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William Goddard (1825-1907)

William Goddard was born at Potowomut Neck in Warwick on December 25, 1825, to William Giles Goddard and Charlotte Rhoda Ives. After graduation from Brown University in 1846, he traveled to Europe; during the 1848 Revolutions he carried secret dispatches from Paris to Rome. Back in Providence, he and his brother Thomas established Goddard Brothers, working as agents for the textile mills owned by their uncles, the partners of Brown and Ives. When the Civil War began, Governor William Sprague asked Goddard to help organize Rhode Island militia. He then served as a major in the First Rhode Island Regiment under Burnside and a colonel and aide-de-camp on the staff of Governor Sprague. He participated in the First Battle of Bull Run and the Battle of Fredericksburg. His brothers Robert Hale Ives Goddard and Moses Brown Ives Goddard also served in the war, as did his cousin Robert Hale Ives, Jr., who had just begun his career at Goddard Brothers when he was killed at Antietam. After Goddard left the military in 1862 he continued to run Goddard Brothers, and later Brown and Ives as well. In the 1880s and 90s he served as President of Providence Bank and Chancellor of Brown University, heavily supported St. John’s Episcopal Church in Providence and donated a window in his parents’ memory, served as President of the Arion Club, a leading Providence music organization, and helped found the Narragansett Yacht Club in 1882. He donated the gates to Butler Hospital in 1905. Read More...

Katelyn St. George, Student at Rhode Island College, and Erik Christiansen, PhD, Rhode Island College