"I Robert Clinton a justice of the
peac within and for the township of merimac in the county of gasconade do
sertify that on the 10 day of february 1827 I joined in marrag Eliga Benton to
certified by me Robert Clinton Jp"
the above document, my great-great-great grandparents, Elijah Benton and
Artemesia Medlock were wed in Gasconade County, Missouri. Their farming
families were among the earliest settlers of central Missouri. Elijah was
born in Georgia in 1806 and Artemesia in Kentucky in 1809.
very esoteric journal among genealogists, "The Pioneer History of Benton
Creek" is said to contain the following information (This book is so
esoteric I've been unable to locate a copy.).
CREEK..... It derived its name from one of the pioneer families who came to that part
of Missouri that became Crawford County about the time Crawford was taken from
Gasconade County. ......The Benton families, from whom the creek gets
its name were Elijah Benton, who married Artemis Matlock in Gasconade County
(two years before Crawford was organized) on February 10, 1827; James Benton and
his wife Mary; Abraham Benton and Mark Benton were others represented in the
naming of the Creek."
Elijah and Artemesiaís family
appear in the 1830 Federal census of Crawford County, the 1840 census of Pulaski
County and the 1850 census of Dallas County. It is possible this was one
residence due to changing county names and lines. Elijah was listed as a farmer.
His family in 1850 consisted of, in addition to Artemesia, George (b. 1834),
Frank (b. 1836), Carolina (b.1837), Berry F. (b.1840), Harmon (b.1842), John L.
(b.1844), Martha (b.1846), and Elijah (b.1848). The son "Frank" was
Francis Ren Benton, my great-great-grandfather.
Between the 1850 and 1860 censuses,
the family was in Barry County in the southwestern corner of Missouri.
On March 22, 1859, Francis Ren Benton married Susan Margaret Lock of Barry
County, daughter of Jonas and Mary Lock from Kentucky.
The 1860 census found the Elijah
Benton family in Bear Creek Township, Carroll County, Arkansas, just across the
state line. Artemesia, at 51, was a widow. George was head of the household and
had a wife and children of his own. Francis Ren and Susan lived right down the
road. Their first child, William Franklin, was born a few months after the
Imbued, no doubt, with the proper
patriotic fervor, Francis, George, and John showed up in Yellville, Marion
County, Arkansas on
July 12, 1861, and enlisted in Company G of the 14th (Powers)
Arkansas Infantry Regiment, Confederate States Army. Privates Francis and
John became sick and were left behind by the unit in April 1862 and were dropped from the
rolls in June of that year. George became a sergeant and re-enlisted for 2 years
on May 8, 1862 at Corinth, Mississippi. Later that year, he was busted in rank
and deserted on October 4, 1862. We havenít heard from him since.
On October 3, 1862, Francis and
John showed up again with Harmon in tow in Pocahontas, Randolph County,
Arkansas, and enlisted as privates in Company H of the 3rd Missouri
Cavalry, Confederate States Army, which was recruiting replacements. The
Confederate forces had been defeated at the Battle of Pea Ridge (Benton County,
Arkansas) (aka The Battle
of Elkhorn Tavern) in March. Regrouping, it proceeded east of the
Mississippi as part of the Army of Western Tennessee. Francisí
service card showed that he arrived with a horse valued at $80 and equipment
worth $3. The boys joined for 3 years or the duration of the war. The 3rd
Missouri Cavalry proceeded immediately to engagements around Vicksburg,
Mississippi. The 3rd fought its last battle at Fort Blakely, Alabama,
on April 9, 1865, but indications are that Francis Ren Benton left prior to this
final event. The Lost Cause was irretrievably lost.
We've found no further record of
the family in Arkansas following the war.
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