Benton County Tennessee

Early Settlers Biographies



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

County Coordinator



John Caswell Matlock

John Caswell Matlock was born 10 November 1786 in Virginia. He married Mary (Polly) Merrick, probably in Virginia although their marriage record has not been found. Mary was born 10 March 1790 in Virginia.

John Caswell (Cas) and Mary Matlock came to Tennessee with members of the Merrick family. They lived for a time near Nashville in Davidson County and later moved to Humphreys County. The Matlock and Merrick families lived on Blue Creek until West Tennessee was acquired from the Indians.

There is a tradition in the Matlock family, with members of the Merrick family, scouted the land across the Tennessee river while it was owned by the Indians. Thus, they were ready to make their claim as soon as it became available. Then they moved across the river and settled on Egal Creek.

Cas and Mary Matlock had issue:
1. Rachel Matlock born in 21 September of 1804 and married Ashburn Davis and second Michael Fry.
2. Elizabeth Matlock born ca. 1806, married James White and died 4 April 1879.
3. Edward Lane Matlock born ca. 1808, married Susanna Catherine Fry and moved to Oregon.
4. John Caswell Matlock, Jr. born ca. 1809, married Mary Barnett and died ca. 1850 in Dade County, Missouri.
5. Mary Matlock born ca. 1811 and married a Mr. Evans.
6. Hannah Matlock born ca. 1815 and also married a Mr. Evans.
7. Infant Matlock born ca. 1817 and died soon afterwards.
8. Bessie Matlock born ca. 1818 and died young,
9. Joseph Matlock born ca. 1820 and died young.
10. John Wesley Matlock born ca. 1823, married Elizabeth Flowers and died 5 April 1891. Elizabeth was born 23 July 1827 and died 13 April 1895.

John Caswell Matlock died 10 May 1826 according to his tombstone. It has been argued that he died 10 May 1836. However, his widow Mary Matlock is listed in the Humphreys County, Tennessee census, taken in 1830 on page 322. She had two sons and one daughter living in her home. An inventory of his assets and a sale was held 15 February 1836 in Benton County, Tennessee. Those who question the death date of John Caswell Matlock also claim the date of the sale was entered in the records erroneously and that it was held 15 February 1837. However, the entry was made among other records of February, 1836. There has been no evidence presented that John Caswell Matlock did not die on 10 May 1826 and that the sale of his estate was not held and recorded 15 February 1836.

John Caswell (Cas) Matlock was buried near his home in what became their family cemetery on the banks of Eagle Creek. Mary Matlock died 18 October 1851 leaving a will dated 1 October 1851. She was buried by her husband in their family cemetery.


Submitted by E. J. & Frances Sims



Dennis Rushing

Dennis Rushing was born in 1786 in Anson County, North Carolina, married Keziah Bell before moving to Tennessee, although the date or record of their marriage is not known. Dennis and Keziah Rushing known children:

1. Elizabeth Rushing born ca. 1805, married Abner Smalley on ca. 1830 and died ca. 1855.
2. Richard B. Rushing ca. 1807, married Elizabeth Warrick on 31 March 1848 in Benton County, Tennessee.
3. Zelpha Rushing born ca. 1812 and married Ronald Rushing ca. 1831.
4. Asa Darling Rushing, of whom later.
5. Milley Ann (Parthena) Rushing born 24 February 1822, married Allen T. Corbitt on 11 April 1839 in Benton County, Tennessee and died 19 October 1859.
6. Harriett Rushing born ca. 1823 and married Edmund Brewer.
7. Joel Rushing born ca. 1824 and married Lucy A. Stafford on 19 February 1846 in Benton County, Tennessee.
8. David Lilly Rushing born 2 September 1825 and married Sarah Ann Moore on 17 October 1850 in Benton County, Tennessee.
Sarah Ann Moore was born in 1827 and died 20 February 1888. 9. Willis Crawford Rushing born ca. 1830 and married Sophia Rushing on 19 January 1853 in Benton County, Tennessee.

Dennis and Keziah Rushing were living in Stewart County, Tennessee during the 1820 census of that county. They were enumerated in the Humphreys County, Tennessee census of 1830, living on land that became Benton County, Tennessee in 1836. Dennis Rushing died in Benton County, TN leaving a will dated 12 January 1860 and a codicil modifying a section dated 30 December 1865.

Asa Darling Rushing, son of Dennis and Raziah Rushing, was born ca. 1815 in Tennessee and married Mary Hursey about 1839, probably in Stewart County, Tennessee although their marriage record has not been found. Mary was born about 1799 in England, married George Hursey in England, and had two daughters, Maltida and Ann, before coming to America. George Hursey had worked in iron smelters and came to Stewart County, Tennessee to work in a new smelters being built in that area. However, he died soon after reaching Stewart County, leaving a wife and the two daughters.

Asa Darling and Mary Rushing were enumerated in the 1850 census of Benton County, page 320, House No. 562, as follows:


1. Asa D. Rushing age 35 M W Farming Born in Tennessee
2.Mary Rushing " 51 F W   Born in England
3. Ann (Hursey) " 19 F W   Born in England
4. George " 10 M W   Born in Tennessee
5. Caroline " 8 F W   Born in Tennessee
6. William " 6 M W   Born in Tennessee
7. James " 4 M W   Born in Tennessee

Mary (Hursey) Rushing daughter, Matilda Hursey born about 1829 in England, married Joseph J. Bain on 23 January 1848 in Benton County, Tennessee. Mary's other daughter, Ann Hursey born about 1832, married Edward G. Wright on 16 October 1856 in Benton County, Tennessee.

Asa Darling and Mary Rushing youngest son, James Darling, was born Ca. 1846 in Benton County, Tennessee. He married Martha Cordiela Rushing on 18 February 1879 in Benton County, Tennessee. They were married by George B. Bain, J.P., a kinsman that lived in the Sixth Civil District. The clerk recorded their marriage as John D. Rushing (instead of James) and Mahala C. Rushing. However, Mahala C. was John D. Rushing granddaughter, who had organized the Rushing Creek Methodist Church, now known as the Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church.

John D. Rushing, a Methodist Clergyman, was born Ca. 1800 in Anson County, North Carolina and married Louisa Ward about 1820, who was born in 1803 in North Carolina. They moved to what became Benton County, Tennessee sometime before 1836. He was a member of the first county quarterly court held in Benton County when they organized the county on 7 February 1836. John Darling Rushing died in 1856 and probably buried in an unmarked grave at the Pleasant Hill Methodist Cemetery.

John D. and Louisa Rushing known children:
1. George Washington Rushing.
2. Francis M. Rushing born ca. 1824 in North Carolina, married Nancy McGill on 13 March 1844 in Benton County, Tennessee.
3. Male born between 1825 and 1830.
4. Female born between 1825 and 1830.
5. Mary Rushing born Ca. 1834 in Tennessee.
6. Robert Anderson Rushing born 21 December 1837 in Benton County married Anna Eliza Tomlinson and died 16 October 1914 in Jackson County, Illinois.
7. William Rushing born Ca. 1840 in Benton County, Tennessee.


Submitted by E. J. & Frances Sims



Burwell Utley


The Utley Family in Benton County, TN

Burwell Utley, Sr. was horn in 1762 in Johnston County, N. C. a son of John and Mary Utley. He served as a private in the Wake County, N. C. Militia toward the end of the Revolutionary War and received a pension. He was the third generation of this Utley branch to serve in the war from Wake County, N C Burwell Utley married 5 February 1787 to Sarah Lashley, who was a daughter of Lewis and Mary (Holland) Lashley. Burwell and Mary had issue:

1. Able Utley born Ca. 1788.
2. Seth Utley born Ca. 1789.
3. Salva Utley born Ca. 1791, married Urias Jenks on 4 December 1826.
4. Sarah (Salley) Utley horn Ca. 1793.
5. Mary Utley born Ca. 1797
6. Burwell Utley, Jr. born Ca. 1800.

The three sons eventually came to Tennessee and settled in what became Benton County, TN in 1836. They followed their uncle Burwell Lashley who settled in Reyoldsburg when it was part of Stewart County and eventually became Humphreys County, TN.

Able Utley married Elizabeth (Betsey) Hail on 12 September 1816 in Wake County, N.C. She was born Ca. 1795 a daughter of Matthew and Jane (Norris) Hail. Able and Elizabeth moved to Gilford County, N. C. soon after their marriage and then on to Humphreys County, TN in 1823.

Able and Elizabeth Utley settled on 200 acres of land granted him in Range 8, Section 3, which became the Third Civil District of Benton County, TN. The land was located south of Camden about half-way to Birdsong Creek.

He built a log house near the road and made it their residence. They had issue:
1. Jane Utley born Ca. 1817, married Ira Aden in 1839.
2. Female born in 1819
3. Martha Elender Utley born 6 March 1820, married Hezekiah Forrest and died 30 September 1883
4. M.C. Utley born Ca. 1822 and married 12 December 1842 to Stephen Marchbanks.
5. Authur Jack Utley born Ca. 1825 and married Judy D. Thomas.
6. Louisa S. Utley born Ca. 1827 and married Fleix S. Reeves on 16 July 1846
7. Andrew Thomas Utley born Ca. 1828 and married Irene D. Thomas on 22 November 1848.
8. Synthia Utley born Ca. 1830 and married William C. Cambell on 22 November 1848
9. Albert Utley born Ca. 1832 and married Rebecca Thornton on 2 October 1853
10. John Utley born Ca. 1834 and married Nancy H. Hinnant on 22 December 1864
11. Elizabeth Utley born ca. 1835.
12. Viola Utley born Ca. 1838 and married Thomas J. Corbitt 17 February 1858.
13. Jorotha Utley born Ca. 184O.

Able Utley made a deed to Daniel L. Dean 25 July 1878 for part of his land. The deed set apart one acre of land for all time to be used for a "Burying Ground" , which has been used by the Utley families for Several; years. This cemetery is now known as the Eastview Cemetery. Able died soon alter the deed was made.

Seth Utley married Bathsheba Wood and moved to Humphreys County, TN. The records show that he sold Lot Number 48 in the Town of Reynoldsburg to John Cobb on 29 May 1~8. He received a grant for land in Range 8, Section 3 on 9 February 1821, which also became the Third Civil District of Benton County,, TN.

Seth and Bathsheba Utley had issue:
1. John Wesley Utley born 2 December 1817 and married Nancy Rushing on 15 June 1837. She was born ca. 1817 a daughter of Able and Sarah Jane (Herrin) Rushing. They moved to Paririe County, Arkansas where he died in 1863.
2. Martha J. Utley born ca. 1820 and married Samuel G. Tittle on 20 March 1842.
3. Mary Amanda Utley horn 7 November 1821.
4. Margaret C. Utley born ca. 1824 and married Thomas H.R Jett on 7 December 1844.
5. Russell Utley born ca. 1825.
6. Nancy Elizabeth Utley born 13 January 1827 and married William Porter about 1854. She died in Plaski, Arkansas.
7. Burwell L. Utley born 27 December 1827.
8. Cale Utley born in 1830.
9. Adeline L. Utley born ca. 1831.
10. George W. Utley born ca. 1834 and married Elizabeth V. Camp on 29 August 1860. He died in 1866.
11. Joseph Seth Utley born 16 February 1836 and married Lavinia A. Coller on 1 December 1869. He died 18 February 1914 in Johnson County, Arkansas.
12. Martin Van Utley born 23 March 1840.

Seth Utley became involved in an unsuccessful attempt to organize a Mormon Church in Benton County, TN. He sold his land in Benton County to George Thompson and followed the Mormons to Arkansas. He died in Paririe County, Arkansas on 15 August 1866 and died the following year.

Burwell Utley, Jr. was the youngest son of Burwell Utley, Sr. and his wife Sarah Lashley of Wake County, N.C. He was born Ca. 1800 and married 14 January 1828 to Nancy Taylor. She was born Ca. 1802 a daughter of Alexander Taylor of Wake County, N.C. Burwell and Nancy moved with her father to Henderson County, TN soon after their marriage. However, they did not remain there long and moved to Benton County, TN near his kindsmen. Burwell Utley appeared in the 1840 census for Benton County, so he moved before the census was taken. He entered a claim for land in Benton County for 189 & 15/16 acres of land under the Occupatant Law of the State of, Tennessee on 1 January 1842.

This land joined the 50 acres of land granted Seth Utley on 9 February 1821 and assigned by him to a son Burwell L. Utley on 15 January 1846.

The land granted Burwell Utley, Jr. is recorded in the West Tennessee Land Grant Book 9-A, 1820-1847, page 26.

He farmed this land and passed the remainder of his life on it. He died in 1866 at his home. His wife Nancy also died at their home in 1872. They both were buried in the Utley Burying Ground with only large cedar trees marking their graves. The cemetery is now known as the Eastview Cemetery.
Burwell Utley, Jr. and his wife Nancy had issue:
1. William Henry Utley horn ca. 1829, married Emeline Farrar of Benton County, TN on 21 September 1852.
2. Fredonia Adeline Utley born 25 March 1832, married Charles Hodges Thompson on 26 March 1854 and died 10 June 1896.
3. Mary Catherine Utley born Ca. 1833, married Joseph Summers on 25 August 1862.
4. Sarah Frances Utley born in 1834 and died in 1926, a spinster. She was known as "Aunt Fannie". 5. John Albert Utley, of whom later.
6. James K. Polk Utley born in 1844, never married.
7. Samuel Huston Utley born in 1847, married America Ward and moved to Arkansas in 1878. 8. Martha Utley born in 1849, married James M. Prince on 14 November 1875. Buried in an unmarked grave in the Eastview Cemetery.

John Albert Utley born 25 February 1838, a son of Burwell Utley Jr. and his wife Nancy, and served in the Confederate Army. He married Louisa (Puss) Mitchell on 6 January 1865 and died 21 October 1897. Louisa was born 1 September 1844 in N.C. , a daughter of William and Sarah (Ross) Mitchell, and died 28 November 1928. John A. and Louisa Utley had issue:
1. Female born & died in 1865.
2. Robert F. Lee Utley born 3 November 1866, of whom later.
3. Burwell LaFayette Utley born in October 1868 and died in 1944. Never married.
4. Manuel Houston Utley born 5 November 1871 married Minnie Russell on 4 November 1900 and died 28 December 1958.
5. Julia Ann Utley born 14 July 1872, married Andrew W. Cooley on 24 July 1890, married second John M. Durdin 14 May 1905. Julia Ann died 11 January 1941.
6. William Patrick Utley born 11 May 1874, married Sarah Holland on 14 February 1903, married second Ella Noland on 7 March 1915. William Patrick Utley died 24 December 1966.
7. Delia Utley born and died in 1876.
8. Mary Utley born in November of 1877 and married Thomas Oscar Bishop on 27 December 1898. She died in March of 19l1. 9. Arco F. Utley born in 1878 and married Lydia Lashlee on 18 February 1900. They moved to Arkansas.
10. Dosha F. Utley born 1 February 1880 and died the same year.
11. Lella Utley born and died in 1883.
12. Nina Utley born 23 March 1885, married Jessie Jordan on 28 January 1920, and died 16 February 1955.
13. ha Utley born 22 January 1887, married Augustus (Gustie) Pierce on 10 September 1905 and died 29 October 1952.

Robert F. Lee Utley, son of John A. and Louisa Utley, married Callie Frances Rushing on 14 January 1897. She was born 11 August 1881 the daughter of James Darling and Cordilla Rushing. She died on 26 October:, 1918. Robert F. Lee Utley married second Etta Wright on 21 April 1924. She was born 18 May 1878 and died 20 June 1971. Robert EL. Utley died 3 December 1958.
Robert B. Lee and Callie Frances Utley had issue:
1. Maude Lee Utley born 8 May 1898, married Fred Harris Saunders on 26 December 1920 and had issue:

  • Emma Frances and Marion Ray Saunders. Maude Lee died 16 August 1977.

  • 2. Duell Utley born and died in 1900
    3. Charlie Bernice Utley born 15 November 1901, married Bennie Rogers on 20 March 1921 and had issue:
    • June, Robert Maxell, Ralph Utley, Ophelia, Rita, Phillip Hugh, Stanley and Donold Harris Rogers. Charlie Bernice died 10 August 1977

    • 4. Clarence Logan Utley born 10 May 1905, married Cecilia Ryan on 13 August 1931 and had issue:
      • Robert and Charlene Utley.

      • 5. Clifford Paul Utley born 3 September 1911, married Lillian Hedge on 2 October 1934 and had issue:
        • Pauline, Paul Nelson, Austin Ray and Michale Utley. Clifford died 21 April 1979.

        • 6. Wayne Milburn Utley born 22 September 1914, married Minnie Alice Hedge and had issue:
          • Milburn and Joice Ann Utley.

          • 7. Lillian Erlene Utley born 1 March 1917, married Robert Young on 5 February 1939, who died soon afterwards. Erlene married second Austin Buck on 23 September 1940. No issue by either marriage. Erlene died 13 December 1997.


            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 - 2016