Year Inducted: 2002

Attorney General Julius C. Michaelson - Michaelson, Julius C., 1922-2011 A champion for human, civil and labor rights, Julius C. Michaelson spent a decades-long long career of public service, fighting for social justice. He was best known for the “Michaelson Act,"  requiring school districts to bargain in good faith with teachers, ending the long-standing practice of ignoring teachers to put force…

Attorney General Julius C. Michaelson Read More »

Catherine R. (Arnold) Williams - Catharine R. (Arnold) Williams (1790-1872) of Providence was one of Rhode Island's major literary figures of the nineteenth century. She was the daughter of Alfred Arnold, a sea captain, and Amey Read. Her mother died when Catharine was a child, so the oft-absent father entrusted her education and upbringing to two of her aunts. Catharine…

Catherine R. (Arnold) Williams Read More »

Catherine R. (Arnold) Williams - Catharine Read (Arnold) Williams (1790-1872) of Providence was one of Rhode Island's major literary figures of the nineteenth century. She was the daughter of Alfred Arnold, a sea captain, and Amey Read. Her mother died when Catherine was a child, so the oft-absent father entrusted her education and upbringing to two of her aunts. Catharine…

Catherine R. (Arnold) Williams Read More »

Chief Justice Samuel Ames -  Ames, Samuel, 1806-1865 Chief Justice Samuel Ames (1806-1865) of Providence served in many public capacities including state legislator, speaker of the house, and quartermaster general of the state militia. His most significant service was as chief justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court (1856-1865).   Ames studied at Phillips-Andover Academy and graduated from Brown University in…

Chief Justice Samuel Ames Read More »

Chief Justice William Read Staples - Chief Justice William Read Staples of Providence was a prominent lawyer, jurist, and civil servant. With the possible exception of Samuel Greene Arnold, who eulogized him, Staples was also the premier Rhode Island historian of the nineteenth century. In the 1820s, Staples became a leader of the Rhode Island bar and then a prosecutor for…

Chief Justice William Read Staples Read More »

Congressman Elisha Reynolds Potter Jr. - Congressman Elisha Reynolds Potter, Jr. (1811-1882) of South Kingstown was the son and namesake of a U.S. congressman, Elisha Reynolds Potter, Sr. (1764-1835) and Mary (Mawney) Potter. The remarkably varied career of this Harvard graduate included such occupations and positions as attorney, historian, adjutant general, state legislator, congressman, state commissioner of public schools (succeeding Henry…

Congressman Elisha Reynolds Potter Jr. Read More »

Dr. Isaac Ray - >Dr. Isaac Ray (1807-1881) is one of the fathers of American psychiatry. A native of Beverly, Massachusetts, Ray graduated from Phillips-Andover Academy and attended Bowdoin College in Maine, but left prior to graduation. Returning to Beverly, Ray served a medical apprenticeship to a local doctor, then enrolled at Harvard Medical School, and eventually concluded his studies at…

Dr. Isaac Ray Read More »

Dr. Joseph J. Loferski - Loferski, J. J. (Joseph John) Dr. Joseph J. Loferski, physicist and pioneer in the development of modern solar cells, hewas professor emeritus and chair of engineering at Brown. Born and educated in Pennsylvania, Dr. Loferski focused his career on photovoltaic cells and the properties of semiconductors. He joined the Brown faculty as an associate professor…

Dr. Joseph J. Loferski Read More »

Dr. Usher Parsons -   Parsons, Usher, 1788-1868 Dr. Usher Parsons of Providence was Rhode Island’s foremost physician of the early 19th century. Born in Alfred, Maine, the youngest of nine children, Parsons had little formal schooling, but began the study of medicine as an apprentice to physicians in Alfred and Boston. Parsons was licensed to practice by the Massachusetts Medical…

Dr. Usher Parsons Read More »

Elizabeth Buffum Chace - Elizabeth Buffum Chace, the first woman to be memorialized with a statue in the Rhode Island State House, was an antislavery activist and a pioneering advocate for women’s suffrage. The daughter of abolitionist leader Arnold Buffum, she married fellow Quaker Samuel Chace, a Fall River textile manufacturer. The Chaces had ten children; tragically the oldest five died…

Elizabeth Buffum Chace Read More »

Leona McElroy Kelly - Former Rhode Island Representative from South Kingstown. Leona A. Kelley was born in Providence on August 15, 1919. She attended Classical High School and the University of Rhode Island graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1941. Her political career began in the 1950s as a social worker. After taking time off to raise…

Leona McElroy Kelly Read More »

Michael A. “Mike” Tranghese - Michael A. Tranghese is a former collegiate golfer, sports information director and, most notably, the long-term commissioner of one of the most successful college athletic conferences of all-time. Mr. Tranghese was born on February 2, 1944 in Springfield, Massachusetts to Michael and Josephine (nee DiSantis).  He attended Cathedral High School in Springfield and upon graduation…

Michael A. “Mike” Tranghese Read More »

Michael Thomas “Mike” Roarke - Michael T. “Mike” Roarke (1930-2019) was born on November 8, 1930 to Walter J. and Mary T. (nee Riley) Roarke in West Warwick, Rhode Island where he was raised through his high school years.  Vice President of the West Warwick High School Class of 1948, Mike was a schoolboy star in baseball and football in…

Michael Thomas “Mike” Roarke Read More »

Mother Mary Frances Xavier Warde - Mother Mary Frances Xavier Warde, 1840-1884, was the American founder of the Sisters of Mercy (R.S.M.). Born in Ireland to fairly prosperous parents, she was orphaned in her teens. At age sixteen she moved to Dublin where she met Catherine McAuley, a social service worker, who established the Sisters of Mercy in 1831 to provide for the…

Mother Mary Frances Xavier Warde Read More »

Pasquale “Pat”/”Doc” J. Abbruzzi - Pat Abruzzi is considered one of the best athletes to come out of Rhode Island. Born in Warren on August 29, 1932, Pat was raised in Warren and attended local schools. He played football for Warren High School and was named All Class C football running back in 1948 and 1949. During his senior year…

Pasquale “Pat”/”Doc” J. Abbruzzi Read More »

Reverend Francis Wayland - Reverend Francis Wayland, 1796-1856, was a prominent Baptist minister, the president of Brown University (1826-1855), pastor of Providence's First Baptist Church, and an influential moral philosopher.  Wayland, the son and namesake of a Baptist minister, was born in New York City and graduated from Union College. Then, after two years of medical study, he attended Andover…

Reverend Francis Wayland Read More »

Robert Owens “Bob” Tiernan - Robert O. Tiernan was an attorney, member of the Rhode Island General Assembly, member of the United States House of Representatives and a high-ranking federal government official during his career of public service. Born in Providence on February 24, 1929 to Joseph and Mary (nee McConnell), Tiernan attended LaSalle Academy where he achieved All State…

Robert Owens “Bob” Tiernan Read More »

Senator Philip Allen -  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…

Senator Philip Allen Read More »

Thomas Alexander Tefft - Thomas Alexander Tefft (1826-1859) was a major nineteenth century American architect. He was born in Richmond, Rhode Island in humble surroundings. The names of his parents are unknown, and details of his early years are obscure. Yet he is probably the town of Richmond's most famous native son. His talent for drawing was discovered by…

Thomas Alexander Tefft Read More »

Thomas Robinson Hazard -   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…

Thomas Robinson Hazard Read More »

Wilkins Updike - Wilkins Updike (1784-1867), a member of the noted Cocumscussoc family of North Kingstown, was the youngest of eleven children of Lodowick and Abigail Updike and himself the father of twelve. Wilkins moved to the village of Kingston as a young man after the Updikes lost Cocumscussoc through business reverses, and for many years he represented South Kingstown…

Wilkins Updike Read More »

Scroll to Top