After having spent the earlier part of his career as a traveling salesman, Mr. Nolan, some sixteen years ago, became identified with one of the leading undertaking establishments of his native city, Newport. Since the death of its owner he has continued the business as its manager and in that capacity has shown exceptional business and executive ability. Not only has he maintained the high reputation of the business, but he has even made it larger and better in every way, so that today it is generally regarded as one of the most successful and most efficiently operated enterprises of its type in Newport. Mr. Nolan himself enjoys an unblemished reputation for probity and reliability; is a popular member of several fraternal organizations, and ranks as one of the most substantial citizens of Newport.
Joseph A. Nolan was born in Newport, December 11, 1889, a son of the late Augustus J. and Mary (Conheeney) Nolan. Both his parents were natives of County Roscommon, Ireland, but spent the greater part of their lives in this country. Mr. Nolan’s father was employed as a coachman until his death. Having received his education at St. Mary’s Parochial School, Newport, Mr. Nolan, after leaving school, became a traveling salesman. In this work he continued for fifteen years and until 1914, when he became associated with Patrick H. O’Neill of Newport in the undertaking business. He continued to be connected with Mr. O’Neill until the latter’s death in 1920, since when he has continued the business as manager for the O’Neill estate. Under his very able management the business has not only maintained its fine reputation, but has continuously grown. Its offices and funeral parlors are located at No. 465 Spring Street, Newport. Mr. Nolan is a member of the Newport Council, Knights of Columbus; the Newport Lodge, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; the Ancient Order of Hibernians; the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick; and the Newport Chamber of Commerce. In politics he is a supporter of the Democratic party, while his religious affiliations are with St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church of Newport. His favorite forms of recreation are hockey and football.
Mr. Nolan married, in 1916, Mary A. O’Neill, like himself a native of Newport. Mr. and Mrs. Nolan have no children.
Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.