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Silas Henry Hodges is Born

Today in Masonic History Silas Henry Hodges is born in 1804.

Silas Henry Hodges was an American civil servant.

Hodges was born in Clarendon, Vermont on January 12th, 1804. He attended Brandon Academy before attending Middlebury College where he graduated in 1821. After graduating from Middlebury College, he moved to Rutland where he read law. He was admitted to the bar and practiced in Rutland until 1832.

Hodges studied at the Auburn Theological Seminary beginning in 1833. He graduated in 1835 and was ordained a minister in the Congregational Church. Over the next six years he was the pastor of various churches in Southern Vermont before he returned to his law practice in 1841.

From 1840 to 160, Hodges served on the Middlebury College Board of Trustees. During the same time, he was elected State Auditor from 1845 to 1850. From 1852 to 1853 he served as the United States Commissioner of Patents.

In 1861, Hodges was appointed Chief Examiner at the United States Patent Office. He held at position until the time of his passing.

In 1865, Hodges was called as a character witness during the Lincoln Conspirators trial. He was called as a character witness for Marcus P. Norton. Norton testified against Samuel Mudd, the doctor who set John Wilkes Booth’s leg after he assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. Norton claimed several weeks before the assassination Mudd burst into his hotel room. He, according to Norton, then apologized and asked if he knew where to find Booth. Booth had rented a room on the floor above Norton’s. Hodges testimony was used to confirm the character of Norton and thereby validate Norton’s story.

Hodges passed away on April 21st, 1875.

Hodges was a member of Center Lodge No. 6 (now No. 34) in Rutland, Vermont.

This article provided by Brother Eric C. Steele.