National Register Listings in
Benton County, Tennessee

The first known protest against British taxation in America occurred in Tennessee in 1768, more than a decade before the famous Boston Tea Party. A group of settlers in the Watauga Association signed a petition protesting the British government's attempt to impose taxes on them without their consent.
Benton County, located in western Tennessee, has a rich and diverse history dating back to the early 19th century. The county was established in 1835 and named after Thomas Hart Benton, a prominent U.S. senator from Missouri known for his support of westward expansion. At that time, the area was primarily inhabited by Native American tribes such as the Chickasaw and Cherokee.

One significant event in Benton County's history was the construction of the Tennessee River's Kentucky Dam in the 1930s. This damming of the river led to the creation of Kentucky Lake, which borders the county and became a major tourist attraction and economic boon for the area. The construction of the dam also brought about significant changes in the landscape and further influenced the development of Benton County.

During the Civil War, Benton County saw its fair share of military action. Union and Confederate forces both vied for control of the region, resulting in skirmishes and battles. The Battle of Johnsonville, which took place in 1864, was a notable engagement in Benton County. Despite the destruction caused by the war, the county rebounded and continued to grow in the following years.

In the late 20th century, Benton County experienced economic diversification and saw the rise of industries such as manufacturing and agriculture. Today, it is home to a thriving community, with its natural beauty and recreational opportunities attracting tourists and residents alike. Benton County continues to evolve while cherishing its past, making it a unique and historically significant part of Tennessee.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Benton County, Tennessee.

  • 1807: Benton County, Tennessee is established on December 19.
  • 1845: Camden becomes the county seat.
  • 1862: Benton County is heavily affected by the American Civil War.
  • 1870: Benton County's population reaches 8,791.
  • 1930: Construction of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) dams begins, which greatly transforms the county's landscape and economy.
  • 1943: Construction of Kentucky Dam on the Tennessee River is completed.
  • 1975: Benton County establishes Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park.
  • 2020: Benton County celebrates its 213th anniversary.