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Benton County

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The Tennessee General Assembly created Benton County on December 19, 1835, and officials organized the county in February 1836 in a small log cabin at the site of a local post office in Camden. 

The county lies partially in the western valley of the Tennessee River and partially in the plateau of West Tennessee. Its eastern boundary is the Tennessee River, whose shoreline includes a part of Kentucky Lake. Near the village of Eva is Pilot Knob, one of the highest elevations in West Tennessee at some 650 feet above sea level. 

Benton County includes the towns of: Big Sandy, named for the river on which it borders, owes its existence to local railroad development from about 1860. Its present incorporation dates from 1903;  Camden, the county seat and home of The Camden Chronicle, established in 1890, emboding the best local newspaper traditions, reporting county events and boosting economic development and the Benton County Library organized in 1942, developed into one of the foremost small libraries in the state; Holladay, in the rolling landscape of Birdsong Valley, began as a small settlement in the 1840s but had its firm beginning in 1887 with the establishment of a post office honoring the village’s principal merchant, John M. Holladay. 

Tennessee took a leading role among the southern states in the passage of woman suffrage when the state legislature enacted a limited suffrage bill on April 17, 1919. Five days later, Mary Cordelia Beasley-Hudson of Benton County cast the first female ballot in the state in the Camden municipal election.