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From Maryland to Kentucky, a look at how the Benton family came to be in Bourbon County

Submitted by Mary Hatton


When Joseph Benton II was born in Prince George's County, Maryland on 15 October 1725, Kentucky was still 25 years away from it's first known visit by a white man and about 45 years away from the trailblazing pioneers snaking their way through the passes and looking to settle the area.  Indeed, Joseph probably never visited the area but his son certainly did.


Joseph II and his wife, Elizabeth produced eleven children, one of which was Hezekiah Benton.  Hezekiah was born in Maryland on 1 January 1768, the fifth child all male to that point, of his parents union.


Hezekiah was reportedly married in 1787, although to whom and where is still a mystery to the submitter.  We do know that his family was in Kentucky at least by 16 April 1803 as that is when his son, Norwell Thomas Benton was born in Mt. Sterling in Montgomery County.  Hezekiah lived out his days in Montgomery County, it seems, as he died there around 1840.  Hezekiah's will was probated in May 1841.


Norwell was married to Elizabeth Bishop Taul on 19 September 1831 in Montgomery County, interestingly enough, a year after their first child, Hezekiah Jackson Benton was born.  Norwell and Elizabeth also had a large family with 10 offspring being the issue of the partnership.  Norval Thomas Benton was born in Winchester, Clark County on 27 April 1841.  This is an interesting note as Norwell and Elizabeth seemed to have children in both Mt. Sterling and Winchester alternatively.


On 4 February 1869 Norval Benton married Margaret J. Talbott.  They married in Margaret's native Bourbon County but resided in Winchester as they produced at least three children, the first and third being born in Winchester.  Margaret was the great-granddaughter of Demovit Talbott who moved to Bourbon County in the mid-1790's from Fairfax County, Virginia.  Norval died in Winchester on 2 November 1877 aged just 36. Norval was buried in section B of the Winchester Cemetery as a matter of fact he is buried next to his parents.   Margaret was 30 years old when Norval died and she went on to marry at least twice more.


The thrid child that was born to Norval and Margaret was Norvell Thomas Benton I, born 29 January 1877 in Winchester, Clark County.  He never knew his father as he had passed away before Norvell turned 1 year old.


Norvell emulated his parents by marrying in in a different county than where he was to reside during married life.  Norvell took Sarah Elizabeth Scobee as his wife in a ceremony held at the prestigious Phoenix Hotel in Lexington, Fayette County on 15 October 1902.  However, their home was still to be in Winchester. 


Sarah and Norvell had four children, all believed to have born in Winchester.  While their first born was honored with carrying his mother's maiden name as his middle name, their third child (and second son) continued the tradition of some derivation of Norvell Thomas Benton's in the fourth generation.  Norvell I died in Winchester on 1 April 1916 and was buried there two days later.  Sarah lived to be 98 years of age and died on 3 June 1978 in Paris, Bourbon County.  She was buried on 6 June 1978 in Winchester Cemetery, Winchester.


The third son and youngest child born to Norvell I and Sarah was Samuel Clay Benton.  Born on 10 September 1919 in Winchester, Samuel married a Paris resident, Mayme Taylor on 13 September 1936 at 617 High Street, Paris.  It was Samuel and Mayme who set up home in Paris and chose to bring up their family in Bourbon County.  Mayme had been born on 27 November 1912 in Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky.


Samuel, better known as Clay, attended Paris High School, graduating in 1930.  In 1967 he was awarded the Kirkpatrick Cup at the annual Paris High Alumni Association banquet.


He worked for the Post Office as a carrier on Rural Route #3 for 30 years.  In his retirement he was still active taking a position as Civil Defense Director for Bourbon County in September 1973.  In October 1982 he was elected as Vice President of the Kentucky Disaster and Emergency Services Association.  Clay was also President of the Paris Lions Club 1978-79.


Mayme was a graduate of Madison High School in Richmond, Kentucky and also graduated from the University of Kentucky.  Her vocation was teaching and she served the Paris and Bourbon County school system for 20 years.


She also was a very active person being a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Paris, Alpha Delta Kappa Teacher's Sorority  and Center Hill Homemakers Club, among others.


Clay died on 18 November 1995 in Paris and was buried three days later in Paris Cemetery.  He joined his loving wife, Mayme, who died three years earlier on 7 September 1992.


Mayme and Clay had two children, both girls, born in Paris and born still living.  One of these children, Mary Clay Hatton (nee Benton) is the submitter of this article.


Throughout this article you may have noticed that there are three different spelling variations of a very similar name.  Submitter, Mary Hatton, has chosen to follow the spellings the way that she has found them on official documentation.  However, Mary agrees that all three derivations of the name Norvel/Norval/Norwell is probably the same name.



Joseph BENTON I (no dates known)
Married: unknown
Children: Joseph H. (b. 15 Oct 1725
Joseph BENTON II b. 1 Jan 1768- ca. 1725
Married: Elizabeth
Children: William (b. ca. 1750); Joseph III (b. 7 Aug 1757); Benamin (b. ca. 1760); Nathan (b. ca. 1764); Hezekiah (b. 1 Jan 1768); Elizabeth (b. ca. 1770); Marian (b. ca. 1770); Thomas (b. ca. 1772); Ann (b. ca. 1774); Mordecai (b. ca. 1775); Erasmus (b. 1776)
Hezekiah BENTON b. 1 Jan 1768 - ca. 1840
Married: unknown, 1787
Children: Horace (b. 23 Oct 1799); Norwell Thomas I (b. 16 Apr 1803)
Norwell Thomas BENTON b. 16 Apr 1803 - 26 Mar 1880
Married: Elizabeth Bishop TAUL in Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, KY on 19 September 1831
Children: Hezekiah Jackson (b. 18 Jul 1832); Susan A.T. (b. 7 Jun 1835); William H.C. (b. 28 Jan 1838); Norval Thomas (b. 27 Apr 1841); Frances C. (b. 3 Aug 1844); Horace M. (b. 16 Feb 1847); Marcy C. (b. 18 Sept 1849); Sarah Elizabeth (b. 3 Apr 1852); John Wiley (b. 23 Nov 1854); Nancy J.S. (b. 12 Mar 1858)
Norval Thomas BENTON b. 27 Apr 1841 0 2 Nov 1877
Married: Margaret J. TALBOTT in Bourbon County, KY on 4 Feb 1869
Children: William Talbott (b. 23 Aug 1872); Robert (b. 16 May 1874); Norvell Thomas I (b. 29 Jan 1877)
Norvell Thomas BENTON I* b. 29 Jan 1877 - 1 Apr 1916
Married: Sarah Elizabeth "Sallie" SCOBEE at the Phoenix Hotel, Lexington Fayette County, KY on 15 Oct 1902
Children: Alexander Scobee (b. 15 Nov 1903); Jennie Mary (b. 24 Jun 1905); Norvell Thomas II (b. 7 Jan 1909); Samuel Clay (b. 10 Sept 1910)
Samuel Clay BENTON b. 10 Sept 1910 - 18 Nov 1995
Married: Mayme Taylor at 617 High Street, Paris, Bourbon County, KY on 13 Sep 1936
Children: Mary Clay (no dates given); Sallie Jo (no dates given)


*Wednesday, October 22, 1902, Mt. Sterling Advocate-Benton, Scobee, & Tyler
On last Wednesday (October 15, 1902) afternoon in the parlor of the Phoenix Hotel at Lexington, Rev. John E. Abbott officiating, Mr. Norval T. Benton, of the Guthrie Clothing Co., this city was married to Miss Sallie Scobee, Daughter of Alexander Scobee this County. The wedding was not a surprise for the two had been sweethearts for quite a while. Miss Scobee is noted for her beauty and natural graces. In Mr. Benton we have been much interested. We became attached to him while he was a typo in this office. He was always ready with his part of a task and did it well, moral, correct, and faithful, we regretted to give him up, in relations with the Guthrie Clothing Co., he was complied with demands on him. His friends are numbered by his acquaintances, all of whom will join us in wishing him well. From Lexington they went to Louisville and returned here Saturday and took up rooms with his step-father, Mr. J. C. Tyler, North Maysville Street.

Additional information: Sallie Scobee Benton, moved to Paris, Ky. in the 1920's with her children. Sallie and her daughter, Jennie Mary Benton, owned and operated "Benton's Beauty Salon" on the corner of Fifth and High Streets until the late 1960's or early 1970's. Sallie lived in Paris, Ky. until she died on June 03, 1978 at 98 years of age. 

Tuesday April 4, 1916, The Winchester Democrat-Benton/Scobee/Talbott






When the message went out over our city Saturday morning in the dawning of a glorious day spring day, that an honored and beloved citizen, Norval T. Benton, had passed away there was sadness. In the prime of a life which meant a blessing to his home, his friends, his church, he was suddenly stricken, and not with standing the heroic efforts of his attending physicians and loved ones, the soul which had struggled to be free all during the long night of anxious solicitude, winged its flight to the great beyond and to its eternal reward.   



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