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

 Washburn Family Papers

 Family of Providence and East Greenwich, R.I.

 Papers, 1845-1971. Bulk, 1885-1941.

 Size: 1 linear foot

 Catalog number: MSS 783 sg 1

 Processed by: Rick Stattler, March 2000

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            Oliver A. Washburn Jr. (1819-1895) was born in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts to Oliver A. and Jane (Keith) Washburn. He came to Providence in 1854 and became a prominent businessman, serving as president of the Third National Bank. In this capacity, he played an active role in managing insolvent companies such as the Smithville Manufacturing Company of Willimantic, Connecticut and Elmwood Manufacturing Company of Providence. Washburn also personally owned interest in iron companies. He was treasurer of the Old Colony Iron Company in Taunton and handled its sale in 1889. He also had an interest in the Providence Iron Company. He married first to Matilda H. King (1825-1878), and had two sons: Edgar S. Washburn (1862-1898) and Roscoe S. Washburn (1847-1907). After Matilda' s death, Oliver married Cornelia V. Sibley (d.1918) in 1881.

            Roscoe S. Washburn (1847-1907) married Mary F. Sayles (1850-1926), who was the daughter of William F. Sayles (of the Sayles Finishing Plant) and Mary (Fessenden) Sayles. He was a partner in Sayles & Washburn, a woolen manufacturing firm, from 1880 to 1895. He also served as an officer of the Providence Iron Company. The children of Roscoe and Mary were Maurice King Washburn and Roscoe C. Washburn. After her husband's death in 1907, Mary remarried to Edward Carrington.

            Maurice King Washburn (1872-1931) was an executive with the Sayles Finishing Plants. He was active in genealogical societies. He married Helen Francis Abbott (1874-1969), and they resided in East Greenwich, R.I. from 1907 onward. Their children were Maurice K. Washburn Jr. (1898-1972) and John Carter Brown "Jack" Washburn (1903-1979), who married Eleanor T. Wood (1906-1990). Among the children of John C.B. Washburn was Kenneth W. Washburn.


Nightingale, George C. "Col. Roscoe Stetson Washburn," in Rhode Island Society of the Sons of the American Revolution: Memorials of Compatriots Who Died in the Year 1907, 15.

Providence directories

Rhode Island Cemetery Database

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Scope and content:

            The bulk of these papers relate to Maurice K. Washburn, his wife Helen F. (Abbott) Washburn, and his father Oliver A. Washburn Jr. Maurice K. Washburn's papers deal largely with his interest in genealogy and hereditary societies. Helen F. (Abbott) Washburn's papers include family correspondence, property records and a scrapbook. The Oliver A. Washburn papers largely relate to his investment activities and his work with the Third National Bank. The papers consist of deeds, quitclaims, leases, some correspondence, and balance sheets.

            Please see the master inventory of the Washburn-Abbott-Fessenden-Wood Family Papers for related family papers. In particular, the Fessenden Papers (subgroup 2) relate to the mother and grandparents of Mary F. (Sayles) (Washburn) Carrington; and the Wood-Goff Family Papers (subgroup 3) relate to the parents and grandparents of Eleanor (Wood) Washburn, and the Abbott Family Papers (subgroup 4) pertain to the father and siblings of Helen F. (Abbott) Washburn.

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            The bulk of the Washburn Papers were given to the Society in 1982 by Mrs. Eleanor W. Washburn. In 1990 a major addendum was donated by Brock D. Bierman, who had received the material from Mrs. Washburn's estate. An additional letter to Helen F. (Abbott) Washburn had been donated for use in the RIHS booksale, and was restored to the Manuscript collection in September 1991.

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Processing note:

            Harold Kemble gave the original accession a preliminary processing circa 1983. Cindy Bendroth integrated the additional material with the rest of the collection in February of 1992. This was done in separate folders, so that the 1982 accession and 1990-1991 accessions could be easily distinguished. What had been arranged before was not disturbed. A rough finding aid was written at this time, and preliminary cataloging was done. In 2000, about one linear foot of material relating to the Woods family was transferred to the Woods family papers. The remainder was completely reprocessed, and reorganized into series based on family groups. Additional cataloging was done at this time. The 1992 finding aid has been placed in the collection file to show the previous arrangement.

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Carrington, Mary F. (Sayles) (Washburn) (1850-1926). Mother of MKW.

Folder 1. Deed, 1897; inventories and related papers, 1926

Washburn, Helen Francis (Abbott) (1874-1969). Wife of MKW. Daughter of S.A.B. Abbott. Her children included John Carter Brown Washburn ("Jack"), Maurice K. Washburn Jr., and Elizabeth A. (Washburn) Banjak. She resided in East Greenwich, R.I. for most of her life.

Folder 2. Correspondence, 1887-1897

Folder 3. Correspondence, 1898

Folder 4. Correspondence, 1899-1917

Folder 5. Correspondence, 1920-1925

Folder 6. Correspondence, 1927-1928 (all copies from uncle J.C.B. Woods)

Folder 7. Correspondence, 1930-1960

Folder 8. Correspondence, undated

Folder 9. Dues book, Trocadero Dance, 1897-1899

Folder 10. Inventories, 1940-1949

Folder 11. Italian property disposition, 1932-1938

Folder 12. Nantucket cottage rentals, 1936-1941

Folder 13. News clippings from scrapbook, ca.1920-1969

Folder 14. Recipe book, 1898-1931

Folder 15. Miscellaneous (from 1982 gift):

            American Red Cross certificates and instructions, 1916-1919, 1946

            Clippings re difficult Atlantic passage, 1923

            Receipts for work on property, 1924-1925

            Passport, 1925

            Italian document, 1937

            Daughters of the American Revolution application, undated

Folder 16. Miscellaneous (from 1990 gift)

            Copies of birth certificate, made 1923 and 1928

            Insurance policy, 1939

            List of subscribers to the Providence Female Charitable Society, 1942

            Washburn Trust indenture, 1963 (draft)

            Eighteen-day diet, undated, marked "To lose a pound a day?"

            Various wedding invitations and programs

Oversized volume.      Scrapbook, 1899-1964


Washburn, Jane (Keith). Great-grandmother of MKW.

Folder 17. Deed and receipt, 1855

Washburn, John C.B. (1903-1979). Son of MKW.

Folder 18. Squantum Association game dinner menus, autographed by club members, 1970-1971

Washburn, Kenneth W. (?). Grandson of MKW.

Folder 19. Plan for poultry house, 1954


Washburn, Maurice King (1872-1931). Son of Roscoe S. Washburn Sr., husband of Helen F. (Abbott) Washburn. Born in Somerset, Mass.; graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology; executive at Sayles Finishing Company in Pawtucket; resided in East Greenwich, R.I. from 1907 onward; avid genealogist.

Folder 20. Correspondence, 1905-1928

Folder 21. Correspondence, 1929-1931

Folder 22. Colonial Families of America correspondence, 1928-1931

Folder 23. Miscellaneous:

            Construction contracts for residence, 1906

            List of Rhode Island rivers and brooks, apparently showing trout stocks, 1912-1915

            Commission as constable in Warwick, 1917

            Passports, 1923-1929

            Citation re Sayles estate, 1923

            Deed to yacht Wanderer VI, 1923

            Will, 1926

            Obituary, 1931

            Notes on Washburn family and coat of arms, undated


Washburn, Oliver A. Jr. (1819-1895). Grandfather of MKW. Born East Bridgewater, MA; married 1) Matilda King, 2) Cornelia V. Sibley

Folder 24. Bills paid, personal, 1887-1888

Folder 25. Bills paid, personal, 1890

Folder 26. Canceled checks, 1895

Folder 27. Elmwood Manufacturing Co. (Providence) - Misc., 1885-1893

Folder 28. Mercantile Mutual Fire Insurance Co. - Resignation as director, 1895

Folder 29. New Mexico copper mine - Correspondence and agreement, 1883

Folder 30. Old Colony Iron Company (Taunton, MA) - Misc., 1885-1889

Folder 31. Providence Iron Company (Providence) - Correspondence, 1858-1885

Folder 32. Providence Iron Company (Providence) - Deeds and agreements, 1845-1865

Folder 33. Providence Iron Company (Providence) - Deeds and agreements, 1870-1886

Folder 34. Providence Iron Company (Providence) - Minute extracts, 1855-1884

Folder 35. Providence Iron Company (Providence) - Memoranda, 1860-1888 and undated

Folder 36. Rose Building (Providence) - Deeds, 1886

Folder 37. Sayles & Washburn - Guarantee, 1893

Folder 38. Sagamore Mfg. Co. (Fall River, MA) - Report of fire losses, 1884

Folder 39. Smithville Mfg. Co. (Willimantic, CT) - Deeds, etc., 1885-1892

Folder 40. Symonds properties (New York) - Deeds, etc., 1875-1892

Folder 41. Third National Bank (Providence):

                        Clerk's bonds, 1856-1884

                        Correspondence and memoranda, 1885-1894

Folder 42. Waldo Tannery (Belfast, Me.) - Accounts payable, 1845

Folder 43. Wauregan Mills (Providence) - Creditor's statement, 1893

Folder 44. Miscellaneous personal: deeds 1854-1868; will and estate, 1895-1896

Washburn, Roscoe S. (1847-1907). Father of MKW.

Folder 45. Miscellaneous, 1894-1906

Washburn, Roscoe C. (1876-1918). Brother of MKW.

Folder 46. Will, 1911

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Abbott, Samuel A.B. (1846-1931)

x Aldrich, Abby Greene (1874-1948)

Brown, Frank Hail (1860-1954)

Carrington, Mary F. (Sayles) (Washburn) (1850-1926)

Cookery - Rhode Island

Elmwood Manufacturing Company (Providence, R.I.)

Fish stocking - Rhode Island

Green, Theodore Francis (1867-1966)

Herreshoff, Lewis (1844-1926)

Italy - Description and travel

Johnson, Albert W.

Lippitt, Henry F. (1856-1933)

Nantucket - Description and travel

Old Colony Iron Company (Taunton, Mass.)

Providence Female Charitable Society

Providence Iron Company (Providence, R.I.)

Rockefeller, Abby G. (Aldrich) (1874-1918)

Sagamore Manufacturing Company (Fall River, Mass.)

x Sayles, Mary F. (1850-1926)

Smithville Manufacturing Company (Willimantic, Conn.)

Society of the Cincinnati

Squantum Association (East Providence, R.I.)

Third National Bank (Providence, R.I.)

Warwick, R.I. - Social life and customs

Warwick Heights Tennis Club

Washburn, Helen F. (Abbott) (1874-1969)

Washburn, John C.B. (1903-1979)

x Washburn, Mary F. (Sayles) (1850-1926)

Washburn, Maurice K. (1872-1931)

Washburn, Oliver A. Jr. (1819-1895)

Washburn, Roscoe S. (1847-1907)

Washburn, Roscoe C. (1876-1918)

Woods, Anne B. (Francis) (1828-1896)

Woods, John C.B. (1851-1930)

Woods, Marshall (1824-1899)

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