Having become associated with his late father, Duncan Gillies, and his older brother, Duncan W. Gillies, in the newspaper publishing and job printing business, immediately following the completion of his education, Roderick Gillies has continued to be successfully active in these fields and, since 1925, has been the owner and manager of this business, which was founded by his father. As publisher of the “Narragansett Times,” one of the leading weekly newspapers of Rhode Island, Mr. Gillies has been an important figure in the civic life of his native town, Wakefield, Washington County, and is regarded as one of its leading and most substantial business men. Thoroughly conversant with all branches of the printing and publishing business, he has built up his firm to a very high degree of prosperity and usefulness, and his newspaper enjoys not only a large circulation, but also, to a remarkable extent, the confidence of the community.
Duncan Gillies, the father of Duncan W. and Roderick Gillies, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, but spent the greater part of his life in the United States. About 1866 he founded, together with Thomas Wells, the “Narragansett Times,” a weekly newspaper. Mr. Gillies and Mr. Wells continued as partners for about two years. At the end of this period Mr. Gillies bought Mr. Wells’ interest in the business, which after that was continued under the name of D. Gillies’ Sons. Besides the publication of the “Narragansett Times,” the firm is also extensively engaged in a general job printing business and in both these fields occupies a leading position in Washington County. Mr. Duncan Gillies continued at the head of the business until his death. He married Elizabeth McCaig, like himself a native of Scotland, who is also now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Duncan Gillies were the parents of two sons: Duncan W. and Roderick Gillies, of whom further.
Duncan W. Gillies, older son of the late Duncan and Elizabeth (McCaig) Gillies, was born at Wakefield, Washington County, December 6, 1863. He was educated in the public schools of his native town, attending successively the grammar and high schools. Having completed his education, he became associated with his father, the late Duncan Gillies, in the publishing and printing business and since 1881 he has been a partner in the firm of D. Gillies’ Sons, of Wakefield, publishers of the “Narragansett Times” and job and commercial printers. He is a member of Westerly Lodge, No. 678, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. In politics he is independent, and
his religious affiliation is with the Congregational Church. Mr. Gillies is unmarried.
Roderick Gillies, younger son of the late Duncan and Elizabeth (McCaig) Gillies, was born at Wakefield, Washington County, October 3, 1875. He received his education in the public grammar and high schools of Wakefield and after leaving school became associated with his father and his older brother in the firm of D. Gillies’ Sons, publishers of the “Narragansett Times” and job and commercial printers. Without interruption he has continued in this business and since 1925 he has been its proprietor and manager. In politics he is a supporter of the Republican party, while his religious affiliation is with the Protestant Episcopal Church. For many years he has been greatly interested in everything pertaining to radio, his interest dating back to its early days.
Mr. Gillies married, in 1918, Anna Robinson, like himself a native of Wakefield. Mr. and Mrs. Gillies have no children and make their home at Wakefield.
Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.