BY the majority of people Newport is
considered simply the summer resort of New York millionaires and fashion
leaders. To a certain extent this opinion is correct, but, in addition to
the transient population, there are permanent residents who give stability
and character to the community. In this famous sea-side city, Angus
MacLeod spent more than half of his busy life, and was one of the most
respected, influential and prosperous men of Newport.
Mr. MacLeod was born October 24,
1850, at Stornoway, Scotland, where his ancestors have lived since 1292.
His father, Roderick MacLeod, was a man of more than ordinary ability. He
was always ready to do his part in advancing the interests of his townsmen
whether in politics or religion, and being a gifted speaker and leader,
was called the "Pope of Lewis." His knowledge and grasp of the "Land
Question" led to frequent interviews with members of Parliament, to whom
he was able to give many valuable suggestions. As a devoted Christian and
an elder in the Presbyterian Church, he was widely known and greatly
beloved. He died in 1894.
Angus MacLeod received his early
education in the public school, and was considered a precocious and
witty youth. At the age of fifteen,
he became a clerk in a dry goods
store in his native town, where he remained for eight years, acquiring a
good knowledge of the business. In 1873, he came to the United States,
having accepted a position with Callender, McAuslan & Troup Co., of
Providence, R. I. Five years later he and Mr. King, a fellow clerk and
countryman, decided that they could better their condition by forming a
partnership, and opening a store in a neighbouring town. After visiting
various places, they chose Newport, and opened the store of The
King-MacLeod Co., in 1877, with a capital of one thousand dollars. By
their careful foresight and business acumen it has grown to be one of the
largest and most prosperous in the state. It is continued by Mr. King and
Mr. MacLeod’s family.
Mr. MacLeod’s business enterprise
was not confined to the store. He was connected with almost every business
concern in Newport County. He was President of the Newport Trust Company,
director of the Industrial Trust Company, of Providence, and Chairman of
the Industrial Trust Company’s branch at Newport; director of the
Aquidneck National Bank of Newport; and Treasurer of the Wickford H. B. &
Steamship Company. He was also director of the Newport Water Works;
director and Vice-President of the Fall River & Newport Street Railroad
Company and President of the Joliet Dry Goods Company, Joliet, Ill.
Mr. MacLeod was a member of the
Historical Society, Natural History Society, St. Andrew’s Society, Clan
MacLeod of Newport, and the Royal Arcanum. In polities he was a
Republican. He held many offices in the Congregational Church, including
that of Superintendent of the Sunday School.
Mr. MaeLeod married, March 15, 1877,
Miss Jessie MacKenzie, daughter of Captain MacKenzie, of Stornoway, who
was a devoted wife and mother. Of their family of four sons and three
daughters, all but one son and one daughter are living. The eldest son,
Norman, is a graduate of Harvard, and now a physician at Newport, R. I.
William is also a Harvard man, and a promising attorney, and in December,
1912, was elected mayor of Newport. Roderick, the youngest son, is a
graduate of Williams College; the elder daughter is the wife of Mr. Chase,
a mill owner of Providence, and a graduate of Yale. The younger daughter,
Jessie, kept house for her father until his death, April
after three years of failing health. Mrs. MacLeod died August 6, 1907.
This was a severe blow to her family, and to the church,
in which both
she and Mr. MacLeod were active workers.
Mr. MacLeod ‘s death brought many expressions of
regret from his business associates and the many activities with which he
was connected. He was a man of sterling character and of cheerful and
delightful personality in his home and business relations.