WILLIAM BABSON 1833-1919
- MM 1865, WM 1867, 1868, 1880, 1881, The Tyrian
- Senior Grand Warden 1882
From Proceedings, Page 1919-74:
R. W. William Babson, Senior Grand Warden in 1882, was born November 5, 1833, in Gloucester, Mass., where he lived a well-spent life until he feel asleep January 9, 1919, aged eighty-five years, two months, three days.
"They say that in his Prime,
Ere the Pruning knife of Time
Cut him down,
Not a better man was found
By the crier on his round
Througb the town."
Right Worshipful Brother Babson came of good New England ancestry, in direct line from Gov. Thomas Dudley of Massachusetts Bay Colony, and Rev. John Rogers, fifth President of Harvard College. His father was Hon. John James Babson, eminent as a historian, his mother being Mary C. Rogers. Studious by inheritance anal personal taste, after leaving the schools of his. native town he prepared for college at Phillips Exeter Academy: hardly had he graduated when ill health turned him from his youthful purpose and he sought by a voyage around the Horn to regain his strength. But the sea did not favor him. He entered banking in 1856, finding there his life work. In 1862 he became cashier of Gloucester National Bank, which position he held until 1914 when iII health again turned him away from his cherished aim, compelling him to resign.
His home life was ideal and gave him large leisure for historical research and literary pleasure. His refined helpmate, Mary Isabel Wyman, lent her womanly aid, making Brother Babson's domestic relations enviable. To this union were born a son and two daughters who survive. Drawn to the character of the members of The Tyrian Lodge, he early sought admission and was Initiated January 17, 1865, Passed. February 14, 1865, and Raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason March 31, 1865. His application to the grand principles of our Fraternity was recognized by the Brethren who, in November of the following year, honored him as their Worshipful Master. So well did he fill the chair he was again and again chosen by the Tyrians to illuminate the East. We find that after an interval he was recalled in 1880 and 1881.
Already his eager desire had taken him into Capitular degrees in Washington Chapter, where he was exalted Royal Arch Mason February 17, 1867. His delight led him with other Companions of Capitulars on December 13, 1870, to solicit a dispensation for a Chapter in Gloucester. Under his counsel, 'William Ferson Royal Arch Chapter was happily constituted. the 21st of November, 1871.
Masonically, Right Worshipful Brother Babson is best known and will be longest remembered as William Ferson's first High Priest, in which exalted position he led his Companions for seven years. He received his Commandery degrees in Winslow Lewis Commandery, where on June 23, 1870, he was created and dubbed a Knight Templar.
Evening was coming on, and the hearty, helpful serviee of his day was quite over: still his zeal led him to seek a dimit that he might become a Charter Member of Bethlehem Commandery in his native city. From occasion to occasion he favored the Brothers of Tyrian with pleasant historical recitals of the large-hearted and generous men whose names kindled a desire to emulate their example. His genial, dignified presence gave force to his advice and left a pleasant taste.
His unfaltering trust, the generous uplift of the Brethren, made the oncoming of night little to be feared, and as he fell asleep rather did he not feel the strong grip of the Lion's Paw of the Tribe of Judah that raised him to Heaven's Eternal light.
W. H. Rider
George H. Bibber