Cranston, by Lydia L. Rapoza and Bette Miller
From the bell tower of the Cranston Print Works in Spragueville, which called hundreds to work in its time, to the quiet ripples of the Pawtuxet River, where the first settlers of Cranston built their homes in the 17th century, and from the family homesteads of Western Cranston to the elegant houses of Edgewood, Cranston is a unique place that is more than just a city—it is a neighborhood of people who take pride in their individuality and their hometown roots. During the Civil War, when people talked about Cranston, they were talking about Spragueville and the A.&W. Sprague Mills, then the largest calico manufacturing company in the world. The legacy of the Sprague Brothers, Amasa and William, owners of the A.&W. Sprague Manufacturing Company in the mid-1800s, had a wide-spread effect on the region. The murder of Amasa Sprague in 1843 changed the face of capital punishment in Rhode Island.