Samuel Stearns Sprague Citation_note (1819 - 1896) Transparent

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Killingly, Windham, Connecticut, United States
Death: Died in Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Occupation: Farmer, businessman
Managed by: Jessica German
Last Updated:

About Samuel Stearns Sprague

SPRAGUE, Samuel Stearns, merchant, son of Elisha Leavens and Clarissa (Day) Sprague, was born at South Killingly, Connecticut, July 3, 1819, at the old homestead of his ancestors. Elisha Leavens Sprague was a well-to-do farmer, who had inherited the estate and learned the trade of his father, who was a blacksmith. The first progenitor of the family in this country was Edward Sprague, of Upway, county of Dorset, England, whose sons Ralph, Richard, and William landed in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1628, and it appears from the genealogy of the family thai Ralph was the father of Samuel, of Maiden, Massachusetts, who was the father of Samuel, 2d, of the same place, whose son John removed to Killingly, Connecticut, in 1752. The latter was the father of John, 2d, who was the father of Daniel, whose son Elisha Leavens was the father of the subject of this sketch. Clarissa Day was the daughter of the Rev. Israel Day, a prominent Congregational minister, who was for many years settled at South Killingly, Connecticut. She died November 2, 1831, leaving two sons, Elisha Rodolphus and Samuel Stearns, whose father married again, in No- vember, 1833, his second wife being Bathsheba Bliss, of Warren, Massachusetts, who is now in the ninety-fourth year of her age, and resides with Snmuel S. Sprague. Elisha L. Sprague died in 1834, leaving his sons the farm and other property. .

Samuel S. received his early education in the common schools, and at the academy at Brooklyn, Connecticut. His only brother having already begun to prepare for college, Samuel, who was then fourteen years of age, took charge of the farm and afterwards bought out his brother's interest in the estate. With the proceeds derived therefrom his brother was enabled to complete his collegiate education. The other property left them by their father was lost during the financial crisis of 1837. On the 8th of November, 1842, Mr. Sprague married Esther Pierce Hutchins, daughter of Simon and Lydia Hutchins, of Killingly, Connecticut, who belonged to a large and influential family. He continued to carry on the farm until the spring of 1852, when, desiring to change his business and better his prospects in life, he sold the homestead, which had then been in possession of the family over one hundred years, and built a house at Dan- ielsonville, Connecticut, to which he removed his family, while he went to Providence, Rhode Island, and the first of September entered into the flour and grain business, in company with Daniel E. Day, on Peck's wharf. Dyer Street, near the foot of Cliflbrd Street. In May, 1853, he removed his family to Providence. About two years thereafter the firm removed to the corner of South Water and Crawford streets, where they remained about twelve years, during which time they built up a large and profit- able business. Until 1866 they had occupied stores owned by others, but in that year they purchased the large brick store and lot on Dyer Street, formerly owned and occupied by Messrs. Spellman & Metcalf, who were engaged in the same business. To this store they soon after removed and continued to carry on business there until July, 1S76, when Mr. Sprague sold his undivided interest in the real estate to D. E. Day, the company dividing the stock in trade, and the partnership of Day, Sprague & Co. was dissolved. Mr. Sprague then lormed a copartnership with two of his sons, Charles H. and Henry S.,and the firm is still known as S. S. Sprague & Co. This new firm temporarily occu- pied a store adjoining the one formerly occupied by Day, Sprague & Co., where they continued in the same line of business until October, 1877, when they removed to the Columbia Elevator and Mills, built for their use by Alexander Duncan, which property they leased for a term of ten years, and now occupy. The business of this firm is more extensive than any in which Mr. Sprague has ever been interested. They have several grain elevators in Christian County, Illinois, where their agents purchase grain and ship to Providence and other markets. In all his business connections Mr. Sprague has been from the first an active working partner, in buying, selling, and general management. In 1879 he became interested in valuaiile real estate investments in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and other places. He is a director of the Rhode Island Hospital Trust Company; also one of the directors of the Rhode Island National Bank, and for five years has been one of the Board of Commissioners of the State Sinking Fund. Mr. Sprague has been closely devoted to the in- terests of his business, and although he has consented 10 fill official positions, has never sought, and has often de- clined such positions. From 1S6S to 1870 he served as a member of the Common Council of Providence, from the Sixth Ward, and was also one of the Board of Aldermen from 1871 to 1873. He is one of the original members of the Union Congregational Church, from the Richmond Street Society; was an active member of the Building Committee, and is now chairman of the Society Committee. He manifests a general interest in the public enterprises and benevolent institutions of the day, and is a generous supporter of all good works. His successful career is at- tributable to his rare business capacity, industry, perseve- rance, and prudence, combined with that uprightness of character upon which all true success is based. He has been twice married. His first wife, already mentioned, died June 29, 1865, and on the 22d of October, 1866, he married Adeline M., daughter of Deacon Lucius F. and Lydia E. Thayer, of Westfield, Massachusetts. By the first marriage there were four children : Charles Hutchins, Henry Shepard, Frank Elisha, and Alida Esther.

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Samuel Stearns Sprague, merchant, was born at South Killingly, July 3d, 1819, at the old homestead of his ancestors. His father, Elisha Leavens Sprague, was a well-to-do farmer, who inherited the estate, and learned the trade of his father, who was a blacksmith. The first progenitor of the family in this country was Edward Sprague of Upway, county of Dorset, England. His sons, Ralph, Richard and William, landed in Salem, Mass., in 1628. The family genealogy shows that Ralph was the father of Samuel, 2d, of same place, whose son John removed to Killingly, Conn., in 1752. The latter was the father of John 2d, who was the father of Daniel, whose son Elisha Leavens, was the father of the subject of this sketch.

Mr. Sprague's mother, Clarissa Day, was the daughter of Reverend Israel Day, who was a prominent Congregational minister, at .South Killingly. Conn. .She died November 2d, 1831, leaving two sons. Elisha Rodolphus, and Samuel Stearns, whose father married again in November, 1833, his second wife, being Bathsheba Bliss, of Warren, Mass. She died October 23d, 1884, in the 97th year of her age. Elisha L. Sprague died in 1834, leaving his sons the farm and other property. Samuel S. received his early education in the common schools, and at the academy at Brooklyn. Conn. Elisha having already begun to prepare for college, Samuel took charge of the farm, being at that time 14 years of age. He afterward bought his brother's interest in the estate. Other property left them by their father was lost during the financial crisis of 1837. On the 8th of November, 1842, Mr. Sprague married Esther Pierce Hutchins, daughter of Simon and Lydia Hutchins, of Killingly, Conn., who belonged to a large and in- fluential family. In the spring of 1852, desiring to change his busi- ness and better his prospects, he sold the homestead (which had been in the family over 100 years), and removed his family to Danielson- ville, Conn. Subseqently Mr. Sprague went to Providence, R. I., and on the 1st of September following formed a copartnership there with Daniel E. Day in the flour and grain business, locating on Dyer street, near the foot of Clifford street.

In May, 1858, he moved his family to that city. About two years thereafter the firm removed to the corner of South Water and Craw- ford streets, where they remained about 12 years, building up in the meantime a large and profitable business. Until 1866 they had occu- pied leased property, but in that year they purchased the large brick building and lot on Dyer street, owned and occupied formerly by Messrs. Spellman and Metcalf, who were engaged in the same busi- ness. To this store they soon after removed, and continued to carry on business there until July, 1876, when Mr. Sprague sold his undivided one-half interest in the real estate to D. E. Day, the company dividing the stock in trade, and dissolving the partnership of Day, Sprague & Co.

Mr. Sprague then formed a copartnership with two of his sons, Charles Hutchins and Henry Shepard, the new firm being known as S. S. Sprague & Co. This firm temporarily leased a store adjoining the one formerly occupied by Day, Sprague & Co., and continued here in the same line of business until October, 1877, when they re- moved to the "Columbia Elevator and Mills'* built for their use, by Alexander Duncan, and leased to them for a number of years. This business was more extensive than any in which Mr. Sprague had ever been interested. The firm have several grain elevators in Illinois, where their agents purchase grain and ship to New England and other markets. Owing to the changes in business methods, and to cover a larger territory, the firm commenced, in the spring of 1890, the build- ing of an elevator and mills with warehouses, in East Deerfield, Mass., and on the expiration of their lease from Mr. Duncan in July follow- ing, they removed their offices to number 2 Pine street, at the junc- tion of Pine and Dyerstreets, abandoning the general jobbing business, and devoting their attention to the distribution of grain from their several elevators throughout the East. In all his business connections, Mr. Sprague has been an active partner in buying and selling, and in the general management of the firm's interests. In 1879 he became interested in valuable real estate investments in Minneapolis, Minne- sota, and in other western places. He is a director of the Rhode Island Hospital Trust Company, also one of the directors of the Rhode Island National Bank, and for 15 years has been one of the board of •commissioners of the state sinking fund.

Mr. Sprague has been closely devoted to the interests of his busi- ness, and although he has consented to fill official positions, he has never sought and has often declined them. From 1868 to 1870 he served as a member of the common council of Providence, from the Sixth ward, and was also one of the board of aldermen from 1871 to 1873. He is one of the original members of the Union Congregational church, from the Richmond street church. He was an active member of the building committee, and has been chairman of that society committee from the completion of the building to the present time. He manifests great interest in public enterprises and benevolent in- stitutions of the day, and is a generous supporter of all good works. His successful career is attributed to his rare business capacity, in- dustry, perseverance and prudence, combined with that uprightness •of character upon which all true success is based.

He has been twice married; his first wife already mentioned, died June 29th, 1865, and on the 22dof October, 1866, he married Adeline M., daughter of Deacon Lucius F. and Lydia E. Thayer of Westfield, Mass. By his first marriage there were four children: Charles Hutch- ins, Henry Shepard, Frank Elisha, and Alida Esther. Frank Elisha is now in active business in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Samuel Sprague's Timeline

1819
July 3, 1819
Killingly, Windham, Connecticut, United States
1820
July 30, 1820
Age 1
1842
November 8, 1842
Age 23
1844
October 18, 1844
Age 25
Killingly, Windham, CT, USA
1847
December 6, 1847
Age 28
Killingly, Windham, CT, USA
1850
November 5, 1850
Age 31
Killingly, Windham, CT, USA
1859
November 28, 1859
Age 40
Providence, Providence, RI, USA
1866
October 22, 1866
Age 47
Westfield, Hampden, Massachusetts, United States
1896
November 11, 1896
Age 77
Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, United States
1896
Age 76
Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, United States