Educator, lawyer, lecturer, author, and editor, Dr. Charles Carroll is well known in Rhode Island. He is a historian of established reputation, and in his busy life has had many contacts with the events of the past quarter of a century, in legal practice, in newspaper work, and as a college professor and educational administrator.
Charles Carroll was born in Providence, June 8, 1876, a son of William and Mary Elizabeth (Sheehan) Carroll. His father was a newspaper printer. Dr. Carroll received his early education in his native city’s public elementary schools and at Classical High School, Providence, from which he was graduated in 1894. At Brown University he won the Hartshorn premium for excellence in mathematics; was elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior standing among the first five in his class; was managing editor of the “Brown Daily Herald,” and a contributor to other college publications; was the first president of the Brown Debating Union; president of the Press Club, and secretary of his class; and he was graduated as Bachelor of Arts in 1898. Three years later he was graduated as Bachelor of Laws from Harvard University Law School. Admitted to the Rhode Island bar, in 1901, he has practiced law since then. For fifteen years he combined law practice with newspaper work. Returning to Brown University as a graduate student, he received the degree of Master of Arts in Social and Political Science, and two years later that of Doctor of Philosophy in Education. Meanwhile he had written and published “School Law of Rhode Island” (1914) and, as a doctor’s thesis, “Public Education in Rhode Island,” a 500-page history of the public school system of Rhode Island, which was published by the State Department of Education in 1918. In 1916 he was appointed jointly as assistant to Hon. Walter E. Ranger, State Commissioner of Education, and as an instructor in Rhode Island Education at Rhode Island Normal School. When the normal school was reorganized as a college in 1920, Dr. Carroll was appointed Professor of Political Science and Rhode Island Education. In the meanwhile he had been appointed director of vocational education in 1918, and professor of school law and administration at Rhode Island State College in 1919. Thus, Dr. Carroll has been connected with all four Rhode Island colleges, as professor in the two State colleges, as three times a graduate of Brown University, and as a trustee of Providence College.
As assistant to Dr. Ranger his service has been administrative, because of his legal experience and particular familiarity with school law, and as author and editor in connection with official reports and other publications. During his service with Commissioner Ranger, Dr. Carroll has drafted more than fifty educational bills, which have been enacted into law by the General Assembly. He has been the author of several treatises, including the following: “Comparative Study of Education in the Towns of Rhode Island” (1916); “Rhode Island’s Rank Among the States” (1919); “Short History and Biographical Sketch of State Board of Education” (1920); “Rhode Island Historical Calendar” (1922); “Outline of the Constitution of Rhode Island” (1925); “Outline of the Constitution of the United States” (1925); “Outline of the History of Rhode Island” (1925); “Evolution of the Constitution” (1927); and “Rhode Island—Three Centuries of Democracy” (4 vols., 1931). He has also contributed occasional articles to the educational press, including the “American School Board Journal,” which carries his contributions as leading articles. A large number of biographies and other historical articles in the four annual pamphlets published by the commissioner of education have also come from his pen, as well as a number of short school biographies, including those of Nathanael Greene, Oliver Hazard Perry, Christopher Greene, Matthew G. Perry, William Barton, Roger Williams, Stephen Olney, Silas Talbot, Elisha R. Potter, and John Howland. In particular his published studies on the history of the flag of Rhode Island and of the United States, including “The True Story of the Flag,” have attracted widespread notice. He is the author of “Rhode Island,” the State anthem, of which 100,000 copies have been printed.
Dr. Carroll is permanent secretary of his college class, and a member of educational societies, fraternal organizations, and civic clubs. He is a past president of the Rhode Island Institute of Instruction, the Rhode Island State Teachers’ Association, and is managing editor and publisher of the “Quarterly Journal” of the institute, which is a new venture started by him in 1927, while president of the institute, of the board of directors of which he is now a member. Other organizations, in which Dr. Carroll maintains membership, include the Knights of Columbus; the Holy Name Society, of which he has been president; the Barnard Club of Rhode Island; the Bay Spring Yacht Club, of which he has been commodore and is secretary; and the Catholic Club, of which he is vice-president. His religious affiliations are with the Roman Catholic Church.
Dr. Carroll married at Pawtucket, October 2, 1902, Gertrude V. Gariepy, a daughter of Nelson and Mary (Smith) Gariepy. Dr. and Mrs. Car-roll make their home at No. 82 Pinehurst Avenue, Providence. They have two children: 1. Charles Carroll, Jr., born August 17, 1908. 2. William Carroll, 2d, born April 20, 1911. Dr. Carroll’s offices are in the State House at Providence.
Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.