Mayor Amos Chafee Barstow (1813-1892) was one of the most accomplished and versatile men in the history of Rhode Island. A Providence native, Barstow made his fortune by the manufacture of stoves. His firm, the Barstow Stove Company, located at Point and Richmond Streets covered two and one-half acres and employed 200 workers. Barstow won the Grand Medal of Merit at the 1873 Vienna World’s Fair for the best cooking stoves and ranges.
In addition to Barstow’s business pursuits, which included prominent positions in the field of banking, the litany of his achievements indicates his impact upon the history of his native city: mayor of Providence (1852-53) as a member of the Temperance party; state representative and house speaker (1870) as a Republican; member of the Providence Common council; trustee of the Dexter donation; first president of the Providence YMCA; president of the Providence Association of Mechanics and Manufacturers; president of the board of Butler Hospital; builder of the Providence Music Hall; and one of the planners of the present City Hall. He was also a published poet and essayist, a Congregational deacon, and a member and chairman of the U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners, to which he was appointed by President Grant.