Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Park District Police Department
Served: 10 years*
Unit of Assignment / Detail: Motorcycle Division
District of Incident (Present Day): 002 - Wentworth
Cause of Death: Crash - Motorcycle
Age at Time of Death: 39
Date of Birth: 11 Mar 1896
Date of Appointment: 1926
Date of Incident: 002 - Wentworth
End of Watch: 21 May 1936
Date of Interment: 25 May 1936
Cemetery: Oak Hill Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-1
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 23
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 39
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 24-E: 12
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Navy
Incident & Biographic Details
Park Policeman Arthur Maurice Swanson, Star #547, aged 39 years, was a 10 year veteran of the Chicago Park District Police Department, assigned to the Motorcycle Division.
On May 14, 1936, Officer Swanson was injured while riding his police motorcycle near 36th Street and Michigan Avenue. The officer drove over an oil spot at 3600 South Michigan Avenue causing him to lose control of the motorcycle and overturn. Another policeman who was riding next to him also crashed and was seriously injured but survived the crash. Officer Swanson was transported to Mercy Hospital where he died seven days later on May 21, 1936.
Officer Swanson was waked at Western Undertakers Parlor located at 6659 South Halsted, his funeral mass was also held at the Western Undertakers Parlor. He was laid to rest on May 25, 1936 in Oak Hill Cemetery, 11900 South Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.
Park Policeman Arthur Maurice Swanson, born on March 11, 1896, received his Probationary Appointment to the South Park District Police Department in 1926. He was laterally transferred to the Chicago Park District Police Department upon the consolidation of park districts on May 1, 1934.
Officer Swanson served in the U.S. Navy from May 21, 1917 thru April 4, 1917, was a veteran of World War I and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Gunners Mate 3rd Class Petty Officer. He was also a member of Chicago Park District Post No. 775 American Legion, Chicago Park Policemen’s Benevolent Association, South Gate Lodge No. 968 AF&AM and South Park Veterans of Foreign Wars. Officer Swanson was survived by his wife, Hedvig (nee Peterson), age 34; children: Rita Mae and Arthur Russell, age 11; father, Charles G. and siblings: Alice E., Arthur M. and Elmer A.
The Chicago Park District Police Department, in the City of Chicago, was disbanded on December 31, 1957. On January 1, 1958, the remaining officers were transferred to the Chicago Police Department through an intergovernmental agreement. Fallen Officer of the Chicago Park District Police Department are currently honored on the memorial wall of the Chicago Police Department as Chicago Police Officers. Their stars are displayed in the Honored Star Case located in the lobby of the Chicago Police Department at 3510 South Michigan Avenue.