Dr. Benjamin Greene

Dr. Greene may be familiar to you if you have visited the Portsmouth Historical Society. There is a neat display with his photo, some of his medical books and some items he would have used in his long practice in Portsmouth. Through the tragedy of the “Murder in the Coal Mines,” Dr. Greene would play a role in treating the infamous convicted murderer. He testified at the trial and he continued to treat his patient at the prison even after the trial.

Greene was born in Exeter, Rhode Island.  In 1856 he began to study medicine under the instruction of his uncle, Dr. Job Kenyon.  He enrolled in the University Medical School in New York in 1857.  When he graduated from medical school he went directly to Portsmouth to establish his practice.  In 1860 he married Eunice Chase who descended from old Portsmouth families.

He became a member of the Rhode Island Medical Society and had a successful practice in town.  He dabbled in real estate transaction in Fall River as well and was successful at that.  He was active in the Methodist Church and in the Masonic order. Newspaper accounts show he was a delegate to the Republican State Convention in 1884 and he was active in the temperance movement along with his wife Eunice.    Bayles’ History of Newport County comments that “he enjoys the respect and confidence of the community in which he lives, and of his professional brethren.”