Archiver > RIGENWEB > 2002-04 > 1018286186

From: Kamala James <>
Subject: Re: [RIGENWEB] Frederick E. PERKINS
Date: Mon, 08 Apr 2002 10:16:26 -0700
In-Reply-To: <20020408143528.MXGV29627.lakemtao01.cox.net@P366>

4/8/02 7:35

> from
> History of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
> Biographical
> NY: The American Historical Society, Inc.
> 1920
> pp. 198 - 199:
> "FREDERICK E. PERKINS, late president of the Rhode Island Perkins Horseshoe
> Company, and for many years a notable figure in business, financial and
> sporting circles in the State of Rhode Island, was a member of the Taunton
> branch of the old New England family. He was born in Taunton, Mass.,
> December 25, 1849, the son of Charles H. Perkins, founder of the Rhode
> Island Perkins Horseshoe Company, and his wife, Frances Lucretia (Bundy)
> Perkins.
> Frederick E. Perkins was educated in the schools of Taunton, and on
> completing his studies secured his first employment with the Sprague Mowing
> Machine Company. He later became connected with the Comstock Foundry
> Company. In 1867 the late Charles H. Perkins discovered an entirely new
> method for making horseshoes, and commenced their manufacture under the name
> of the Rhode Island Horse Shoe Company, with A. & W. Sprague as financial
> backers, at the same time accepting the office of manager of the Sprague
> industries. With the failure of the Sprague interests in 1873, Charles H.
> Perkins with F. W. Carpenter and R. W. Comstock purchased the Rhode Island
> Horse Shoe Company. In 1874 the works were removed from Providence to
> Valley Falls, where a large establishment was erected to meet the demands of
> the rapidly growing business, the product having increased from half a ton
> to over sixty tons a day. The company, which was reorganized in 1891 is
> known internationally for the manufacture of the Perkins horseshoe and other
> accessories of a similar nature. In 1874 Frederick E. Perkins entered the
> employ of the company in the capacity of purchasing agent and for several
> years visited Europe annually to secure metals. He did not confine his
> attention solely to this department of the company's affairs, however but
> made a comprehensive study of every phase of the working of the huge
> concern. Later he was chosen president, which office he held at the time of
> his death. He was an able executive, a man of considerable genius in the
> handling of large affairs, and he was widely known in business and financial
> interests in the city of Providence. He did not, however, limit his
> activities solely to the business world. Mr. Perkins was long prominent in
> light harness and automobile racing in Rhode Island.
> A lover of fine horses, he was an enthusiastic devotee of horse racing and a
> leader in the sport of Rhode Island until its decline with the advent of the
> automobile racing, and in 1890 acquired the Narragansett Park track, which
> was second to none in the country. Here for several years were held light
> harness races of the finest calibre. The growing prejudice against horse
> racing led Mr. Perkins to dispose of the Narragansett Park track to a
> corporation, under a mortgage to hold running races. The decline of the
> sport made it impossible for the owners to keep the terms of the contract
> and the property reverted to Mr. Perkins, who built an automobile race
> course. Here he staged the first automobile race in America, and
> subsequently engaged several meetings at which the leading drivers of the
> country participated. He was also the founder of the Rhode Island State
> Fair Association, and was the first to present vaudeville as an attraction
> at an agricultural fair. He was an excellent marksman, and his favorite
> sport was quail shooting.
> Mr. Perkins was an expert on road building and was twice appointed a member
> of the State Board of Public Roads, representing Providence county. His
> keen interest in the work and a desire to obtain the highest degree of
> efficiency caused him to tour Europe at his own expense for the purpose of
> studying at first hand the methods of road building used in England and on
> the Continent. Mr. Perkins later resigned his office because of a
> disagreement over the policy then being pursued by the State. In May, 1909,
> he was appointed by Governor Aram J. Pothier as honorary vice-president for
> Rhode Island of the International League of Highway Improvement, which had
> for its object the building of a system of connecting highways throughout
> the United States.
> Mr. Perkins married Ella J. Walden, who survives him."
> from the RI Historical Cemeteries Database Index:
> for more info:
> "Industries and Wealth ... Providence & Vicinity"
> http://www.rootsweb.com/~rigenweb/article68.html
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Beth Hurd
> Johnston, RI USA
> http://www.the-hurds.com
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Thank you Beth for the info on Fredrick E. Perkins! Not sure of a family
connection yet, but keeping it on file in my records! Take care, Kammie

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