1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

    List of finding aids

    R.I.H.S. Library page

    R.I.H.S. home page

 Compston Family Papers

 Family of Warwick, R.I.

 Papers, 1872-1953

 Size: 0.25 linear feet

 Catalog number: MSS 1037

 Processed by: Rick Stattler, September 1999

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            John Compston (1848-1911) emigrated from England to Providence, Rhode Island circa 1871, and was employed as a calico engraver at a textile print works. He married the widow Mary E. (Williams) Baker (1846-1925) in 1875. They settled in the Apponaug neighborhood of Warwick in the 1890s, and raised three sons: George F. Compston (1875-1937); William E. Compston (1877-1939); and Christopher T. Compston (1881-1953). William, a salesman, married Maud P. Aylsworth (1878-1960). Their daughter, Dorothy Jane Compston (1909-1986), became a national celebrity in 1927, when she broke the national girl's high school basketball record for points in a game with 62. She married Thomas Mayor, worked as a home economics teacher in the Warwick school system for 39 years, and helped found the Apponaug Improvement Association.


1900 U.S. Census, Rhode Island E.D. 208, page 2

1910 U.S. Census, Rhode Island E.D. 30, pages 13-15

Dorothy Mayor obituary, Providence Journal, October 14, 1986, C-2.

Warwick and Providence directories.

Research notes of Thomas Greene.

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Scope and content:

            There are three folders in this collection that may be of general interest. In folder 4 are two drafts of Christopher Compston's amusing reminiscences of an elderly Irish-American farmer from Apponaug named Daddy Coyle. These memories capture the essence of rural Warwick circa 1895, and of the first generation of Irish immigrants. "Daddy" Coyle was almost certainly Daniel Coyle, who was born in Ireland in 1820 and settled in Warwick circa 1862. His children listed in the 1870 census (Warwick, page 307) match up with the ones mentioned in the manuscript reminiscences, and he was listed as a farmer in the 1900 census (E.D. 208, page 12).

            The letters the immigrant John Compston received from his brother and father in England from 1872 onward may also be of interest to the student of immigration. Finally, the large file of fan mail that young Dorothy Compston received as a result of her record-breaking high school basketball exploits in 1927 is fascinating in its own right.

            In the Kentish Artillery Company Records at the R.I.H.S. can be found one folder of Dorothy Mayor's 1981 correspondence regarding an historic cannon.

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            These records were acquired from Dorothy Mayor's estate by Thomas Greene , who donated them to the Warwick Historical Society in 1987. They were donated by the Warwick Historical Society to the Rhode Island Historical Society in 1999.

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Processing note:

            The initial processing and research on this collection was done by Thomas Greene for the Warwick Historical Society in 1987. In 1999, the collection was reorganized and housed in archival folders. Photographs were transferred to the Graphics Collection.

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Christopher T. Compston

Folder 1. Accounts as executor of estate of Eunice G. Northrup, 1945-1946

Folder 2. Memorandum books, 1940-1953

Folder 3. Funeral program, 1953

Folder 4. Miscellaneous:

                        Notes on origins of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Warwick, undated

                        Anti-union parable about the dawn of history in the Berkshire Mountains, undated

                        Reminiscences of "Daddy Coyle", a Warwick grocer, undated

                        Gasoline mileage ration card, circa 1944

                        Letter from East Greenwich Water Co., 1945

                        Automobile Legal Association membership material, undated

                        Canceled dues check to Warwick Historical Society, 1947

                        Raffle ticket, North Adams Elks Lodge, 1924

                        Newspaper article mentioning Compston, 1949

                        Undated memoranda

John Compston

Folder 5. Letters received, 1872-1909. Mostly from father Francis, brother Samuel in England.

Maude P. (Aylesworth) Compston

Folder 6. Draft letter to Mr. Gladding, 1909;

                 Letters from daughter Dorothy and from Wakefield Red Cross, 1931

William E. Compston

Folder 7. Masonic certificate, 1920; letter re daughter's basketball prowess, 1927.

Dorothy J. (Compston) Mayor

Folder 8. Letters received, 1927. 59 letters, mostly re her basketball achievements, including many from complete strangers from across the country.

Folder 9. Howard family notes, undated

Folder 10. Girl Scout's Health Record, 1923;

                  Letter received, 1941;

                  Husband's theater programs, 1935-1939


Folder 11. Coded document, undated, unsigned.

Folder 12. Thomas A. Greene research notes, 1987

Folder 13. Miscellaneous:

                        Poem, "Come Along to Camp", undated, unsigned.

                        Funeral card of Cyrus Williams, 1901

                        Howard Seminary commencement invitation, 1928

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Basketball for girls - Rhode Island - Warwick

British-Americans - Rhode Island - Warwick

Compston, Christopher T. (1881-1953)

Compston, John (1848-1911)

Coyle, Daniel (1820-ca.1905)

Emigration and immigration - Rhode Island

Girl Scouts - Rhode Island - Warwick

Howard family

Independent Order of Odd Fellows - Rhode Island - Warwick

Irish-Americans - Rhode Island - Warwick

Mayor, Dorothy J. (Compston) (1909-1986)

Northrup, Eunice G. (d.1945)

Women basketball players - Rhode Island - Warwick

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