1900 CENSUS, WESTERLY, WASHINGTON CO., RHODE ISLAND, page 228B-CD, page B, 19 June 1900, by Oliver P. Crandall, Line #87, House #114, Dwelling #419, Family #573.
UTTER, George H., head, W, M, Jul, 1854, 45, M, 20 years, NJ, Ny, NY.
UTTER, Elizabeth, wife, W, F, Jun, 1858, 41, M, 20 years, MA, CT, RI., had 4 children, 4 living.
UTTER, Henry C., son, W, M, Apr, 1883, 17, S, RI, NJ, MA.
UTTER, Mary S., daughter, W, F, Feb, 1890, 10, S, RI, NJ, MA.
UTTER, Wilfred C., son, W, M, Sept, 1894, 5, S, RI, NJ, MA.
UTTER, Maria D., aunt, W, F, Sept, 1821, 78, S, NY, RI, NY.
THE BROWN GENEALOGY, Boston, The Everett Press Company 1907, by Cyrus Henry Brown, page 89.
George H. Utter was educated in the schools of Westerly and at Alfred Academy, Alfred, NY, until 1873, when he entered Amherst College and graduated therefrom in the class of 1877. Then he immediately came to the assistance of his father on the weekly paper, which had a wide circulation. In 1893 the Westerly 'Daily Sun' was established, and the 'Weekly' was continued as its weekly edition until 1897., when it was discontinued.
'The Daily Sun' is a bright, progressive paper, having the largest circulation in Washington Co. His son George Benjamin, after his graduation from Amherst College in 1905, came upon the editorial staff, and is a valuable assistant in the conduct of the paper. George H. was aid-de-camp on the staff of Governor Bourne, May, 1883 - May, 1885, member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, May, 1885 -- May, 1889, and the last year was chosen Speaker. He became a member of the Hode Island Senate, May, 1889 -- May 1891; then served as Secretary of State, May, 1891 -- May, 1894. He was chosen Lieutenant Governor in Jan, 1904, serving to Jan., 1905. He was elected Governor in Nov., 1904; took office Jan. 3, 1905; Nov, 1905, was re-elected Governor, and now 1906, holds that office.
Alfred University conferred on Mr. Utter, in June 1906, degree of LL. D.
THE BROWN GENEALOGY, Vol. II, 1915, by Cyrus Henry Brown, pages 362, 363 & 364.
Both were members of the Pawcatuck Seventh-Day Baptist Church, at Westerly, RI. Mr. Utter received his early education in Westerly, where he came with his parents in 1861, after which he spent two years in Alfred Academy, Alfred, NY. He then returned to Westerly, and two more years were devoted to the pursuance of his curse of instruction in the Westerly High School. He then entered Amherst College, Amherst, Mass., from which he was graduated with the class of 1877.
Before his collegiate career Mr. Utter learned the printer's trade, and after his graduation he became associated with his father, George B., and his uncle J. Herbert Utter in publishing the 'Narragansett Weekly'. On the death of his uncle, in 1886, he was taken into the firm; and on the firm; and on the death of his father, in 1892, he became sole proprietor of the paper. Through his efforts the 'Westerly Daily Sun' was started, the first issue appearing on Aug. 7, 1893. Mr. Utter was engaged in public life for more than thirty years, first serving on the School Board of the town of Westerly, with which he was long identified. His public career was commenced in 1883, and for two years he was on the staff of Gov. Augustus O. Bourn. Unassuming to an unusual degree, he was neverthless a capable public officer in all the important public places he was called upon to fill. He was Secretary of State from 1891 to 1894, being compelled to retire because of increasing business demands upon him. He served in succession as a member of both branches of the Legislature, as Speaker of the House, Lieutenant-Governor, and Governor, and finally as Representative to Congress. He received the unanimous nomination of his party for a second term in Congress, and would undoubtedly have been re-elected had his life been spared -- his death occurring only two days before the election, Nov. 5, 1912. If he had survived, it is probable that the doors of the United States Senate would have opened to him.
He was always an active church worker, and devoted a considerable portion of his time to the Young Men's Christian Association throughout the Easter States, being a member of the YMCA Executive Committee for Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He was made a deacon of the Seventh-Day Baptist Church of Westerly in 1894, and for twenty years acted as superintendent of the Sabbath-school. For fifteen years he was treasurer of the Missionary Society of the Seventh-Day Baptist denomination.
A striking proof of the impression he made at Washington in the short period that was vouchesafed to him there may be found in the Congressional Record of June 17, 1912. Mr. Richardson, of Alabama, the Democratic Chairman of the Committee on Pensions, paid the following exceptional tribute to him in an address before the House:
"Mr. Speaker, I regret very much indeed that a very distinguished member of this House, a member of the Pension Committee, and, in my opinion, justly and worthily classed among the ablest lawyers on the floor of this House, from the State of Rhode Island, Mr. Utter, is not present."
This is the tribute of an experienced Democratic legislator to a Republican serving his first term, and it is rendered the more stricking by the fact that Mr. Utter was not a member of the bar. Mr. Utter was more than a politician -- he was a stateman. He spoke throughout this part of the country in behalf of high caused, and was gaining a continually wider reputation as a master of the art of easy and effective address.
The state is poorer for his death. It is no exaggeration to say that Rhode Island mourns for George Utter, as he was familiarly and affectionately known. It saw in him the best type of public servant, -- efficient, modest, and industrious; a man of high ideals, blameless private life, instinctive frendliness, and stout convictions.
"Though modest, on his unembarrased brow, Nature had written 'gentleman'."
The following is an extract from the Memorial Address of Senator Wetmore, of Rhode Island, at Washington, Feb. 23, 1913.
"My acquaintance with Mr. Utter extended over a period of many years, and I held him in the greatest esteem.
"He was an orator of ability, always ready to give this gift of his to the Nation and his State; and it may be truly and his life was shortened by complying with the many demands of this nature made upon him.
"His personality was attractive and his disposition lovable.
"The world is better for his life."
HISTORY OF THE STATE OF RHODE ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE PLATNATIONS BIOGRAPHICAL, NY: The American Historical Society, Inc.
1920, pp. 23 - 24:
"HON. GEORGE H. UTTER. -- The progress of to-day makes the history of
tomorrow, and because of the important and helpful part he took in shaping the events of vital importance in Rhode Island, the Hon. George H. Utter left an indelible impress upon the history of the State. Distinguished as a journalist, he was equally wide known and honored by reason of the many progressive movements which he instituted and aided, and which constituted tangible evidence of his devotion to the State's welfare.
Hon. George H. Utter was born July 24, 1854, at Plainfield, N. J., a son of
George B. and Mary Starr (Maxson) Utter. Through his mother who was a
daughter of John Maxson, he is a direct descendant of Newport's first settler, and of Jesse Starr, of Newport, who participated in the Revolutionary War. On this branch the line is unbroken to Elder William Brewster, the famous divine who founded Hartford, Conn., and came to this country on the 'Mayflower'. George H. Utter accompanied his parents to Rhode Island as a child and received his education at the private schools of Westerly, in this State, and at the preparatory department of Alfred University, Alfred, N. Y. He studied for two years at the latter institution, and then entered the Westerly High School for a similar period, and was there prepared for college. Mr. Utter then matriculated at Amherst College, from which he was graduated with the class of 1877. Before entering college he had served an apprenticeship to a printer and learned that trade, so that after completing his education he became associated with his father and uncle in the publication of the Narragansett 'Weekly'. He later became a member of the firm, and in 1892, at the death of his father, became sole proprietor of that paper. He continued to be actively engaged for a number of years in newspaper work, and was the founder and publisher of the Westerly 'Daily Sun', which has still has a large circulation in this State. During his management of these periodicals, Mr. Utter was an earnest advocate of reform in many different departments of the community's life and soon became well known and highly esteemed by his fellow citizens generally. While still a young man, he became connected with the public life of the town, his first position being that of member of the Westerly School Board. In 1883, however, he was appointed by Governor Bourn as a member of his staff, and served on that body until 1885. From that time on his rise in politics was rapid, and he served consecutively as a member of the General Assembly, speaker of the House, member of the State Senate, State secretary, and lieutenant-governor. In the year 1904 he became the nominee of the Republican party for the highest office in the State, and
upon the presentation of his name for this candidacy, was referred to by Congressman Adin B. Capron, in the following terms:
'As Jonathan would have delighted to have presented the name of David to the people of Israel, so do I approach the pleasant duty which this opportunity
offers. The people of Rhode Island critically demand of the Republican party that the candidate it presents for the office of Governor and Commander-in-chief shall be without fear and without reproach. Less than our best will not satisfy, and, except upon the rare occasions when for a moment we have wandered away after strange gods, our nominees have had hearty approval at the polls during the entire life of our Grand Old Party. With our annually recurring election, it has not been ususally possible for our chief executive, except in times of war, to perform the duties of his office in a way to especially call forth marked approbations, voiced by all classes and especially by the bone and sinew of our citizenship, the workers and wage earners, as is the case with the man whose name will presently fall from my lips. * * * For many years he served the cause of right and righteousness, as it was given him to know the right in the House of Representatives, where he reached out a kindly hand to me, a featherless fledgling from a country town. I came to love him as it is not often given men to inspire love in men, because of his unswerving honesty, his quick perception of the right, and his unfailing, cheerful and hearty courage in pursuing the right.'
Mr. Utter was successfully elected to the governorship of the State, and
served in that capacity in the years 1905 and 1906. His administration won the unqualified approval of political friend and foe alike and he became one of the most highly honored figures in the life of the Commonwealth. In 1910 he was elected representative from the Second District of Rhode Island to the National Congress, and died in office.
George H. Utter married, May 19, 1880, Elizabeth L. Brown, of Allston,
Mass., a daughter of Cyrus H. Brown, of that place, and they were the
parents of four children, as follows: George Benjamin, born April 11, 1881;
Henry Edwin, mentioned at length below; Mary Starr, born Feb. 21, 1890; and
Wilfred Brown, born Sept. 13, 1894. George H. Utter died Nov. 6, 1912."
From the RI Historical Cemeteries Database Index:
UTTER, GEORGE B 1819 - 28 AUG 1892 WY008
UTTER, GEORGE HERBERT 1854 - 3 NOV 1912 WY008
UTTER, ELIZABETH LOVINA (BROWN) 1858 - 2 SEP 1939 WY008
UTTER, GEORGE BENJAMIN 1881 - 12 NOV 1955 WY008
UTTER, HENRY EDWIN 1883 - 28 DEC 1976 WY008
UTTER, WILFRED BROWN 1894 - 1 SEP 1978 WY008
I found this additional info on the 'web:
Amherst College, class of 1911:
Maxson, Edgar Potter, son of of William Edgar and Margaret Ann (Niblock), b.
Westerly, R. I., Jan. 3, 1889. Delta Kappa Epsilon.
Prepared Westerly (R. I.) H. S. Newspaper work, 1911-; city ed. Westerly
Daily Sun, Westerly, R. I. Editor of Trench and Camp, Y. M. C. A.
newspaper, Camp Devens, S. 1918-Jan., 1919. Married S. 11, 1916, Mary
Starr, da. of George H. Utter (A. C. 1877), Westerly, R. I. Ch. William E.
Address, 106 High St., Westerly, R. I.
Beth Hurd, Johnston, RI USA