Rhode Island and Providence Plantations Biographical, 96
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History  of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical

NY: The American Historical Society, Inc. 1920

p. 425 - 426:

ARNOLD GREEN  --  Descended from families tracing to earliest Colonial days in New England, Mr. Green numbers among his ancestors these men worthy of mention: John Carver, the "Mayflower" emigrant and first governor of Massachusetts Colony (also several other "Mayflower" emigrants); Thomas Dudley, governor of Massachusetts (1634 and later); Walter Clarke, governor of Rhode Island Colony (1676 and later); William Greene, governor of Rhode Island (1743 and later); Samuel Gorton, founder of Warwick; and General Timothy Ruggles, leader of the American Royalists, Chief Justice of Massachusetts, and president of the Stamp Act Congress.  Through the two direct lines, Green and Arnold, his first American ancestors were Thomas Green, of Malden, Mass., who came to America from Leicestershire, England, about 1636; and Thomas Arnold, of Cheselbourne, Dorsetshire, England, who came to America in 1635 in the ship "Plain Joan," and soon settled at Watertown.   Thomas Arnold was the son of Richard Arnold, whose descent, it is claimed, was through Richard Arnold, of Somersetshire, England, from the ancient and illustrious Arnold family, which, according to a pedigree recorded in the College of Arms, was one of great antiquity, having its origin among the ancient Princes of Wales, tracing from Ynir, King of Gwentland, who flourished after the middle of the twelfth century.

From Thomas Green, the American founder, Mr. Green's lineage is through Thomas (2), Samuel, Thomas (3), John, Timothy and Timothy Ruggles.

Arnold Green was born in New York City, with which city the name is identified through the service of his father's cousin, the Hon. Andrew Haswell Green, of Worcester and New York, a prominent lawyer of New York, who is called the "Father of Greater New York," and who, in 1868, conceived the plan for the amalgamation of the cities and towns which, in 1897, were constituted Greater New York, and for this he was presented by the city with a gold medal in 1899. Arnold Green was born in New York City, February 27, 1838, and died in the old Arnold homestead in Providence, R. I., February 17, 1903.   He was reared to manhood in the city of Providence, attended school in that city, and was graduated from Brown University in the class of 1858, salutatorian of his class, with John Hay, the former Secretary of State, and Colonel R. H. I. Goddard of Providence.  He studied abroad in Germany and Greece, and was later a law student at Harvard University. He held the degree of LL. D., and was authority in many branches of learning.  Greek was his special hobby, and he was a student of both ancient and modern tongues.  He was the author of "Greek and What Next," an address, and "Solomon's Hymn to Liberty," a poem read before the Alumni of Brown University, at the First Baptist Church in Providence, June 17, 1884.  In college he was a member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity. Botany and conchology were studies of special interest to him, and he was quite widely known as a naturalist.

In 1861, Mr. Green went out with the First Regiment, Rhode Island Volunteers, and served three months.  He was in the battle of Bull Run. He was a member of the Veteran Association of the regiment, and was its president for two years. After the war, he settled down to the practice of law in Providence, which was afterward his chief occupation.  For many years he was counsel for the old Boston & Providence Railroad, and he became a recognized authority on difficult points of law.

Mr. Green's literary tastes were manifested in a number of addresses that won a measure of fame.  He delivered the address at the opening of the new Public Library in Providence, and spoke on other occasions of similar importance.  He was president of the board of trustees of the Public Library, and was a trustee of Brown University and the Rhode Island Hospital.

In may respects Mr. Green was a remarkable man.  "He was not to be ranked as a specialist," said one of the court officials, "in any particular branch of legal lore, because he was so sound in every branch.  And not alone as a lawyer was he preeminent among his fellows; he was skilled as a botanist, made the study of the higher mathematics a pastime, possessed a deep and broad knowledge of rare languages, and was so proficient in modern Greek that he subscribed for a daily Greek newspaper, which he read for years with much interest.  He also had a profound knowledge of Roman law."

For many years Mr. Green was the official reporter of the opinions handed down by the Supreme Court.  An eminent jurist and close friend of Arnold Green at the time of Mr. Green's death related several characteristics incident in his career, and spoke of his attainments and qualities at some length.  "It was said that when he was graduated from Brown University the authorities had great difficulty in deciding between Arnold Green and one of his classmates as to which was entitled to become valedictorian of his class.  Finally the deeper generosity of his nature arose to the surface, and he somewhat gruffly ended the controversy by saying, 'Give it to the other fellow; he expects to teach and it will help him at the start to get a good position.'   And so Mr. Green became salutatorian." This same authority continued: "If it were possible for a man to become over-educated, perhaps he was.  He was preeminent among his associates in the versatility and profundity of his knowledge.  Possibly it was owing to this fact that he sometimes seemed to lose their sympathy. He had no patience with littleness or ignorance.  He was like a chestnut burr -- one first felt the superficial harshness without seeing the meat inside.  He never pursued popularity or position, but rode rough-shod over obstacles that presumed to interfere with his desire to gather knowledge. He used the English language with directness and without gloss. He wrote but little, although no one who knew him doubted his qualifications and ability to treat almost any subject he might choose with the pen of a master.  His fame, though great, will be legendary, as he left little in the shape of preserved writings for men to look upon."

On January 14, 1865, Mr. Green married Cornelia Burges, born March 21, 1837, daughter of Judge Walter S. Burges, of Rhode Island Supreme Court, and Eleanor Burrill, the daughter of Hon. James Burrill, Chief Justice and United States Senator of Rhode Island, after whom the town of Burrillville, R. I., was named.  Mrs. Green died January 8, 1901.  Seven children were born of this marriage, namely: Arnold Burrill, born Aug. 21, 1866, died Feb. 18, 1872; Theodore Francis (see forward); Eleanor Burges, born March 3, 1870, a resident of Providence; Cornelia Elizabeth, born Feb. 24, 1872, died June 16, 1901; Ronald Conrad, born March 20, 1874, a resident of Indianapolis, Ind.; Erik Hastings, born Jan. 16, 1876, a resident of Providence; Herlwyn Ruggles, born Feb. 22, 1877, a resident of Palo Alto, Cal.

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Theodore Francis GreenTHEODORE FRANCIS GREEN, son of Arnold and Cornelia (Burges) Green, was born in Providence, R. I., October 2, 1867.  (For his father's ancestry see under Arnold Green).   His mother's ancestry was equally distinguished.   Cornelia (Burges) Green was a daughter of the Hon. Walter S. Burges, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, a son of Abraham and Rhoda (Caswell) Burges, born in Rochester, Plymouth county, Mass., September 10, 1808.  Judge Burges had excellent educational advantages, and entered Brown University in 1827, graduating with honors in 1831.   He immediately became principal of the Thaxter Academy at Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, Mass., and taught four years.   Meanwhile pursuing legal studies, he was admitted to the Rhode Island bar in 1835, and began practice.  In 1845 he was appointed United States District Attorney for Rhode Island and served four years.  He served in both branches of the Legislature, and was elected Attorney-General of Rhode Island in 1851 -- reelected in 1852-53-1854, and again in 1860-61-62-63.  In 1868 he was chosen Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, which office he filled until his resignation, June 1, 1811 [sic].   His death occurred July 26, 1892.  He married, June 1, 1836, Eleanor Burrill, daughter of Hon. James Burrill, of Providence, Chief Justice of Rhode Island and United States Senator, and after whom the town of Burrillville, R. I., was named.  Mrs. Burges died May 21, 1865.

Walter S. Burges was the nephew of Hon. Tristram Burges, eminent statesman, son of John and Abigail Burges, who was born in Rochester, Mass., February 26, 1770, graduated at Brown University with highest honors in the class of 1796.   Possessed of remarkable oratorical powers, a brilliant future was predicted for him.   He studied law, was admitted to the Rhode Island Bar in 1799, and established an extensive practice. In 1801 he married Mary, daughter of Welcome Arnold.  In 1811 he was elected a member of the General Assembly, and in May, 1815, was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the state, holding office one year, when he resumed practice of law.   From 1815 to 1828, he was professor of oratory and belleslettres at Brown University.  In 1825 he was elected to Congress from Rhode Island, and filled this office for ten years.  He made his mark in Congress, and his encounters with the eccentric and sarcastic John Randolph form an interesting part of Congressional debates.  He returned to Rhode Island in 1835 and died October 13, 1853.

Theodore Francis Green attended private schools and the Providence High School, later entering Brown University, whence he was graduated A. B. in 1887, and A. M. in 1890.   From 1890 to 1892 he was student at the Harvard Law School, afterwards in 1892 to 1894 pursuing studies in the universities of Bonn and Berlin, Germany.   In 1892 he was admitted to the Rhode Island bar, in 1894 to the United States District and Circuit courts, and in 1905 to the Supreme Court of the United States. From 1894 to 1897 he was instructor in Roman law at Brown University. He practiced law with his father until the latter's death.  Since 1906 he has been the senior member of the law firm of Green, Hinckley & Allen.   Mr. Green is of the fifth generation in direct line in his family who have followed the profession of law, and has given his principal attention to his legal practice.   However, his relations to his community are in many respects those of his distinguished father, differing as the period has changed, but closely interwoven with its political, business, educational, and philanthropic life, one of his offices, that of trustee of Brown University, having been held by his father, Arnold Green, and his grandfather, Timothy Ruggles Green, and two great-grandfathers and two great-great-grandfathers.

Mr. Green was a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives in 1907, and made the speech placing in nomination Colonel R. H. I. Goddard for United States Senator.   While a member, he drafted and procured the passage of an act to prevent bribery and corrupt practice in elections. Mr. Green  later drafted and procured the passage of the first law in any State in the Union prohibiting exclusion from places of amusement of men in the army and navy because of their uniform, the necessity at that time of such a law contrasting strangely with the present honored place of service men.   In 1912 he was Democratic candidate for governor of the State, and was defeated by a very small margin. He was alternate and later delegate to the National Democratic Convention at Baltimore in 1912, and the same year was a Presidential elector. In 1918 he was the Democratic nominee for Congress in the First District, but was not elected.  He was also delegate to the National Democratic Convention at St. Louis in 1916.  He was a member of the special committee of the Providence Chamber of Commerce on Permanent Tariff Commission. In October, 1914, he was chairman of the Democratic State Convention.

Mr. Green's business interests are numerous and important.  Since January, 1912, he has been president of J. & P. Coats (Rhode Island) Incorporated, a leading thread manufacturing concern.  In October, 1914, he was appointed one of the five trustees of the Rhode Island trolley lines by decree of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York in the case of the United States vs. the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company, et al; and in March, 1919, was appointed one of its receivers.  Since 1914 he has been director and secretary of the Rhode Island Company, also secretary and treasurer of the Sea View Railroad Company, and since 1915 a director of the Providence & Danielson Railroad Company, and since 1919 vice-president of said company.  He is also chairman of the board of directors of the Morris Plan Company of Rhode Island.  He is president and director of the West Providence Land Company, and a director of the Cheapside Land Company. He was a director of the National Exchange Bank, 1904-1909.

The list of Mr. Green's associations in many fields is a lengthy one. Since 1900 he has been a trustee of Brown University, a member of the Green family having served in the relation to the university for many years, as previously noted.  Mr. Green was the organizer of the Brown Union, and was chairman of its board of management from 1903 to 1907.  He was chairman of the general committee for the celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Women's College of Brown University.  Since 1914 he has been a member of the corporation of the Lincoln School of Providence. He had been a trustee of the Rhode Island School of Design since 1900, and its vice-president since 1907.  He has been trustee of the Providence Public Library since 1905, and secretary since 1908, and was a director of the Providence Athanaeum, 1898-1901.  He was trustee of Butler Hospital from 1900 to 1919.  He was secretary of the Rhode Island branch of the American Red Cross from 1911 to 1918.  He is a member of the corporation of Federal Hill House Association, of the Home for Aged Colored Women, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence Institution for Savings, Rhode Island Library Association, Providence Young Men's Christian Association, Charitable Baptist Society, Public Park Association, American Trust Society, and American Free Art League.

The termination of war work released him from duty as a member of the Rhode Island State Council of Defense, a member of the War Council of Providence Defense, a member of the War Council of Providence Chamber of Commerce, a "four-minute man" of Rhode Island, a member of the Rhode Island Committee of Nation Security League, and a member of the Rhode Island Committee of the War Service Committee of the American Library Association; member of Psi Upsilon Fraternity Advisory War Council, member of the committee of Brown University Corporation which planned and recommended reorganization for war work, member of the executive committee of the Rhode Island School of Design which reorganized the school for war work, and a member of the War Camp Community Service Committee of Providence.  He also served in 1919 as a member of the State of Rhode Island and Providence "Welcome Home' committees.  He is also a member of Brow University War Memorial Committee, and of the Citizens' Advisory Committee on war Memorial.

From early in 1917 to early in 1919, Mr. Green was chairman of the American Citizenship Campaign in Rhode Island.  He was also chairman of the committee on citizenship of the Providence Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Rhode Island branch of the National Security League Committee on Citizenship.  He was vice-president of the Rhode Island Branch, League to Enforce Peace.  Since June, 1914, he has been a member of the Rhode Island Advisory Council of the George Washington Memorial Association, Washington, D. C.

In 1911, in opposition to a plan which had been proposed for a trolley approach by viaduct to the East Side of Providence, he formulated an alternative plan for a tunnel under College Hill, and organized a movement known as the "Citizens' Plan," and carried it through to success, as a result of which the Arnold block was raised and the present East Side tunnel was built.  He was a member from 1912, and chairman from 1917 of the City Plan Commission of Providence until 1919.  In 1908 he organized a movement for the preservation of the Old Market building, now known as the Chamber of Commerce, which saved it from threatened destruction.

In the Spanish-American War, Mr. Green received a lieutenant's commission from Governor Dyer, commanding a provisional company of infantry, with instructions to recruit, which he did.  During the great war he was very active.  On November 15, 1917, he was appointed by Secretary McAdoo State Director of War Savings for Rhode Island, and acted as such until February, 1919.  He was one of the organizers and until 1918 commander of the First Platoon of the First Company of Providence Constabulary.

Mr. Green is a member of the Rhode Island Historical Society, of the Rhode Island Society for Mental Hygiene, of the American Federation of Arts, Providence Marine Corps of Artillery, Providence Chamber of Commerce, American Bar Association, Rhode Island Bar Association, Providence Bar Club, Academischer Juristen-Verein zu Bonn, Psi Upsilon fraternity (Sigma chapter), and Psi Beta Kappa.  His clubs are the following:  Hope, Agawam Hunt, Providence Art, Psi Upsilon, Turk's Head, University, Town Criers of Rhode Island, all of Providence; Chomowauke Lodge, University of New York, and the Metropolitan, of Washington, D. C.

The above paragraphs constitute the merest outline of Mr. Green's usefulness and activity in his city and in his State.  They are indicative of the scope of his interests and of the many channels in which his influence flows.  His business address is at No. 1310 Turk's Head building, Providence, R. I., and his home address, No. 14, John street, Providence.

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REV. WILLIAM I. SIMMONS  --  Through the coming of Father Simmons to Providence, the city owes the upbuilding of the parish and construction of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament, one of the finest examples of the beautiful in church architecture.  This parish of six thousand souls, worshipping in the wonderful church, which seats twelve hundred, is part of the visible results in the city, but the spiritual and educational benefits which have followed his coming cannot be estimated.

Father Simmons was born in New York City, in September, 1848, and obtained his classical education in the city's educational institutions.  Deciding upon the holy calling, he began theological study in the Union Theological Seminary of the Episcopal church, but before graduation, rejected that faith and became a convert to Catholicism.  After definitely taking that stand he began preparation for the priesthood of the Roman Catholic church, studying under the instruction and teachings of the Paulist Fathers in New York City.  He was ordained in 1876, and until 1885, continued with the Paulist Fathers, engaged in conducting missions and the special work of that order.  In 1885, he was appointed assistant to the pastorate of St.Mary's Parish at Newport, R. I., later being transferred to St. Joseph's in the same city.  In 1888, he was appointed pastor over the newly created parish in Providence, the Church of the Blessed Sacrament, the parish then numbering thirteen hundred souls.  Services were first held in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Hall, but plans for a church were prepared, ground broken, and construction began.  Mr. C. Grant La Farge, the celebrated New York architect, and son of John La Farge, the artist, was secured as architect.  The style of architecture decided upon was the Roman Basilica, with Byzantine treatment of the interior, and was the first church of that pure style of architecture attempted in America.  Since its completion it has attracted considerable attention from architects and artists, many coming to Providence with a visit to the church as their mission.  Some special features of the church are the stained glass windows of adoring angels in the apse, by John La Farge, also four beautiful paintings on the transept altars, the work of Bancel La Farge (fils).  The baptistery at the left of the main entrance is a piece of Byzantine art worthy of note.  In all that goes to create beautiful church surroundings the Church of the Blessed Sacrament excels. There is a fine surpliced choir of men and boys, organized by Professor Victor Hammeral, which under his training attained most favorable notice. They render the music of the church services.  Every department of parish work is conducted under trained heads, and schools, hospital, social, religious and charitable societies are well supported.  Father Simmons takes a deep and abiding interest in all, particularly in those which especially advocate and teach total abstinence from intoxicating drinks.  He is a valued member of the Providence Municipal League, and the Society of Organizing Charities, and interested in all that pertains to bettering civic conditions.

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Thomas Arnold BriggsTHOMAS ARNOLD BRIGGS  --  To the record of a family line old and distinguished, Mr. Briggs has added a chapter in industry and invention that reflects credit upon the family name.  He is the president of the Boston Wire Stitcher Company, of East Greenwich, and the inventor of several machines of widespread use in the printing industry, including the wire-stitcher and automatic feeder, as well as a label making machine and a machine for attaching window shades to rollers.

(I)  Thomas A. Briggs, a descendant of John Briggs, of Portsmouth, R. I., was born in 1609, and died in 1690.  His wife, whose name is not of record, died in the same year.  He was admitted an inhabitant of the Island of Aquidneck (Rhode Island) in 1638, signed the compact for a form of government April 30, 1639, and was made a freeman March 16, 1641. He was appointed inspector of arms October 5, 1643, was assistant in 1648, and licensed to keep an ordinary in 1649.  On August 31, 1654, he was appointed a commissioner to arrange a union of the four towns, was commissioner of the colony in 1654-55-56-59-61-62-63, having been made freeman of the colony in 1655, and was deputy to the General Court in 1664-65-66-68-69. He purchased the house and lot of John Hall, in Portsmouth, August 24, 1646, and for L42 a share in Dartmouth.  He deeded his son, Thomas, one-fourth of the Dartmouth land (thirty-five acres), March 1, 1679, and one-half share to his eldest son, John, October 14, following.  His son, Enoch, inherited the homestead and estates.  Children:  John, of whom further; Thomas, died June 12, 1720;  William, born in 1650;  Susannah, married a member of the Northaway family; Job, died in 1733;  Enoch, died in 1734.

(II)  John (2) Briggs, eldest child of John Briggs, was born in Portsmouth, in 1642, and resided in Warwick and Kingstown, his death occurring in Kingstown in 1697.  He was clerk of a military company there May 20, 1671, took the oath of allegiance on the same date, was made a freeman in 1673, and was constable in 1687.  He was one of the six purchasers of a tract of land in Narragansett in 1672.  His home was probably on the border of Warwick and Kingstown, as he is sometimes called of the former town.  He married Frances Fisher, daughter of Edward Fisher, of Portsmouth, and she died in the same year his death occurred.  Children:  John, born Feb. 25, 1668;  James, of whom further; Frances, born Feb. 26, 1673, died in 1693;  Richard, born Feb. 1, 1675;  Robert, born Nov. 13, 1678;  Mary, born Sept. 27, 1681; Ann, born Sept. 2, 1683;  Sarah, born April 12, 1685.

(III)  James Briggs, second son of John (2) and Frances (Fisher) Briggs, was born in Kingstown, February 12, 1670, and does not appear of record thereafter.  It is pretty certain that Job Briggs was either a son of this James or his brother, John, who died in 1747.

He was a freeman of North Kingstown in 1712.  His will, proved February 8, 1747, left estate to his wife, Sarah, son, Ebenezer, daughters, Sarah Smith, Mary Fowler, and Deliverance Briggs, and granddaughter, Waite Briggs.

(IV)  Job Briggs, born about 1700, resided in Warwick.  The records disclose nothing further concerning him.

(V)  Joseph Briggs, son of Job Briggs, was born in Warwick, R. I., in 1744, and died May 24, 1832.  He married, in Warwick, November 26, 1767, Lydia Miller, born July 18, 1747, daughter of Nathaniel and Barbara Miller.  She died March 8, 1826.  Her mother was a Widow Bowen at the time of her marriage to Nathaniel, and her maiden name cannot be discovered.  Children:  Almy, born Feb. 1, 1770;  James, born Oct. 11, 1771;  Captain Samuel, born Jan. 1, 1774;  John, born Aug. 11, 1776;  Joseph, born Aug. 14, 1778; Miller, of whom further; Lydia, born Dec. 10, 1782;  Nathaniel, born Feb. 11, 1785;  Amos, born July 10, 1787;  Betsey, born May 17, 1789;  Catherine, born April 20, 1794.

(VI)  Miller Briggs, son of Joseph and Lydia (Miller) Briggs, was born in Cowesett, R. I., December 16, 1780, and died January 17, 1852. He was a farmer by occupation, and married, in Smithfield, R. I., August 27, 1809, Mary Mackmarrow, and they were the parents of:  Fannie Bowen, died aged eighteen years;  Mary Ann, born June 10, 1812, died Sept. 30, 1897;  Joseph Miller;  Martha, born Feb. 24, 1818, married (first) John C. Stanton, (second) Edwin G. Davis;  William;  Samuel Albert, of whom further;  Susan Caroline, born Dec. 10, 1825, died Jan. 9, 1854, married Edwin G. Davis.

(VII)  Samuel A. Briggs, son of Miller and Mary (Mackmarrow) Briggs, was born in Coventry, R. I., August 11, 1820, and died in Providence, September 4, 1901.  He learned the jewelry business in Providence, and afterward was engaged in farming operations.  He married Lucy Ann Rice, a native of Warwick, born November 2, 1820, died January 4, 1899, a daughter of Thomas and Lucy (Northup) Rice, of an old distinguished family of New England. Samuel Albert and Lucy Ann (Rice) Briggs were the parents of four children: Lydia Northup, married Charles M. Seekel, of Providence, who died in 1890, and whom she survives; Thomas Arnold, of whom further; Sara A., died in 1917; and a child who died in infancy.

(VIII)  Thomas Arnold Briggs, son of Samuel Albert and Lucy Ann (Rice) Briggs, was born in Crompton, R. I., January 19, 1857.  He was reared on a farm in Crompton, and until he was sixteen years of age attended the public schools.  Becoming employed in a drug store at Centerville, he remained there for three years, gaining an experience in this line that led him, at the age of nineteen years, to establish an independent business.  For two years he conducted a drug store at Pepperell, Mass., at the end of this time selling the business to devote himself entirely to the work that has since held him, invention and manufacturing.  While proprietor of the store at Pepperell, he had perfected and patented a label machine, and when the machine had been manufactured he established the Rhode Island Label Works on Sabine street, Providence.  This was a practical and highly successful invention and has been improved upon but little since that time.  Mr. Briggs disposed of his patent rights in his invention, which is used the world over.

At this time he built for the Carter-Crume Company, now the American Sales Book Company, several special type high-speed machines for the printing and binding of their product, and installed them on a special agreement. These were the first machines combining the numerous processes necessary in the manufacture of sales books, and were a pronounced an unqualified success.  With an assured income from this source, Mr. Briggs applied himself diligently to the perfection of another of his inventions, the wire-stitching machine, and, with his work completed, he arranged for the marketing of the machines through the American Type Founders' Company. At the same time he brought an automatic feeder for large presses to practical and efficient form, but the expense involved in establishing the manufacture of his wire-stitcher prevented his entering the feeder field.  In 1900, Mr. Briggs organized the Boston Wire Stitcher Company, of which he is president, purchased a plant in East Greenwich, R. I., and there began the manufacture of the machine.  In addition to the stitchers that figure as an important part of the equipment of every printing plant in the country, and the Boston Stitcher is unexcelled in performance, the company manufactures a machine for securing the window shades to rollers, and various machines and appliances for use in printing and allied trades. Inventor of the products manufactured in the East Greenwich plant, and with a talent for mechanics that amounts to genius, Mr. Briggs, in the management of his plant and the solution of perplexing business and industrial situations, has shown himself the able man-of-affairs as well, and the prosperity of his company, based upon the work of his productive mind, is due in large measure to his strong guidance.

During the World War a machine gun cartridge belt, made of a paper and asphalt composition, was designed in the Ordnance Department to replace the old and expensive belt in use up to that time.  The old type of belt, costly in its first manufacture, was loaded by a slow hand process, and was often reloaded many times on the field of battle.  The advantages of the new belt were to be speed of manufacture, speed of loading, low cost of production, and the ability to discard them when firing had been completed.  The design for the belt was turned over to Mr. Briggs by the war department with the charge of designing the machines to realize these advantages.  It is a tribute to his inventive genius and wide technical knowledge that after a thorough study of the problems he and his associates produced a machine to manufacture the belt and another to load it with three hundred shells, the entire operation completed in one minute.  This machinery was made in their factory and then shipped to the various ammunition plants throughout the country manufacturing machine gun belts and shells.  This is a notable example of the instant and effective response of the industrial genius of the country to any demand made upon it, and Mr. Briggs, past the age for the firing line, ably improved this opportunity for service to the Allied cause.

In 1913, Mr. Briggs was elected to the Warwick Town Council, and was reelected in 1914, becoming president of that body, but he resigned before the expiration of his term.  He is interested in all that concerns the welfare of his town, and a supporter of all movements of civic progress. He maintains a residence in Providence, and has a summer home in Florida. His favorite recreations are golf and motoring, and he is fond of all out-of-door sports.


These documents are made available free to the public for non-commercial purposes by the Rhode Island USGenWeb Project. Transcription and pictures 2001-2 by Beth Hurd

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