Samuel E. Hudson, editor and publisher of “The Woonsocket Call,” Woonsocket, Rhode Island, who is well known in the newspaper fraternity in New England, was born at Coventry, Rhode Island, March 12, 1870, and is a son of Mrs. Elizabeth (Austin) Hudson and the late Marinus Willett Hudson. Marinus W. Hudson, who died in 1919, was in early life a mill superintendent and later was associated with the business department of “The Evening Call,” now “The Woonsocket Call.”
After finishing his studies at the Woonsocket High School, Mr. Hudson, in 1887, started to work at the stationery store, in Woonsocket, of Hon. Leroy L. Chilson, a former State Senator of Rhode Island. In the fall of 1889, Mr. Hudson left the stationery store and became connected with the Providence Journal Company as its Woonsocket correspondent, a position which he held for about thirty-six years, relinquishing his duties with the latter newspaper organization on December 31, 1925.
Soon after Mr. Hudson entered the employ of the Providence Journal Company, he was engaged by “The Evening Reporter,” on the city staff.
In 1895, Mr. Hudson left the “Reporter” force and joined with the late Andrew J. McConnell in the controlling ownership of the Evening Call Publishing Company, publishers of “The Evening Call,” later “The Woonsocket Call.” At that time Mr. McConnell was “The Call’s” managing editor. He and Mr. Hudson managed that paper together until 1919, when Mr. McConnell died. His place in the paper’s management and control was assumed by Charles W. Palmer, his stepson, and the paper, which had been founded in 1892, continued to progress until, at present, it has a circulation of over 16,000 copies nightly.
In 1908, the Evening Call Publishing Company purchased “The Evening Reporter,” which was founded by the late Leroy B. Pease, and which was the oldest penny daily in New England. This purchase was on November 13, 1908, and resulted m the immediate merger of the two papers under the name of “The Woonsocket Call and Evening Reporter.”
“The Woonsocket Call,” whose plant at No. 75 Main Street, Woonsocket, Rhode Island, was destroyed by fire in 1922, now occupies new and modern quarters with a four-story office building in the front and a large mechanical plant in the rear, which is equipped with up-to-date machinery in all departments.
Mr. Palmer, Mr. Hudson’s business associate, is president and business manager of “The Woonsocket Call,” and the former’s son, Andrew P. Palmer, is the corporation’s vice-president, assistant treasurer, and mechanical superintendent. Mr. Hudson retains the positions of treasurer, editor and publisher, and his son, Buell W. Hudson, is the corporation’s national advertising manager and also holds the positions of vice-president, secretary, and assistant treasurer.
The newspaper is now wholly owned by the Hudson and Palmer families, who also own the Buell Realty Company, owners of the Buell Building in which “The Woonsocket Call” is housed. This building and company were named in honor of Captain Thomas A. Buell, of Woonsocket, Mrs. Hudson’s father.
The officers and directors of the real estate corporation, as well as those of the newspaper company, are all members of the Hudson and Palmer families.
Mr. Hudson has been active in public affairs. His first office was that of clerk of the Common Council of Woonsocket, which he held during the years 1894-95. In 1910, he was appointed by the late Governor Aram J. Pothier as a member of the Commission to divide the State of Rhode Island into One Hundred Representative Districts.
When the Public Utilities Commission of Rhode Island was created in 1912, Mr. Hudson was appointed by Governor Pothier one of the three members of that commission. He was re-appointed by Governors Beeckman and SanSouci and was again named, for a six-year term, by Governor Pothier, in January, 1928.
He is a member of Charles F. Gordon Camp, No. 10, Sons of Union Veterans of Woonsocket. He belongs to all of the local Masonic bodies and is also a member of Palestine Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of Providence, and of the Rhode Island Consistory of Scottish Rite Masons.
He is a member of the Turks Head Club and of the Palestine Shrine Club, both of Providence.
Mr. Hudson is a member of the New England Daily Newspaper Association and has served as its president and as a member of its board of governors. He is also a member of the American Newspaper Publishers’ Association and of The Associated Press.
For some years Mr. Hudson was a director of the National Globe Bank, and a trustee of the Mechanics’ Savings Bank, both of Woonsocket; and, later, he became a member of the board of managers of the Woonsocket office of the Rhode Island Hospital Trust Company, when the two former banks were acquired by the large banking institution named.
In religious preference, Mr. Hudson has long been a member of the First Baptist Church and is a member of its finance committee.
Samuel E. Hudson married Harriet M. S. Buell, daughter of Captain Thomas A. and the late Harriet (Scholefield) Buell, on June 20, 1894. One son, Buell W. Hudson, was born to them, who graduated from the Woonsocket High School in 1920 and from Yale University in 1924, and is now actively identified with the management of “The Woonsocket Call” and of the Buell Realty Company.
Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.