Capt. Godfrey Rider (1797-1876).
Long before standing directly in front of this monument, any good Mason would know he was approaching the grave of an important and revered member. The broken column communicates the distinction: that the deceased left Freemasonry without one of the great supporters of the craft. Captain Rider was surely that, a great-grandson of the Benjamin Rider who had arrived in America around 1700 from England. Godfrey was the master of King Hiram’s Lodge from 1849 to 1850. He was among the citizens who donated property at the top of High Pole Hill to permit the construction of the first Town Hall. (Decades after that hall burned down, the site was reused for the Pilgrim Monument.) When Rider was serving as justice of the peace, a known hellion was brought before him. The mother pleaded for mercy on the grounds that the boy had been sick in bed at the time of the mischief that led to his arrest. “Just so,” Rider answered, “but he would have been there had he been well.” With that, the boy was bound over.
Rider and his wife, Ruth (Collins) Rider (1798-1884), had two sons: Godfrey Rider (1824-1833) and the Rev. William Henry Ryder (1822-1888), a well-known Universalist clergyman who spent most of his adult life in Chicago. William adopted the spelling of Ryder with a “y.” The younger Godfrey and his wife, Phebe Nye Fuller, had a daughter and four sons, including the Rev. William Henry Rider (1846-1923), another Universalist clergyman, but one who stayed closer to home.
¶ Last updated on 8 October 2017.
Provincetown’s Historic Cemeteries and Memorials, Key O-13, Page 5.