Henry Wetherby Benchley

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Henry Wetherby Benchley
Henry Wetherby Benchley.png
22nd Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
In office
Governor Henry Gardner
Preceded by Simon Brown
Succeeded by Eliphalet Trask
Personal details
Born February 20, 1822
Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
Died February 24, 1867(1867-02-24) (aged 45)
Houston, Texas
Political party Know Nothing, Republican Party
Spouse(s) Julia Ann Goddard

Robert Benchley (grandson)
Nathaniel Benchley (great-grandson)

Peter Benchley (great-great-grandson)

Henry Wetherby Benchley (February 20, 1822 – February 24, 1867) was an American politician who served in the Massachusetts Senate and the 22nd Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. In the 1850s, he was one of the founders of the Republican Party.

Benchley was allegedly jailed for helping run an Underground Railroad station. He died in Houston, Texas, shortly after founding a nearby small township, 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 0-393-03833-5).
  • 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 (January, April 1988, July 1988).
Political offices
Preceded by
Simon Brown
Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
1856 – 1858
Succeeded by
Eliphalet Trask
Preceded by
Charles Edward Cook
President of the Massachusetts Senate
Succeeded by
Elihu C. Baker