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BABCOCK, BRENTON D.

BABCOCK, BRENTON D. (2 Oct. 1830-9 Jan. 1906), was an entrepreneur, mayor of Cleveland (1887-88), and founder of Cleveland's Scottish Rite Masonry. Born in Adams, N.Y., to William and Elvira (Gaylord) Babcock, he attended Adams Seminary and graduated from Watertown College, N.Y. In 1855, he became a clerk with the Erie Railroad Co. in Buffalo, coming to Cleveland in 1865 as a bookkeeper for Cross, Payne & Co., a local coal dealership. Staying in the coal industry, Babcock became a partner in Chard & Babcock in 1869; then in 1875 became a traveling salesman for the firm of Tod, Morris, & Co., which three years later became Babcock, Morris, & Co. Babcock joined the Freemasons in 1859, rising to a 33rd degree Mason and becoming a member of the Supreme Council for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the USA. He served as grand commander of the Knights Templar of Ohio, as well as the Oriental Commandery. He was high priest of the chapter, member of the Royal Order of Scotland, and founder of the Scottish Rite. The Democratic party nominated Babcock as its mayoral candidate to defeat Republican Wm. M. Bayne in 1886. As mayor, Babcock supported reorganizing the city government on the Federal Plan, but otherwise served only as a titular leader. On 6 Nov. 1867, Babcock married Elizabeth C. Smith (1837-1926) of Buffalo. They had no children. In 1900 the Babcocks donated several hundred volumes to the Adams Free Library, N.Y. The Babcock private library was donated to the Masonic Temple Assoc. of Cleveland. Babcock died in Cleveland and was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.