Mayor of the city of Providence, Rhode Island, since 1927, James Edward Dunne has been a well-known figure in the life of this section for many years. He has given much of his time and effort to the public service since the beginning of his active career.
Mayor Dunne was born at Providence, Rhode Island, on October 3, 1882, a son of James and Mary Ellen (Reed) Dunne. His father, a veteran of the Civil War, in which he served with the First Rhode Island Cavalry, was later engaged in the grocery business at Providence.
James Edward Dunne received his education in Providence schools, attending the Branch Avenue Grammar School and Classical High School. In 1902, he became associated with his father in the grocery business, and from 1902 until 1916 was owner and manager of several retail grocery stores. In the latter year, he went to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he became associated with Daniel Minogue in the chemical and oil business. He soon returned to Providence, however, and since 1919 has been the proprietor of the Strand Oil Company.
A Democrat in politics, Mayor Dunne has exercised an important influence in local councils of his party for many years, and as its candidate has been elected to numerous public offices. From 1915 until 1921, he was a member of the Providence Common Council, and from 1923 until 1927, served as a member of the city board of aldermen. In addition, from 1922 until 1925, he was chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee. In 1926, Mr. Dunne was elected mayor of the city. Entering office the following year he has continued to serve as Providence’s chief executive since that time. Mayor Dunne was well qualified for the position which he holds and his record has been one of constructive administration, featured by the enactment of many progressive measures. He enjoys the full confidence of the people of his city, and in successive elections has been honored by their support.
Fraternally, Mayor Dunne is affiliated with the Knights of Columbus, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the Loyal Order of Moose, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and Sons of Veterans. He is a member, in addition, of the Catholic Club, and the Exchange Club. He and his family worship in the Roman Catholic Church, being members of St. Agnes’ Parish in Providence.
On September 18, 1907, at St. Edward’s Church, Providence, James Edward Dunne married Genevieve Rita Rawdon, daughter of John and Margaret (Mullins) Rawdon, of this city. Mayor and Mrs. Dunne are the parents of four children: 1. James Edward, born on August 4, 1908. 2.
Robert Rawdon, born on March 4, 1911. 3. Ellen Reed, born on May 17, 1914. 4. Richard Barry, born on June 5, 1918. Two other children, John and Stephen, are now deceased. The residence of the family is maintained in Providence at No. 18 Flora Street.
Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.