(part of the Grosvenor Family Papers)
Family, of Providence, R.I.
Size: 1.5 linear feet
Catalog number: MSS 1 sg 6, ser D
Processed by: Harold Kemble, December 1976
Finding aid by Rick Stattler, January 2000
©Rhode Island Historical Society
Rosa Anne Mason (1817-1872) was the daughter of James Brown Mason and Alice (Brown) Mason. She married Dr. William Grosvenor, a physician and textile manufacturer, and had several children including William Grosvenor Jr. and Alice M. (Grosvenor) Mason. (1843-1886).
William Grosvenor Jr. (1838-1906) was born in Providence, R.I., the eldest son of Dr. William Grosvenor and Rosa A. (Mason) Grosvenor. He graduated from Brown University in 1860 and began work as a manager in the Grosvenor Dale Company, a Connecticut textile mill owned by his father. He served as treasurer and as the effective leader of the company from 1883 to 1905.
Rose Dimond Phinney (1857-1923) was born in Bristol, R.I. to Theodore W. and Rose (Dimond) Phinney. She had a younger sister, Anita Alice (Phinney) Robinson. Rose married William Grosvenor Jr. in 1882, and had seven children by him: Alice M. Davis, Caroline R. Congdon, William Grosvenor, Rose Gardner, Robert Grosvenor, Anita Curtis, and Theodore P. Grosvenor. The family resided at 51 Prospect Street in Providence. Her first husband died in 1906, and circa 1921, she married Gen. Wilbur E. Wilder. They summered in Newport, R.I. and also resided in Washington, D.C. She died on June 26, 1923 and was buried in Swan Point Cemetery in Providence.
Her son William Grosvenor (1886-1972) became president of the Grosvenor Dale Company while still a student at Harvard University, after the death of his father in 1906. He served as an officer in the Army during the First World War. In 1920, he entered the partnership of Grosvenor & Grosvenor with his brother Theodore. They sold cotton to various New England mills until the dissolution of the partnership in 1924. William then moved to Boston and continued the brokerage business in his own name. The Grosvenor-Dale Company was sold in 1941, and William then became involved with the life insurance industry. He married Mary Burnett (1895-1976), and had six children: William Grosvenor, Charles D. Grosvenor, Richard G. Grosvenor, Mrs. William P. Hazard, Rosa A. Touret, and Mrs. Clarkson C. Collins. He died in Newport, R.I. in 1972.
The pronunciation of Grosvenor is not phonetic; it is generally pronounced "GROVE-ner."
Bicknell, Thomas W. The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (New York: 1920), 4:25.
Finney, Howard. Finney-Phinney Families in America (Richmond, Va.: William Byrd Press, 1957), 113.
Touret, Rosa Anne (Grosvenor), compiler. An American Family in the Nineteenth Century (published by compiler, 1973).
Rhode Island Cemetery Database
Newport directories, 1921-1924
Obituary of William Grosvenor, Providence Journal, May 3 1972, page 21.
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Scope and content:
This collection consists of family correspondence, mostly of William and Rose D. (Phinney) Grosvenor, and their children William and Theodore. The letters cover both personal and financial topics, and include interfiled bills and receipts.
Rose D. (Phinney) Grosvenor kept diaries for much of her life. These diaries were never donated to the R.I. Historical Society, but the diaries from 1870 through 1883 were transcribed and indexed, and comprise the bulk of her grand-daughter Rosa Touret's An American Family in the Nineteenth Century (1973).
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This correspondence was part of a large gift of Grosvenor family papers donated in 1972 by Mrs. William Grosvenor.
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The Grosvenor Family Papers were processed in 1976 by Harold Kemble and an assistant with the initials B.M.Z. It was the first collection processed under a grant to organize the Society's business-related manuscripts. It was also the first collection given an "MSS" number, which is now the standard cataloging prefix for all record groups at the R.I.H.S. In 2000, the correspondence series was slightly re-arranged by Rick Stattler, and this finding aid was written.
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Subgroup 6, series D: Correspondence, 1867-1927
(see typescript inventory for related family business records)
Subseries 1: William Grosvenor Jr.
Correspondence with family members and others regarding business, investments, commercial property in Providence, residences, and other family news. Frequent correspondents include his brother John B.M. Grosvenor.
Folder 1. 1867, from Edward Broadhead and Coleman Benedict, NY stockbrokers
Folder 2. 1868, from Coleman Benedict
Folder 3. 1879, 1883-1884, 1891-1899
Folder 4. 1900
Folder 5. 1901, January - April
Folder 6. 1901, May - July
Box 12: Folder 7. 1901, August - December
Folder 8. 1902, January - April
Folder 9. 1902, May - July
Folder 10. 1902, August - October
Folder 11. 1902, November - December
Folder 12. 1903, January - March
Folder 13. 1903, April - June
Folder 14. 1903, July - September
Folder 15. 1903, October - December
Folder 16. 1904, January - April
Folder 17. 1904, May - September
Folder 18. 1904, October - December
Oversized volume: Letter copy book, Dec.1895 - Oct.1896
Subseries 2: William Grosvenor and Theodore P. Grosvenor letters
This subseries contains some business correspondence of the firm of Grosvenor & Grosvenor, but mostly the personal letters and accounts of both partners. Topics of particular interest include Theodore P. Grosvenor's 1921 involvement with the American Relief Administration, and three courtship letters to William Grosvenor in 1915.
Folder 1. 1908-1920
Folder 2. 1921
Folder 3. 1922
Folder 4. 1923
Folder 5. 1924
Folder 6. 1925
Folder 7. 1926
Folder 8. 1927
Subseries 3: Rose D. (Phinney) Grosvenor letters
The bulk of these letters are from her parents (including some addressed jointly to both sisters, Rose and Alice), courtship letters circa 1881-1882 from her future husband William Grosvenor, and her daughters. The few twentieth century letters deal exclusively with family portraits and heirlooms.
Folder 1. Undated letters and fragments
Folder 2. Undated letters from daughters, and satirical legal documents
Folder 3. 1871
Folder 4. 1873-1877
Folder 5. 1878
Folder 6. 1879
Folder 7. 1880-1881
Folder 8. 1882
Folder 9. 1883-1884
Folder 10. 1885-1886
Folder 11. 1892
Folder 12. 1893
Folder 13. 1894
Folder 14. 1913-1916
Folder 15. 1918-1920
Subseries 4: "Hilltop"
Correspondence, leases, inventories and bills relating to repairs, rentals and decorating of private residence, 1913-1925. The house was on Ruggles Street in Newport, R.I., and had been the property of T.W. Phinney. By 1913, it was inherited by his daughter Rose D. (Phinney) Grosvenor, and these records generally pertain to her or to real estate agents working on her behalf.
Folder 1. 1913
Folder 2. 1914
Folder 3. 1915
Folder 4. 1916
Folder 5. 1917
Folder 6. 1918
Folder 7. 1919
Folder 8. 1920
Folder 9. 1921
Folder 10. 1922
Folder 11. 1923
Folder 12. 1924
Folder 13. 1925
Subseries 5. Alice M. (Grosvenor) Mason
Consists solely of five letters from her mother, Rose A. (Mason) Grosvenor.
Folder 1. 1868-1871
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Grosvenor, Rose D. (Phinney) (1857-1923)
Grosvenor, Theodore P.
Grosvenor, William (1886-1972)
Grosvenor, William Jr. (1838-1906)
Mason, Alice Mason (Grosvenor)
x Phinney, Rose D.
x Wilder, Rose D. (Phinney) (Grosvenor)
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