Submitted By: Cindy Whitis
Benedict Ancestors in Kentucky
by Cindy Whitis
This is a record of my
ancestors, the descendents of a pioneer who came into the wilderness of Kentucky
and through their fortitude, hard work, and courage established a family that
has endured for over two hundred years. They have loved, fought, married, worshipped, reared their
children, and buried their loved ones in Lincoln County, Kentucky.
Benedict was the first Benedict ancestor to live in Kentucky.
It is unclear where he was born, but by 1775 he was living in Augusta
County, VA. He purchased 120 acres
on Linville Creek on November 21, 1775.
John Benedict served
twice during the Revolutionary War. The first evidence is from a list of
soldiers who participated in the Battle of Kings Mountain in South Carolina.
commander of the British forces in the Carolinas had issued a statement that he
intended to invade their lands and lay waste their country with fire and sword
and hang their leaders. He aroused
the anger of the Americans to such a degree that they rallied to defeat him.
They began to recruit men
from the region of the mountains. These
“over mountain” men under Col. Isaac Shelby, Col. William Campbell and
others from the frontier met on September 25, 1780 on the Watagua River and
marched toward North Carolina.
They came to
Cowpens, NC where they were joined by Col. Williams of South Carolina and nearly
400 of his men. They marched toward
Kings Mountain and on the morning of October 7, 1780 delivered the first major
defeat to the British.
The second evidence
of his military service is from Capt. John Boyle’s Payroll, Document 148 of
the Illinois Papers.
“Company of Lincoln Militia called into actual Service to Range on the
fronteers from Carpenters Bridges and Estills Stations under the Command of Hugh
Mcgary Maj. Persuent to Coln. Bengeman Logans order 1782 for service 10 July to
13 August 1782.” John Benedict
received 1 pound 16 shillings.
From this evidence
we know that he was in Kentucky at least by 1782.
Virginia law allowed settlers to claim 400 acres of land by clearing and
planting a crop of one acre and by building a dwelling at least 12’x12’.
John Benedict claimed 400 acres on the banks of Harrison’s Creek (later
shortened to Harris’ Creek). Clear
title was not established until after his death when Henry French deeded the
four hundred acres to his sons Jacob and John, Jr.
adjoined that of Isaac Shelby who became the first governor of Kentucky.
Family tradition claims that the Benedicts and the Shelbys were related.
I cannot find proof of that claim, but they served together fighting the Indians
and the British and they were definitely neighbors.
records his stock mark, “a crop in the left ear” in 1784
and paid taxes on his land in 1789.
The second census of
Kentucky in 1800, also a property tax list, includes
these entries for Lincoln Co.: Bennedick: Benjamin, Daniel, John,Sr. and John,Jr.
Our ancestor was
involved in the following court proceedings. The Index to Suits No. 1, Lincoln
Co.,KY File Box 1798:"John
Dickson claimed he had lost a gray mare upwards of 5 years old and later found
she was being detained by John Benedict together with her dark colored or black
colt. He sued for return of his
property and 100 pounds damage. The
jury decided in Dickson’s favor setting value at 9 pounds for the mare and 3
pounds for the colt together with 1 pence damage if mare and colt are found,
otherwise damage of 12 pounds."
The Index to Suits
No. 1, Lincoln Co., KY File Box 1806: "John Benedict claimed he had loaned
20 pounds three years previously to Absalom Shannon, secured by a note promising
to repay principal and interest at the end of 12 months, but so far had been
able to collect on 12 pounds. He
asked for double damage (40 pounds). The
jury decided in favor of Benedict in the amount mentioned and 2 pounds 10
shillings and 8 pence damages."
Children of John Benedict,Sr. (Generation #1) and first wife (unknown):
2.John Benedict, Jr. was
born about 1765 . He married Hannah
Phillips on Feb 9, 1792 in Lincoln Co.,KY.
After the death of his father he moved his family to Indiana and died in
Knox Co., IN in August of 1840.
2.Susannah Benedict married John Veach on July 2, 1787 in Lincoln
2.Hannah Benedict married John Winfrey on Mar 13, 1798 in Lincoln
2.Daniel Benedict is
a possible son as he is listed on the 1800 tax list but is not in his father’s
will of 1810.
2.Benjamin Benedict 
was born in 1774 in Virginia. He
married Mary Richey on May 5, 1798 in Lincoln County.
Benjamin moved his family to western Kentucky first to Adair County,
where he paid property tax in 1802, and then to Allen Co.,KY.
2.Catherine (Catty) Benedict married William Silvers on Apr 2,
1803 in Lincoln County.
2.Anthony Benedict moved
to Natchez, Mississippi where he married Anna Terry on July 8, 1805 in Adams,
Hinds Co., MS. Anthony died there
2.Jacob Benedict (My ancestor will always be in bold print.)
Mary Magdalin, who
is listed in John's will, was his second wife and he was her second husband.
Mary was the widow of William Mansfield of Virginia. William Mansfield
brought his family to Kentucky sometime during the late summer or early fall of
1779. Sometime between November
1783 and April 1789, William died and his widow married John Benedict.
Records Vol. I p.53 has this entry: “Consent
of John Benedict and Magdalene Benedict for their daughter Mary Mansfield to
marry James Crafton, Sept 3, 1798. Witnesses
were John Benedict, Jr. and James Mansfield”.
John's will is
recorded in Lincoln Co., KY Wills Bk.D.
“In the name of God Amen. I John Benedict of Lincoln County
and state of Kentucky Being weak in body but sound in mind and memory calling to
mind the mortality of my body and knowing it is appointed for all men once to
die do make and ordain this my last will and testament.
First of all I give my sole to Almighty God who first gave it, and my
body to the earth from whence it came to be buried in a decent Christian like
manner at the discretion of my Executors and as to my worldly estate wherewith
God hath blessed me with in this life I give demise and dispose of it in the
following manner and form that is to say I give to John Benedict my oldest son all the
land lying on the West side of the creek of the tract I now live on also to
Jacob Benedict the rest tract on the East side of the creek whereon I now live
reserving to my wife Mary Magdalin Benedict during her life that part of Jacob
Benedicts tract that lies East and North East of a line beginning at the mouth
of the still house branch thence up the branch to the lane thence with the lane
and path leading to the pine lick to the south line of said tract and at her
death to revert to the said Jacob Benedict his heirs forever.
and to Benjamin Benedict I give five shillings and to Anthony Benedict I
give five shillings and to Susannah Veach and her heirs I give five shillings
each and after all these legasees are made up and paid and also all my just
debts and funeral expenses satisfied the rest of my personal estate I give to my
wife during her life and to dispose of as she may think proper.
I also appoint John Benedict and Jacob Benedict and William Silvers my
Executors in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 27th day
of November 1809.”
His will was proved
in court on January 15, 1810.
Benedict and his second wife, Mary Magdalin, are buried at the site of the
Benedict Cemetery - on a hill overlooking Harris’ Creek in Lincoln Co.,KY.
JACOB BENEDICT / ELIZABETH GOODE ROWZEY
2.Jacob Benedict was born to John Benedict
(mother unknown). He married Elizabeth Goode Rowzey. Elizabeth was born about 1778
to Benjamin Goode (son of John Goode) and Elizabeth Camden (daughter of William
Camden and granddaughter of Henry Camden. William
was Scotch-Irish and lived to be 114 years old.)
On November 5, 1792
she married Leonard Rowzey in Amherst County, Virginia. Leonard brought his family and Elizabeth’s parents and
three brothers (Daniel, Joseph, and Macajah Goode) to Kentucky. They settled in
Milledgeville, Lincoln Co.,KY. Leonard
died sometime before 1808. Elizabeth
was the mother of five children (Sarah, Kilbourn, Jordan, Malinda, and John)
when she married Jacob Benedict on November 5, 1808 in Lincoln Co., KY.
Children and some grandchildren of Jacob & Elizabeth Benedict:
3. Wesley Benedict
was born in 1809 in Lincoln Co.,KY
He maried Clementine Stigall on July 26, 1826 in Lincoln County.
The 1850 census & tax roll shows Wesley owned two slaves valued at
$650. Family tradition
states that further down the hill at the Benedict Cemetery are the graves of
slaves whose names are now lost to memory
His obituary as
written in the local newspaper:
Benedict, the subject of this notice, was born August 8, 1809 and died Sept 8,
1889 having lived his fourscore years and one month over.
All these many years except a short time toward the close of his life
were spent on the little farm where he was born, in the vicinity of
Milledgeville, Lincoln County. His wife, to whom he was married in early manhood
and who preceded him to the grave about two years since, was a sister to Mrs.
L.D. Goode of this county, her maiden name being Clementine Stigall. They had
nine children born to them, seven of whom reached the age of maturity and four
of these are still living, viz; George A. and Jordan A. Benedict, Mrs. M.T.
Russell and Mrs. Wm. J. Gaddis.
The decedent enjoyed
none of that which the world calls distinction, nor did he crave it, but was
content to be a plain, unpretentious, honest man, a kind and generous neighbor,
and an orderly law-respecting, quiet citizen doing his full duty, as he
understood it in all the relations of life.
His leading characteristic was generosity, which was manifested in every
conceivable way toward all with whom he was associated.
His hospitality was unbounded, and no one ever asked help at his hands
who did not receive it to the extent of his ability.
Indeed it is well known that his too liberal contributions to the
necessities of others, together with his extraordinary hospitality prevented him
from acquiring that competency to which his industry entitled him.
In politics Mr.
Benedict was a democrat of the old school and in his younger days he proved his
loyalty to his party as well as to his own value to its cause in many a hard
fought contest and throughout his lifetime he steadily followed the old
democratic banner through thick and thin.
before his death he attached himself to the Christian church and from that time
until his final summons came he lived the life and acted the part of a sincere
and true Christian, and gave every evidence of his undoubting belief that
eternal happiness awaited him beyond the grave.
One Who Knew Him Well "
Children of Wesley &
4.Elizabeth Jane Benedict
was born June 21, 1828. She
married Martin Russell on April 20, 1847 in Lincoln County.
Russell, my great Gran'pa... was a son of Edmund Russell, who with
his wife are buried in the grave yard of McCormack Church on Hanging
Fork.... It was the location of their cabin at Dripping Spring, on Harris Creek,
we waded the creek to locate. I
often walked with Ma, from Milledgeville to visit Gran'pap and Little Gran'ma
Benedict at the cabin on the bluff above the Spring, attended the log Benedict
Baptist Church by a hole of water in Harris Creek where they did their
baptizing. My own mother was
baptized there. Preston and other
brother Wesley Benedict were located further up the creek."
died on Aug 2, 1896 and her obituary appears in the local paper: "Mrs. Martin S. Russell, who was 65 years old, died of
heart disease and left besides her husband several grown children.
She was an excellent Christian woman and Mr. Russell and his children
have the sympathy of all in their bereavement."
4.James H. Benedict was born on June 29, 1830.
The 1850 census lists his occupation as a carpenter.
He married Sarah E. Terry on October 6, 1851 in Boyle Co., KY.
James died just past his 25th birthday on November 18, 1855 and was
buried in the Benedict Cemetery.
time of his death, they had three children, Josephine, Mary and Sarah. His widow
married Charles Epperson and moved to Missouri where she had 3 more children:
Olivia, William, and Charles Epperson.
4.Lawrence Benedict was
born in 1836.
4.Jordan Alexander Benedict was born in 1839.
He married Susan Ellen Bowman on June 20, 1861 in Lincoln County. They
had three children John Wesley, Dora, and Mary Julia.
John was a well digger
and his wife, Molly Ely Benedict, killed herself in 1884:
John Benedict, of the Milledgeville neighborhood, shot herself through the wind
pipe, Saturday, while in a pet with her husband. An old negro woman who was there says she heard her say to
her husband that she was going to see her mother and on his replying that he
could furnish her no way, she answered "I'm going or kill myself one."
Benedict went out and in a few moments a shot was heard and the woman
found dead. She was a daughter of
Mrs. Ely, of this place, and was considered a woman of good sense.
Jordan Benedict and
his sister Elizabeth Benedict Russell both died in the same week of 1896:
"Mr. George A. Benedict, of this place has been drinking of the
during the last week. He
has lost a sister and a brother, both of whom were useful citizens.....Jordan A.
Benedict had lived at Junction City for years and was a kind-hearted, good man.
He was 56 and the cause of his death was flux.
He leaves a wife and several children." 
4.Mary Catherine Benedict was
born in 1842. She married William
Gaddis on May 25, 1858 in Lincoln County.
4.Nancy Ellen Benedict was
born on January 4, 1845. She died
on March 3, 1859.
4.George A. Benedict was born in 1847.
He married Sarah (Sally) Mitchum on December 6, 1867 in Lincoln County.
Sally was the daughter of W.H. and Harriet Steele Mitchum. They had six
children: Josephine, Lois, John S., Nannie, James A., and Albert.
George was a
prosperous businessman in Stanford for many years before he moved to Washington
Co., KY in 1898.
"Mr. G.A. Benedict is the "tradingest" man in the country and as
a general thing he comes out ahead in his deals. Several days ago he left here with a Texas pony, a 25
year-old mule, a blind mule and a pretty good work mule with the intention of
spending a while "swapping." He
returned Wednesday and gave us the following report:
"I was at Lebanon court and the rest of the time I spent in Taylor
County, which I found to be a first-rate one in which to swap horses.
I made 20 swaps in all and traded for the blind mule and owned him three
times in four days, but finally got rid of him for good."
Are you ahead on your trip? Our reporter asked.
"A little," was his reply.
"I brought back two nice five year-old mares, a good brood mare, the
best mule I started with besides a yoke of oxen worth $50 and a $7.50 sow.
I also have several dollars more than I left with.
Mr. Benedict said he really enjoyed the trip and that he would go back to
Taylor County and try it again as soon as he heard of the death of the blind
George's daughter Lois was
written about in this article: "Miss Lois Benedict, the pretty daughter of
Mr. George Benedict, who ran off several months ago with Jno. Hatcher, son of
Mr. T.J. Hatcher, our boss shoemaker, and were made husband and wife, has
realized that youthful marriage is not as pleasant as she anticipated and has
returned to her parental roof. She
claims that her husband made no effort to support her and will ask the court to
grant her a divorce on those grounds. Mr.
Benedict, who at the time of his daughter's marriage declared he would never
recognize her again, was so worked upon by her earnest appeal to again become a
member of his family that he soon forgot his oath and welcomed her back with
open arms, as a father should do."
Lois became the
bride of John McCarley on Aug 2, 1894.
George's son, James
A. Benedict, a carpenter died in 1919 at the age of thirty-seven.
The death certificate states: "was shot by his own hand" and
ruled a suicide.
4.Marion M. Benedict was born in 1848.
(Presley) Benedict was born about 1812 to Jacob and Elizabeth Benedict.
Sometimes his name in the records appears as Preston and sometimes as
Presley. He married Mary Ann
Phillips on August 10, 1837 in Mercer Co., KY.
The 1850 Census of Lincoln Co. shows Preston and Mary Ann living in the
household by themselves with no children. However,
in 1845, Preston took in a child. The
courts were very specific regarding the rights and privileges of children
apprenticed out and the duties of their guardians.
made this 7th day of April 1845 between Thomas Helm Clerk of Lincoln County
Court of the first part and Presley Benedict of the second part witnesseth that
the said Thomas Helm Clerk as aforesaid in persuance to the order of the Lincoln
County Court made at the April Term in the 1845 (unreadable) Sarah Jane Nix age
? 3 years
on the 1st day of January 1845. (unreadable)
she allows (until) the age of 18 years to the said Presley Benedict to learn the
art trade and mystery of a spinster. And
the said Benedict covenants with the said Helm, that he will at all times
furnish the said Sarah Jane with wholesome neat clean (unreadable) and suitable
clothing for the different seasons of the year and said Benedict further
covenants with the said Helm that he will teach the said Sarah Jane Nix as cause
her to be taught to read and write, common arithmetic including the Single Rule
of Three and that he will at the expiration of apprenticeship to the said Sarah
Jane Nix - thirty dollars and her a decent new suit of clothes.
In testimony thereof the said Helm as clerk aforesaid and Benedict have
hereunto submitted their names and affixed their seals the date above written.
On November 16, 1858 Preston
gave consent for Sarah Jane Nix to marry David Watson in Lincoln Co.,KY
In the 1860 Lincoln Co.
census, Preston is living unmarried in the household of his brother Wesley
Benedict. However, Preston married
Rachel Burchell Sep.24, 1860 in Boyle Co., KY.
appear on the 1870 census in the home of Preston: James whose date of birth is
listed as 1856, Logan who was born 1858, and Thomas J. Benedict born 1861.
I’m unsure if James and Logan are Preston and Rachel’s children or
Preston’s stepchildren, or their ages were given incorrectly, or James might
be James Hardwick and his last name was written as Benedict.
married Docia Christison Hardwick on March 11, 1865 in Marion Co.,KY.
Docia, who was born July 3, 1834, was the widow of Jeff Hardwick and the
mother of at least two children, James b.1854 and Mary L. b.1858.
Family tradition says that James
Hardwick killed a man and the judge gave him the choice of prison or leaving the
state. He left and went to
Preston and Docia had three children: Marion Wesley, Martha, and Sallie.
In 1885 this short
article tells of Martha's horrible death: "A
daughter of Presley Benedict was burned to death
few days since, her clothing having become ignited in consequence of her being
busy near the fire."
I know it is not Sallie as she married A.F. Crutcher on May 19, 1889 in Lincoln
Presley died in 1895
and Docia Benedict died of chronic bronchitis on April 17, 1914,
and is buried in the Benedict Cemetery.
The 1830 census of Lincoln Co. shows one female living in the family of
Jacob and Elizabeth Benedict, but does not give her name.
Perhaps it was Amarilla Benedict who married John Warford in
Lincoln Co. on Dec 13, 1837.
Benedict was born in 1818. He
married Mary Ellen Yates.
Benedict was born about 1820. He
left Kentucky and moved to Missouri where he married Narcissus Downey on Nov 23,
1836 in Boone County, MO. They had
three sons: Westley E., James W.,
and Thomas Benton Benedict. During
the Civil War
W. Benedict and his brother Thomas Benedict are listed as captured Confederate
J.W. rank: Pvt
captured: Boone Co.,MO
Nov 1, 1862
sent to Alton, Illinois
“James Benedict &
Thomas Benedict captured & charged
with rebellion against U.S. Government Dec 19, 1861 in
Missouri. Found guilty and sentenced to be held as prisoners.”
SHELBY BENEDICT / MARY ELLEN YATES
Shelby Benedict was born
December 28, 1818. He married Mary Ellen Yates
who was born in 1825
to Charles Yates & Emily (Milly) Bibb Yates of Mercer Co.,KY.
Jacob Shelby & Mary Ellen
Yates were married July 20, 1840 in Mercer Co.,KY.
was always called "Shelby Benedict" and grew up in an area not unlike
the Wild West. It seems every man
carried a gun and would use it.
He lived on
the farm his grandfather, John Benedict, had carved out of the wilderness.
Lincoln County at that time was mostly unsettled, with some small towns
and communities scattered throughout the county.
A man's bravery and courage were challenged regularly by nature and by
lawlessness. Whether this actually
happened as told or not, this article gives us a glimpse of his courage:
Benedict the man who whipped a bear in a fair fight here years ago after 3 bull
dogs had failed, is looking and feeling nearly as young as he did in his robust,
youthful days between 70-80 years ago and I believe he could whip a bear
His obituary is
found in the Semi-weekly Interior Journal November 6, 1900 edition:
"This is the record of the life of Shelby Benedict: He was born
Dec.28, 1818 and died last week. He
was married to Ellen Yates July 20th, 1840, who was born in Boyle County near
Danville. They raised 11 children
to be grown, of which six are now living. He
was a member of the Baptist church
over 40 years; was as truthful and honest a man as ever lived; was a good
father, husband and citizen, true to his principles and as a democrat, he never
voted any other ticket during his life.
Benedict died at the age of eighty-nine." appears in the Interior Journal
April 21, 1908 edition.
Children of Jacob Shelby & Mary Ellen:
4.Elizabeth Benedict was born in 1841.
She married George Wright on Aug 7, 1863 in Lincoln County.
4.Nancy Jane Benedict was born on Nov 14, 1842.
She married John Samuel Rice on Apr 13, 1865 in Lincoln County.
This is how they met:
“Civil War Love led to Rices Settling Here”
“John Samuel Rice
came to Kentucky shortly after the Civil War to claim his bride.
He met Nancy Jane
Benedict while passing through central Kentucky as a young Confederate soldier
from Tennessee. His descendant,
Edward L. Rice of Junction City, said his grandfather, John Samuel, may have
fought in the Battle of Perryville. But he has no proof.
He met Nancy
Benedict and told her he’d come back after the war to marry her. He came back and they married in 1865.
Rice was in the
Confederate Army. He took care of
horses during the Civil War. John Samuel Rice was born Feb.18, 1843 near
Chattanooga, TN. He died in 1934
and both are buried in the Benedict Cemetery near Moreland.”
4.James W. Benedict was born in 1844.
He married Nannie Taylor on Dec 15, 1887 in Casey Co., KY.
4.Martha Ann Benedict was born in 1847.
She married Henry Sherron on Dec 25, 1868 in Lincoln County.
4.Malissa Benedict was
born in 1849. She died before the 1860 census.
4.Malinda Benedict was born in 1852.
She married M.S.Russell who was more commonly called "Uncle
Moss". He was the son of Martin Russell and Elizabeth Jane Benedict.
Jennie Russell Bennet contributes this account of their marriage:
"When he was a
young man, his mother's cousin, Malinda Benedict, came every day to help her
older cousin with the housework. One
day, Moss saw her skipping across the fields in her yellow calico dress and her
black long hair blowing in the breeze and he thought she was the prettiest girl
he had ever seen. He went to meet
her, asked her to marry him and since he had a goodly sum of his father's money
in his pocket, they promptly "ran off" and were married.
When they returned home, his father accepted his bride and forgave him
for spending the money and set them up in a small home of their own with some
land. Malinda was born Nov 17, 1856... and was the daughter of Shelby Benedict.
Her mother was a Yates and was part Indian.
Therefore Malinda was also part Indian.
My cousin Russell Shearin says he remembers when he was a boy going with
Ma Russell (Malinda) to see her mother who was dark, had very long black hair
and dark eyes and was very quiet. Ma
Russell also had the dark eyes and black hair as do many of the Russells today.
Ma Russell was a gentle woman, loved by all who knew her.
Moss, or Pa Russell as he was known to us, was a typical rich man's son
content to live off his father's land much of which he inherited along with the
homeplace when his father died."
This article was
published in the Interior Journal about M.S. Russell:
"I live where I was born September 20, 1855.
I never lived out of the county but one year.
I asked the Lord to forgive me for that, and said I would never leave old
Lincoln again. I have been a
tax-payer since I was twenty. Never
was delinquent. I never had any
trouble in court, never was called; never was asked to be on either jury;
never had but one case in court and got beat in that;
never paid a dollar lawyer fee in my life;
never used tobacco in any form. I
was raised in a bar-room. Never was
under the influence of liquor but one time, and my son-in-law was the cause of
that. I have been visiting Stanford all my life.
Never was shaved there but one time.
I think I would be safe in saying that I'd been shaved as many as 25
times in Danville. I have never
been able to shave myself. I would
be willing to give as much as $200 to anybody who paid me back what I have paid
barbers. I raised six children to
be grown. Lost my baby when she was
seventeen with flu. And I think
they would average up with anybody's. I've
got fifteen grandchildren. I think
most of them are grand, sure enough. My oldest daughter has no children. I have thirteen great-grand-children. The oldest granddaughter has no children.
I don't think there is a happier granddaddy in the state than I am.
If there's anybody can beat my record, I'd like to hear from them.
I have been taking the Interior Journal ever since Ceph Campbell began
the printing of it and when I see the paper in another home it seems like one of
the children is there. M.S.
Malinda died on Aug
15, 1902 and is buried in the Hustonville Cemetery. M. S. died Feb 7, 1940 and
is also buried in Hustonville.
4.William Riley Benedict was born in 1854.
He married Sarah Jane Preston on Dec 30, 1875 in Boyle Co., KY.
He died Dec 13, 1937.
4.John Nicholas Benedict
born in 1858. In Lincoln Court Records of1875 he is listed as a member of
the local Militia. He was murdered
in 1884. " Friday last, William Roberts a youth of about 20, walked up to
Nick Benedict, who was standing on the platform of a store at Milledgeville and
drawing a 32 Smith & Wesson pistol, shot him in the abdomen, the ball
passing through the skin, where it was easily reached by the surgeons.
He was just alive at last accounts yesterday and could not live but a few
hours. The cause of the trouble is
said to have been in the fact that Roberts heard that Benedict had accused him
of burning a stack of wheat, not long ago on the farm of a neighbor.
He shot without giving Benedict the least warning and he was not
conscious of his presence till he saw the pistol aimed at him.
Roberts immediately fled but the friends of Benedict say they will have
him dead or alive."
A $200 reward was
soon posted and in September 1885 he was arrested. The account of the trial
appears on November 6, 1885: "According
to the proof admitted in the trial, there has never been a case before the court
here, with but one exception, in which there appeared so little of extenuation
as in that of Henry Roberts for the killing of Nick Benedict, which was on trial
when we went to press Monday night. The
crime amounted almost to assassination and yet the jury after reporting that
they could not agree, finally agreed after being held all night Tuesday, to give
him but 13 years in the penitentiary, just three more than he agreed to take and
not go into trial. We learn from
the jury that when they first went to their room they stood six for 21 years and
six for less time, none however below five years. The youth of the defendant and
the statement which partially came out in proof that Benedict had assaulted
Robert's sister, is all that saved his neck or kept him from a life term."
4.George Scott Benedict was born Dec 12, 1860.
He married Martha Alice Clem on May 28, 1879 in Boyle Co., KY.
George died June 26, 1944 in Illinois.
4.Thomas J. Benedict was
born Feb.21, 1863. He married Laura
Belden and after her death he married Elnora Shelton.
4.Charlie Benedict was born March 1865.
He died Dec 17, 1947. Charlie Benedict was never married and lived alone.
About 1939 he was mugged and robbed.
Believing he had money hidden, Boots Rothwell and Edgar Benedict, hit
“Uncle Charlie” over the head and ransacked his home. Knowing that they were
wanted by local law enforcement, they hid out in the knobs and in the barn of
Laura Hogue. Otis Benedict saw them
and reported it to the officials. They were given prison time for their offense.
J. BENEDICT / LAURA BELDEN
Jefferson Benedict was born
Feb.21, 1863. Thomas married Laura
Belden on Jan 6, 1880 in Marion Co., KY.
She was born in 1866 to Nathan and Laura Drucilla Hardwick Belden.
T.J. (his name in
the paper and on legal documents) grew up in Casey and Lincoln County and owned
property in Casey County across from the Cold Springs Cemetery & Church.
He operated a store there.
He sold that and
moved to Milledgeville where he bought a store near the Harris' Creek Road.
This store was sold to Mr. Winfield Hamm and was called Hamm’s Store
for many years.
He next operated a
store and post office in Butchertown before being elected Town Marshall or
Constable. They evidently lived
next to a toll gate which Mrs. Benedict kept:
"The other day Nick Vanhook, Baker and Holman, from here
and filled with booze. By the time
they were ready to leave they had gotten quite hilarious and when they reached
the toll gate on the Milledgeville Pike they were firing their pistols like
crazy Comanches. They 'ran' the
toll gate, kept by the wife of Constable Benedict, and when that officer heard
of it he had warrants issued for the men, who were brought here and tried.
Judge Varnon fined each $10, which they paid, glad to get off so
He moved his
family to Hustonville in a house on the corner of Highway 78 and Mt. Salem Road.
T.J. was nominated and elected constable in Stanford in 1894.
He had many adventures and the following is just an example:
"Zeke Eads, one
of the prisoners who escaped from the jail here several months ago,
was captured by Constable T.J. Benedict at his home in Casey near the
line and returned to Jailer DeBorde Friday evening.
Mr. DeBorde offered a reward of $25 for Eads and the same amount for Goly
Gaddis who escaped at the same time, and Mr. Benedict has spent considerable
time and money in trying to catch them. He
got sight of Gaddis on one occasion, but the latter took to the bushes and
nothing more was seen of him. Eads
was sent here from Casey County for sake keeping and is charged with malicious
shooting and wounding. Mr. Benedict
tells us that after handcuffing Eads the latter's wife called loudly for her
brothers who lived nearby but he succeeded in hurrying him off before they
arrived. They attempted to follow him and called to Eads but the
constable kept him from answering by threatening to kill him. It was at night when Mr. Benedict made the arrest and as he
was 40 odd miles from home, he began to think how and where he would sleep.
After traveling a dozen or more miles he secured a resting place at a farmer's
house, but discovered later on that there was no lock on the house, and putting
one cuff on Eads' right arm and the other on his own left they retired.
The officer slept well considering the circumstances and next day came
home with his prisoner."
T.J. was very
involved in local politics as there are several newspaper articles where he
represents his party and of course would have been elected to his position as
constable. As far as I can tell, he
greatly admired Judge Davison of the Republican Party.
He even named his son: Wallace Davison Benedict.
After their house was destroyed
by fire he moved his family to Junction City, Boyle Co.,KY where in 1930 he was
sworn in as constable and jailer. His great-granddaughter Aroma Hammond relates
this story as told by his daughter Viola: "Great-grandpa
Tom was a sheriff and grandma remembers the jail being attached to the house.
Her brother Joe was kind of a teaser and would lock the girls up in the
Viola relates that
T.J. was a railroad detective and she would get to ride the train with him up to
Cincinnati and back. They called
her "Little Tom" and she would help the conductors by selling things
on the train.
Viola said her
father was very strict with his girls and didn't let them date much.
There were times when he would call bedtime on them so early that it was
still day light out."
He lived in Junction
City until his death in 1941. He
had a total of seventeen children and eighty-one grandchildren!
Laura died in
October 1902. “Mrs. Thomas
Benedict died at her home near Moreland Monday morning and was buried Tuesday
afternoon. Besides her husband,
several small children are left to keenly feel the want of a mother’s tender
love. Mrs. Benedict was a daughter
of Mr. Nathan Belden. She was about
thirty-seven years old and a strict member of the Baptist Church.”
The children of T.J.
and Laura were:
5.Annie Benedict was born in 1881. She married Samuel D. Rothwell
on May 13, 1896 in Lincoln County. Their
m. Jewell McCowan
6.James Pete Rothwell
5.William S. Benedict was born June 15, 1884.
He married Bertha Shelton on Dec 12, 1904 in Casey Co., KY.
Their children were:
m. Wm. Roy Hogue
m. Hallie Hafley May 18,
1927 Casey Co.,KY
m. Geneva Fights Feb 7,
1935 Casey Co.,KY
& Leslie all died of spinal meningitis.
Dr. Pipes, whose office was in Moreland across from the Railroad Yard,
gave Edgar a vaccine so he survived.
article appeared in the Lincoln Co. newspaper “The Interior Journal” on Apr
2, 1901 and reprinted Apr 27, 2000:
“ACCIDENTLY KILLED- Little Cynthia Hurst, the eight-year-old daughter
of George Hurst, of Rowland, was accidentally shot as she slept, early last
night, and died a few hours later. Willie
Benedict, aged 14, who was staying at the home heard a noise in the kitchen and
securing a pistol, went out to see who was there.
On returning the weapon was discharged as the boy went to lay it on a
table and the ball entered the little girl’s head.
Young Benedict, who is almost crazy with grief, gave himself up to the
authorities and spent the night in jail. When
seen this morning, he seemed more composed, but wept as he spoke of the horrible
accident. He is a son of Thomas J.
Benedict of Milledgeville.”
On Dec 23, 1916
William's death was ruled a homicide:
Fearful Affair at Harris’ Creek
between William Benedict, Tom Thornton, Steve Benedict, and George Thornton.”
The community was gathered at the Harris’ Creek School. The children
had been performing and exchanging presents.
When the teacher, Minelle Pruitt, saw that shooting might result, she
yelled to the little ones to drop to the floor.
Seventeen pistol shots were fired. When
the smoke cleared away, William Benedict was dead, his three year old son shot
through the leg, Mike Gaddis was shot through the leg, and George Thornton who
fired the shot that killed Benedict, was wounded in the hip.
Thornton was arrested by officers who soon came.”
The newspaper stated
that “bad blood had existed between one of the Benedicts and one of the
Thorntons” but gave no details.
“The trial was
underway and testimony was heard on Benedict’s behalf from James Gordon,
Marion Galloway, Steve Benedict, Mrs. William Benedict, and Burban Galloway.
William Lee Pruitt testified that Thornton had been drinking.
John and George
Thornton testified also. Mike
Gaddis then testified that Benedict fired the first shot.
Dr. Weddle of
Hustonville gave testimony that William Benedict had two wounds - one in the
left shoulder and one in his left hand. He
supported the body as William died in his arms.”
article does not state so, but George Thornton was found guilty and spent
several years in the penitentiary.
5.Clell Nathan Benedict
was born in 1885. He married Lilly
Brown on July 29, 1911 in Casey Co., KY. Their
m. Melvin Sears Oct 21, 1932 Casey Co.,KY
b. Mar 1, 1921 Dorothy died in 1933. The death certificate
states she died of Meningitis after being struck in the back of the head with a
Benedict was born Feb 26, 1886. He
died in October 1894. "A young
son of Constable T.J. Benedict died Saturday of diphtheria and two of his
children are now down with that fearful disease."
5.Steve S. Benedict was born May 26, 1888.
He married Bessie Rainey. Steve
died Mar 16, 1943. Their children
6.Hershel Benedict b.Feb
b.Jan 10, 1913
d.Nov 15, 1997 Indiana;
buried Hustonville, KY
m. Mary Ann
b.Feb 12, 1915
b.Oct 27, 1917
6.Ruby Pearl Benedict
b. Nov 17, 1919
6.John Lee Benedict
b.Jan 22. 1922
b.July 31, 1926
6.George L. Benedict
b.Oct 13, 1930
6.Ollie Dean Benedict
b.Feb 6, 1934
6.Steve Stanley Benedict
b.Apr 3, 1938
b.Apr 7, 1936
m. Henry Maddox
5.Wallace Davison Benedict was born Mar 8, 1894.
He married first, Ida Mitchum and then Ora Clements.
5.Hallie Benedict was born June 1, 1898.
She died Nov 1, 1894 and is buried in Casey Co., KY at the Cold Springs
Cemetery next to Owen Crockett. She
said Louis Hatfield (her last husband) was mean to her and she didn't want to be
buried next to him.
She married four
times. Her first husband was
William Compton whom she married on Dec 20, 1919 in Lincoln County.
Their children were:
6.William C. Compton b.Mar
16,1921 d.July 9, 1987
6.Evan T. Compton
b.Aug 27, 1927
d.Aug 5, 1973 buried Moreland Cemetery
Hallie married Rev.
John Brown on Aug 9, 1951 Casey Co.,KY She also married Owen Crockett and Louis
5.Rosa Ellen Benedict was born Nov 12, 1900.
She married Robert Smith
Carrier on Oct 18, 1920. She died
Dec 22, 1964.
Their children were:
b.Aug 7, 1921
6.Helen Toni Carrier b.Mar 23, 1926
6.Mary Frances Carrier
b.May 12, 1927
6.Delia Margaret Carrier
b.Feb 6, 1931
6.Opal Mae Carrier
b.Oct 26, 1933
6.Emma Jean Carrier
b.Aug 16, 1936
6.Robert Ed Carrier
b.Feb 11, 1939
6.Ronald Lee Carrier
b.Aug 18, 1942
6.Donald Ray Carrier
On July 9,
1903, Thomas J. Benedict married Elnora Shelton.
Elnora was born Nov 26, 1883 to Byrd & Britta Belton Shelton of Casey
Co.,KY. Elnora Benedict died May
15, 1941 of a duodinal obstruction and is buried in the Benedict Cemetery.
Their children were:
5.Dewey Benedict was born Apr 17, 1904.
He married Jeanette Carrier and they lived most of their lives in the
Cincinnati area. Dewey died Nov 1,
1995. Their children were:
b. & d.Nov 30,1921
6.Marion R. Benedict b.Aug
20,1925 d.Mar 28, 1926
b.July 25, 1923 d.June 1961
b.Apr 10, 1927
5.Dow Hendrickson Benedict was
born Jan 30,1906. He married Jessie
Rainey on Jan 11, 1922 in Casey Co., KY.
Their children were:
6.Dow Benedict, Jr.
b.May 30,1929 d.May 30,1929
buried Benedict Cemetery
5.Clay Thomas Benedict was born Apr 14, 1908.
He married Mary Rainey a sister to Jessie. They had no children but
raised Mary's niece Martha "Patsy" Randolph.
5.Joseph Harley Benedict was born June 1, 1910.
His first wife was named Rose (maiden name unknown) and his second wife
was named Ada (maiden name unknown). Joseph
Harley died Feb 3, 1993 in Ohio and
is buried in the Hustonville Cemetery.
5.Brittie Margaret Benedict was
born May 19, 1912. She married Sam Daulton.
Brittie's aunt, Rosa Benedict Carrier, tells this story: "It seems
Sam had a mistress and Brittie begged him not to go and see her again. He swore and promised Brittie that he would never see the
other woman again by saying, 'I will never go back there again, I hope God
strikes me down if I ever go back to her house again'... well, old Sam forgot
his promise and went back. While he
was there he had a stroke and later died. Mom
always said God did it."
Brittie died Aug 24,
5.Pauline Benedict was born Nov 19, 1914 in Creston, Casey Co.,KY.
She had a fantastic memory and was very helpful in sharing family stories and
photos. She married James Browning.
Pauline died Feb 13, 2001 and is buried in the Hustonville Cemetery.
They had one son:
6.James Browning, Jr. b.Apr
26, 1933 d.Dec 1968
5.Myrtle Benedict was born Mar 1, 1917. She married Wallace Cook. Myrtle died Mar
22, 1991. Their children were:
6.Wallace Cook, Jr.
b. Dec 7, 1935
6.Donald Ray Cook
b.Jun 3, 1939
b.Feb 2, 1942
b.Jun 6, 1944
6.Myrtle Marie Cook
b.Feb 9, 1946
b.Mar 30, 1949
5.Edith Irene Benedict was born Sep.27, 1919.
She married David "Buck" League.
Their children were:
b.Dec 15, 1947
b.Mar 19, 1951
5.Viola Benedict was born Sep 13, 1921.
She married Raymond Van Gifford. Viola
died Jan 15, 2007 in Ohio. Their
6.Raymond Van Gifford
b.Feb 7, 1941
b.Oct 16, 1945
b.Jan 15, 1947
Davison Benedict was born March 8, 1894 to Thomas J. & Laura Belden
Benedict. He escaped serious
injury in 1897: "Wallace, the
little son of Constable & Mrs. T.J. Benedict, got hold of a ball of lye and
put some of it in his mouth. His
tongue and throat are badly burned but it is thought that he will recover."
While his father
lived in Creston, Casey Co., KY, Wallace met Ida Mitchum who lived near Pellyton
on the Adair side of the Adair/Casey County line.
She was born Apr 15, 1893 to William B. and Mary Ann Pendleton Mitchum.
They were married on Dec 28, 1913 in Casey Co., KY.
Like his father,
Wallace moved his family several times and held a variety of jobs.
He met the train at Moreland where he picked up the mail and delivered it
from Moreland to Liberty. He also
drove an oil delivery truck for Gore Oil Co. of Danville.
He delivered ice from an ice house, was a pressman at "The Casey
County News", a farmer, and a school bus driver.
wife was Ora Clements with whom he had two children, one dying in infancy.
Wallace died June 13, 1973 and is buried in the Hustonville
Children of Wallace & Ida:
7.Christine Benedict was born
May 16, 1915. After graduating from
Moreland High School, she left Moreland for Cincinnati where she married Frank
Schwendenman and they adopted one son, Larry, in 1945.
Frank served in the Pacific theatre in World War II.
Christine was a dietician with the public school system in Cincinnati.
Later in life she married Ivan Wilson and then Don Buckner.
7.Ada Marie Benedict was born June 20, 1917.
Ada went to Cincinnati in 1937, "the year of the terrible
flood". She married Bob
Crummin whom she divorced in 1948. While
living in Florida she married Stan Howitt. She had one daughter, Cindy Howitt,
born 1956 in Cincinnati.
7.Walter Ray Benedict was born Oct 2, 1920.
He lived his entire life in and around Moreland except for one year when
he went to Indianapolis to find work. He married Lucille Crowe and they had one
daughter, Betty Benedict. Lucille died in a car accident Aug 28, 1958.
Ray loved horses and mules and always kept one on his farm and even into
retirement he kept "Dollie". Ray
died Aug 8, 2002 and is buried in the Hustonville Cemetery.
7.Otis Lee Benedict was born Sep 25, 1924.
He was a paratrooper in World War II and landed on Normandy Beach in
France. He was injured by flying
shrapnel and airlifted to England. He
wrote his sister Christine from France: "Dearest
Sister, Received your letter yesterday, sure glad to hear from you.
Yes, Sis, you hit the nail right on the head.
Here I sit somewhere in France writing this letter, yes the morning of
D-Day we were flying across the Channel and jumped five hours before the beach
landing. I'm with the 82nd Airborne
Div. and I'm really proud of it."
Otis married Sadie
Maddox and they were the parents of three sons:
Michael Coy Benedict who was born and died in 1947, Larry born 1948, and
Paul Douglas born 1952. Sadie died
in 2002 and Otis in 2006. They are
buried in the Moreland Cemetery.
7.Arnold D. Benedict was born July 8, 1929 in Casey Co., KY.
He left KY and joined the Navy when a young man.
After discharge he went to Ohio and started driving
trucks and then started his own business.
Christine (last name unknown) and they had two sons:
Michael Benedict b.1948 and Terrance (Terry) born 1952.
Arnold and Christine divorced and he married Elizabeth Kranchalk in 1963
in New Jersey. They have one
daughter, Lisa Benedict born 1965 in Ohio.
Children of Wallace & Ora:
7.infant daughter buried in the Benedict Cemetery
7.Ron Benedict was born July 17, 1944. He left Kentucky at the age
of nineteen and went to Indianapolis looking for work. He got a job at Tractor
Supply and after a couple of years was promoted to manager and sent to Canton,
Ohio. He also lived in Wabash,
Indiana, Washington Court House, Ohio and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. After going to work for Central Tractor he moved to Abingdon
Virginia, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Owensboro, Kentucky, and Altoona, Iowa.
In 1993 he left Central Tractor and bought an Ace Hardware Store in
He married Betty Jo
Eason Sept. 4, 1964 and they have one son, Travis Benedict.
would welcome additions or corrections.
 Augusta Co, VA Deed Bk 21. p.222
 The Overmountain Men: Early TN History, Pat Alderman p.119
 Benedict Pioneers in KY , Marvin J. Pearce p.7
 Revolutionary Soldiers of VA , Echenrode p.42
 Lincoln Co., KY Deed Bk.H, pg.84
 Lincoln Court Records Vol.II, p.90
 Early KY Landholders 1787-1811 p.20
 Benjamin paid taxes in Adair County August 1802
 ”Traces” S. Central Ky Historical Society Bulletin Vol 6 #3 by Marietta Mansfield
 1850 Lincoln Co. Census
 Rousey Researcher: Patrick Rousey
 1850 Census Lincoln Co.,KY
 interview with Pauline Benedict Browning
 Semi-weekly Interior Journal Sept 27, 1889 edition
 Russell History by Jennie Russell Bennett, 1977
 Semi-weekly Interior Journal Aug 14, 1896 edition
 Epperson researcher: Mary Ann Hanson & 1870 Census of Saline Co., MO
 occupation listed on marriage license in Lincoln Co.,KY 1881
 Semi-weekly Interior Journal Dec 30, 1884 edition
 Semi-weekly Interior Journal Aug 14, 1896 edition
 Marriage Bk. Vol. II, pg.105
 Semi-weekly Interior Journal Jan11, 1898 edition
 Semi-weekly Interior Journal Oct 5, 1894 edition
 Semi-weekly Interior Journal Mar 5, 1889 edition
 Semi-weekly Interior Journal Aug 3, 1894 edition
 KY Death Certificate issued in Boyle Co.,KY
 1850 census records she is 7 years old.
 1870 Lincoln Co. KY census
 1860 Taylor Co., KY census
 Doug Morris, descendant of Docia Hardwick Benedict
 Semi-weekly Interior Journal March 20, 1885 edition
 Semi-weekly Interior Journal Aug 6, 1895 edition
 KY Death Certificate 10916 issued in Lincoln Co.,KY
 Missouri Prisoners of War
 War of Rebellion Series II Vol I p.402
 1870 Lincoln Co. census
 1850 Lincoln Co. census shows Millie Yates (age 48)living next door to Preston Benedict with sons James (age 22), Scott (age 18), and John (age 14). Her occupation is seamstress.
 Semi-weekly Interior Journal Aug.20, 1897 edition
 Danville Advocate Messenger
 Russell History written 1977, copy received from Nina Russell Overstreet
 Russsell History by Jennie Russell Bennett, 1977
 Semi-weekly Interior Journal Aug 26, 1884 edition
 Semi-weekly Interior Journal Nov 6, 1885 edition
 Otis Benedict, October 2000.
 interview with Pauline Benedict Browning
 Semi-weekly Interior Journal May 19, 1893 edition
 Interview with Pauline Benedict Browning
 Semi-weekly Interior Journal Sept 11, 1894 edition
 Semi-weekly Interior Journal Dec 24, 1895 edition
 Semi-weekly Interior Journal March 29, 1895 and Sept 7, 1900 editions
 Aroma Hammond, descendant, 2007
 “KY Advocate” October 1902 edition
 Ages of Rothwell children from 1920 Lincoln Co. census
interview with Pauline Benedict Browning
 Interior Journal Jan 2, 1917 edition
 1920 Lincoln Co. census
 KY death certificate #29895
 Semi-weekly Interior Journal Oct 23, 1894 edition
 Christine Benedict Buckner
 Helen Toni Carrier
 KY Death Certificate 11633 issued in Boyle Co.,KY
 Pauline Benedict Browning, October 2000; 1930 Hamilton Co., OH census
 Toni Carrier Hall, descendant, 2002
 Semi-weekly Interior Journal Jan 29, 1897 edition
 original letter still in possession of Christine Benedict Buckner
 Pauline Benedict Browning