To the notable group of Americans who have contributed most to the progress which has made this one of the most remarkable periods in the history of mankind belongs the late Albert Sidney Almy, of Bristol, Rhode Island, by virtue of his lifelong connection with shipbuilding. To the improvement of water craft he gave his very considerable abilities and his devoted attention. He was prominent in business and in civic activities, and a man of many warm and lasting friendships.
Albert Sidney Almy was born July 31, 1836, at Little Compton, Rhode Island, son of Isaac C. and Alice (Bateman) Almy, and descendant of a very old New England family founded in this country by one William Almy, born in England as early as 1601, and an immigrant to the American Colonies in 1631. William Almy went to Lynn, Massachusetts, where he settled, purchasing from the Indians property which he converted into excellent farm land which still bears the name of the Almy farm. In 1635 he brought over from England his wife, Audrey Almond Almy, and their children. The line of descent to Albert Sidney Almy follows: William, the founder; Job, born in 1640, died 1684, who married Mary Unthank; Job, born 1681, died 1767, who married Bridget Sanford in 1705; John, born 1720, died 1808; Cook, born 1763, died 1861, married Charlotte Cook; and Isaac Cook, who became the father of our subject. Isaac Cook Almy was born May 4, 1813, and died September 28, 1868, having married Alice Bateman, by whom he had four children: Charlotte, wife of James H. Corthell; Albert Sidney, of further mention; Alice, wife of Charles F. Herreshoff; and Darwin.
The boyhood of Mr. Almy was passed on his father’s farm, his education being acquired in the local schools. When he was sixteen, he left the farm and apprenticed himself to a carpenter in Fall River in order to learn that trade. He was an apt apprentice, as he had been a ready and eager student in school, and he quickly grasped the new craft in its essentials. For many years he worked as carpenter in Fall River and in Providence, having a part in the erection of many of the largest and handsomest buildings, business or residential, in the city of Providence, as in Fall River. In 1876 came his move to Bristol, Rhode Island, where he resided the rest of his life. He was associated with the Herreshoff Company, shipbuilders, and he had ample opportunity to utilize his abilities and to make them count in the interests of the company and of shipbuilding. He rapidly became expert in this new field and rose to more and more responsible positions, finally being placed in charge of the yacht building department. In this capacity he superintended the construction of many famous racers, including the “Vigilant,” the “Defender,” the “Columbia,” and the “Constitution.” After a quarter of a century of constructive association with the Herreshoffs, Mr. Almy retired and spent his remaining years in worthwhile community activities.
Public affairs had always had his interested attention. While a resident of Providence, Mr. Almy had joined the police force there and the old volunteer fire department, driving the Gaspee engine with which the courageous men of that early day fought destructive fires. In his later years he threw himself heartily into community projects and won the respect and esteem of all his fellow-citizens. He was especially fond of yachting and belonged to the Bristol Yacht Club, serving on its house and executive committees. He owned the catboat “Nora,” many times a prize winner, and he owned to only one hobby, the racing of this boat.
Albert Sidney Almy married (first) Louisa Bessey, by whom he had a son, Armond B., who died at the age of four years. Mrs. Almy died September 20, 1864. On January 2, 1866, he married (second) Cornelia Knight, daughter of Jeremiah and Niobe (Arnold) Knight, of Warwick. Children: Nora, wife of Alfred Earle of Bristol, and mother of two children, Albert and Henry Earl; Alice Bateman, who resides with her mother in Bristol.
At the advanced age of seventy-nine, February 10, 1915, Mr. Almy quietly laid down the burden of life. His had been a happy, useful and successful career, winning for him esteem and bringing to him the gratifying sense of public usefulness. He was a domestic man, retiring, though friendly, and happiest in his own home. He was just and generous, faithful to friends and to duties, of such genuine value to his community that all Bristol felt the loss of this loving, loyal and able man.
Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.