Biography of Moses E. Shippee

Moses E. Shippee — For approximately two and one-half centuries the Shippee family has been continuously resident in the ancient town of East Greenwich, where its members have been identified with its complete history. Many of the representatives of this sturdy Colonial stock have been among the leading farmers, businessmen, and manufacturers of the district, while all have borne the highest of characters for civic pride and usefulness, patriotism, and lofty ideals to which they have adhered faultlessly.

Moses E Shippee
Moses E Shippee

(I) David Shippee, the earliest American ancestor of whom there is record, was married in the town of Warwick, Rhode Island, on August 15, 1664, to Margaret Scranton, daughter of Thomas Scranton. He lived in Kingstown, East Greenwich, and Providence, and his death occurred about 1718. His children were: Elizabeth, Martha, Mary, Samuel, David, Thomas, and Solomon.

(II) Samuel Shippee, son of David and Margaret (Scranton) Shippee, married, December 29, 1702, Ann Leithfield. They were both of East Greenwich. He died in 1740, his will being proved September 27 of that year.

(III) Thomas Shippee, son of Samuel and Ann (Leithfield) Shippee, married December 24, 1732, Hannah Matteson, both of East Greenwich.

(IV) Caleb Shippee, son of Thomas and Hannah (Matteson) Shippee, was born August 23, 1747, married, February 12, 1775, Alice Collins, daughter of Cupper Collins, of Coventry, Rhode Island, and their children are all recorded in the birth registry of East Greenwich.

(V) Lodowick U. Shippee, the middle initial standing for the given name Updike, son of Caleb and Alice (Collins) Shippee, was born August 23, 1789, was reared in the “Shippee Settlement” and was the father of three sons, born as follows: Mancer C., born June 1, 1818; Wanton, born in 1827; and Christopher A., born in 1837, who was one of the substantial citizens of East Greenwich and served the town as postmaster from 1871 to 1880.

(VI) Mancer C. Shippee, eldest of these sons and father of Moses E. Shippee, was born on the “Shippee Settlement” as related and there spent his boyhood days. His father was a mechanic and at an early age he began to work at machine building, but in 1837 dropped this work, learned weaving and became a boss weaver, remaining at that occupation for more than twenty years. He then became superintendent for a number of years of the Usquepaug Mill in South Kingstown. He married Harriet Dawley, of Exeter, who died March 5, 1895. His own death followed in three days and they were both interred on the same day. He was a member of the Six Principle Baptist Church and for a long time was superintendent of its Sunday school. He and his wife were the parents of the following children: Sarah, born in 1840, married James Holland and lived in East Greenwich; Moses, deceased in childhood; Mary, married Charles Tarbox; Aaron, married Mary Eliza Nicholas, of Coventry; Amanda, married David Vaughn and lives in California; Delia B., married Nathaniel G. Carpenter, of East Greenwich; Ella, married Colvin Gardner; Henry, married Edna Johnson; and Moses E., of whom further.

(VII) Moses E. Shippee, descendant of the foregoing line of pioneers, was born May 19, 1859, in Richmond, Rhode Island. He spent his years from two to twenty-one on a farm owned by his father in the westerly part of the town of East Greenwich, whence the family removed. Upon leaving the farm to engage in business Moses began work in the grocery and market establishment of N. G. Carpenter in East Greenwich and also assisted in the management of the old Updike Hotel. Through a severe attack of rheumatism in 1895 he lost his sight. At this time he was prosperously engaged in real estate dealing and had made a fine success of the enterprise. His affliction did not incapacitate him to the extent of compelling his retirement and, with grim courage and fortitude he continued his business operations and was rewarded with continuing prosperity, his insurance business bringing him excellent returns. In 1922, however, he decided to retire and so disposed of his business to the H. V. Allen Estate. He was an active and influential member of the First Baptist Church and was fraternally affiliated with the order of Free and Accepted Masons. His death occurred on April 2, 1927.

Moses E. Shippee married Sarah Aylesworth, daughter of Lyman Aylesworth, a member of the Council and Assembly in North Kingstown. They were the parents of one daughter, Marion, who ably assisted her father in the conduct of his business after his sight failed.

Moses E. Shippee was a God-fearing man, an able citizen, courageous, pure of character, loyal to friends and duty. He was esteemed as a type of the best forces that have been active in the development of Rhode Island, working with all his strength to advance the prosperity of the whole community through the energy he put into his individual enterprises. He obeyed the commands of God and took delight in following the principles of good government and progressive labor. Rhode Island was richer for his contributions to the general commercial activities of the State.

Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 4 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.

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