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Alfred Benjamin Memorial
Alfred Benjamin Memorial
TitleAlfred Benjamin Memorial
DescriptionPostcard of Alfred Benjamin Memorial
Historical ArticleThe bronze figure of a weary worker, supported by a stronger companion, who is handing him a cup of water, is the focal point of the Alfred Benjamin memorial fountain, located just east of the music pavillion in Swope Park.

The memorial to Alfred Benjamin, philanthropist, was unveiled in ceremonies at Swope Park, May 29, 1927, and was attended by hundreds of his friends, as well as hundreds who knew him only as a great friend of humanity.

Benjamin was born in Quebec, Canada, Jan. 5, 1859, son of Leon and Sarah Benjamin, who came to Kansas City in 1880. Benjamin eventually became the first vice-president of the Abernathy Furniture Co. and a director in the Duff & Repp Furniture.

Bittersweet Camp, a summer retreat three miles northeast of Independence, was one of his projects.

Benjamin's charitable contributions often amounted to half of his annual income. And he was generous with his time, as well as his money. He was prominent in the establishment of Swope Settlement, and the Young Men's Hebrew Association and was an ardent supporter of the Kansas City symphony orchestra. His gifts provided for the Alfred Benjamin Dispensary of the Jewish Educational Institute. He was one of the original organizers of the United Campaign and remained active on the Chamber of Commerce Charities Committee up to the time of his death, July 18, 1923. Large bequests were left to the charities which he had helped found and fostered.

The marble memorial fountain and bronze figures were the design of F.H. Packer, New York sculptor. The fountain was erected four years after Benjamin's death, with funds given by his friends, following his death. Inscribed in the stone base are these words: In memory of Alfred Benjamin -- whose noble deeds enshrined him in the hearts of his fellowmen.

A Kansas City Star editorial at the time of his death stated: He was of the highest type of citizenship, as an adopted but 100 percent American, as a Jew and as a Kansas Citian, always scorning to be narrowly racial, but always true to the ideas of the great race he so ably represented.

Kansas City Times
May 29, 1981

AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
LocationSC58
Local SubjectStatues
Monuments
Alfred Benjamin Memorial
Digital FormatJPEG
Barcode20000522
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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