Edward Benton (1872 - 1947)

My 2x great grandfather, Edward Benton, was born in December of 1872 in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. “Eddie” was the oldest child of Thomas Benton, Sr., a former slave and United States Colored Troop (USCT) who fought in the Civil War, and Artimease Wederstrandt, also a former slave and daughter of her former master.

To this union, three more children were born:

  1. Charles Benton (1873 – ????)
  2. Thomas Benton, Jr. (1874 – 1947)
  3. Nellie Benton (1876 – 1956)

Eddie’s father died when he was only 5 years old.  His mother bore three more children after that time:

  1. Ernest Gibbons (1880 – 1969)
  2. Katie Jackson (1891 – 1969)
  3. Maude Jackson (1893 – 1992)

On August 23, 1905, Eddie married Mary “Mamie” Penny and they moved to Gramercy, Louisiana in St. James Parish. According to his granddaughter, the late Marguerite Jackson Vernell, all their children were born in Gramercy, but their mother died unexpectedly in 1917. As a result, Eddie moved the family back to Baton Rouge, and with the help of his oldest child, Artimease Benton (who was 15 at the time), raised the younger children. 

The children born to Edward Benton and Mamie Penny were:

  1. Arthur Benton (1905 – 1907)
  2. Artimease Benton (1902 – 1992)
  3. Mamie Benton (1906 – 1996)
  4. Percy Benton (1908 – 1979)
  5. Dalton Benton (1910 – 1996)
  6. Velma Benton (1914 – 1976
  7. Ernest Benton (1915 – 1991)

Edward Benton and his brothers, according to Aunt Marguerite, were carpenters and painters by trade; a trade learned from their maternal aunt’s husband, their uncle, William G. Maddox, a white man and former Confederate Soldier, who also fought in the Civil War and was captured at the Battle of Port Hudson.

Edward Benton died on April 16, 1947 in Baton Rouge.  Aunt Marguerite recalled that day because she said her mother was styling her hair that morning for school when they received word. Her mother instructed her older brother, Edward Willis, to finish her hair. That day, Marguerite was teased all day at school.


  1. Information obtained from the oral histories of Marguerite Vernell, Dalton “J.B.” Benton, Jr. and Artimease Benton (Daughter of Percy Benton)
  2. “Marriage Index Record for Edward Benton and Mary Penny,” EBR Parish “Index to marriage licenses, v. 1 (1840-1910),” FamilySearch.org;  accessed 24 Feb 2020 
  3. Edward Benton’s Death Certificate acquired from the Louisiana State Archives on 18 Mar 2013.
  4. Mamie (Penny) Benton’s Death Certificate acquired from the Louisiana State Archives on 2 8 Apr 2013.
  5. 1880 U.S. Federal Census
  6. 1900 U.S. Federal Census
  7. “Artimease Wederstrandt Benton, “United States, General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934,” FamilySearch.org, accessed 2 Jul 2013
  8. Artimease Wederstrandt Benton, “United States Civil War Widow’s Pension File,” Archives.gov (NARA); accessed 6 Jul 2013
  9. “William Maddox Confederate Muster Roll,” Fold3.com; accessed 1 Jul 2013
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