|Birth: ||Jan. 8, 1850|
|Death: ||Oct. 11, 1911|
FREDERICK W. HARTWELL, secretary and manager of the General Fire Extinguisher Company of Providence, R. I., from the time of the founding of the gigantic corporation until his death, was a figure of influence in business and finance in Rhode Island for a quarter of a century, ranking prominently among the master minds which controlled these fields in the closing decades of the nineteenth century.
Frederick W. Hartwell was born at Langdon, N. H., January 8, 1850, son of Samuel Estabrook and Lucy M. (King) Hartwell, and a descendant in the eighth generation of William Hartwell, the founder of the family in America. The Hartwell family dates from the year 1636, from which time to the present day it has figured prominently in New England life and affairs. Concord and Lincoln, Mass., were the homes of the family for several generations. Samuel Estabrook Hartwell, grandfather of the late Frederick W. Hartwell, was the first of the direct line to remove to New Hampshire, where he became the owner of a large estate, and where he settled permanently. His son, Samuel Estabrook Hartwell, Jr., inherited a large portion of his estate in New Hampshire, and remained there, a farmer on a large scale until his death.
In 1861, following the death of his parents, Frederick W. Hartwell came to Providence to make his home with his uncle, the late John Bryant Hartwell, who at that time was a power in mercantile life in the city of Providence, where he died December 9, 1872. He was given excellent educational advantages and studied in the elementary and high schools of the city, later attending the Kimball Union Academy at Meriden, N. H., for a year. In 1868 he began his business career, entering the offices of Day & Chapin as bookkeeper. Within a short time he was transferred to the Elm street woolen mill, operated by the latter firm, in the capacity of bookkeeper and paymaster. Here he remained during the five years following, but finding the field somewhat narrow and not altogether to his liking, he resigned shortly before his marriage, in 1873, to become bookkeeper in the offices of the Providence Steam and Gas Pipe Company, of which his father-in-law was at that time treasurer. From this position of comparative unimportance he rose rapidly in the firm, displaying an ability for the handling of large affairs which in 1884 brought him the office of secretary and manager of the Providence plant of the newly founded million dollar corporation, the General Fire Extinguisher Company. In 1893 the Providence Steam & Gas Pipe Company, which had been manufacturing for some time a water sprinkler for installation in buildings and stores as a safeguard against destructive fires, the inventions and patents for which were then in their control, incorporated with a western firm, the Neracker & Hill Sprinkler Company, which was engaged in the manufacture of a similiar device, under the firm name of the General Fire Extinguisher Company, with a capitalization of $1,000,000, and Mr. Hartwell was elected secretary and manager of the Providence plant. In the years which followed he was a factor of great importance in the upbuilding and development of the corporation. In 1906 he became a member of the board of directors. He was also active on the executive boards of several other Providence concerns, and was a director of the Atlantic National Bank.
His interests, however, were not wholly confined to the field of business. He was at least as well known in the philanthropic circles of his city. For several years Mr. Hartwell served as a commissioner of the Dexter Donation. From 1899 to 1900 he acted as president of the Providence Young Men's Christian Association, of which he had long been a member, remaining until his death a member of its board of managers. He never forgot the struggles and discouragements of his youth, and was always a source of encouragement to the many young men who came to him for advice and assistance in his later days. His service as a member of the Central Baptist Church of Providence, and as superintendent of its Sunday school from 1902, was marked by such devotion and such material support as to command the utmost admiration, especially since it came from a man whose business and public duties were of great magnitude. He applied to business affairs the code of ethics by which he governed his private life. The principles of equity, mercy and justice which governed his every act made him honored, trusted and loved by men. 'Faith in man and God, and an optimistic mien in the process of their service - these sum up his loved and useful character.'
On October 15, 1873, Mr. Hartwell married Mary Loring Hartshorn, who was born in Providence, August 14, 1851, daughter of the late Rev. Joseph Charles and Rachel (Thurber) Hartshorn. They were the parents of the following children: 1. Joseph C., born at Warwick, R. I., Aug. 20, 1874; educated in the public schools of Providence, prepared for college at the Worcester Academy, and was graduated from Brown University in the class of 1899, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts; he is now employed in the engineering department of the General Fire Extinguisher Company of Providence; he is a member of the University Club among others, and makes his home with his sister in Providence. 2. John S., born Dec. 22, 1875, died in 1882. 3. Lucy King, born Feb. 16, 1878; attended the public and high schools of Providence, and was graduated from the Abbott Academy at Andover, Mass.; she married William B. Peck, of Providence, and they are the parents of three children: Margaret Hartwell, born July 19, 1904; Ruth Hartshorn, born Dec. 13, 1906; Virginia Hunter, born June 12, 1913. 4. Mary Hartshorn, born Nov. 21, 1882, died July 1, 1915; she attended the public schools of Providence, and continued her studies at Dana Hall, Wellesley, and Brown University; she married Leonard Woolsey Cronkhite, of Boston, and has one daughter, Elizabeth. 5. Helen Thurber, born Oct. 28, 1885; attended the public and high schools of Providence, and was graduated from Wellesley College in the class of 1908; she married Rev. W. Douglas Swaffield, now of East Boston, Mass.; they are the parents of three children: Esther Harding, born Nov. 17, 1913; Frederick Hartwell, born April 13, 1915; Marian Nichols, born Aug. 6, 1916. Frederick W. Hartwell died at his home, No. 77 Parade street, Providence, Oct. 9, 1911, and is buried in Swan Point Cemetery. Mrs. Hartwell, who survives her husband, resides at No. 16 Freeman Parkway, Providence, R. I.
Mary Loring Hartshorn Hartwell (1851 - 1949)
Joseph Charles Hartwell (1874 - 1952)*
Swan Point Cemetery
Rhode Island, USA
Created by: Superkentman
Record added: Nov 04, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 61109892
Added: Jan. 26, 2013