Benton County Tennessee

Early Settlers Biographies

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Robert B. Travis

Robert Bruce Travis, MD
BORN: 5-18-1832
DIED: 11-19-1914

Goodspeed's history of Tennessee, 1800s:
"Robert B. Travis, M. D., of Camden, is a native of Henry County, TN, born May 18, 1832, and a son of Silas and Virginia (Caruthers) Travis, both natives of NC.

They came to TN as early as, or before, 1825, locating first in Middle TN, and some four years later removed to Henry County, where they died. The Doctor was reared to manhood on a farm in his native county, and received an academical education. In 1854 he began the study of medicine, and attended Memphis Medical College one course, of lectures. He began practicing in Missouri where he continued two years; he then entered a drug establishment at Lake Providence, La., and studied chemistry and pharmacy, after which he accepted a position as professor of languages in Carroll Institute of that city two terms; later he held a similar position in Conyersville (TN) High School. November, 1856, he came to Camden, was in charge of the academy ten months, when he attended a course of medical lectures at Memphis, TN.

He then engaged in the practice of medicine which he has continued to the present time. He conducted the Benton Banner two years and later established the Camden Herald in company with E. M. Travis, which they conducted eighteen months. (Dr. Travis' sons started the Camden Chronicle) Dr. Travis has been twice married.

In November, 1858, he married Mary J. Gillespie, who died April 26, 1860, leaving one child, James V. February 10, 1861, he married Sarah J. Cowell. They have three children Charles N., Viola F. and Eugene E. The Doctor is a Democrat, a Mason and he as well as wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South."

On page 98 of the book, "Historical Benton", reference is made that Dr. Travis graduated from Memphis Medical College in 1854. On page 158 of the same book, reference is made to the Tennessee State Gazetteer, Volume 6, 1891 about Camden and some of its people in which Dr. Travis is listed as a practicing physician.

Francis Grace (Hubbs) Davidson, told that her Grandfather Travis was a doctor in the army of the South during the Civil War. Dr. Travis died on November 19, 1914, 5 days after the death of his wife Mary Ann (3rd wife?). They are buried with their daughter "Fanny" at City Cemetary in Camden, TN.

Dr. Travis claimed to be a descendent of Alexander I of Scotland the grandfather of King Alexander III. The tombstone is inscribed with the family crest.

Submitted by Dianne Davidson

William C. Hubbs

BORN: March 31, 1798
DIED: August 19, 1883

The following information was given to Mrs. Mattie (Hubbs) Robinson by William Leslie King in 1975. It has been updated in 1998 by Dianne Davidson. (

William C. Hubbs - 1850 Census - 1st Civil District "Near Coxbury, TN, on Eagle Creek, William C. Hubbs born somewhere in TN in 1798. His wife Margara (or Margaret) was born in TN in 1803. They were the first Hubbs to come to west TN. He bought 40 acres sometime about 1820 on Eagle Creek and bought 216 acres from Stephen Copeland, joining the 40 acres in 1824. He had 455 acres in 1839 tax records. Was never able to find his wife's full name" (it could have been Clasberry, middle name of eldest daughter).

"In 1819, William C. Hubbs was granted a permit to operate a horse drawn ferry on the TN River, just north of the mouth of Eagle Creek. He later ran a general store at Coxbury. He was one of the first to have his land surveyed and platted in 1825. In the 1880 census he was living in the home of one of his sons (Elijah Carr) at Holladay, TN."

The following are exerpts from a book by Jonathan Kennon Thompson Smith, titled, Historic Benton, printed in 1975, at Memphis, TN, by Richard H. Harris.
"The only other ferry of any consequence in the early history of Benton County was that in its extreme southern portion, just north of Eagle Creek, where it flowed into the TN River. There, William Hubbs, (March 31, 1798 - August 19, 1883) a native of middle TN kept his ferry from about 1820 for several years thereafter. It is on Record that he settled at this place soon after his marriage which occurred on July 8, 1819. (page 32)".

"One of the earliest (1819) settlers of the Eagle Creek vicinity and its ferry boat owner just north of the creek, on the TN was William Hubbs who was mentioned in a earlier chapter (page 32). His descendants were many, some of whom remained in Benton County (page 39)". "William Hubbs was a member of the First Quarterly Court, The Trustees of Peace, Acting as a body of Magistrates when Benton County was organized on February 7, 1836 (page 63)."

"Local people claiming less than 5 slaves in 1840 were William Hubbs (page 81)."

On reference page 195 - "From Benton County Quarterly Court Minutes A, P 26; IBID, 2 P 174; Camden Herald August 24, 1883. Hubbs' first modest acreage was surveyed on Eagle Creek in July 1825, as shown in Survey Book A, p. 77." William C. and his wife Margara are buried at Coxbury on a hill called by some as the Hubbs Cemetery and by some as the Capps Cemetery.

William C. and Margara the parents of:
BORN: 1821

BORN: 1825

BORN: 1827
NOTE: William thought to be the father of Doctor William Thomas Hubbs.

BORN: 1830

BORN: 1835

BORN: 1844

Submitted by Dianne Davidson

Robert Washington Ayers

Robert Washington Ayers, Captain, CSA.
Born: 6-5-1828
Died: 12-15-1896

Robert Washington Ayers, was a Captain in the Confederate Army, a tobacco farmer and preacher.

The following information regarding the ancestors of Mattie Ayers Hubbs is taken from the book, "Historic Benton", page 49.

"Archibald Heggie (April 23, 1811 - December 5, 1887), a native of Person County, NC, moved to Benton County in 1846, after a journey of five weeks and three days. While he was not amoung the earliest waves of settlers, Heggie was among the finer class of early emigrants. He remained in this county until 1874 when he moved to Mississippi County, Missouri where he died. His wife, Nancy (Love) Heggie was a daughter of John and Martha Love, the latter being a Lee family relative"

"One of Archibald Heggie's children, Martha Ann (Heggie) Ayres was born on January 1, 1840. She was married to Robert Washington Ayres (June 5, 1828 - December 15, 1896) on March 24, 1858. He was an itinerate Methodist Minister, having once lived in NC. He organized a company of cavalrymen for the Confederate service; was later a P.O.W. in the Fort Delaware Prison. Back home, he opened a small tobacco factory four miles northwest of Camden. For sometime he was president of the Benton County Farmers Alliance. He prospered and in the seventies built one of the most attractive of Benton County's old residences. A two story frame dwelling (with green shutters), the lovely and ornate structure stood until it was destroyed by fire in June, 1907."

"Captain Ayres was a worthwhile citizen; an eloquent minister of the gospel and was a shining light for years in the Methodist Church. Captain Ayres served with distinction in the Confederate Army".

"Among the Heggie-Ayres heirlooms was a dainty china snuffbox that was a gift from Arthur Lee, once U.S. Ambassador to France".

Captain and Mrs. Ayers had one daughter - Mattie - who married Charley Oaks "Job" Hubbs.

Submitted by Dianne Davidson

Christopher Columbus Vick

Christopher Columbus Vick born 30 November 1849 in Benton County the son of Americus Vespucci and Susannah Vick. Americus V. Vick was born 26 June 1826, married Susannah Pafford on 23 March 1848 in Benton County and died 19 January 1870. Susannah was born 14 April 1832 and died 9 December 1919. Both were buried in the Flatwoods Cemetery near their home.

Christopher Columbus Vick married Julian Alice Bateman on 9 February 1876 in Benton County. She was born 2 March 1859 a daughter of Jerimiah John and Nancy Emila Young Bateman of the Tenth Civil District in Benton County. Christopher C. Vick died 18 April 1930 and Julian A. Vick died 19 September 1930. Both were buried in the Liberty Community Cemetery three miles north of Camden, TN on State Highway No. 69.

Christopher Columbus and Nancy Emila Vick had issue:
1. Infant daughter born and died 10 November 1878.
2. Elmer T. Vick born in December of 1878 and married Flora Pafford on 1 July 1900 and moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma.
3. Infant (Sex unknown) born and died 15 March 1881.
4. Ona Vick born in May of 1882 and married Mr. Cowan and moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma.
5. Carl Vick born 28 June 1883, married Mary Ada Williams Ca. 1901, died 23 April 1939 and buried in the Liberty Community Cemetery.
6. Lola Vick born in November of 1885.
7. Ivie Vick born in November of 1887.
8. Myrtle Vick (Twin) born in May 1891, married Mr. Wyatt.
9. Bertie Vick (Twin) born in May of 1891, married Mr. Pafford.
10 Ruth Vick born 22 November 1892, married Bert Winfred McKelvy on 9 July 1911, died 22 October 1974 and buried in the Liberty Community Cemetery.
11. Buell Vick born 9 February 1895, died 4 March 1901 and buried in the Flatwoods Cemetery.
12. Ester Vick born 16 October 1898, died 3 December 1898 and buried in the Flatwoods Cemetery.
13. Annie Vick born in November 1899, married Mr. Greer and died in 1974.

"Camden Chronicle," 1930: Obituary of Christopher Columbus Vick
B. Nov. 1848, D. 19 April 1930, son of Americus and Susan Vick; married Julia Ann Bateman on 9 Feb. 1876. Began as a teacher at the age of 20 and taught consecutively 35 years, all but 2 were in Benton County. In 1882 professed religion and later joined Flatwoods Meth. Church, near his home. Buried at Liberty, had 13 children, and 4 of them died in inf.; others were Mrs. Ona Cowan, Tulsa, Okla., Elmer Vick of Tulsa, Carl Vick, Mrs. Bettie Pafford, of Camden. A brother S.C. Vick and sisters, Mrs. Victoria Holland and Mrs. Sarah Woods, survived him.

Submitted by E. J. & Frances Sims

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