Welcome To KEY TO THE CITY's Page For
Saline County, Arkansas
Chamber of Commerce.
This history comes from the Saline County Chamber of Commerce:
"The first non-native American to "stake a claim" in what is Now Saline County was William L. Lockhart, who in the spring of 1815, with his family, settled four miles southwest of the current site of Benton, at the point where the road between Little Rock and Hot Springs crossed the Saline River. The first post office was established early in 1831 at the "crossing of the Saline". It was named Saline, and Lockhart was the first postmaster.
Many settlers from Kentucky opened farms and the locality was given the name Kentucky Township. As the population increased more of civilizations advantages became available. A water mill was erected about 10 miles northwest of Benton in 1825 until that time settlers either ground their corn by hand, or made the trip to the small trading post of Little Rock, 23 miles away.
By 1835 the population was such that a "new" county was carved from parts of Pulaski and Hempstead counties, and Saline County came into being on November 2, 1835. The county was named Saline because of the salt works, which had been started in this area as early as 1827. During this early period the salt works supplied the bulk of the salt used in the territory, as well as parts of neighboring states. It was not until well into the 20th century that the present boundaries encompassing 690 square miles were established.
Benton had been started about two years before the county was established, and owing to its central location, in the most thickly settled portion of the county, and on the road from Little Rock to the southwest parts of the county, it was chosen as the county seat. The first court house and the first jail were erected in 1838. The jail was built of logs at a cost of $ 975.00.
118 N. Market Street
This museum is in the only known structure in the world to use bauxite aluminium ore as a building material. It was built in 1896 for Dr. Dewel Gann, Sr. See memorabilia, photographs, original office furniture and artifacts.
The Kentucky Missionary Baptist Church
Established in 1822, this is the oldest surviving congregation in Saline County. The church is also recognized as the oldest continuous surviving Baptist congregation west of the Mississippi. State Highway 5, seven miles north of Benton.
Phone: 501 794-1540.
Built in the 1850's, The Shoppach House is the odlest structure in the Benton City limits. Union troops occupied it during the Civil War. Main and Military Streets.
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