H. Benne Henton

Photo added by Rachel Keller

H. Benne Henton

Shelby County, Illinois, USA
Death 9 Jul 1938 (aged 60)
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot Sec. K Lot 35, 36, 49, 50, Boardman Crypt
Memorial ID 67436277 · View Source
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Benjamin H. aka H. Benne Henton is the son of Isaiah Henton
and Susan A. Freshwater. Susan born 1838 in Ohio and died June 6, 1904 in Shelby Co., Illinois. Isaiah and Susan were married in 1858.

Siblings of H. Benne Henton are:

Dora A. 1859 [William Oaks]
Alice M. 1861-1940 [Elias Miller]
Minnie A. 1862-1945 [Electious Downs]
Rachel A. 1863
John Rodney 1866-1951 [Gertrude Richardson]

Benne first married Maggie A. Vickroy Feb 28, 1909.
Benne married Mabel Jane Vickers [1894] daughter of George W. Vickers and Mary Boardman in 1915. After Benne's death Mabel married Ernest Brown a trombonist and good friend and musician associate of Benne.

1930 census records show Benne and Mabel in Philadelphia and at that time Benne was co-owner of the Henton-Knecht Music Store. His brother John R. Henton is also on the 1930 census in Philadelphia and employed at the music store.

Benne was a world famous saxophonist who played with the likes of John P. Sousa and as well was a composer.

SOLOS WITH CONCERT BAND AND CONCERT BAND WITH STRINGS Great Sousa soloist of 1919 - 1920. Historic! The very first recording of a saxophonist playing up into the altissimo range by the first American born saxophone virtuoso. Many different settings. This is H. Benne Henton's complete existing recorded output. Truly, an unforgettable artist and poet of the saxophone. His approach was based on the great operatic singers and violinists of that time. With a vibrant sound - more a voice than a tone - he sings with great command and lyrically floats over the orchestra. Includes probable performances with Sousa conducting his Band.

H. Benne Henton: Sousa Soloist (1919-1920)

Prior to Sousa:
·Born in Shelbyville, Illinois in 1877.
·Began his musical career on clarinet. Joined the Ringling Brothers Circus Band.
·By 1903 decided to play the saxophone.
·In 1904 appeared, with three other saxophonists, in the first American
performance of Sinfonia Domestica by Richard Strauss at Carnegie Hall.
·Was a soloist with Kryl's and Conway's bands between 1906 and 1916.
·Between 1910 and 1918 recorded several of his own compositions on
numerous cylinders and discs for Victor and Edison record companies.
·Was referred to as the "Paganini of the Saxophone."
·Was recorded playing into the altissimo register in 1911.
As a soloist with the Sousa Band:
·Showed up for two days of rehearsal beginning on June 11, 1919 in New York.
·His first solo appearance wasn't until June 30 during a tour of Canada.
·Throughout the summer engagements, Henton played solos nearly every day.
·Between June 30 and Sept. 14, Henton made 46 solo appearances.
·Performed ten different works including six that he had written or arranged.
·The 12th Transcontinental Tour began on 9/15/19, continuing until 1/10/20.
·Henton made 73 solo appearances during the long tour and for the first time in Sousa Band history, a saxophone ensemble was featured during concerts.
·One infamous concert took place on January 5, 1920 in which nearly all of the band went on "strike." Henton was scheduled to play a solo, as usual, but did not attend the concert. Nearly all of that band was fired for their actions. Henton, though he was famous and drew good crowds, was never invited back to play with the Sousa Band.
After Sousa:
·Continued to perform and teach saxophone mostly in Philadelphia, PA.
·Began a music store and teaching studio dedicated to the needs of
saxophonists with fellow Sousa Band member, Al Knecht. By 1924 the Henton-Knecht Conservatory had over 200 saxophone students.
·Developed his own mouthpiece.
·Nothing is known of his activities after May of 1925.
·H. Benne Henton died in 1938.

**Burial of Benne**.
Benne is buried in the underground vault of the Boardman Family. This vault belongs to the family of Mable Boardman Henton's family. I have been told by cemetery management this vault holds 8 graves, four on each side. It is accessed by a ladder underground and only opened for a burial. It is brick inside with shelves for the caskets.
No names on the outside except the Boardman name.

Family Members


Cemetery records show Benne is buried in an underground vault that was originally purchased by John Boardman in 1907. There are no names listed outside of the crypt except Boardman however he is listed on the 1938 burial book per cemetery records researched in April 2014.
From the description of the vault it is over 40 feet deep, all the walls are bricked, and shelves hold the burials. There is a cover over the crypt that was lifted last in 2001 for a burial of Harry H Boardman.
**Mabel Jane Vickers, Benne's wife, is the connection to the Boardman Burial Crypt. Her mother was Mary J. Boardman, whose father was John Boardman the purchaser and builder of this crypt.**

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  • Created by: Rachel Keller
  • Added: 25 Mar 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial 67436277
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for H. Benne Henton (23 Oct 1877–9 Jul 1938), Find a Grave Memorial no. 67436277, citing North Cedar Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Rachel Keller (contributor 46608704) .