Mr. Harvey, born in Newport, has been a lifelong resident of this city, and on both his parents’ sides is a member of old and prominent Rhode Island families. With the exception of the early years of his career, in which he was engaged in business, he has been connected with the judiciary branch of the State Government. For almost a quarter of a century he has been clerk of the Superior Court at Newport, which responsible position he has filled with ability, faithfulness and efficiency. Major Harvey is also prominently active in fraternal circles, belongs to several patriotic and military organizations, has taken a leading part in civic affairs for many years, has to his credit fourteen years of active service with the Newport Artillery Company, and thus, through the great variety and usefulness of his various interests, stands as a fine example of the vigorous, public-spirited and effective citizen.
Sydney De Blois Harvey was born in Newport, April 30, 1875, a son of the late Rev. Charles E. and Nettie P. (Tew) Harvey. His father, a native of South Kingstown, was a Baptist minister and later served as clerk of the Supreme Court of Newport County. His mother, also deceased, was a native of Newport. Mr. Harvey received his education in the public schools of his native city and then attended Bryant & Stratton’s Business College at Providence. Having completed his course there, he became associated with Armour & Company, with which well known packing house he was connected for three and one-half years as a salesman. At the end of this period he accepted a position in the county courthouse in Newport. Until 1904 he held various positions there and then he was appointed deputy clerk of the Superior Court at Newport. Three years later, in 1907, he became clerk of this court, in which capacity he has continued to serve ever since. He is one of the popular and highly respected public officials in Newport, his popularity being based as much on his efficiency as on his attractive personality. Mr. Harvey has also taken a leading part in politics, being a supporter of the Republican party. He is secretary of the Republican City Committee and for fifteen years was a member of the Newport Representative Council. He is also a member of the Newport Cemetery Commission.
In 1893 Mr. Harvey enlisted in the Newport Artillery Company, with which he served continuously until 1907, when he was retired with the rank of major. During the Spanish-American War he served in Company F, 1st Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry, being mustered out in March, 1899, with the rank of regimental quartermaster sergeant. During the World War he had complete charge of all naturalization work in Newport and also served as an inspector of explosives in some of the local munition factories. He is a member of A. A. Barker Camp, Spanish War Veterans, of which he is a past president; Thomas Camp, Spanish War Veterans; and the State Board for Soldiers’ Relief, of the executive committee of which he is secretary. Major Harvey is also connected with numerous fraternal organizations, including the following: St. John’s Lodge, No. 1, Free and Accepted Masons; Newport Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; De Blois Council, Royal and Select Masters; Redwood Lodge, Knights of Pythias, of which he is a past chancellor and the captain of Uniform Rank Davis Company; Weenat-Shassith Tribe, No. 6, Improved Order of Red Men; and Newport Lodge, No. 104, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. His religious affiliation is with the Channing Memorial Unitarian Church of Newport.
Major Harvey married, in 1908, Irene Barlow, like himself a native of Newport. Major and Mrs. Harvey are the parents of two sons: Charles E., and Sydney D., Jr.
Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.