05-R 259

2005 -- H 6464

Enacted 05/05/05


H O U S E  R E S O L U T I O N




     Introduced By: Representatives D Caprio, Lally, Shanley, McHugh, and Scott

     Date Introduced: May 05, 2005



     WHEREAS, First published on May 5, 1855 by Thomas P. Wells, a mercantile

businessman from Kingston, Rhode Island, the Narragansett Times had a rocky beginning. The

struggling newspaper ceased publication twice within their first five years of operation, but to the

community's good fortune, ultimately survived and expanded, eventually becoming the successful

bi-weekly local paper residents of South County enjoy reading while having their morning cup of

coffee; and

     WHEREAS, Original editions of the Narragansett Times contained five columns,

consisting of local advertisements and "boiler plate" copy. In 1864, Duncan Gillies, a native of

Scotland, became the paper's sole owner and publisher. He began incorporating stories of local

interest, including the benefits of building a railroad to Narragansett Pier and encouraging the

building of Point Judith Road. Over the next several years the paper prospered, expanding several

times; and

     WHEREAS, In 1881, Duncan Gillies passed away, leaving the helm of the newspaper to

his eldest son John. Assuming the post of editor, John went on to publish the Times for the next

forty years. The Times continued to be published by the Gillies family for another twenty-five

years after Duncan's death. During these years, the country saw dramatic changes in everyday

life; highways, connecting the country were rapidly built, electric lights replaced candles, and

labor-saving machines replaced the toil of handwork; and

     WHEREAS, The paper celebrated its 75th Anniversary in its May 13, 1938 issue, in the

midst of the country's bleakest years during the depression. The Times increased in sales from a

few hundred copies sold in 1881, to around two thousand in 1928. The Times was published by

the Gillies family until 1946, at which time the family sold the newspaper to the Narragansett

Times Incorporated, headed by Frederick J. Wilson. One of the original stockholders, and first

vice-president was John F. Kennedy; and

     WHEREAS, Over the next several decades, the paper began competing for awards in the

New England Press Association, winning hundreds. The Times was one of the most

technologically advanced weeklies in the country, with new printing presses constantly being

purchased. The paper's circulation flourished and the company grew, expanding with the

acquisition of several newspapers; and

     WHEREAS, In the 1980s, the Times was sold to Capital Cities. They in turn ultimately

sold to today’s parent company, the Journal Register Company; and

     WHEREAS, The Narragansett Times has been informing and educating the citizens of

South County and the State of Rhode Island for the past one hundred and fifty years. Though no

longer a family owned business, virtually all the employees at the Times are local residents who

have deep ties to the community and are helping to build a brighter future for Rhode Island; now,

therefore be it

     RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and

Providence Plantations hereby congratulates the owners, publishers, editors, reporters and staff of

the Narragansett Times on the occasion of the paper's 150th Anniversary and wishes them a bright

and prosperous future; and be it further

     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to

transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to the Publisher of the Narragansett Times.