1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

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 Estates At Will


 Records, 1894-1963; Bulk, 1894-1935

 Size: 3 ft.

 Catalog number: MSS 6 sg 3

 Processed by: Harold E. Kemble, Jr., 1977

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            In the Sayles material were found records of four estates-at-will, which have been brought together in this sub-group. They are the William F. Sayles estate, the Frank A. Sayles estate, the Sullivan Dorr Ames estate, and the estate of Mary T. Ames.

            William F. Sayles was the founder of Sayles Bleacheries, located in Lincoln, Rhode Island, in an area that would later take on the name Saylesville. In 1863 he was joined in partnership by his brother, Frederic C. Sayles, forming the firm of "Sayles Bleacheries, W. F. and F. C. Sayles." Upon the death in 1894 of William F. Sayles his interest in the business was bequeathed to his son, Frank A. Sayles, who was also the administrator of the estate. There was no change in the operation or the corporate style of the business until 1896 when F. A. Sayles bought out the interest of his uncle F. C. Sayles. The holdings of the firm were then liquidated, some being disposed of and others transferred to the ownership of "Sayles Finishing Plants" under the sole control of F. A. Sayles.

            Under the management of Frank A. Sayles the company began a period of vigorous growth and expansion. It was Sayles Finishing Plants that the firm achieved its greatest diversification and grew to its greatest size. In addition to his holdings in Sayles Finishing Plants the business interests of Frank A. Sayles included ownership or control of numerous other firms and holdings in still others. Having produced no male heir to whom he could bequeath his estate Frank Sayles did in March, 1917, establish a tripartite unincorporated trust to take over the management of Sayles Finishing Plants. Serving with F. A. Sayles in the trusteeship were Charles O. Read and Kenneth F. Wood. The Trustees of Sayles Finishing Plants created an accounting branch within the office of the corporate treasurer under the control of Andrew E. Jencks. Known as the Pawtucket Office Account, this department appears to have been considered to be organizationally a part of the Tarsco Corporation and responsible through Tarsco to the Trustees. The Pawtucket Office Account seems to have been primarily responsible for administering the Frank A. Sayles estate. Until the liquidation of the last of the Sayles companies the Trustees has ultimate authority over the business of Sayles Finishing Plants. As the various companies were sold or disbanded they were ultimately converted into other investments which presently comprise the Sayles Trust.

            Mary Townsend (Bullock) Ames was the mother of Sullivan Dorr Ames and Mary Dorr Ames Sayles, wife of Frank A. Sayles. F. A. Sayles was named to be administrator of her will and Trustee of her estate.

            Sullivan Dorr Ames (Jan 1878 - Feb 1903) was the brother of Mary Dorr Ames, whose husband Frank A. Sayles was administrator of his estate.

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Scope and content:

            Each of the estates comprises a series within this sub-group. The series are numbered and ordered as follows:

Series A. William Francis Sayles Estate.

            Includes: letter copy book, 1896-1904; balance sheets, 1896-1917; letters, bills, accounts, and notices pertaining to properties owned by W.F. Sayles. The best-documented of these is the woolens mill styled "Sayles & Washburn" (W. F. Sayles and R. S. Washburn) of Mechanicsville, Connecticut, 1894-1902

Series B. Frank Arthur Sayles Estate.

            Includes: journals, cash books; invoices; F.A. Sayles house payroll, 1909-1911; ledger, real estate records, 1911-1926. The real estate records consist of plat maps from the Rhode Island towns of Central Falls, Cumberland, Valley Falls, East Providence, and Pawtucket (Prospect Park, Jefferson, Kimball, German Land, and South Woodlawn plats) as well as the Connecticut town of Willimantic. The plat maps have been transferred to the Rhode Island Historical Society Graphics Collection. Also included are records of the trustees of Sayles Finishing Plants.

Series C. Mary Townsend Ames Estate. 

            Includes: letters, bills, and accounts pertaining to purchase and sale of securities and the management of properties located mostly in Providence, Rhode Island, 1898-1904.

Series D. Sullivan Dorr Ames Estate.

            Includes: letters, bills and accounts pertaining to purchase and sale of securities and the management of properties located mostly in Providence, Rhode Island, 1898-1904.


For genealogies of the Sayles, Dorr, and Ames families, see Colonial Families, American

            Historical Society, Inc., New York, 1925.

For business records of the firms of "W.F. & F.C. Sayles" and "Sayles Finishing Plants" see

            Rhode Island Historical Society, Manuscript Collections, MSS6, Sayles Finishing Plants,

            Sub-Groups 1 and 2.

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            This collection was a gift from the Sayles Finishing Plants on December 25, 1971.

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Processing note:

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Series A. William F. Sayles Estate                                                              

Item 1.            Letters, Bills, etc. (unsorted)                                      Jul 1896 - Jan 1917 

Item 2.            Letter Copy Book.                                                      Sep 1894 - Jul 1901 

Series B. Frank A. Sayles Estate

Item 3.            Journal - Pawtucket Office Account.                          Nov 1917 - Jul 1918 

Item 4.            Journal Voucher - Pawtucket Office Account.           Jul 1918 - Sep 1926

Item 5.            Cash Books - Pawtucket Office Account.                  Nov 1917 - Mar 1921 

Item 6.            Cash Books - Pawtucket Office Account.                  Apr 1921 - Sep 1926 

Item 15.          Payment Records.                                                       Jun 1920 - Mar 1935 

Item 7.            Invoices - Pawtucket Office Account.                        Aug 1918 - Dec 1920

Item 8.            Invoices - Pawtucket Office Account.                        Jan 1923 - Sep 1926

Item 9.            Ledger - Pawtucket Office Account.                          Nov 1917 - 1925 

Item 10.          F. A. Sayles house payroll.                                         Mar 1909 - Nov 1910 

Item 11.          Trustees Records.                                                       1962, 1963 

Item 12.          Trial Balance Sheets -- W. F. & F. C. Sayles             Sep 1896 - Dec 1917

                           In Liquidation

Series C: Mary T. Ames Estate

Item 13.          Letters, Bills, Accounts.                                             1898-1904 

Series D: Sullivan Dorr Ames Estate


Item 14.          Letters, Bills, Accounts.                                             1901-1904 

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Agriculture - Connecticut - Mechanicsville.

Ames, Mary Dorr. see Sayles, Mary D.A.

Bullock, Mary Townsend. see Ames, Mary Townsend.

Business records - Connecticut - Mechanicsville.

Estates (Law) - Accounting.

French River Inn.

Jencks, Andrew Edmund, 1871-1928.

Sayles Farm (Mechanicsville, Conn.)

Sayles Finishing Plants.

Sayles, Frank Arthur, 1866-1920.

Sayles, Mary D.A.

Sayles & Washburn.

Sayles, William Francis, 1824-1894.

Tarsco Corporation, Pawtucket Branch.

Washburn, R. S.

Wool industry - Connecticut - Mechanicsville.

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