Smithfield, Rhode Island
Smithfield is located in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. It includes the historic villages of Esmond, Georgiaville, Mountaindale, Hanton City, Stillwater and Greenville. The population was 21,430 at the 2010 census. Smithfield is the home of Bryant University, a private four year college.
Smithfield, Rhode Island
|• Town Council||Suzanna L. Alba (D)|
Sean M. Kilduff (D)
T. Michael Lawton (D)
Dina Cerra (D)
Maxine A. Cavanagh (R)
|• Town Manager||Randy Rossi|
|• Total||27.8 sq mi (71.9 km2)|
|• Land||26.6 sq mi (68.9 km2)|
|• Water||1.2 sq mi (3.1 km2)|
|Elevation||400 ft (122 m)|
|• Density||805.6/sq mi (311.0/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1219817|
The area comprising modern-day Smithfield was first settled in 1660 by several British colonists, including John Steere as a farming community and named after Smithfield, London. The area was within the boundaries of Providence until 1731 when Smithfield was incorporated as a separate town. Chief Justice Peleg Arnold lived in early Smithfield, and his 1690 home stands today. There was an active Quaker community in early 18th century Smithfield that extended along the Great Road, from what is today Woonsocket, north into south Uxbridge, Massachusetts. This Quaker community, and its members, became influential in the abolition movement, with members such as Effingham Capron and Abby Kelley Foster, and also gave rise to other Quaker settlements including one at Adams, Massachusetts where Susan B. Anthony was born as an early member. Elizabeth Buffum Chace is a well-known person from Smithfield who was influential in both abolition of slavery, and the women's rights movement. In the 19th century several mills were built in the town. In the mid-19th century the towns of North Smithfield, Rhode Island, and Lincoln, Rhode Island, became separate towns. The colonial ghost town of Hanton City is located within the boundaries of present-day Smithfield, but was a completely separate community in the eighteenth century. A Revolutionary war soldier, from the Smithfield side of the Massachusetts border, Captain James Buxton, ended up as a Massachusetts militiaman and Continental Army veteran, who was deeded 300 acres in Worcester County by Governor John Hancock. For this reason Buxton was lost to the history of Rhode Island Revolutionary soldiers.(see South Uxbridge history). Buxton served at Valley Forge among other battles.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 71.9 km² (27.8 mi²). 68.9 km² (26.6 mi²) of it is land and 3.1 km² (1.2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 4.25% water.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2010 United States Census, Smithfield has 21,430 residents with a median age of 42 years and 16.9% of the population under the age of 18. The racial makeup as of 2010 was 95.7% White, 1.2% African Americans, 0.15% Native American, 1.31% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.58% from other races and 1.03% of two or more races. Hispanic and Latino of any race made up 2.17% of the population. The median household income is $71,305 and 4.1% of the population live below the poverty line.
Smithfield contains four public elementary schools (Anna McCabe, Raymond LaPerche, Old County Road School, and William Winsor Elementary School), a middle school (Vincent J. Gallagher Middle School) and a public high school, Smithfield High School which was ranked 17th out of 52 high schools in Rhode Island in 2006. St. Phillip's School, a private Roman Catholic academy offering education in grades K-8, is situated in Greenville. Mater Ecclesiae College, a Catholic college, is also located in the town in a facility that was formerly the St. Aloysius Orphanage.
Bryant University, a private university with programs in business and the arts and sciences, is located in Smithfield.
In 1971, the University moved to its current campus in Smithfield when the founder of Tupperware, Earl Silas Tupper, a Bryant alumnus, donated the current 428 acres (1.73 km2) of land to be the new campus. The famous Bryant Archway was also relocated. The old Emin Homestead and Captain Joseph Mowry homestead occupied much of the land that makes up the present day Smithfield campus. The land was purchased and farmed for three generations between the late 19th century and the mid-20th century. Today, many descendants of the original Emin settlers still live near the Bryant campus. The school also claims a handful of family members as alumni and offers a scholarship for accounting students as a tribute to the Emin family. Historical pictures of the Emin Homestead can still be found in the Alumni house.
According to Smithfield's 2015 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the principal employers in the city are:
|#||Employer||# of employees|
|3||Town of Smithfield||494|
|7||The Village at Waterman Lake||300|
|8||Stop & Shop||300|
|10||Sperian Protection Americas||195|
- Cyrus Aldrich, (1808–1871), born in Smithfield, United States Congressman from Minnesota
- Peleg Arnold, (1751–1820), delegate to the Continental Congress
- Sullivan Ballou, (1829–1861), Civil War Officer and author of the Sullivan Ballou Letter
- Emeline S. Burlingame (1836-1923), editor and evangelist
- Adin B. Capron, (1841–1911), United States Congressman
- Elizabeth Buffum Chace, (1806–1899) activist in the Anti-Slavery, Women's Rights, and Prison Reform Movements of the mid to late 19th century
- Edward Harris, (1801-1872), manufacturer, philanthropist, and abolitionist
- Ronald K. Machtley, (born 1948), United States Congressman
- Daniel Mowry Jr., (1729–1806), delegate to the Continental Congress
- James W. Nuttall, (born 1953), United States Army Major General who served as Deputy Director of the Army National Guard and Deputy Commander of First Army
- Don Orsillo, (born 1968), play-by-play announcer for Boston Red Sox games on the New England Sports Network (NESN)
- Gina Raimondo, (born 1971), 75th Governor of Rhode Island 
- William Stillman Stanley, Jr., politician
- Arthur Steere, (1865–1943), politician, businessman
- David Wilkinson, (1771–1852), co-builder of Slater Mill
- William Winsor, education philanthropist, namesake of the William Winsor School
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- *The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Volume, 15 page 7 Mrs. Ella S. Anderson Freeman. DAR ID Number: 149020 4 James Buxton (1745–1817) commanded a company in Col. Benjamin Tupper's regiment, Massachusetts troops. He was born and died in Smithfield, R. I. Also No. 127831. View full context
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