Back in the Day

Successful jeweler's story has sad ending

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In 1885, 30-year-old Harry Carpenter Lindol of Providence established the Harry C. Lindol & Co. jewelry manufacturing operation. Situated in the Manufacturer’s Building on Beverly Street, the company produced high-end gold jewelry such as rings and scarf pins.

In 1898, Lindol decided to merge his business with the partnerships of several other jewelers – Harry Hildebrand of New York, and James Moultrop and Samuel McMillen, both of Providence. By this time, Lindol was on his third marriage. He had wed Annie Manchester in January of 1880. She died three days before Christmas of 1884, leaving an infant son, also named Harry, to survive her.

In February of 1888, Lindol married Lillie Martin. The union ended in divorce shortly after and, in November of 1890, he took Annie Doane as his third wife.

The son of Henry and Susan Lindol, Harry had worked for other jewelers prior to establishing his own successful business. Talented in design, he took out a patent in 1884 for a new type of bracelet clasp.

With his third wife, their daughter Olga and his son from his first marriage, Lindol settled into an elegant new home constructed for him in 1896 on Wentworth Avenue in Cranston. The stately Victorian contained a dozen rooms, a hand-carved staircase, ceiling murals and other details expressive of how financially well-off he had become.

In March of 1920, he and his wife enjoyed a three-month pleasure cruise to the Bahamas, Cuba and Panama. Three years later, they embarked on another ocean voyage, this time to Bermuda. His married daughter, her husband and their four children moved into the comfortable home with Lindol where he enjoyed such luxuries as live-in servants and his own coachman.

However, all the money and success in the world could not save him from what was described at the time as “an incurable ailment.” On the morning of Jan. 15, 1929, Lindol arose early and told his daughter that he was going down into the cellar to fix the oil burner.

Sometime later that day, his wife found him in a small room in the basement, deceased. The medical examiner was called and judged the death to be a suicide from inhaling gas fumes.

The funeral was held at the Church of the Transfiguration in Edgewood and burial was in Quidnessett Memorial Cemetery in North Kingstown. The Lindol house, in all its grandeur, still stands on Wentworth Avenue.

Kelly Sullivan is a Rhode Island columnist, lecturer and author.

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