Aquilla Rich

Aquilla Rich was born in Boston on March 23rd, 1835. When growing up he had attended “Hawes” public school in South Boston, which he graduated the year of 1850. At the age of 15, he was employed at the wholesale drug house of ‘Brewers, Stevens & Cushing’, where he worked for four years.

After that success, he relocated to New York City to do business with his cousin. However, after a year, his cousin lost the business and Rich was left without a job. Due to this experience, Rich decided to use this time sailing on the ocean until the year 1859.

Later that year, when he returned from sea, he had entered the employment of ‘Raynolds, Devoe & Pratt’, specialized in dealers for paints, oils, and artist materials. The business was located at 106 and 108 Fulton Street, New York City. At this establishment, Rich worked there as a clerk for twelve years.

In 1871, Rich had purchased his present residence, as well as acquiring other property in Staten Island. He then connected himself with Christ church in which he served as a vestryman. In the church, he had the honor to be the treasurer for three years. He was a life member of the Beacon Light Lodge (No. 701, F. & A.M) of New Brighton. Beacon Light Lodge 701 is a Masonry, which still exists today in Tottenville, meeting every second and fourth Monday of the month.

In 1885, Rich was appointed for two years in a row as a Deputy Grand Master of the order for Richmond County. Rich was also a life member of the “Staten Island Athletic Club”. The Staten Island Athletic Club was established in the year of 1871. The Staten Island Athletic Club is a non-profit organization that still exists today as well.  

For several years, Rich had been a trustee of the Smith Infirmary. The Smith Infirmary was located in the New Brighton area of Staten Island, between Castleton Avenue and Cebra Avenue. It is abandoned now for several years, still in the same location.

Although Rich was not strong in politics, he has been a strong republican. Aquilla Rich was twice elected to the county convention, which in both occasions George William Curtis was chosen as a delegate to the national convention.

Rich married in June 1861 to Miss Beales of Brooklyn. They had four children who all reside in Richmond County.

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