Benton County

A monument where Cline, Copas and Hawkins died


Benton County contains the saddest monument to country music you will ever find.

On March 5, 1963, a small plane crashed here, killing three members of the Grand Ole Opry–Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas and Harkshaw Hawkins. Today, country music fans visit the site of the crash, which contains markers and a bulletin board you see here.

A freshwater pearl in its natural habitat

Benton County is also associated with one of Tennessee’s more unusual state products–freshwater pearls.

If you would like to learn more about this, we suggest you visit the Tennessee River Freshwater Pearl Farm, in Benton County.

Thomas Hart Benton
PHOTO: Matthew Brady

Finally, here is something unique about Benton County: It is named for two people who never met each other but who happened to have the same last name.

Originally the county was named for Thomas Hart Benton, a Missouri senator who once shot Andrew Jackson in a duel. But in 1852, because of Benton’s opposition to the spread of slavery to the West, the Tennessee legislature passed a bill that made it clear that, from that point onward, the county was named for a early citizen of Benton County named David Benton.


And, as you can see, they make this naming business very clear at the Benton County Courthouse.