Arthur M. Swanson  | Star #547

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

Location of Occurrence: 3600 South Michigan Avenue

Cause of Death: Crash - Motorcycle

Age at Time of Death: 39


Date of Birth: 11 Mar 1896

Date of Appointment: 1926

Date of Incident: 14 May 1936

End of Watch: 21 May 1936

Date of Interment: 11 May 1834


Interment Details

 Cemetery: Oak Hill Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
 Grave Location: Unknown
 Interment Disposition: Burial


Memorial Details

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.