Having become connected with the lumber industry as a youth of seventeen years, Mr. Walcott has been identified with this industry for almost half a century. Today he is known as a successful man in the lumber business and is connected in executive capacities with numerous important lumber companies in Providence and in other cities. Though his interests are in various parts of the country, he has always made his business headquarters and his home in his native city, Providence, which ranks him as one of its leading business men and as a prominent and most representative citizen.
Nelson H. Walcott was born in Providence, August 14, 1864, a son of Horatio N. and Mary Louisa (Thornton) Walcott. He is a member of an old New England family, being a direct descendant of Captain Jonathan Walcott, who came to Salem, Massachusetts, from England in 1736. His maternal grandmother was a member of the Tillinghast family. Mr. Walcott’s father was a blacksmith in Providence. Mr. Walcott received his education in the public schools of Providence and Greenville and then took a course at Eastman’s Business College, Poughkeepsie, New York. At the age of seventeen years, in 1881, he first entered the lumber business as an employee of Henry M. Angell & Company, well known lumber dealers of that period, located at Fox Point, Providence. Soon afterwards, in 1882, he was employed by Burrows & Kenyon, with whom he remained until 1886. Following this period, he was connected with the Slocum & Gage Lumber Company, and in 1892 organized with others the L. H. Gage Lumber Company with lumber yards in Indianapolis, Indiana, and in Memphis, Tennessee, retaining, however, his headquarters in Providence. As the years passed, Mr. Walcott acquired other extensive lumber company interests and he is now president of the L. H. Gage Lumber Company, treasurer of the Charles C. Gardner Lumber Company, a director of Morse & Buffen Company, all of Providence, and of the Cook, Borden Company of Fall River, Massachusetts; president and treasurer of the Crittenden Lumber Company of Providence, and Earle, Arkansas, and a director of the Bonita Lumber Company of Bonita, Louisiana. Naturally, Mr. Walcott’s position in business and financial circles of Providence is one of eminence and, having been president of the National Wholesale Lumber Dealers Association in 1914-15, he is widely known in the lumber trade throughout the country. In politics he is a supporter of the Republican party, and while he always takes an intelligent interest in public affairs, he has never sought or held public office. He is a member of What Cheer Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; Calvary Commandery, Knights Templar, and the Palestine Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. His religious affiliation, like that of the other members of his family, is with the Mathewson Street Methodist Episcopal Church, of Providence.
Mr. Walcott married, April 25, 1888, Nellie Lincoln McCrosson, a native of Westerly, Rhode Island. Mr. and Mrs. Walcott had five children, of whom four are living:
- Chester L., a graduate of Dartmouth College, who is now president of the Bonita Lumber Company and in charge of the company’s operations at Bonita, Louisiana.
- Howard N., a graduate of Wilbraham Academy, Wilbraham, Massachusetts, engaged in the lumber business in Providence.
- Ralph A., educated at Staunton Military Academy, now a director of the Bonita Lumber Company and actively connected with its management at Bonita, Louisiana.
- Alice L., educated in the public schools of Providence, and at Miss Wheeler’s School for Girls, Providence.
Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.