester Frank Ward

    Lester Frank Ward (1841-1913)

    Categories: Education & Universities, Government & Politics, Historians/Historical Accounts, Preservation

    Lester Frank Ward, 1841-1913, had such a powerful intellect and such wide-ranging knowledge that some contemporaries referred to him as “the American Aristotle.” The legendary Brown University professor was born on the Illinois frontier, lived a nomadic life as a youth, and received only fragments of formal schooling, though he read voraciously.

    Ward fought in the Civil War receiving a severe wound at Chancellorsville. After the conflict, he settled in Washington D. Read more >

  30. Mary Emma Woolley

    Mary Emma Woolley (1863-1947)

    Categories: Education & Universities, Women

    Mary Emma Woolley (1863-1947), was a noted educator, college president, feminist, and peace activist. She was born in South Norwalk, Connecticut and moved to Pawtucket, Rhode Island in 1871 at the age of eight. After attending Providence High School, Emma finished her secondary school training at Wheaton Seminary in Norton, Massachusetts and then taught there from 1885 to 1891.

    After Emma made a tour of Europe in 1890, the of Brown University, persuaded her to become the first female student at Brown. Read more >



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