Mayors of the City of Providence



9, 11 & 13. Thomas A. Doyle (1827-1886)

Served June 1864 to June 1869 (Republican) Served June 1870 to January 1881 (Republican) Served January 1884 to January1886 (Republican)

Birthplace: Providence. During his 18-year administration the city more than doubled in population and wealth. He made vast improvements, including the construction of City Hall, the adoption of an innovative and highly acclaimed sewage system, the development of Roger Williams Park, and improvements to the city water system. He also erected many public buildings and molded the Providence Police Department into a professional trained force. Until his record was eclipsed by Mayor Vincent A. Cianci, Jr. in September 1999, Doyle served longer than any other mayor in Providence. He died in office during his third term in 1886. (Portrait number nine located on the third floor)

Thomas A. Doyle


10. George L. Clarke (1813-1890)

Served June 1869 to June 1870 (Republican)

Birthplace: Norton, Massachusetts. Instrumental in enacting legislation that deeded valuable cove lands to the city. He was well known for his abolitionist stance, even in the days when it meant political ostracism. In 1866 he was elected Speaker of the RI House, and in 1869 he returned to the General Assembly. (Portrait number twenty-three, located on the fourth floor)


12. William S. Hayward (1835-1900)

Served January 1881 to January 1884 (Republican)

Birthplace: Foster. Hayward supplied goods to the Union Army during the Civil War, primarily through his company, Rice & Hayward biscuit manufacturers. Because of his many and varied business interests, Hayward declined a fourth mayoral term. He was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias. He presided over Union Trust Company and Citizens Savings Bank. (Portrait number twenty-two, located on the fourth floor)


14. Gilbert F. Robbins (1838-1889)

Served January 1887 to January 1889 (Republican)

Birthplace: Burrillville. Robbins came to Providence as a baker, and later entered the ready-made clothing business with his brother. Requirements for suffrage were eased during Robbins' term. He was involved in numerous societies, including the Universities Society, and St. John's Lodge of Freemasons. Robbins served as a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, the Providence Common Council, and the Board of Aldermen. (Portrait number twenty-four, located on the fourth floor)