Benton County Tennessee

Early Settlers Biographies

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

County Coordinator

Caleb Abimlick Herrin, youngest son of William Elisha and Mary Agnies Herrin, was born July 13, 1789 in Herrin Creek area of Macklinburg Co., N.C. As a young man he journeyed from his home in N.C. into Tenn., Abimilick, as he was called, is shown in 1811 on the TN. Tax rolls of Davidson Co.. At the time of this tax listing he is a young man of 22 with a young wife and a new baby daughter. Abimlick married Sarah Frazier Mcwhorter, b. Dec. 20, 1790, and their first child, Eunice, b. Aug. 12, 1811. They were married under a marriage license issued in TN. On Sept. 2,1810. The tax list also shows family members, Beverly and Lemmuel, although their exact relationship is not clear. Beverly and Lemmuel, along with Abimlick, are known to have been around Nashville for a few years because they are shown together on the "muster" rolls of Captain Adams Nashville Co. during the war of 1812. Following the war of 1812, Abimlick and his family moved farther west in TN. To Benton Co.. They settled in a community called Rushing Creek. Joseph Rushing married Emily Herrin who was probably related to Abimlick and three of brothers and sisters had married Rushing family members. Abimlick and Sarah had 12 children and lived the remainder of their lives there. The family record of Abimlick and Sarah Herrin was preserved in a songbook entitled "Songs of David", published in 1711 in Scotland. The book was handed down to a fourth generation grandson, Geroge W.E.Herrin, who moved to Ada, Ok. in 1920, then passed along to his son, Penn Herrin of Seattle, Wa., over a hundred and seventy years later. Four of Abimlick and Sarahs sons moved north to Ky. in 1846, and joined other members of the Herrin family in W. KY., along the Shawnee Trace. The brothers were part of a group of settlers led by William Watson who made their way from Benton Co., Tn. to the area around Jonestand in Henderson Co. Ky. William Watson, was the father in law of two of the Herrin brothers, Beverly and Wesley, at the time of the migration and later a third brother, Enock, married one of his daughters. the lineage of Abimlick and Sarah is as follows:

b. Jul 13, 1789
d. Jul. 13, 1862
b. Dec. 20, 1790
d. Sept. 1864
b. Aug. 12, 1811
b. May 1, 1813
d. May 2, 1881
b. Mar. 24, 1807
d. Aug. 11, 1894
b. Apr. 23, 1813
B. Sept. 25, 1817
b. Oct. 20, 1819
d. c. 1865
b. 1825
d. c. 1880
b. Aug. 26, 1821
b. Oct 9, 1823
d. 1891
b. 1832
d. 1871
b. 1831
d. 1919
b. Dec. 22, 1825
b. Jan 11, 1828
d. Jan 5, 1892
b. Mar. 3, 1826
d. Feb. 14, 1905
B. Nov. 21, 1829
b. Apr. 10, 1832
b. Jan 18, 1835

Information Courtesy of

Submitted by Nancy Pattullo

Francis Collins was my great-great-grandfather. He was born in South Carolina on March 11, 1791. Francis became a well-known traveling (circuit) Methodist Preacher. He married Alice Brown(e) of Tennessee in about 1827. They probably were married in Stewart County, Tennessee. Alice died in 1829 after giving birth in Stewart County to their only child, James Monroe Collins. Francis' name first appears on the 1840 Stewart County Census (possibly not sooner due to his travels). Francis died in 1844 in Stewart County. If anyone traces his parentage back in time, please send me an e-mail with the detail. I would like to know more about him and his origins.

My great-grandfather was James Monroe Collins. He was born in Dover, Stewart County, on January 2, 1829 (100 years and 58 days before me). He married Mary Jane O'Barr in Stewart County on January 8, 1850. Mary Jane was born in Stewart County about 1829 and died about 1890. They lived in Big Sandy, Benton County, Tennessee, and had 14 children: 1) William Francis 1851, 2) Nancy Ann 1852, 3) James W. 1854, 4) Robert S. 1856, 5) Henry R. 1857, 6) Newton M. 1858, 7) L. Margarette 1861, 8) Daniel Richard 1862, 9) J. Thomas 1865, 10) George L. 1866, 11) Mary Ann 1868, 12) Emaline M. 1870, 13) Lafayette "Tate" 1872, and 14) Anderson 1874. James Monroe died in Benton County, Tennessee, sometime after 1887.

My grandfather was Daniel Richard Collins. His nickname was Dick. Dick was born in Benton County in 1862 (exact date unknown). He married Ellen Cuff (location and date unknown). I have no records on my grandmother, Ellen, except I think she died in August 1930 or 1931. They had 5 children: 1) J.P. 18??, 2) Walter Harrison 1887, 3) DeWitt ????, 4) Hedy or Fanny ????, and 5) Irene 1911. I do not know where they lived originally, except Walter's (my Dad's) birth certificate indicates that he was born in Camden, Benton County. Sometime later, they moved to Harris, Tennessee. Dick died in Union City, Tennessee, when I was 16-years old. His services were on the day the first atom bomb was dropped on Japan (8-?-1945). Dick is buried at the Methodist Cemetery at McConnell, Tennessee. Irene married J.C. Robey from South Fulton, Tennessee. Irene lived in Union City when she died on March 14, 1990. Irene's son, Robert L. Robey, lives in Olive Branch, MS. He retired as Principle of a high school in Memphis. His e-mail address is:

My father was Walter Harrison Collins (sometimes known as Pat Collins). As mentioned above, he was born in Camden, Tennessee, on October 9, 1887. Dad worked for the I.C.R.R. as a boilermaker and later became boiler inspector. Dad married my mother, Hattie Emma Hazotte, in Paducah, Kentucky, on December 7, 1922. I am their only child. Dad died in Paducah, Kentucky, on August 22, 1963.

I was born in Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky, on March 1, 1929. I married Billie Ruth McElroy on November 5, 1949. We have two daughters: 1) Rose Ann Collins Fiorita and 2) Mary Kathryn Collins Lane. I am a retired business consultant.

If anyone has any information that will help fill in the gaps, please let me know. Charles Richard Collins, 140 Willow Spring Cove, Paducah, KY 42001-8662, phone (502) 554-4776, e-mail:


William Elisha Herrin - b. 7/7/1730 d. 5/1/1803 md. 5/5/1765
Mary Agniss Abimlick bn. 10/2/1735 - died 9/3/1825

Thomas Jasper b. 8/27/1767 - d. 4/8/1840 md. 5/11/1786 Sophia J. Rushing
Nancy Ann b. 1/9/1770 - d. 5/21/1844 md. 6/6/1789 Benjamin Hansil
Mary Agniss b. 9/20/1773- d. 2/7/1838 md. 7/23/1790 William Ryan
Martha Ruth b. 3/10/1776 - d. 7/26/1827 md. 11/20/1795 James Baker
John William b. 9/30/1778 - d. 12/8/1850 md. 8/14/1799 Martha Boyd
James Elisha b. 5/13/1780 - d. 9/3/1855 md. 6/15/180l Sarah Rushing
Rachel Leah b. 10/2/1783 - d. 5/28/1853 md. 5/29/180l William Evans
Isaac Noah b. 4/5/1786 - d. 10/15/1860 md. 5/1/1808 Mary Harper
Sarah Jane b. 3/20/1788 - d. 11/29/1857 md. 7/22/1807 Abel Rushing
Caleb Abimlick b. 7/13/1789 - d. 7/13/1862 md. 9/2/1810 Sarah McWhorter b. 12/20/1790 d. 9/1/1864
Margaret Louisa b. 5/12/1791 - died in childhood

Reference Notes: J. Gordon Hearon, gr gr gr grandson of James Elisha Herrin, son of William and Mary Abimlick Herrin who has published his research book and has donated a copy to the Tennessee Archives. All of the above research information has been taken from a rough draft graciously given to Kennard M. Wilson, great great grandson of Beverly Herrin who was thought to be a 1st cousin to James Elisha Herrin. Beverly Herrin's 3rd wife was Millie Herrin, sister of James Elisha.

William Elisha Herrin was born around Herrin's Grove along Herrin's Creek in the disputed area of Kings Mountain, NC on July 7, 1730. He is the oldest fully documented Patriarch of this family branch. His parents are believed to have come to the Colonies from Wales even though the family origins are in Herrenalb, Germany in the Black Forest region.

William Elisha Herrin following the Revolutionary War migrated from Mecklinburg County and began the journey to Rushing Creek in the Big Sandy area around 1792 or 1793. It is believed that all 11 of their children made the trip with their parents. It isn't clear whether the community at Rushing Creek had already been established. Joseph RUSHING is believed to be the actual founder of the settlement. He is believed to have been married to William Elisha's sister Emily Herrin which accounts for the selection of the Big Sandy area as a homesite.upon his arrival around 1794/1795.

When William Elisha Herrin first brought family to Tennessee, the Rushing Creek community was located in Humphreys County from which Benton was taken. He acquired through the Homestead Acts and his first grant of land was for 200 acres granted by the County Court of Humphreys County. Most of the land acquired by the family was in the immediate area of Rushing Creek. Wm. Elisha Herrin died May 11, 1803, age 73 and was buried at Lick Creek cemetery. His wife Mary Agniss lived to age 90 and died Sept. 3, 1825 Humphreys County and buried in a family plot next to her son and daughter-in-law in the Rushing Creek Baptist Church Cemetery. (Rushing Creek Cemetery is about 6 miles north of Camden, Tn.

References: J.Gordon Herron's section on William Elisha Herrin, pages 43 through 74 in his book on the Herrins which he has donated a copy to the Nashville Archives.

1820 Franklin County, Tn. Cs. Family 36 - "Tennessee Trailings: by Charles Sanders, Paris, Tn. newspaper column on "Herrin Genealogy. Also "Old Relic is of local interest in the Camden, Tn. Chronicle".

Submitted by Norma Watson

HusbandBeverly Herrin
Born:1795 Poss. Christian County, North Carolina
Census:1830 Humphreys County, Tennessee
Property: 1836 Land Owned
Misc: 1857 Granddaughters (Guardian)
Death: 1858 Benton County Tennessee
Burial:Poss. Rushing Creek Cemetery, Big Sandy Tennessee
Marriage:30 May 1816 Poss. Davidson County, Tennessee
Other Spouse: Mildred "Millie" Herrin (2nd Mar) (m 1830)
Other Spouse: Elizabeth Cole (3rd Mar) (m 29 Jul 1849)
WifeEleanor Logue
Birth:abt. 1795 Poss. Davidson County, Tennessee
Death:abt 1827 Benton County, Tennesse
Burial:Poss. Rushing Creek Cemetery, Big Sandy, TN
Father:John Logue, Jr.
Mother:Eleanor Logue (Nee?)
F Martha Ann Herrin
Birth:Abt. 1819 Davidson County, TN
MWilliam Riley Herrin
Birth:9 Oct 1821 Mancoes Creek, Davidson County, Tennessee
Death:20 Sep 1895 Hazel (Calloway County) Kentucky
BurialRushing Creek Cemetery, Big Sandy, Tennessee
Spouse:Nancy "Martha" Stone (1st Mar) (m 13 Mar 1844)
Spouse:Mary Elizabeth Greer (2nd Mar) (m 23 Feb 1871)
FAngeline Herrin
Birth:1823 Poss. Rushing Creek, Benton County, Tennessee
Death:Not Known
Burial:Poss. Rushing Creek Cemetery, Big Sandy, TN
Spouse:Thomas N. Presson (m Oct 1845)
FElender ("Eleanor"?) Herrin
Birth:Rushing Creek, Benton county, Tennessee
Burial:Poss. Rushing Creek Cemetery, Big Sandy, TN
Spouse:Richard S. Nance
MJames Riley Herrin
Birth:abt 1826 Davidson County, TN

Submitted by Norma Watson

Return to Early Settlers page.

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

Brian Nichols

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 - 2002