Mercantile advance in Providence and throughout the territory dominated by its influence has been markedly aided through the efforts and enterprise of Walter Reid Callender, president and treasurer of the Callender, McAuslan & Troup Company, one of the largest and most important department stores in the State. Mr. Callender is also connected officially or in a directorial capacity with other business concerns and with institutions of a philanthropic and educational character. He is a former commissioner of police of the city of Providence.
Born in Providence, February 28, 1872, Walter Reid Callender is the son of Walter and Ann Oswald (Crow) Callender. As a graduate of the high school of his native city, class of 1890, he passed to Yale University, from which he received his degree of Bachelor of Arts at graduation in 1894. In 1897 Yale conferred upon him the degree Master of Arts.
Merchandising as a career was elected by Mr. Callender either during his university days or shortly after he had completed his course, since his entry upon it as his life work was made in 1894, in association with Brown, Thomson & Company, of Hartford, Connecticut. Three years later, 1897, he became the senior member of the Callender, McAuslan & Troup Company, of Providence. In 1921 he was elected president and treasurer of the corporation, a dual position that he has since held. On all sides he is rated as one of the most progressive merchandising executives in the Providence area.
Other interests that have been fortunate in commanding Mr. Callender’s official, advisory and vested connection are the Boston Store Land Company, of which he is secretary and treasurer; the Rhode Island Hospital Trust Company, Puritan Life Insurance Company, Textile Finishing Machinery Company, New England Power Association, Denholm & McKay Company, Pettis Dry Goods Company, Syndicate Trading Company, all of which he serves as director; the Peoples Savings Bank, of Providence, the Rhode Island Hospital and the Providence Public Library, of each of which he is a trustee.
Learned and cultural organizations which highly prize Mr. Callender’s membership therein include the American Academy of Political and Social Science, American Museum of Natural History, American Civic Association, American Geographical Society, American Forestry Association, Rhode Island Historical Society, Rhode Island School of Design, and the New York Zoological Society. He is well connected with social organizations, being a member of the University Club, Hope Club, Art Club, Commercial Club, Turks Head Club, Agawam Hunt Club, and the Squantum Club, all of Providence; the Rhode Island Country Club, Warwick Country Club, St. George’s Golf and Country Club, of Long Island; the University, New York Yacht, and Yale clubs, of New York; the University and Yale clubs, of Boston; and the Graduate and Elihu clubs, of New Haven, Connecticut.
Walter Reid Callender married, February 10, 1927, Mrs. Ivy Lee Eddinger, of New York City. They maintain their hospitable residence in the Hope Street section of Providence.
Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.