EVERETT CHAMBERLIN BENTON 1862-1924
Deputy Grand Master, 1906
Grand Master, 1912-1913
NEW ENGLAND CRAFTSMAN, 1907
From New England Craftsman, Vol. II, No. 4, January 1907, Page 120:
Brother Everett C. Benton, son of Judge Charles E. and Adda (Chamberlain) Benton, was born in Guildhall, Vt., Sept. 25, 1862.
His ancestors on both sides came to this country from England previous to 1700 and settling in both Massachusetts and Connecticut, were prominent in the history of those states.
His four great-grandfathers served in the Revolutionary War, one of whom was a Captain in the Continental Army at Valley Forge under General Washington. Another was one of Johnsons' minute men and as a lieutenant was present with Ethan Allen at the capture of Fort Ticonderoga.
The grandparents of Brother Benton, both paternal and maternal, were pioneers in that section of Vermont known as the North Country, where four generations of the family have lived. Its members have filled high official positions, an uncle serving as a member of Congress, — and all rendering worthy public service. His father was county clerk for twenty-five years and at the time of his death was Judge of Probate.
Brother Benton attended the public schools of his native town and the County Grammar School and commenced a public career at the age of fourteen when he was appointed a page in the Vermont Senate.
He later seised two years as clerk; to the Secretary of State and then as Deputy County Clerk for the County of Essex.
In February 1882 at the age of 19 he came to Boston and secured a position in the insurance house of John C. Paige. Here his ability and business worth was soon discovered and appreciated, and rising steadily step by step, upon the death of its founder he became a part of its organization.
Brother Benton has always taken a deep and lively interest in politics, and for several years was active in the management of the Massachusetts State Republican Committee, his last year being the campaign in which Governor Greenhalge was elected.
In 1896 he was a delegate to the National Republican convention and secretary of the Massachusetts delegation; again in 1900 he was a delegate, and chosen as secretary the committee on permanent organization.
In 1904, in company with Senators Lodge and Crane and Governor Long, he was elected a delegate at large to the Convention of that year, after one of the most spirited contests ever known in Massachusetts.
Brother Benton served as an aid on Governor Greenhalge's staff with the rank of Colonel during the years 1895, 1896 and 1S97 and in 1898 was elected a member of the executive council for the Third District.
Brother Benton's Masonic record is a notable one. Raised a Master Mason in 1895 in Simon W. Robinson Lodge at Lexington, he became a member of Waltham Royal Arch Chapter in 1896, of Boston Council of Royal and Select Masters in 1901 and of St. Bernard Coinmandery in 1902.
In 1895 he received the degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and became a member of Massachusetts Consistory.
In 1902 he was crowned an Honorary Member of the Supreme Council 33d and was the first chairman of the large class that received the grade at that Session.
In 1904 the Grand Cross of Constantine was conferred upon Bro. Benton and for the years 1905 and 1906 he was the M. I. Grand Sovereign of the Imperial Council of Vermont of the Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine.
In 1901 Bro. Benton became a charier member and first Master of Benton Lodge of Guildhall, Vermont, and served the Grand Lodge of Vermont as the first District Deputy Grand Master of the new 14th District in 1902. He has also held the position of Grand Junior Warden for that Grand Lodge but declined promotion.
He presided over Boston Council of R. and S. Masters from October 1904 to October 1905 and the list of two hundred and eight members added that year attests the attractiveness of his administration. The social features of Masonry were largely developed and he not only received the Grand Officers of the Grand Councils of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont at his assemblies, but entertained these distinguished visitors, together with the members of Boston Council (1000 strong) and their ladies, at his hospitable home. There the members of his family vied with the husband and father in making each guest feel that they were the one particular guest in whose honor the reception was held.
At the annual assembly of the Grand Council of R. and S. Masters of Massachusetts, held in Dec. 1905, he was elected Grand Principal Conductor of the Work and in the same mouth was appointed Deputy Grand Master of the M. W. Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts.
These two honorable positions Brother Benton has ably filled during the past year and now retires with the encomiums of his brethren, to await the time until he shall again be called upon for active work.
The Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter having authorized dual memberships, he applied for and received membership in Mt. Lebanon Lodge and St. Andrew's Chapter both of Boston and was elected Master of the Third Veil of the latter at the annual convocation of 1906.
The same year he was honored by the Knights of St. Bernard Com-mandery by an election as their Eminent Commander and during their Christmas festivites was presented with an elegant Deputy Grand Masters' jewel as a token of the love of his Brother Knights.
In 1900 our brother was appointed Captain of the Guards of Massachusetts Consistory, in 1903 was elected First Lieut. Commander and at the triennial rendezvous in 1906 was the unanimous choice of the members as their Commander in Chief.
In Aleppo Temple of the Mystic Shrine he served in various offices and was elected Chief Rabban in 1905. His time was so much taken up by other duties that he felt compelled to decline further service at the close of his term.
While Bro. Benton has thus won distinction and achieved a splendid degree of success in Massachusetts, yet never for a moment has his heart wavered in its devotion and love of the green hills, the valleys and the streams of his native Vermont.
Back to Guildhall have his thoughts frequently flown, and years ago, he recognized that this old town, rich in tradition and history, had much that ought to be preserved for those who were to follow in years to come. So while yet a mere lad, we find him gathering scraps of history, listening to the local stories and gathering all possible information.
From these he compiled "Bentons' History of Guildhall", which has long been recognized as a valuable and authentic history, not only of the town of Guildhall but as supplying much of the early history of the County.
In the home of his father his family pass the summer months. Brother Benton has been tireless to serve his native town and state. His generous life and active good will, nourished in that sterling Christian home of the old and honored Benton homestead, has rendered beautiful requital to his boyhood home in loyal affection, wise plans and generous deeds.
In 1899 he gave to Guildhall a fine granite shaft to mark the place of the first church erected in the County. He later repaired the churches of the town and otherwise beautified the village.
His crowning gift was a unique and beautiful building, which serves the two fold purpose of a Public Library and Masonic Temple. Its corner stone was laid in 1900 and its dedication occurred July 9, 1901.
On that occasion Representatives from 44 Masonic Lodges were pre sent and 208 Masons marched in procession as escort to the Officers of the Grand Lodges of Vermont, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The town had put on its best attire and every house was more or less decorated in honor of the occasion. The ladies had prepared and served refreshments for all. Eloquent speakers addressed the audience, musicians discoursed sweet melodies, fireworks were displayed and at the conclusion of the services the general refrain was "O, for a Benton in every town in the county and State."
Bro Benton was married in 1885 to Willena Rogers of Cambridge. With their six children they reside in the old "Cushing Estate" a! Belmont, which was established in 1840. With its spacious and beautiful grounds, its famous trees, its garden of flowers, its stately man siou, and its historic associations, our Brothers' residence is in keeping with his successful career.
Located on the grounds is a Chapel fully provided with organ, pulpit pews and all the needful accessories; and here on each Sunday during pleasant weather, religious meetings are held by different Clergymen at Brother Benton's invitation. One Sunday in April is observed as "Magnolia Sunday" and occurs when the magnificient trees of that order are in bloom, when Brother Benton and his family gladly welcome their friends to the enjoyment of the budding flowers, and then, with them, repair to the little Chapel to listen to the words of Holy Writ and join in songs of praise to the great "I Am."
Our brother is a member of various social organizations among which are the Algonquin Club, Boston Merchants Association, the Beacon Society, and the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Co. He is also a member of the Second Universalist Church of Boston and holds membership in the Odd Fellows and Grange at Guildhall.
His great love is Masonry, which love is shared by the members of his family.
The first candidate initiated in Benton Lodge was our brothers' venerable father-in-law, shortly followed by his own brother Jay Benton, the city editor of the Boston Transcript. The latest candidate was our brothers' oldest son, a junior at Harvard, who came of age Oct. 18, 1906 and was the same evening proposed for the degrees, and has since been enrolled a member of Benton Lodge.
Five other children are growing up with the love of masonry ever before and around them, and although three of them cannot be considered as future candidates for the family Lodge, yet they will undoubtedly in time meet their mother, father and brothers as members of the Order of the Eastern Star.
NEW ENGLAND CRAFTSMAN, 1911
From New England Craftsman, Vol. VII, No. 3, December 1911, Page 72:
The election of a Grand Master by the Freemasons of Massachusetts is an event of especial interest and deep importance. Unlike most other Masonic Jurisdiction in our land, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts exercises the right of selecting any Mason who has served as Worshipful Master of a lodge within her jurisdiction for the high station of Grand Master. No one has ever been elected grand master who has not served the grand lodge in some official capacity, nor is there probability of such an occurrence in the future; yet the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts has never believed in the automatic method of making a Grand Master by placing a brother in some low office and saying to him, "if you will be good and do not die in so many years you will be Grand Master," regardless of the question whether or not the qualities that fitted him for a deacon are all that are required by one who is to administer the affairs of hundreds of lodges and thousands of their members. The question of fitness for office should be the first consideration and this cannot control where candidates are designated automatically. A brother may give excellent service as a warden and yet lack the education, business ability, and experience in affairs that are essential characteristics of an efficient Grand Master. In another practice Massachusetts also differs from most other Masonic jurisdictions. Her grand masters are expected to serve three consecutive terms of one year. This is not a constitutional requirement but has become firmly established by usage. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts has prospered following these conservative methods. It is true that she has fewer Grand Masters as a consequence but every one must admit that the title is more highly prized when it comes as a reward of merit than as a token of providential circumstance.
Following a very happy custom of electing a brother to the office of Grand Master whose fitness is so conspicuous as to exclude competition, the brethren of the Grand Lodge at the annual communication, held in Masonic Temple, Wednesday, December 13, elected as the successor of Grand Master Flanders, Rt. Wor. Everett C. Benton, who, with his associates, will be installed into office at the Feast of St. John, Wednesday, December 27. Brother Benton is one of the best known Masons of New England and widely known throughout the country, both as a Mason and a man of business. He has achieved distinction in the several lines of military, political and fraternal activities and has won distinction as a leader among his associates in the insurance business.
He was born in Guildhall, Vt., in 1862, a son of Judge Charles E. Benton. His family was of revolutionary stock, his grandfather having been a captain in the continental army. He went through the schools in the town and then when he was 20 years of age came to Boston and entered the employ of John C. Paige, the insurance man. From that time on it was a matter of hard work and plenty of it.
He set forth, as a good many of the young men have always had to do but not always with such success, with only clean hands and a wonderful capacity for work, to make his own way.
The one great saving clause in his favor was that he had no thought that there was any royal short cu; to the heights to which he aspired and those who knew him in the early clerky days say that he was one of the most plodding of the little group with whom he became associated. Whether it was entering up business on the books or going after the business, he was not to be flustered, not to be browbeaten and not one to be turned down. He knew his goal and he kept steadily aiming at it all the time and in the end he reached it.
Most Worshipful Brother Benton has achieved a brilliant Masonic record. While still in the prime oi active manhood he bears the honors that well content one as the reward of a life's service. Among the other distinctions he has earned the title of Past Master, Past Thrice Illustrious Master and Past Grand Master of the Royal and Select Rite, Past Commander of St. Bernard Commandery, K. T., Past Commander-in-Chief of Massachusetts Consistory. He is a thirty-third degree Mason of the Scottish Rite, president of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Association of Knights Templars Commanders.
He is a man of great energy. Whatever he undertakes is accomplished in the best manner; whatever organization is directed by his mind is sure to win success. His methods are original, his ideas progressive. He has the real leader's ability of surrounding himself with devoted supporters who execute his plans. Brother Benton is social and genial in disposition with a strong love for the beautiful in nature and art. His fine estate at Belmont is frequently thronged by friends and acquaintances who give him real pleasure by their enjoyment of his delightful home and grounds.
We wish him complete success in the administration of the great trust he now assumes.
FROM PROCEEDINGS, 1924
From Proceedings, Page 1924-25:
Born in Guildhall, Vermont, Sept. 25th, 1862.
Died at his home in Belmont, Mass., Feb. 4th, 1924.
For some time we who were friends of Brother Benton have been aware that he has been making a valiant fight for the recovery of his health, and after his recent experience while attending the laying of the corner-stone of the Washington Memorial we could but anticipate the issue which has come all too soon, and his going out from our earthly association lends a touch of personal sorrow to the entire membership of this Grand Lodge.
In his notable career he evidenced the possibilities which lie before the youth of a republic like ours.
Sprung from sturdy old Colonial stock, with but few advantages as a boy, by his own genius and ability he rose to an enviable position in the business world and a large place in political and fraternal circles. At nineteen years of age he came to Boston and found employment with the John C. Paige Company: became in time a partner and later organized and was president of the Massachusetts Fire and Marine Insurance Company and was one of the best known and most successful insurance men of New England.
In addition to his large business interests he applied himself unstintingly to the affairs of state and nation. He served for eleven years upon the Republican State Committee, being three times a delegate to the National Convention and in 1904 he was a delegate at large. He was on the staff of Governor Greenhalge with the rank of Colonel and he was appointed by Governor Guild as a member of the Metropolitan Park Commission. He was a member of the Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Massachusetts Real Estate Exchange, the Boston Yacht Club, the Boston Athletic Association, the Algonquin Club, the Oakley Country Club, and the Belmont Spring Country Club, and he was a Past Commander of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company. He was a loyal, ardent, and enthusiastic Mason and the recipient of its highest honors both in the York and Scottish Rites.
He was Past Master of Benton Lodge No. 88, of Guildhall, and District Deputy Grand Master and Grand Junior Warden of the Grand Lodge of Vermont. He was Thrice Illustrious Master of Boston Council and Grand Principal Conductor of the Work and Grand Master of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Massachusetts.
He was Commander of St. Bernard Commandery and Deputy Grand Commander and Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He was Commander-in-Chief of Massachusetts Consistory and was crowned. an honorary member of the Supreme Council, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. He was Deputy Grand Master of this Grand Lodge in 1906 and Grand Master in 1912 and 1913.
A masterly man: a true and worthy citizen: a representative Mason. We register our regard for him and inscribe his name among those who have honored the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts.
From Proceedings, Page 1924-325:
Past Grand Master Everett C. Benton ended this life at his home on Oakley Road, Belmont, Massachusetts, on Monday, February 4, 1924, following a long illness.
Most Worshipful Brother Benton was born in Guildhall, Vermont, on September 27, 1862, the son of Judge Charles Emerson Benton and Ada (Chamberlain) Benton. His father was a descendant of Captain Jacob Benton, who served under General Washington at Valley Forge. Another great-grandfather was with Ethan Allen at the capture of Ticonderoga. His earliest known forbear was John Benton, who lived in 1540 in the old town of Epping, County of Essex, England, located about eighteen miles from London.
Brother Benton took great pride in his native town of Guiidhall, where he erected and presented, in 1901, a beautiful Public Library and Masonic Hall, which were dedicated with Masonic ceremonies. He also caused to be erected in 1889 a stone monument on the site of the first church in that town, the occasion marking its one hundredth anniversary.
A comprehensive history of Guildhall was not only written by him as a young man, but he likewise did all the work of publishing the book, setting the type and printing it on a private press at his own residence.
He attended the St. Johnsbury (Vt.) Academy and also Colebrook (N.H.) Academy. While still a youth he obtained employment in the office of a country newspaper, the Essex County Herald, where was inculcated a fascination for the "fourth estate" that in later years found expression in Belmont's first local newspaper, the Courier, established in 1889, the proprietorship of which he shared with Harry W. Poor, now night editor of the Boston Globe. Twenty-five years after its suspension, the Courier was revived by his son, Brother Jay R,. Benton, now Attorney General of Massachusetts, who continued its publication for several years.
At the age of nineteen he came to Boston, where he entered the insurance office of John C. Paige. Through application to his work he was promoted as a department head, and when reorganization was brought about by the death of the head of the firm, Brother Benton was admitted to partnership in its extensively developed business. He also organized the Massachusetts Fire and Marine Insurance Company.
In 1885 he married Miss Willena Rogers, and in April of the following year they came to Waverley to reside, making their home on Hawthorne Street, and later moving to White Street in the same village. In 1904 he bought the Cushing estate, one of the show places of Middlesex County, the name of which, "Belmont," was bestowed upon the town itself on its incorporation in 1850. Upon many occasions the estate has been thrown open to the public for the benefit of worthy charities. Two years ago he opened his estate for an open air production of Patience, given under the auspices of the Civic Association.
Brother Benton was active in every movement pertaining to the town's welfare, and held the office of town moderator for many years. He was instrumental in bringing about the organization of the Payson Park Congregational Church about a dozen years ago, and more recently the Methodist Episcopal Church, both of these congregations being given the use of the chapel on his estate until edifices of their own were built. A few years ago he likewise was instrumental in the securing of a bell for the Payson Park Church, the committee on which he served selecting the bell after hearing its beautiful tones transmitted from the foundry in another state by telephone.
Thirty years or more ago, before the modernizing of Belmont's fire department, Brother Benton secured possession of an old hand engine, "Cushing 4," which had previously served as a protection to the Cushing property and neighborhood, and organized a volunteer fire company, of which he was chosen foreman. Of this company but one or two members survive him. He was for many years a member of the board of trustees of the Belmont Savings Bank, and was also one of the original board of directors of the Waverley Co-operative Bank.
In 1894 Governor Greenhalge appointed Brother Benton a member of his staff with the rank of colonel, and he served in that capacity for three years. Upon his appointment he was tendered a public reception at the old Waverley Hall by the citizens of the town, the affair being one of considerable prominence. He was elected to the Republican State Committee in 1891 and served on various subcommittees. He was vice-chairman of the State Committee in 1896, and in the following year was elected to the Executive Council from the district of which Belmont was a part, serving on Committees on Pardons, Harbors, Public Lands, Charitable Institutions, Prisons, and Military and Naval Affairs.
He may be said to have begun his public life ai an assistant County Clerk of Essex County, Vt., subsequently becoming clerk to the Secretary of the State of Vermont, previous to his coming to Boston in 1882.
He was appointed by Governor Guild a member of the Metropolitan Park Commission, and advocated regulations permitting a freer use of the parks by the publie. He was a delegate-at-large to the Republican National Convention in 1904 which nominated Theodore Roosevelt for president. In 1912 he was a candidate for the governorship of Massachusetts.
He was appointed by Governor McCall on the State Public Safety Committee of One Hundred. President Wilson appointed him a member of the local Draft Board during the late war, but he vould not serve because of illness. He was a member of the last Constitutional Convention, elected from the Eighth Congressional District.
In his Masonic affiliations Brother Benton had been widely known. He was raised a Master Mason in Simon W. Robinson Lodge in Lexington, in 1895, and became a member of Waltham Royal Arch Chapter a year later and of Boston Council of Royal and Select Masters in 1901 and member of St. Bernard Commandery in 1902, and had been an officer of St. Andrew's Chapter. IIe received the degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in 1895 and received the thirty-third degree, honorary, in 1902.
Brother Benton was the founder and first Worshipful Master of Benton Lodge No. 88 of Guildhall, Vermont. He was also first District Deputy Grand Master for the Fourteenth Masonic District, of Vermont, and in 1905 was elected Grand Junior Warden of the Grand Lodge of Vermont. He presided over Boston Council of Royal and Select Masters for a year, beginning in October, 1904, was Eminent Commander of St. Bernard Commandery in 1906, and Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in 1906. In December of that year, he was elected Commander-in-Chief of the Massachusetts Consistory for a term of three years. In 1912 and 1913 he served as Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts.
He was affiliated with both the Blue Lodges in Belmont, being a Charter member of Beaver Lodge.
In 1913 he made an eighteen thousand mile trip to South America, his chief purpose being to Constitute Sojourners Lodge in the Canal Zone. He also made visits to Masonic Lodges in Peru and Chile, being the first Grand Master to visit our Lodges in Chile.
Besides his wife he is survived by three sons and three daughters. The sons are Brother Jay Rogers Benton, Attorney General for this Commonwealth, who lives in BeImont; Charles E. Benton, of Belmont, who is with his father's firm, John C. Paige & Co., and Josiah H. Benton, of the First National Bank of Boston. The daughters are Mrs. Carl E. Lonegren, formerly Blanche Benton, now of Minneapolis, Minn.; Mrs. Edward Emerson Wood, Jr., of Belmont, formerly Dorothy Benton; and Miss Hannah Slade Benton, of Belmont, whose engagement to Collins Graham, also of Belmont, was announced in January.
Brother Benton was a member of the Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Massachusetts Real Estate Exchange, and at one time its vice-president, and belonged to the Boston Yacht Club, Boston Athletic Association, Algonquin Club, Oakley Country Club, and Belmont Springs Country Club. He was a Past Commander of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company. Brother Benton served as president of the Beacon Society and also of the Vermont Association of Boston, and as a director in many corporations.
Funeral services were held on Thursday, February 7, a private service for members of Brother Benton's immediate family being held at his home conducted by Rev. Edward A. Horton, D.D., Chaplain of the Massachusetts Senate and of our Grand Lodge. The body was then taken to the Park Street Church, Boston, where more than a thousand persons, including business and fraternal associates and public officials, attended the service conducted by Rev. A. Z. Conrad, D.D., pastor of the church. A special section was reserved in the church for the employees of John C. Paige & Co. and for the officers and members of the Grand Lodge who attended in Special Communication. The front of the auditorium was hidden in a mass of floral tributes reaching to the pulpit and the principal music was.furnished by the choir of Massachusetts Consistory. Following the service by Dr. Conrad, the Masonic burial service was conducted by M.W. Dudley H. Ferrell, Grand Master, and the officers and members of the Grand Lodge. During both the private service at Belmont, and that at the Park Street Chureh, the bell of the Payson Park Church was tolled as a mark of respect. Interment was in Belmont Cemetery.
Most Worshipful Brother Benton made his own place in the world and it was a conspicuous one. Of old New England stock, he exhibited many of its characteristics. Sturdy, energetic, and active he forged his way to the front in civic, political, and Masonic life. He was, however, a very companionable man and made hosts of friends in all walks of life.
Always God-fearing, the later years of his life were assiduously devoted to the practice of Christian virtues and to such influence he gave the whole strength of his unusual personality.
His genial presence, his sound. judgment, his constructive criticism and. advice have left a substantial imprint upon the community and the Fraternity and a memory which will last long in the minds of those who were so fortunate as to be his associates and friends.
FROM NEW ENGLAND CRAFTSMAN, 1924
From New England Craftsman, Vol. XIX, No. 5, February 1924, Page 167:
Following a long illness Colonel Everett C. Benton, father of Attorney General Jay R. Benton, a member of the insurance firm of John C. Paige & Company and active in Masonry. died Feb. 4th in his home, in Belmont.
Everett Chamberlin Benton was born in Whitehall, Vt.. on Sept. 25. 1862. and was of good New England parentage, coming from Revolutionary stock. Bro. Benton's parents were Charles Emerson Benton and Adda (Chamberlain) Benton.
He came when nineteen years of age to Boston and secured employment in the Insurance office of John C. Paige. His strict application to the insurance business soon brought its reward, and he became head of one of the departments in the office, and, with the reorganization which came on the death of John C. Paige, Mr. Benton was admitted to partnership in its then extensive business.
In 1912 he was a candidate for the gubernatorial nomination of this State, and had served in the governor's council and upon the governor's staff under the late Governor Greenhalge, with the rank of colonel. In his home town of Belmont he offered himself for public service, and many times was called to act as moderator at town meetings. He was appointed by the late Governor Guild a member of the Metropolitan Park Coinmission. He was a delegate-at-large to the Republican convention of 1904, which nominated Theodore Roosevelt for President.
In his Masonic affiliations Colonel Benton had been widely known. He was raised a Master Mason in Simon W, Robinson Lodge in Lexington, in 1895, and became a member of Waltham Royal Arch chapter a year later and of Boston Council of Royal and Select Masters in 1901 and member of St. Bernard commandery in 1902. and had been an officer of St. Andrew's chapter. He received the degrees of Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in 1898 and received the 83d degree in 1902.
In 1901, Colonel Benton erected and presented to his native town, Guildhall, a public library and Masonic hall. He presided over Boston Council of Royal and Select Masters for a year, beginning in October, 1904, was Eminent Commander of St. Bernard Commandery in 1906 and Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in 1900. In December of that year he was elected Commander-in-Chief of the Massachusetts Consistory, for a term of three years. In 1911 he was elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Masons of Massachusetts.
In 1913, he made an 18,000-mile trip to South America, his chief purpose being to constitute Sojourners' Lodge of Masons in the Canal Zone He made visits to Masonic lodges in Peru and Chile that hold Massachusetts charters.
Colonel Benton had been a member of tin Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Massaclm setts Real Estate Exchange, and at one timt its vice-president, and belonged to the Boston Yacht Club. Boston Athletic Association Algonquin Club. Oakley Country Club and Bel mont Spring Country Club. He was a pas commander of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company. He was the author of the "History of Guildhall, Vf.." an account of his native town.
Colonel Benton in 1S85 married Miss Willena Rogers, by whom he is survived, together with six children.
Joseph Edgar Chamberlain of the editorial staff of the Transcript is an uncle of Colons Benton: the late Jay B. Benton, long city editor at the same paper, was a brother.
- 03/13/1912 Indian Orchard, Springfield
- 09/11/1912 Shawmut, Boston
- 12/11/1912 Sojourners, Cristobal, Canal Zone
- 03/12/1913 Wellesley, Wellesley
- 03/12/1913 Dorchester, Dorchester
- 06/11/1913 Rufus Putnam, Rutland
- 06/11/1913 Mount Sugar Loaf, South Deerfield
- 09/10/1913 Somerville, Somerville
- 12/10/1913 Canal Zone, Ancon, Canal Zone
- 12/10/1913 Mount Orthodox, West Springfield