For more than forty years Pardon Sheldon Jastram was a well-known and highly respected business man of Providence, while even before that he had attained the admiration of the people by a fine military record of Civil War service with the volunteers from Rhode Island. He was a man of great personal attractiveness, genial and sociable, enjoying the company of congenial spirits and possessed of a quick wit and a ready flow of intelligent conversation. He was self-effacing and unobtrusive, although when called upon to assist in any public activity that appeared to be promoted for the benefit of the community as a whole, he was quick to respond and achieved results that met with the approval of all. He did a great deal of valuable work in the interests of the commercial prosperity of Providence and wrote his name high on the rolls of its citizenship.
He was born in Providence, November 18, 1838, a son of George H. and Maria (Bigelow) Jastram, his father having been associated with the Providence National Bank and a trustee of the Providence Institution for Savings. An athlete in his college days, he was a member of the crew of Brown University, from which he was graduated in 1860. With the coming of the Civil War he volunteered for service and became a private in the First Rhode Island detached militia, taking part in the battle of Bull Run during the early days of the great conflict. At the conclusion of his three months’ term of enlistment he again volunteered and this time was commissioned a second lieutenant and soon was promoted to first lieutenant of Battery E, 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery, commanded by Captain George Randolph. He remained with this unit from December, 1862, to May, 1863, when he was ordered on detached service as assistant adjutant-general of the Artillery Brigade, 3d Corps, Army of the Potomac. Honorably mustered out at the conclusion of the war, he went to California in search of gold, but soon returned to the East and for a time was employed in a Boston bank. Eventually settling in the city of his birth, he became associated with the old Union Oil Company, of which he became assistant treasurer and secretary. For nineteen years he was secretary of the Providence Athenaeum, giving excellent service and earning many fine tributes from the people. He was an active member of the University Club and was a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, and of the Zeta Psi college fraternity. His death occurred on January 29, 1918.
Pardon Sheldon Jastram married Julia Adie Brown. Their children were:
- Edward Perkins, born in Providence, December 1, 1873, a graduate of Brown University with the class of 1895, when he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts, graduate of the Law School of Harvard University in 1898, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. He was admitted to the Rhode Island bar in 1898, and since 1903 has been a member of the law firm of Edwards and Angell, of Providence. He is a member of the Rhode Island Bar Association, is a Republican in politics and a Unitarian in religion, and belongs to the University, Rhode Island Country and Wannamoisett Country clubs. He married, October 11, 1914, Laura N. Whitney, of Brookline, Massachusetts, and they are the parents of: Whitney, deceased; Edward Perkins, Jr.,; and Philip.
- Julia A., married Earl C. Whitaker, of Barrington, Rhode Island, and they are the parents of two children: Earl C., Jr., and Catherine.
Pardon Sheldon Jastram will long remain in the memories of the older generation of Providence, who knew him best, as a man of great geniality in his hours of leisure and as a keen business executive at other times. He was fond of good literature and felt reading essential to maintaining in constant flow the activities of a vibrant mentality. He was a fine citizen and a worthy example in his daily life that may well be followed by the generation that has succeeded him in doing the world’s work.
Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.