A member of old and distinguished New England families, Robert Aldrich has passed his entire active life in his native State of Rhode Island. As owner and operator of a contract painting enterprise, he has made a place for himself in the business life of the Wickford and North Kingstown section, where he is equally well known through his activity in civic and social affairs.
Mr. Aldrich was born at Providence, Rhode Island, on August 21, 1881, a son of Edward S. and Emily L. (Howland) Aldrich, both born at Providence, Rhode Island, and both now deceased. The father was engaged in the wholesale grocery business in that city until the time of his death. Paternally, Mr. Aldrich is a direct descendant of Zephaniah Andrews who fought in the patriot’s cause during the War of the Revolution. On his mother’s side he is a direct descendant of John Pfowland, who also fought in the Revolution, and further back, of that other John Howland who was a signer of the “Mayflower” compact.
Robert Aldrich received his education in the schools of Providence, including Brown University, from which he was graduated in 1903 with the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy. After completing his education he went into the wholesale fish and trapping business, and continued this as an independent enterprise until the entry of the United States into the World War in 1917. At that time Mr. Aldrich enlisted in the United States Navy with the rank of chief petty officer. He served in that capacity from April, 1917, until January, 1918, when he was commissioned warrant officer. Mr. Aldrich was honorably discharged after the conclusion of the war, on December 22, 1918.
Returning to the pursuits of peace, he settled at Wickford, Rhode Island, and there established the contract painting enterprise which he has since continued with every success. Other phases of the community life have also enlisted his attention. In politics he is an independent. For two years Mr. Aldrich was a member of the North Kingstown School Committee, and since 1921 has been fire commissioner for the town. Mr. Aldrich is affiliated fraternally with Washington Lodge, No. 5, Free and Accepted Masons, and is also a member and Past Commander of the North Kingstown Post, No. 12, of the American Legion, and a member of Brown University Chapter of the Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity. In addition to his own business enterprise, Mr. Aldrich is a director of the Andrews Land Company. He finds his chief recreation in rifle shooting and yachting, while with his family he worships in the Episcopal faith, attending St. Paul’s Church at Wickford, where he is a vestryman.
In 1908, Robert Aldrich married Elizabeth A. Cocroft, who was born at Crompton, Rhode Island. They are the parents of three children:
- Robert, Jr.
- Thomas C.
- Edward S.
Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.