Sarah and Thomas Doyle House

137 Chestnut Street, Providence, RI


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Thomas Doyle (1827-1886) was mayor of Providence for 18 years for three separate periods between 1864 and 1886. He built the current city hall and founded Roger Williams Park. He also organized police and fire departments into professional organization and put them in uniform, one of the first cities in the US to do so. He expanded the water system and build the first sewer system. The house at the corner of Bassett and Chestnut Streets, where he lived from 1851-1869 had been built in 1825 by the mason Samuel Lewis. Doyle’s sister Sarah (1830-1922), a noted educator and reformer also lived there. She was a charter member of the corporation of the Rhode Island School of Design and served as secretary from 1877 to 1899. She successfully campaigned for the admission of women to Brown University. She was also a key to the founding Pembroke College. Source - Dr. Dietrich Neumann, Brown for GoProvidence