Way May be Found at Mass Meeting Monday Night to Bring Bertha and John Benson to Rhode Island, - Public Interest Aroused
Interest among the Swedish residents of Providence in the matter of finding a home for Bertha and John Benson, 15 and 13 years old, respectively, now detained by the immigration authorities at Ellis Island, has resulted in the calling of a big mass meeting Monday evening at the Swedish Methodist Church on Friendship street.
Representatives from every Swedish church and society in the city will attend the meeting and discuss plans for immediate action. Persons other than those of Swedish nationality are invited to attend this meeting, in the interests of the two little stowaways who are anxious to make Providence their home.
The children reached New York several days ago as stowaways on the France and Canada freight steamer Shortsville, from Sweden. They said their father, Peter Benson, died at Worcester about a year ago and that they accompanied their mother to Sweden to find relatives. Failing in this, the mother was placed in an asylum but the children determined to return to America, where they claim to have been born.
They said that an uncle, Carl Benson, lived in Rhode Island, but could not give his address. It was later learned that he died last June. Emil Benson of 39 Harvard avenue, President of the John Ericsson Auxiliary, although of the same name but no relation to the children, has become personally interested in providing for the youngsters, and has taken the matter up with Swedish residents and expects in a few days to have definite plans that will secure the admission of the children into the country and provide for their future support. Mr. Benson is desirous of receiving any information or assistance in the matter that he can.
PROVIDENCE, R.I., SATURDAY, DECEMBER 27, 1919