According to Countryaah, Benton County is located in the northwest corner of Tennessee, bordered by Henry County to the north, Carroll County to the east, Decatur County to the south, and Stewart and Houston counties to the west. The county is home to two cities—Camden and Big Sandy—as well as several small towns including Holladay, Eva, Bruceton, and Lavinia.
The county is located in a region known as the Tennessee Valley which is characterized by rolling hills and valleys surrounded by mountains. The county seat of Camden lies at the center of this valley with an elevation of 514 feet above sea level.
Benton County is home to several state parks including Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park which offers camping, hiking trails, fishing areas, and other recreational activities; Henry Horton State Park which features an 18-hole golf course; and Mousetail Landing State Park which provides canoeing and kayaking opportunities along with camping sites.
The area also offers a variety of outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, horseback riding, ATV riding trails, boating on Kentucky Lake or Reelfoot Lake located just outside the county’s borders. Additionally Benton County features a number of cultural attractions such as museums dedicated to local history and art galleries.
Benton County has long been considered an agricultural center due its rich soil suitable for crops such as cotton and soybeans. In recent years, however it has become increasingly popular with retirees looking for a more rural lifestyle away from larger cities like Nashville or Memphis.
Demographics of Benton County, Tennessee
Benton County, Tennessee is a small rural county with a population of just over 16,000 people according to the 2019 United States Census. The population is spread out across its two cities—Camden and Big Sandy—as well as several smaller towns such as Holladay, Eva, Bruceton, and Lavinia.
The racial demographics of Benton County are predominantly white with 86.7% of the population identifying as Caucasian while 8.9% identify as African American and 1.3% identify as Hispanic or Latino. In terms of gender, 49.3% of the population is male while 50.7% is female.
The median age in Benton County is 42 years old with 24% of the population under 18 years old and 14% over 65 years old. The median household income in Benton County stands at $40,844 with 17% of households earning less than $25,000 annually and 10% earning more than $100,000 annually.
In terms of educational attainment the majority (68%) have completed high school or obtained a GED while 17% have obtained some college education but no degree and 15% hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Benton County has one major industry—agriculture—which employs many local residents in farming cotton and soybeans among other crops. Manufacturing also provides employment opportunities for many locals through production companies such as Old Hickory Furniture Company located in Camden which specializes in wooden furniture products for home décor and outdoor living spaces.
Places of Interest in Benton County, Tennessee
Benton County, Tennessee is a rural area that offers plenty of places of interest to explore. The Benton County Museum in Camden is a great place to learn about the area’s history and culture. It features displays on local history, artifacts, photographs, and more. The museum also hosts educational events such as lectures and workshops throughout the year.
The Big Sandy Art Gallery in Big Sandy is a great place to view art from local artists as well as those from around the world. They offer both permanent and rotating exhibits that feature everything from traditional paintings to modern sculptures.
The Benton County Wildlife Refuge is located just outside of Camden and it’s a great place to get out into nature and observe wildlife such as deer, wild turkeys, beavers, coyotes, and more. There are also several hiking trails available for visitors to explore.
The Eva Covered Bridge in Eva was built in 1869 and is one of the few remaining covered bridges in Tennessee today. It spans over 100 feet across the Duck River making it an impressive sight to behold.
If you’re looking for something fun to do with the family then look no further than Twelves Oaks Adventure Park which offers zip lining, paintballing, go-karting, laser tag, mini-golfing and more.
Finally, no visit to Benton County would be complete without a trip to Benton Lake where visitors can enjoy fishing or simply take in the stunning scenery while relaxing on its shores.
Notable People of Benton County, Tennessee
Benton County, Tennessee has a rich history of notable people who have made their mark on the area.
One such person is Dr. Charles D. Smith, who was born in Benton County in 1879. Smith was a pioneering doctor and surgeon who served as both a professor of surgery at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine and president of the American College of Surgeons from 1921-1922. He also served as an officer in the United States Army Medical Corps during WWI and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his service.
Another notable person from Benton County is Ulysses S. Grant III, grandson of President Ulysses S. Grant and son of General Frederick Dent Grant. During WWI he served as an officer for the American Expeditionary Forces in France and after the war he returned to Benton County to become a banker and civic leader in Camden where he was very active in local organizations such as the Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, and Masonic Lodge.
The late Senator Howard Baker Jr., who served as Senate Majority Leader from 1981-1985, also hailed from Benton County. He was born in Huntsville but raised on a farm near Camden where he attended public schools before eventually graduating from Vanderbilt University with a degree in law before going on to become one of Tennessee’s most influential politicians ever to serve in Washington D.C..
Finally, there’s William Anderson “Bloody Bill” Anderson, one of the most notorious guerilla fighters during The Civil War who hailed from Benton County. Anderson conducted various raids throughout West Tennessee with his small band that caused much destruction throughout Confederate-held territory before eventually being killed by Union forces near Palmyra in 1865.