kids encyclopedia robot

Smithfield, Rhode Island facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Smithfield, Rhode Island
Location in Providence County and the state of Rhode Island.
Location in Providence County and the state of Rhode Island.
Country United States
State Rhode Island
County Providence
Incorporated 1731
 • Type Council-manager
 • Total 27.8 sq mi (71.9 km2)
 • Land 26.6 sq mi (68.9 km2)
 • Water 1.2 sq mi (3.1 km2)
400 ft (122 m)
 • Total 22,118
 • Density 831.5/sq mi (311.0/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
02828, 02917, 02814
Area code(s) 401
FIPS code 44-66200
GNIS feature ID 1219817

Smithfield is a town that is located in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. It includes the historic villages of Esmond, Georgiaville, Mountaindale, Hanton City, Stillwater and Greenville. The population was 22,118 at the 2020 census. Smithfield is the home of Bryant University, a private four year college.


Greenville Bank at the turn of the twentieth century

The area comprising modern-day Smithfield was first settled in 1636 by several British colonists, including John Steere as a farming community and named after Smithfield, London. The area was within the boundaries of Providence until 1731 when Smithfield was incorporated as a separate town. Chief Justice Peleg Arnold lived in early Smithfield, and his 1690 home stands today. There was an active Quaker community in early 18th century Smithfield that extended along the Great Road, from what is today Woonsocket, north into south Uxbridge, Massachusetts. This Quaker community, and its members, became influential in the abolition movement, with members such as Effingham Capron and Abby Kelley Foster, and also gave rise to other Quaker settlements including one at Adams, Massachusetts where Susan B. Anthony was born as an early member. Elizabeth Buffum Chace is a well-known person from Smithfield who was influential in both abolition of slavery, and the women's rights movement. In the 19th century several mills were built in the town. In the mid-19th century the towns of North Smithfield, Rhode Island, and Lincoln, Rhode Island, became separate towns. The colonial ghost town of Hanton City is located within the boundaries of present-day Smithfield, but was a completely separate community in the eighteenth century. A Revolutionary war soldier, from the Smithfield side of the Massachusetts border, Captain James Buxton, ended up as a Massachusetts militiaman and Continental Army veteran, who was deeded 300 acres in Worcester County by Governor John Hancock. For this reason Buxton was lost to the history of Rhode Island Revolutionary soldiers.(see South Uxbridge history). Buxton served at Valley Forge among other battles.



Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 3,171
1800 3,120 −1.6%
1810 3,828 22.7%
1820 4,678 22.2%
1830 6,857 46.6%
1840 9,534 39.0%
1850 11,500 20.6%
1860 13,283 15.5%
1870 2,605 −80.4%
1880 3,085 18.4%
1890 2,500 −19.0%
1900 2,107 −15.7%
1910 2,739 30.0%
1920 3,199 16.8%
1930 3,967 24.0%
1940 4,611 16.2%
1950 6,690 45.1%
1960 9,442 41.1%
1970 13,468 42.6%
1980 16,886 25.4%
1990 19,163 13.5%
2000 20,613 7.6%
2010 21,430 4.0%
2020 22,118 3.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the 2020 United States Census, Smithfield has 22,118 residents with a median age of 43.7 years and 15.4% of the population under the age of 18. The racial makeup as of 2020 was 84.7% White, 1.2% African Americans, 0.2% Native American, 7.5% Asian, 1.8% from other races and 4.3% of two or more races. Hispanic and Latino of any race made up 3.7% of the population. The median household income is $85,337 and 3.4% of the population live below the poverty line.


Principal employers

According to Smithfield's 2021 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the principal employers in the city are:

# Employer # of employees
1 Fidelity Investments 3,900
2 Bryant University 850
3 Town of Smithfield 500
4 Citizens Bank 400
5 Honeywell 300
6 Village at Waterman Lake 300
7 Stop & Shop 300
8 FGX International 250
9 Target Corporation 200
10 Rubius Therapeutics 100


Smithfield contains three public elementary schools (Pleasant View, Raymond LaPerche, and Old County Road School), a middle school (Vincent J. Gallagher Middle School) and a public high school, Smithfield High School which was ranked 17th out of 52 high schools in Rhode Island in 2006. St. Phillip's School, a private Roman Catholic academy offering education in grades K–8, is situated in Greenville. Mater Ecclesiae College, a Catholic college, was also located in the town in a facility that was formerly the St. Aloysius Orphanage until the college closed in 2015. Partnered with Saint Raphael Academy in Pawtucket, the private Catholic boarding school Overbrook Academy currently resides those same facilities for middle school, high school, and summer camp programs.

Bryant University

Bryant Center
Bryant University's campus

Bryant University, a private university with programs in business and the arts and sciences, is located in Smithfield.

In 1971, the University moved to its current campus in Smithfield when the founder of Tupperware, Earl Silas Tupper, a Bryant alumnus, donated the current 428 acres (1.73 km2) of land to be the new campus. The famous Bryant Archway was also relocated. The old Emin Homestead and Captain Joseph Mowry homestead occupied much of the land that makes up the present day Smithfield campus. The land was purchased and farmed for three generations between the late 19th century and the mid-20th century. Today, many descendants of the original Emin settlers still live near the Bryant campus. The school also claims a handful of family members as alumni and offers a scholarship for accounting students as a tribute to the Emin family. Historical pictures of the Emin Homestead can still be found in the Alumni house.

Notable people

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Smithfield (Rhode Island) para niños

kids search engine
Smithfield, Rhode Island Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.