Thomas A. Doyle (mayor)

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Thomas Arthur Doyle
Thomas A Doyle Mayor of Providence Official Portrait.jpg
Official portrait of Thomas A. Doyle in Providence City Hall
9th, 11th, & 13th Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island
In office
June 1864 – June 1869
Preceded by Jabez C. Knight
Succeeded by George L. Clark
In office
June 1870 – June 1881
Preceded by George L. Clark
Succeeded by William S. Hayward
In office
January 1884 – June 9, 1886
Preceded by William S. Hayward
Succeeded by Gilbert F. Robbins
Personal details
Born (1827-03-15)March 15, 1827
Providence, Rhode Island
Died June 9, 1886(1886-06-09) (aged 59)
Providence, Rhode Island
Resting place Swan Point Cemetery
Political party Republican
Religion Unitarian[1]
This bronze Statue of Thomas A. Doyle, originally installed at Cathedral Square, was moved to the corner of Chestnut and Broad Street in 1967.[2]

Thomas Arthur Doyle (1827–1886) was mayor of Providence for three terms: 1864–1869; 1870–1881; and from 1884 until his death in office in 1886. His eighteen interval years in office is second in duration to Providence mayor Mayor "Buddy" Cianci.[3]

Early Life[edit]

Attended Elm Street Grammar School, a public school. At age 14 he joined the counting-room of Benjamin Cozzens, a lawyer, and worked there for six years.[1]

Political Career[edit]

Doyle began his political career in 1848, aged 21, when he was elected ward clerk for the Sixth Ward. In 1852 he was elected to the Common Council from the Fifth Ward.[1] Doyle also served on the school committee, at one time being the youngest member of the committee.[1]

Tenure as Mayor[edit]

Doyle is considered by some historians[4] and even was regarded in his lifetime[1] to have been Providence's greatest mayor. During his tenure Providence grew from "a large manufacturing village" to a "little metropolis".[1]

Some specific achievements of his terms of office included:

  • Construction of Providence City Hall (1875-1878)
  • Introduction of a uniformed police force, which became a model for other cities[1]
  • Construction of the municipal water system[1]
  • Acquisition of Roger Williams Park through donation (1871)[1]
  • The city more than doubled in population and wealth[3]
  • The city government earned a reputation of being "free from the taint of jobbery, dishonesty, or malfeasance"[1]

Personal Life[edit]

Doyle was one of seven children, among them his sister, educator and reformer Sarah Doyle. In 1869, he married Almyra Sprague, sister of Senator William Sprague, and had no children. His house at 137 Chestnut Street, Providence, stands today.[5]

He was also an enthusiastic Mason. He was made a Master Mason in 1857, and was elected to various statewide Mason offices including Knights Templar.[1]

Doyle was a member of the Unitarian church.[1]


External Links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l The Biographical Cyclopedia of Representative Men of Rhode Island Vol 2. Providence: Providence National Biographical Publishing Co. 1881. pp. 512–513. 
  2. ^ a b Bodo, Sandor (10 November 2013). "RearView Mirror: Moving monuments". Providence Journal. Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Doyle, Thomas Arthur (1827-1886)". Brown University. Retrieved 11 June 2014. second only to Mayor "Buddy" Cianci in tenure 
  4. ^ a b "Inductee Details: Mayor Thomas A. Doyle". Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  5. ^ "An Overview of the History of the Jewelry District". Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Workers of the Writers' Program of the Works Progress Administration in the State of Rhode Island (1937). Rhode Island, A Guide to the Smallest State. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. pp. 290–291. Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Jabez C. Knight
Mayor of Providence
Succeeded by
George L. Clarke
Preceded by
George L. Clarke
Mayor of Providence
Succeeded by
William S. Hayward
Preceded by
William S. Hayward
Mayor of Providence
Succeeded by
Gilbert F. Robbins