History Bytes: Southmayd & Butler

July 29, 2019

The intersection of Butler and Southmayd, named after close associates of Jonathan Prescott Hall.

Nestled between Van Zandt Avenue and the Newport Bridge exit ramps is a small community of houses and businesses that often goes unnoticed by residents and tourists. Originally part of Jonathan Prescott Hall’s Malbone Estate, the subdivision of 223 house lots was laid out in 1874, with streets named after Hall’s relatives: HALL, DEWOLF, HOMER, BEDLOW, HALSEY, BRADFORD and RUTGERS. Other streets were named after Hall’s New York City law partners: Charles E. BUTLER, Charles F. SOUTHMAYD and William Maxwell EVARTS. Charles Butler was the trustee and executor of the Hall estates. Charles F. Southmayd was a long time attorney for the John Jacob Astor family, and William Maxwell Evarts was a noted litigator, U.S. Senator, U.S. Secretary of State and U.S. Attorney General. None of the partners ever lived in Newport.

Over time, house lots were combined and developed, and some lots and streets were lost to bridge construction and commercial growth. Most of the names still survive as a legacy to Jonathan Prescott Hall, his family and friends.