Benton, Mississippi

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Benton, Mississippi
Unincorporated community
Benton, Mississippi is located in Mississippi
Benton, Mississippi
Benton, Mississippi
Coordinates: 32°49′35″N 90°15′34″W / 32.82639°N 90.25944°W / 32.82639; -90.25944Coordinates: 32°49′35″N 90°15′34″W / 32.82639°N 90.25944°W / 32.82639; -90.25944
Country United States
State Mississippi
County Yazoo
Elevation 341 ft (104 m)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 39039
GNIS feature ID 666835[1]

Benton is an unincorporated community in Yazoo County, Mississippi.

Mississippi Highway 433 passes through the community.

History[edit]

Benton was settled in 1828 by William W. Gadberry. The first county court was held in his log home.

The county seat was moved from Beatties Bluff to Benton in 1829. Benton developed quickly, and soon became the center of trade. Benton was chartered in 1836, and incorporated in 1846.[2][3][4] In 1849, the county seat was moved to Yazoo City, to which a Mr. Benton wrote at the time:

With the removal of the county seat, Benton began to decline and each year its population lessens, and the few houses left are dilapidated, dingy, decaying, and tumbling down. Its population is about forty or fifty. It has two or three small stores, which do a limited neighborhood business.[5]

The Yazoo County Agricultural High School—one of the largest and best of its kind in the state—was constructed in Benton in 1912. Benton High School was opened in 1930, and was used until the late 1990s. These educational facilities required new gravel roads to be constructed to Benton, which encouraged families to move back to the town. New stores were built, a deep well was dug, and a telephone exchange was established.[6]

The March Against Fear in 1966 passed through Benton. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others camped at the Oak Grove AME Church south of the town, where they were given food and water by members of the church and by the Woods family, who owned property next to the church.[7] A historic marker is located there.

Parks and recreation[edit]

Benton Country Club is located in the town.

Education[edit]

The town is served by the Yazoo County School District.

Benton Academy, a private school, in located here.

Infrastructure[edit]

The town is served by the Benton Volunteer Fire Department.

Notable people[edit]

  • Fred Waters, professional baseball player and minor league coach.[8]
  • John Sharp Williams, Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1903 to 1908; lived on nearby Cedar Grove Plantation.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Benton, Mississippi
  2. ^ a b "Benton Mississippi Historical Marker". Visit Mississippi. Retrieved February 2014. 
  3. ^ Laws of the State of Mississippi. Mississippi State Printer. 1846. 
  4. ^ Hellmann, Paul T. (2006). Historical Gazetteer of the United States. Routledge. 
  5. ^ "Extinct Towns & Villages of Yazoo County, MS". Genealogy Trails. Retrieved February 2014. 
  6. ^ ELMalvaney (August 20, 2009). "Abandoned Mississippi: Yazoo County Agricultural High School". Preservation in Mississippi. 
  7. ^ "African-American Heritage". Visit Yazoo. November 1, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Fred Waters". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 2014.