Biography of Hartzell R. Birch

Postmaster of Kingston, Rhode Island, since 1918, Hartzell R. Birch has discharged the duties of this position with proper efficiency and entire satisfaction to the community. He was born at Orange, Massachusetts, on November 21, 1876, a son of Sylvanus J. and Emma J. (Vosbergh) Birch, both parents being natives of New York State, and both now deceased. The father, who was born at Rensselaer, New York, was a physician and surgeon until his death.

Hartzell R. Birch was educated in the public schools of his birthplace, and at Providence and Johnson, Rhode Island, being graduated from high school in the latter city. Thereafter he entered Brown University, which he attended for three and a half years. After completing his education, Mr. Birch was connected for six years with the Brown and Sharp Manufacturing Company, but in 1908 he turned his attention to other fields. In that year he came to Kingston, where he has since made his home, and purchased a farm which he operated for two years. In 1910 he established an automobile sales and taxi enterprise at Kingston which became under his guidance a very profitable venture. In 1918 Mr. Birch was appointed postmaster at Kingston by President Wilson, and has continued in that capacity ever since, under the administration of four Presidents. His service has been of value to the community and reflects the greatest personal credit upon his ability and loyalty to the public interest.

Mr. Birch is affiliated fraternally with Nestle Lodge, No. 37, Free and Accepted Masons, and is also a member in this order of Providence Chapter, Royal Arch Masons. He is a Republican in politics, is interested in all kinds of sports, and worships with his family in the faith of the Congregational Church.

In 1909, Hartzell R. Birch married Ethel G. Pratt, who was born at Providence, Rhode Island, and has been a lifelong resident of this State. Mr. and Mrs. Birch are the parents of several children, as follows:

  1. Alida G.
  2. Hartzell R., Jr.
  3. Eleanor H.

The residence of the family is maintained at Kingston.

Mr. Birch is a member of the Tavern Hall Club of Kingston, and of the National Postmasters’ League of the district. He is one of the best known men in this community.

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

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