Biography of Roscoe M. Dexter

A native and lifelong resident of Central Falls, Judge Roscoe M. Dexter has been for many years one of that city’s leading lawyers. He was born in Central Falls, November 3, 1877, a son of Theodore F. and Harriett (Tingley) Dexter. He has always made his home in Central Falls, which at the time of his birth was still a village and part of the township of Lincoln. Judge Dexter’s father was for many years a successful contractor and builder. His mother lived to the age of eighty-five years. Judge Dexter received his early education in the public schools of Central Falls and, after graduating from the local high school, entered Brown University, from which he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1900. He then took up the study of law at the Harvard Law School, which he attended during 1901-02, continuing his legal studies after that in the office of James L. Jenks in Pawtucket. Admitted to the Rhode Island bar in 1903, and to the United States District and Circuit Court two years later, he became associated in the practice of his profession with Mr. Jenks, an association which continued for some twelve years. At the end of this period Judge Dexter opened an office of his own at No. 255 Main Street, Pawtucket, where he has since continued to carry on his large and important law practice. During 1911-12 he served as probate judge, and during 1913-23 as clerk of the Eleventh District Judicial Court of Rhode Island. Since April 1, 1923, he has been judge of this court. Throughout his career he has taken an active interest in several legal organizations. He was one of the founders of the Pawtucket Bar Association, of which he served as secretary for ten years and as president for two years. He is a member and past officer of the Rhode Island Bar Association. Fraternally, he has been affiliated for many years with the Masonic Order, being a member of Union Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; Pawtucket Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Pawtucket Council, Royal and Select Masters; Holy Sepulchre Commandery, No. 8, Knights Templar; and Palestine Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. His clubs include the University Glee Club of Providence, of which he was an officer for fourteen years, and an active member thereof for the past nineteen years; the Oak Hill Tennis Club; the Pawtucket Golf Club; the University Club of Providence; the Sons of the American Revolution; and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, of which latter organization he served for three terms as commander. In politics he is a supporter of the Republican party. He has been a member of the Republican City Committee from his ward for over thirty years and has never missed a caucus in that time since he was a voter. He is a trustee and assistant secretary of the Memorial Hospital.

Judge Dexter makes his home at No. 104 Clay Street, Central Falls. He is unmarried.

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

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