Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.
The Atlanta Constitution
August 18th, 1913
Mrs. A. E. Benton, grandmother of Mary Phagan, who had come to Atlanta to be present at the trial of Leo M. Frank charged with the murder of her little granddaughter, died last night at 9:40 o’clock at the home of her daughter and the dead girl’s mother Mary, J, W, Coleman, of 704 Ashby street. On the second day of the trial, grief and incessant worry over the death of her grand daughter carried Mrs. Benton to her bed, from which she was never able to rise.
During her illness she talked always of Mary and asked eagerly for any word concerning the trial. On Saturday night Mrs. Benton dreamed little dead granddaughter was living again and was in the room with her. Under that delusion she, wakened Sunday morning with words of endearment to the child upon her lips, only to remember once more the bitterness of a broken dream.
Had Dreamed of Mary.
She told her daughter, Mrs. Coleman, what she had dreamed, and described vividly to her the appearance of little Mary as she had seen her in her sleep.
“My mother’s eyes were bright when she waked Sunday morning,“ said Mrs. Coleman Sunday night, “and until I learned the cruel cause of their brightness I was sure that she was better.”
“After my mother became confined lo her bed, her one hope and prayer was that she might be spared until the end of this trial. She Is with Mary now, though, and I am sure must he far happier than If she were still here.”
Mrs. Benton” was 73 years old. Her health had never been good since the day she heard of “Mary” Phagan’s tragic end when she was prostrated from grief and unable to attend her grand-daughter’s funeral.
All Children at Bedside.
Mrs. Benton is survived by two daughters, Mrs. J, W. Coleman, of Atlanta, whom she was visiting at the time of her death, and Mrs. J. F. Barmore, of Marietta, with whom she lived. She is survived also, by four sons, Jack Benton, of Riverside, and Hardy, Thomas and Durell Benton, of Atlanta.
All of her children were at her bedside when death came, and she was conscious and able to recognize them to the end.
Though Mrs. Benton’s home was in Marietta, she will not be buried in the same cemetery there with Mary Phagan, but in Sardis graveyard, the family burying ground near Marietta. The details of the funeral had not been arranged Sunday night. The body was placed in charge of the P.J. Bloomfield Co.
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