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Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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BENN, MASON R. (1868-1936)

BENN, MASON R., school principal and insurance agent; b. Debec, N.B., 5 Dec 1868, s/o Joseph William Benn and Mary Elizabeth Tapley; m. 1895, Annie Betts Yorston, sister of Frederick Pottinger Yorston; d. Newcastle, 29 Mar 1936.

Mason R. Benn had a 1st class teacher's license and seven and a half years of experience in the profession when he became principal of the Douglastown school in January 1894. He was soon reported to be making "excellent progress." He was still in charge when the school was reclassified as a superior school in 1896 and until he left the profession eight years later. He was commended for the energy and enthusiasm which he brought to the job, but business had greater appeal for him than teaching. While still a principal he advertised Funk & Wagnalls dictionaries, school supplies, and even incandescent lamps for sale. After he left the field in 1904 he was a successful insurance agent at Douglastown.

Benn and his wife, Annie B. Yorston, raised two daughters and two sons. Their son Frederick W. Benn, who served as an officer in the 26th Battalion in World War I, was wounded at Amiens and awarded the Military Cross in 1918. Later he was an insurance company executive in Halifax and Montreal.

Sources

[b] census (day and month); tombstone [m] official records [d] Advocate 1 Apr 1936 / Advocate 27 Dec 1899, 16 Jan 1901, 4 Jan 1905; Educ. report 1894, 1902-03; PPMP (re. Frederick W. Benn)


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