Benton Ressler
Courtesy of Barry Ressler
Born: February 18, 1897 in Austria

Died: May 29, 1963 at the Hotel Saranac

Married: Dorothy Fisher

Benton Crewes Ressler was an actor and stockbroker who came to Saranac Lake for the fresh air cure in 1938 and stayed for 25 years. He first resided at 38 Franklin Avenue and was seen by Dr. Charles C. Trembley.  He lived at 96 Park Avenue in 1948 and at 60 Park Avenue in 1954.

He wrote for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, and was involved in many community service organizations: he served as Executive Secretary of the Adirondack Park Association. He served as Vice-Chairman of the Saranac Lake War Bond Drive in 1944, and as campaign director for the Franklin County chapter of the National Campaign for Infantile Paralysis in 1945.  He was a patient at Will Rogers Hospital in 1960.  And he was a founding member of the Shamus Club, and served as its President.

He was a friend of Vernon Castle (of the Vernon and Irene Castle dance team). They enlisted together in the British Royal Flying Corp in 1916. He also wrote a one-act play,"Oh!! Mary!!!" that he copyrighted in 1920.


The photo is from a theater production at the Chicago Lake State Majestic Theater, taken at the February 4th 1927 performance.  Benton played the grandson of his dowager grandmother who was very unhappy that her grandson married a Paris Cabaret singer that he met at the front. The play title was, “When he came back.” Courtesy of Barry ResslerAdirondack Daily Enterprise, January 17, 1948

POLIO CLINIC DEDICATED AT MALONE TODAY

March of Dimes chairmen from a dozen Franklin county towns gathered at Malone today for ceremonies at 3 o’clock dedicating the new infantile paralysis treatment clinic in the Alice Hyde hospital.

Guests of honor at the ceremonies and Elks club luncheon preceding were Dr. C. C. Trembley, George H. LaPan, Charles Cowan and Benton C. Ressler, all of Saranac Lake, home of the Franklin county chapter of the Infantile Paralysis Foundation.

The Polio Clinic is a new brick building connected to the Alice Hyde hospital by a ramp. Containing 15 beds, the wing was recently renovated and furnished through funds raised by the Franklin County Polio chapter...


Adirondack Daily Enterprise, January 26, 1948

$4500 Is Lacking In Saranac Lake Dimes Drive Goal

$1500 has been donated towards the $6000 quota for Saranac Lake in the annual drive of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. Extending officially from Jan. 15-30, local workers under the guidance of Benton Ressler, Franklin county chairman, intensified their efforts to raise the desperately needed sum.

In pointing out the necessity for reaching the $6,000 Saranac Lake goal and $20,000 Franklin county quota of the “March of Dimes” drive, Mr. Ressler described the fight of respirator patients at the Children’s Hospital School in Baltimore, Md.

“This center,” he explained, “is financed by chapters of the National Foundation, which pay the expenses of chronic polio patients they send there. It was set up in March, 1946, by the Maryland chapter when it contributed $25,000 towards establishing the respirator center in Children's Hospital School...”

Mr. Ressler pointed out that this year's funds from Franklin county would go towards equipping the basement of the Alice Hyde hospital in Malone with vehicles for physical therapy in the polio fight. Previous county donations have made possible the establishment of a polio clinic to serve Franklin county.


Benton C. Ressler who was named general chairman for the VFW encampment to be held in Saranac Lake, June 19-22, 1949.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, December 8, 1948
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, August 14, 1948

Mrs. Benton C. Ressler and her sister, Mrs. Arthur C. Carroll, have left for their summer home at Hampton Bays, L.I., after spending ten days at the former’s home, 96 Park avenue and at Lake Willowby,Vt.


Adirondack Daily Enterprise, April 24, 1953

To The Editor

Dear Sir:

I learned the other day, with sincere regret, that the Deerwood Music Camp probably will not present Friday night concerts in Saranac Lake this season. The lack of local patronage has caused the camp to lose much money each year. We cannot afford to lose these fine musical evenings and we cannot afford to lose visits to our village by these young people and their relatives.

1. These evenings, in the eyes of our summer visitors, put Saranac Lake in a cultural class that is surpassed by few resort places.

2. We cannot afford to lose the happy hours these young people give us when they are in our village. They are the future visitors to our resort.

3. We cannot afford to lose the revenue that merchants in town receive from about 250 Deerwood people that.come in here every Friday. That is the young people, their parents and friends.

If the Concert committee can sell season tickets for artists that come here months after the tickets are sold; if a snappy salesman can sell hundreds of tickets to our merchants for a circus that isn't even in Saranac Lake, surely we can bind ourselves together and see to it that Deerwood will hold their concerts here.

If we lose the Deerwood Friday night concerts, it will be a crying shame.

--Ben Ressler


Adirondack Daily Enterprise, April 3, 1959

Officers of the Shamus Club of Saranac Lake voted to change the name of the club to the Emma Morris Milk Fund in memory of the late Mrs. William Morris. The Shamus Club was founded 15 years ago by Irving Altman and Benton Ressler to provide the children at the William Morris playground with cookies and milk twice a day during the summer months.


Adirondack Daily Enterprise, July 27, 1960

Benton Ressler, representing the Emma Morris Milk Fund, offered to supply fencing for the Morris Playground if the Village would install it. This was gratefully accepted and, on motion of Trustee John Morgan, Mr. Ressler was officially thanked for all his village activities.


Adirondack Daily Enterprise, May 31, 1963

Benton C. Ressler

Benton Crewes Ressler, who came to Saranac Lake to be cured of tuberculosis and stayed 25 years to take an active part in community affairs, was found dead in his room at the Hotel Saranac on Wednesday.

He was born Feb. 18, 1897 in Austria, son of Maurice and Pauline Leonard Ressler. He was graduated from Erasmus Hall in Brooklyn and attended the University of Toronto. During World War I he saw action overseas with the ambulance corps and the Royal Canadian Flying Corps from 1914 to 1918.

When he returned to the United States he played in the theater until 1927 and then started the B. C. Ressler and Co., brokerage firm on Wall Street. When his health failed in 1938 he came to Saranac Lake.

In 1923 Mr. Ressler was married in New York City to Dorothy Fisher who survives him. A brother, Nate of New York City, also survives.

He was a member of the Adirondack Mt. Lodge, F&AM, the Saranac Lake Rotary Club and Elks Clubs, the American Legion and was active in drives for the March of Dimes, War bonds, Veterans Memorial home and salvage campaigns as well as Boy and Girl Scouts.

In 1955 he was named head of the “Prosperity Fund” drive of the Adirondack Park Association to pool efforts and industrial interest to attract more jobs and money to the area and to preserve the beauty of its mountains and lakes.

But the project that consumed most of his time and interest in the past few years was the Emma Morris Playground and Milk Fund. He was instrumental in having the playhouse at the playground opened. Irving Altman, treasurer of the playground milk fund, said today that contributions will be sought in Mr. Ressler's name for the fund.

Masonic and Elks services were held Thursday night at the Garden Chapel of the Keough and Son Funeral Home. His body has been taken to New York City where he will repose in the Park West Memorial Chapel at 115 W. 78th St. A funeral service and interment will be held Sunday afternoon at the Cedar Park Cemetery in Emerson, N. J.


Syracuse Post Standard, May 31, 1963

B. C. Ressler Dies; Former CC President

SARANAC LAKE Benton C. Ressler, 66, of Saranac Lake former actor and stockbroker, was found dead Wednesday afternoon in Hotel Saranac where he resided for the past few months. Death was attributed to natural causes.

The body was sent Thursday night to the Park West Memorial Chapel in New York City. Services will be Sunday.

Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Dorothy Fisher Ressler, and a brother, Nathan, of  New York City.

Mr. Ressler was born in Austria Feb. 18, 1897. He came to Saranac Lake about 1936. He became active in many civic pursuits and for a time headed the Saranac Lake Chamber of Commerce and was affiliated with the Adirondack Park Association in its early years.

He was among the founders of the Shamus Club in Saranac Lake, a group of men who raised money each year for the cookie and milk fund at the Saranac Lake playgrounds, William Morris Park and Baldwin Park. This organization is now known as the Emma Morris Milk Fund and at his death Mr. Ressler was president of it. The fund contributed to provide money for cookies and milk and was used occasionally to purchase play equipment for the children.

Mr. Ressler was a member of the Saranac Lake Rotary Club, the Elks Club and the Whiteface Mt. Lodge, F & AM.


Adirondack Daily Enterprise, August 28, 1969

BALDWIN PARK PROGRAM

The Rotary Club of Saranac Lake will provide, in memory of Ben Ressler, ice cream and soda for the closing program at Baldwin Park Friday afternoon. A king and queen, selected by children who play at the park, will be crowned.