This blog started with the gravestone of James Denton, as shown above. A military stone shows he was in the Civil War, U.S. Army, Company C, 30th Kentucky Mounted Infantry. His brother, John W. Denton, was also in the war.
James was born January 16, 1847, to Benjamin Denton and Mary Huff. The 1850 census for Wayne County tells us Benjamin was born in North Carolina, Mary and the children were born in Kentucky. Benjamin is 48, Mary, 38. Eight children are listed with their parents: Martha A., 18; Marion, 16; Isaac N., 13; Phillip, 11; Mary, 6; John, 5; James W., 4; and William M., 3.
As mentioned before James and John both fought during the Civil War, and both were lucky enough to return to their families. James received a pension, #445598.
I found the marriage bond and return for James W. Denton and Elizabeth Morris in neighboring Russell County. They were married November 20, 1865, at the house of Ginny Morris. Elizabeth’s parents were Thomas Joseph Morris and Jane (Ginny) Brummett. Thomas died in 1857, before this marriage, leaving Jane a widow.
The couple returned to Wayne County after their marriage. In 1870 their family consisted of James, 24; Elizabeth, 21; Mary, 2 and Elizabeth, 1. Ten years later two more children were born, Caroline, 10; and James, 8. Elizabeth’s mother, Jane Morris, 72, lives with the couple, as well as a William Hough, 70, who was ‘in the family.’
In the 1900 census James, 55, and Elizabeth, 51, have no children living with them, but a granddaughter, Mattie Russell, 14, is in the household. The couple have been married 35 years; Elizabeth has had five children, four of which are living.
Elizabeth Morris Denton died about 1903. I could find no gravestone or information about her death – too early for the death certificates that are so helpful with their included information.
James married Frances Ellen ‘Gussie’ Marsh Burgess shortly afterwards. Frances was a young widow whose husband, William S. Burgess had died recently from typhoid. She had four sons from Mr. Burgess, who are included in the 1910 census – John, 19; Alfred, 15; Charles, 12; and Edward, 10. They are listed as step-sons of James Denton.
In 1930 James was 86 and Frances, 53. James W. Denton died October 24, 1935.
Wayne County Outlook, Monticello, Wayne County, Kentucky
October 31, 1935
James Denton, age 88, died at his home on Wright Avenue last Thursday. He was a Union soldier in the Civil War and was one of the oldest men in the county.
Funeral service was held in the Tabernacle Friday afternoon at 2 o’clock. Rev E. W. McVey and Harrison March were in charge. There was a splendid floral offering. He was laid to rest in the Alexander cemetery, where he awaits that great resurrection morning.
He leaves to mourn their loss, his wife, Gussie Denton, one daughter, Mrs. [Sally] Lina Foster, four stepsons, John, Alfred, Ed and Charles Burgess; a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well as a host of friends and neighbors.
He was a well-respected Christian gentleman and had many friends. All of us feel our loss keenly and extend to the bereaved ones our deepest sympathy.
He said before he passed away that he was going “home and wanted all his friends to meet him there.”
A precious one from us is gone,
A voice we loved is stilled,
A place is vacant in our home
That never can be filled.
James W. Benton’s death certificate lists his parents and his wife. It says he was buried in Alexander Cemetery, that he was 90 years, 9 months and 8 days old.
James’ military headstone arrived to mark his grave the next year.
Frances lived an additional twenty-eight years. She may have married again, but I could find no information on that marriage. She was buried next to James Denton, with a stone similar to his.