Bennettstown is located half way between Herndon and LaFayette, much of it on a curve in the old road before Highway 107 was built, taking out the curves.

It was settled by Stephen Bennett in 1850. In 1866 he built a nice home referred to as The Bennette Place, located in, what later, became the center of Bennettstown. It is still in an excellent state of preservation.

After Bennett's death Dr. Sherrill Collins bought it and had his office in the comer of the yard, where later the post office and Robert King's grocery stood. Jake Sherrill bought the Bennett Place in 1921, he and his wife, Rosa Young Sherrill, lived there until his death. Lawrence Young, a nephew of Mrs. Sherrill's, bought it and moved there in 1944. He and his wife, Lucille Thomas Young, daughter of Amanda and Ellis Thomas, still live there (1986).

In 1884 Bennettstown had a population of 150 with two drygoods stores, one grocery store, one blacksmith shop' a post office, and two churches. There was a one room school in the community, but not in what was Bennettstown, although one was later established there. (See Education in Christian County Sketch.) In 1851 there was a brick kiln there, for the brick to build Sharon C. P. Church was made at it.

In 1884 Pleasant Valley Church and Pleasant Valley School were located a mile or so out a road that led off what is now 287 near the Ellis home. Two other churches served the community: Sharon Cumberland Presbyterian Church, founded in 1851, and McKenzie Kirk, founded in 1819 but moved to Bennettstown in 1884, closed in 1984.

The first post office in LaFayette Precinct, which included LaFayette and Bennettstown, was Mantua, operating around 1850, located on the Farm of James Stevenson, who was postmaster. It cost 25o to mail a letter.

The first government record of a post office at Bennettstown shows one was established Feb. 15, 1867. With the exception of a brief period in 1876 there was a post office at Bennettstown until March 31, 1916.1

James (Jim) Jobe, who lived across the road from Sharon Church, was postmaster eighteen years. He also operated a blacksmith shop. A nice brick home, owned by Mr. and Mrs. David Thomas, now stands on the site. Bennettstown Notes of 1885 state that Benjamine McGee had a large tobacco factory back of where Mrs. Willie Vier and Benjamine (Bennie) Robertson now live. Bennie is a grandson of Benjamine McGee.

In the late thirties Perry Ellis built a grocery on the comer where 287 now intersects Highway 107, and operated it for two years. He was followed by Jim Vier and Rollie Vier with each operating it a short time. Major Vier bought it around the late forties. Eight years after he had operated it as a grocery he added a barbecue stand, preparing his own meat. The barbecue was of such high quality that people from Hopkinsville and much of South Christian came to buy it. After Major's death in 1966 his wife, Willie Ezell Vier, continued operating the business until 1969 when she closed both the store and barbecue stand.

Jacob King ran a broom factory or shop near the present site of Louise Barbee's home. He later added a stock of goods and operated it as a store during the twenties or later. Others who operated a store at this site include Howard Rives, Archie Fleming, and Lawrence Hancock.

Roy Dawson built a grocery across from the school, later the home of Mr. and Mrs. R. T. Joiner, and operated it from around 1935 until he moved to Hopkinsville around 1940., His father, George Dawson, then operated it until his death.

Irvin Brown operated a grocery for two years on the east corner where the Bennettstown curve intersects Highway 107 toward Lafayette. He was then called into the army. Robb Thomas built a garage and machine shop at the site in 1951 and operated it eighteen years, until his death in 1969.

Many prominent people had roots in the Bennettstown section of Flat Lick, including the following:

Adlai E. Stevenson, Vice President of U. S. under Cleveland, whose family came to the Bennettstown area with the second wave of pioneers; was baptized as an infant in McKanzie Kirk Church.

Alben Barkley, Vice President of U. S. under Truman, whose grandmother, Louise Gerand, was born and raised in the heart of Bennettstown.

John A. Embry, one of America's early outstanding diplomats written up in "Who's Who in America; his mother, Minerva (Sally) Caroline Cooper was born and raised in Bennettstown area and attended Sharon Church.

James A. McKenzie, born and raised in Bennettstown area, was a member of the U. S. House of Representatives, got the bill passed to lower tariff on quinine so earned the title, Quinine Jim.

McKenzie Moss, native of Bennettstown area, became Assistant Secretary of U. S. Treasury and, later, one of the five judges of U. S. Court of Claims.

There are two People of the Bennettstown neighborhood who have become legends within their time: "Miss Myrtle and "Miss Katie."

Mrs. Myrtle Hayes wrote a column, Bennettstown Notes, about the people and their activities in the Bennettstown neighborhood for over fifty-six years, published in the Kentucky New Era.

Mrs. Katie Combs, who is now eighty-eight, has set a fine example of a good wife, mother, neighbor, friend, helpful citizen, and Christian. All who know her would do well to emulate her cheerfulness and optimism in spite of pain and adversity.

Col. Richard E. Stevenson is another outstanding citizen with deep roots in the Bennettstown area. Among the many important positions he has held in his military career has been that of Secretary of the Air Force Office of Information in the Pentagon. He is the son of Adlai E. Stevenson who was born and raised in Bennettstown.

No Till farming was first used in regular field farming on the Young farm in the Bennettstown area. Today (1986) millions of acres around the world are farmed by this method.

Source of Information:

The book, "Seven Generations in and from Flat Lick" cc 1984 by Erleen Joiner Rogers

Unpublished manuscript, "Flat Lick Through the Hourglass of Time" by Erleen J. Rogers

Bennettstown neighbors and friends

Betty Sellers/Mt. Vernon, In.
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