Hale, Benjamin E.

Born: 1809-12-06 Massachusetts

Died: 1877-12-04 Brooklyn, New York

Benjamin E. Hale was a Congregational minister, newspaper editor and publisher, temperance advocate, and businessman. In June 1833, Hale became the editor and publisher of the People’s Advocate and Commercial Gazette, a newspaper based in Newburyport, Massachusetts. In November 1833, Hale married Martha Ann Davis, with whom he had at least four children. Hale continued to edit and publish the People’s Advocate, but the paper’s proclivities toward the Democratic Party prevented it from gaining a strong financial foundation, and Hale discontinued its publication after a year. Hale became a Congregational minister and occupied the pastorate at churches in several Massachusetts towns. He became interested in temperance, delivering many lectures on the evils of drink. When poor eyesight forced Hale to give up the ministry, he moved to Hartford, Connecticut, where he opened an insurance company. In March 1854, Martha D. Hale died, and soon thereafter, Benjamin moved to Beloit, Wisconsin, where he resumed the ministry and took a position with the Rock River Paper Company, manufacturing paper bags and other products. Hale married Sarah D. Lincoln, with whom he had two children. From January 1856 to April 1859, Hale was editor and proprietor of the Beloit Journal, a Republican Party newspaper. In 1860, he was living in Beloit and owned $5,000 in real estate and $3,000 in personal property. During the Civil War, he was deeply involved in troop recruitment to enable Rock County to meet its recruiting quota. After the war, he moved his business operations to New York.

Wisconsin State Journal (Madison), 7 December 1877, 1:1; John J. Currier, History of Newburyport, Mass. 1764-1905 (Newburyport, MA: John J. Currier, 1906), 1:514-15; New York, U.S., Marriage Newspaper Extracts, 1801-1880 (Barber Collection) , 14 November 1833 (Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, 2005); Walter S. Adams, “George Ellery Hale 1868-1938,” Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences 21 (1939), 181; The History of Rock County, Wisconsin (Chicago: Western Historical, 1879), 401-2, 471, 618; Report and Collections on the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, For the Years 1877, 1878, and 1879 (Madison: David Atwood, 1879), 464; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Beloit, Rock County, WI, 99; Gravestone, Martha Davis Hale, Spring Grove Cemetery, Hartford, CT; Gravestone, Benjamin E. Hale, Spring Grove Cemetery, Hartford, CT.