The Kemp Sketch
BENTON, ALFRED -- Born in Dyer County, Tennessee, in 1816, a son of Nathaniel and Dorothy Benton. His father was a son of Nathaniel Benton, an Englishman of refinement and scholarship who had settled with his family at Hillsboro, Orange County, North Carolina. He moved to Dyer County, Tennessee in 1822 and there died in 1830 leaving a widow, 39 years old, and the following children: Nathaniel, aged 15; Alfred, 14; Abner, 11; Susan 7; Hart, 4; Rufus 2, and Macenos Benton, an infant.
Mrs. Benton came to Texas in 1835 with her children and settled in Robertson's colony on the Brazos. Her eldest son, Nathaniel had in the meantime spent two years at West Point.
Alfred, now nineteen years old, promptly enlisted in the army. He participated in the Storming and Capture of Bexar, December 5 to 10, 1035 and was a member of Captain Isaac N. Moreland's Company of artillery at San Jacinto. He was killed in Sabine County, Texas in 1838 but the circumstances connected with his death are not recorded. His mother on November 12, 1853 received Donation Certificate No. 530 for 640 acres of land due him for having participated in the battle of San Jacinto and Bounty Certificate No. 530 for 640 acres of land for his service in the army from October 25, 1835 to July 20, 1836. In the Headright files in the General Land Office it is shown that on November 30, 1878 Thomas Hart Benton was the only surviving heir of Alfred Benton.
Nathaniel Benton, brother of Alfred, was born in Tennessee in 1814 and returned to that state in 1837 to marry Harriet McCulloch, sister of Benjamin and Henry Eustace McCulloch.
Benjamin McCulloch and Alfred Benton had served in the same company at San Jacinto. To Mr. And Mrs. Nathaniel Benton was born one child, Benjamin Eustace Benton. Mrs. Benton died in 1845 and in 1853 Nathaniel Benton, his son, and his mother, Mrs. Dorothy Benton, returned to Texas and settled near Seguin. Father and son both became Texas Rangers. Nathaniel Benton in the late fifties was married to Jane Elizabeth Harris. He entered the Confederate Army at the outbreak of the Civil War and attained the rank of colonel. He was badly wounded at Fort Hudson. He died in Seguin, 1873 (?) at the home of Henry E. McCulloch and is buried in the Captain Vaughn cemetery in West Seguin. Mrs. Benton died in 1862.
Alfred Benton and his brother Nathaniel came to Texas in 1835 and both served in the army of the Republic of Texas. Alfred participated in the Storming of Bexar, December 5 to 10, 1835, and served at San Jacinto as a member of Captain Isaac N. Moreland's artillery company. His heirs on November 12, 1853, were issued Donation Certificate No. 530 for 640 acres of land due him for having participated in the battle of San Jacinto and Bounty Certificate No. 1405 for 640 acres for his services in the army from October 25, 1835 to July 20, 1836.
An act of the Texas legislature approved August 20, 1856, granted the heirs of Mr. Benton a Headright Certificate for one-third of a league of land. In the Headright file in the General Land Office at Austin is an affidavit signed by Henderson Clark and Albert G. Piler of Dyer County, Tennessee. In it they stated that They were both personally acquainted with Nathaniel Benton, Sr., who lived in Dyer County from 1822 to the time of his death in 1830. They were likewise acquainted with his children and stated that Alfred Benton was killed in Texas in about 1838, unmarried and leaving no heirs except a brother, Nathaniel, and a sister. It is further shown that Nathaniel Benton died in Texas in about 1875 and that on November 30, 1878, Thomas Hart Benton was the only surviving heir of Alfred Benton.
The following letter from Henry S. McCulloch and petition of Mrs. Dorothy Benton are from the Memorial an Petitions files in the Archives of the Texas State Library:
"Austin January 5th-1856
"Hon John R King
With regard to the claim of the heirs of Alfred Benton deceased which has passed the Senate and is now in your house I can state that I well acquainted with his Know that he emigrated to Texas in 1835 and that he remained in the Country until his death in 1838 - That I filed his original discharge in the Adjutant Genls. office and the Certificates of General Burleson that he was in the battle at San Antonio when Milam fell in 1835 and the Certificate of General Rusk that he was in the battle of San Jacinto in 1836 upon which I obtained the bounty warrant of 640 acre and the Donation of 640 acres to which he was entitled for said services which claims are now in the hands of A. B. Stancil for location.
Yr Obt Sevt
(Signed) H. E. McCulloch
"To the Honeroble Legislature of the State of Texas
Your petitioner would most respectful represent to your honorbly body that she is the mother of Alfried Benton who emigrated to the Republic of Texas in 1835, that he the said Alfred Benton was at that time over 18 years of age, that he engaged in the service of the country which was then struggling for liberty in 1835, that he participated in the battle of San Antonio when the lamented Milam fell, that he also participated in the battle of SanJacinto, that he remained a citizen of the Republic of Texas until he died in Sabine County in 1828, that Donation and bounty land claims have been issued for his military services but that no Headright Certificate has ever been issued for his headright.
Your petitioner therefore prays that your honerably will grant a bill of relief to the heirs of said Benton and grant them a certificate for one third of a League of Land.
Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952. Please note that typographical and factual errors have not been corrected from the original sketches. The biographies have been scanned from the original typescripts, a process that sometimes allows for mistakes in the new text. Researchers should verify the accuracy of the texts' contents through other sources before quoting in publications. Additional information on the veteran may be available in the Herzstein Library.
- Died in Battle: No
- Rank: Private
- Company: Capt. Isaac N. Moreland
- Date of Birth: 1816
- Origin: Tennessee, Dyer County
- Came to Texas: 1835
- Date of Death: 1838
- Other Battles: Bexar
- Bounty Certificate: 5301405
- Donation Certificate: 530
- Family at San Jacinto: Future sister-in-law sister of Benjamin McCulloch, who was at San Jacinto