Benton County

Willis Rushing

Willis Rushing, brother of Dennis, was born about 1792 in Anson County, North Carolina. He died in Benton County, Tennessee in May 1853. He was the first permanent settler of Benton County, Tennessee 'selecting land on Rushing Creek (named for him and others of the Rushings there about), several miles north of Camden in 1818. His grandson, Robert (Greasy Bob, by nickname, a powerfully built hunter) Rushing told county historian, J. D. Melton, many years ago that when his grandfather first came to the county it was as a hunter before the Chickasaw Cession of 1818. That, there were a few Indians living on Rushing's Creek, perhaps half-breeds, some of that time. The white men would trade their tobacco for Indian goods, thereby incurring their goodwill. In fact, Willis Rushing used an old Indian building as a place to store tobacco on his own farm for years. An article in the Camden Chronicle, issue of August 26, 1910, establishes well that Willis Rushing came to the county in 1818. He would have built a rude dwellig first and may have brought his family 'over' from Stewart County shortly before his daughter's (Lucinda's) birth in the spring of 1819."

From "Taproots; A Virginia and Carolina Legacy" by Paul R. White

[Paragraph below quoted in the book "Historic Benton" by Jonathan T. K. Smith, p 221)
Having come from North Carolina, the Rushings lived first in Stewart County, Tennessee. While there, Willis Rushing served from November 13, 1814 to May 13, 1815 in Captain James Gray's company of militia from that county, Colonel John Cock's 2nd regiment, Tennessee Infantry (as also did Dennis and Abel Rushing); seeing service in the 1812 war. Willis Rushing acquired a large acreage along Rushing Creek, owned slaves; in time built a brick tavern on the Reynoldsbrug road. This was called Brick House (demolished about 1871). He was married to Mary (Polly) Rasberry, who died in 1862. They are buried in the family graveyard on the old homeplace, in what is called the Hudson Cemetery. The list of Willis and Mary Rushing's children is given in Chancery Court Enrollment Book 1, pp. 57-98; births as given in the W.C. Rushing Bible, published in Philadelphia, 1849, by James A. Bill, No. 243 Market Street. This book is now owned by Mrs. Ruth P. Lockhart of Camden. These children were: Robert, Richard P., S. J., Elizabeth, Lucinda, Alfred, Mary Ann, Willis Crawford, John H., and Arabella."

Contributed by Robert Ayres at Rootsweb World Connect
Note; The 1997 "Cemetery Listings of Benton County Tennessee" p 345 lists Willis' grave as 'unmarked grave' and gives dates 'ca 1792 - 1853'. Polly's grave is not listed, but it is noted that there are many other unmarked graves in the cemetery.