Sheriff John M. Benton

Sheriff John M. Benton

Meigs County Sheriff's Office, Tennessee

End of Watch Sunday, September 28, 1941

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John M. Benton

Sheriff John Benton was shot and killed near the Watts Bar Dam while attempting to arrest a man for public drunkenness at a local dance hall shortly before midnight.

The man, who was a laborer building the nearby dam for the Tennessee Valley Authority, resisted arrest and was fatally shot by Sheriff Benton. Moments later the man's son shot and killed Sheriff Benton. The son then took his father's body and fled back to their home where he was arrested by two state highway patrolmen several hours later. A second man was arrested and charged in connection with Sheriff Benton's murder.

The man's son, 18, claiming self defense, was tried and acquitted on November 24, 1942.

Sheriff Benton was survived by his wife.


  • Age 55
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; Pistol
  • Offender Acquitted

Most Recent Reflection

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Sheriff Benton,
On today, the 80th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Meigs County.


United States Border Patrol

September 28, 2021

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