"Benton County was established on December 18, 1832, named for Thomas Hart
Benton, a member of the United States Senate from Missouri, with its county
seat at Jacksonville. Benton, a slave owner, was a political ally of John C.
Calhoun, another slaveholder and a U.S. senator from South Carolina. Through
the 1820s-1840s, however, Benton's and Calhoun's political interests diverged,
with Calhoun increasingly using secession as a weapon to maintain and expand
slavery throughout the United States. Benton, on the other hand, was slowly
coming to the conclusion that slavery was wrong and that preservation of the
union was paramount. On January 29, 1858, Alabama supporters of slavery, objecting
to Benton's change of heart, renamed Benton County as Calhoun County. The county
seat was moved to Anniston after years of controversy and a State Supreme Court
ruling in June 1900."
Tracking Your Roots