Benton, Samuel L., Sr. (1786–1846)

By: McXie Whitton Martin

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: November 30, 2018

Samuel Benton, Sr., Republic of Texas congressman, was born in 1786 in Hillsboro, Orange County, North Carolina, the son of Jesse and Ann "Nancy" (Gooch) Benton. He was the brother of Thomas Hart Benton, United States Senator from Missouri from 1821 to 1851, and the father of Benjamin Franklin Benton. Samuel Benton was married March 21, 1808, to Mary Hunter, born in 1792. The ceremony was performed in Williamson County, Tennessee, the place of her birth. Benton served in the War of 1812 as a first sergeant in the Tennessee Militia. He returned to Williamson County at the end of the war in 1815 and remained there until 1826, when he moved his family to Carroll County, Tennessee.

He moved to Texas in January 1836 from Missouri. He and his wife, four of their children, and his brother Jesse, Jr., settled in San Augustine. Samuel Benton received a headright certificate for a league and a labor now in Sabine County. In the fall of 1836 he joined Capt. Thomas H. Barron's Company B, Texas Rangers, which was commissioned on November 1 and discharged on December 31, 1836. Benton represented Sabine County in the House of Representatives of the Fourth Congress, where he served on the finance, public lands, public printing, and claims and accounts committees. In 1840 the census listed him as owner of eight slaves and 4,615 acres. By 1841 the Bentons were residents of San Augustine County, Texas. Benton died on September 28, 1846, and was buried in the San Augustine City Cemetery. He was survived by his wife and nine children. Six of their sons served in the Civil War, and only two survived. Mary died in 1865 and was buried beside her husband.

Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Muster Rolls of the Texas Revolution (Austin, 1986). Mary Smith Fay, War of 1812 Veterans in Texas (New Orleans: Polyanthos, 1979). Louis Wiltz Kemp Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Alma Cheek Redden, A Chronicle of Pioneer Families: The Bentons and the Taylors of the North Carolina Backcountry (Greensboro, North Carolina: Acme Printing and Typesetting Company, 1969). Harriet Smither, ed., Journals of the Fourth Congress of the Republic of Texas, 1839–1840, to Which Are Added the Relief Laws (3 vols., Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, n.d.). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941). Gifford E. White, ed., The 1840 Census of the Republic of Texas (Austin: Pemberton, 1966; 2d ed., Vol. 2 of 1840 Citizens of Texas, Austin, 1984).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

McXie Whitton Martin, “Benton, Samuel L., Sr.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 20, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 30, 2018