One of the prominent and progressive citizens of East Greenwich, Rhode Island, whose achievements and civic ideals entitle him to a place in these pages is Peter A. Soderlund, contractor and builder. Besides being an able business man and dependable builder, Mr. Soderlund has served in public office and has participated actively in fraternal and religious developments.
Peter A. Soderlund was born in Sweden, September 1, 1881, son of John P. Soderlund, a native of Sweden, a builder in his own country, who sought his fortunes in the New World in 1894. He settled in Providence, Rhode Island, and in the face of difficulties confronting a stranger in a strange land, he soon established himself in the building and contracting business, with plenty of orders coming in as soon as the quality of his workmanship demonstrated itself. He died in 1921, four years ahead of his wife, who died in 1925. They had children:
- Carl H. Soderlund, contractor and builder of Providence.
- Oscar A. Soderlund.
- Peter A. Soderlund, subject of this record.
After completing his elementary education in the district schools, Peter A. Soderlund attended the School of Design at Providence, from which he was a graduate. During his years at school, he was also working with his father and mastering the practical side of his trade. By his eighteenth year, he began to devote all his time to building and worked steadily with his father until 1909. He and his brother, Carl H. Soderlund, then established themselves independently in a contracting business known as Soderlund Brothers and operating in Providence and East Greenwich. After eleven years of prosperity, Mr. Soderlund in 1921 began a business of his own and has been highly successful. He built the Varnum Continental Armory, the Firehouse, and the residence of Mrs. Martin on Spencer Avenue, one of the show places of the section, and many others in this vicinity. Many attractive houses and public structures speak eloquently of his ability as a designer and builder. Since 1905 he has lived in East Greenwich and participates in all the activities of the town. A Republican in politics, he served for three years as tax assessor. He belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is a deacon in the Swedish Lutheran Church.
In 1908, Peter A. Soderlund married Matilda W. Bergstrom, daughter of W. Bergstrom and a niece of Senator Bergstrom, of the East Greenwich district. Mr. and Mrs. Soderlund have children:
- Russell Soderlund.
- Albert Soderlund.
- Theodora Soderlund.
Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.