Benton County, Tennessee Genealogy

The following obituaries have been contributed to the web site.

Mrs. G.B. Greer

Died Tuesday Mrs. Mollie Greer, aged 75 wife of G.B. Greer, died at their home on Washington Street Tuesday night. She was a cripple and had been affected for a number of years. The writer had know her from childhood as a classmate and playmate; kindly disposed, jolly, frugal, industrious, sympathetic, she was a worthy helpmeet of one of our most Christian and noble citizens. Mrs. Greer was one of four daughters of R.P. Haley deceased, one of the early citizens of Camden. She professed faith in Christ at an early age in life and united with the M.E. Church, South. Her house was always open to the friendless and distressed and her deeds of charity will be remembered by many who will ever cherish her memory. This splendid woman lived the life of a Christian in the fullest sense of the word. Funeral services were conducted yesterday afternoon at 2 o'clock by Rev. King Dickerson. Interment took place at Cowell's Chapel Cemetery.

"Molly Haley Greer" Obituary from "The Camden Chronicles" -- July 22, 1932 [ap 25 1890] Date Ja 1929-D-1935 - Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee. Microfilm collection Benton County, Tennessee. Transcribed by Peggy Haley Ferguson, descendant.

Greenberry Greer

Given Burial Tuesday Big Sandy Correspondent Greenberry Greer, age 94 died early Monday morning at the home of his son, P.S. Greer at Big Sandy. Mr Greer was a confederate veteran, and had served Benton County as County Court Clerk three successive terms. He was married three times and was a local minister of the M.E. Church, South. Burial was at Cowell's Chapel Tuesday with funeral service in charge of Rev. H.F. Clayton, Big Sand, Rev. L.R. Watson and J.N. Wilford, Camden.

"Greenberry Greer" Obituary from "The Camden Chronicles" [ap 25 1890] date Je 17, 1931 - Je 24, 1938. Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee. Microfilm collection Benton County, Tennessee. Transcribed by Peggy Haley Ferguson.

Mary Susan Haley Greer and husband Greenberry Greer buried at the Cowell's Chapel Cemetery in Camden, Tennessee location: East on 641 turn left at Cowell's Chapel Road. Cowell Chapel Church Cemetery is located at the intersection of Cowell's Chapel Road and Natchez Trace Road. Greenberry and Mary Susan Haley Greer's tombstone is close on the Natchez Trace Road side of the church near the parking lot.

Richard Petry Haley

R.P. Haley Has Joined the Silent Majority.

R. P. Haley died at the home of his son-in-law, G.B. Greer, about 4a.m. last Saturday morning, aged 86 years. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. W. F. Acuff and the burial, which was under the auspices of Camden Lodge No. 210 I.O.O. F., took place Sunday afternoon in Camden Cemetery in the presence of a large gathering of sympathizing friends.

Mr. Haley was a man of generous impulses and never forgot the hospitable way of the pioneer. The stranger, even though a beggar, never failed to reach his warm heart, and he was at home by the bedside of the sick and delighted in all kind and neighborly offices. He had enjoyed prosperity quietly and borne adversity bravely. He had filled the various relations of life, as husband, father, friend, and filled them well. Who can do more?

But he is gone! Another name is stricken from the ever lessening roll of the old settlers, and loving children are left to attest how sadly they will miss him. It must be so, these tender human ties can not be severed with a pang. Yet in such a death there is really no cause for grief. His life work was done and well done. He had passed the age generally allotted to man, and wearied with life's duties and cares, weary of suffering and waiting, he lay down to rest.

"Tired! ah yes! So tired, dear.
I shalt soundly sleep tonight.
With never a dream and never a fear,
To walk in the morning light."

He was a man who united sound sense with strong convictions, and a candid, outspoken temper, eminently tilted to mold the rude elements of pioneer society into form and consistency, and aid in raising a high standard of citizenship in our young and growing State. How much this community owes him and such as he, it is impossible to estimate, though it would be a grateful task to trace his influence through some of the more direct channels of the church and Sunday School, to hold him up in these degenerate days in his various characters of teacher and father, of neighbor and friend; to speak of those he has reared to perpetuate his name, those who have been influenced by his life and emulate his virtues. But it comes not within the scope of the brief article. Suffice is to say, he came to Camden from Virginia in 1859. He had been an Odd Fellow since 1855, and a Mason for thirty odd years. He became a Christian in early manhood, and lived nobly and died peacefully at the advance at age of 86 years. The storekeeper found him "as a shock of corn, fully ripe for the harvest."

Not for him be our test rather let us crown his grave with lands; few of us will live as long or as well and still fewer yet will the Angel of Death greet with such a loving touch.

Submitted by Peggy Haley Ferguson

Martin L. Smothers - Sallie Bell Barnes Smothers

Benton Man, Wife to Be Buried Today

Camden, Tenn. - Services will be held today for a Benton County man and wife whose deaths occurred only 17 hours apart.

Martin L. Smothers, 90, retired farmer, died Friday night at his home on Natchez Trace road, 14 miles south of here. Saturday afternoon, his wife, Mrs. Sallie Bell Barnes Smother, 85, died at the home.

Services will be at 2:30 P.M. at Liberty Methodist church near Holladay, Tenn, the Rev. Neal Butler and the Rev. Mitchell Rayburn officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery.

Survivors include three sons, John W., Dewey and Leonard Smothers, Holladay; five daughters, Mrs. Effie Sanders, Huntingdon, Tenn., Mrs. Julia Kelly, Bruceton, Tenn., Mrs. Fay Ware, Elgin, Ill., Mrs. Zula Harwell and Mrs. Bertie Hollman Holladay; 21 grandchildren.

Mr. Smothers is also survived by two brothers, Logan Smothers, Camden, and Elbert Smothers, Paris, Tenn.; a sister, Mrs. Minnie Florence of Missouri; 21 grandchildren

Taken from clipping from Nashville Tennessean. Martin Luther Smothers was born January 22, 1869 in Benton County Tennessee and died December 19, 1959. Sallie Bell Barnes Smothers was born January 31, 1874 and died December 20, 1959.

Submitted by Brian Nichols


Wayne Abbott, age 61 of Hollow Rock, Tennessee was dead on arrival at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Hungtington, Tn. Wednesday June 2, 1993.

The funeral was held Saturday June 5, 1993 at 10:00 a.m. at Stockdale-Malin Chapel with Bro. Mitchell Rayburn officiating. Burial was in Prospect Cemetery with Stockdale-Malin in charge of the services.

Mr. Abbott was born April 1932 in Benton County, Tn. His parents Connie Abbott and Eunice Higdon Abbott preceded him in death. His wife survivor was Bonnie Sue Wright Abbott and family.

Submitted by Norma Watson


Mrs. SudieDowdy Brewer, age 89 of Clarksville, Tn. died at her residence in Clarksville, Tn. Monday May 31, 1993. Funeral held June 2, 1993 at Stockdale-Malin Funeral Home in Big Sandy, Tn. with Bro. Russell Ragsdale officiating. Burial was in McRae Chapel Cemetery with Sykes Funeral Home of Clarksville in chg of services.

Mrs. Brewer was born May 27, 1904 in Big Sandy, Tn. Her parents were George W. Dowdy and Margaret Graham Dowdy and proceded her in death. Her husband Erbie L. Brewer also proceded her in death. She is survived by one daughter Nelda Brewer Parker of Clarksville, Tn. and one nephew Carl Dowdy of Big Sandy. Mrs. Brewer was a homemaker.

Submitted by Norma Watson


Willie Richard (Biddy) Farmer, Jr. age 79 of Big Sandy, Tn. was d.o.a. at Henry County Medical Center in Paris, Tn. Friday May 28, 1993. Funeral was held Sunday May 30. 1993 at Stockdale-Malin Chapel in Big Sandy, Tn. with Bro. Jeff Hardy officiating. Burial was in Mt. Carmel Cemetery with Stockdale-Malin of Big Sandy in charge of services.

Mr. Farmer was born Nov. 17, 1913 in Benton County, Tn. His parents Willie Richard Farmer, Sr. and Lola Westerman preceded him in death. Also preceded in death by two brothers Wilson and Frank Farmer and a Grandson. Survivors include his wife Pauline Higdon Farmer, one dau Betty JoFarmer, Arlington, Tn. 4 sons, Carlton, New Lenox, Ill., Kenneth, Tommy, Johnny Glenn all from Big Sandy, Tn; 2 sisters Lucy Cooper, Allen Park, Michigan, Lucille Jackson, Paris, Tn. 9 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. He was a retired heavy equipment operator for U.S.Fish & Wildlife Service.

Submitted by Norma Watson


Emma Florence French, age 67 of Camden, Tn. died Friday May 28, 1993 at Jackson Madison County Hospital, Jackson, Tn. Funeral held Saturday, May 29, 1993 at 4:00 p.m. with graveside service at Flatwoods Cemetery with Bro. Leonard Greer officiating. Stockdale-Malin of Camden in charge of services.

Mrs. French was born Dec. 21, 1925 in Benton County, Tn. Her parents Virdie Bell and Valeria Pafford Bell preceded her in death. Survivords include husband David E. French, one da Donna Lynn Townsend, Camden, one son David Lynn French, Camden, one sister Virginia Hollingsworth, Camden, 1/2 sister, Dorothy Jean Daniel, Camden, 3 grandchildren and one great grandson.

Mrs. French was a retired utility operator from HIS and a member of Eva Baptist Church.

Submitted by Norma Watson


Sarah Jane Barnes, age 99 of Holladay, Tn. died Tuesday, May 18, 1993 at Valley Regional Hospital in Camden.

Funeral held Thursday, May 20, 1993 at Stockdale-Malin Chapel with Bro. Marty Arnold officiating. Burial was in Old Liberty Cemetery, Hollday, Tn. Mrs. Barnes born May 15, 1894 in Benton County, Tn. Her parents were John Smothers and Martha Hicks Smothers and Willie H. Barnes husband preceded her in death and also 2 sons. Her husband Willie died January 1, 1969. Survivors include 1 son, Loye Barnes of Holladay, Tn, 2 grandchildren Phillip and Peggy Bell, Tracy and Dana Bell of Holladay, Tn. Mrs. Barnes was a homemaker and member of Old Liberty Methodist Church.

Submitted by Norma Watson


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