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The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations


ADELARD LUDGER SOUCY, mayor of Woonsocket, and one of the most influential citizens of this city, an editor and publisher of the community for many years, is a native of Manville, R. I., born May 28, 1886. Mr. Soucy is a son of Bruno and Olivine (Henault) Soucy, old and highly respected citizens of Woonsocket, and now both deceased.

The first three years of Mr. Soucy’s life were passed in his native village, but he then accompanied his parents to Woonsocket, and it was there that he received his elementary education, in both the public and parochial schools. He then attended the “Seminaire de Joliette,” of Joliette, Province of Quebec, affiliated to Laval University, this great institution of learning of Quebec, Canada, and was graduated from that institution with the class of 1909-10, taking his degree of Bachelor of Arts. It was Mr. Soucy’s intention as a youth to enter the church, and after completing his studies at the “Seminaire de Joliette” he took special courses in theology at that institution, but, unfortunately for his determination, he was taken ill and obliged to abandon his studies. For some time thereafter Mr. Soucy resided on a farm in northwest Canada, in the Province of Alberta, where he worked in the open air for a time with the intention of regaining his health.

In this he was entirely successful, and soon returned to the East, where he became interested in the newspaper business, and in the year 1913 he went to Manchester, N. H., and took the position of editor of the “Canado-Americain.” He was very successful in this venture, and made of the paper over which he presided an influential periodical in the neighborhood, devoting his attention to the mutual interests of the two countries, Canada and America, and promoting mutuality among the fraternal societies of French lineage. In May, 1914, Mr. Soucy returned to Woonsocket, and here established his present business, dealing largely in insurance, real estate, loans, etc., a business that, under his skillful management, has grown to large proportions.

Mr. Soucy’s natural interest in public affairs, which has been greatly developed by his close observation during the period when he held the editorship of the “Canado-Americain,” led him to take an active part in politics ever since he returned to his home city, and it was soon realized that he had, in an extraordinary degree, the qualities of leadership. He is a man who, by inclination as well as by much thought, has espoused the principles and policies of the Democratic party as being more allied to the true principles of fundamental democracy than those of any other party, so that he consequently allied himself with the local organization here.

He has displayed the utmost energy in his participation in political and public affairs, yet his energy has always been guided and informed by the best judgment and most careful consideration of the problems to be faced, so that they have been rendered as effective as possible. His remarkable success in this line of endeavor is the best witness possible to the power he has gained in the community, his personal popularity having overcome many great handicaps descendant upon political prejudices of long standing. In this stronghold of Republicanism, Mr. Soucy was the first Democrat to be elected to the State Legislature from his district in many years, and during his service on that body he displayed such a masterly knowledge of conditions and such an understanding of the way to handle public issues as they arose, that he gained the absolute confidence, not only of his own constituency, but of the entire community who paid a tribute of admiration to him for his interest and efficiency as a public servant. In the year 1918 he was nominated on the Democratic ticket as the candidate for mayor of Woonsocket, and his personal popularity was again evidenced by his election to that office by the largest popular plurality ever given a candidate for mayor in this city. Mr. Soucy’s career has been indeed marvelous, and the future seems to promise a long vista of even more brilliant successes and more complete opportunities for public service. He is without question one of the leaders of his party in this region, and it appears likely that he will reach great heights of influence and power.

In addition to his business and political activities, Mr. Soucy has taken an active part in almost every phase of the life of the community, and is a well known figure in social, religious, and club circles here, and is a member of many important organizations. He is affiliated with the Millerville Independent Club, the Social Chamber of Commerce, in which he has done much to promote the material interest of the community, the Canado-Americain Society, the local lodge of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and Council No. 2 of L’U. St. J. B. d’A., Societe St. Jean Baptiste, the Knights of Columbus, the Jacques Cartier d’Amerique; he is also the president of the Social & National Acceptance Corporation. Mr. Soucy is a Roman Catholic in his religious belief, and is a member of St. Aloysius Church of this denomination at Woonsocket. He is a man of profound religious feelings and convictions, which is largely proven by his early desire to enter the church, and he is now exceedingly active in promoting the welfare both of his parish in particular and the Roman Catholic church in general throughout this region.

Adelard Ludger Soucy was united in marriage, September 14, 1915, with Eva Gelinas, of Woonsocket, a daughter of Joseph and Adele (Lacombe) Gelinas, both of whom reside in this city. There have been two children born of this union, as follows: Adelard L., Jan. 3, 1917, and Lionel Rodriguez, March 4, 1918; the latter died April 23, 1919.

Linked toSOUCY, Adelard L.

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