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AAC


FEATURE


The Benton County Courthouse, built in 1928, is the oldest building of three current courthouse structures built specifically for government use. In this photo, the Classical Revival courthouse is decked out in red, white, and blue for the Fourth of July.


Courthouse has classic style Benton County has received more than $100,000 in grants for improvements.


Story and Photos by Holly Hope Heritage and Tourism


mately appended to the courthouse in 2000, the principal façade still conveys its original Classical Revival architecture. Benton County was formed from Lovely County on the


T 30


Missouri-Arkansas border in 1836. Te town of Bentonville was established by 1837 and official court sessions were held in the home of the first county judge, George P. Wallace. In 1838, the court approved a vote to build a log courthouse on the square but this was only meant to be a short-term solution. John and William Walker were engaged in 1841 to replace the log structure with a more substantial two-story brick build- ing. Te 1841 courthouse was destroyed when Union troops burned it in 1862.


he Benton County Courthouse, built in 1928, is the oldest building of three current courthouse structures built specifically for government use. And while two structures to the rear were ulti-


During the Civil War there was little court business con- ducted, and the county court occupied a tobacco barn in the area of the square. Just after the end of the war a frame courthouse was erected. Tis was another temporary fix, and in 1870 it was ordered that the county’s fourth courthouse be constructed. Te three-story brick building, completed in 1872, displayed Italianate features and the first internal jail on the third floor. Te two-story frame building was disassembled and donated to the county poor farm in 1873. Benton County underwent substantial growth at the end of


the 19th century. Te construction of the St. Louis San Fran- cisco Railway contributed to the settlement of new towns and the expansion of the fruit industry. Tese factors contributed to more municipal business taxing the capacity of the court- house. Tree justices appointed to a committee researched the issue of whether to remodel the 1872 courthouse, or suggest new construction. In 1927, the vote for a modern courthouse at a cost of $200,000 was approved by the Levying Court. Rogers, Arkansas, architect Albert Oscar Clark submitted


COUNTY LINES, FALL 2019


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