Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

July 23, 2013

Old Uncle Gib: Cemeteries and lawsuits

By Old Uncle Gib
Chronicle contributor

— Mary Stewart Bently died March 30, 1853, and was buried on Bently property in what is now known as the Cry Cemetery located in the overgrown area to the west of the Head Start office on Old Rockwood Hwy.

David Cry, who died Jan. 31, 1861, and his wife, Elizabeth, who died April 15, 1863, and John Calvin Dayton Sr., his first wife and children are buried in Cry Cemetery. Dayton's wife and children died in the diphtheria epidemic of 1865. It is believed that slaves of Benjamin Bentley are also buried in this cemetery. Bentley was listed in the slave schedule as having five slaves.

The Cry Cemetery was cleaned off a few years ago; however, people immediately started piling their trash on the cemetery grounds. There are only three or four tombstone markers, but there is evidence of many more graves in the cemetery land. Hopefully, this coming fall, the cemetery can be cleaned off again and “No Dumping” signs posted.

Benjamin Bentley married at least two more times following the death of Mary. These wives were Tamzey (Pansy) Bentley, he was 69, and she 31; and Martha Stephens Bentley, she was 32 and he was 84. Benjamin Bentley died Oct. 22, 1880, aged 84, and was buried with his first wife, Mary.

When it comes to lawsuits, and land deals, being dead doesn't mean a thing. Benjamin Bentley was involved in more lawsuits after he was dead than while he was living.

In November 1886, Bentley is listed as having sold 200 acres of land to Calvin Dayton. Of course, this sale had to be completed by the heirs of Benjamin Bentley as he had been dead for six years.

In the 49th U.S. Congressional Session, Fenton F. Brown, the administrator for Benjamin Bentley of Cumberland County, Tennessee, was awarded payment of $135.00 under a federal act of July 4, 1864-January 19, 1884.

In 1887, the administrators of Benjamin Bentley were ordered into court to strengthen bonds and make settlement of accounts. It is not known if this order was complied with. There was another lawsuit coming to be settled by the Tennessee supreme court.

See next Friday's Chronicle for more on Maj. Bentley.

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Read to Know! What a great motto. We've begun the journey to know the story of this community better. We've received note the information in last week's column is correct, but the picture is not correct. If anyone has a photo of the Bentley mansion, please send a copy to the Chronicle along with any other notes of interest you may have. The final note on Benjamin Bentley is still to come.

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Old Uncle Gib is a weekly historical feature published each Friday. Old Uncle Gib is a pseudonym that was used by S.C. Bishop, who founded the Chronicle in 1886. Bishop actively published the Chronicle until 1948. Comments may be directed to reportnews@crossville-chronicle.com.