|Birth: ||Aug. 9, 1852|
|Death: ||Feb. 1, 1916|
CLARENCE ALVERN ALDRICH, one of the most prominent and brilliant attorneys of his day in the State of Rhode Island, and a figure of Statewide prominence in the ranks of the Democratic party, whose death occurred Feb. 1, 1916, was a lineal descendant of the progenitor, George Aldrich.
Clarence Alvern Aldrich was born in the town of East Killingly, Connecticut, August 9, 1852, the son of Anan F. and Abby (Burgess) Aldrich. Maternally, Mr. Aldrich was descended from one of the oldest and most honorable families of Rhode Island, the Burgess family. Anan F. Aldrich, father of Clarence Alvern Aldrich, was a member of the Aldrich family of Foster, Rhode Island, and resided there during the early part of his life. He removed to the town of East Killingly, Connecticut, and it was there that his son was born.
Clarence Alvern Aldrich received his early education in the town of Killingly, where he attended the grammar school, later going to Danielson, Connecticut, to attend the high school there. After being graduated from the Danielson High School, he entered Lapham Institute, at North Scituate, Rhode Island, with the intention of pursuing a course preparatory to entering Brown University. However, on the completion of his course at that institution in 1871, he spent a period of four years teaching. During this time he taught in the district schools of the western part of Rhode Island, and the east of Connecticut, at Chepachet in the former State, and East Killingly in the latter. It was during this period that he finally decided on the profession of the law as his life work, and took the first steps toward that end. His decision taken, he came to Providence, Rhode Island, in 1875, and entered the law office of the prominent attorneys, Benjamin N. and Simon Lapham, leaders in the legal profession in Providence, under whose preceptorship some of the most able lawyers in Providence in the past few decades received their initial training in the law.
Mr. Aldrich was a man of great strength of mind and firm convictions, and allowed nothing to swerve him from a decision justly and thoughtfully taken. He was possessed of a mind keenly analytic, individual, and original, and supported with great ability and persistence the principles which he espoused. He was very distinctly the master of his own destiny, his own career, and clung to the course which he had mapped out for himself in early life despite the fact that his brother was in a position in the work of affairs to aid him materially to a place of prominence in the public eye. The elder man, the late Senator Nelson W. Aldrich, was then a man of highly-respected judgment, mature, influential, and highly-honored in Providence, and eminently in a way to aid Mr. Aldrich onward on the ladder of success. His aid would undoubtedly have been along the lines of his own convictions, precluding the possibility of originality or expression for the younger man, and in the end would have beyond reasonable doubt have stifled the originality which was one of the principal characteristics of Clarence Alvern Aldrich. His authority, however lightly-imposed, would have had a disastrous effect. Mr. Aldrich evinced an independence which later brought his path in life in direct opposition to that of his brother, and wrought for himself a career eminently of his own making.
After a period spent in the office of the Laphams, Mr. Aldrich successfully passed his bar examinations and was admitted to the bar of Rhode Island in 1879, and immediately thereafter began the practice of his profession. He achieved a high degree of success from the very beginning, and gradually assumed a position of authority and prominence in the legal profession in Providence. He practised independently during his entire career, never forming a partnership. Mr. Aldrich was recognized as one of the most able lawyers of his time in the city, and handled some of the most important litigation of Providence and the larger cities throughout the entire State. He was known for a man of strictest integrity, unassailably honest, a strict adherent to the ethics of his profession, and a careful guardian of the rights of his clients.
However, although his work in the field of the law brought him a State-wide reputation, he was nevertheless brought more prominently into the public eye through his political connections. During his entire lifetime he was a staunch and ardent supporter of the principles of the Democratic party. He was thus, in the matter of politics, opposed to his brother, who was one of the most prominent men in the ranks of the Republican party in the State of Rhode Island. His choice of sides against his brother in the field of politics, when it would have been natural that he follow the lead of the man who was already firmly established on the ladder of success, and whose very prominence offered advancement, are indications of the courage and independence of the younger man. Having once formed for himself convictions of a decisive nature, Mr. Aldrich clung to them throughout his life, despite the fact that the party to which he gave his allegiance was decidedly in the minority in the State of Rhode Island. He joined the ranks of the Democratic party comparatively early, and soon became known locally as an energetic worker and as a leader of more than ordinary ability. Mr. Aldrich during his career worked with some of the most prominent and influential men of the Democratic party of the time. Some of these men became his friends for life, and through them he formed some of the most delightful of his associations. Among these men was the late Ziba O. Slocum, with whom Mr. Aldrich first became associated through his legal practice. The offices of the two opened into one another for years. In 1887 Mr. Slocum was the candidate for the office of attorney-general of Rhode Island, and at the same time Mr. Aldrich was running for election to the State Legislature. Both were successful, and shortly after his election the attorney-general, who under the old regime could appoint but one assistant, gave the appointment to Mr. Aldrich, who then became assistant attorney-general of the State. His services in this office were generally recognized to be of the highest order. Mr. Slocum continued to be the Democratic candidate for this office for several years thereafter, and on each occasion of his reelection, reappointed Mr. Aldrich as assistant. In 1893, Mr. Aldrich himself became the candidate for office, but although he polled the strongest vote of any candidate, he was not elected, because of the existing law which made a majority vote necessary for election. The election was thrown into the Legislature, which was at the time Republican. His opponent was elected in spite of Mr. Aldrich's plurality of more than one thousand over any of the candidates. In 1894 he was again persuaded to became a candidate, but was defeated in the election in an overwhelmingly strong Republican year. During the period which followed, he devoted his entire time and attention to the absorbing work of his legal practice and to his efforts in behalf of the Democratic party. In 1902 he again entered the field of active politics as a candidate for the General Assembly. He was elected to office, and during his term in the Legislature rendered valuable service in the interests of the district which had elected him. His popularity gained, and in 1905, despite the hopelessness of the situation and the fact of the obvious strength of the Republican party during that year, he accepted the nomination for the mayoralty of the city of Providence. His opponent was Governor Elisha Dyer, beyond doubt the strongest man the Republican party could have found, but despite his strength Mr. Aldrich ran less than sixteen hundred votes behind.
At this time Mr. Aldrich retired from active participation in politics, though to the time of his death he worked ardently for the good of the party in Rhode Island. He was appointed to the Board of Bar Examiners, and in this capacity accomplished many needed reforms for the good of the city. He served in the post for many years. Mr. Aldrich possessed the talent of working without cessation for any principle or cause which he espoused, of devoting himself purely for the love of work and accomplishment to a task which could not bring him personal preferment. He was thoroughly disinterested, and was appreciated as a man of unimpeachable integrity alike by his friends and political opponents.
Mr. Aldrich was a well-known figure in the professional and official life of the community, but was equally well-known in its club and social circles. He was a member of the Young Men's Democratic Club of Providence, of which he was president for several years. He was very active in the work and interests of the club, and was almost always a speaker on the occasion of public banquets. He was also a member of the Pomham and Wannamoisett Country Clubs.
Clarence Alvern Aldrich married, January 25, 1887, Adeline M. Kennedy, daughter of Alexander and Bethana (Wood) Kennedy, residents of the town of Sterling, Conn. Mrs. Aldrich survives her husband and is a resident of Providence.
Anan Evans Aldrich (1807 - 1892)
Abby Ann Burgess Aldrich (1810 - 1888)
Adeline Maria Kennedy Aldrich (1851 - 1941)
Nelson Wilmarth Aldrich (1841 - 1915)*
Clarence Alvern Aldrich (1852 - 1916)
Swan Point Cemetery
Rhode Island, USA
Created by: Superkentman
Record added: Aug 11, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 28950308