Grace Benton was born near Whelen Springs in 1903, the second daughter of W. Robert and Mary Frizzell Benton. She graduated from Whelen Springs High School in 1920, and taught there for two years before graduating from Henderson Brown College in 1927. Much of her forty-three year teaching career was spent as a history teacher in the Gurdon schools.
Grace Benton Nelson was a prolific writer, and published numerous articles on the life of Meriwether Lewis Randolph, the grandson of Thomas Jefferson buried in Clark County. As the recognized expert on Randolph's life, the Monticello Association of Descendants of Thomas Jefferson honored her with an associate membership. She served as a writer and editor of the Clark County Historical Journal, as a Sunday School teacher at First Methodist Church in Gurdon, as a city alderman, and was an accomplished gardener.
In 1933, Grace married Perry Nelson, a teacher, Union County School superintendent, county sheriff, and businessman. Their son, Robert Benton Nelson, was born in 1937.
Grace Nelson died November 23, 1992.
Grace Benton Nelson Research Materials, Riley-Hickingbotham Library Archives and Special Collections, Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas.