Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The (Benyon) Family - Brighton Massachusetts - Auburndale Mansion - 1872 - Artist George Henry Story

The Family - by George Henry Story
(Public Domain)

The great 19th century successful American Middle Class grand family portrait painting – “The Family” by Artist George Henry Story is said to be of the Boston banker Abner Ingalls Benyon's family, and said to be painted in 1872 in the Benyon Mansion in Auburndale Massachusetts.

Public records show the Benyon family situated in Brighton Mass. where all their children were born.

The year 1872 seems to be highpoint in Abner Ingalls Benyon’s banking career with a listing at the National Exchange Bank as both president and a director in 1872, having working his way up through the ranks first as a Paying Teller in 1856 at this same bank and along the way working as a Cashier, next step up in the banking business, in 1862 at the Brighton Market Bank in Brighton Mass..

The year 1872 saw Abner Benyon named as Vice President of a new Homoeopathic Medical School also operating as the Medical Department of Boston College. This alongside his other duties as one time Treasurer and long term Trustee of same college / university 1872-1883.

Abner Benyon, with a middle name of Ingalls that matches a middle name of the brother in law of the artist, Hannibal Ingalls Kimball, the commission for the painting may have come through a family connection.

Mr. Benyon was all the talk of the east coast in 1882 when he quickly migrated to Canada and Mexico and back to Canada after indictments of embezzlement against him were about to be delivered on him in his then position as president of the Pacific National Bank Boston.

Abner Ingalls Benyon born 1832, died in Toronto in 1888 and is buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery Cambridge Mass..

In Brighton –
Abner Ingalls  Benyon married to Ruthanna J Towne
George Henry Benyon  1857-1926
Carrie L Benyon  Dec 4 1860 – Apr 5 1866
Arthur Ingalls Benyon  Mar 17 1863 - 1903
John W Benyon – dates ?
Elizabeth Benyon – dates ?
Luther Benyon – dates ?
Abner Benyon – dates ?

Presumed Tags to Figures in Painting Above:
1 - George Henry Benyon
2 - Abner Ingalls Benyon 
3 - Arthur Ingalls Benyon
4 - John W Benyon
5 - Ruthanna J Benyon
6 - Baby Abner Benyon (?)
7 - Elizabeth Benyon
8 - Luther Benyon (?)
9 – Unidentified Relative
10- Unidentified Relative
11- (Presumed) Grandmother Towne (?) or Benyon (?)
12- (Presumed) Carrie L Benyon Dec 4 1860 – Apr 5 1866

January 6, 2018
Suggested name tags per e-mail:


Carolyn Stearns said...

The painting resides at Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy in MA. It is on my schedule to visit this summer.

Franklin Benyon Jr said...

If the key is correct then #8 Luther would be my grandfather.

serpent's tooth said...

#8 is too young to be Luther, Luther Benyon was born in 1864 and died in 1943

David G. said...

What about Charles?

Anonymous said...

Abner Ingalls Benyon 2 OCT 1832 25 MAR 1888
Ruthannah J. Towne Benyon 18 MAY 1831 21-Aug-1915
Elisabeth L. Benyon 1 JUN 1853 12-Apr-1905
Emma Benyon 1 JUN 1853 7 JUN 1853
George Henry Benyon 21 JAN 1857 10-May-1926
Carrie Lowell Benyon 21 MAY 1858 15 APR 1866
female 4 DEC 1860 4 DEC 1860
Gertrude Ellsworth Benyon 4 DEC 1861 8 FEB 1890
Arthur Ingalls Benyon 17 MAR 1863 23-May-1903
Luther Towne Benyon 1 DEC 1864 13-Oct-1943
John Forster Benyon 24 APR 1867 8-Aug-1934
Abner E Benyon 8 JUN 1869 unknown
male 10 NOV 1871 10 NOV 1871
Franklin Parker Benyon 14-Feb-1905 26 MAY 1897
male 10 OCT 1874 10 OCT 1874
Charles H Benyon 29 OCT 1876 6-Mar-1922

Anonymous said...

Charles H Benyon sitting in the high chair was my great grandfather ;)
The painting is very beautiful and you can call the academy and request a private viewing.
Nance Pearson Wynn