George Granville Benedict
Vermont's Military Historian
Benedict, George Granville, son of George Wyllys and Eliza (Dewey) Benedict, was born in Burlington, Dec. 26, 1826.
Mr. G. G. Benedict prepared for matriculation at college in the academy at Burlington, entered the University of Vermont and graduated with honors in 1847, receiving the degree of Master of Arts in 1850. In 1865 he was elected member of the corporation of the university and was also appointed its secretary.
Subsequent to his graduation Mr. Benedict taught in the city of New York for about twelve months, and for the three following years was employed in building the lines of the Vermont & Boston Telegraph Co. In 1853 he acquired a proprietary interest in the daily and weekly Burlington Free Press, became associate editor, and is now editor-in-chief of the same paper. He was also postmaster of Burlington and president of the Vermont & Boston Telegraph Co. from 1860 to 1864.
In August, 1862, he enlisted as a private in Co. C, 12th Regiment, Vermont Volunteer Militia. In January, 1863, he was promoted to a lieutenant, and later was appointed aide-camp on the staff of Gen. George J. Stannard, commanding the 2d brigade of Vt. Vols. At the expiration of Lieutenant Benedict's term of service he was honorably discharged on the 14th of July, 1863. In 1865 he held the office of assistant inspector general with the rank of major.
In 1866 he was appointed aid-de-camp on the staff of Gov. Paul Dillingham, with the rank of colonel. In 1869 he was elected to the state Senate from Chittenden county, and served in the committees on education and military affairs. Re-elected to the same body in the following year, he served therein as chairman of the committee on education and in the committee on military affairs.
In civil life Colonel Benedict also served as director of the old Farmers' and Mechanics' Bank. Very appropriately, too, in view of his antecedents, he has been corresponding secretary of the Vermont Historical Society for a long series of years. In 1879 Colonel Benedict was appointed by Governor Proctor state military historian to prepare a history of the part taken by Vermont in the war for the Union, which work he did with painstaking care and great literary ability.
He was married on the 27th of October, 1853, to Mary Anne, daughter of Edward and Abigail Frances (Warner) Kellogg of Canaan, N. Y. One daughter was the issue of this union. Mrs. Benedict died on the 9th of November, 1857. Mr. Benedict married as his second wife on the 22d of December, 1864, Catherine Almira, daughter of the Rev. Alvin Pease, D. D., and Martha (Howes) Pease of Rochester, N. Y. A daughter, who died in infancy, and one son were the fruits of his second marriage.
Source: Jacob G. Ullery, compiler, Men of Vermont: An Illustrated Biographical History of Vermonters and Sons of Vermont, (Transcript Publishing Company, Brattleboro, VT, 1894), Part II, p. 25.
REPORT OF THE
Appointed to Erect a Tablet
to the Memory of
George Grenville Benedict
College Street Church
Free Press Printing Co.,
PRINTERS, BINDERS, STATIONERS.
Burlington, Vermont, March 15, 1909.
To the Subscribers:
The committee appointed to arrange for the placing of a table in the College Street Congregational Church at Burlington, Vermont, in memory of the late Hon. George Grenville Benedict, respectfully beg leave to make the following report:
Under date of August 22, 1908, the following letter, signed by the committee, was sent to Comrades-in-Arms and other friends suggesting the idea:
It has been suggested that the Comrades-in-Arms and other friends of the late Hon. George Grenville Benedict place a tablet to his memory in the College Street Congregational Church at no distant day, so that future generations may have in remembrance the noble services of this distinguished Vermonter in both war and peace.
It is not expected that individual subscriptions will exceed $5.00. If you desire to join us in this mark of affection, we shall be pleased to receive from you such a sum as you may choose to send. Remittance should be made to the treasurer."
The proposition met with hearty approval and in response to this letter we received seventy-three subscriptions ranging from $2.00 to $5.00 each with two exceptions, these being for a much large sum. In nearly every instance the subscriber expressed his willingness and desire to make a further contribution should it be necessary, and many offers of subscriptions to this fund were made after it was closed.
On the 10th of December, 1908, the Anniversary of Col. Benedict's birth, the tablet was placed in position on the west wall of the church, and bears the following inscription:
On the same date the following letter was written Mrs. Benedict:
Burlington, Vermont, December 10, 1908.
Dear Mrs. Benedict:
The memorial tablet in honor of your dear husband, Hon. George Grenville Benedict is now in its proper position in the College Street Church, and as to-day is the eighty-second anniversary of his birth I am writing you in a personal way to give you the names of the seventy-three friends who are interested in this testimonial, twenty-four of them being soldiers representing the United States Army, the First, Second, Third, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, Tenth, Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Vermont Regiments of Infantry, the First Vermont Cavalry, the Thirteenth New Hampshire Regiment, United States Colored Troops, and members of the Vermont Commandery, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States; also forty-four friends residing in the States of Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, Ohio and Rhode Island. Among these friends are a Commander of a separate army during the War for the Union, a General and a Colonel of the United States Army, two United States Senators, an ex-Member of Congress, the Governor of Vermont, five ex-governors and lieutenant-governors, trustees and members of the faculty of the University of Vermont and citizens occupying all walks of life. The following are their names:
Ex-Governor Fletcher D. Proctor of Proctor, ex-Gov. John G. McCullough of North Bennington, Hon. John H. Converse of Philadelphia, Pa.*, ex-Gov. U. A. Woodbury, Ex-Gov. Samuel E. Pingree of Hartford, ex-Lieut. Gov. Z. M. Mansur of Newport*, Maj. Gen. O. O. Howard, U. S. A., Gen'l Stephen P. Jocelyn, U. S. A., Col. Herbert S. Foster, U. S. A., North Calais, Rev. M. H. Buckham, D. D., President University of Vermont, Professor John E. Goodrich, D. D., Rev. I. C. Smart, D. D., Mr. Henry Wells, Hon. D. W. Robinson, Hon. B. F. Fifield of Montpelier*, Mr. W. B. Howe, Hon. J. A. De Boer, President of the National Life Insurance Co. of Montpelier, Col. A. B. Chandler of New York City, Hon. D. P. Kingsley, President of the New York Life Insurance Co. of New York City*, General L. G. Kingsley of Rutland, ex-Gov. and U. S. Senator William P. Dillingham* Montpelier, ex-Gov. and U. S. Senator C. S. Page, Hyde Park, Hon. Geo. Biggs, Brandon, Hon. C. W. Woodhouse, Col. B. B. Smalley, Hon. Fred A. Howland, Montpelier, Mr. Frederick H. Wells, Col. H. W. Allen, Mr. Frederick S. Pease, Mr. Lewis C. Clark, ex-Congressman H. H. Powers of Morrisville*, Mr. Henry Holt, L. H. D., New York City, Mr. Henry L. Ward, Mr. Charles A. Catlin of Providence, R. I.*, Mr. Walter C. Isham, Mr. F. M. Bryan of the National Life Insurance Co., Montpelier, Mr. C. E. Moulton of the National Life Insurance Co., Montpelier, Professor George H. Perkins, Hon. C. P. Smith, Mr. James T. Phelps, of Boston, vice-President of the National Life Insurance Co., Hon. C. W. Brownell, Mr. Henry Greene, Mr. H. B. Shaw, Mr. J. L. Southwick, Mr. George H. Olmstead of Cleveland, Ohio, Capt. B. J. Derby, General F. G. Butterfield of Derby Line, General W. W. Henry, U. S. Consul at Quebec, Hon. Elias Lyman*, Prof. L. R. Jones, Mr. C. E. Allen, Dr. Lyman Allen, Hon. W. J. Van Patten, Hon. Hugh Henry of Chester, Mr. Grant H. Burrows, Mr. Harry S. Howard, Mr. A. C. Whiting, Hon. Robert Roberts*, Prof. S. F. Emerson, Hon. F. B. Jennings of North Bennington, Hon. George H. Prouty of Newport, Governor of Vermont*, Mr. John J. Allen and Mr. M. Shaler Allen of Brooklyn, N. Y., Capt. H. O. Wheeler, Superintendent of City Schools, Col. J. H. Goulding of Wilmington, General Edward H. Ripley of New York City, Mr. James S. Morrill of Washington, D. C., Prof. C. E. Putney, Edmunds High School, His Honor W. J. Bigelow, Mayor of Burlington, Rev. George Y. Bliss, D. D., Mr. C. R. Kent, Mr. Arthur G. Mansur and the writer.
Trusting the above may be of interest to you, believe me, with very kind regards to yourself, Miss Mary and George.Sincerely yours, THEODORE S. PECK, For Committee. Mrs. Katharine A. Benedict, South Prospect Street, City.
Sunday, December 13th, appropriate services were held in the College Street Congregational Church, the Rev. I. C. Smart, D. D., pastor, officiating, and Rev. Matthew H. Buckham, D. D., and Rev. J. E. Goodrich, D. D., Chaplain of the Vermont Commandery, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, assisting. The exercises which were largely attended, were simple but most impressive, and the hymns sung were the favorite ones of Colonel Benedict.
The following reports, taken from the Burlington Free Press and Times and the Burlington Daily News of December 14, give a detailed account of the dedication:
Memorial to the Late G. G. Benedict at College Street Church.
Tribute by President Buckham and Appropriate Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Smart -- Tablet the gift of Seventy-Three friends.
At the morning service yesterday at the College Street Church a tablet was dedicated to the memory of George Grenville Benedict, late editor of the Free Press and a member of the church from its organization to his death.
The pulpit was draped in the national colors and on a table stood the loving cup which was presented to Mr. Benedict on the 80th anniversary of his birth. This was filled with flowers. A number of Mr. Benedict's friends from other churches were present.
President M. H. Buckham of the University of Vermont paid an eloquent tribute to Mr. Benedict's memory. He spoke as follows:
President Buckham's Remarks.
In all ages, and among all peoples, men have sought to preserve the memory of their dead by setting up memorials of them in their sacred places -- places which become more sacred because of these memorials. Christianity from its earliest times has given observance and sanction to this time honored custom and has thereby, as in so many other ways, added its benediction to the natural piety of universal humanity. It is meet and right, and Christian, that our remembrance should evermore linger in those places which have endeared themselves to our human hearts by their association with lives, greater and better than ours, but still human and kindred, and bound up with our own in common hopes and fears, common joys and sorrows, dangers and triumphs.
But if the village green, the market-place, the chamber of commerce, the halls of legislation, the battlefield, are in a sense made sacred by the dedication in them of statues and busts and memorial inscriptions in honor of philanthropists and statesmen and heroes, much more do we honor the memory of those whose names we inscribe on the walls of a Christian Church, testifying as we do thereby, that the associations of the place harmonize with out thought of those whose memory we would perpetuate. Wherever the conqueror, the statesman, the jurist, the poet, might wish to be commemorated, the Christian believer, the fellow-citizen, the neighbor, the friend would say to his surviving comrades, "remember me where Christians meet to worship God, where lives are consecrated to holy service, where hearts and hands are joined in sacred love, where children are baptized, where mourners are comforted by the hope of immortality."
This is what we are doing to-day. We are placing upon the walls of this church our tribute to the memory of one whose heart and hand went into the building of it and to whom its very stones were dear; who took part in its public services from early manhood to a ripe old age; who went forth from it but not out of it -- to fight the battles of his country, and returned to be a good soldier in the long campaign of truth and righteousness against error and wrong; who, professing its creed of "faith, hope, charity, these three," by a true and noble life exemplified it and commended it to his neighbors and comrades and fellow-citizens and all who knew him. They -- the survivors of them -- for themselves and for the many others who equally honored and loved him and have gone to their reward before him and with him, do now dedicate this simple tablet to his memory, testifying thereby to all who may come after us that it bears the name of one worthy to be honored by all who esteem a life of simple reverence and faith and courage, a life of devotion to the welfare of church and city and State and nation, to be the true, human, divine Christian life.
The past of the church, the Rev. Dr. I. C. Smart, delivered a sermon on "The Power of Two or THree," his text being Matthew, 18: 18-20.
Dr. Smart said there are men, there have been men in these New England towns, able and glad to change rough winter into glorious summer by the warm glow of their spirits. There are and have been men able and glad to make goodness attractive, wisdom persuasive, submission to excellence willing. Such men are judgment seats. Before them crude fashions of the hour and hasty creations of a smoky, greasy, malodorous fakir, falsely called up-to-date and modern, are convicted of their ugliness and emptiness and hurtfulness. Before them the light of every new day leaps out of grayness into lustre and prophecies of high noon.
Ad editor of character and force, judgment and persuasion educates his readers. the cloudy masses of thought-stuff take in their minds the shape he suggests. A teacher's share in a pupil, an editor's, a friend's, a churchman's share in his fellow-men is sometimes like a store of water far down in the earth. Brooks and wells run dry and we sink driven wells and find pure and abundant water which no drought can reach. The water had long been there but not drunk before from a full cup in the and. Years afterwards when the fruit of a man's life no longer puckers the lips or furs the tongue he states in its mellow ripeness, a sweetness saved from some spirit who in the days of his youth built a house not made with hands and invited him into it and set before him the good cheer of the house.
The best kind of a public man is imaginative, patient, happy with men and companionable. Men are happy with him. He understands "gathering together," He is open-minded, appreciative, teachable, humble. There is sweetness in his light. there is room and welcome in his wagon for wayfarers who ask a ride. Seeking loyalty he shows it. A servant himself, he rejoices when another pushes greatness into service beyond his own and says "follow him."
Becoming is growing. A man's influence grows. Growing is not always easy. It has enemies. A man's influence grows if and because it belongs where it is felt, if and because it helps to unfold life, and bring it to its fruit.
There are men who, without ropes, without bits and bridle, without handcuffs, lead a community because the community seems to think and feel and act in their thinking and feeling and acting. The influence of such men is felt, in the point of view, the prepossessions, the tone, the ideals of the community and i the end, if slowly, if blunderingly, if with occasional swine-herding in far countries -- in the end the institutions of a community and its particular doings from time to time will correspond with the inner life which has "become" under the continuous influence of choice persons.
In conclusion, Dr. Smart said "A reason for speaking in this vein this morning may be found in two tablets on the west wall of this church commemorating two men who agreed in their asking -- one tablet long familiar, the other new."
The tablet occupies a place on the west wall of the church. It is of antique brass and is mounted on a slab of dark brown Tennessee marble. The table is four feet three inches in height and three feet five inches in width. -- The Burlington Free Press and Times.
TO GEORGE GRENVILLE BENEDICT AT COLLEGE STREET CHURCH.
A tablet to the memory of George Grenville Benedict was dedicated yesterday at the morning service at the College Street Church, with appropriate exercises. The pulpit was draped in the national colors and on a table stood the loving cup which was presented to Mr. Benedict on the 80th anniversary of his birth, and which was filled with flowers. A number of Mr. Benedict's friends from other churches were present.
President Buckham paid eloquent tribute to Mr. Benedict's memory. Prayer was offered by Rev. Dr. J. E. Goodrich, representing Vermont Commandery, Military Order of the Loyal Legion and Post Stannard, GAR
An appropriate sermons on "The Power of Two or Three," was preached by the pastor, Rev. I. C. Smart, from the text, Matt. 18: 18-20.
The tablet occupies a place on the west wall of the church. It is of antique brass and is mounted on a slab of dark brown Tennessee marble. The tablet is four feet three inches in height, and three feet five inches in width. It was secured by A. G. Mansur through a New York firm and was erected by the Champlain Manufacturing company. -- Burlington Daily News.
On the 1st of January, 1909, the family of Colonel Benedict sent the following acknowledgement to the friends who were interested in the erection of this tablet:
The family of the late
GEORGE GRENVILLE BENEDICT
gratefully acknowledges the respect and affection of his many friends who have recently erected the tablet to his memory in the College Street Church."
In connection with this tablet a book "In Memoriam" was complied, containing a letter written by the Rev. J. E. Goodrich, a photograph of the tablet, an account of the dedication services, the signatures of all the subscribers, and many letters expressing the high esteem and affection in which Colonel Benedict was held by his legion of friends. This book was given to Mrs. Benedict, December 25, 1908, and is greatly prized by her and the family. In order to secure the signatures of the different subscribers it was found necessary to send the book by express to various places, and it required considerable time to accomplish this, but the result has been most satisfactory.
Below is a memorandum of the amount of funds received and the expenditures:STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT.
Receipts Amount of subscriptions, $354.00 Expenditures Cost of tablet, as per bill of J. & R.
$255.00 Cartage, etc. 2.50 Cost of placing tablet on church wall,
as per bill of Champlain manu-
8.31 Cost of making book "In Memoriam"
and case, as per bill of Free Press
13.50 Cut of tablet and printing of report,
as per bill of Free Press Association.
43.85 Incidentals, 30.84 -------- $354.00
This account has been examined and found correct,
JOHN E. GOODRICH,
March 12, 1909.
FLETCHER D. PROCTOR, MATTHEW H. BUCKHAM, URBAN A. WOODBURY, JOSEPH A. De BOER, ZOPHAR M. MANSUR, DANIEL W. ROBINSON, Committee LEVI G. KINGLSEY, ROBERT ROBERTS, HEMAN W. ALLEN, ALFRED C. WHITING, JOHN E. GOODRICH, THEODORE S. PECK,
Source: Report of the Committee Appointed to Erect a Tablet to the Memory of George Grenville Benedict in the College Street Church, Burlington, Vermont. Burlington: Free Press Printing Co. 1909.
Contributed by: Russell J. & Susan Slora, of Barre, members of the 18th Vermont Regiment.