John Benge was a prominent Cherokee and Indian trader. He was born circa 1760 probably in the Cherokee village Toquo.
His father was a John Benge and his mother was Wurteh who were part of an influential Cherokee family.
Early Life and Education
John Benge was born in Overhill Town, Cherokee Nation in 1762. He was the son of a Scots-Irish trader and a Cherokee woman.
He was the eldest of three children. He was raised in the Cherokee matrilineal kinship and clan system, and he considered himself part of his mother’s family.
As a young adult, he was a member of the Indian Police and sheriff in the Old Skin Bayou District of the Cherokee Nation. He later deeded some land to the Cherokee Nation for their cemetery and school. He was also a deputy US Marshall.
John Benge had an impressive professional career. He was a renowned hurler and played for several teams. He was also a coach.
After his playing days were over, he turned to teaching. He began his teaching career at Sam Houston State University in the 1950s.
His work with the school’s baseball team led to a trip to the NAIA College World Series. He was named the coach of the tournament’s winning team in 1963.
While at Sam Houston State, Benge worked closely with famed coach Samuel Hayden Malone. The duo won the school’s first NAIA World Series in 1963.
Achievements and Honors
John is a man of many talents. A proud father, he was an avid golfer, and loved sharing a good book with his wife of 35 years. He also enjoyed annual trips to Oak Island, NC, where he could be found on his beach house, the Brig-a-dune.
He was also an avid astronomer and aficionado of all things aerospace. He was an accomplished sailor and served in the Navy for several years.
As for awards and accolades, he was not shy about claiming his own. He was a member of a small group of medical professionals whose case submissions were recently honored with an Aurora Award, one of the most prestigious in the field. The Aurora awards are presented at the annual Kerecis Northern Lights Wound Workshop in Iceland.
John Benge was a proud man, with a deep love for his family. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He loved to be outdoors and enjoyed fishing, hunting, gardening, history and politics.
He also was an active member of his church. He was also a good cook and loved to share his food with others. He enjoyed annual trips to the beach, where he could spend time with his family.
John Benge inherited the bulk of his net worth from his father, who was a trader. He also inherited his mother’s wealth and her influence in the Cherokee Nation.
He had many children, including a son named Riddle (known as John Riddle Benge) who was born in the Old Skin Bayou District of the Cherokee Nation in 1840. He married Caroline Takey Gordon, daughter of John Gordon and Lucy McPherson.
In 1777, when Dragging Canoe and his party moved southwest from eastern Tennessee, John Benge also relocated his family to Running Water, one of the Chickamauga Lower Towns in the Piedmont. Bob, known as “Captain Bench,” along with his half-brother The Tail and cousin Tahlonteeskee got old enough to join their maternal uncle John Watts in fighting the Chickamauga wars.