Robert Knight was born in Old Warwick, Rhode Island back in 1826 to Stephen and Weltham. The family moved to Cranston, Rhode Island where his father put him to work in the Cranston Print Works at the tender age of eight. In 1845 he studied for a year and a half at Pawcatuck Academy in Westerly. Afterwards, he taught school in Exeter for four months.
In 1846, you could find him working for John Hopkins Clarke as a clerk in his factory store in Pontiac. Clarke was elected to the U.S. Senate; Robert and a partner purchased the business becoming owners of the Pontiac Mills. In 1852 Robert and his brother Benjamin formed the B.B. and R. Knight manufacturing and grain firm. The brothers purchased numerous manufacturing operation in New England. The Knights built employee housing, mill villages and donated funds to help build churches. Robert died in 1912, he was 86.
What you may not know about Robert is that he and his brother Benjamin in 1851 founded a clothing brand, maybe you’ve heard about it? Fruit of the Loom?
NW Arkansas, come for a visit, stay for a lifetime
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