Remains of a young member of the John Warren Brandon family were formally re-interred at the site of the Children’s Art Center in downtown Benton in a brief ceremony on Oct. 23, with several relatives in attendance.
Benton businessman Bill Morgan, a retired Air Force brigadier general, gave the small group assembled a brief genealogy of ancestors to the deceased, noting that he is related to the Brandon family on his mother’s side.
Earlier in private he had explained, “My grandmother’s father, John Bearden, was the one that deeded 50 acres of land for the county seat,” he said. A plaque at the Plaza describes how Bearden’s gift was used when Marshall County “was carved out of Calloway County” in 1842.
A childhood relationship of Morgan’s to the actual site was disclosed when during his remarks at the ceremony he pointed to the intersection of 12th Street and Elm, smiled, and said, “I used to play in that corner over there.”
While the construction of the center’s parking lot was halted when the remains were discovered, Morgan was gracious when he spoke of recent events.
“I’m sorry for the delay,” he said, but he appreciated the way the community handled the situation. City officials hired archaeologist Dr. Kenneth Carstens of Murray State University in early September to direct the investigation.
“The sensitivity to the situation has been so apparent,” Morgan said. “Everyone has done an outstanding job.”
Also present at the ceremony were Patty Oakley, president of the Marshall County Arts Commission; Ann Riley, president-elect for 2015; and George Milam, on the commission’s board. Oakley said she could not give a date for when the construction will be finished.
“We’re still working on the inside,” she said. “We hope by the end of the year.”