Arthur Steere

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Steere as a young man

Arthur Wallace Steere (1865 – 1943) was a Rhode Island politician and prominent businessman and landowner.

Biography[edit]

Arthur W. Steere (known as "A.W.") was born in Glocester, Rhode Island on September 3, 1865 to Seth Hunt Steere and Lucy L. Smith. Steere was a direct descendant of Rhode Island founder, Roger Williams, William Wickenden, General William West, and Pilgrim George Soule.[1][2] As a youth he worked on his family's farm in Glocester and then went to Scituate, Rhode Island where he engaged in the teaming business for three years. In 1889 Steere inherited a bequest from his relative Henry J. Steere, a prominent manufacturer, upon the latter's death. In 1892, Steere married into the Brayton family when he married Sarah Janet Brayton (daughter of David and Phebe Brayton), who died the following year. Next, Steere married Mamie Farrar (daughter of Miles and Annie (Allen) Farrar) in 1894. They had five children together: Seth, Arthur, Nelson, Nettie and Henry.[3]

Eventually, Arthur Steere became the owner of over one thousand acres (4 km²) of property in the Rhode Island towns of Johnston, Burrillville, Foster, Scituate, Smithfield, and Glocester, making him one of the state's largest landowners. Steere sold hundreds of acres to the state of Rhode Island for the creation of the Scituate Reservoir in the 1920s. He owned various businesses on this land, including lumber yards, which produced railroad ties and telegraph poles, and also dairy farms, fruit orchards, refrigeration facilities, and a teaming business that first paved the majority of the roads in northern Rhode Island. Steere had over one hundred and fifty employees at the start of the 20th century. Senator Steere was a lifelong Republican, and in 1907 he was elected to the Rhode Island Senate representing Greenville, Rhode Island. As a senator, Steere was extremely active in property issues, serving on the property committee. Steere was also a member of the Freemasons of Greenville and Scituate and an attendant of Greenville's Free Will Baptist Church. After Steere died in January 1943, his sons Seth Hunt Steere and Henry J. Steere took over the bulk of his businesses and landholdings. Steere Orchards on Austin Avenue in Greenville is still owned by his descendants and is the largest orchard in Rhode Island. Steere was buried at Harmony Chapel Cemetery in Glocester.[4]

Images[edit]

References[edit]

  • "Arthur Wallace Steere," The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical,(NY: The American Historical Society, 1920) 121-122.
  • "Arthur Wallace Steere," Representative men and old families of Rhode Island : genealogical records and historical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and of many of the old families. (Chicago: J.H. Beers & Co., 1908).
  • James Root, Steere Genealogy, (Providence: Riverside Press, 1890).
  • The Providence Journal, "The Will of Mr. Henry J. Steere in Detail," November 1, 1889, pg. 3.
  • The Providence Journal, "Obituary: Henry J. Steere," October 29, 1889, pg. 8.
  1. ^ Title: Mayflower Families Through Five Generations- George Soule, Volume 3 Author: John E Soule, Col. and Milton E. Perry, Ph.D. Publication: General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1980 Abbrev: Mayflower Families Through Five Generations- George Soule, Volume 3
  2. ^ James Pierce Root, Steere Genealogy: A Record of the Descendants of John Steere, who Settled in Providence, Rhode Island, about the year 1660, (Providence: Riverside Press, 1890). (Wickenden's daughter married John Steere, progenitor of that family)
  3. ^ "Arthur Wallace Steere," The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical,(NY: The American Historical Society, 1920) 121-122.
  4. ^ John Steere Family Album, (Chepachet: Steere Family Association, 1981).

External links[edit]