Chairman of the board of managers of the Industrial Trust Company at Woonsocket, Rhode Island, E. Charles Francis has occupied a distinguished place in this city’s affairs for many years. Aside from his personal interests, he has given his services freely in public life.
Colonel Francis was born at Utica, New York, on September 6, 1851, a son of Eben and Mary (Hunnewell) Francis, the father a minister in the Universalist Church, and chaplain of the 127th New York Volunteers during the period of the Civil War. As usual in a minister’s family, Colonel Francis’ boyhood years were passed in a number of different cities, and he attended school at Newark, New Jersey; Iowa City, Iowa; Stamford, Connecticut; Huntington, Long Island, New York; and Cambridge, Massachusetts. As a young man he began the active business of life, gradually rising to the position he now occupies as manager of the Industrial Trust Company’s branch at Woonsocket. In addition he is trustee and a member of the board of investment of the Woonsocket Institute for Savings here.
Very soon after his first arrival in Woonsocket, Colonel Francis entered public life. He served for twenty years as a member of the Board of Tax Assessors of the city, for three terms represented Woonsocket in the State Senate, was appointed aide-de-camp on the staff of Governor A. H. Littlefield, and occupied that position for three years. In addition Colonel Francis has been twice a member of the committee to revise the laws of the State of Rhode Island, and for forty-one years has been a trustee of Woonsocket Hospital. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Free and Accepted Masons, and in this order is a member of Morning Star Lodge, No. 13, of Woonsocket; of Union Chapter, No. 5, Royal Arch Masons, at Woonsocket; Woonsocket Com-mandery of Knights Templar, No. 24; Palestine Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine of Providence; and a member of the Grand Consistory of Massachusetts, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite. Colonel Francis is also a member of the following clubs and organizations: The Automobile Legal Association; the Woonsocket Chamber of Commerce; the Worcester Art Museum, at Worcester; the Republican Club of Rhode Island; the Young Men’s Christian Association, at Woonsocket; the City Club and Cumberland Golf Club, of Woonsocket; the Algonquin Club of Boston Massachusetts; and the Squantum Club, of Providence, Rhode Island.
In 1886, at Woonsocket, Rhode Island, E. Charles Francis married Gertrude Nourse, daughter of Charles and Martha (Hayward) Nourse. She passed away October 27, 1926. Mrs. Francis was and Mr. Francis is a member of the Woonsocket Universalist Church. The family residence in Woonsocket is at No. 284 Prospect Street, while Colonel Francis’ offices are situated at No. 167 Main Street.
Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.