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Larry Benton manuscripts

Collection number: ahc.MSS874f

Scope and Content

This collection contains two autobiographical manuscripts written by Lawrence "Larry" Benton. Most of the names of people and places in the documents are pseudonyms. The first manuscript covers his education and time working as an engineer in Atlanta in the 1930s and 40s. Specifically, he writes about his time at the Georgia School of Technology with his friends George, Jack, and Fitzie; his work as an engineer at a co-op; and his many romantic interests. The second autobiography covers Benton's time in the United States Navy Seabees in the 57th and 11th Battalions. It contains copies of letters that Benton wrote while in service, including letters he sent to his parents; letters written between him and his sister Nancy, who was also in the Navy; and letters written between him and Virginia Peirano, the personal secretary to Earle Stanley Gardner. The second manuscript contains photographs that were taken during Benton's tour of service.


  • approximately 1965, 2001


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative/Biographical History

Lawrence "Larry" Benton (1918-2006) was born in Troy, Alabama, to Johnson Crowell (1885-1957) and Henrietta S. Cronberger. He moved to Atlanta in 1920 and attended Bass Jr. High School, graduated from Tech High School in Atlanta in 1937, and attended The Georgia School of Technology between 1937 and 1939. Benton worked as an engineer at a co-op in Montezuma, Georgia while he was in school. In 1939 he started working for Robert & Company in the Bona-Allen Building in Atlanta while also studying at the Evening School from 1940-194. In 1942, Benton enlisted in the United States Navy and served in the United States Naval Construction Battalion, often called the Seabees, first in the 57th battalion between 1942 and 1944 and then in the 11th Battalion between 1944 and 1945. After the war, Benton returned to Atlanta and continued his work at Robert & Company and at Georgia Tech, where he earned a masters in engineering in mechanical engineering under the GI Bill in 1951. After graduating, Benton left Robert & Company, started work at a mechanical contractors firm, and eventually became a licensed mechanical engineer in eight states: Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Indiana, Minnesota, Kentucky, Illinois, and North Carolina. In 1948 Benton married Kathryn Elizabeth Cofer (1922-2014) and they had two daughters, Molly Benton (1961- ) and Laurie Benton Becker.


4 folder(s)



System of Arrangement

This collection is arranged alphabetically according to titles supplied by staff.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 2001

Description Control

This collection was processed in 2019.

Larry Benton manuscripts
Emma Jones
May 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305