Biography of Harold Benson

Following two years’ active military service in the United States Army during the World War, Mr. Benson then spent some time in business and later served for three years with the Rhode Island State Police. Since 1928 he has been a very efficient chief of police of the town of East Greenwich and during his incumbency of this office he has gained for himself to a remarkable degree the liking and confidence of his fellow-townsmen. He is a member of several fraternal and other organizations, in all of which he is very popular.

Harold Benson was born in Providence, October 7 , 1895. a son of August and Hilda (Rydin) Benson. Both his parents are natives of Sweden. His father has been for many years connected with the American Screw Company. Mr. Benson was educated in the public schools of Providence and, after leaving school, worked for several years as a private chauffeur. As soon as the United States had entered the World War he enlisted, April 3, 1917, with Troop M of the Rhode Island National Guard Cavalry. In August, 1917, he was transferred to the 103d Field Artillery Regiment, 26th Division, with which he served with the American Expeditionary Forces in France for eighteen months. He took part in numerous important engagements including the fighting in the Soissons Sector, the Toul Sector, Chateau-Thierry, St. Mihiel, Verdun, and several others. He received his honorable discharge with the rank of first class private, April 29, 1919. After his return to civilian life he engaged in the electric motor repair business for his own account in Providence, continuing with this type of work for three years. In 1925 he became a member of the Rhode Island State Police, with which body he served for three years. Appointed Chief of Police of the town of East Greenwich in 1928, he has continued to serve in that capacity ever since then and his administration of the police department has been very able and most acceptable to the entire community. He is a member of the New England Police Chiefs Association; the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Conference, of which he is the secretary; the East Greenwich Post, No. 15, American Legion; Overseas Lodge, No. 40, Free and Accepted Masons; and Providence Chapter, Royal Arch Masons. In politics he is a staunch supporter of the Republican party and since 1928 he has been its town sergeant. His religious affiliations are with the Baptist Church.

Chief Benson married, in June, 1928, Elizabeth E. Emery, a native of Wickford, Rhode Island.

Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.

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