Webster Knight

Biography of Webster Knight

Strength to the financial structure, industrial activities and political prestige of Rhode Island has been lent in a marked degree by one of Providence’s own sons, Webster Knight, who is head of two banks, a director in other financial institutions and in a large public utility corporation, and generally known as a man of affairs throughout the State.

Born in Providence, August 10, 1854, Webster Knight is the son of Robert and Josephine L. (Webster) Knight. He was graduated from Brown University in the class of 1876 with his degree of Bachelor of Arts. In that year he began a long and useful career in the textile manufacturing world with the firm of B. R. & R. Knight, manufacturers of sheetings and shirtings, and in 1897 became a member of same, continuing this association until the business was sold out.

He has since been closely identified with financial and other enterprises of major importance; chairman of the board of trustees of the Peoples Saving Bank, president of the Phenix National Bank, director of the Puritan Life Insurance Company, the Industrial Trust Company, the Providence Gas Company, and the Providence Mutual Fire Insurance Company.

Mr. Knight has filled a number of diversified public offices, always as a member of the Republican party. In 1895 he was a member of the staff of Governor Charles Warren Lippitt, having the rank of colonel. From 1897 to 1911 he served as assistant quartermaster-general of the Rhode Island National Guard. He was a member of the Warwick (Rhode Island) Town Council for eleven years and its president four years. In 1904 he was a Republican presidential elector.

In many other organizations of a business, philanthropic and social character, Mr. Knight holds active membership. Of the Chamber of Commerce of Providence he is an influential member; former president of the Homeopathic Hospital of Rhode Island; and a member of the University Club, Squantum Club, Turks Head Club, Hope Club and Art Club. His religious preference is Episcopal.

Webster Knight married, January 27, 1881, Sarah Waldo Lippitt, of Providence, and they have two children: Robert Lippitt, and Adelaide. The family residence is at Natick, Rhode Island, Mr. Knight maintaining his business headquarters in Providence.

Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.

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