Benton County Tennessee

Early Settlers Biographies



Send your "Early Settler's" biography for inclusion on this page to

County Coordinator



James Franklin Smothers


Smothers Family
Laura, Ernest Hawkins, Mary (brother and sister from marriage w/ Sarah Barnes),
Elbert, Logan, James Franklin, Cora Baggett, Minnie & Perlie

James Franklin Smothers was born 22 September 1837 in Carroll County, TN near the Benton County line. James Franklin married Sarah Elizabeth Barnes on 29 April 1857 in Benton County. She was born 24 August 1837 in Benton County the daughter of William Barnes and his wife Sarah Wyatt. William Barnes was a Methodist Minister from South Carolina. Sarah Elizabeth Smothers died 25 September 1883 and buried at the Palestine Cemetery near Holladay, TN.

James Franklin and Sarah Elizabeth Smothers had issue:

1. William (Billy) Green Smothers born in 1858, married Mary Elizabeth Kee on 10 February 1884 in Benton County, died in 1892 and buried in the Liberty Cemetery, Fourth District of Benton County. Mary (Polly) Elizabeth Kee born 7 July 1868 the daughter of Thomas J. and Elizabeth (Allen) Kee.
William Green and Polly Smothers had issue:

  • 1. William Elbert Smothers born 31 November 1886 and died 21 December 1896. Buried in the Liberty Cemetery.
    2. John Thomas (Tom) Smothers born 4 November 1887, married Vannie Abbott on 20 September 1911. He was killed by a falling tree being cut on 17 December 1926 and buried in the Pleasant Hill Baptist Cemetery, Fourth District, of Benton County, TN.
    3. James Harrison Smothers born 27 May 1888, married Julia Abbott on 25 July 1907 and died 13 December 1977.
    4. Sarah Elizabeth Smothers born 4 October 1890 and married B. Otis Higdon on 23 June 1910.

2. Andrew John Thomas Smothers born 7 October 1859, married Susan Parlee Robinson on 18 February 1878, who died 24 March 1879. They had one daughter, Margaret Parlee Smothers, born 10 December 1878, married A.Z. Weathers on 24 June 1899 and died in 1963.
Andrew John Thomas Smothers married second, Martha C. Hicks on 10 August 1881. She was born 18 February 1862 the daughter of Jack and Samanthy Hicks of Benton County, TN.
Andrew John Thomas and Martha C. Smothers had issue:
  • 1. Mary E. Smothers born 12 October 1882, married M. Garvin Wimbaly on 23 December 1906 and died before 1910.
    2. Robert H. Smothers born 16 October 1884 and married Jenettie Wimbaly on 9 December 1906.
    3. John Logan (Sebe) Smothers born 21 November 1885, married Sallie Ann Lewis (1894-1972) on 29 February 1912 and died 11 October 1968. They had issue Charles, Leo, John Logan, Odell and daughter that married Earl Thomas.
    4. William Francis Smothers born 5 February 1889, married Cora Noles on 9 May 1908. Francis married second Effie Robinson Patterson, date unknown.
    5. Virgil Smothers born 19 August 1891 and died 17 February 1989, married Bertha Frazier on 16 March 1913, who was born 20 February 1892 and died 27 November 1965. Married second, Nellie May (Eckles) Presson, who was born 30 May 1902 daughter of George and Martha Eckles and died 31 July 1994.
    6. Sarah Jane Smothers born 15 May 1894, married Willie Barnes on 4 February 1912 and died 18 May 1993.
    7 Royal Edgar Smothers born 18 February 1897, married Rubie Lee DeVault on 15 May 1915, daughter of Elbert and Lillie DeVault. Married second (?) and died 23 March 1988.
    Royal Edgar and Rubie Lee Smothers had issue:
    • 1. Lenny Smothers born 29 December 1916 married John Hedge.
      2. Jessie Smothers born 24 May 1918 and died 21 June 1977.
      3. Bufford Lee Smothers born 10 November 1919 married Mary Christein and second Lia Novell Hill.
      4. Walter Smothers born 4 May 1921.

    8. Martha Ethel Smothers born 4 October 1901 and married Henry Wiseman. 9. Alice Smothers born 23 February 1903 and died 7 July 1918.
3. Jimmy Smothers born in 1860 and died in 1863.
4. Sarah Elizabeth (Sallie) Smothers born in 1862, married Molton Hawkins Merrick on 30 December 1880 and died ca. 1886. Their daughter, Perlie was born in 1884 and married Lucian B. Hall.
5. Robert Seaborn Smothers born 3 April 1866, died 20 March 1889 and buried in the Palestine Cemetery near Holladay.
6. Martin Luther Smothers born 22 January 1869, married Sallie Bell Barns on 26 December 1889. She was a daughter of Nute and Bettie (Robinson) Barnes born 31 January 1874. Bettie was a daughter of Pete Robinson.
in Benton County, TN. They had issue:
  • 1. Infant born and died ca. 1890.
    2. John W. Smothers born 16 September 1893, married Pearl Hogg on 4 April 1920, married second Bertha Norwood.
    3. Effie Smothers born 14 January 1897 and married Robert T. (Bob) Sanders on 2 July 1919.
    4. Ella Smothers born ca. 1B99 and died ca. 1903.
    5. Jullie Smothers born 24 August 1902 and married Reedle Kelly on 10 October 1920.
    6. Zula Smothers born 16 April 1904 and married William Mead Hollman on 6 February 1926.
    7. Dewey Smothers born 1 April 1908 and married Hettie Noles on 25 February 1934.
    8. Fay Smothers born 25 May 1910, married Gus Wear, died 9 June 1969 and buried in the Elgin Washington Cemetery, Elgin, IL.
    9. Bertie Smothers born 26 March 1913 and married Roy Hollman on 30 June 1946.
    10. James Leonard Smothers born 28 November 1916, married Gladys Allen on 18 March 1949 who died in 1953, married second Gladys (Hicks) Haskins and married third Lera (Chester) Durdin. James L. Smothers and died 3 July 1990.

7. Thomas Jordan Smothers born 13 October 1871 in Golconda, IL. Married Martha E. Brackin on 5 March 1893 in Benton County, TN. She was born 1 July 1875 a daughter of William H. and Judy (Butler) Brackin.
Thomas Jordan and Martha E. Smothers had issue:
  • 1. Vannin Smothers born 6 December 1893, married Norah A. Jordan on 4 May 1919 and died 15 March 1969.
    2. Albert Smothers born 22 September 1895, married Emma Kee.
    3. Vada Smothers born 5 July 1901, married W. Clarnce Clark on 12 March 1922.
    4. Iva Smothers born 3 June 1909, married Sam Oxford on 4 May 1931.

    Thomas Jordan Smothers died 8 August 1956. Martha E. Brackin Smothers died 3 January 1957. Both were buried in the Pleasant Hill Baptist Cemetery in Benton County, Tennessee. Albert Smothers born 22 September 1895 and died 8 July 1994, son of Thomas Jordan and Sarah E. (Barnes) Smothers, married Emma Kee on 5 January 1916. She was born 29 December 1899, daughter of Alexander Luther Kee (1875-1964) and his wife Othella T. Cooper, who were married 4 October 1892 in Benton County. Alexander Luther Kee was a son of Thomas and Elizabeth Kee.
    Albert and Emma Smothers had issue:
    1. Leon H. Smothers born 2 July 1917, married Louise Jeannette Cole on 5 August 1945, died 1 August 1995 and buried in the McCauley Cemetery in Carroll County, Tennessee.
    2. Alva Loyd Smothers born 7 July 1919, married Ava Clark.
    3. Mildred Luciell Smothers born 3 June 1922 and married Alson Brewer on 17 December 1949.
    4. Vada Odell Smothers born 1 October 1925 and married Robert Cunningham.
    5. Jesse Troy Smothers born 21 March 1927 and married Mary Joe Elmore on 22 March (?).
    6. Alma Ruth Smothers born 20 February 1929 and married William E. Svoboda.
    7. Dennis Ray Smothers born 8 January 1931 and married Mary Mornison.
    8. Dallas Earl Smothers born 29 July 1933 and married Nodine White.
    9. Bobby Gean Smothers born 3 August and married Wanda Hopkins.

8. Mary Jane Smothers born 3 June 1876, married George Riley Watson on 27 February 1901 and moved to Arkansas soon afterwards. George Riley Watson was born 15 March 1870 in Benton County, TN and died 23 April 1952 at Pollard, AR. Mary Jane (Smothers) Watson died 22 April 1913 at Pollard, AR. Both were buried in the Mars Hill Cemetery, Clay County, AR.
9. Ernest Hawkins Smothers born 3 May 1879 in the Second District of Benton County, Tennessee was the youngest child of James Franklin and Sarah Elizabeth Smothers.

James Franklin Smothers enlisted in the United States Army on 28 June 1862 at Huntingdon, TN while the 2nd West Tennessee Cavalry was being organized. These men were later transferred into the 7th Tennessee Cavalry commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Isaac R. Hawkins, which was being organized at Trenton, TN on 14 November 1862 into nine companies.

James F. Smothers was captured at Trenton, TN by the Confederate 7th Tennessee Cavalry commanded by General N.B. Forrest on 20 December 1862. However, he was paroled the same day and reassigned to Company C of the 7th Tennessee Cavalry, since there were only enough men to form four companies of those return by parole. James Franklin Smothers returned to his family in Benton County, TN after being discharged 15 July 1865.

He was a dedicated member of the Methodist Church and became a licensed preacher in the McLemoresville District Conference, and assigned to the Palestine Methodist Episcopal Church near Holladay, TN. He was also a Mason and a member of the Mt. Carmel Lodge Number 333, F&AM, Holladay, TN. James Franklin Smothers married Victoria (Cora) Alice Baggett on 20 November 1884. Cora Baggett was born 8 April 1856 a daughter of Henry W. and Elvira Baggett of the 2nd District, Benton County, TN. The Baggett family had migrated from SC to Benton County before 1850. James Franklin and Cora Smothers had moved from their home near Holladay, TN in the southern part of Benton County to the Garfield Community of the old Sixth Civil District near the Big Sandy River. Malaria had taken several members of the family and his doctor suggested another area would be more suitable for his family.

James Franklin and Cora Smothers had issue:
1. Laura (Mink) Smothers born 28 November 1885, Married John Henry Patterson and died 6 June 1939.
2. James Logan Smothers born 3 May 1887, married Dovie Wright on 26 February 1907 and died 18 October 1974.
3. Minnie Smothers born 10 October 1888, married Elihu Florence on 21 April 1917 and died 4 August 1980 in Missouri.
4. Elbert H. (Jack) Smothers born 2 May 1890, married Minnie Burnette on 13 August 1921 and died 26 July 1961.
5. Pearl (Pearlie) May Smothers born 16 August 1892, married Carlos Hicks and died 13 July 1954. James Franklin Smothers died 10 January 1916 and buried by his first wife, Sarah Elizabeth Barnes, in the Palistine Cemetery near Holladay, TN.

The "CAMDEN CHRONICLE" published an article on Friday the 4 August 1916, as follows:
"James Franklin Smothers was born in Carroll County, Tennessee in September, 1837. In later years, he came to Benton County where he lived until his death in January 1916. Brother Smothers became identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church and after-wards became a minister of this church. He also served in the Federal Army as a volunteer during the Civil War. Brother Smothers was made a Master Mason December 7, 1870 and was a loyal member of this order. He was united in marriage to Eliza Barnes, daughter of William and Sallie Barnes. Nine children were born to this union, of whom three survived him, Jordan, Ernest and Martin. He was afterwards married to Cora Baggett, who with five children, survived him.

Brother Smothers was held in high esteem by his neighbors and friends, and is sadly missed in the home, in the church and in the lodge room. We, the members of the Mt. Carmel Lodge No. 333, F&AM of Holladay, Tennessee deeply sympathize with the bereaved and would console them with a promise to the faithful, he is in the hands of a Just God, who doth all things well and giveth to every man his wages.

(Signed) Allen H. Robinson and P.W. Harris, Committee."

Cora Smothers died 27 March 1948 and buried in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Sixth District, Benton County, TN.


Submitted by E. J. & Frances Sims



Return to Early Settlers page.

If you have suggestions and/ or additions for these pages, please feel free to write:

Mike Stockdale

Please come back again soon! Happy Hunting!!!


Return toTennessee Genealogy County page
Return to top of Page

Server space for the TNGenWeb Project is provided through the generosity of US Internet.

The TNGenWeb Project makes no claims or estimates of the validity of the information submitted and reminds you that each new piece of information must be researched and proved, or disproved by the weight of evidence.

You are welcome to copy information found on the Benton County TNGenWeb site for personal use, and share information with other researchers or genealogical organizations, but this information may not be sold or used in a commercial project without expressed permission. All material submitted by individuals for inclusion in this site remains their property.

Copyright 1998 - 2017