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Henry Wetherby Benchley

In office
1856 – 1858
Governor Henry Gardner
Preceded by Simon Brown
Succeeded by Eliphalet Trask

Born February 20, 1822
Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
Died February 24, 1867
Houston, Texas
Political party Know Nothing
Spouse(s) Julia Ann Goddard

Henry Wetherby Benchley (February 20, 1822 - February 24, 1867) was an American politician. A state senator and lieutenant governor in Massachusetts, he helped found the Republican Party in the 1850s.

Benchley was allegedly jailed for helping run an Underground Railroad station, and died in Houston, Texas, shortly after founding a small township nearby, Benchley, Texas.

His grandson, Robert Benchley, was a famed humorist, and his great-grandson, Nathaniel Benchley, and great-great-grandson, Peter Benchley, were both noted authors.


  • Billy Altman, Laughter's Gentle Soul: The Life of Robert Benchley. (New York City: W. W. Norton, 1997. ISBN 0393038335).
  • Norris W. Yates, Robert Benchley. (New York City, Twayne Publishers, 1968.).
  • Roger D. Joslyn, The Benchley-Bensley Family, New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Vol. CXLII No. 565-567 (Jan, Apr 1988, Jul 1988). New England Historical and Genealogical Society. 21 Apr 2001.[1]
Political offices
Preceded by
Simon Brown
Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
Succeeded by
Eliphalet Trask


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