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Benton County Arkansas

Benton County administrative offices are located at 215 East Central Avenue, Bentonville, AR 72712; phone: 479-271-1013.

Beginnings [1]

Situated in Arkansas' northwestern most corner, Benton County was originally used as hunting grounds for Indians living in Oklahoma, directly to the west, and was not officially open to white settlers until the 1830's. Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri, an ardent advocate of Arkansas' statehood, gave his name to the county and to its county seat, Bentonville.

The area grew slowly until the Civil War, which of course saw a disruption of the lifestyles of people in all the Southern states. One of Arkansas' most significant battles in the conflict took place at Pea Ridge, in northeastern Benton County.

After the war Benton County began to grow both agriculturally and industrially with the establishment of railroad lines. Concurrent throughout the history of agricultural and industrial development is the formation of towns due to three basic influences: agriculture and industry, the existence of the railroad, and the tourist trade associated with the mineral springs and the scenic and recreational qualities of the landscape.

While Benton County remains [1987] predominantly a rural area, three of the original towns have developed into its largest cities: Bentonville (population 10,000), Rogers, (20,000), and Siloam Springs (8,000). Historically the architecture of the county is representative of its growth and development, and of the three themes mentioned above. With a few notable exceptions, there is little left of the antebellum period, and most existing resources date from the period 1870-1925.

  1. Cyrus Sutherland, University of Arkansas, Historic Resources of Benton County, nomination document, 1987, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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