Biography of William Gardiner Caswell

First a farmer, afterwards a merchant, prominent in town and State politics, the late William Gardiner Caswell in the latter years of his life was a well-known and successful hotel proprietor. He amassed a competence and lived in retirement for some years until his death.

Born February 11, 1828, son of John West Caswell, William Gardiner Caswell died at Narragansett, July 16, 1896. He was at first engaged in farming, and later became a partner of his brother, John H., in the grocery and dry goods business, having a store in Kingston. His next business enterprise was the Mansion House at Narragansett. He built also the Mount Hope Hotel in that community and conducted the hostelry until 1889, in which year he disposed of the properties and retired.

An influential and active member of the Republican party, he was honored with the presidency of the Town Council of South Kingstown. He represented that village in the State Senate for a number of years. During the Civil War he served as a captain of a company of the State Militia, and was also a deputy sheriff of Washington County, having his residence at the county jail at Kingston Hill during his term of office. In the fraternal world he belonged to Hope Lodge, No. 25, Free and Accepted Masons; Hope Valley Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; and St. John’s Commandery, Knights Templar.

William Gardiner Caswell married Sallie Carpenter Gardiner, born in the Rowland Robinson House, Narragansett, October 26, 1832, died April 15, 1908. Their son is W. Herbert Caswell.

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

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