NEWELL ALDRICH THOMPSON 1808-1874
Deputy Grand Master, 1867
From Proceedings, Page 1874-52:
Whereas by the dispensations of our Heavenly Father, which are always wise and full of tenderness and loving kindness to all the children of men, we are called upon to confront and deplore the absence of our friend and Brother Newell A. Thompson, who through the unchangeable law of nature has been translated from this to another and higher sphere ; and whereas we desire to testify our respect for his memory and our regard for his many amiable qualities and virtues; therefore
Resolved, That this Grand Lodge in the death of R. W. Newell A. Thompson is deprived of an estimable Brother, who for many years has endeared himself to the members of the Craft, and on whom she has conferred some of the highest honors in her gift; honors that were always worn worthily and. well.
Resolved, That though in parting with this loved Brother and courteous gentleman, our hearts are filled with sadness, yet we feel sustained and soothed as we recognize and remember his noble qualities as a man and true-hearted friend; his zeal and attachment to this ancient Institution ; and the universal sentiment of respect for him entertained by society. We feel cheered and comforted as we consider and believe, that earth is not man's abiding place, and that as the years pass away, we shall, one by one, be gathered to his side and join the illustrious departed of this Grand Body who have gone before.
Resolved, That the family and relatives of our deceased Brother are remembered in their sorrow, and we tender to them our kindest sympathies. All of which is respectfully submitted.
WILLIAM W. BAKER,
From New England Freemason, Vol. I, No. 4, April 1874, p. 193:
"As one by one the Master calls,
To those who watch and wait—"
So repeatedly are we reminded of the uncertainty of life, and so are we often inexorably led to remember that we all, slowly, perhaps, but surely, are following in the footsteps of those who have gone before. In our first number, we made the painful announcement of the death of R. W. Charles W. Moore, and it is with renewed sorrow that in this issue we record the death of another dearly loved friend and Brother, who died at his residence in Boston, on Friday, April 10, at the age of sixty-five years. Ilis malady was a disease of the brain. It was evident from the commencement that the result could easily be foretold. It was also evident that it had been slowly progressing for some time past, though ho was confined to his house but about two weeks. So much has already been written and published of his life and character that it seems superfluous to repeat it here. We will, therefore, content ourselves with a brief statement.
Newell Aldrich Thompson was born in Uxbridge, Mass., Dec. 2, 1808. His early education was such as was afforded by the common schools of the time, and was of the simplest. In 1829, he came to Boston, alone and unassisted, to seek his fortune. He soon succeeded in obtaining a situation in the law office of the late John Heard. During seven years, in addition to his usual and prescribed labor, he gained by persevering study a knowledge of the law, and to such an extent that, in 1836, he was enabled to commence practice ; which, however, he Boon relinquished for other pursuits. Eventually he became an auctioneer, his specialty being real estate, in which business he has acquired, we believe, a competency. Our Bro. John McClellan has been constantly associated with Bro. Thompson for the past twenty-eight years, including twelve years as a partner. Bro. Thompson was initiated into Masonry in Columbian Lodge, Feb. 20, 1845, and received his degrees at the hand of the venerable Brother R. W. Geo. G. Smith, in company with R. W. Bros. John T. Heard and William W. Baker. R. W. Bro. John McClellan, present Grand Treasurer, had received his degrees in the same Lodge, in the previous year, and it is a noteworthy fact that the three Brethren above named sat with Bro. Thompson at the last Communication of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Bro. Thompson believing the post of honor to be the private station, rarely took office. He was Commander-in- chief of Boston Consistory in 1863, Dist. Dep. G. Master of the 12th Masonic District in 1864, 1865 and 1866, and in 1867 was, by Grand Master Dame, appointed Deputy Grand Master. In 1862, he was elected to the exalted position of S. G. I. G. of the 33d and last degree of the A. & A. Rite.
It might be out of place here to enumerate the different political, military and social positions held by our late Brother, at various times, in the last forty years. Suffice it to say that whatever he undertook to do, he did well. He never disappointed his constituents, and whenever he accepted a position they felt confident that the duties of the office would be performed, in a faithful and conscien¬ tious manner. But it was not only as one whom the people delighted to honor that Bro. Thompson appeared to advantage. From the nature of his business, he acquired much experience in connection with wills, mortgages, conveyances, and other transfers of real property, and we know that to many a poor man, widow and orphan, he has given freely and readily the otherwise costly advice or information. His charity and generosity were universally known and distinguished the man.
If there is such a being as a self-made man, Bro. Thompson was emphatically one. Thrown upon the world at an early age, and left dependent on his own resources, he early learned to "grapple with those twin jailors of the daring heart, low birth and iron fortune," and nobly did he come out of the contest: indomitable will and perseverance prevailed; industry and application were amply rewarded; and, envied by none, he rose to that prominent position in society which he has worthily maintained for so many years. The multifarious offices, heaped upon him by his fellow citizens, the respect so freely conceded to him through life, the deep sorrow felt at his death and the tender affection that attaches to his memory, show how strong was the tie that bound him to his friends.
The services at the grave were in charge of Revere Lodge, of which Bro. Thompson was a Charter member, having assisted at its formation in 1855. He was made an honorary member in 1872. The services were conducted in an impressive manner by the chaplain, Rev. Charles H. Titus.