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David Patten
Birth: Apr. 12, 1888
Suffolk County
Massachusetts, USA
Death: Dec. 23, 1975
Bristol County
Rhode Island, USA

Author, journalist, editor.

David Patten was born in Boston, the son of Frederick Marcy and Dora Josephine Wilbour Patten. Though Bostonian by birth, David spent school vacations and several winters at his grandfather's 260-acre farm in Little Compton, Rhode Island.

During Patten's childhood in the late 1890s, Prospect Hill Farm was the largest poultry farm in the United States. Patten's grandfather, Isaac Champlin Wilbour (1831 1899) was instrumental in the selective breeding - and eventually coined the name - of the Rhode Island Red chicken. Patten's great-great-grandfather, Isaac Wilbour (1763 1837) was Governor of Rhode Island, Representative to Congress, Speaker of the R.I. House of Representatives and Chief Justice of the R.I. Supreme Court.

He attended Wesleyan University in 1907 and 1908 but left in his second year to take up farming and writing in Little Compton.

David Patten was employed as a newspaperman, journalist and columnist by the Providence (R.I.) Journal-Bulletin for 35 years, retiring as Managing Editor of both newspapers in 1953.

From 1947 until after his retirement in 1953, Mr. Patten wrote some 300 columns under the banner "In Perspective," the vast majority devoted to reminiscences of his life and adventures in Little Compton and Sakonnet or 'S'cunnet' as he preferred to call it.

His daughter and grandson observed that he "possessed the judgment of a top-notch newspaper editor, the sensitivity of a poet, an abiding interest in people, a cunning sense of humor - and the power to pull it all together."

Mr. Patten wrote a semi-autobiographical book on his childhood in S'cunnet, titled "Three Sides to the Sea" (New York & Toronto: Rinehart & Company, Inc., 1956).

Of a childhood shaped by experiences in S'cunnet, he once reflected, "It is geography, isn't it, and not blood inheritance that enters the final judgment?"

Shortly after his death (circa 1977), a collection of Mr. Patten's Providence Journal-Bulletin 'In Perspective' columns was published by the newspaper, titled "Adventures in a Remembered World (Unforgettable tales of Little Compton by David Patten who was there)."

David Patten is buried near his grandfather and great-great grandfather, against the wrought-iron fence that separates the Seaconnet (or New Wilbour) cemetery from the Great West Road, just a half-mile or so south from the "biggest poultry farm in the country."

He now rests where "the sun is shining and the afternoon shadows are reaching out from the farmhouses and from haystacks and barns, across the peaceful meadows and pastures of the summertime."

Family links: 
  Martha Fuller Patten (1889 - 1991)*
*Calculated relationship
Seaconnet Cemetery
Little Compton
Newport County
Rhode Island, USA
Created by: Roger Guillemette
Record added: Oct 13, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 30547956
David Patten
Added by: Roger Guillemette
David Patten
Added by: Roger Guillemette
David Patten
Added by: Robert Bruce
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Remembering David Patten on this Anniversary of his birth. Pictured ~ David's springtime garden at Woodland Road, Barrington.
- Robert Bruce
 Added: Apr. 12, 2016
Remembering David Patten on this 40th Anniversary of his passing. Pictured ~ David's grandfather's empty chair at his home on Woodland Road. From his Forever Friend !
- Robert Bruce
 Added: Dec. 23, 2015
Remembering David Patten on this Anniversary of his birth. The sketch made of Mr. Patten's grandfather's house at 'Prospect Hill Farm', by our mutual friend, artist Paule Loring. From his Forever Friend !
- Robert Bruce
 Added: Apr. 12, 2015
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This page is sponsored by: Roger Guillemette

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