56 Howland Street

56 Howland Street, Provincetown (2009), by David W. Dunlap. 
William Henry Young, by Volian Rann. King Hiram's Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.Benson Young & Downs Insurance Agency

Benson Young & Downs is one of the oldest operating businesses in town, dating to the turn of the 20th century. It is the amalgam of three separate businesses: the S. J. Benson Insurance Agency of Provincetown, the William H. Young Insurance Agency of Provincetown and the Downs Insurance Agency of Wellfleet. It is still in both towns and now has an office in Harwich Port as well.

The oldest constituent in the trio is the Young agency, founded in 1901-02 by William Henry Young (1871-1942), one of those remarkable figures whose fingers were in every civic pie. “No one man has done more to promote the life of the village in its various relations to banking, business, art, religion, lodge activities, the fishing industry and the growing tourist business of recent years,” The New Bedford Standard Times said in 1929.

Advertisement in The Provincetown Advocate, 18 October 1962.

Young, who lived at 10 Carver Street, was the first president of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum in 1914, a post he retained until 1936. He was also president of the Seamen’s Savings Bank, 276 Commercial Street, in whose building his agency had its office in the early days. And he was grand master of King Hiram’s Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Mason. It was for his son, Lewis A. Young, that the Provincetown post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars was named.

Sivert J. Benson (±1895-1966) was a deputy customs collector before founding his insurance agency. He also owned the Kalmar Village development just over the Truro in Beach Point. • Assessor’s Online Database ¶ Posted 2013-02-10

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