Edwin D. McGuinness

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Edwin Daniel McGuinness
Mayor Edwin D McGuinness.jpg
19th Mayor of Providence
In office
January 6, 1896 – January 3, 1898
Preceded byFrank F. Olney
Succeeded byWilliam C. Baker
Personal details
Born(1856-05-17)May 17, 1856
Providence, Rhode Island
DiedApril 21, 1901(1901-04-21) (aged 44)
Providence, Rhode Island
Resting placeSt. Francis Cemetery, Pawtucket
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Ellen T. Noonan
ResidenceProvidence, Rhode Island
Alma materBrown University, Boston University School of Law

Edwin Daniel McGuinness (17 May 1856 – 21 April 1901) was Providence's first Irish Catholic mayor.

Personal life[edit]

Edwin Daniel McGuinness was born in Providence, Rhode Island on May 17, 1856, son of Bernard McGuinness and Mary Higgins, both Irish immigrants.[1] He attended public schools, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University in 1877.[1][2] He went on to receive his law degree in 1879 from Boston University Law School.[2] He was admitted to the Rhode Island Bar in that same year and joined with John Doran (later a justice with the Rhode Island superior court) to form the firm of McGuinness & Doran.[1][2]

McGuinness married Ellen T. Noonan of Providence on November 22, 1881.[1] She was the daughter of Timothy and Ellen Noonan. They had one daughter.[1]

Political life[edit]

McGuinness was elected city alderman of Providence (1889 – 1893). He ran for mayor in 1893 and was defeated by Frank F. Olney; he ran again in 1895 and won.[1] In the 1896 campaign, McGuinness carried every single election district in the city.[1] Although he ran on the Democratic ticket, he was known for running a non-partisan administration.[2]

A major issue during McGuinness's terms as mayor was a conflict with the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company. They had contracted to build rainsheds on their new station in Providence, but failed to fulfill this obligation. McGuinness refused to let the station open until the rainsheds were built.[1] It was said to be a bitter fight between the mayor and the railroad.[1]

Regrettably the political responsibility took a toll on his health and he suffered a nervous breakdown during his second term as Mayor.[citation needed] McGuinness took ill in 1898, and even a trip south could not restore his health.[1]

He died at his home in Providence on April 21, 1901 at the age of 45.[1] He was buried in St. Francis Cemetery, Pawtucket.[3]

In 2007 he was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Cutter, William Richard (1914). "Volume 3". New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial. Lewis historical publishing Company. pp. 1210–1212. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d "Death of Former Mayor M'Guinness". The Providence Daily Journal. 22 April 1901. p. 3.
  3. ^ Edwin D. McGuinness at Find a Grave
  4. ^ [1] Mayor Edwin D. McGuinness ~ Inducted

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Joshua M. Addeman
Secretary of State of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
Samuel H. Cross
Preceded by
Samuel H. Cross
Secretary of State of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
George H. Utter
Preceded by
Frank F. Olney
Mayor of Providence
Succeeded by
William C. Baker