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Welcome to Benton County MS
History and Genealogy
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Benton County is located in the extreme north central part of the State on the Tennessee border. It has a land surface of 409 square miles. It originally formed a part of the counties of Marshall and Tippah and was erected into a separate county July 15, 1870, during the administration of Governor Alcorn. The name of Senator Thomas H. Benton of Missouri is perpetuated in its name.* Its early annals are identical with those of the region from which it was taken and may be best studied elsewhere in this work. The original act defined its limits as follows: "Beginning at a point on the boundary between the States of Mississippi and Tennessee where it is intersected by the line between ranges one and two, west; thence south on section lines to the southwest comer of section 6, twp. 3, range 1 west; thence due east on section lines to the southeast corner of section 4, twp. 3, range 1 west; thence due south on section lines to the southwest corner of section 3, twp. 6, range 1 west; thence east to the basis Meridian; thence north on said Meridian line to the line between twps. 5 and 6; thence due east on said twp. line to the southeast corner of section 33, twp. 5, range 2 east; thence due north on section lines to the southeast corner of section 16, twp. 3, range 2 east; thence due east on sections lines to the southeast corner of section 13, twp. 3, range 2 east; thence due north on range line between ranges two and three to the southeast corner of twp. 2, range 2 east; thence due east on twp. lines to the southeast corner of section 31, twp. 2, range 3 east; thence due north on section lines to the Tennessee State line; thence due west on said State line to the beginning." These original boundaries have not been changed.
One of the early settlements of this county, but now extinct, was Lamar, situated about midway between Lagrange, Tenn., and Holly Springs, Miss. It gave its name to the town on the railroad two miles east. Col. Timmons L. Treadwell was the leading merchant and planter of the village, and his sons are now prominent merchants in Memphis. In this rich agricultural section of the county were many wealthy planters such as Capt. Wm. Coopwood, Thomas Mull, Col. Chas. L. Thomas, and Judge A. M. Clayton. Here were also found the Smiths, Hendrons, Chainers, Rooks, Rhineharts, Gormans, Dr. Cummings, Col. A. R. Govan, Dr. Hardaway, John Dabney and Wm. Hull. The site of Lamar is now a cultivated field. Ashland, the county seat, is situated at the center of the county and is a small town of 162 inhabitants, named for the home of Henry Clay. Besides Ashland, there are a number of other small towns in the county, the more important of which are Lamar and Michigan City on the Illinois Central railroad, and Hickory Flat, Maxy, Hamilton and Austerlitz. The general surface of the county is level on the creek and river bottoms and the other portions are rolling and hilly. It has 64,844 acres of improved farms, most of the remaining lands being well timbered with oak, hickory, poplar, black walnut, beech, pine, elm, gum, chestnut, cypress, etc. The soil, speaking generally, is that common to the so called "yellow loam region," the lower hillsides and the bottom lands being the more fertile, while the soil of the uplands is frequently sandy and of light texture. It is usually light colored and where a clay subsoil exists, the soil is durable and subject to a high state of cultivation, producing good crops of corn, hay, oats, wheat, rye, barley, sweet and Irish potatoes, sorghum and most varieties of fruits and vegetables. Two lines of railway intersect Benton county, the Illinois Central in the extreme northwestern corner and the Kansas City, Memphis & Birmingham along its southern border, and afford it fairly good transportation facilities. The principal streams which water its area are Wolf river in the northern part, and Tippah river, a tributary of the Tallahatchie, in the southern part. Some good beds of marl and lignite have been found in the county and should not be forgotten in estimating the natural resources of Benton. The region is already attracting many northerners and more are sure to follow in the near future, attracted by its soil, climate and great natural resources.
A study of the last census returns for 1900 yields the following data. The total number of farms in the county was 1,867; the total number of acres in farms 216,101, of which 64,844 acres were improved ; the total value of the land exclusive of buildings was $638,710; value of the buildings $280,070; value of the live stock $345,528, and the value of the products not fed to stock $634,641. A small beginning has been made in manufactures, as the following data from the same source will show: The total number of establishments was 29, with a capital of $37,505, paying wages to the amount of $5,063, using materials to the value of $28,147 and producing products to the value of $47,675. The total assessed valuation of real and personal property in the county in 1905 was $749,169 and in 1906 it was $1,002,146, which shows an increase during the year of $252,997. The white population of the county in 1900 was 5,310, colored, 5,200, total, 10,510, an increase over 1890 of 75. The population has not increased to any extent since the last census.
*The Origin of Certain Place Names in Miss. By Henry Gannett.

[Source: Encyclopedia of Mississippi History Vo1 1. Pub 1907 by Dunbar Rowland LL.D.]


Cities, Towns & Villages
Ashland -- Canaan -- Snow Lake Shores -- Hickory Flat -- Lamar -- Winborn -- Michigan City


Online Data

Biographies

Births

Cemeteries

Census

Church Histories/Records

County Records

Court Records

Deaths

Family Bibles

Extinct Towns

Marriages

Military

Newspapers

Obituaries

Surnames

Wills/Legal Records 

Website Updates:
02 Oct 2017: Update County History (see above)
20 Mar 2015: Added Bouton Obituary
23 Aug 2013: Added 1883 Pension List
22 Jan 2013: Added 3 Biography Transcriptions
4 May 2012: Added 1 Biography Transcription
4 May 2012: Added 2 Marriage Announcements
8 Nov 2009: Added Cemetery List
Jan 2009: HUDSPETH obit; Marriages from 1881-1898; WW2 casualties
Extinct Towns; Marriage Announcements

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Benton County Addresses & Off-Site Links

Benton County Chancery Clerk
P O Box 218, Ashland, MS, 38603, Phone: (662) 224-6300, Fax: (662) 224-6303

Benton County Circuit Clerk
P O Box 262, Ashland, MS, 38603, Phone:(662) 224-6310, Fax: (662) 224-6312

Bond Memorial Library
Six Main Street, P O Box 216, Ashland, MS, 38603, Phone (662) 224-6400

Hickory Flat Library
PO Box 309, Hickory Flat, MS, 38633, Phone: (662) 333-7633

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Neighboring Counties
Marshall County
Tippah County
Union County
Fayette County, TN
Hardeman County, TN



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This page last updated on -- 02 Oct 2017

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