A little more than twenty-two years of age when he came to America from his native Ireland, the late Edward J. Walsh, of Providence, made the most of the opportunities offered him and became one of the most efficient and popular hosts in the catering business in that city. During his career he gratified to a large extent his desire for knowledge and added to an abbreviated school period a self-education by which he became a well-informed man on many subjects. He was also a firm believer in and warm supporter of higher education, which he coveted for his own children and for others who might avail themselves of it.
Edward J. Walsh was born in Dublin, Ireland, on January 6, 1859. What schooling he was privileged to receive in his native city was followed by various employment. In July, 1881, he arrived in this country and established a residence in Providence, with which city he was ever afterward identified. He did not cease his student activities in the midst of his new surroundings, however, and read and studied almost continuously in his hours absent from his place of occupation. Thus he became a very well equipped man mentally to meet people who likewise were well informed on history, current events, and other topics of major importance.
Having learned the catering business in Ireland, Mr. Walsh took up that line of work on his settlement in Providence and was identified with it until his death. He was connected with the Hope Club for a time, and for the last thirty years of his life was associated with the L. M. Carr Catering Company. That house esteemed him one of the most valued members of its staff. He possessed the natural qualifications for the position of host, and enjoyed the patronage and friendship of some of the most desirable people. To advanced education he gave considerable thought, while improving his time by the acquirement of knowledge far beyond what most men similarly employed would be expected to strive for or to even desire.
His fraternal membership was with Tyler Council, Knights of Columbus, and his religious fellowship with the Holy Name Catholic Church, of Providence. He was a friend of charitable and philanthropic enterprises and a supporter of good works along the lines of civic advance in his adopted city.
Edward J. Walsh married, in 1894, Catherine E. Tully, daughter of Luke Tully. Of this union there are three sons:
- Edward J., born September 29, 1899, graduated from Brown University, class of 1920, and took a post-graduate course at the Harvard School of Business Administration, from which he received his degree. His first connection was with Arthur Anderson & Company, of New York, a firm of accountants. He is now (1930) South American comptroller of the International Telephone and Telegraph Company, with headquarters at Buenos Aires, Argentina.
- William J., born May 22, 1901, a graduate of Brown University, 1923. He is foreign field superintendent of the Standard Oil Company, with headquarters at Bombay, India. 3. James A., born June 16, 1906, graduated from Brown University in 1926. He is assistant manager of the complaints department of the New York Telephone Company in New York City. It appears that these sons are making excellent progress toward outstanding careers.
The death of the father of this family, which occurred on February 14, 1919, removed from the city of Providence one of its most exemplary citizens, a man who had dignified his calling, and left a creditable record for incorporation in the annals of the State of his choice.
Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.