Franklin Torrey (1830-1912)

Franklin Torrey, American Sculptor & Consul, of Florence, Italy

In 1856, Messrs Bowker, Torrey & Co., of Boston, Massachusetts, were recognized as the leading marble-workers and proprietors of perhaps the largest marble works in the United States. They owned one of the best marble quarries in Cararra, Italy, from where they shipped about 1,800 tons annually. Franklin Torrey was then the junior partner (his brother Charles was the firm's senior partner with Edwin Bowker) and a "sculptor of much promise". He established himself at Cararra and "many of the firm's best monuments are now modelled by him and executed under his direction". He was described as a "pioneer of American Florence" in Italy. He was the American Consul at Florence and vice President of the Navy League. He was also the moving spirit in building St. James, the beautiful Episcopal Church that since 1908 has served the American colony in Florence. Franklin and his wife had one son and one daughter. His daughter, Herminie, lived at The Elms, one of the most opulent of Newport's summer "cottages". His son, Charles, was Chairman of the Atlantic Shipping Line and lived in England. 


Contributed by Mark Meredith on 03/06/2019 and last updated on 04/06/2019.
Leading Pursuits and Leading Men: A Treatise on the Principal Trades and Manufactures of the United States (1856), edited by Edwin Troxell Freedley; A Genealogical History of that Branch of the Alger Family which Springs from Thomas Alger of Taunton and Bridgewater, in Massachusetts. 1665-1875