Chasing Ancestors Through Benton County
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Benton County
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Benton County Courthouse - Camden Tennessee

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HISTORY OF BENTON COUNTY

Goodspeeds History of Tennessee

Introduction to the Resources of Tennessee, Volume 2
    Bureau of Agriculture, Joseph Buckner Killebrew 1874

PATSY CLINE
Benton County is the site where country music stars Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas, Hawkshaw Hawkins and pilot Randy Hughes tragically lost their lives in a 1963 plane crash.

Settlements in Benton County Tennessee began about 1819-20. The first settlers being William/Willis and Dennis Rushing on Rushing Creek, six miles north of Camden. The next was by Nicholas and Lewis Browers in 1820 on Randall Creek, twelve miles from Camden, Thomas and William Minnis on Bird Song Creek in 1820. Benton County was formed in 1835 from Humphreys and Henry Counties, named for Thomas H. Benton. At Tranquility Postoffice, on the state route from Memphis to Nashville, and in the house of Samuel H. Burton, the county was organized on February 7, 1836. Camden, the county seat was located in December 1836 on land occupied by a squatter named John Jackson. The population in 1913 was 12,452 people.

Benton County was formed in 1835 from part of Humphreys County. It was named in honor of David Benton (1779-1860), who was a member of the Third Regiment, Tennessee Militia in the Creek war and an early settler in the county. Benton County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of 2000, the population is 16,537. The 2005 Census Estimate placed the population at 16,467 [1]. Its county seat is Camden[1]. Benton County is located in northwest Tennessee, bordering the western branch of the Tennessee River and 30 miles south of the Kentucky border. Aside from Camden, other major communities include agrarian communities Big Sandy and Holladay. It is known well in the area for its duck hunting and fishing industries, and in the past, was recognized for sorghum production, although it is no longer produced there.

Camden is the county seat; population 200.
Other towns: Chaseville, Coxburg, Big Sandy, West Danville and Eva.
Topography, broken and hilly, intersected with river and creek bottoms.
Soil: Hills argillacious, bottoms sandy and black loam.
Railroads: N., C. & St. L., and Memphis & Louisville pass through the county.
Water power: Sandy River is good. Other Btreamd for part of the year.
Timber: Abundant, oak, poplar, hickory, gum, beech, cypress and other varieties.
Manufactures: One tobacco factory, with capital of $10,000, employing 15 hands.
Educational institutions: Academy at Camden.
Religious denominations: Methodist, Baptist, Cumberland Presbyterian and Christian.
Minerals: Some iron near the TN River, and marble on Byrdsong Creek, both undeveloped.
Taxes: The rate of tax for county purposes is 20 cents per $100; school tax, 10 cents; road tax, 10 cents.

Principal agricultural products: Corn, wheat, oats, hay, cotton, tobacco, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, rye and peanuts.

Navigable streams: Tennessee River forms Eastern boundary for forty-four miles.
Other streams: Morgan's Creek, Eagle Creek, Bvrdsong Creek, Cypress Creek, Harmon's Creek, Crooked Creole, Lick Creek, Cotton's Creek, Ramble Creek, Bushing's Creek and Sugar Creek.
Hand-book of Tennessee By A. W. Hawkins, Henry E. Colton 1882

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